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The smartphone industry has gone through some significant changes in the last few months, especially for devices priced in the budget and mid-range segment. The smartphone manufacturers are not holding themselves back in offering high-end features in budget price-segment, which works in the favor of end-users.
Most of the budget and mid-range handsets now feature dual-lens camera setups, premium design and 18:9 aspect ratio edge-to-edge displays for better overall user experience. And while brands like Xiaomi and Honor are driving the budget segment, new companies are also not behind in offering the latest features and performance driven handsets.
Infinix Mobile, a Hong Kong-based smartphone brand owned by TRANSSION Holdings is yet another ambitious smartphone maker trying to make a mark in the highly competitive budget category. The company has launched its latest Android smartphone Note 5 for the price conscious Indian consumers. The Note 5 is a successor of Infinix Note 4 that was launched in August 2017 and came out as a promising budget smartphone with some notable features.
The New Note 5 from the house of Infinix also packs some neat tricks under its sleeve. It is company's first smartphone under the Android One program, making it one of the most affordable handsets with stock Android UI The budget category smartphone also offers an elongated display for immersive video watching experience. Infinix Note 5 also offers a Glass body design that gives it a premium look and feels.
However, unlike the other budget category smartphones, the device misses on the latest trend of dual-lens camera setup. We got to use the device for a day and here is our first impression of the Infinix Note 5.
Display and Design: 18:9 aspect ratio bezel-less display with Glass body design
In terms of display, the Note 5 features a 6-inch FHD+ display which comes with a screen resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. As mentioned earlier, the display comes with an aspect ratio 18:9 and has a 2.5D curved glass up top. The device has a respectable 85 percent screen-to-body ratio which makes it quite easy to operate with one hand despite harboring a large display. The display is bright and responsive and the colors are also balanced. Considering that this is a budget category device the display quality is pretty decent. The larger screen area will make the device apt for immersive video playback.
To design the smartphone, the company has used a 10-layer coating of reflective nano-chrome particles for a smooth glass finish. The rear panel is constructed using glass making it a fingerprint magnet and the device is prone to smudges. The rear panel consists of a 12MP camera stacked horizontally at the top left corner accompanied by a dual-led flash. The device also has a fingerprint scanner mounted at the rear panel. The fingerprint scanner is easy to set up and it doesn't take much effort to save a fingerprint.
The right panel of the Infinix Note 5 houses the volume rockers, power key, and the SIM card tray, whereas, the left and the top panel are left barren. The device has a micro USB port for charging and data transfers which is placed at the bottom panel along with the 3.5mm headphone jack and the speaker grills. Even though the device is visually appealing it is quite bulky which could be a deal breaker for some users.
Camera: 12MP rear camera and a 16MP selfie shooter
Most of the budget category smartphones which are being launched nowadays have started featuring dual-rear camera setup. But, in contrary, Infinix has used a single lens camera module at the rear. The rear camera in the Infinix Note 5 is a 12MP shooter with a f/2.0 aperture and larger 1.5um pixel size. The rear camera also comes with ASD (Auto Scene Detection). The Auto Scene Detection feature allows the camera to automatically detect and adjust to the surroundings. For instance, the camera can auto adjust to the environment lights such as low light, sunlight, brightness and contrast ratio to produce better overall image output. The rear camera also supports AI portrait mode; however, we found that it is not consistent and often fails to deliver bokeh shots in general, the device captures decent quality images in well-lit situations while the images captured in low light situations are average.
For selfies, the Inifinix Note 5 sports an AI-enabled 16MP front camera with a f/2.0 aperture. The front camera comes with three key features including Low Light Selfie, AI Beauty Mode, and AI Bokeh selfie. The device comes with 4 in 1-pixel technology to capture images in detail in low light situations. The front camera is also accompanied with a Softlight flash. The AI Beauty mode of the Note 5 front camera can spot 255 facial points to capture detailed images and apply the beautification mode for individual consumer face profile. The front camera captures the decent quality of images in the low light situations; however, we still need to test the imaging capabilities of the front camera in dark light situations. We will test the device and will share a detailed feedback on the imaging capabilities of the cameras.
Hardware and Software: MediaTek Helio P23 processor and ARM Mali G71 GPU
The Infinix Note 5 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo and comes under the Android One program which means that the device will get Android updates faster than other non-Android One devices. The stock UI surely adds to the positive aspects of the device. The device has integrated ARM Mali-G71 GPU which is clockable up to 700MHz.
At its core, the Note 5 is backed by an Octa-core MediaTek Helio P23 SoC. The device has integrated ARM Mali-G71 GPU which is clockable up to 700MHz. The MediaTek Helio P23 SoC is coupled with two variants of RAM including the 3GB and 4GB variant. The 3GB RAM variant comes with an onboard storage of 32GB, whereas, the 4GB RAM variant comes with 64GB of internal storage. The internal storage can be expanded further up to 128GB via a dedicated microSD card slot, which is a big plus point. The on-sheet specs of the device suggest that the device should be able to handle multitasking with ease and give a lag-free user experience. However, as mentioned earlier we will share further details in a comprehensive review of Note 5.
Battery and Connectivity:
The Infinix Note 5 is powered by a massive 4,500mAh battery unit which could easily last a day. The device comes with a support for fast charging technology. The company claims that the device can give a battery backup of 3 days and the 18W fast charger can give enough juice to power the device for one day with 30 minutes of charge. It would be interesting to see how long the battery lasts with heavy usage.
The connectivity aspects of the Infinix Note 5 includes support for Bluetooth 4.2, 4G VoLTE, OTG support, a 3.5mm headphone jack for audio output, and FM radio among others. As mentioned earlier the device comes with a microUSB port for charging and data transfers.
The Infinix Note 5 is one of the most affordable smartphones to run the stock Android UI. It also features a Glass body design in sub Rs. 10k segment.
The Note 5 is priced at Rs 9,999 and at this price range; the device will have to compete head-on with Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, Xiaomi Redmi 5, Honor 7A and 7C. All the aforementioned devices pack some decent specs in the budget category of smartphones. It would be interesting to see how well the Infinix Note 5 holds up as compared to these devices. So, stay tuned with Gizbot for more updates on Infinix Note 5.