InFocus M530 Express Review: Rear camera stands out but there are issues

InFocus M530 is priced at Rs 10,999 but packed with 13 megapixel cameras on both sides

Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Written by Shruti Dhapola | Updated: July 14, 2015 4:05:03 pm
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InFocus has been in the value for money smartphone segment in India over the past few months, pushing devices with top end specs at low price points. Its latest is the InFocus M530, priced at Rs 10,999 but packed with 13 megapixel cameras on both sides.

InFocus M530

InFocus M530 comes with a ‘ceramic-like back’ , metal frame frame, and a 5.5-inch screen. It is by no means a light phone and is rather bulky (weighs 176 g). The other important thing about the InFocus M530 is that it appears to be ahead of all its rivals in the benchmark tests. In Antutu, it was well above the Meizu M4 and Samsung Note 4 while it was ahead of the Samsung Galaxy S5 in the GeekBench 3 multi-core performance. But benchmarks are not the only indicator of the phone’s performance and the M530 has some hits and misses.

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Specs: 5.5-inch HD screen | MediaTek MT6595 Octa-core processor (Quad-A17 2GHz + Quad-A7 1.7GHz) | 2GB RAM, 16 GB space (64 GB support via microSD| Android 4.4.4 | 5.5-inch full HD screen | 3100 mAh | WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 |

Price: Rs 10,999

What is good?

InFocus M530’s rear camera is the one of the fastest you’ll ever experience at this price point and it delivers the 13 megapixel experience very well. For a user, who has a budget of only Rs 10,000, this camera alone makes it worth a buy. Sure, the colour reproduction is not top-notch, but it does the job without making objects look oversaturated.

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The fact that you can just press the volume button (not a novelty by any standard) to take a picture and the camera’s relative speed is what makes it impressive.

InFocus M530 also has a big 5.5-inch HD screen with good view angles. Watching videos, even playing graphics heavy games, is not an issue on this phone and I really did not experience any lag while playing these games. However, the phone heats up significantly when playing Asphalt 8.

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As far as performance goes, there is no lag in the phone. Downloading a bunch of new apps in one go, even files over 1.5 GB, and multi-tasking on this phone was not a problem for me. InFocus 530 has moderate battery life giving about 8 hours on a full charge with full use. For me the phone stayed on despite being on 15% battery level for quite some time. If you’re not constantly online, the phone should last a day. However, battery levels drop very quickly if you use the phone for a game-stretch.

What is not that good?

InFocus M530’s ‘ceramic-finish’ is really nothing to boast about. It’s prone to smudges and the blue coloured device ensured we could see these quite easily.

The front camera is disappointing. Sure when there is proper lighting it does a great job, but I also got some bizarre selfie results with a considerably rounder face. With flash on, the selfies are just not worth it, although some might find these results acceptable. The selfies in the dark don’t really feel like you took them from a 13 megapixel camera.

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In terms of audio quality on calls and even YouTube videos, I can’t say the phone does very well. Even at full volume, the call quality was definitely not top notch — I know that signal connectivity is fairly good at my house.

The phone runs Android 4.4.4. But with Xiaomi Mi 4i, Lenovo K3 Note offering Android Lollipop in a similar price range, the InFocus M530 with KitKat feels outdated. Add to that the fact that the UI of the phone feels like an odd mish-mash of iOS and Android, and does not really impress.

Should you buy it ?

InFocus M530 has a tough market to compete in with better known brands like Xiaomi, Micromax, Motorola and Lenovo. The Rs 10,000 slot is not an easy one to win in India.

InFocus M530 has some really strong points in its favour: a good rear camera, smooth performance and decent battery life. What makes it a hard sell is the older OS and in my opinion the disappointing front camera. I would buy only if you want to try out a new brand, which is offering dual-13 mp cameras.

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