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InFocus M680 Review

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InFocus, a US-based brand that recently forayed into smartphone industry has still a long way to go but is creating a unique set of handsets that are defining its presence in the industry. Launched its first smartphone in India earlier this year, the brand has now quite many handsets selling in the online market. We all agree on that keeping sale online allows companies to bring their handsets price in check, as it requires less spend than selling it in offline market.

Taking that trend forward, they have launched a new device in mid-range, it’s known as M680. Priced at Rs 10,999 and available exclusively on Snapdeal, the device was launched in the country today. We had the pleasure to use it for around two weeks now and now we are ready to discuss whether you should invest in this handset or not. Read the detailed review of the InFocus M680 smartphone.

Design

Spreading its wings, the InFocus has finally introduced a handset with design worth spending for. The M680 have a premium mid-range handset looks, a unibody design, and a metal frame, it is possibly the most stylish handset in this price segment. It seems like backside is plastic in the center where branding is embossed while the area where camera module is placed seems metal built. You can understand by tapping your fingers on it. There is small part below on backside that might be metal built too.

Coming to the front, the bezels are quite large, and that’s the reason it feels quite large for its screen size. There are capacitive buttons placed on the lower end while camera module, earpiece and a set of sensors are placed on the upper front part. You can see another brand Logo just above the screen.

Talking about the ports and buttons placements, on the right edge, there is a power button while on the left edge company has placed volume buttons. This placement of volume rocker keys is never an ideal situation for me. The top edge houses 3.5 audio jack and a secondary microphone while the bottom edge has a loudspeaker, microUSB, and a primary microphone. Overall, the device feels quite sturdy in the hand, and quality seems to be quite better from what other InFocus handsets that we have reviewed.

Display

The first thing we appreciate about the device is that it comes with Full HD display. There is 5.5-inch real estate you are getting on this handset, now calculating the pixel density it comes to 401PPI (Pixel Per Inch), which is as good as you get on a mid-range handset with large display size. The interesting thing about the display is that its color reproduction is stunning. The home screen just lights up once you increase the brightness levels up to highest.

InFocus M680 - Display

The one thing that I don’t like about the display is that it is a fingerprint magnet. Once you do some operations on the screen your fingerprints would be marked on it, and it’s quite easily visible under light; may it be sunlight or artificial. Now that we have mentioned about lighting let’s talk about the sunlight legibility of the display. It’s quite bad actually unless you adjust the angles correctly and not to mention full brightness. It is also quite reflective unlike any displays, which is a bad thing.

Overall, it might not be the best display, but hey, you are getting a large real estate with the support of the 1080p resolution. So, make it count while viewing a video on this thing, make sure to play 1080p videos on YouTube, unless you’re worried about the data bill.

Interface, Apps

The interface on M680 is quite smooth, and at first, we were surprised to notice that because it’s hard to find a custom Android skin with such snappiness. We have used many InFocus smartphones, not any of them offered such buttery experience. Maybe the company has finally optimized its custom interface in accordance with the processor.

InFocus M680 - Android Lollipop

You do notice some similar options like other InFocus handsets; option to enable and disable app drawer. By default you get app drawer, which is a good thing and you can keep it that way unless you like to have all your apps on home screen. The device runs on the latest Android Lollipop 5.1 version and on top of that you see those custom icons, animations, and themes installed by brand.

Coming to the talk of preinstalled apps, there are many apps that company has added on its handset. This might be bloatware for users who doesn’t like the pre-installed app, but most of them are quite resourceful once you start using them. Such as Mobile Assistant, Power Detective, Backup Tool and App Traffic Control. The Mobile Assistant is your one-stop destination to know about your handsets problems and fixes. Once you start scanning the app will scan the whole system and would should you errors if any, as well as show you ways to fix them. Such kind of smart apps makes usage of smartphones users for first-time users. While tools like Power Detective and App Traffic control is good to monitor the battery life and apps installed on the device.

The multitasking on this interface is quite familiar, which is to say it is similar to what is done on Stock Android. You just have to press on the recent menu capacitive button, and recent apps would be opened. From there you can switch to any other running app, open task manager, or clear all apps. I would say multitasking is quite snappy on this interface. You won’t be let down if you’re worrying about it.

InFocus M680 - App Drawer

There are so many preinstalled apps on the system, and you might be thinking that there won’t be much storage left. But not to worry about that too, you have around 9GB of internal storage space. Out of the 16GB storage on the device, around 5.5GB is taken by system OS while 1.3GB is taken by apps. Meanwhile, you can also use microSD card slot to expand the storage space if you feel this space won’t suffice your apps needs. You can also use OTG drive as the device supports; we tested it out to know the truth, and it detected the OTG drive.

Hardware & Performance

The M680 is powered by an Octa-core chipset, MediaTek MT6753, which is a direct comparative against the Snapdragon 615 chipset. Clocking at 1.5GHz, it is coupled with Mali-T720 GPU handling the graphics. There is a 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage supporting the system. These days many devices are coming up with this processor, the reason being it offers powerful processing for the mid-range segment smartphones.

