December 10, 2018
Infinix Note 5 box

The Infinix Note 5 First Impressions

Infinix Mobile officially unveiled its latest Note device, the Infinix Note 5, in Dubai a couple of weeks back. The phone is finally available in Kenya for as low as Ksh 17,939 through e-commerce platform, Jumia. I do have a review unit and in this post I will be sharing my first impressions on this phone before I post the full review in about two weeks.

The Infinix Note 5 is surprise, surprise, the fifth addition to the company’s Note series that started as the go to series for those who wanted a device with a big screen and a big battery. The first Infinix Hot Note stood out because of its battery that could last longer than most other smartphones within the same price.

We now have the fifth Note device and I am excited to see what it has to offer.

What’s In the Box?

So, this is what you should expect in the box when you buy this phone.

Infinix Note 5 unboxing

The phone

Earphones

Screen protector

Back cover

User guide

My Initial Thoughts

The Infinix Note 5 feels different from the Note 4. It is lighter and the 18:9 aspect ratio makes the phone easy to carry around. Even though it has a 6-inch display, it does not feel bulky as you’d expect. This 6-inch display is just beautiful, I have been using it for a few days and I am impressed so far. It is vibrant and bright enough for easy use when outdoors. If you have ever wanted a bigger display that is easy to carry around, this is the one for you. This is a full HD display that has very punchy colours and the viewing angles are also good.

Infinix Note 5 display

Still on the front is where you will find the 16MP selfie camera, a few sensors and the earpiece. This front facing camera is really good from what I have seen so far and will be testing it out and share my final thoughts in the full review. There is nothing below the display as the phone uses on screen navigation keys that you cannot hide.

The build of the Infinix Note 5 is a hit and miss. You will either like it or hate it, no two ways about it. The back is made of plastic and this may not sit well with some people. It does not feel cheap but doesn’t feel premium either. I personally don’t think it is that bad, it feels slightly better than the one on the Infinix Hot S3 and has a similar feel to the one on the Huawei Y7 Prime 2018.

Infinix Note 5 kenya

The back cover has a glossy finish that will definitely attract eyeballs when you take out the phone. I got the Ice Blue variant that looks really got and is the one I recommend to anyone who plans to buy this phone. You can also get the Black version that is just too plain in my opinion.

Still on the back is where you will find the fingerprint sensor that is easy to setup and is responsive. Besides unlocking the phone, you can use this fingerprint sensor to activate Google Assistant, all you have to do is long press the sensor and Google Assistant will be activated. This is pretty cool but expect accidental activation of the Google Assistant from time to time. If this bothers you so much, you can disable that option.

Infinix Note 5 back

The power and volume buttons are on the right of the phone. I can easily reach these buttons even when using the phone with one hand. It is important to mention this considering the size of the phone. They are not as high as they are on most other smartphones and this gesture is appreciated. At the bottom we have the speaker grille, headphone jack, Micro USB port and the microphone. Infinix did not go with a USB Type C and I am not sure why. The company has used these ports on some of its devices and I don’t see why the Note 5 does not get the same treatment, I mean, we are in 2018 and USB C should be the standard for smartphones within this price. The bottom firing speaker is loud, not the loudest, and should be good in most situations. You risk blocking it when holding the phone in landscape mode. If this is the case, you can use the included earphones. I personally would not be using these earphones as they are the same ones the company has been using for years and they are just bad. Sound quality through these earphones is horrible and I don’t see any reason to use them unless I do not have any other option.

Android One on the Note 5

The Infinix Note 5 is part of the Android One program and this means that it comes with a pure version of Android. No XOS here and this is different from what we are used to from Infinix. You get Android 8.1 Oreo in its purest form as Google intended it to be. Since this is the case, the phone comes with very few preinstalled apps as you can see below.

Infinix Note 5 pre installed apps

Infinix Note 5 pre installed apps

As part of the Android One program, the Infinix Note 5 is scheduled to get the latest Android updates on time and faster than most other smartphones that come with heavily forked Android versions. There is no official confirmation yet but the Note 5 should be getting Android P when the final version is released later this year.

The software experience has been good so far, it is smooth and given the fact the there are no unnecessary apps pre-installed, I didn’t not have to waste my time uninstalling apps I do not plan to use. I can now make use of the 32GB of internal storage space the way I want to. In my full review, the software experience will be one of my main angles and I would be interested to see how it handles that.

Infinix Note 5 screen

The Infinix Note 5 unfortunately does not have Face unlock. The company’s other device, the Infinix Hot S3, also did not have Face unlock when it was launched earlier in the year but it got it through an update but we are not sure if this will be the case with the Note 5. There are people who prefer having Face unlock and if you are one of them, you should wait and see how things turn out.

Verdict

Infinix Note 5 kenya

So far the Infinix Note 5 has impressed me, it feels like a modern smartphone, the display is really good and performance is impressive. Android One offers a different experience to Infinix fans and it makes the phone worth having. I will be using this phone within the next two weeks and come up with a review then.

Read more about the specifications of the Infinix Note 5 here.

I do gadget reviews and then some... Send your tips and Press Releases to kaluka@techarena.co.ke