Infinix Note 7 Review: Surprisingly Good!

Infinix Note 7 Review

Infinix Note 7 was officially unveiled last month in Nepal by Ola Electronics. As the name suggests, this is the 7th iteration in this series. It is a mid-range device that vies to compete with the likes of Redmi Note 9 and Samsung Galaxy M21. Although Infinix isn’t a household name in Nepal, the company is well known in other parts of the world for its attractive smartphones on a budget. So, without further delay let’s get into details about the Infinix Note 7 in this review.

Infinix Note 7 Specifications:

  • Body: 6.83 x 3.11 x 0.35-inches; 206gm; Plastic body with gem-cut finish
  • Display: 6.95-inches IPS LCD panel; 91.50% screen-to-body ratio; 258 PPI
  • Resolution: HD+ (1640 x 720 pixels); 20.5:9 aspect ratio
  • Chipset: MediaTek Helio G70 (12nm mobile platform)
  • CPU: Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6×1.7 GHz Cortex-A55)
  • GPU: Mali-G52 2EEMC2
  • RAM: 4/6GB RAM
  • Storage: 64/128GB eMMC 5.1 (expandable)
  • Software & UI: XOS UI 6.1 on top of Android 10
  • Rear Camera: Quad;
    – 48MP primary lens with f/1.79 aperture
    – 2MP macro lens with f/2.4 aperture
    – 2MP depth sensor with 25mm focal length
    – Super low light video camera with f/1.8 aperture
    – Quad-LED flash
  • Front Camera: 16MP f/2.0 (punch-hole)
  • Security: Physical fingerprint sensor (side-mounted)
  • Audio: Dual speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (dual-band), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS with A-GPS, Micro USB 2.0, LTE
  • Battery: 5000mAh with 18W SuperCharge 3.0
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass
  • Colors: Forest Green, Aether Black, Bolivia Blue
  • Price in Nepal: Rs. 21,990 (4/128GB)

Infinix Note 7 Review:

Design

  • Plastic body with a gem-cut finish
  • Pretty huge phone and there’s a notification LED too

There’s nothing innovative about the design of the Infinix Note 7. Having said that, the device does implement the standard stuff pretty well. Upfront, you have this huge 6.95-inch screen that takes some time to get used to. Thankfully, there’s no notch on the screen. Rather, the device houses the selfie camera inside the “Infinity-O” punch-hole. Just beside it is the front-facing speaker.

Oh, there’s also an LED light for notification! However, it only lights up while charging. That means you’ll have to rely on the notification sounds for messages. That for me is annoying because I am used to having the LED light up for notifications too.

Over at the back, there’s the gem-cut finish that you might have seen on the Galaxy A-series devices. The design basically reveals different patterns when viewed from different angles. The design on the rear panel is an eye-catcher and overall it looks premium. I would have preferred the Aether Black variant of Infinix Note 7 for the review rather than the Bolivia Blue that I have. But the color still looks great.

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A proper smudge-magnet

However, you will have to be wary about the smudges as the plastic back catches it quite often. Thankfully, Infinix ships a plastic cover inside the box itself. The rear panel also houses a quad-camera setup and the quad-LEDs arranged in a circular bump.

All the ports on the device are located at the bottom. There you get a 3.5mm headphone jack, a mic, a micro-USB port, and another speaker. I really like the positioning of the speakers on the Infinix Note 7. Rather than going for two speakers at the bottom, the benefit of having a front-facing speaker is that no matter which way you hold the device while gaming, the audio will not be compromised. And the speaker on this device is of top-notch as well.

Moving on, there are a volume control button and a power button at the right, which also doubles up as a fingerprint sensor. On the left, you get the SIM/microSD tray. So, the design, while not being innovative it is not something that will disappoint you. However, you will have to get used to the huge size of the device.

Display

  • 6.95-inches HD+ IPS LCD panel
  • 20.5:9 aspect ratio and 91.5% screen-to-body ratio

As I mentioned earlier, the Infinix Note 7 sports a huge 6.95-inch display. It is an IPS LCD 720p panel. Now, that bugs me a lot. I know that the 720p display is quite standard for mid-range devices. However, you have to look at the size of the screen. It is really difficult to appreciate the resolution on this screen size.

Infinix Note 7 - Display

You’ll probably not feel that the display is letting you down while browsing through your social media. But while gaming and playing videos, despite giving out decent enough quality, you’ll find that it lacks a sufficient color punch. The videos feel a bit washed out and you’ll find yourself missing that vibrancy in the color. For instance, while comparing the video output of the Infinix Note 7 and Redmi Note 9 during the review, I found that videos feel a tad bit warmer on the latter.

