Infinix Hot S3 Review: A Decent Phone with A Decent Price

Matthew Cuyugan

Infinix brings one of their newest offering in the Philippines - the Hot S3. It offers decent configuration in a nice budget-friendly asking price that draws a fair amount of people's attention. So, we dissect everything from the physical aspect to the main performance in this review. Let's keep it going.

Infinix Hot S3 Review: A Decent Phone with A Decent Price
Infinix Hot S3 Review: A Decent Phone with A Decent Price


Infinix Hot S3 Unboxing and Hands-on

The 5.7-inch has an 18:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1440 x 720 pixels that translates to about 285 pixels per inch. The brightness is great and the viewing angles are good, however, the screen tends to be yellowish, especially when looking head on. Under sunny days, in the outdoors, the screen is not that reflective, and readability is OK, that is if the brightness is set to maximum.

There's no option to adjust the color saturation and temperature in the display settings, but if you need to reduce eye strain, there is a blue-light filter that can be turned on.

Infinix Hot S3 - Front
The dual-LED flash, earpiece, sensors, and the 20MP front camera.
Infinix Hot S3 - Back
The 13MP rear camera, its dual-LED flash, and the fingerprint scanner.

The fingerprint sensor on the back can quickly unlock the phone, and can recognize up to five fingers, but it's not the fastest ever. By the way, the XOS Hummingbird also offers face unlock feature.

At the uppermost part, the 3.5mm jack is located. The bottom portion is the busiest among the physical controls, as the microphone, the USB charger port, and the speaker grill are all located.

Infinix Hot S3 - Top
3.5mm jack
Infinix Hot S3 - Bottom
The microphone, MicroUSB port, and speaker grill.

The power, and the volume up & down buttons are situated on the right side, while the SIM card and MicroSD card tray is on the left.

Infinix Hot S3 - Right
The power button and the volume rockers.
Infinix Hot S3 - Left
SIM  and MicroSD card tray

The Infinix Hot S3's back is made of a nice-quality plastic with curved edges for a better grip. It doesn't pick up fingerprint smudges easily, so we do not have a worry when using the phone every day. Moreover, the smartphone is very comfortable to hold and it looks very elegant for such an affordable device. A notification LED light is also available, that tells when the battery is nearly empty, there is unread message, and more.

Also Read: Infinix Zero 5 Lands in PH; 5.98-inch FHD, Helio P25, 6GB RAM, Dual Cameras for PhP13,999


Infinix Hot S3 - Software

The Android 8.0 Oreo is the preloaded operating system on the device with the company's proprietary heavily-customized XOS 3.0 "Hummingbird". At first, we thought that there's no app drawer, but it does (swiping up). It also has an array of extensive gesture support, including the double tap to wake and sleep feature, and the one-hand mode.

The user interface seems to be smooth and well-optimized. We didn't experience any lags or stutters when opening some heavy-consuming apps, including Facebook and Messenger.


Infinix Hot S3 Benchmark Scores
Benchmark Scores

The system-on-chip inside the Hot S3 is the MSM8937 Snapdragon 430 from Qualcomm. It carries 8 CPU cores that clock up to 1.4GHz in a 64-bit architecture paired with Andreno 505 graphics unit. The random memory here is 4GB (3GB in the market) that gives it a lag-less performance most of the times.

On the other hand, the internal storage is 64GB (32GB in the market), that can be expanded via MicroSD card up to 128GB. The good news here is that it is a true dual SIM phone, that means adding more storage will not lose the Dual SIM capability as it will occupy a dedicated MicroSD slot.

For reference of raw processing performance, below is the S3's benchmark scores:

  • AnTuTu v7 - 58,866
  • 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme - 5,837
  • 3DMark Ice Storm - 9,507
  • 3DMark OpenGL ES 3.1 - 309
  • 3DMark Vulkan - 297
  • 3DMark Sling Shot - 601
  • API OpenGL ES 3.0 - 43,262
  • API Vulkan - 101,116
  • Work 2.0 performance - 3,464
  • Geekbench Single-Core - 669
  • Geekbench Multi-Core - 2,526
  • Geekbench Renderscript - 2,419

The chipset used is already a bit old, but it is still capable to push the phone above the acceptable performance criteria, at least for its asking price. Day to day usage is smooth without noticeable hiccups, and even playing some high-demanding games are still possible.


