Infocus is an American company known for its line of projectors and has recently launched a whole range of smartphones in India. Being a new player in the market, the brand has been selling its smartphones exclusively online. While some of its smartphones are exclusive to Snapdeal, it also sells it on other E-Commerce sites.
We are reviewing the Infocus Bingo 21 which is the company’s latest offering in the low end segment. The device enters the ever crowded sub Rs 10,000 segment and hopes to make a place for itself. Lets see what the new phone has to offer.
Design & Hardware
The Bingo 21 doesn’t look like the other phones that are currently on sale in the market. The first thing that grabs the eye is the bright orange colour that quickly reminds us of the Lumia smartphones. The device has a bright orange trim along the sides and a ring of the same color on the camera lens. The right side of the device is completely blank with no buttons or slots while the right side has the power and the volume buttons. The power button is the tiny circular one at the top while the volume buttons are placed apart instead of the regular single rocker.
The Power Button is oddly placed and my hands would naturally go for the volume up button. During the times I did manage to locate the power button, using it was a tad harder because of its tiny size. It would’ve helped immensely if the power button was bigger as its probably the most used button on a smartphone. Getting used to it seems like the only option as the device does not have a double tap to wake feature. The device has a micro USB port and the 3.5 mm headphone jack at the bottom. The back cover has got vertical lines on it that help grip the device. The overall build quality is average and the materials feel a little cheap to touch. The small dimensions of the phone make it easy and comfortable to hold.
The Bingo 21 has a 4.5 inch display with a resolution of 854×480 pixels and a pixel density of 218PPI. The display has decent viewing angles and the display is on par with other smartphones in this segment. Under the display settings there is an option for users to change the color temperature of the display. For additional tweaking the screen mode can be toggled between the Standard and Dynamic options. A Bluelight filter is also present under the display settings that lets the user tweak the display so that it doesn’t strain the eye, especially at night. The display is a fingerprint magnet and will require to be wiped frequently. Also there is no mention of any protection on the glass but so far it has been scratch less.
The phone is powered by a 1.5 GHz Quad Core processor (Spreadtrum 9830) and has 2GB of RAM. On the spec sheet this looks good and it joins the list of phones under Rs. 6000 to have the 2GB of RAM on board. The Spreadtrum chip has 4G capability making this device one among the cheapest 4G phones in India. It is a Dual SIM device and takes in two Micro SIMs. Only the first SIM has 4G connectivity while the other SIM is limited to 3G. The review unit did lag occasionally when used with an Airtel 4G SIM while it worked smoothly with a Vodafone 3G SIM. We assume its the additional processor work on 4G causing it. The call quality is good and the callers voice is clearly audible, however we found the ringer to be a feeble. The speaker is located at the back and isn’t very loud. Expect to miss a call or two if you are in a noisy environment, we wished it was a little louder.
Software and Performance
The Bingo 21 runs on a custom UI on top of Android 5.1 Lollipop. It has most of the goodies of Android Lollipop but misses out on a few like the Multi- user support. The interface has custom icons for preinstalled apps while the ones that are installed have their own. It is a little weird because of the mix between the styles of the icons used.
The performance of the phone is good considering the specifications and the price it is being offered at. The device does not lag during regular use and did manage to run games well. We tried playing Asphalt 8 with the settings pushed to full and the device coped up well with the change. The device got a little warm under load but wasn’t uncomfortable to hold. The battery however did drain a lot faster in a couple of minutes.
The phone has a few apps pre installed like Mobile assistant that helps the user find their way around managing the phone. It is like a cleaner as sorts that helps clean RAM. One app that seemed interesting was the ‘App Traffic Control’ app which lets the user manually select if an app should use mobile data or WiFi at all time. A user can simply switch off all apps when on data expect maybe messengers while keeping all of them active on WiFi, this might not seem a lot but a useful way of keeping mobile data consumption to a minimum. The device has 8GB of storage on board out of which only 4.64GB is available to the user. However the storage is expandable via a MicroSD card slot which accepts cards upto 32GB.
The Bingo 21 has got some impressive hardware on paper, an 8 megapixel primary camera with a single LED flash. The output was grainy and the colours weren’t exactly accurate. The colour balance changes drastically while clicking images indoors, it seems like the software has a hard time deciding what would work well. Outdoors the phone does a little better and the images are acceptable but not great. At first glance the camera app looks exactly like the Google Camera App but digging a little deeper reveals a whole lot of settings. There are options for slow motion, smile shutter the lot, and it looks like it was still being worked upon by Infocus. We also hear that a software update for the camera is coming in a weeks time. The camera records videos in 720p and does not support 1080p. It is fair to expect FullHD recording as the Android One devices that cost lesser have it.
On the front the phone has a 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash, something not a lot of phones have at this price point. The output is acceptable and the quality is good enough to go on social networking sites. The flash is powerful to click well in low lighting conditions. The front camera also does video recording and does it in 480p.
Battery life is a decent on the Bingo 21 and the phone will last one working day (8-10) hours with medium to heavy usage. The phone has a 2300mAh removable battery to power it. The software has power saver mode with different settings which a user can select or tweak as per ones liking. We haven’t seen so many option in other phones but at the same time only a few people will use it to its fullest potential.
There is also a whitelist for apps in the battery that is weirdly named ‘HeartBeat Sync Settings’ that lets users select important apps which they need to keep running. But once configured it can deliver more battery life. While gaming the battery does drain a lot faster, so if you are planning to game with this phone we recommend keeping a charger handy. We did not receive a wall adapter with our review unit hence we reserve our comments on the charging part.
The Bingo 21 is entering a market that is already crowded with a lot of other devices aiming for the top spot. Every device has something different going for it and deciding the best smartphone in that price range makes it harder. The phone is a Snapdeal exclusive device and Infocus has adopted a flash sale model for it. Priced at Rs. 5499 the Bingo 21 puts forward 4G support and front flash as its strong point. If these are exactly what you want and don’t want to spend much then the Bingo 21 fits the bill. The Moto E 2nd Gen 4G is an alternative; it has better software, higher resolution and 4G support but the camera on it is average. Else stretch the budget a little and get the Redmi 2 Prime which is known to be a value for money device.
Aditya Shenoy, the Deputy Editor at pricebaba, has contributed to this review.