The camera was the biggest highlight of the Infinix S4 when I reviewed it over half a year ago.
That is because not only was it so prominent on the S4’s back, it was one of the few features of the device that was worth the hype and actually stood out from the rest.
On the Infinix S5, things are slightly different.
While the optics have obviously been upgraded – there are 4 camera sensors, after all, up from 3 last time – so has the rest of the device. As noted in our overall review of the device, the Infinix S5 has everything, the camera included, going for it. Most notably, the performance is a breeze.
This makes it a little harder to single out the camera like we did with the Infinix S4.
However, given that the shooters on the S5’s predecessor stood out, we can find an easy excuse to focus on the ones it packs by wanting to see how improved they are. That’s logical, isn’t it?
I always have a hard time exploring the cameras on budget devices of the Infinix S5’s nature because by virtue of price, you’re mostly getting what you pay for. So, even before you get to it, you know that the goose is already cooked. I go into such with not many expectations. In fact, if anything, settling for an “OK” experience, when I get it, is usually par for the course.
The Infinix S5 joins the club of a few devices that have, over the years, tried to change my mind when it comes to that. For starters, it has something that some pretty expensive devices lack: a wide-angle camera.
The design choices of the device, like the decision to go with a punch-hole display, show up in the camera. That punch-hole is illuminated by the software through a bright blue outline so that one can clearly tell where it is, especially when taking selfies. The end result is a cool halo-like effect.
Having the selfie camera punched into the display also means that there’s little room for other things like flash on the front. So, what happens? Again, a software fix. The screen acts as the flash.
The wide-angle camera is fine and does its work as you would expect it to. I just don’t know why Infinix dispensed with the same on the front-facing camera. Remember when they introduced the feature on the second-generation S device two and a half years ago? Why did they drop the feature?
There’s a bokeh mode, which, if the photos I took using are anything to go by, does live up to the spirit of the feature even though the Super Macro feature that can be found right after the wide-angle switcher, doesn’t do much.
Low-light performance is dominated by too much noise and, with no manual settings to do things like crank up the ISO, you end up with mixed results. Most times, you will get snaps that are ready for sharing on your social media feed, which is what most of us care about, anyway, and you will be fine. Overall, the experience is just okay. Not disappointing and not that impressive either.
In sufficient lighting, however, there is no arguing the brilliance of the Infinix S5’s cameras. They shine.
I found that while the various features included with the cameras – front and back- are cool to have, for most users, the AI camera will be all they need. The slow shutter speeds, however, are sure to kill your vibe any time you try to take still shots of any action. Argh.