Infinix Note 5 review: a good package and battery for days

Infinix Note 5

Rating: 8.1/10

Yay:

  • Good looking design
  • crisp display
  • Android one software
  • Extremely good battery life
  • Fast charging

Nay:

  • Unergonomic hardware design

India is one country that has probably seen too many phones this year, and it’s easy to get lost among this crowd. Well, Infinix although has been making phones for a long, they’ve gone unnoticed among the Xiaomi’s and Honors of this world, but it all seems to be changing very soon. Today we have the Infinix Note 5, a gorgeous looking phone, with the Android One branding, and a price tag that doesn’t justify just how good this is. 

Infinix Note 5 Design

The Infinix Note 5 actually impressed me with the build quality a lot. Not so much because the design is very good, but mostly because this was the first Infinix phone where I will take more than two lines to describe it. The back looks gorgeous, I mean it’s not glass, but it sure looks like one and we had to confirm with the team if it was or not, so quality has been nailed. Although even in this limited amount of use, the back has gotten some scratches, you do get a case inside, so you don’t have to worry about that. 

The frames are made of plastic and it’s quite sturdy, the plastic does try to deceive you with that matte look, but there’s no getting away. Although, I think the quality of that plastic isn’t really anything that bothered me and I am pretty happy with the way it felt. The buttons also felt sturdy, I haven’t had any problems there. 

The one tiny design decision I don’t like at all is the fact that the frame and the back haven’t been seamlessly fused. It almost feels like the back has been tucked into the frame, what this does is it leaves very sharp edges when you are holding the phone and it’s especially noticeable when you are trying to juggle such a large phone with one hand. 

The weight distribution feels on point, the glossy finish gives me a very grippy feeling. The camera module is slightly raised, but I’m sure the glass on it will make sure there are fewer scratches on it. The bottom has a micro-USB port and while a lot of consumers might feel the absence of USB Type-C. It’s not easy to suddenly shift to another standard, it’s not just a simple port, there are manufacturing methods and entire testing methods and standards that need to change for that. Plus, I think the way they have brought down the price for this, I am happy with the micro-USB port because we get fast charging on it, more on that later. 

There is a headphone jack and a speaker grill on either side which are fine. The headphone output is like a standard jack, it’s not muffled, and pushes out good sound and I haven’t experienced any distorting at higher volumes too. The speaker grill also quite fine, it’s obviously not the best you can find, but they get the job done. 

Also read: Nokia 6.1 Plus review: this Nokia phone deserves to sell in big numbers

Infinix Note 5 Display

The Note 5 has a 5.99” Full HD+ Display with a respectable 500 nits brightness. I mean wow. I am glad to see the smartphone industry grow so quickly in this country, I mean it just looks good even next to a much more expensive one. 

The colours are good looking, it isn’t by any means a desaturated display. Most phones in this price range, while had good looking displays, they all mostly had ugly color shifts that even a general consumer would’ve noticed, the Infinix Note 5 doesn’t have that. So good quality display all through. It’s also clearly visible in bright daylight, I never had to peep through or keep my hand as a shadow to see anything on the screen. 

And yes you have the option to hide the notch forever, I am so glad to see there isn’t a notch on this one. it just looks cleaner and more premium than a lot of ugly notched phones. This is an LCD display, so there isn’t any worrying about burn-ins. I don’t think anyone should have any complaints with the Display. It could be said, the display is one of the best features of the Note 5. 

Infinix Note 5 Software

The Note 5 is the Brand’s first device with Android One program and I think it’s great. At this price it’s difficult to get the most powerful processor and when you put the colorful looking custom OEM ROMs. This is where pure stock Android thrives, it is the lightest skin possible and with the Android One branding, you get assured software updates for 2 years. 

Talking about stock Android, you have all of the standard stuff, there still are two or three pre-installed Infinix apps, but they look quite promising. My favorite one is the CarlCare app, here you can look up service centres, make repair appointments, and even look up prices of spare parts. 

Rest is pretty standard. You get the same quick settings panel, no extra settings or anything, everything is just pure stock Android. On the left of the home screen, you do get a seamless integration of Google Now for you to keep updated with the world. 

The settings have a lot of standard tabs, plus you can also disable or enable LED notification lights, change display size, etc. 

