The budget smartphone market has always been competitive. Most companies seek to offer some alluring specs and features in their budget phones to try and take the lead over its rivals and grab eye-balls. Now, Infinix has unveiled its new budget phone in the sub- ₹10000 market segment under the Note 12 series. It is the Infinix Note 12i, which promises to deliver a rich viewing experience with its AMOLED display, a long-life 5000mAh battery and a sharp 50MP camera. So many promises, but does it live up to expectations? To know, I have put the smartphone to the test for a couple of weeks.
The design of Infinix Note 12i shares some cues from its other siblings with minimal changes. With a plastic body, it retains a matte finish on the underside to keep smudges away. While the top of the rear back brings a glossy pattern that is prone to dust and fingerprints. The camera module carrying three lenses and a flash sits at the top of it. It weighs in at 188g, but feels light. Plus, it's sturdy build quality makes the overall "feel" of the smartphone impressive.
Notably, it is the display that is the main highlight of the Infinix Note 12i. In the sub-Rs. 10000 segment, Infinix offers an AMOLED display with spectacular colours, contrast, and brightness. Infinix Note 12i features a 6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, which offers up to 1000 nits peak brightness, which is a rare case in the budget segment. It comes with WideVine L1 certification that lets you enjoy your favourite OTT content in the brightest colours. During my experience, I have enjoyed full HD videos on YouTube as well as streaming movies and web shows on OTT has been a delightful experience. The only downside is that it settles with a standard 60Hz of refresh rate which makes the experience sour for heavy apps.
Infinix Note 12i packs the MediaTek Helio G85 chipset coupled with 4GB LPPDDR4x RAM and 64GB storage, which is a single variant available in the market. Low RAM simply means slow performance, frequent app crashes and reduced multi-tasking ability. However, with the generic daily tasks such as internet surfing, listening to music, and calling, the Infinix Note 12i managed everything with ease.
When it comes to gaming, remember the phone is not made for competitive gaming or online real-time gaming. I tried Asphalt 9 which started stuttering within no time at all. But you can easily play basic games without any difficulty, such as Subway Surfer, Clash of Clans, 8 Ball Pool, Candy Crush, and more.
Talking about its software experience, the phone boots XOS 12 based on Android 12 out of the box. It provides several customisation options but will disappoint you with loads of bloatware. For sound, it features a 3.5mm audio jack, something that we don’t usually find in smartphones these days. Also, it is said to have dual speakers with DTS, but it distorts the sound at higher volumes. For security, the device has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and face unlock system, both of which respond quickly.
Infinix Note 12i is equipped with a triple-camera setup at the back which brings a 50 MP primary camera with f/1.6 aperture coupled with a 2MP depth sensor and an unspecified QVGA AI lens. While it boasts impressive camera specifications, its performance does not live up to expectations. The photos in daylight or even in well-lit areas with the primary camera are just about good enough, but the phone struggles to maintain true colours.
The front camera with a 16MP lens can take good selfies with details but again fails to maintain the skin tone. Low-light photography falls short as the images taken in dim lighting conditions appear to lack sharpness.
The Infinix Note 12i features a 5000mAh battery that delivers up to 1.5 days of usage on a single charge. I found it easily handled daily activities such as calling, social media, web browsing, and music playback. The 33W charging support allows the battery to be fully charged in around 1 hour and 20 minutes, making it a great value for the price.
The Infinix Note 12i misses the chance to deliver on its promises. Photography, particularly in low-light conditions, is not anything to write home about and the display only has a 60Hz refresh rate. Additionally, the phone's UI is cluttered with bloatware. Having said that, the Infinix Note 12i comes as a fresh option in the budget segment at just Rs. 9999, which offers a rich viewing experience for those interested in entertainment along with a long battery life and a striking design.
Of course, you could look at some alternatives, especially the Motorola G32, which has a clean UI with a stock Android experience and a 90Hz refresh rate display.
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