Infinix Note 5 review: A worthy option in the budget segmenthttps://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-reviews/infinix-note-5-review-5320091/

Infinix Note 5 review: A worthy option in the budget segment

Infinix Note 5 review: The Android One phone offers a stock version of Android Oreo, bright display with vivid colours and long battery life for a reasonable price

  • 4.0
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Infinix Note 5 Android One smartphone price starts at Rs.

Infinix, the Hong Kong-based smartphone manufacturer introduced a bunch of budget smartphones in India in the last few months. The OEM expanding its budget portfolio added yet another smartphone, Infinix Note 5 for a price starting at Rs 9,999. While the Indian smartphone market is dominated by the Chinese brand Xiaomi, Infinix has made subtle effort to table a budget smartphone with few good features that can take the Redmi counterparts head on. Infinix Note 5 is the first Android One device from the company’s smartphone shelf to have made its way to the Indian smartphone market.

Infinix Note 5 Specifications

The new Infinix Note 5 features a 5.99-inch full HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio. The display has a screen-to-body ratio of 85 per cent. The phone runs a stock version of Android 8.1 Oreo OS. Underneath the hood sits an octa-core MediaTek Helio P23 processor fabricated on a 16nm FinFET process. Infinix Note 5 comes in two RAM/storage configuration- 3GB RAM/32GB storage and 4GB RAM/64GB internal storage. In terms of optics, the phone carries a single camera module at the back having a 12MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture, 1.25-micron pixels and dual tone LED flash. The camera comes with AI-enabled Auto scene detection and portrait mode. Up front, the phone has a 16MP selfie camera that comes with f/2.0 aperture and soft LED flash. The front camera includes AI beauty mode, bokeh selfie and a few real-time filters.

Also Read: Infinix Note 5 Android One launched in India: Price, specifications

Besides a tall display and stock version of Android OS, another highlight of the Infinix Note 5 is its battery capacity. The phone packs a huge 4,500mAh battery and comes with fast charging support. Considering its price, the Infinix Note 5 heads directly against Xiaomi and Honor’s budget offerings, Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 and Honor 7C that carry near similar aspects. We used the new Infinix Note 5 Android One smartphone (3GB RAM model) for a few days and here is our full review

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Key specifications: 5.99-inch full HD+ 18:9 display | MediaTek Helio P23 octa-core processor | 3GB RAM/32GB storage and 4GB RAM/64GB storage | 12MP rear camera | 16MP front camera with soft flash | 4,500mAh battery | Android 8.1 Oreo

Infinix Note 5 price in India: Rs 9,999 for 3GB RAM/32GB storage; Rs 11,999 for 4GB RAM/64GB storage

Infinix Note 5 review: What’s good?

With a glossy plastic back panel coated with 10 layers of nano chrome particles and a tall display in a fairly compact form factor, Infinix Note 5 feels premium and good to hold. The phone does not have antenna lines at the back, and with the subtle Android One and Infinix branding, it adds a neat look to the rear panel. The phone has a single camera module and LED flash aligned horizontally and circular shaped fingerprint sensor at the back. The power button and volume keys are placed on the right side, while, at the base sits a micro USB port, 3.5mm audio jack and mono speaker grills. Infinix Note 5 has a dedicated microSD slot located above the volume buttons. The phone’s build quality is pretty decent and ergonomics-wise it is good too.

Infinix Note 5 features a tall 5.99-inch full HD+ 18:9 display with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels. The front panel has a 2.5D curved glass on top for protection. The bezels on the sides of the phone are thin and the display has on-screen navigation keys offering extra screen real estate to consume content. The display on the Infinix Note 5 is quite bright and sharp, courtesy of the full HD+ resolution. It manages to render good colour reproduction with wide viewing angles.

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Infinix Note 5 display offers vivid colours and good detail

Infinix Note 5 is a part of Google Android One program which means you will get regular software and security updates for two years. The phone runs a stock version of Android 8.1 Oreo OS offering a neat and intuitive UI experience. Our review unit had the recent July security patch. The interface is simple; a slide-up on the home screen opens the app drawer. The quick toggle and notifications shade changes depending on the colour of the wallpaper. Infinix Note 5 comes with a few gestures for instance; three finger slide on the display to take quick screenshots. It includes G-Suite and Google Photos to take charge of the photo gallery.