Infinix Note 5 Performance

Inside the Note 5, you get an Helio P23 chipset with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. Well, these are on-paper specs and I want to get that out of the way because I’d be doing an injustice to this phone if I describe the experience through on-paper specs. 

My experience on this has been very good, It’s quite snappy and I have not experienced lag more than once or twice. It’s a very clean experience and I am very happy with how this product performs. Everyday use is a breeze and every app opens up quite quickly. I am coming from reviewing the Honor Play and using the 5T as my secondary and I never felt like I was using a slow phone with this one, that’s the biggest compliment I can give it. 

The Antutu score for the Infinix Note 5 was 81,015 which is actually not a bad score compared to the competition. Now talking about gaming, it’s good, obviously not meant to play very heavy games, but even they are playable at lower settings. I mean I am not a big gamer so I enjoyed my time with it, and honestly speaking if you are a heavy gamer then this isn’t it for you.

Talking about call quality, it’s been really good, I never experience any call drops which was good and everything was crisp and clear for both sides. The earpiece is also slightly bigger than today’s phones, so I am glad to see that here. 

Also read: Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Vs Apple iPhone X: which phone should you buy?

Infinix Note 5 Camera

The Infinix Note 5 has a single camera on the front and back, the back has a 12MP camera, and the front has a 16MP camera. The pictures look quite good, they come out with good colors in broad daylight, the details are also not bad. Looking at daylight closeup pictures I deliberately chose difficult colours for the camera, and the Infinix didn’t disappoint. There isn’t much detail, but it still was able to separate the petal borders even in this vibrant red.

 

Click on the image to view full quality picture and video samples

Looking at a few more pictures and I’m sure that you can see how good it looks. Here is a non-HDR shot and here is the HDR shot, so here also it has done a good job, although the one thing I noticed is the inconsistency, so some shots would go bizarre on exposure and then the next ones would be perfect. So this is something to keep in mind, it’s mostly a good camera, and a even the portrait mode doesn’t look bad, there are inconsistencies but overall image looks good. Moving towards selfies, the performance is a mixed bag, the dynamic range is completely off, while the subject actually doesn’t look bad. So if you are not against bright sunlight, it should look good, plus the subjects are very well focused. There is slight oversharpening, but wow, I mean selfies don’t look bad and when you look at the price, they look even better. We shot some video clips, the sound quality was average, so is the stabilisation which is absent. 

Coming to the camera app, it is not from Google and is still the Infinix Camera App. But I think it’s good because you just get a whole lot of features. The whole UI is quite intuitive and well designed. On top, you have toggles for HDR, flash, 18:9 aspect ratio, and filters. Settings lets you play with grids, a leveller which tells you the correct orientation, you also have Google lens integrated into the camera which is so cool, yesterday I had to scan a QR code and rather than having to look for a scanner app I just fired up the camera and toggled Google lens, voila. And …you can turn it off if you want. So features and control are amazing. You get bokeh mode, beauty mode, panorama, Pro mode, and many more modes. So pro mode lets you manually change exposure, shutter speed, ISO, White balance, and focus.

Infinix Note 5 Battery

The battery life isn’t good, because its crazy good and the phone doesn’t feel thick with such a big 4500 mAh battery. I got a crazy 7-hour screen on time and mostly had to charge it only once in two days. It also comes with an 18W charger, which charges up the phone very quickly. I easily got from 0 to 50% in one hour. 

This is a battery you don’t have to worry about, although the phone does get slightly warm during charging, which is something that you experience with a lot of phones.

Conclusion:

Coming to the question, should you buy it? Well, looking at the whole package you get an attractive glass finish design, a colourful big display, powerful chipset, reliable Android One software, and a massive battery with fast charging. This is one of the best all-around devices you can buy in the market, and I have no problem recommending it. 

Sreehari

Sreehari is in love; in love with technology. His enthusiasm for new gadgets can be seen in his videos. He single-handedly built Mr. Phone's YouTube channel and continues to persevere with Nitesh in making world-class tech videos. Sree - as everyone calls him affectionately - is also a big fan of Artificial Intelligence and Industrial Design. If he is not working on gadget reviews, Sree is a trained Carnatic singer. When you meet him, do to request for his rendition of Kabira by Arijit Singh.