Infinix’s next Note smartphone will be an Android One device

It’s almost a year since the last generation of Infinix’s endurance champ, the Note series, debuted. That was the Infinix Note 4 which was later followed into the market by the Infinix Note 4 Pro. Being almost a year since that happened, it’s only logical that we start preparing for a successor, right?

Well, that is exactly what will be happening soon as the Infinix Note 5 is already on the horizon.

Infinix’s social media accounts have already began teasing the device, whose specifics are still hazy at this time even though we do know a bit about it.

Like that it will have an 18:9 display. Now, this is not news. 18:9 displays are the new normal and they’re almost expected on any smartphone being unveiled this year. However, since the last time the Infinix Note lineup had a refresh the trend was yet to catch on as it has today, it’s big news to fans of the Infinix Note.

Like last year, there will be two variants of the Note 5, a standard model and a Pro model.

READ:  Comparison: Infinix Note 4 vs Infinix Note 4 Pro

Like previous members of the Infinix Note series, the Note 5 and Note 5 Pro are expected to pack beefier battery units to maintain the device’s renowned stamina and status as “the battery champ”.

READ:  2-day battery life and other stories: Infinix Note 4 review
READ:  This is what the Infinix Note 4 should've been all along

Android One

The most exciting piece of news regarding the upcoming Infinix Note 5 happens to be the return of Infinix to the Android One fold. Yes, the Infinix Note 5 and Note 5 Pro will be Android One devices.

This is significant in very many ways. First of all, Infinix was the first smartphone brand to bring Android One, as we knew it back then, not just to Kenya but to the whole of Africa.

In fact, up until this year when the Xiaomi Mi A1 started making serious inroads in the local market, albeit unofficially, there hadn’t been much in the way of rising to fill up the vacuum left by the Infinix Hot 2, the Infinix smartphone that was a member of the Android One programme when it launched over two and a half years ago. Well, if you will excuse the General Mobile GM 5 that has been available through Jumia Kenya, again, on an unofficial basis, for over a year at under Kshs 10,000 (it’s still there to this day) and that only Android geeks could pick out from the crowd.

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By introducing an Android One smartphone, Infinix will be joining both Xiaomi and HMD Global, the other smartphone makers who have Android One devices on sale in the Kenyan market. The former has the Mi A1 selling officially through online retailer Jumia as well as a few select stores while the latter announced an expanded lineup of devices during this year’s Mobile World Congress that are now part of the revamped Android One programme.

Even though Infinix does try to provide software updates for its devices (it did update the Note 4 from Android Nougat to Android 8.1, Oreo, this year, even though mine took forever to receive the update), I am of the belief that being part of the Android One programme will place devices like the Note 5 in a much better position to get Android P than they would ordinarily. Of course, under the revamped Android One programme device makers get to have a say in the update process and they are the ones that eventually seed the updates, and not Google directly, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

It is this license that Google gives device makers in the revamped Android One programme, and which we see at play in the Android Go-powered itel A32F, that makes me believe that a feature that we saw on last year’s Pro model of the Infinix Note, the stylus, will still be showing up come June 24th when we expect the device to be unveiled. That and another feature that is becoming characteristic of any phone coming out today, just like 18:9 displays and notches: face unlock.

Face unlock has so far been a custom feature being built by device makers into their devices. The Infinix Note 5 and Note 5 Pro will be some of the very first devices in the Android One programme to ship with the feature. HMD Global’s 2018 device lineup only has the very expensive Nokia 8 Sirocco with the feature even though last year’s budget heroes Nokia 5 and Nokia 6, which are not part of the Android One programme, like their 2018 counterparts, have received updates this year that include the feature.

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Have something that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze [at] androidkenya.com