The phone's rear-facing camera offers an auto-focus 13-megapixel lens with 4160 x 3120 maximum resolution. On the other side, the front camera can shoot higher pixels than the main shooter, that is up to 20-megapixel or 5120 x 3840 pixels, however, it is a fixed-focus type. Both the lenses are assisted by their very own LED flash that can help in conditions with less amount of light. Meanwhile, the videos can be recorded up to 1080p for the back module and 720p for the secondary snapper.

Main Camera Sample Photos:

Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - Auto
Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - HDR
Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - Outdoor
Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - Panorama
Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - Mono
Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - Foodie
Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - Indoor
Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - Flash On
Flash On
Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - Low-Light
Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - Pro Mode
Pro Mode, Long-Exposure

Front Camera Sample Photos:

Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - Auto
Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - Beautify
Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - Flash On
Flash On
Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - Wide Selfie
Wide Selfie
Infinix Hot S3 Main Camera Sample - Group Selfie
Group Selfie, Low-Light

In daylight scenes, the image quality delivers the detailed and reasonable amount of color and saturation. On the other side, it doesn't really shine in low-light conditions, but still acceptable for the cost. Significantly, it can shoot in monochrome for taking black and white shots.

For selfies, it turns out very well. The beautification mode is enabled by default. Thanks to the ambient sensor, the selfie flash clearly shines. Portrait mode is also available, but we do not expect much of it.

See Also: Infinix Zero 4 Plus Hands-on and Initial Impression; A Big Winner?


Hot S3's mobile network modem uses the standard GSM and WCDMA bands, as well as, 4G LTE bandwidth with up to Category 4 speed. It theoretically has a speed of 150 Mbps for download and 50 Mbps for upload. Moreover, it can accommodate two Nano SIM cards simultaneously, but only one may connect to LTE modem.

It also supports Bluetooth v4.2 for another wireless connectivity between smartphones. The Wi-Fi module on the phone supports the usual IEEE 802.11 b/g/n. The signal is acceptable, and the reception is quite good. Meanwhile, the ports on-board are the 3.5mm jack for audio listening and the MicroUSB 2.0 for OTG functions and charging.


Infinix Hot S3 Battery Stats
Infinix Hot S3 Battery Stats

Due to the power-efficient cores on the chipset used, and the relatively large 4,000mAh battery, the Infinix Hot S3 does have good performance in terms of battery life. We achieved a score of 5 hours and 56 minutes in screen time via moderate to heavy usage. We didn't test the PC Mark as it keeps crashing in the middle of the test.

The fact that it doesn't come with rapid charging support, from empty to a full 100%, it takes about 150 to 160 minutes.

The ultra-power saving mode can be enabled to ensure for a longer battery run time. For a more useful method, the phone also features a reverse charging, which simply means it can act as a power bank.


For the price of Php7,999, the Infinix Hot S3 has a lot to look forward to, such as the 18:9 display, pleasant-looking design, the acceptable camera quality with different modes, and the above-average battery life. No wonder, Infinix can compete in many smartphones with the same price segment. And, if so happen that you got it at a discounted price during the Lazada or Shopee flash sale, then you are a big winner.

However, there are lots of unnecessary applications pre-installed, and there is no option to uninstall them. Besides from the fact that they consumed storage space, they are also quite annoying at times.

Infinix Hot S3 Specs:

  • Dual Nano SIM, dual standby, supports 4G/LTE
  • 5.7-inch IPS HD+ (1440x720) capacitive touchscreen display, 18:9 aspect ratio
  • Dimensions: 153mm x 72.85mm x 8.4mm
  • Weight: TBC
  • Android 8.0 Oreo with XOS 3.0 Hummingbird on top
  • 1.4GHz 64-bit octa core Cortex-A53 CPU, Adreno 505 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430 chipset
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 32GB internal storage, expandable up to 128GB via a micro SD card, uses dedicated slot
  • 13MP auto focus main camera with dual LED flash, 1080p video recording at 30fps
  • 20MP fixed focus secondary camera with LED flash, 1080p video recording
  • Multimedia player
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • FM radio
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth v4.2
  • Micro USB 2.0 with OTG function
  • Sensors: fingerprint, accelerometer, e-compass, proximity, light
  • Battery: 4000mAh Li-Ion, non-removable, supports reverse charging
  • Price: Php7,999

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