The Infinix S2, a phone designed with the young in mind. A phone for the selfie addicts and those with small hands (read prefer smaller phones).
I have spent some quality time with the Infinix S2 and I have indeed enjoyed my time with it, but that’s not to say that it has been a completely smooth ride, here’s my review:
As usual, we start with talking about the design. It’s one of the most important aspects of a phone. How a phone looks and feels in your hand will most definitely add to the good or bad experience you have with it. The Infinix S2 continues to bring the somewhat premium design that was started with the Hot S, with a metallic back, 2.5D glass at the front and a handle-able 5.2” IPS display.
There are capacitive navigation buttons, denoted by dots just as we saw on the Infinix Zero 4. Some people will not like these capacitive buttons, but I prefer them to the older style that was on other Infinix devices. Only issue is, the navigation buttons are not back-lit, it’s a struggle trying to use them at night.
There is also a black plastic frame around the display. Its black, so you probably won’t notice it but its plastic and even the slightest drops dent this frame. Our review unit has taken some drops and the scuff and scratches are clear. You should probably also keep your case on as the back has two plastic sections at the top and bottom, to help with network reception, and these sections scratch easily.
The Infinix S2 Pro is available in topaz blue and quartz black. Some regions have a rose gold version, but unfortunately Kenya isn’t on that list. I would recommend going with the black colour, you won’t regret it.
Software and Performance
The Infinix S2 Pro runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box. However, Infinix released an update to Android 7.0 Nougat. Nothing much has changed, as XUI still runs on top of Nougat, but you do get the sweetness of Android 7 Nougat with split screen multitasking and better notifications.
XUI isn’t that bad, aside from the lack of a proper app drawer (you can get access to all apps by swiping up from the home screen, the bloatware that is the X family of apps i.e. XAccount, XCloud (to back up your contacts, messages, Wi-Fi passwords, call log and notes), XClub, XHide (hides selected apps from the app list), XManager, XPower (battery management), XShare (send and receive files between Infinix devices) and XTheme and the transparent UI that is very reminiscent of iOS.
When it comes to performance, the 3GB RAM included does a really good job keeping the device on its toes. Apps launch time is impressive and you can comfortably switch between three to four apps without any of them refreshing automatically. The included MT6753 processor does a good job running apps smoothly despite it being quite dated.
The S2 Pro comes with 32GB of internal memory, which is expandable up to 128 gigs via Micro SD Card.
The S2 Pro packs a 3000 mAh battery which might seem small but remember, it is only pushing 720P graphics on a 5.2-inch display. I have found my review unit lasts me well through the day, especially if I use WiFi as opposed to mobile data.
The device also includes fast charging capabilities, reducing the need to feel like you should charge your phone overnight. You could simply just wake up, plug it in and depending on how fast you prepare yourself, you will have more than 70% charge, up from zero.
Main: The Infinix S2 Pro comes with a 13MP Auto Focus camera with a dual-tone flash. The images produced by the camera are eye candy and will garner some likes on social media. The dynamic range is impressive, colour reproduction and details are well captured. For those who like macro shots, the bokeh effect is quite impressive. Panoramas are also surprisingly well stitched with a lot of detail and proper colour reproduction.
There are also a few tricks hidden within the camera app, such as a manual mode (for those who like more control), picture in picture mode and a beauty mode. Low light performance? Not worth accolades yet.
Selfie Cameras: The dual cameras on the front top bezel of the Infinix S2 Pro are the talk of town. With every big smartphone manufacturer making a play with dual cameras, Infinix jumped on that train as well. The S2 Pro has two cameras, a 13MP standard selfie lens and a much wider 135 degrees wide-angle lens. Images from the 13MP lens are detailed but it’s hard not to notice all the aggressive post processing going on. The 8MP wide-angle lens captures much more in the frame but suffers from barrel distortion – you can see that the edges of the image seem to be curved. However, for selfie lovers, the wide-angle lens is a fun feature to have as you can fit in more people and objects.
You’d expect that with a front facing flash, low light selfies would look great, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but nope!
The other things
Fingerprint reader – the S2 Pro has a mostly reliable fingerprint reader on the back. You would not expect me to complain about the placement of the reader, but I am. Seeing that the S2 Pro isn’t that big, having the reader on the back, means that it will be lower than it is on larger phones with like 5.5” displays. Most times, your index finger will reach for the camera lens instead of the fingerprint reader. Infinix should have considered a front-mounted reader to avoid smudges that will be coming to your lens with that reader being a bit low.
The Earpiece – It is loud enough despite it being so small. My one problem with it is that it is recessed and as much as this might sound like nitpicking, it will collect some dirt. This should by no means discourage you from buying the S2 Pro, but you should be ready to clean the earpiece occasionally.
The display and sound – No, I am not going to complain about this. I am about to shower the S2 Pro with some praise. The display is impressive, colour reproduction and brightness levels are satisfactory. The speaker, despite being down facing, gets pretty loud and will offer some great entertainment if you need to.
The Infinix S2 Pro is a worthy contender in the camera phone space, especially when it comes to its selfie prowess. It has more than enough internal storage, good RAM capacity, impressive battery life and it’s 4G ready. Retailing at Ksh. 15,700; you should definitely give the S2 Pro your attention.