That’s interesting because Redmi Note 9 itself does not have the greatest of the displays for a starter phone. And as I said, the screen size and the resolution do not complement each other at all. Furthermore, if you’re switching from Infinix Note 6, apart from the resolution, the IPS LCD panel will be the other downgrade you’ll be facing. The brightness is pretty good though. You’ll not have any difficulty while using the device either indoors or outdoors.

System and Security

  • XOS Dolphin v6.1 on top of Android 10
  • Side-mounted fingerprint sensor

The device runs on the XOS Dolphin v6.1 on top of Android 10. This version of the XOS introduces the Dark Mode in the Infinix Note series and a couple of other useful features. For instance, there is a direct control for the dual-channel speakers in the navigation bar, which is a cool feature to have as it allows you to adjust audio as per the type of task you’re doing.

Infinix Note 7 - Design

However, there’s just too much bloatware. Unnecessary ads for games and what not keep popping up again and again. You’ll not believe the number of times I unlocked my device upon hearing the notification sound only to be disappointed to see some useless ad. Furthermore, there are just too many pre-installed apps that you cannot delete.

Uninstall or disable bloatware apps

So, my advice for users would be to disable all the apps that you won’t be using and are uninstallable. Moreover, you’ll fare better with another launcher rather than the default XOS launcher. Another “cool” function is called the “Social Turbo”. This feature is basically an extension for WhatsApp as it allows you to record WhatsApp calls, backup messages, and more.

As for the navigation, you get the usual button and gesture navigations. However, I did not find the full gesture-based navigation option that appealing as it sometimes did not respond and there were some problems with the animations too. Moreover, there are other gesture features for display, music, calls, and more. Here too I faced some problems. For instance, the gesture for call receiving and cancel never worked when I tried to use it.

Fast fingerprint sensor

Talking about the security features, along with the usual pattern and passcode, it has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and face unlock. And both of these features are super snappy. The fingerprint unlock is one of the fastest that I’ve seen on a smartphone and the face unlock is pretty quick too. Even in low light conditions, the face unlock feature works pretty well.

And there’s an option to keep it unlocked in trusted places, on your body or near a trusted device. This feature is quite handy too. However, the downside is that the device will unlock even when you are facing sideways. So, to better maintain your privacy, you should probably stick with the fingerprint sensor only.

Performance

  • Octa-core MediaTek Helio G70 (12nm)
  • 4/6GB of RAM with 64/128GB of expandable internal storage

Infinix Note 7 runs on the MediaTek Helio G70 processor. Benchmark scores show that this processor is far superior to the likes of Snapdragon 665, 675, and Exynos 9611. So, theoretically, this should deliver a mind-blowing performance as far as mid-rangers are concerned.

Infinix Note 7 - Gaming

And that is what it does. You’ll not face any problem while going about your everyday tasks and non-demanding games is a breeze for this device. However, I had to be patient with the load time while playing heavy games. But that may be due to the 4gigs of RAM on my review unit. If you want better performance, you should go for the 6GB variant.

Gaming

Anyway, despite having to wait a while for my game to load, there was no lag in performance. By default, the frame rates in both PUBG and COD Mobile is set at a low. On the graphics side, you can switch it up to HD. However, opting for a higher frame rate will take a toll on the performance. You’ll find the game stuttering a bit and the phone does tend to get heated in that process.

Under PUBG, I felt that the HD graphic settings with a medium frame rate delivered the best output on the Infinix Note 7 during my review. No lags, the battery lasts for a significant time and you’ll only notice the heating issue after continuous hours of gaming. And that too will not feel too much.

There’s a dedicated gaming mode in the device to further complement the gaming experience. But sometimes I found the side-tray that comes with the gaming mode obstructing the gameplay. The gaming mode does allow stop calls from interrupting the game or helps to manage notification while playing games. However, the side-tray obtrusion was just too much for me. And thus I decided to continue my games without the gaming mode turned on.

Battery

  • 5000 mAh battery with 18W SuperCharge 3.0

Infinix Note 7 - Charger

Here, Infinix Note 7 packs in a 5000mAh battery and supports 18W fast charging. Now, if you’re planning on simply using it for your day to day task and nothing heavy-duty, then with a full charge, the device will last up to 2 days. Even with continuous gaming, its battery support is great. I played PUBG for 3 hours straight and the charge dropped from 80% to 60%. However, I was gaming in balanced graphics at a lower frame rate. But still, it speaks volumes.

Now, despite the fact that the device supports 18W fast charging it does so through a micro-USB port. Therefore, it takes well over 2 hours to charge the device from around 5% to 100%. So, charging time is an issue but at the same time, the battery backup is great. That balances out the stuff, but things could have been better if there had been a USB-C port instead.

