I have had the latest member of Infinix’s Note series for a few days now.
It’s the biggest and, perhaps, the most ambitious Note smartphone from Infinix.
It carries with it a little bit of everything that we have seen over the last 12 months. Making faces at the back with the protruding circular camera module? Check. A big display? Check. A side-mounted fingerprint scanner? Check.
The device reeks of familiarity as well as uncharted territory, at least as far as the Infinix brand, and, specifically, the Note series, goes.
The familiarity comes in a host of features. The user interface, for instance, is the same old same old that longtime users of Infinix devices will be pretty much at home with. That also means that there is little in the way of sidestepping some of the ‘quirks’ (quotes because that is a preference and maybe likeable to some people) of Infinix’s XOS are still very much in place.
Hardware-wise, there’s the high bar set by the Note 7’s predecessors with regards to endurance, something that it tries, and succeeds, in upholding.
Still sticking with the hardware, it falls short by keeping a microUSB charging and data transfer port but that is something we are used to by now.
The uncharted territory it enters is by way of its very large display, which, at 6.95-inches is basically in Tecno Pouvoir 4 “is it a tablet or a phone?” territory. Sure, it doesn’t feels too big to be unwieldy but it is a large device. The button arrangement on either side of the device is, however, in such a way that you don’t stretch to do anything.
The striking thing about the device, even before you get to the internals, is the back. It’s quite the looker.
As far as performance goes, there’s nothing disappointing about the Infinix Note 7 and there’s not much standing out to single out for praise.
So, why would you be interested in the Infinix Note 7?
Well, the cameras, for a start?
The cameras are what Infinix would want you to look to its seventh generation Note smartphone for. From my hands-on with the device, it’s not hard to see why. Whereas every other crown that could be claimed has already been claimed by past members of the series, the Note 7 is left trying to carve out its own legacy. That legacy, as I experienced, won’t come from the endurance. Sure, it lasts and lasts, but we’ve seen previous Infinix Notes that were insanely better at this. You can decry the inferior (judged today, not at that time) feature set back then that made everything look better battery-wise despite there being better optimization today but it is simply what it is. The software? Well, I’ve previously crowned a distant predecessor, the Note 5 a crown I don’t dish out often.
So, the Note 7 is left to take some of the thunder that has taken a while to come in the absence of Infinix’s hero Zero device: the camera. Photography and videography.
I can’t speak much about the latter since I barely spent any time on that, but I can speak about the former.
You see, there’s been quite a lot of hype about the Infinix Note 7’s cameras for the few months it has been around.
Is the hype justified?
Well, how about you see for yourself from the few snaps I managed to take using the device?
As you can see from the above, the Infinix Note 7 takes some very clear photos during the day – in lots of lighting – and they are not lacking in detail or colour vibrancy. There’s the usual issues with the exposure but nothing that you can’t live with. Especially at the Note 7’s segment.
When it comes to smartphone photography, I am a very simple user. As simple as they come. That is why I used the AI camera all the time and appreciated it for what it is. The only problem? Needing to remember to toggle on the option to use the Infinix Note 7’s main 48-megapixel sensor, something that I forgot most of the time.
Know what I couldn’t forget? Super night mode. When using the default AI cam mode, the device does detect that it’s night time and switches things up a bit (the ISO and all the other stuff) to ensure quality is maintained. Super night mode can also be enabled to do pretty much the same thing – even better. How better? Less noise and a little bit more clarity and sharpness.
With many of us opting to avoid “outsiding” as much as we can due to the pandemic, when working/studying from home and needing some documents scanned and sent, we all turn to our smartphones, don’t we? I mean, not many of us have flatbed scanners or three-way peripheral devices that also include optical scanners just lying around, right? There’s a “Documents mode” on the Infinix Note 7 camera interface and it comes in handy. As does the directly integrated Google Lens.
Away from the cameras but still sticking with the Infinix Note 7’s practical productivity features is this nifty Live Transcribe feature that can be enabled from the Quick Settings. Experimental as the integrated Google app may look, I found it “almost there”.
- I like the design.
- The large display is a plus to anyone who enjoys watching their YouTube clips, Netflix and more on the go.
- The sound is a bit better than what we are used to. Just remember to keep DTS on.
- The camera produces good results in low-light.
- The device’s back can be a fingerprint magnet. Not something that you can’t live with but it is worth knowing.
The Infinix Note 7 has been around for a short while already and isn’t much of a stranger in the local market. For anyone moving up the ladder, especially from the Infinix Hot series, an upgrade to the Note 7 can seem to be a no-brainer. It is big and so much better. For everyone else, it is what the Chinese brand tries to do with its cameras, especially in low light, that should have their antenna up.