A couple of weeks back we presented our first impressions on the Bingo 50 by InFocus, the American smartphone maker and whatever little time we got to spend with it, was more on the positive side. In a world that is filled with phones that are hard to tell apart thanks to similar design conventions followed by most of the phone makers, it is refreshing to see a phone that doesn’t fall into the same category! How so you ask? Read on as we present our detailed review of the InFocus Bingo 50 that tries to prove its metal in a highly crowded entry level, budget oriented smaller screen phones.
The overall tone of the design is reminiscent of InFocus phones and though the phone has a 5-inch display, thanks to some heavy padding on the top and bottom, the phone is almost as tall as a 5.5-inch screen phone, for example the OnePlus One. So if you’re about to have those sparkles coming up in your eyes for a 5-inch phone you better hold off as this is not as “handy” as you’d expect it to be. We’ve used other 5-inch screen phones like Lenovo Vibe S1, the OnePlus X and met our “single” handed usage expectation much better than the Bingo 50. However, the saving grace is that the phone has curved back like the ones we’ve come to see on the Motorola phones, and thus the well balanced weight of 152 gms fits nice into the palm but you will have to get used to a slightly rugged sandstone back finish. We’ve seen other phones with such texture and over a period of time the surface smoothened out a bit but this one, like we mentioned in our first impressions is a tad “pokey”. What it tends to do is also refusing to let go of dust specks latching into the tiny slots on the surface, you may need a rough cloth to get rid of this. In case you do not fancy going through all this, you’re better off going for the leather finish back. The metallic frame that goes all around the edge of the phone does add to the looks of the phone, while it houses the power and volume buttons on the either sides which make that “clicky’ sound and if you’re in a very quiet environment you’d hear it all the more.
And about the display itself, all that we mentioned in our first impressions still hold good – highly reflective and prone to smudges and fingerprints, but the on-cell display packing 1080*720 pixels has very good on the viewing angles. The touch sensitivity however is not among the best we’ve seen. There were times when swiping across screens, an app would open up and this mostly is due to the fact that it attracts so much of finger prints you’d need to constantly clean it up to get rid of a thin layer that may hamper the touch inputs. Popping out of the display are some vibrant colors with jet black backgrounds of the InLife UI. A pat on the back for InFocus here as they’re of the very few companies who made up their minds to provide Android Marshmallow in an entry level phone. The OS is somewhere in between the stock Android experience and a thick skinned UI. It comes with very few out of the box apps like their own theme store, torch and some utility apps that we’ve come to see in most of the phones out there. Useful features like being able to edit the positions of the toggle menu, a folder on the home page that compiles all the recently used apps, motion gestures like shake to change the song and turn over the phone to reject a call, tubro download mode to use both WiFi and SIM data connection at the same time to boost the download speeds, all of these add a nice touch without being too heavy on the hardware under the hood.
Speaking of which, under the removable back (InFocus seems to be throwing a challenge to the users in removing the back! It’s such a pain) is the Mediatek MT6735 processor clocked at 1.3GHz accompanied by 3GB of RAM and a 16GB of internal memory of which around 10GB available to the user but can be expanded up to 64GB via microSD slot. Dual sim slots are available and can take in 4G LTE sims and all of this is powered by a 2500 mAh of battery. All the day to day activities will run pretty smooth with the OS showing no signs of struggle, thanks to the 3GB RAM and the work that InFocus seems to have done on the software. We threw some heavy games like Asphalt 8 and NFS Most Wanted at the Bingo 50 and barring occasional frame drops and stutters and that one time where NFS Most Wanted crashed on us after 20 minutes of gameplay, things went by without any issues. There was no overheating issues observed too but the battery life plummets if you gamed a lot. We saw a 50% drop for 70 minutes of gameplay which is on the higher side. Talking of battery life you should be able to get through the day if you’re someone with light usage patterns but if you gamed or streamed videos then you will have to top up the juice on the battery by late noon to ensure you hit the end of the day with the phone being alive. The loudspeaker on the phone gets really loud for its size and as long as you’re around the 75% volume mark it holds onto its own. Any louder the treble and bass goes for a toss to become distortions.
The key selling point on the Bingo 50 is the pair of 8MP camera on the front and the back. InFocus stated that the cameras with f/2.2 aperture made by Samsung should deliver better low light photography than the neighbouring competition. From our tests we can confidently confirm this to be the case indeed. The camera app is a minimal interface and is quick to launch and process the clicks. But it struggles a bit when it comes to focusing and at many times the auto focus is not successful. We had to tap on the object to lock the focus and if we didn’t images were a tad blurry. This is more of a software issue we reckon. Pictures themselves are very sharp and carry lots of details and exposure too is handled very well, so is the dynamic range. But there is quite a bit of saturation going on and if the frame has bright coloured elements the true colour is completely taken off. Pictures in low light and indoor came good and had way lesser noise when compared to much of the competition out there. The front camera too did a commendable job, being the same module as the primary camera. Overall, we are super impressed by the camera ability of the Bingo 50 coming at its price range.
Priced at Rs 7499, the Bingo 50 does complete justice to the key selling point from InFocus – the camera. It is easily one of the best camera performances we’ve seen in this price range. Where it falls short is the battery life and the overall dimensions of the phone. A 5-incher phone should have been much handier than what the Bingo 50 is and this could be a deal breaker for many, especially when competition is stiff in the form of the recently launched Lenovo K5 Plus for a little more price or the Coolpad Note 3 Lite which is a solid all round performer. If you’re ok with a 5.5” screen there is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Lenovo K4 Note and the rock solid Coolpad Note 3. But if you’re really focused on the camera abilities and appreciate Android Marshmallow and some unique looks at this price range but ok with an average battery performance, InFocus Bingo 50 is definetly worth your attention.