China-based Transsion Holdings has launched Infinix Note 4 smartphone in India that aims to compete with the likes of Lenovo, Xiaomi and Lenovo-owned Motorola — players with a strong foothold in the competitive sub-Rs 10,000 segment in the country. At Rs 8,999, Infinix ‘Note 4’ directly competes with the immensely-popular Xiaomi ‘Redmi Note 4’ that costs Rs 9,999 for the 2GB RAM/32GB ROM version. Does ‘Note 4’ have enough firepower to disrupt the crowded budget smartphone market in India? Let’s find out. Design wise, the right side houses volume rockers and the power key. The 3.5-mm standard headphone jack sits at the top while dual speaker grilles and USB charging port can be found at the bottom. ‘Note 4’ follows the same design language of other Android smartphones but that does not make it look boring at all. The smartphone has a sturdy build and feels solid to hold. Infinix has tried to make the rear panel look like Samsung Galaxy S8 — curved on both sides — which makes it ergonomic.The 5.7-inch full-HD display (1920 X 1080) pixels is bright with good sunlight legibility. The colours were vivid and did not look oversaturated. Unlike most Android smartphones, Infinix ‘Note 4’ has a dedicated microSD slot to expand memory up to 128GB which is a great value addition. The device features a huge 4,300mAh non-removable battery that easily lasted for almost two days on a single charge with 4G connectivity on one SIM. The build of the device is not very bulky despite a hefty battery housed inside. A 1.3GHz octa-core Mediatek MT6753 chip paired with 3GB of RAM did a decent job of performing everyday tasks. We were able to quickly open and shuffle between apps sans any lag. The overall performance was fast, especially the fingerprint scanner — embedded into the home key that could unlock the device in a snap. The 8MP front camera with flash is capable of taking decent selfies. The front flash can be customised and controlled to not blind the user.
What does not work. In terms of camera performance, the 13MP primary camera offers nothing great. There was noticeable noise in the images clicked in low-light conditions. The rear removable panel is made of plastic that does not impress. In fact, we felt that it would crack if not opened carefully. On the other hand, Xiaomi Redmi 4 costs Rs 1,000 extra but offers a metal unibody design with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 CPU. Infinix’s custom UI — XOS, based on Android 7.0 Nougat, has a lot of bloatware. In addition to Google’s own apps, there were applications ‘PHX Browser’ and ‘Palmchat’ that are not of much use in India. The recently launched Motorola E4 Plus also offers a bigger 5,000mAh battery and a smoother stock Android experience.
Conclusion: Infinix ‘Note 4’ is a decent overall package with great battery life as its USP. Its primary camera, on the other hand, could have used slightly better optics. We would recommend this phone to those who want a great battery performance and experiment with new brands.