Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr There comes another smartphone for review – Infinix Note 5 Stylus. It’s an mid-range smartphone with features like wider display but the most important part of this phone is its built-in stylus. Infinix Mobility was about to launch this phone in Pakistan on October 12th, but due to highly fluctuating rupee value those days, the company delayed the availability of the phone in markets with holding the announcement of retail price. Later the phone was officially announced on October 19th with the price tag of PKR 37,899/- which is also higher than what it was reported to be. Update: Updated after further price-increase. Quick Overview The new Infinix smartphone phone lies around the lower mid-range level with the similar class MediaTek platform MT6763 or more commonly known as Helio P23. The Infinix Note 5 Stylus follows the Note 5 launched earlier this year, however the company calls it a successor to Note 4 Pro of last year that also featured XPen as a stylus. It’s worth noting that the company shipped a flip cover in the box that worked as the holder of the pen. Unlike that, the new Note 5 Stylus is a full-fledged stylus phone that has a built-in container for the XPen. The Note 5 Stylus also keeps the “Android One” status and ships with the pure Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box. That means it’s bound to receive updates quicker than other smartphones. There is only memory configuration of 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage with this phone, so you don’t need to stress yourself to choose. However there are three colors to choose from – Gold, Red and Charcoal Blue. Apart from the chip and the XPen, the phone features a full-view display of 6-inches and single 16MP camera on the back. Another 16MP camera is on the front as well and the phone comes with a bigger 4000mAh battery that also supports fast charging – dubbed as XCharge. Quick Features and Specifications Infinix Note 5 Stylus SoC Chip: MediaTek Helio P23 (MT6763) CPU: Octa-core – Cortex-A53 (4x 1.5GHz + 4x 2.0GHz) GPU: Mali-G71 MP2 700MHz Memory RAM 4GB Storage: 64GB Expandable: microSD card up to 128GB OS / Software Android One – Android 8.1 Oreo XOS Hummingbird with Pure Android UI Display 6-inch IPS display – 2160 x 1080 Full HD+, 18:9, ~403 ppi, 78% screen-to-body ratio Size/Weight 158 x 75 x 8.4 mm /169 grams Rear Camera 16MP autofocus, f/1.8, Super PD fast focus. Front Camera 16MP fixed-focus, f/2.0 Battery 4000mA Sensors Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Ambient light, Compass Fingerprint Connectivity Wi-Fi: 2.5GHz (802.11 b/g/n), Dual Nano SIM + microSD card (hybrid slot) Bluetooth, micro USB, GPS, 3.5mm audio jack. Infinix Note 5 Stylus is one of the only few budget smartphones with a stylus and its basic features that include – creating notes, memo, taking screenshots and painting. PROS CONS Fully metal build Nice stylus with all basic features Nice display Pure Android OS Impressive battery timing Fast charging Not so slim bezels Little too weight Camera not good low light Let’s move on and see what you will get if you buy the Infinix Note 5 Stylus. A separate unboxing session of Infinix Note 5 Stylus was already done earlier along with my first impressions. Here’s the list of things which will come in the retail package. Infinix Note 5 Stylus – Box Content Device: Infinix Note 5 Stylus Charger: Fast charger with 9V/2A – 12V/1.5A Micro USB cable: USB 2.0 connectivity Stereo Earphones SIM eject tool User guides: device and XPen Add-on Protective film Add-on Silicon back cover You should check the first impressions and unboxing of Infinix Note 5 Stylus to know about features of included accessories. However these will be covered in this review too where applicable. Build, Design and Display Infinix has been making really good quality phones in the price range it’s currently serving. The new Note 5 Stylus is also built really well with metal around the frame. I am still not happy with the price tag it carries the Stylus sometimes gives a good push in the mind. The Infinix Note 5 Stylus features a 6-inch screen with 2.5D curved glass on top. There’s no mention of any scratch resistance so if you are concerned about that, a protective film comes bundled with the phone, use it. The phone has 18:9 aspect ratio with full HD+ resolution of 2160×1080 pixels. It has a pixel density of around 403 ppi while the screen-to-body ratio is around 78% only which is really small, due to visibly large bezels. In fact, the company has a portfolio of devices with better screen ratio and minimal bezels, I am not sure why the Note 5 Stylus couldn’t carry the latest trend. However Full HD resolution is good thing to have in this price range. When talking about the display features on the front, the top bezel has all those standard sensors invisible to the eye, the earpiece in the middle, the front camera on one side and a soft LED flash on the other side of earpiece. It’s a 16-megapixel camera on the front that we’ll cover later in the camera section. In addition to standard sensors on the top, the phone also includes a gyroscope to entertain