Talking about the performance, although the smartphone carries a mid-tier MediaTek Helio P23 processor, it manages to run day-to-day tasks smoothly. We did face occasional lags with heavy duty tasks. The phone took time to load Real Racing 3, but we didn’t face any stutter in the thirty minutes run-time. The graphics rendition was quite good too, the colours pop out vibrant and showcased good details. As for synthetic benchmarks, Infinix Note 5 got 57353 points in AnTuTu. In the GeekBench test, the phone managed to score 659 in single-core test and 2520 in multi-core test.

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Infinix Note 5 synthetic benchmark test scores

While few smartphones in the budget segment now come with dual rear camera setup, Infinix Note 5 offers a 12MP single rear camera. But even with a single camera lens, the phone delivers a decent output in bright conditions with proper colour accuracy and details. The native camera comes with Google Lens integration. Further, the Pro mode expands the possibility to tweak camera settings (ISO, shutter speed, White Balance) and manually focus on a subject. The front facing camera houses a 16MP sensor with soft LED flash support. The camera app provides AI Beauty mode and bokeh selfie. During our usage, we found the front-facing camera to be a reliable performer in well-lit conditions. The native camera app has nine real-time filters that you can choose from.

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The native camera app provides fully featured Pro mode and comes with Google Lens integration

In terms of battery capacity, Infinix Note 5 pegs a huge 4,500mAh battery. The phone lacks USB Type C port which at first might sound disappointing, but the new Infinix device comes with fast charge support adding another perk besides stock Android version. Further the AI power management optimises the power consumption. With moderate usage, the phone easily lasts for one and a half day. With the supplied 18W charger, the device takes a couple of seconds to wake from sleep and charge up to 100 per cent in nearly 2 hours and 16 minutes. During our brief usage, the Infinix Note 5 lasted for more than a day with heavy usage that included browsing a couple of tabs in Google Chrome, sending texts on WhatsApp, streaming HD content on Netflix.

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Infinix Note 5 camera sample in good light (image resized for web)
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Infinix Note 5 camera sample (image resized for web)
Bright light image sample
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Infinix Note 5 camera sample in low light (image resized for web)
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Infinix Note 5 camera struggles to render detail in low light
The AI Beauty mode on Infinix Note 5 adds artificial toning to the skin.

Infinix Note 5 review: What’s bad?

While Infinix Note 5 takes an edge over other smartphones in similar price range in terms of software, display and battery backup, not all is perfect on the smartphone. Starting with the front panel, the display on the phone is reflective and outdoor visibility is average. The front camera fails to deliver decent captures in low light which is a pretty common scenario found in most budget smartphones. Further, the front flash makes the image appear a bit washed out losing out details, and the AI Beauty mode rather adds an artificial tone to the face. Even on the rear camera, the night shots turned out grainy and had a fair amount of noise.

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Infinix Note 5 has micro USB port, mono speaker grill and 3.5mm audio jack at the base

The fingerprint sensor on the phone is not that accurate and it takes a few seconds to unlock the device. Further, the phone lacks night/reading mode option and face recognition support. Although facial recognition is not a secured authentication to unlock a device, it comes in handy when you are unable to open it with greasy fingers. Further, the night or reading mode is necessary if you like reading e-books overnight since it reduces the blue light emitted by your smartphone screen and minimizes eye strain. Moreover, the shiny back panel easily attracts fingerprint, smudges and scratches to an extent. Even though Infinix claims the device to feature a glass finish design, it rather gives a plastic feel with glossy coating above it. Further, we faced some heating issue near the front camera sensor while charging the phone.

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Infinix Note 5 review: Verdict

Over the past few months, Infinix released a bunch of smartphones under its budget portfolio, but this time around the OEM hit the right note with Infinix Note 5. It comes with neat looks, good build and doesn’t slip out of hands. Infinix Note 5 is among the most affordable Android One smartphones available in the India. The phone packs decent camera sensors with bokeh mode, both on the front and rear lenses. Considering its price, Infinix Note 5 goes head on against Xiaomi’s budget smartphone, the Redmi Note 5. The latter carries a better mobile platform as compared to the new Infinix device and a better overall build. However, Infinix Note 5 takes an edge over Redmi Note 5 in terms of software and battery backup. In case you are looking for a handset with pure Android UI, bright display with vivid colours and long battery life, Infinix Note 5 will serve you well. With some nifty features, the new Infinix smartphone is all set to be a worthy contender in the budget mobile segment in India.