InFocus M680 - Storage

Talking about the gaming experience, the device handles small time games like a piece of cake while it offers good gaming experience when it comes to games like Riptide GP2 and Asphalt 8. Most of the time there was no lag while playing these games, but at times, you could see the GPU breaks for processing. It happened while switching between two games. There are limits of every processor, and I guess this was the limit of MT6753. The device does heat a lot during gaming and when you are using heavy apps or either recording the video, which is never a good sign. Even if the screen is ON for quite some time without no operations, it was heating a lot, considering that it is not an SD 615, which has a default issue of overheating in an idle state.

Regarding the benchmark tests, the device scored decently on apps like Antutu and Vellamo. The Antutu score for M680 was 37768, which isn’t the best in the mid-range segment but is competitive. While coming to the Vellamo app, it tests three aspects of the device; Multicore, Metal and Chrome Browser test. The device decently scores among all the aspects, 1553 for Multicore, 1089 for Metal and 2143 for Chrome Browser test. All the scores in these two benchmark tools were quite on par with another mid-range handset. Although, what matters is the real life usage, these numbers just reveal the potential.

InFocus M680 - Vellamo

We tested out browsing experience as well, and it was quite good. With such large real estate, you can easily browse the desktop sites on your mobile device. The Zoom-in and Zoom-out operations work pretty fine, as well as the touch screen responsiveness plays a good role when you need to pinch zoom-in our zoom-out.

Camera

One of the USP of the device according to hardware specification is the camera department. Here you have 13-megapixel image sensor on both rear and front side. Yes, you read that right! The M680 is yet another smartphone from a company that sports similar front and back camera modules, like InFocus M2, which packs 8MP on rear and front.

The camera interface is quite simple, at first, it would look completely different, but there are some elements of stock camera UI when you open the settings. If you like to be artistic with your images, then you can play around with the modes; Live Photo, Motion Track, Panorama, Face Beauty and Multi-angle View while the basic HDR mode is also present.

The main issue with the rear camera is that it is not able to focus; lately, most mid-range smartphones are having this issue. Companies should really work on fixing this issue. Unless you’re photography enthusiast, it can be a really annoying task for you. Mostly with macro shots it takes a lot of attempts. Because of the slow AF and manual focus, you tend to miss the moments.

Otherwise, the captures are pretty good on his thing, once you get the hang of it. The color reproduction is almost true to the nature of the object. May it be natural or artificial light; you can expect a good white balance and saturation in the outputs. The camera module is no suitable for low light captures, unless and until, you turn ON the HDR or Flashlight. There is no specific night mode, and that may be the reason I won’t recommend it for night captures.

The focusing seems to affect the video recording as well. One can’t tap manually on object every time it gets out of focus as it completely disrupts the function of video recording. There is an EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) for video recording instead of OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), and that doesn’t even help in stabilizing the recording.

The only thing in camera department that works well is the front facing camera. Fortunately, the AF that doesn’t quite work on rear camera is easily operable for front facing camera. You have the same 13-megapixel image sensor on the front acting as the selfie camera. Although, it does lack the number of modes, what you get is only face beauty mode that does your virtual makeup. It just brushes up the black space, which takes the natural feel out of the capture. But overall, it’s quite a good selfie camera.

Battery

It should be mandatory that battery capacity on a 5.5-inch device should be at least 3000mAh so that companies don’t pull off such stunts. Offering a 2600mAh battery on such large device with full HD display doesn’t make sense to a consumer, who just knows the basics stuff about smartphones. Know imagine a company screwing that decision.

The small size battery on M680 doesn’t offer a great screen on time (SOT) when it is used heavily. But if you remove heavy usage from the scene then it can easily manage an SOT of around 3 hours, which maximum one can expect from such battery capacity. You can expect a good standby time from this battery life, thanks to app management by InFocus.

Connectivity

The connectivity is a very important factor in smartphones, and it has been since there introduction. These days’ companies are bringing out 4G LTE network even on most affordable smartphones. Now working on par with manufacturers, InFocus has also offered such services on their handsets and M680 does the same. You get 4G LTE network support since we have a 4G network in our city we tested out the 4G signal and quality strength on this handset, and it was on par with many mid-range handsets. There is no sudden drop in signals between the calls while call quality was good too. Other connectivity options include GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and microUSB.

Verdict

A mid-range segment is a place where dreams are fulfilled; consumers want an affordable phone with specifications similar to the high-end handset. While the quality and performance can’t be mimicked, there are certain features that can be. Such as good display, camera package, sturdy build, etc. The InFocus M680 doesn’t check all boxes, as the performance is bit slow during gaming, but the interface experience is quite good. While display and camera have their lags, they’re impressive for the pricing, especially front camera. Again, the company needs to solve some focusing issue in the camera app, apart from that camera department is fine. If you’re looking for better performance and fewer camera issues on your next handset, then we suggest Obi Worldphone SF1 and Xiaomi Mi 4i.

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