you for virtual reality content. There are no capacitive keys on the front, instead the standard software based in-screen navigation buttons are there for navigation. You can see a significant bezel right down there with absolutely nothing on it. Power and volume buttons are on the right side as usually they are on most smartphones. The left side of the phone hosts the hybrid dual-SIM slot that you can use with two SIM cards simultaneously or one SIM card at a time with a micro SD card. The top side of the phone has nothing while the all the other components including – 3.5mm audio jack, micro USB port, a loudspeaker and a mouthpiece or the primary microphone. Additionally on the far right, there is placeholder for the stylus – XPen. The build material is metal and the phone feel pretty bulky in hands, not sure why but it also weighs higher than usual 173 grams. Quality wise, it’s really good and clean. Grip and handling is totally fine. The unit we got here for review is the Charcoal Blue variant that has a matte finish and it’s little less than compact but rounded and chamfered edges feels nice. On the back, the phone has another 16-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash. The camera is enclosed into a module raised a little above the surface of the back panel. The module also hosts the fingerprint sensor right below the camera. Rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is a preferred position for most as it’s easily reachable to your index finger. Unlike that, the fingerprint scanner on the front-below-screen position is usually awkward for your thumb to reach until you carry the phone with your fingertips on the lower part of the phone and position your thumb on the fingerprint scanner. My preferred place for fingerprint sensor on a smartphone is on the back, right where it is on the Infinix Note 5 Stylus. What’s yours and why? do tell us in the comments below. Software – Android 8.1 / Pure Stock OS Thankfully Infinix Note 5 Stylus is an Android One smartphone that means it won’t bring any bloatware to your phone’s desktop on first start. Everything in the phone is what comes stock Android OS. Install anything you want according to your needs. The phone still has a slight layer of company’s home grown XOS and managed to ship XClub app pre-installed. The Android 8.1 Oreo comes with pretty clean and home screen with a pull over nobe at the bottom to extend the app drawer. On the far left of the home screen, there is the Google App that you can turn on/off from the home screen customizer. The top status bar comes has the same step-wise pull-down, to first reveal grouped notifications with small quick toggles on top, and then to expand those notifications or the toggles or both separately. There is camera app which is not the stock one, instead Infinix has its own XOS Camera 3.0. Camera UI is discussed in the camera section after the break. XPen 2.0 – The Built-in Stylus On the other hand there’s specially designed user interface for XPen which also brings some built-in apps such as XNote that allows you to take notes, memos and draw paintings. The app icon is available but it only lists existing things you have written or drawn which you can see anytime. However, to edit those things, you will eject the XPen out and the interface automatically will shift to edit mode. You can eject the XPen anytime anywhere to initiate the special user interface. A dark overlay will appear with the most common XPen features that you can choose to continue – create notes, write memo, take screenshot, or even paint. You can also use keyboard to type while in “create notes” interface. You can always tap on the welt button on the right edge of the display with the XPen to bring up the same dark overlay to start with a new option. If you are thinking about the lockscreen and XPen, then yes the phone also features the special “Lockscreen Note” mode which appears instantly if you eject the XPen when the phone is locked. When the phone is fully asleep with black screen and you eject the XPen, a dark UI will appear and the note will be taken in white color. If you wake the phone first with the lockscreen on, a light UI will appear in that case. Whatsoever, the XPen is really a fun to use with this budget phone. System Performance The core of the smartphone contains a MediaTek chipset Helio P23 with octa-core processor. All the eight cores are ARM’s Cortex A53 but four are clocked at up to 1.5GHz while the other four are clocked at up to 2.0GHz. The chip is also bundled with Mali-G71 GPU with two cores clocked at 700MHz. The phone comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, which is really a good thing for this budget phone. Everything is perfectly fine for such a budget smartphone, it never ran into any issue during the review trial. The animations were smooth and slide through without any lag. Some apps had lagging in long scrolls and heavy stuff in the scroll. The phone allows moderate gaming for long and some heavy titles too but not for long. While benchmark scores are only to tell the numerical difference between one device to the other, it’s a good thing for users to make mind