This year saw the Indian smartphone market dominated by the Chinese. Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Asus, OnePlus all delivered hits, but somewhere the march of the Chinese also meant the decline of homegrown brands like Micromax, Karbonn and Intex. One would think that most of the India brands have surrendered to this onslaught. However, Micromax isn’t quite ready to throw in the towel.
In December, Micromax launched two new phones: Infinity N11 and Infinity N12, both priced under Rs 10,000, sporting the newer display with a notch design, and a more premium look, at least compared to the previous offerings from the brand.
Micromax, which used to be a market leader at one point, has a lot at stake with its new Infinity series phones. Here’s our review of the Infinity N12 from Micromax.
Specifications: 6.19-inches display, HD+ resolution, 18.9:9 aspect ratio | MediaTek Helio P22 processor | 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, (128GB microSD support) | 13MP+5MP rear camera | 16MP front camera | 4000 mAh battery | Android 8.1 Oreo
Micromax Infinity N12 Price in India: Rs 9,999
Micromax Infinity N12 review: What’s good?
One look at the Micromax Infinity N12 and you cannot help feel that this is one of the best-designed phones from the company in under the Rs 10,000 segment. It has a glass-like finish at the back, which makes the N12 prone to smudges, but the overall design aesthetic is pleasing.
Infinity N12 is not too chunky, despite the 4000 mAh battery. The display looks nice from the front. The front has a prominent bottom chin and notch one cannot ignore, but the side bezels are considerably thinner. The dual-camera is vertically aligned and tucked away on one corner, while there is a fingerprint scanner at the back as well.
The good bit with the Inifinity N12 is that the display is now at 6.19-inches, and this means more viewing space for video. The display brightness and colour reproduction though are still not up to the mark, at least in comparison to the competition.
Micromax also appears to have toned down the user interface for its phones with the Infinity N12. There’s a more stock Android feel to the phone, though it does come with pre-loaded apps like Micromax’s own browser, a special video player, sound recorder, game centre, FM Radio, etc from the company.
Still, the user interface is smooth, it is much easier on the eyes, and does not look cluttered with unnecessary widgets like I have seen on previous phones from the brand.
I liked the fact that the Settings app is closer to what one gets on stock Android. Both the fingerprint sensor and the face unlock feature work accurately on the Infinity N12, which is good to see.
Coming to the overall performance, Infinity N12 sports 3GB RAM and 32GB storage on the MediaTek Helio P22 processor. The phone can handle daily tasks, multi-tasking quite easily. With Google Chrome, I had close to 15 tabs open at one point and the phone had no trouble or lag switching between these. Basic games like Temple Run, Alpha Bear, run all fine on this phone, though with Asphalt 9 it was another story.
On the camera side, Infinity N12 works well in bright outdoor lighting. The colours are not too washed out, the camera is quick to snap a photo, and there were no issues with focus either. The selfie camera is not bad, even with the beauty effect and manages to capture good detailed photos.
Battery is another highlight of the Infinity N12, and the phone comes with a 4000 mAh one on board. You will not need to carry your charger at all times with this phone, as it easily last more than a day, even with moderate to heavy usage.
Micromax Infinity N12 review: What’s not good?
The display is certainly not as good as what the competition offers. It’s not just about the HD+ resolution, which several other phones like the Redmi 6 offer in this price segment, but the display colours. I had to keep the brightness at the maximum and the skin tones in videos seem very off to me.
The camera has an issue where some of the photos appear to have a smudged kind of effect, almost as if the lens is dirty. I kept wiping the lens, but the photos were never quite to my satisfaction. The Portrait mode result is a pass for me, though I find budget phones rarely do well in the segment.
When it comes to heavy duty games like Asphalt 9, the Infinity N12 really struggles. The lag is evident, and in my usage, the phone crashed twice while I tried to run the game on this phone.
Another issue I noticed in the user interface was that I could find the option to show battery percentage. While search for the settings showed that such an option existed in the Settings app’s Battery section, going there did not actually reveal the said option and left me confused.
Micromax Infinity N12 review: Verdict
Micromax has really tried to pack in some good features on this budget device. Infinity N12 sports a pleasing design, decent performance and big battery life, which are all positives, especially for the price.
The camera could be better if one starts comparing with the Redmis and Honors in the market in a similar price bracket. Then there’s the Nokia 5.1 Plus, which offers a lot more for a price of Rs 9,999 and a better camera as well.
With the Infinity N12, Micromax has not offered variants with extra RAM and storage, which is a shame given most other players are doing so. The device by itself is not bad, and should keep users who are looking for a smartphone for their daily needs. But Infinty N12 will have a tough time standing out in this crowded budget segment in India.