Camera

  • Quad camera setup at the back
  • (48MP primary, 2MP macro, 2MP depth, 2MP dedicated video camera)
  • 16MP front-facing camera (punch-hole)

Moving on, let’s talk about the thing that most of us give importance to while buying a smartphone. Yupp! I am talking about the camera on this device.

The back camera features a 48MP primary sensor, a 2MP depth sensor, a 2MP macro lens, and a super low light video camera. And honestly, this setup is quite ridiculous. I mean, who gives a quad-camera setup with neither an ultra-wide lens nor a telephoto lens. Moreover, a 2MP macro lens? Come on are you kidding me?

Now, the overall camera performance is not bad but the quad-camera setup is there just for the sake of it. And it is nothing more than a marketing gimmick.

Normal Images

Anyway, let’s jump into what the photos actually look like. The primary camera does a great job of capturing good images. By default, they take images at 12MP but you can opt to switch to the 48MP mode too. But I didn’t really felt a need to switch to 48MP mode that often as the default captures were good enough.

I compared the camera performance of the Infinix Note 7 with that of its direct competitor, the Redmi Note 9 because, and for me, the Note 7 delivered much better images. The images taken from Infinix Note 7 are simply more vibrant and feel good on the eye. On the other hand, those from the Redmi Note 9 seem pretty washed out.

Now, Note 7’s camera does do a lot of AI processing in the background, and in some conditions, it may feel like the photos are over-optimized, but while comparing it with that of Note 9, I would prefer the one from the Note 7 any day of the week.

Macro Images

The macro shots are pretty much similar on both the devices. Nothing out of the ordinary, but the one on the Redmi Note 9 does seem to retain more detail than that of the Note 7.

Nighttime Images

Moving on, let’s look at some of the night time shots. Here the quad-LED flashlight that the Note 7 packs come into play. You can switch over to the super-night mode to use them. They provide extra illumination to the subject but despite the improved visibility, the photos will lack details. But still, it is much better than that of the Redmi Note 9.

But I do feel that in some instances, the night mode of the Redmi Note 9 does a much better job. For instance, if you are capturing photos around the twilight, Redmi Note 9 captures the vibe of the surrounding pretty well. However, the same cannot be said for the Infinix Note 7, as its AI optimization might bring in some extra unwarranted light. But then again it depends upon the surroundings and if improved visibility is what you are looking for then Note 7 is the one. However, remember, neither of them can retain the details in night shots.

Portrait Images

Portraits are okayish. Neither does a great job in preserving the details, edge detection is similar, but Note 7 seems to do a tad bit better.

Personally, I liked the bokeh effect of the Infinix Note 7 a bit better than that of the Redmi Note 9.

Selfie Images

Let’s come to the selfie camera. Infinix Note 7 has a 16MP selfie shooter upfront inside the punch-hole. It captures more light than that of the Redmi Note 9. However, details are better captured by the Redmi Note 9.

Moreover, the ones on the Infinix Note 7 are heavily AI optimized, and for some that could be a big no. And I fall into the same category. Now I am not saying that Redmi Note 9 does not optimize the images, it’s just that the Note 7 goes a step farther in doing so.

Similarly, for portrait selfies too I would go for the Redmi Note 9. Better detail, better edge detection, proper bokeh effect, and overall a better portrait selfie than Infinix Note 7.

Conclusion

To sum it all up, the Infinix Note 7 is a decent mid-ranger. It offers stellar performance for this price range and you won’t have much issue while playing games on this one. However, if you are looking for a smoother performance, I would suggest you go for the 6GB variant rather than the 4GB one.

The display is huge but unfortunately, the resolution does not complement the panel. HD+ resolution in the mid-range device is the standard but given the size of the display on this device, the resolution does not fit in.

Rear camera performance, despite having a gimmicky setup, is quite good, though the same cannot be said for its selfie cam. The selfie camera while, being good, does not compete well against its competitors. Battery life is certainly one of its main selling points but then again, a compromise has been made in terms of the port choice. Overall, Infinix Note 7 is a decent device that can give other mid-rangers a run for its money and certainly a brand to look out in the future.

  • Watch our video review of the Infinix Note 7.

Infinix Note 7 Review: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Attractive design and a pretty big size
  • Decent performance – both regular and gaming
  • Great battery life (almost a 2-day phone with heavy use)
  • Nice images from the quad-cameras

Cons:

  • Its big display and HD resolution doesn’t fit well
  • Loads of bloatware apps and frequent ads
  • The selfie camera isn’t that great
  • Uses a Micro USB port instead of USB-C
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Build
7.5
Display
5.5
Performance
6.5
Back Camera
6.5
Front Camera
5.5
Software & UI
7
Battery
8.5
Value for Money
8