Smartphones today have reached a phase where everyone features everything, and the only differentiator is the marketing gimmicks that each brand puts forward to the public. The same market, which was dominated by a select few companies, has now become an open battlefield where anyone with the right idea can snatch a win. Among those players is Infinix. While seemingly operating from the shadows, this brand has put forth worthy contenders in the market, all of whom have garnered generally positive reviews for their reliable performance and overall decent feature set. While the outreach and marketing could use a bump up, the brand has come forward with yet another offering in the form of the Infinix Note 5. A direct successor to the Infinix Note 4, the Note 5 is a definite step up in almost all respects. Just how much better is it, and how does it hold up against the rest of the competition?
Design and Display
Infinix has been known for their sleek design and robust build quality, so much so that many of their devices have been compared to the more premium handsets in the market, despite the fact that Inifinix phones cost almost a quarter of the premium class phones today. With the Note 5, the company just took a quantum leap forward in terms of design and build. The all plastic mould has been replaced by one which has a glass back and a polycarbonate rim.
The finishing on the rear glass is super elegant and will leave most people craving a second glance. the curve on the body makes it easy to grip the device easily despite the 6-inch display, making it truly portable. Overall, it seems to me that the Note 5 is the prettiest looking phone on Infinix’s portfolio, and if this is the direction they are headed, its the right one.
Coming to the display, the Infinix Note 5 features a 6-inch FHD+ display with a resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. The whole display is end to end with no bezels, giving you access to more content compared to the same 6-inch setup with bezels. Media playback and sunlight legibility are great but could use minor tweaking to hit the bullseye. There is no blue light filter on the Note 5 display which makes long-term viewing slightly uncomfortable.
All in all, the Infinix Note 5 has a beautiful and refreshed build with a great display to boast. Yes, it’s not the earth-shattering quality that could step up to the likes of the iPhone or Galaxy lineup, but with a pricing so aggressive, it easily beats the rest of the budget competition.
Performance and Camera
The Infinix Note 5 is powered by the MediaTek Helio P23 chipset which in my honest opinion, is something of a miss. Sure, the 3GB of onboard RAM will give you a snappy multi-tasking experience overall, but when it comes to budget chipsets, you just cannot beat the Snapdragon family. Sure, the overall price of the device would go up, but when it comes to market reputation, the Snapdragon evokes a higher trust factor than any other chipset in the market.
Coming to the component on hand, the P23 does give you a good overall performance, and if you are a general user, you probably won’t see the difference. It when you load the graphics or performance intensive apps that you start to see why I recommended another chipset.
While the performance sector is more of a mixed bag for me, the camera department pulls one right back for the brand.
On the rear, we have a 12 MP camera with a 1.25 um Pixel size. This ensures that the photos you take are top notch with amazing colour accuracy and sharp and crisp output quality. Yes, there are some cases where the colours might seem a bit over saturated but it’s not an issue that cannot be fixed. We do get the AI features as well, something that is becoming a staple in phones these days. Low light photography is not up to the mark unfortunately and something for Infinix to address in the future devices. In ample lighting, however, the camera is as awesome as any other top-notch camera in its segment.
Coming to the front camera, aka the selfie camera. The Infinix Note 5 features a powerful 16 MP front snapper with a f/2.0 aperture that lets in more light. Couple this with AI and what you have is a seemingly unbeatable front camera setup for any price point. The AI scans 255 facial points to deliver jaw-dropping selfies with natural bokeh effects and a beautify mode that can be dialled up or down depending on the user.
All in all, the Infinix Note 5 may not have the industry standard as far as the chipset is concerned, they sure have compensated for that in the camera department. Smartphones today are offering stunning cameras at competitive prices. Infinix is not holding back.
The Infinix Note 5 features a non-removable 4500 mAh battery with Quick charge capability. Big batteries are quickly becoming an industry standard and its good to see Infinix sticking true to the trend.
The battery should last you two full days on a single charge if you are of the conservative kind. Heavy usage should pull it down but still should be enough to give you a full day’s worth of use on a single charge.
The phone ships with a 3A charger which on paper, should get your phone from 0-full charge in less than 2 hours.
Overall, the Battery life on the Note 5, while purely subjective is still on the upper end of the spectrum. 4500 mAH is a powerful battery rating and with a lighter processor and Android One implementation, you can expect a super snappy experience with a powerful battery to back you up.
Overall, Infinix has definitely delivered a punch with the Note 5, and if this is a sign of things to come, we are in for a wild ride.