I asked myself many questions when I first heard of the Infinix Note 2 back in 2015. I went online and took some time researching on whether or not using the Note branding was allowed. I, at that time, believed that that was a Samsung name no phone company was allowed to copy. Turns out no one from Samsung cared.
It is 2017, and Infinix’s first true Note is out. Yes, the Infinix Note 4 Pro is, according to me, their first true Note smartphone. Why? Because it brings all the Note features a Note phone should have:
- A big display
- A big battery
- A stylus
The Infinix Note 4 Pro comes with a 5.7 inch Full HD display made by Sharp. The display is 2.5D curved meaning it curves ever so slightly at the edges, which makes it beautiful. It is a brilliant panel to say the least. The colours are sharp and using it is pleasurable. Though it suffers outdoors as full brightness isn’t at times enough for the bright sunlight. Indoors, you’ll enjoy using it even in the dark as the lowest brightness is just perfect.
Powering the device is a 4500mAh battery which has given me between 6hrs 30mins and 8hrs 10mins screen on time. On Wi-Fi only, I get the 8hrs while on 4G, I get the 6hrs 30mins screen on time. This is very good battery life which translates to about 2 days without charging on normal use. Also there’s fast charging dubbed x-charge which is insanely fast and a must have. If you’ve never enjoyed fast charging, you need to get a new phone.
Also bundled with the phone, and if you’ve read my unboxing, coming in a whole separate box, is Infinix’s take on a stylus called the Xpen. There’s no mention of its pressure levels in the packaging but I have, in my time using it, found that there’s noticeable lag and have had many issues with the overall implementation which I will list at the end of this post. I appreciate the effort put in making it charge from the phone case and that you only need 20 seconds of charging to enjoy 30 mins of use.
However, a good Note isn’t just display, battery and stylus. You need power. You need the device to be powerfully spec’d for it to be a real Note. For the Note 4 Pro, Infinix gave the device:
- a 1.3GHz Octa-Core Processor; MT6753
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB Stroage
- 13MP back camera
- 8MP front camera and
- Android 7 Nougat with XOS
- Plus the Home button doubles up as a fast and accurate fingerprint scanner
The processor is the exact same one you’ll find on the normal Infinix Note 4. You’ll remember in my Infinix Note 4 review, I complained about the lag and poor performance of the device. Bundling the same processor on to the Pro version, I felt cheated. But I feel like the 3GB RAM made a big difference to this phone. There’s very little lag, and the performance is smooth. Smooth that in fact multitasking is easy and sweet.
Infinix has continued with its approach of XOS, their custom skin which gives you the X-apps and other handy things like long screenshots dubbed scrollshot, ultra-power mode to save power, screen recording among other features. But for the first time, Infinix disabled all gestures on this phone. Apart from three fingers screenshot, you can’t tap to wake. You can’t tap to sleep. You can’t draw the usual symbols on the lock screen for quick shortcuts. I hate this.
I don’t have much to say about the cameras. They are the same cameras you’ll find on the normal Infinix Note 4. And they are just as good. Both front and back cameras take really good pictures and I have uploaded Full HD samples here: https://imgur.com/a/qsM6E
My complain with the camera remains that for Ksh. 19k, I expected different lenses and more tech. Like OIS or Laser Autofocus that’s on the Infinix Zero 4. I also expected USB type-C. But I get that such inclusions would make the phone even more expensive. Especially since the Note 4 Pro is easily their best designed, most premium phone to date. I believe this build quality and material used is what really pushed the price.
It is not very slim, but it is slim. It isn’t very heavy, but remember there’s a 4500mAh battery. The back is all metal. The antennae bands at the top and bottom are perfect for the look. There’s a nice way the back and the front blend together with some nice curves. It is exciting to look at and appreciate the design language used.
So what’s really good about the Infinix Note 4 Pro?
- The display: sharp, clear and soft to the eyes
- The battery: easy 2 day use
- The design: brilliant, premium
- The cameras: yes, they are good.
What’s slightly good?
- Performance: I think the performance is okay. Everything runs smoothly: App switching, multiple scrrens. All smooth. But I would advocate for a better, and more powerful processor next time. This is a Note!
What’s not good?
- No USB type C: Paying Ksh. 19,000 to get a phone that is not future proof is not acceptable. All 15k plus phones should by now try and have USB type C and fast charging.
- No usual Gestures: Who made the decision to do away with gestures?
- No 4G only mode: This really irks me. This isn’t an iPhone Infinix. The 4G only mode is important and we shouldn’t have to get third party apps for this. Having 4G Auto mode isn’t a good thing for people who use their SIM cards for internet only, or in areas where 4G fluctuates. Or for people who use Telkom 4G for free internet.
What’s just bad?
- XPen: Get me right. The xpen is good. And it does its work: write, draw, assist. But the implementation is just wrong.
I know this is what should be the wow factor about this phone. Its selling point maybe. But it isn’t wow. And you shouldn’t get this phone just for the pen. First of all, the pen is stored on the included flipcover. Infinix just couldn’t find a way to fit it on the phone like other companies. Secondly, the flipcover is this humongous (though very premium feeling) and bulky thing that totally ruins the phone for you. It makes it too big and too heavy and quite boring. Third, the software implementation just didn’t get the basic rules of a stylus.
For example when pen is out, the XPen options should have a small, quickly accessible shortcut on the screen. This disappears after a few seconds. And to get it, you have to return pen to case and remove it once more. That totally ruins it if you don’t want to have the case all the time. Also, if you decide to carry pen and phone without the case, you’ll get this constant annoying reminder that pen is far. I switched off XPen reminder and gave up on the pen all together in less than a week.
But I used it to draw, assist with touch, and write with Google Handwriting app. Plus I also signed a PDF once. Infinix could sure do a better job with the XPen next time. The XPen app needs work. The XPen button – which is currently (and this is hilarious) pressed when erasing drawings – needs work.
Watch video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhZyHvPa2xo&t
The Infinix Note 4 Pro is a good device. One I would totally recommend for its display, design, power & performance, and battery life. I wouldn’t recommend this for one who’s looking for good stylus functionality.
I love the phone, and I wish it were more affordable.