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Review: Infinix Note 4

The budget smartphone race is getting hotter!

The Breakdown

8.2
One of the best offerings available, at the given price. Hits above its weight.
Design and Built
7.0
Performance
8.0
Software
8.0
Camera
8.5
Battery
9.5
Pros
Display Battery and Charging Software
Cons
Design Performance

In a race by every manufacturer to create the best flagship, the upper end of the market is starting to get slow. It’s the lower end of the market that’s getting the most action, as technology gets cheaper with time.

A perfect example of such a product, is the new Infinix Note 4. We got our unit 2 weeks before the launch, and here’s why we think this phone is a good option for a lot of people…

You can also have a look at our review video, to get a better idea:

While it might not seem like a great step to enter an already saturated market, Infinix tries to differentiate itself by creating a phone tailored for the Indian market. There are many minute details that go a long way, keeping the Indian youth in mind

Design and Built:

The first thing you notice when you pick the phone is the heft. It is NOT a light phone by any means, coming in at 180g. But it is so heavy because of the big 5.7” display and the giant 4300mah battery it houses. More on that later. There’s also a passive fingerprint scanner below the display, which I found was fast enough and responsive.

The design is pretty simple, but doesn’t feel cheap. The display has a nice curved glass and also has a pretty quick albeit passive fingerprint scanner. You also get a screen protector and a simple cover in the box, which has sure helped my phone in the 4 times that I dropped it. The back is also sufficiently curved, to help with the handling a little. The back cover can also be opened, to gain access to the Dual 4G sim card slts, memory card slot and a subtle mention of the battery size. Continuing with the built, the power button was really soft, which was a little irritating.

Overall, the design is not adventurous.

Display:

We don’t give enough credit to how much of a difference the display makes to the overall smartphone experience. I mean, that’s literally the thing you look at the most. And this phone delivers!

The display is nice and big, with really punchy colours. I think one of the best LCD displays I have seen. Even the brightness was ample and the glass has a 2.5D curve on the front. No complaints there. Though, it needs to be mentioned that one handed use is going to be difficult because of the bulk. Thankfully, there’s a one handed mode

This phone is a media consumption powerhouse. Along with that beautiful display, you get a really loud speaker. At the top volume, there is some loss of clarity, but it’s a good feature to have. No more missing calls. The output via the 3.5mm jack was great too. And to keep the entertainment going, the battery kept racing along.

Battery:

It’s been a while since I used a phone with such great battery life. Most phones would get me 4-5 hours of SOT, whereas this dude would regularly clock in more than 6 hours of SOT. I could confidently leave my charger at home when I was out and about. It does justice to the 4,300 mAh pack it houses. Also, this is a nice reminder of how we often say that a phone should be thicker to have a bigger battery, doesn’t always create a comfortable phone to wield.

The charging was really fast. It would charge to full in less than 100 minutes. Keep in mind, this is a 4,300 mAh battery.




Performance:

The battery life was also augmented due to the fact this houses a mid range chipset. It wasn’t that bad that it would hamper usage. Most games would run fine, and frame rate drops were rare. For the spec junkies, this a Mediatek Octacore processor, along with 3 gigs of RAM. memory management was great too. I could keep apps open for long in the background and keep them ready to go, even after a day.

But when put in demanding situations, you could see the throttling. For example, games took much longer to load, than on other phones. There were dropped frames when playing 1080p60 videos on YouTube. And a funny thing that I found was, that it starts lagging even when I just “Invert colours”. Maybe some of this will get solved via software updates.

Camera:

There’s a 13MP shooter on the back, and an 8MP one on the front. Both are decent in good lighting conditions. The front camera has a flash too, whose intensity can be controlled to not blind you during the night. There’s also a wide selfie mode, but its results were underwhelming. Sadly, there’s no beauty mode here…

The front camera has a flash too, whose intensity can be controlled to not blind you during the night. There’s also a wide selfie mode, but its results were underwhelming. Sadly, there’s no beauty mode here…

The primary camera is better than what I expected at this price. It’s got decent sharpness, and focus was quick and can be launched by drawing a C on the screen. There are some other extras like a full manual mode with a childish UI and some filters, if you like that. HDR was weaker than needed. But totally gets the job done for regular usage. Check out the image gallery.

Software:

Most Chinese phones that I have used recently had UIs that were really far from stock, and I had to resort to changing the launcher. This one was different. Running on XOS built on top of Android Nougat,  which was fairly clean and responsive. No messing with the notification dropdown or the settings, and the app drawer was left intact. There are also screen off gestures, to quickly get to what you want

The lock screen can be scrolled on, with swipes, which has some quotes and an ad….

There’s still some bloatware, and an entire XOS suite of apps that we probably won’t use, but nothing that hampered the experience. You can use dual window too, to enjoy using 2 apps together.

in terms of customization, smaller things like font colours and app grid size can be changed. Nice touch.

The software is not perfect, and there are definitely aspects in which the Infinix Note 4 can improve. But that epends on if this phone actually gets any future software updates. because a lot of mid-range phones don’t usually get many updates.

Verdict:

 

TL;DR: I recommend this phone, if your budget is around ₹10,000 or so. It’s playing in the same space as Xiaomi and Motorola, but has a better overall package, in terms of a bearable software, smooth usage, amazing battery life and a fingerprint scanner. You get a free screen protector and cover in the box too. You can purchase the Infinix Note 4 from Flipkart

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  • Arun Das K

    Why the frames are getting skipped while playing videos.. ?? I have the same phone.. Actually the chipset is able to play videos upto 1080 p without any problem.. lenovo k4 note has the same chipset, but it plays videos smoothly..

    • Yes, the phone starts choking when playing anything more than 1080p30fps. Frame dropping is common

      More than the chip, this probably has to do with the software optimization.

      Maybe this will get solved by software, but wouldn’t bet on it.