Infinix did it again. It availed a high tech gadget at a price point so low that anyone who cares can own one. It’s the Infinix Note 3. At the announcement of the Infinix Note 3, Benzer Bett told you how the specs are mwaa – and true to his expectations, Infinix Note 3 offers one of the best smartphone experiences a phone user can have. As we promised, we have spent roughly a week with the device and now it is time to share with you our Infinix Note 3 Experience.
The Body of Infinix Note 3 is Premium
One of the first noticeable differences between the Infinix Note 3 and its predecessor Infinix Note 2 is the body. Infinix Note 3 is covered in a premium metallic casing that comes in four flavours; the Palm gold, Crystal gray, Champagne Gold and Glossy silver variants. We received a gold variant and loved it. It looks, speaks and feels class. This is not a phone you want to hide deep in your bag or pocket. It’s a phone that you would really prefer to let everyone know that you have upgraded your mobility class to Infinix Note 3.
Then the phone is large. At 16.25mm by 8.28mm by 0.84mm, Infinix Note 3 is slightly taller and slightly thinner than Infinix Note 2,and it’s not heavy at only 199 grams. Compare this with the Samsung flagship – Samsung Galaxy Note 7 that weighs 169 grams. The large size of Infinix Note 3 allows the device to host a 6 inch full HD 1080p screen made of IPS LCD tech.
The screen is protected by glass that hasn’t been specified, but it isn’t the premium Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and above that are scratch and break resistant. This is why the phone is shipped with a screen protector (film) that you need to install immediately you unbox the device.
The body of Infinix hosts two slots – one dual slot at the top left side for the SIM cards and at the top right side you’ll find the second slot for the MicroSD card. Below the MicroSD slot are the two volume buttons and the power buttons. The 3.5mm audio port is at the top while the micro USB port for charging and data transfer is nicely placed at the bottom. At the back of the body you’ll find a slightly protruding 13MP shooter, an LED flash below it and the fingerprint scanner wrapping the back design.
At the top front face you’ll get your usual sensors and the front facing camera that has been upgraded to a 5MP shooter. In addition there has been included a front soft LED light to allow selfie lovers to always take very lovely pictures. More on the cameras below.
Infinix Note 3, despite it delivering high end mobility experience, is a mid range device – meaning that a few compromises had to be made in order to provide the user with a fluid device but without having to break the bank. The compromises aside, there is a Mediatek 64 bit 1.3GHz octa core processor that powers the Infinix Note 3. Tagged alongside the 64 bit processor is an ARM Mali T720 MP3 450MHz GPU for high quality video and other graphics experience.
For storage Infinix Note 3 comes with 16GB in-built but this shouldn’t worry you as the phone supports MicrosSD card up to 128GB. For speed and efficiency, the phone runs on 2GB RAM – an upgrade from 1GB RAM in Infinix Note 2.
Infinix Note 3 model in the market right now is the 3G version, although reports indicate that a 4G LTE model will be released soon. The 3G model promises to deliver up to 150 Mbps downloads and uploads of up to 50 Mbps. The 3G connectivity runs on WCDMA 850/900/2100 bandwidths alongside the cellular connectivity on GSM 850/900/1800/1900 bandwidths. The phone also has a number of sensors that include GPS-Sensor, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Hall Sensor, and Compass Sensor.
At the heart of Infinix Note 3 is the Android version 6.0 (Marshmallow) that has been hailed as one of the most efficient mobile operating systems. The Android 7.0 Nougat hasn’t been widely adopted and is still under improvement, so Marshmallow can be considered as the best mobile OS currently in the market.
The Battery and Aerospace Cooling System
Other than Cubot phones that pack batteries of over 5000mAh, the selling point for Infinix Note series has been their huge battery capacities. The Infinix Hot Note came with a 4000mAh battery which was followed by a 4040 mAh battery on Infinix Note 2. The Infinix Note 3, given that it features a full HD screen of 1920 by 1080 pixels, has its battery vamped up to 4500mAh.
The juice in the 4500mAh lasts for about 18 hours under normal use (a few hours of video viewing, gaming, talk time, browsing, and social media). On Ultra power mode, the battery promises to deliver up to 50 hours 50 minutes of normal use time which basically would include calls, text messages, doing a few calculations, taking notes, voice recording and keeping track of time. All other phone functions are turned off at the Ultra Power saving mode.
To test whether Ultra Power is actually working, I charged the phone up to 100% battery capacity then turned it to Ultra Power. The phone lost 1% of power after 4 hours of idle time, and according to battery information I still had 50 hours 20 minutes of usage time left.
