InFocus M550-3D first impressions: a chunky smartphone that promises an immersive viewing experience

“InFocus’s offering allows you to enjoy immersive content without the need of 3D glasses”

Not too long ago, 3D was a big buzzword and was deployed by quite a few brands, not just for TVs but also for smartphones. 3D technology offered an immersive experience to users and hence manufacturers jumped on the trend to be the early ones to deliver such an experience. However, it failed to catch on with consumers. One of the reasons were that most of these devices required use of 3D glasses to enjoy the content, and while there were smartphones such as the Micromax Canvas A115 3D, which offered 3D without the need of any glasses, they ended up being novelty gadgets rather than going mainstream.

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Now, American manufacturer InFocus, known for its projectors and a recent entrant in the competitive smartphone market in India, has also come up with a smartphone that lets you enjoy 3D content without the need of any glasses while the rest of the things can be viewed normally. Labelled as the M550-3D, the device is priced in the lower mid-range category and brings decent specs. We were able to get a hold of the smartphone during the launch event to check out its USP along with its other aspects. Read on for our initial impressions.

While the device might be priced in the mid-budget segment, it seems vastly different from the slightly pricier sibling, the InFocus M812 (first impressions). Instead of a premium metal build, the InFocus M550-3D is constructed entirely out of plastic. This results in a chunky device, since it tips the scale at 194g. It’s also thick as per today’s standards with its 9.63mm frame.

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Along with the display at the front, there’s an earpiece, secondary camera and a few sensors above and an array of navigation keys at the bottom. The right side hosts the power button, while the volume rocker is available on the left. The 3.5mm audio socket is present at the top, whereas the micro-USB port is at the bottom.

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At the back, the InFocus M550-3D features a smooth plastic cover that’s available in different hues such as golden and red. Sadly, due to the smooth texture, the phone is prone to slipping quite easily. The removable panel holds the primary camera along with LED flash and InFocus branding in the middle.

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While the phone is fitted with a 5.5-inch display (which has become a standard for phablets these days), it feels bigger and thicker than other offerings of this size. The display bears full HD resolution and offers an impressive colour fidelity along with sharp text.

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InFocus has partnered with SuperD to offer a solution that doesn’t required 3D glasses to view 3D content. Based on our brief usage period, the technology works as promised. However as stated earlier, not everything can be viewed in three dimensions, and only 3D content like images and videos can use this functionality. The demo unit had some 3D videos and images preloaded and playing them with the supported apps did offer a pleasurable experience.

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The InFocus M550-3D can also capture 3D images with its 13-megapixel primary snapper. While you can click normal photos too, turning on the 3D mode captures the same scene twice (with the second image to be taken after shifting the phone by a centimeter). The primary snapper is supported by an LED flash unit to shoot images in poorly-lit conditions. At the front, the phablet sports two 5MP sensors.

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Powering the show on the InFocus M550-3D is MediaTek MT6752 SoC, which offers eight cores running at 1.7GHz. The chipset is complemented by 2GB of RAM. The combination is quite capable and should be able to deliver a smooth experience.

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In the memory department, the InFocus M550-3D ships with 16GB of built-in storage. Some of the available space is consumed by the OS and preloaded content, which leaves a little over 8.2GB for use. You can also extend it further with the use of a microSD card.

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The softer side of things comprise Android 4.4 KitKat layered with the brand’s custom skin. Along with tweaked interface and customised icons, there are a bevy of features. The InFocus M550-3D also supports gestures, even when the display is turned off. There are a lot of pre-installed apps as well, such as Messenger, Temple Run 2, Zomato, etc.

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The InFocus M550-3D is fully loaded in terms of the connectivity options with support for dual-SIM, 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HotKnot and GPS. The device sips juice from a beefy 3,100mAh removable unit.

Priced at Rs 15,999, the InFocus M550-3D brings forth decent specs along with its unique proposition of an immersive experience with 3D content. However, it remains to be seen whether the 3D aspect of the smartphone is really useful or gimmicky, which will surely be our area of focus once we get the device in our labs. In terms of competition, the phone will be facing formidable options such as the Xiaomi Mi 4 (review | cheatsheet), ASUS ZenFone 2 (review | FAQs), etc.

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