The latest phablet from Infinix to be launched in Kenya is the Note 3, this phone takes over from the Infinix Note 2 that was launched towards the end of 2015. I have been using the Infinix Note 3 for a little over 2 weeks now and this is my final review. In Kenya, the phone is available exclusively on Jumia for Ksh 15,000 just in case you were wondering. This is the written review, we will be doing a video review later this week so come back for that.
We did unbox this phone awhile back and you can check that out using the link below.
The Infinix Note 3: What is in the box
If you are thinking of buying the Infinix Note 3, this is what you will be getting in the box.
The Phone (Infinix Note 3)
USB cable and Power adapter
SIM removal tool
As you can see from what is listed above, you get a pair earphones and a screen protector when you buy the Infinix Note 3, these were not available with the Note 2.
You can check out our video review of the Infinix Note 3 below.
[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyL8U15pXws” width=”560″ height=”315″]
Look and Feel
Metallic frame, inspired by the Infinix Note 2
Now that we know what you get in the box, let’s look at the phone itself. The first thing I noticed with the Infinix Note 3 is that it borrows a few things from the Note 2, the phone looks almost exactly as the Note 2 with a few changes. It has the same 6-inch display size with a metallic frame that is better than the plastic one on the Note 2.
I have big hands and found that holding and using the Note 3 with one hand is possible. The phone rests comfortably on the hand and the smooth corners make it easy to carry around. Even though it is generally easy to carry the phone around, in some situations I was forced to use both hands as the size was just too big. If you have small hands, you definitely will need to use both hands most of the times until you get used to the size.
You get the usual buttons and ports on the sides with the volume and power buttons on the right hand side. With the big size of the Note 3, Infinix has decided to separate the volume up and volume down buttons. I am used to seeing one button with both the volume up and volume down that I thought the Note 3 has a dedicated camera button when I saw if for the first time.
The MicroSD card slot is also on the right with the SIM card tray that can accommodate two SIM cards is on the left. At the back there is the fingerprint scanner and the 13MP camera with dual LED flash. The earphone jack is at the top with the speaker grille, microphone and the normal Micro USB port at the bottom.
Full HD, 6.0 inch FHD IPS LCD, 367ppi
The display is one of the things I like about the Infinix Note 3. This is a Full HD IPS LCD display so the colors reproduced are accurate and the screen is just vibrant overall. Seeing what is on the display presents no serious issues even when doing so under direct sunlight. You can adjust the brightness manually and you will be sorted or better yet, you can set the brightness to adjust automatically to the surrounding light.
This big display is perfect for watching videos and even reading. Its size gives you an almost tablet-like experience that is perfect for media consumption. Playing videos on the Note 3 is an experience you have to try out to know how good it is. It’s like the display is designed specifically for this, you get accurate color reproduction with no distortions.
The display is also very responsive to touch and does not collect fingerprints. This is one of the things I like about it as I don’t like wiping my phone’s screen with just a few minutes of using it.
Infinix is providing a screen protector for free, this will go a long way in protecting your phone from scratched and dents.
Software and Performance
Android Marshmallow with XOS Chameleon, 2GB RAM, 1.3GHz MediaTek Processor, Mali-T720
For the software, the Infinix Note 3 comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow with XOS Chameleon overlay. XOS is designed to replace XUI which we have been seeing on Infinix phones for a while, am not a big fan of custom UIs but XOS feels right at home on the Note 3. It has some cool features and is very colorful which was a turn off for me, am not into colorful UIs. I actually didn’t like this about it, it feels way too colorful and too colorful for me.
As for performance, I did not experience any serious problems with the Infinix Note 3 during my review period. It handles everyday tasks without any issues and you can even use it to play some intensive games without it slowing down. Some games such as Mobius Final Fantasy may slow down from time to time but nothing serious. Some apps such as Instagram also slowdown sometimes but I didn’t experience any serious lags overall. It seems like the 2GB of RAM, 1.3 GHz MT6753 and Mali T720 GPU work together perfectly for the best experience.
The Infinix Note 3 is not 4G enabled but the company has confirmed that a 4G variant will be launched in the country very soon.
13MP main camera, 5MP front facing one
The Infinix Note 3 comes with a 13MP camera with dual LED flash at the back. My experience with this camera was better than I had expected. The back camera of the Note 2 wowed me and the Note 3 has done the same. It isn’t the best camera on the market but is quite good in all lighting conditions. Of course it struggles a bit in low light conditions but generally takes good shots.
My only issue with this camera is that images are overexposed and when you try to take a photo, it just appears way too bright and unreal. This is what you get with the default setting and this gives you the illusion that the camera takes quality photos when that is clearly not the case. I did not like this about the camera but am sure there are people who will not mind it, it is all about what you prefer, do you want the bright unreal images or do you want the ones that look as real as possible?
The front facing camera is a 5MP one that takes some decent shots as long as the lighting is good. In dark areas, you can clearly see that it struggles to take good shots. it is supported by soft flash which can be useful when taking photos in low lit areas.
4500 mAh non removable
The one thing that I absolutely love about the Infinix Note 3 is its battery. It comes with a massive 4500 mAh battery that will easily last you through the whole day with moderate to heavy usage. During the review period, I could get the battery to last a day or two with heavy usage, with moderate usage, I could get that to about four days or more. This battery is just too big and since the phone isn’t power hungry, getting it to last for more than a couple of days without charging it up isn’t a problem.
With the big battery size, the biggest concern you may be having is how long it takes to charge it. Luckily, the Note 3 supports fast charging so you charge it up much faster. Infinix has also included Aeroscope cooling technology that makes sure the phone does not overheat when charging or when you are using it. I find this feature useful as the metal back cover could be uncomfortable to hold when hot.
The Infinix Note 3 is a phablet that is designed for those who want a device that they will not have to charge up after a few minutes of usage. I find the battery to be the best feature of this device, it is big, supports quick charging and can last for more than a couple of days even with not so heavy usage. Given the phone is no slouch when it comes to performance, you have to appreciate what Infinix has done with it.
Besides the battery, the Note 3 is overall a good phone if you overlook its big size. Its design is appealing and the metallic back cover is definitely a nice addition. If you don’t mind the big size, this phone should be on your wish list as it offers something you don’t get from other devices within the Ksh 15,000 price range.
Also Read: The Huawei P9 Review