Decent Budget Phone? –

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Previously, we had reviewed the Infinix Note 7 and the Hot 10. Both of them were some good value-for-money budget phones. Today, I have the latest Infinix Note 8. This device brings some good upgrades like a 64MP camera and a big display. But is it better than the POCO M3 or Galaxy M12 which are some of the best budget phones right now? Well, let’s find out in this review of the Infinix Note 8.

Infinix Note 8 Specifications:

  • Body: 6.90 x 3.10 x 0.35 inches, 206 gm
  • Display: 6.95-inches IPS LCD panel, 258 PPI, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Resolution: HD+ (1640 x 720 pixels)
  • Chipset: MediaTek Helio G80 (12nm Mobile Platform)
  • CPU: Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55)
  • GPU: Arm Mali-G52 MC2
  • Memory: 6GB RAM, 128GB storage (expandable)
  • Software & UI: XOS 10.1 on top of Android 10
  • Rear Camera: Quad-camera;
    – 64MP primary lens, PDAF
    – 2MP portrait lens
    – 2MP macro lens
    – AI lens with Quad-LED flash
  • Front Camera: Dual-camera (16MP primary, 2MP portrait lens)
  • Audio: 3.5mm headphone jack, Loudspeaker
  • Security: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM (Nano), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (dual-band), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS / A-GPS, USB Type-C, 4G
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyro, E-compass, Light, Proximity
  • Battery: 5200mAh with 18W fast charging
  • Color options: Gray, Blue, Green
  • Price in Nepal: N/A (not launched yet)

Infinix Note 8 Review:

Design & Build

  • Glass front, plastic back/frame
  • Polycarbonate reflective back

Starting with the design, the Note 8 is a pretty huge and wide device. However, despite weighing over 206 grams, it doesn’t feel that bulky. But, if you are someone with a small hand, you’ll have a hard time using this smartphone.

Besides the size, the style aspect of the Infinix Note 8 is pretty good. The device has a polycarbonate reflective back. I have the grey color variant, and it looks quite good. And despite being a plastic back, the phone does look and feel premium. That being said, with the glossy back like this, there comes the usual issue of fingerprint smudges.

On the right, just below the volume buttons, there is the lock button that doubles down as a fingerprint sensor. The sensor is quite snappy and I am satisfied with it. Anyway, on the left-hand side, you get a dual nano-SIM tray with a dedicated microSDX slot.

Display

  • 6.95-inches HD IPS LCD panel
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection

Upfront, you get a massive 6.95-inch screen with a punch-hole cut out for the dual selfie cameras. And you’ll also find a speaker grill on the upper edge. The display is protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3.

And despite featuring only an HD resolution, the display quality is quite good. Hence, you’ll have an enjoyable experience. I found that it has good viewing levels and the videos seem vibrant too.

Infinix Note 8 - Display

Furthermore, you can easily see what’s on the screen with full brightness while using the device out on a sunny day. However, because its competitors such as the POCO M3 offer FHD+ resolution and the Galaxy M12 that comes with a 90Hz refresh rate, Infinix should be providing a FullHD resolution at least.

So, this is something that I wish that Infinix improves upon. Furthermore, it is not Widevine L1 certified, so no HD streaming on Netflix either.

Performance

  • Octa-core MediaTek Helio G80 SoC (12nm)
  • 6GB RAM with 128GB internal storage (expandable)

Under the hood, the device comes with a MediaTek Helio G80 processor, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of memory.

We know that Helio G80 is a decent chipset, that can handle anything that you throw at it with quite ease—as long as it’s lightweight. Here too, I had no trouble going through my daily tasks such as web surfing, texting, watching youtube videos, and so more. Light gaming and multitasking are a breeze too.

Gaming experience

I did notice a fair amount of loading time while playing PUBG and COD. However, once it loads, it’s smooth sailing from thereon. On PUBG, the default graphics are on HD settings with a high frame rate. It can’t go higher than that, but gaming feels ultra-smooth in the allowed maximum settings. No lags at all.

