In the recent few days, we saw many new and exciting premium smartphones launched in India. As exciting and tempting as these premium devices are, they can’t fit in everyone’s budget. But the happy news is that more and more companies are now making serious attempts at providing better smartphones at lower rates. In 2014, we saw many such devices that provided the consumers with specifications of at least mid-range devices at entry-level prices. And the race to make available the best at cheapest prices is still on. Not just the market leaders, but many new names are jumping into this race.
Very recently, on 10th March 2015, the US brand InFocus too entered India and joined this race by launching a 4.2 inch smartphone called M2. M2 has been designed in US, produced by Foxconn and is available in India exclusively on Snapdeal. Before I go any further, let me inform here that this device wasted no time in becoming a best-seller on Snapdeal. And the simple reason is that M2 is highly affordable, and yet packs within it an impressive bunch of features and specifications. it costs only Rs. 4,999. And believe it or not, it is equipped with 8 MP camera not just at its rear but also at its front! Yes, M2 costs less than five thousand rupees and has two 8 MP cameras!
Other important specifications of InFocus M2 include a Quad Core 1.3 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM. 8 GB internal storage (expandable with microsSD card of upto 64GB and 2010mAh un-removable battery. The operating system in Android 4.4 KitKat and the display is 4.2 WXGA capacitive touch screen with 1280×768 resolution (3555 ppi).It is also a Dual SIm phone.
I recently got the chance to check out M2 for a few days. And I must say, I’m impressed! Of course, the phone can’t boast to be stunning in terms of looks. But it looks fine enough. More importantly, it functioned smoothly and without a lag. I tried net browsing on it. I watched YouTube videos on it. And I also downloaded several popular games on it like Temple Run, Fruit Ninja, My Tom Cat, and some more. Let me remind you, till even two years ago, downloading such games on devices as cheap as M2 was simply unthinkable as the entry-level devices had very limited RAM and ROM. My mother had a smartphone that cost around eight thousand and still had so little memory that we could not install on it anything more than the basic apps like WhatsApp. And even that ended up using up most of the internal storage and made it difficult to update these apps.
No such problem with M2 as its internal storage is sufficient to meet all the basic needs of the smartphone users.
Let me now tell you about some of the interesting features of M2:
Interesting Launcher: Young users of smartphones enjoy using custom launchers to add to their smartphones various customization options. The default launcher installed on M2 feels much like a custom launcher too thanks to its various customization options and screen transitions. There are various screen transitions that users can select for the scrolling animation of the Home Screen and the App Folder. The wallpaper can be set to scroll or remain fixed. The App Folder can be disabled or enabled as desired. Swiping a finger downwards anywhere on the Home Screen opens up the Notification Panel. The Notification Panel too is customizable as it allows the users to set the order of the shortcut switches. And if all this feels too complicated, the user can also activate the alternative easy launcher instead.
Shortcuts: Talking about the Shortcuts on M2, there are of course the usual shortcut switches on the Notification Panel. The good thing is that these include the shortcuts to utilities like Torch and Alarm. This Notification Panel can be opened from the Lock Screen too and so these switches can be accessed without unlocking the device. The Lock Screen also makes available four customizable shortcuts You can set up any of your four favourite apps as shortcuts on the Lock Screen for quicker access. Another useful shortcut is that when you swipe your finger downwards anywhere on the Home Screen, it opens up the notification panel. Long Pressing the Back Key (right soft key) opens up recent apps list and the right soft key is the Menu key which opens up shortcuts like Settings, Preferences etc.
SafeBox: M2 also has a Safebox which users can protect using password, pattern or pin and a secret question and use it to store their files, photos, and videos that they want to keep safe from prying eyes. I’m sure young users will find this app quite useful. Setting up this app is easy too. Just setup your password, pattern or pin and select your secret question. A custom question can also be added. Add the answer to the secret question and then you are free to add any file to it that you want hidden. Once you exit from this Safebox, you can only enter it with a password etc.
