Infinix Note 7 Review: a well-balanced mobile phone

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The competition in the mobile market is going strong, and there is no quarter to spare. That is why Infinix jumped in with a well-balanced Infinix Note 7 that can give majors brands a run for their money. They have tried to put together all the top trends in one single mobile. But if they have succeeded in doing so, we will see shortly.

The device comes with a lot of promises and a reasonable price point. In the US, it sits at $216, while in Pakistan, the price goes to PKR 28,999. So, this is a mid-range device that seeks to offer high-quality features. Therefore, without any further “ado,” let’s dive deeper into the new Note 7.

Design and Display

First of all, let us talk about the main highlight of Note 7, which is its circular camera formation. This is a fresh arrangement as other brands prefer to arrange the cameras vertically. So right of the bat, Infinix Note 7 is different from its counterparts in terms of the design approach.

The fingerprint scanner is on the right side of the device, which further extends the elegance that we witnessed on phones like Honor 20 Pro. However, it can cause you to turn on the device unintentionally due to its natural position. So, if you face such a problem, then it is better to disable it from the settings. Another nuisance is its default behavior of acting as the shutter button inside the camera app, which causes unwanted photo clicks the moment any of the fingers accidentally slides on the key. This can also be stopped from inside the setting area.

The device features a plastic body that gives a premium shiny look in all three colors; Forest Green, Aether Black, and Bolivia Blue. The multi-shaded pattern on the rear side makes it more appealing; however, it also makes it a smudge magnet. So, you need to place the silicon protector on if you wish to maintain its unique look. Despite the shinny back, the curved edges on the backside provide a firm grip on this huge device that looks arduous to hold with one hand for a longer session; however, it is otherwise.

Side mounted fingerprint sensor

Also Read: Huawei Y6s and Huawei Y9s new colors in Pakistan

All other controls are placed on the usual places except the second speaker, which is locked near the earpiece.

We hoped to see an HD+ display in this price range; however, the HD screen of 6.95 inches provides 258ppi that does not look enough on the paper for such a big size, but in reality, it offers an amazing viewing experience. It’s watery smooth to swipe on; the colors on display are quite decent, and the contrast well within the medium limits. There are not additional display settings for colors and contrast apart from fixing the eye strain and the dark mode. The punch hole notch is not at all intrusive on such a massive screen size; however, it can be deactivated from the settings area. The screen quality is good indoors and outdoors. The only exception is using the camera app under the sunlight when it becomes harder to see through it. Overall, the screen gives an immersive experience for whatever the content type you display on it.

Gaming is fun on Infinix Note 7

The phone features a MediaTek 6768 (Helio G70) chipset under the hood that is manufactured on 12nm technology. It’s a gaming series that, coupled with 6GB RAM, works like a charm. I didn’t feel a burden on the phone even without activating the gaming mode, which is also there to allocate more resources for power-hungry games. The phone allows playing PUBG at HD settings and a higher frame rate, which is quite pleasing for game lovers. You might come across small frame drops while playing CoD, but it is no way a serious problem and entirely depends upon your gaming habit.

Also Read: MediaTek Helio G85 upgrades graphics on budget phones

While playing games like PUBG or Asphalt 9, Note 7 does not unnecessarily flush out all the apps in memory which is not the case in its other phones. So, you can comfortably switch between game sessions on the fly, though you might feel a small lag while switching. Moreover, the phone has good control over the heating issue, and it doesn’t burn up during the gaming sessions. So, in terms of gaming performance, it justifies the gaming chipset.

Infinix Note 7 exceeds the rivals in Antutu benchmarks by a decent margin. It scored 194940, which is better than Samsung Galaxy A51’s 186414 that carries an Exynos 9611 chipset. It even surpassed Honor 9X (181341) and Realme 5i (163563).

The good thing about having two speakers is that, if one gets blocked, the other can still keep firing. This phone features two speakers, one at the bottom and the other locked on top edge. However, we feel that sound quality isn’t as powerful as it could have been with the dual speaker setup. The balance between bass and treble isn’t well managed, and loudness is on the lower side as well. However, with a pair of headphones, you can enjoy some amazing sound quality thanks to its built-in DTS sound feature. The preset options for bass and treble are good, but you can also do the custom settings.

