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Infinix Note 4 Review: Solid battery backup and some out-of-the box features
Infinix Note 4 can easily last a day with its massive battery backup. The smartphone sports a 5.7-inch Full HD screen and also has a dedicated microSD card slot
There's no shortage of feature packed budget Android smartphones in the Indian market. Some well-known brands have delivered affordable yet performance driven products for price conscious consumers in order to give them a taste of modern mobile technology.
- Large 5.7-inch full HD screen
- Good battery backup
- Dedicated microSD card
- Sturdy design
- Camera works well in daylight
- Display seems washed out in direct sunlight
- Low-light images show considerable noise
- Custom UI is very cluttered
- Only good for light games
But as we know, Indian smartphone market is still growing and there are good opportunities for new entrants to establish a base if they deliver on quality and performance.
Infinix, a Hong Kong based online smartphone brand recently entered the Indian market with some big plans. The company introduced Note 4 and Hot 4 Pro budget Android handsets in sub Rs. 10,000 price-point, which is one of the most competitive smartphone segment in the Indian market.
Between the two, Note 4 offers some interesting features that might please price conscious Indian consumers. The smartphone sports a large 5.7-inch Full HD screen and is backed by a big 4,300 mAh battery unit that also supports fast charging. It runs the latest Android Nougat and also comes equipped with a dedicated microSD card slot.
While these on-sheet specs seem interesting, only real-life performance defines the true potential of a smartphone. To find out how good or bad is the handset, read our review of Infinix Note 4.
Design: Sturdy built with a design that does not resemble any sub Rs. 10k handset
The company has tried to offer something new in terms of design. While there's nothing distinctive about the front fascia of the handset, it is the smartphone's rear panel that does all the talking. The smartphone stays away from the traditional unibody metal design that has gradually become a norm these days. You can pick any budget handset from Xiaomi, Meizu, Huawei, etc. and they all flaunt more or less similar look and feel.
Infinix Note 4 follows a different approach altogether. The smartphone has a composite metal design and comes with a removable plastic rear shell, which is not very common these days. The rear panel has been given tapered edges to make the smartphone ergonomic and comfortable to use in everyday use.
It has a glossy feel but it still makes the handset look quite appealing and premium, like the Samsung Galaxy S7 that can be seen as the design reference here. And while it looks interesting, the plastic real panel is a fingerprint magnet and is prone to scratches. Thankfully, you get a rear protective case in the package to offer some level of protection.
The physical buttons on the handset offer good tactile feedback and you also get fingerprint scanner for added security. Infinix Note 4 has the fingerprint scanner fitted on the home button at front.
Overall, Infinix Note 4 is unlike most of the smartphones I have tested in sub Rs. 10k price-point. It feels very durable in hands and brings a fresh outlook to sub Rs. 10k price-point.
Display: Large 5.7-inch Full HD screen
Coming onto the display, Infinix Note 4 sports a 5.7-inch Full HD screen that at this price-point is quite a deal. The large full HD screen serves well for watching videos and playing games as long as you are using the handset indoors.
This is because the sunlight legibility is not the best in sub Rs. 10k price-point and screen seems a bit dull in direct sunlight. The touch response is quite decent and colors look vivid while watching videos or playing games indoors. As the screen has 1080p resolution, the icons, text and pictures look crisp and sharp.
Camera: 13MP rear camera and an 8MP shooter for selfies
The cameras on-board perform a decent job. Infinix Note 4 houses a 13MP main snapper that works on an aperture value of f/2.2. The aperture size is not something to boast of and the performance is good when you are shooting in ample lighting conditions. The main camera is also accompanied by a dual LED flash.
The pictures captured from the rear camera have good amount of details and colours look quite accurate on the LCD panel. The low-light images show noticeable noise. The HDR mode is effective but affects the shutter speed and requires its sweet time to process the images you capture.
The smartphone also features an 8MP selfie camera that is also accompanied by an LED flash light. Interestingly, the front LED light is customizable and you can control the intensity of light that the LED bulb emits. It's a thoughtful feature that can prevent your selfies from getting overexposed by harsh light thrown out from the LED flashlight.
Overall the camera performance is at par with most of the smartphones in this price-point but not the best in this price-point.
Hardware: Good everyday performer but not for hardcore gaming
Infinix Note 4 is powered by a 1.3GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6753 CPU which is paired with 3GB of RAM. The smartphone has a 32GB inbuilt storage that can be further expanded by up to 128GB via a microSD slot tucked inside the removable rear panel. It is worth mentioning that the company has provided a dedicated microSD card so that the end users don't have to compromise on connectivity and storage.
As far as processing and multitasking performance is concerned, Note 4 is a good everyday performer and only gives reasons to complain when you subject it to graphical intensive games. The phone shows frequent frame drops and the gameplay is not very smooth while playing heavy games like Asphalt 8 and Marvel Contest of Champions.
But even some mid-range smartphones show performance issues with these heavy games and ideally Note 4 has to be treated like a sub Rs. 10,000 handset. So we played some casual game and the handset worked just fine.
Software: Highly customizable skin over Android 7.0 Nougat
Infinix Note 4 shows some minor hiccups while intense multitasking that seems as the outcome of the cluttered UI. The smartphone runs on company's custom skin- XOS UI layer deployed on Android 7.0 Nougat. While the UI feels quite cluttered, it is very customizable and comes packed with a number of useful features.
There are some notable apps that can enhance the end user experience. For instance, the Freeze app allows you to put the apps of your choice in a container that will stop their internet activity to preserve battery and data. You also get a feature rich Theme store, a video editing app, etc. Besides, the XOS UI also allows you to run two accounts on Facebook, WhatsApp and some other apps.
Moreover, the fingerprint sensor can also be customized to open apps and to scroll pictures in image library. As the smartphone runs on Android Nougat, it also allows you to run two apps on a single screen for ease of multitasking.
Battery and connectivity: Long-lasting Battery backup
Battery backup is indeed a highlight feature of Infinix Note 4. The big 4,300mAh battery unit on Note 4 can last for a day and half on moderate usage and can also keep the handset alive for a full day on heavy usage. The 18W fast charging technology allows you to charge 45% in just 30 minutes.
I managed to drive a battery life of a full day even when the phone is subjected to good video playback sessions, music, web browsing, calling, social networking and all other everyday tasks.
As far as connectivity is concerned, the smartphone supports 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 and GPS.
Infinix is new to Indian soil but the company's first installment of Android devices seems to be a good addition in the sub Rs. 10k price-point. What makes Infinix Note 4 stand out from the crowd in its respective price-point is the big 5.7-inch 1080p screen and a dedicated microSD card slot.
The icing on the cake is the solid battery backup that is indeed very much required in a smartphone. What comes as a disappointment is the cluttered UI, sub par camera and average processing and gaming abilities.
If you want to explore other options, you can check out the recently launched Micromax Canvas Infinity (Rs. 9,999) that also offers a 5.7-inch 1080p screen, but with 18:9 aspect ratio and a compact form factor. And if you are a photography enthusiast, then look no further than Lenovo K8 Plus, which is priced at Rs. 10,999, a bit higher but comes with better camera performance and stock Android 7.0 Nougat.