Infinix Mobility released its fourth device in the Note product line weeks ago and it was met with a lot of mixed reactions. We’ve had this device for a couple of weeks and of course, this review is long overdue. Does Infinix Note 4 impress us in any way? Is it even worth buying at all? Well, the design is sure different and kind of Samsung-ish. As for the specifications and performance, we should talk about that later in the review.
If you would rather see us cut to the chase and summarize it all, here are the pros and cons:
In the box
Here are the items found in the box:
- 1 Infinix Note 4
- 1 USB cord
- 1 Adaptor
- 1 Earpiece
- 1 Screen protector
- 1 Transparent case
- User manual and documentation
|Model||Infinix Note 4|
|Display||5.7-inch, Full HD IPS LCD|
|Processor||1.3GHz octa-core (MediaTek MT6753)|
|RAM||2GB / 3GB|
|Internal Storage||16GB / 32GB (expandable)|
|Software||Android 7.0 Nougat based XOS|
|Rear Camera||13MP, PDAF, LED flash, 1080p Videos|
|Front Camera||8MP, LED Flash|
|Features||4G VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, micro USB, 3.5mm Audio Jack, USB OTG support|
Form factor & display
Infinix has ditched its regular design for the Note product line, adopting something quite different for the Note 4. For the first time, you have a physical home button on an Infinix phone and in some ways, I think I like it. The other capacitive soft keys on both sides of this home button are not backlit though. Well, apart from this physical home button, the whole design language of the phone seems to be inspired by Samsung Galaxy s7.
Unlike its predecessor that came with a 6-inch display, Infinix Note 4 has a smaller 5.7-inch screen and I guess this is to create a balance between those who find a 6-inch screen too big and those who want something bigger than a 5.5-inch device. Whatever the case is, I personally don’t find this to be a problem.
The display is one of the best things about the Note 4. It is bright and colors are vivid, sunlight legibility is also good. This display is covered by a 2.5D curved glass. Above the display is the 8MP selfie camera just beside the earpiece. This is accompanied by an LED flash to the left of the earpiece as well.
Below the display is the physical home button and this has the fingerprint sensor. If you think these guys probably won’t get it right because they’ve always put their fingerprint sensor at the back of their devices, you’re wrong. It works flawlessly with speed and accuracy.
At the bottom, you have the micro-USB port with the speaker and microphone grills on both sides of it. The top of the phone has the audio jack.
On the right side are the volume rocker and power button. The other side is just plain.
The back has the 13MP camera centered at the top with a dual-LED flash just below it. Wondering where the SIM and microSD card slots are? These are hidden beneath the removable, glossy, plastic back cover. And by the way, you may only remove the back cover, the battery is not removable.
There are two separate SIM slots and a dedicated microSD card slot.
As much as I like this design, I’m kind of scared to see the glossy back cover get scratched. This doesn’t look like a phone you want to use without the included transparent back cover.
Performance & Storage
Infinix Note 4 is advertised to come with an octa-core processor, but when you realize this is clocked at 1.3GHz, the disappointment can’t be hidden. Again, this is exactly the same processor on last year’s Note 3, the same GPU on last year’s Note 3, and you have the same RAM on last year’s Note 3. This is exactly why this phone feels like the same old wine in a brand new bottle.
Of course, if you have an Infinix Note 3, you probably wouldn’t have enough reasons to upgrade unless you like the new design, the physical home button, and glossy back cover. Talk about the updated software on the Note 4, you can download Android 7.0 for the Note 3 already.
Well, I really can’t say performance has improved either. It’s relatively the same.
General use is quite a breeze though. There’s only a 2GB RAM but in my experience, this is enough if you don’t overload it. There’s absolutely no problem with multitasking and navigation and so far, no lags. However, with the processor clocked at just 1.3GHz, don’t expect too much.
The benchmark results are no different from what was seen with the Note 3 last year. On Antutu, the phone scored a total of 38577 points; 623 and 2644 for respectively single-core and multi-core processing on Geekbench 4.
On the storage side, this unit comes with 16GB internal storage, but the 3GB RAM variant comes with 32GB storage. Of course, you can expand with up to 128GB microSD card.
Software & Hardware
Infinix Note 4 runs Android 7.0 out of the box behind Infinix custom UI, XOS Chameleon 2.3. Features like X-Manager for managing your device and Multi Account to run multiple instances of your social apps are still there. You also have loads of app you would never use like the PHX Browser and Palm Chat. The UI may be customized, but there’s still a touch of Google’s Material Design here and there.
As seen on previous Infinix devices, you have a whole bunch of sensors to play with if that matters to you. For 360-degree videos and VR, you have the Gyroscope, there’s also a Magnetic Sensor and I guess your compass apps should work fine. There are also Game Rotation sensor, Geomagnetic Rotation sensor, Gravity sensor, Linear Acceleration sensor and so on.
Battery & Connectivity
One of the selling points of this device is the battery and the device didn’t disappoint in this regard. Infinix Note 4 can last you for two good days (but this depends greatly on your usage pattern). Even if you’re a heavy user who’s always on the phone, you should get a full day of use conveniently.
There’s a fast charge feature called Xcharge. In the test carried out, the phone completed a full charge cycle in less than 2 hours. The video loop test carried out too saw us play videos with VLC for 12 hours 22 minutes (with volume and brightness at 50%, device in Airplane mode).
Another edge this device has over last year’s Note 3 is 4G LTE connectivity, and it is compatible with most 4G network operators in the country. As Spectranet is what I use mostly for Internet connectivity these days, it has been working great on the Note 4. I also tried ntel, Smile, MTN and Etisalat. The odd one out has always been Glo, I didn’t bother trying at all since the network band is not supported.
Infinix Note 4 has a fairly good camera. In well-lit conditions, the phone takes great images. Of course, you can’t expect perfection for a device in this price range and just like similar devices, low-light photography comes with image noise. However, there’s a Night Mode that makes this better.
Here are sample images taken with the device in different lighting conditions.
The front camera okay, but it isn’t good enough. There’s no manual focus and in bright light, there is bound to be over exposure.
The camera settings let you tweak things like the intensity of the front LED flash, shutter sound, picture size and more. There’s a professional mode for those who know how to use this and you still have regular features like Panorama, HDR, Face Beauty and the rest of them.
Looking at the technical specifications and performance, there’s only a little difference between the Note 3 and the Note 4. The new design isn’t compelling enough to upgrade. However, the 4G connectivity and slightly lower price make it better than its predecessor.
Nonetheless, the fact remains that Infinix Mobility disappointed a lot of people with the Note 4. It appears people would have preferred better technical specifications at a slightly higher price.
This is 2017, not 2015.
If you’re considering getting a new Infinix device, perhaps you should wait till the Note 4 Pro becomes available in the market. It might be worth the extra bucks. I still have to say this though, Infinix Note 4 is a device good enough for day-to-day use. The battery delivers enough power to keep it running till you plug in the charger.