Battery Life

The 5000 mAh battery is all the rage these days, and this device features it in addition to Supercharge 3.0. The 18W fast charger in the box can charge the phone in 2 hours and 25 mins. It is faster than Infinix’s own Hot 8 and Realme C3, but it is still marginally behind Vivo’s Y19 that took 2 hours and 13 minutes. In our video loop battery drain test, the phone fully discharged in 13 hours 24 mins. It drains around 15% of the battery in an hour of PUBG session. If you are a gaming maniac keep in mind that the battery would last 6 to 7 hours during online gaming sessions. However, for regular users, the phone can easily last one and a half-day or even beyond if the usage isn’t aggressive.

Find below the result of our 4 hours drain test on a 4G network.

Camera isn’t a disappointment

Infinix Note 7 offers us a quad-camera set up in a circular arrangement giving it a look similar to Nokia 7.2. The main camera is 48MP along with a 2MP macro lens, 2Mp depth sensor, and 2MP dedicated video camera. Whereas on the front side, there is a 16MP selfie camera inside the punch hole.

12MP standard shot
12MP cropped image

The default “AI CAM” mode takes 12MP images unless you switch to the full 48MP from the toggle key. The photos taken at 12Mp are decent enough with natural color reproduction and a fair amount of detail. Look at the following image that looks to have details consistently everywhere. It is covering a good dynamic range. A close look reveals the noise level, which is visible more on the edges part. The 48MP shot of the same scene shows a lot more detail than the standard version. You can see more noise everywhere, but there seems no significant difference in colors, contrast, or dynamic range.

48MP mode
12MP cropped image

The camera allows zoom up to 8X that works well in the daylight. At 2x and 5x, the loss in detail doesn’t look significant; however, beyond that, it is not much promising.

48MP mode
48MP cropped version

Infinix Note 7 claims quite high about low light photography. Take a look at the following shots, where standard mode and 48MP mode aren’t of much help. The image looks to have blown out and carried a lot less detail. On the other hand, the Super Night mode does the job as they say. The photo in this mode looks quite colorful and decently handling the light sources. With good ambient light at night, standard mode overexposes the scene and kills lots of required details to brighten everything, whereas the HDR mode does help to avoid the compromises. I would suggest using either HDR or Super Night mode wherever the light is too strong.

Super Night Mode
Super Night Mode Cropped Version

Check Out: Redmi Note 9 Coming to Pakistan

Bokeh Mode
Macro Mode

Infinix Note 7 is good with taking bokeh and super macro shots in the good light. For bokeh, you can alter the F-stop value for controlling the intensity of blur that works equally good for human and non-human subjects. Images are rich in colors, and the phone seems to work decently with edges detection. Whereas the super macro shots due to its 2MP lens provide very few details, but it is worth the try with sound grip. It might take a bit of practice though and workable only in the right light.

Selfie with Standard Mode (L) and Portrait Mode (R)

Selfies and portraits are usually overexposed in the daylight, which seems challenging for the camera. We found the backgrounds blown out in most of the cases on sunny days. To brighten the faces, the camera treats everything in the scene alike, and the results are a little overexposed and overly treated skin in images. The phone offers quite a bit of beauty modes for furthering skin beauty and handling the body shape. Its quad flash on the rear side is quite strong at night that even the pitch dark situations can not spoil the portraits.

Selfie without flash (L) & with flash (R)

In video recording, Infinix Note 7 can record videos at 1080p with image stabilization. The result, as shown in our camera test, are significant. With stabilization turned on, the videos are very stable and transition smoothly. Plus, the slow-motion videos recorded at 720p are also good using its advance AI; however, the slow-mo video quality isn’t on part with standard video.

Verdict

Infinix Note 7 is a reasonably priced phone that can give you an immersive display experience where its 720p resolution doesn’t look unacceptable. It can be an attraction for those who like a bigger screen for movies and gaming. The two-speaker should be sufficient for most of the people in a less noisy environment, but they are not as good with sound quality as it comes after putting on the headphones. The gaming chipset does not show a noticeable weakness, and coupled with some builtin optimization tools; the multi-tasking should not be a problem. The 5000 mAh battery may not be as long-lasting as some of Vivo and Samsung Galaxy A series phones, but it is significantly better than most of the options on the market.

48MP mode and stabilized videos are the major attractions. The daylight images are good in quality, but for the night, it heavily relies on the Super Night mode for some great looking pictures but isn’t a perfect option for the moving objects. Overall, it’s a great package with a taste of everything.

Alternative

If you are looking for a phone which can provide a better camera and battery performance by not deviating too much from the price of infinix Note 7, you should consider choosing Xiaomi Redmi Note 8. In terms of better performance, especially in gaming, the Realme 5i can be suitable as well as a less expensive alternative

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