about some device’s performance. So take glimpse on a few benchmark scores. Infinix Note 5 Stylus – Benchmark Scores General – AnTuTu General – Geekbench Graphics – GFXBenchGL / 3DMark Battery Performance 4000mAh battery is powering up that phone to perform throughout the day. That’s sure a good thing to have for heavy usage of a smartphone. With Infinix Note 5 Stylus, the battery is a remarkable part of the bundle as it keeps the phone alive all day long on one full charge. Heavy usage may lead to some battery drain but it lives up to an appreciable level. Unfortunately, on top of that large battery, you don’t get an extra glass of juice called an ultra power saving. You only get a standard power saver below 20% of battery life. However, fast charging is a welcome thing in this budget phone. The phone comes with an 18 watt fast charger that leads in quick charge in initial few minutes. Camera The camera is, for sure, the major element for almost anyone who uses a smartphone these days. Whether it’s a good camera or a really bad camera, everyone wants to share on their social platforms. So for the phones in this price range are not very well equipped with some really impressive camera hardware. Companies hardly release any detailed information about the image sensor they use in their smartphones, unless it’s a flagship phone and carries really a commendable hardware. We are talking about a budget phone here so you really shouldn’t expect it to carry a brilliant camera, however these days, the software also plays an important part to make up a good photograph or a video. Specially that AI camera features, now present in almost every next phone, are also present in Infinix Note 5 Stylus. In fact, the company calls it as “AI Camera” on the back, and “AI Selfie” camera on the front. The budget phone has a featureful camera UI specially when it comes with a Pro mode. However, there is little miss-management with the UI that you have to scroll all the screens through the left to reveal the modes. The phone has a 16-megapixel primary camera with autofocus, while the same sized camera on the front is a fixed unit. Mostly that’s the case with smartphones, whether it’s an entry-level, mid-range or even a high-end phone. Picture Quality Daylight shots were decent with reduced color noise but still available and can be noticed at gradient levels when viewing at 1:1 sized shots. Closer subjects are visually good such as portraits or anything closer while the distant objects lack sharpness when you look at 100% crop. Similarly the tree leaves and grass are, when you see that how they are smudged into each other in pictures. The dynamic range is not that bad for such a price tag but still it’s not consistent and highlight clipping is a problem. HDR feature is good to help in managing the situations but it takes out the natural feel and flattens the whole image. Low-light shots come with noise and less detail. You can use flash on close objects, though it works fine only sometimes. 16-megapixel camera on the front is fixed focus but still does the purpose. That higher pixel count works well to give plenty of detail in your selfie shots. The front camera also features a portrait mode with bokeh effect. Both the front and the main camera feature the bokeh feature to take bokeh shots with background blur. The UI refers the feature to “Bokeh” when shooting with front camera and “Portrait” when taking shot with main camera. The phone still doesn’t have dual camera for the purpose but this time it does a better job than previous software simulations. Take look at the photos taken with Infinix Note 5 Stylus. Daylight Shots Low Light Shots Portrait Mode Front Camera Both the front and rear cameras support video recording at VGA (480p) resolution, HD (720p) resolution, and Full HD (1080p) resolution. We didn’t have a sample for that. The review will be updated once the footage is ready to publish. Conclusion Sure an unstable currency value causes sudden increase in prices, but frankly the smartphones shouldn’t effect with this price increase. You know that Samsung also increased the prices of its smartphones for the very same reason but it’s never a welcomed move. Huawei has also increased a bit in their prices but most recent Nova 3 and Nova 3i are selling with some price-cut after the increase and they are still a bit higher than they launched for. Coming back to Infinix Note 5 Stylus; I believe everything you get with this phone should come below the 30,000 price tag. You can blame the rupee value for the price increase because companies don’t want to bear the burden of cost difference. Apart from the price issue, the Infinix Note 5 Stylus is recomendable. You get a perfectly working stylus with all basic features in for that price, it’s good for fun. Full HD display is also a good thing as well as the camera performance is also good in good light. If you want to share some indoor shots on your facebook profile, make sure to turn on all the lights available. Software and performance is on par with its class but at some places it’s better due to pure Android experience. Last but not the least, battery is undoubtedly impressive.