5.45-inch IPS (1280 x 640 pixels, 18:9 aspect ratio), 1.3Ghz quad core Mediatek, 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, dual SIM, microSD slot, dual rear camera (13MP + 2MP), 8MP front camera, 4G, VoLTE, rear fingerprint scanner, Android 7.0, 3,000mAh, 165g
18:9 aspect screen on a budget, above average dual cameras, good battery life, loud audio output
Sluggish interface, thick bezels, glossy body finish, lacks fast charging
Normally, Xiaomi is the brand that innovates the most in the budget smartphone space. We’ve seen the InFocus Vision 3 with 18:9 display (the first in this price range) and its now time for iVoomi to jump on the bandwagon too. The company’s latest offering, iVoomi i1s, offers an 18:9 display at Rs 6,999 — at exactly the same price as the InFocus Vision 3.
The i1s has a 5.45-inch IPS display in an 18:9 aspect ratio with a resolution of 1280 x 640 pixels. The screen has good brightness, wide viewing angles and rich colours. However, unlike other devices with these taller screens (and notably InFocus’ Vision 3), this phone has thick bezels on both sides and thicker bezels on top and bottom. Compared side by side with the Vision 3, they are are about the same overall size, though the Vision 3 has a much larger 5.7-inch screen. iVoomi may be giving you the 18:9 screen advantage, but you don’t get the compact form factor associated with it.
Performance from the phone is good as long as you keep clearing apps running in the background. Although it has 3GB RAM, we found the phone struggling with day to day usage — the interface was sluggish for no clear reason. There are four bloatware apps that you cannot uninstall. Response improves a little by using a third-party launcher but iVoomi needs to address this via a software update. Battery life is not a full day as expected — it’s able to do the 9 to 5 grind but you will need a top up if you expect it to last till 10pm.There is no fast charge here so it will take up to 3 hours for a full charge.
While the phone appears to have a unibody design, the back panel is removable (though the battery isn’t). We don’t much care for the glossy back panel. They’re trying to make it look like glass — but it doesn’t and attracts too many smudges and scratches. There is also a fingerprint scanner on the rear which works well. However, compared to the Infocus, the i1s feels bulkier and thicker.
Another highlight of the phone is the dual camera setup — not usually seen at this price. iVoomi i1s is amongst the better dual cameras we have seen on budget offerings. It has a 13MP + 2MP setup and a dedicated bokeh mode — the edge detection is not great, but we can’t complain at this price. Image quality is good in daylight but indoors we did notice lots of noise — indoor images were still good enough to occasionally share on social networks. The big issue is that there is a 1 second shutter lag in the camera which often leads to blurry images. On the front is an 8MP camera which has similar issues in terms of shutter lag plus it suffers from soft details and under-saturated colours.
If you are looking for a smartphone with 18:9 aspect display on a budget, the iVoomi i1s and InFocus Vision 3 are the only two choices. Between the two we would pick the Infocus because it’s just better at the things that matter — screen & build quality, camera, battery life and performance. If you’re ok to look beyond the 18:9 screen, consider the Infinix Hot 4 Pro. It has a 16:9 5.5-inch HD display, 3GB RAM, 16GB storage and larger 4,000mAh battery.