“The InFocus Bingo 21 looks like a decent proposition for its price”
If you take a look at our assessment of the trends the Indian smartphone market saw last year, you’d notice that the entry-level and the budget segment witnessed a great deal of action. The year was dedicated to deliver value-for-money devices, and the phonemakers were inclined towards the sub-Rs 5,000 segment to offer the same. Henceforth, we saw phones like the YU Yunique, Coolpad Dazen 1 and the Xiaomi Redmi 2 Prime getting quite poplar. Following the trend this is year is the American company InFocus, with its latest budget smartphone, dubbed the InFocus Bingo 21. Just like the debut offering InFocus M2 from the brand, the Bingo 21 is a selfie-centric device, featuring a 5MP front-facing camera, assisted by an LED flash. Priced at Rs 5,499, the smartphone looks like a decent proposition. We spent some time with the new InFocus Bingo 21, and here are our first impressions.
The InFocus Bingo 21 is a compact 4.5-incher, and hence, using it with one hand is not an issue. The phone is light, and the textured back panel adds to the good grip the phone offers. However, the girth doesn’t fall in line with what’s in trend right now and the phone is too thick for our liking. While the Bingo 21 is available in three colour variants, our demo model was black. Along with the aforementioned textured back panel, the phone features white trims all around the edges. Given it’s crafted out of plastic, the InFocus Bingo 21 feels a bit flimsy, and is not something you can flaunt.
In terms of port placement, the phone gets both the audio jack and the micro-USB port on the bottom edge, while the top one remains barren. A small ditch in the bottom bezel conceals the primary microphone. This looks out of place, and you might take it for a damaged display at first glance. The power toggle and the volume rocker have been placed on the left spine, just like we saw on the brand’s flagship, the InFocus M812. However, since the Bingo 21 is compact, accessing these buttons is not as difficult as it was with the M812. The right spine is devoid of any ports or buttons.
The real panel sports the primary camera module, some minimal branding, and the loudspeaker grille. The cover can be snapped off to reveal a removable battery, two micro-SIM slots and a microSD card slot.
Up front, the protruding display of the InFocus Bingo 21 comes flanked by the usual assortment of the earpiece, sensors, front camera and the LED flash above, and some InFocus branding on the bottom. The navigation keys come as part of the software.
Overall, the InFocus Bingo 21 looks like a smartphone from the past, with a thick chassis and even thicker bezels. The use of plastic as the construction material and contrasting colours only take away from the aesthetics.
While you can find a number of smartphones in the price segment with HD displays, the one the InFocus Bingo 21 sports a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, translating to a pixel density of 217ppi. The screen doesn’t look as sharp, and you can even discern pixels if you look closely. The colours look vivid, but slightly on the warmer side. Shades of blue can been seen if you view the screen from extreme angles. The screen looked bright enough indoors, and because it’s not as reflective, the two factors should work together to offer good sunlight legibility. The touch response is average.
Under the hood, the phone gets a 1.5GHz quad-core Spreadtrum SC9830 processor mated to 2GB of RAM. There’s Mali 400MP integrated graphics as well. There were slight jitters while switching between screens in our brief usage, but how the phone fares as a daily driver, we can only tell once we review the device.
The phone ships with 8GB of built-in memory, but almost half of it is taken up by the software, leaving you with about 3.7GB.
The InFocus Bingo 21 runs Android Lollipop v5.1 with InLife UI 2.0 on top. The interface is mostly stock, however, the custom skin, with its extra-colourful icons makes it look a bit comical. There are a few pre-loaded apps like App Traffic Control, Mobile Assistant, Power Detective and Safebox. In terms of third party apps, you get the usual apps from Google, along with Facebook.
There’s also a third-party app called Bobble, which can be used to make your own stickers to be used during chats. The app uses the front camera to capture your face and put it on different animations. There aren’t a lot of customisation options, apart from the usual ones like changing the wallpapers, navigation keys layout etc. Overall, the UI is pretty basic, and not loaded with a lot of bloatware.
Coming to the camera, the InFocus Bingo 21 uses an 8MP primary shooter, aided by an LED flash, while the front cam can click selfies at a resolution of 5 megapixels. As we mentioned earlier, there’s a flash to assist the front-facing camera as well.
The default camera app features a minimal UI. You don’t get any preset shooting modes, however, diving deep into the camera settings gives you control over the ISO, exposure, white balance etc. Whether it can take nice pictures and selfies or not is something we’ll tell you after testing the snappers in different shooting conditions.
The phone comes backed by a 2,300mAh battery and considering the rest of the specs, that sounds enough to make the phone last a day. A few power saving modes have been provided to extend battery life, if need be. On the connectivity front, the phone supports 4G LTE on both its SIM slots, and sports the other usual connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and A-GPS as well.
The InFocus Bingo 21 faces rivalry from one of its siblings dubbed the InFocus M370 which sports better specs in all departments, barring the front camera. The newly launched XOLO Era 4G comes close as well, with similar specifications. The Era 4G also sports a front-facing LED flash, though its front cam is rated at 2MP only. The InFocus Bingo doesn’t offer a whole lot. Yet, being one of the most affordable selfie-centric smartphones, the phone could be a hit among those who like to click self-portraits, but are on a constrained budget.