Infinix Note 8 - Gaming

Moreover, you’ll also notice how good the touch response is. It was something that I liked on the Note 7 and thankfully Infinix has carried it over to the Note 8 too. Similarly, for COD it can easily be played in Medium settings with a high frame rate.

Coming to the UI, the Infinix Note 8 comes with XOS v7.1 on top of Android 10. It still doesn’t have Android 11 and I am not quite sure what’s the company policy is when it comes to future updates. The XOS UI is also full of bloatware which if you don’t uninstall or keep them in silent mode will keep notifying you now and then, which is kinda irritating if you ask me.

Audio

  • Dual speaker system, 3.5mm audio jack

For audio, it has two speaker grills – one on the top and another on the bottom. The dual speakers are surprisingly good. You’ll have no trouble hearing the audio, though I did notice some minor distortion with full volume.

Camera

  • Gimmicky quad-camera setup at the back
  • (64MP primary, 2MP macro, 2MP depth, AI lens)
  • Dual selfie cameras (16MP primary, 2MP portrait)

As for the cameras, there’s a quad-camera setup arranged in a rectangular module on the back. However, I said with the Note 7, this setup is a marketing gimmick.

I mean there’s a 64MP primary lens and the remaining three are the 2MP lenses for macro, depth sensor, and AI lens. They could have at least given an ultra-wide lens, given how the competition has one.

Normal Images

Anyway, coming to the photos taken from the 64MP primary lens, you get good quality photographs in well-lit conditions.

The pictures are sharp, natural, and cover the dynamic range well for its price, but again nothing extra-ordinary.

Portrait Images

Talking about the portraits, here too, it’s nothing extraordinary.

Macro Images

Macro-lens too is sub-par, as expected.

Nighttime Images

For night-time images, there’s a dedicated super night mode in the Infinix Note 8, which does help in taking images that are recognizable.

However, there’s no sharpness or detail in the pictures.

Selfie Images

Coming to the selfies, the Infinix Note 8 has a dual-selfie camera setup. One is a 16MP lens and the other is a 2MP depth sensor.

Selfies are good as they capture enough details and feel more real.

Videography

Video-wise, you can capture up to 2K videos from both the front and the back camera. Surprisingly even at this resolution, it is quite stable, and better than what you get from its competition.

Battery

  • 5200mAh battery with 18W fast charging

Similar to Note 7, the battery life is a big selling point for this one too. The Note 8 has a 5200mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging. And this time over a USB C port.

Infinix Note 8 - Design 1

With a full battery, doing moderate work, I was easily able to get around a day and a half of battery backup. So, really impressed by the battery life on this one.

Conclusion

To sum up this review, the Infinix Note 8 is a decent budget device. It has a good performance and the battery life is superb. The camera setup is okayish and nothing that will blow your mind, but you’ll probably not complain much about it either.

The only thing to complain about is its UI, which Infinix needs to improve—by a lot, and fast. Other than that, it is in the same league as its competition like the Poco M3 and the Galaxy M12.

  • Watch our video review of the Infinix Note 8/8i (Nepali).

Infinix Note 8 Review: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Reflective back looks attractive
  • Big 6.95-inches LCD screen
  • Decent gaming performance
  • Surprisingly nice sound quality
  • Terrific battery endurance

Cons:

  • Wide and bulky form factor
  • No 1080p Full HD display
  • Infinix XOS is pretty terrible
  • Gimmicky quad-camera setup

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Rabins Sharma Lamichhane

Rabins Sharma Lamichhane is the owner of RabinsXP who is constantly working for increasing the Internet of Things (IoT) in Nepal. He also builds android apps and crafts beautiful websites. He is also working with various social services. The main aim of Lamichhane is to digitally empower the citizens of Nepal and make the world spiritually sound better both in terms of technology and personal development. Rabins is also the first initiator of Digital Nepal.

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