Voice and Motion Commands: M2 also has some voice and motion commands. Voice commands are only limited to the Camera. You can say Capture or Cheese to click photos without touching the screen. This, of course, would work best in quiet surroundings. There are four motion commands that can be used to quickly reject or make calls, lower the volume of the ringer when the phone is picked up or switching over to the next song in the Music Player just by shaking the phone.
Photo Editor: M2 not only has two 8 MP cameras, it also has two photo editors. One is the usual photo editor that can be accessed by selecting the Edit option while viewing a photo. The other is an app called meitu. It makes available even more photo editing features like filters, beauty effects, FX camera and collages. It is a useful app, but some of its menu options continued to appear in Chinese even when I changed the language to English in its settings. Some of its features are free, some are paid.
Note: M2 also has a comprehensive note taking app. This app allows the creation of notes by typing or even writing with your finger. You can also add shapes, date and time stamp, current weather info, navigation info, map, images, clipart and patterns. You can also customize the text in notes by using Bold, italics or underlined text and also adjust the alignment of the text. Quite a useful notemaking app. However, I do have a complaint with it. My complaint is that most of the options in it have been labelled in tiny text and so it was very difficult trying to find out which button did what. I had to ascertain by trying them all out one by one. Reading their tiny labels was just too difficult for me.
File Manger: Of course all phones have file managers. Nothing new in that. What I liked about the file manager of M2 is that it makes available separate tabs for different kinds of media. That is, separate tabs for documents, photos, videos and audio files. This definitely makes browsing through the file manager quicker.
Keyboard: M2 has Google keyboard which allows swype or shape typing. That is, you can input the text by just sliding the finger from one letter to the next. In addition, M2 also has the Google Hindi keyboard pre-installed. Using this, one can easily type in Hindi. I have this keyboard installed on my own and my parents’ smartphones. It makes typing in Hindi very easy. It can also be used to type in English and you can type in Hindi using its English letters or you can also make available Hindi alphabets with only a keypress. Very convenient.
FM with Recording: I love listening to FM and won’t even consider buying a smartphone that does not have FM Radio. Well, M2 does have the FM radio and it also allows users to record from this FM radio
Besides these, of course the M2 has all the other usual apps alike Calculator, Torch, Google apps and clock and weather widgets etc. All in all, this is a pretty impressive device at the price of 5000 rupees. I did not experience even a single lag while using it. Not even while playing games like Temple Run. The display looks good with pleasing colours and clarity. I absolutely loved some of the pre-installed wallpapers in M2 and wish I could transfer them to my phone. The screen has good sensitivity and responds to light touches and taps. It also has automatic brightness so it adjusts colour and contrast to make the display easier to see in sunshine. However, of course the brightness of the screen in bright sunshine can’t be compared with that of a high-end smartphone. But by itself, it’s a pretty decent display.
The launcher of M2 is interesting and designed to please the young users and make using the device more convenient. The launcher allows various screen transitions, quickly adding various apps to a folder, altering the size of font and even disabling the app folder..The widgets and utility apps like calendar and calculator are simplistic and can’t be said to be very aesthetically designed. They are plain and functional. But overall, the features like Note, Safebox, screen customizations, Hindi keyboard, customizable lockscreen shortcuts etc. are perfect to meet the needs of the target consumers. And then, of course, the 8 MP camera in front and back is a bonus!
In short, for those looking for a handy smartphone that works well, shoots good pictures, has useful features and comes at an affordable prize, InFocus M2 is definitely a good deal.
Important Specifications of InFocus M2:
- Display: 4.2” WXGA (1280×768) 355 ppi , capacitive touch
- CPU: MT6582 Quad-Core 1.3GHz
- OS: Android 4.4 KitKat
- RAM: 1 GB
- Storage: 8GB, support Micro-SD up to 64GB
- Camera: Main: 8MP AF BSI Front: 8MP AF all with flash LED
- Battery: 2,010mAh (un-removable)
- Network: GSM/GPRS/EDGE/HSPA+
- Band supported: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz / WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100
- Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, BT 4.0, GPS/APGS,FM
- Sensor: Proximity sensor; Ambient light sensor; G-sensor; e-compass; Gyro
- Price: Rs. 4,999
- Availability: available exclusively on Snapdeal