Infinix Note 4 Detailed Review - New Smartphone Brand Worth Considering


India is a big market for every smartphone manufacturer, be it the domestic vendors or the international players. A lot of Chinese smartphone vendors have already made its way in India and recently a new Hong-Kong based smartphone manufacturer called Infinix has stepped in the Indian market.

Infinix was founded in 2012 and is owned by Transsion Holdings. Infinix has begun its journey in India by introducing two global range of smartphones – Infinix Note 4 and Infinix Hot 4 Pro. Both the Note and Hot series are marketed as under budget-segment devices.

Infinix has priced the Note 4 at Rs. 8,999 and the same comes with mid-range specifications, giving tough competition to many other smartphones within the same price bracket.

So, is Infinix Note 4 worth investing in and does it stand-up well against the likes of the Xiaomi devices? Let’s find out in this detailed review.

Infinix Note 4 Specifications

  • 5.7-inch Full HD IPS LCD display
  • 1.3GHz 64-bit Octa-Core MediaTek MT6753 processor
  • Mali-T720 GPU | 3GB RAM
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 13MP rear camera with dual-LED flash
  • 8MP front facing camera with LED flash
  • 32GB internal storage with microSD card support
  • 4300mAh with fast charging
  • 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS
  • Dual-SIM, 3.5mm Audio Jack, Fingerprint Scanner
  • Dimensions: 159×78.8×8.4mm | Weight: 198g
Box Contents

The box packaging of the Infinix Note 4 is simple with the brand and device name on the front and casual device details on the back. Infinix is shipping the Note 4 with following contents – Note 4 itself, a USB cable, a travel adapter, user manuals, a TPU plastic case and a screen protector. (Buyers get the Blue box and following contents)


Design & Build Quality

There’s nothing great in terms of the design uniqueness of the Infinix Note 4. It’s like every other smartphone you see in the market. Though, Infinix has spent some time in making the Note 4 design a differentiating factor by using a metal paint on the rear of the smartphone.

The back-panel design of the Note 4 is quite impressive at a first glance as it seems to be made of glass. It is curved from both sides and also has slimmer tapered edges. The chassis is made of sturdy metal and rest everything is plastic.

Infinix has covered the back panel of the Note 4 with some protective film, which the company claim is added to heal minor scratches. I’m not sure about the real-life functionality of that film, but it’s good to have that film as it provides grip and alters fingerprints.



On the front of the Note 4, you get a huge 5.7-inch display with a sensor, LED flash, earpiece and a front facing camera above it and a fingerprint scanner embedded inside the home button below. It’s a physical home button and needs a press to unlock the device when the screen is off. When the device is active, the fingerprint scanner acts on a single touch. The fingerprint scanner is fast and accurate.

The recent apps menu and the back button are placed on the either side of the button. The bezels on the front are big. Volume rockers and power/lock button are both placed on the right side of the Note 4. The buttons are very soft and easily clickable, because of which the device at times automatically triggers “Emergency Number”. Unfortunately, there’s no way to disable this feature.

There’s nothing on the left side of the Note 4. Speaker grills are at the bottom accompanied by a microUSB port and a primary microphone. The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on top. Talking of the back, it’s removable and houses a camera module on top center with dual-LED flash just below it. The Infinix branding is in the middle followed by the Note branding.



Underneath the back cover, the first thing you will notice is the 4300mAh battery sealed tightly with dual-SIM slots (nano-type) and a dedicated microSD card slot.

Overall the build quality of the Infinix Note 4 is quite premium. The Note 4 is 8.4mm thick, the reason being the battery size and weights 198 grams, which is one of the biggest drawbacks of the device. I personally like the build quality of the Infinix Note 4.

Pros
Cons
Premium Build
Heavy

Display

The Infinix Note 4 comes with a 5.7-inch Full HD display with a pixel resolution of 1920 x 1080p. The display is of IPS LCD type and is the best I have ever seen on a budget smartphone. According to Infinix, the display included inside the Note 4 is from SHARP and has 85% NTSC Color Gamut.

Talking of the display performance, the color reproduction is very good producing natural and vibrant colors. Viewing angles are good with a very minimal color shift from a certain angle. Also, the brightness level of the Note 4’s display is very nice with text viewable under direct sunlight.


On top of the display is a 2.5D curved glass of unknown manufacturer, which attracts fingerprints. The display might be prone to scratches, so Infinix is shipping the device with a screen protector, which works out well, though it’s better to invest in a tempered glass.

Watching videos is good as text and images appear sharp. The darks are produced well too. The display is reflective at times but manageable.

Pros
Cons
Full HD Resolution
-
Color Reproduction


Software

One of the biggest drawback when it comes to budget smartphones is the Android version it is running on. Surprisingly, Infinix has stepped up the game by launching the Note 4 with Android 7.0 Nougat onboard.

Though Android 7.1.1 is the latest version of Android, it’s still good to see Nougat running on the Note 4. Like every other Chinese vendor, Infinix also has its own customized skin on top of Android, which it calls the XOS.

The Infinix Note 4 runs on Chameleon 2.3 version of the XOS which brings a lot of features. Infinix has tried to keep the interface of the XOS as simple as possible. Unlike other manufacturers, the XOS comes with an app drawer, which can be accessed easily by swiping up from the homescreen.

      

      

Besides having an app drawer, all the apps are placed on the homescreen like iOS and there’s no way to remove those shortcuts from there. It would have been great if Infinix added the functionality to remove apps shortcuts from the homescreen.

