Best budget phone as of now
Hong Kong based Transsion Holdings company focuses on budget segment. Their targeted market is the price sensitive global south which includes primarily Africa and India. Transsion is releasing smartphones to the market in the three names again targeting primarily at three market segments, viz., Itel, Tecno and Infinix. Itel makes feature phones as well as smartphones in the price range of 949 to 7500. Tecno is making smartphones in the price range of 6999 to 13999. Finally, Infinix is placed in the range of 5999 to 20000. Infinix is their niche online brand selling exclusively on Flipkart. Transsion secured the 5th position among top mobile brands in India within 2 years of operation having a market share of 5%. Like most brands these days, they also manufacture their products in India. In this review we are taking a look at Infinix Note 5. This is an Android One smartphone, which means future updates are guaranteed by Google. Those who like the stock Android will like this most as it comes without any added layer or bloatware.
Design and build
This is a budget phone. But the look and feel does not make you to think so. It has really great look. Even though the body is made up of plastic, the beautiful ice blue colour and finish of the back cover makes it classy. The back cover is curved at the edges. The surface is very smooth and hence catches smudges. Company has provided additional plastic cover which is really needed to prevent the slippery phone falling from your hand. Rear camera is placed at the top corner of the backside with flash next to it. The camera and flash are hosed in slightly bumpy design giving a misleading feeling of having a dual camera setup. Fingerprint scanner is placed towards somewhat top middle of the back side. According to me, this is the right place to have the fingerprint scanner. On/off and volume rockers are on the right side. Tray to put SIM cards and microSD memory cards is above the volume rocker on the right side itself. Memory card slot is not a hybrid slot which means that this phone can have two nano SIMs and also the memory card at the same time. This is good feature considering that the phone has 32GB storage capacity. Front side of the phone also has classy look and feel with 2.5D glass. Selfie camera and its flash are placed on both sides of the earpiece speaker. Bottom panel houses the mono speaker at the left side. MicroUSB port is at the center of the bottom. 3.5 mm earphone port is to the right side of this port. Overall, I am willing to award full marks to this phone in the area of design and build.
Infinix Note 5 has 5.99 inch screen with 18:9 ratio and 2160 x 1080 resolution. Quality of the display can be called good if not great at this price. Viewing experience of videos and games are quite satisfactory. Brightness of the IPS LCD screen is good enough for outdoor viewing as well. I am quite satisfied with the reproduction of range of colors.
As mentioned in the beginning, this is a budget phone with modest hardware specifications. The processor used is octa core Mediatek Helio P23 MT 6763 which is somewhat equivalent to Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 implying a processor used by phones at the mid segment. P23 employs a 16nm manufacturing whereas SD 625 employs 14nm process. P23 has the integrated ARM Mali-G71 MP2 GPU. While Antutu benchmark is 75,891, Geekbench gave a CPU benchmark figure of 3599. Phone has 3GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage which is good enough for most modest users. Those who want more storage can add microSD memory card that too without losing any slot for SIM. Being an Android One device which means no bloatware, helps the phone to deliver a lag free the performance and speed. Experience of playing games which require good processing power and graphical capability is quite satisfactory. Phone is capable of playing 4k videos without any jerks. Full marks in this area considering the price of the phone.
Infinix Note 5 has an audio engine which can be termed good enough for this price. The box does not come with any earphone. I tested with good quality headset like Bose and found the audio quality is not very great but ok for this price. The sound clarity is good. Dynamic range at very low and very high frequencies are missing. Once again, considering the price, full marks for audio engine.
Photo quality from the primary camera was just ok initially. Most photos taken in bright light were good. Photos of small objects like flowers were really good. For landscape photography, there is a HDR option which is not automatic means we have to manual select HDR mode whenever we want. Low light photography was not satisfactory. The camera app has a manual mode called Professional. In this mode one can set ISO, shutter speed and can have manual focus. There was a serious problem in this mode. It was not WYSIWYG. When we adjust all settings and see a good bright, properly illuminated scene on the display and click, the result was different from what we saw in most situations. Recently there was a huge software update. After installing this update, the situation has drastically changed for better. Now the camera results are quite good. The problem in manual mode photography has vanished. Even low Iight photography is also somewhat satisfactory now. Both the 12 megapixel primary camera and the 16 megapixel selfie have flash. Selfie camera has the usual features. If you are looking for a good camera phone at 10k, this is for you.
Infinix Note 5 comes with a huge 4500 mAh battery. On moderate usage this will provide enough juice for 2 to 3 days. When I ran a video on loop, it ran for almost 10 hours. The bundled charger did charge the phone from almost 5% to 100% in about 2.5 hrs. If we look at the massive capacity of the battery, this time is quite appreciable.
If you are a fan of stock Android, looking for a great performance phone under 10k, Infinix Note 5 is for you. Good camera, powerful battery, moderate audio, good performance -all these make this phone the best value for money phone at the time of writing.