Note 5 is the best Infinix Smartphone so far of 2018

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The Infinix Note 5 was launched at a Global event on June 23rd 2018. The smartphone is part of the Note series that was first launched in 2015. The series was launched as a big battery, big screen and fast charging device. There have been 4 iteration of the device since launch.

The Note 5 is the first Infinix under the Android One program. It comes with Android Oreo. The Note is similar to its sisters except that it is leaner.

I had a chance to test drive and here are my thoughts on it.

Out of the box

  • Infinix Note 5 itself
  • Charger plug
  • USB cable
  • Earphones
  • Screen protector
  • Back cover
  • Manual

Infinix Note 5 features

  • Network: 4G/3G/2G
  • OS Version: Android One
  • SIM: Nano SIM, Dual SIM + Dual 4G
  • Display: 6.0 inch Full HD+; 18:9,TDDI; 2.5D infinity display
  • Processor: MT6763 Mediatek P23 Helio processor
  • Dimensions: 158*75*8.4mm – 2.5D glass
  • Internal storage: 32GB for Note 5 and 64GB for Note 5 Pro
  • RAM: 3GB for Note 5 and 4GB for Note 5 Pro
  • Battery: 4500mAh
  • Front “Selfie” camera: 16 MP ,low light selfie ;4in1
  • Back camera: 12MP,1.25um large pixel;F2.0
  • Colours: Ice Blue, Milan Black and Berlin Grey.

Design

The Note Series smartphones were originally designed as phablets and the first 4 were considerable bigger.

The Note 5 is however leaner and comes with a 6 inch screen which almost covers the front of the phone. It measures 158.25 x 75.25 x 8.65 (height x width x thickness) and weighs 175 grams. The front camera is at the top left with the earpiece in the middle and the camera light on the right. The home button is on the middle with the rest of the controls are on the left and on the right.

There’s a dual SIM card port on the right side which also houses the MicroSD port. The right side also has the power button and the volume buttons. A 3.5mm headphone jack is at the bottom of the phone plus a charging port, loudspeaker, and a mouthpiece.

The fingerprint sensor is at the back in the middle with the back camera on the left plus the camera sensor.

The design is compact which makes the phone easy to grip while operating it.

Screen

The phone comes with a 6 inch full HD touchscreen with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 2160 pixels plus 18:9 aspect ratio.

The screen produces very bright and clear colours and it works even in sunlight. Adaptive brightness can be enabled in settings which helps adjust the screen brightness automatically depending on the light situation when it is being used. The brightness can also be adjusted manually from the home screen.

Even on 0%, the screen is bright enough especially indoors.

Connectivity

The Note 5 comes in dual SIM with dual 4G. It basically means that both SIM cards are able to access 4G at the same time. Switching data use from one SIM card is relatively fast.

I used with Safaricom and Telkom. On Safaricom, I was able get downloads of between 20-40Mbps and uploads of 15-20Mbps. On Telkom, downloads were between 15-30Mbps and uploads of between 10-20Mbps.

The phone can also access the usual 2G and 3G and it also has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.20, and NFC. It also has FM radio.

Software

Infinix has partnered with Google under the Android One program. This means that the phone comes with bare minimum Google apps installed. This is nice because the users will only install the apps they need. This also means that the phones get access to the latest version of Android, directly from Google. The phone ships with Android Oreo.

While using it, the phone received 2 updates directly from Google.

Performance

The phone is powered by a Mediatek P23 Helio processor and 3GB RAM. According to Mediatek, the processor is designed to assist the phone deliver a better picture quality, better battery saving & better general phone operation.

In practice, the processor combined with the RAM does deliver well. I tested it with heavy apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, Netflix, and Tumblr and it works well even when they are opened at the same time.

I found that however you have to clear apps when playing video games on the phone. Playing video on the smartphone is seamless.

Camera

It comes with a front Selfie camera that has 16 megapixels with low light selfie capability. The back camera has 12 Megapixels with large pixel capability.

The phone’s camera app has features such as:

  • It allows you to choose between the back and front camera.
    Video is shot to a maximum of 1920 x 1080 pixels Full HD.
  • Pictures can be taken at 4:3, 16:9 and 18:9 resolution.
  • You can choose the brightness of the front camera with low, medium and high controls.
  • In video mode, you can choose between normal video, and time-lapse.
  • In camera mode, you can choose between Professional, panorama, and night. You can also use Face beauty to beautify pictures of people and portrait mode for taking pictures of people up close.
  • Additional features include HDR for low light photos, 10 second timer, auto watermark and Google lens. You can also enable location both for video and pictures.

I really enjoyed both cameras as they take crisp, clear pictures. The portrait mode, which was added in one of the updates, doesn’t work as well maybe because the back camera isn’t dual.

Here are some of the photos I took.

Battery

The Note 5 has has a bigger battery at 4500 mAh. With heavy use, I was able to get a maximum of 8 hours and with light use a maximum of 14 hours. However if you play games or watch video continuously, it drains the brains the battery considerably and you’ll get around 5-6 hours.

It comes with fast charging capability if you use the charger it comes with. It roughly charges to 100% in about 45 minutes.

Storage

The 32GB internal storage is adequate but it fills up quite fast especially if you take many photos and install a lot of apps like I did. There’s the option of adding a MicroSD of upto 128GB and you can also back up your photos on Google Photos. This is important because being part of the Android One Note 5 users get unlimited Google Photos storage.

Final thoughts

I really had fun with this phone and I liked that it doesn’t come with a lot of unnecessary apps. It works well as a unit and I would definitely recommend it. I am willing to make the bold claim that the phone is the best that Infinix has made so far and I am waiting to see what they come with next to top it.

At the launch, they announced that the Infinix Note 5 Pro is coming later in the year and I cannot wait to use it. I am sure I won’t be disappointed going by my experience with the Note 5.

The phone was so popular when it launched that it sold out on Jumia at launch. The phone is however now available on Jumia for Ksh. 20,999.

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