Moving ahead, the XOS comes with a theme engine which allows users to customize the overall look and feel of the UI. There are a couple of XOS dedicated apps like XAccount, XCloud, XClub, XHide, XManager, XSecurity, XShare, and XTheme, all of which can’t be uninstalled but can be disabled.

Other proprietary apps which can’t be uninstalled include MagicMovie, Notes, Power, User Guide, and Weather. The Infinix Note 4 is no exception, as it also comes with dozens of bloatware apps, but with the facility of uninstalling them. One app which irritated me the most was TouchPal 2017 keyboard. I will recommend uninstalling that app first when you get the device.

Swiping down from the top brings notification panel with quick settings, which is customizable. Settings are similar to stock with no extra added functionality other than Gesture & Smart Motion which brings Tap to Wake, Quick Start, One-hand mode, 3-finger screenshot and wake to unlock features. Multi-window is also present.

      

      

You can set the icon size on the homescreen along with desktop grid size by going to Menu settings after long-pressing any empty space on the homescreen. XOS also provides an auto-app arrangement and Smart Arrange setting.

Besides having so many features and functionalities, the Infinix Note 4 was running smoothly most of the time. RAM management is very nice as I was able to keep more than 9 apps running in the background without killing any activity. You might notice a slight delay while opening heavy apps, but it's ignorable.

Overall, I like the user interface of the XOS as its simple and not complex like what I see on other Chinese branded smartphones. One key feature of XOS is that it moves unused apps automatically into Freezer, which when used will never keep the app in memory until and unless you unfreeze it.

Pros
Cons
Simple and Smooth UI
Bloatware (which can be uninstalled)
Freezer feature

RAM Management


Camera

The Infinix Note 4 comes with a 13MP rear camera with dual-LED flash and PDAF. The front facing camera house an 8MP sensor with LED flash. Both the rear and the front cameras are capable of shooting videos in 1080p@30fps.

The rear camera is capable of producing very good images under natural lighting conditions. But at times whites are over exposed and so are the clouds. The HDR feature is available which brings sharp and clear images with clouds captured perfectly. HDR is not suitable in all conditions, as some images turn out good with HDR and some without it. You can check out the camera samples in below album.

      

      

The UI of the camera app is simple with the shutter button on the front. Swiping left brings camera quick settings like HDR, Guidelines, Level, Timer, Gesture Shot, Smile Shot and Touch Capture. Swiping right brings enhanced camera modes like Professional, Face Beauty, Night, Panorama, PIP, and WideSelfie.

Talking of selfie, the images are decent and not that great. Under good lighting conditions, the selfies turn out good with sharpness. Color reproduction in both front and rear cameras are not up to the mark, as the viewfinder shows accurate colors but after the image is processed the colors are a bit exposed, but it does not hamper the overall image.

If you are looking for low-light performance, then both the cameras perform well. The images clicked using the rear camera in low-light aren’t that sharp and contains noise but is better than its competitor smartphones. For selfies, the front camera performs similarly to the rear camera. The front LED flash does help in enhancing up the selfies.


Considering the price tag, overall the camera of the Infinix Note 4 is good.

Pros
Cons
Images under Natural light
Lowlight Videos
PIP and HDR mode


Performance

If you are expecting something great in gaming performance, then the Infinix Note 4 is not for you.

Infinix Note 4 house an octa-core 64-bit processor from MediaTek modeled MT6753 clocked at 1.3GHz. Paired with the processor is Mali-T720 GPU for all graphic activities. The Note 4 has 3GB of RAM and includes 32GB of internal storage with dedicated microSD card slot for expansion.

The performance of the Note 4 is quite good, but it lags when it comes to high-end apps especially gaming apps. Daily-driver apps are smooth with minimal delay in opening, but games like Asphalt 8 can’t be played in extreme high settings. Lowering the performance of the game to mid helped a bit.

Frame drops are noticeable. Mid-graphic games were running smoothly including Dead Trigger 2. Opening games need patience. Lag is not common and happens once a while, that too during heavy usage.

      

The Note 4 has an old school MediaTek MT6753 processor, but that does not hamper performance. RAM management as mentioned above is good with around 1GB RAM always available.

Pros
Cons
Smooth & lag-free day-to-day performance
Gaming

Battery

One of the best parts of the Infinix Note 4 is its battery. The battery of Note 4 is extraordinary. On paper, the Note 4 comes with a huge 4300mAh battery and it keeps the device running easily for two days on normal usage.

Even if you are a heavy user, the Infinix Note 4 will last for more than a day. With 4300mAh battery, charging is a big issue, but Infinix has included fast charging support inside the Note 4 and it is truly fast.

If you use the proprietary wall adapter and USB cable, the Infinix Note 4 will charge completely from 0 to 100% in around 2 hours, using third party charger will increase the time by 150%.

Pros
Cons
Battery Backup
-
Fast Charging


Verdict

Infinix is a new brand in India and with the Note 4 it does stand up head-to-head against the already established brands in the budget segment like Xiaomi and Motorola.

The Infinix Note 4 has many improvements over its competitors like huge Full HD display, amazing battery performance, build quality, software, and camera. Some areas where the device lacks a bit is the old school processor and gaming performance.

As an introductory offer, the company is providing one-time free screen replacement within the first 100 days of purchasing the Note 4 along with 84GB data with no daily limit for 84 days on IDEA network. Infinix already has over 850+ service touch points across the country.

I will personally recommend the Infinix Note 4 if you are looking for a budget smartphone, with no main focus on gaming. Also, an old school processor can never decide the fate of a smartphone, as day-to-day and user-to-user performance varies.

You can buy the Infinix Note 4 exclusively from Flipkart in Milan Black, Champagne Gold and Ice Blue colors for Rs. 8,999.

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