Infinix Note 3, just like the predecessors, also features the flash charging tech but there is a slight difference – the ability to obtain up to 200 minutes of talk time with only 5 minutes of charge. You may compare this with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and above that promise up to 4 hours of use time with only 10 minutes of charge. According to Infinix Mobility website, the 5 min charge for 200 minutes talk time “has been realized by the inclusion of duo 4.5A charging engines with PE+2.0 technology promoting a fast and safe charging process”. PE+ or Pump Express plus is a Mediatek charging technology that promises to cut the battery charging time by half – and will give about 75% of the charge in only 30 minutes.
The problem with fast charging is heating. A number of Infinix Hot Note users reported that their phones always overheat while charging. To alleviate this problem in Infinix Note 3, Infinix has incorporate the high tech aerospace cooling system that is normally used to cool satellites. “Infinix NOTE 3 Aerospace Cooling Technology utilizes technology originally developed for cooling satellites with the inclusion of copper pipes built into the NOTE 3 that carry fluid through the device as a method of preventing overheating. When overheating, the fluid evaporates and the extra heat is circulated as water vapor. Note 3 boasts the unique inclusion of ACT, providing both faster and more efficient charging”, explains Infinix Mobility.
The Fingerprint Scanner
A totally new addition to the Infinix Note series is the fingerprint scanner that has been included in the Infinix Note 3 – and the scanner is damn useful. The fingerprint App enables the use of fingerprints for unlocking the phone, locking Apps using the App Lock tool, hiding Apps with XHide, taking photos which is very useful when taking selfies, Accepting calls, or browsing photos in gallery.
Using fingerprints to unlock the phone works like magic. For example, I timed that it takes me roughly 5 seconds to press the power button in order to turn the screen on, swipe the screen to reveal the PIN input keypad, input my PIN, and unlock the phone. However, when I opt to use the fingerprint to unlock the phone, the entire process reduces to only 50 milliseconds (timed using a secondary stop watch). The phone will warn you that the PIN is more secure than the fingerprint, but every single attempt to unlock the phone with the wrong finger or wrong part of the right finger has failed thus far.
Infinix decided to put the fingerprint scanner at the back of the phone, and this decision was a very clever one. You’ll find this placement very intuitive when taking selfies. In most cases, pointing the phone at your face and at the same time having to press the shutter button that is at lower front screen is cumbersome. The fingerprint scanner at the back however allows you to take selfies very conveniently and within milliseconds by simply placing the fingers at the back of the phone. You’ll need to try this at home to appreciate what I am trying to say.
Photos with Infinix Note 3
Infinix Note 3 camera will not compete with cameras in the Samsung Galaxy S and Note series, neither will it be seen next to iPhone cameras, but for a price range of only Kshs 14,500, Infinix camera delivers beyond expectations. Infinix Mobility has also included quick camera options named Beauty, Professional, Normal, Panorama, Night and Picture in Picture (PIP) modes. The PIP takes a picture with both the selfie and rear camera simultaneously so that the photographer is not left out of the action. The picture below of Meru town was taken by the Infinix Note 3 rear camera – Beaty mode. Other options for shooting include the Elegant, Calm, Movie, Gorgeous, None, Memory, Fresh, Cool and Mono modes. I liked the Movie mode as it has rich colour reproduction. .
As mentioned already, the selfie camera on Infinix Note 3 is a 5MP shooter – the minimum megapixels a phone camera should have. This is a huge step from the 2MP shooter in the previous Infinix Note series that I avoided like plague. Although I am not photogenic, the selfies I took with the Infinix Note 3 were tolerable. A few friends including my soulmate who tested the front camera fell in love with it. If you are one of those filled with self love and prefer to take pictures of their faces every few seconds for Instagram, then Infinix Note 3 is your budget smart friend.
The selling point for both the rear and front cameras is the built-in blue glass meant to avoid flare and “to capture the perfect crystal-clear moments even in harsh lighting conditions”. Infinix Mobility also state that the main camera also provides PDFA auto-focus technology to capture sharp images in less than 0.25s.
The Bad – and Price
For Kshs 14,499, there isn’t anything really in Infinix Note 3 you’ll convincingly say is bad – except one thing – the SIM and MicroSD slots. The slots require you to have a metallic pin in order to open up – a requirement that may prove extremely inconveniencing when travelling and you need to either remove or insert a SIM card or MicroSD card – this is despite the fact that the phone comes packed with a slot removal pin that can easily be misplaced given its tiny size. If you are someone who never removes SIM or microSD cards, this small issue shouldn’t worry you at all.
Infinix Note 3 is currently available at Jumia Kenya for Kshs 14,499.