Infinix is one of the three smartphone brands owned by Chinese electronics manufacturer Transsion Holdings. The other two are Tecno and Itel. Aimed at budget-conscious buyers, Infinix-branded smartphones are mostly sold through online channels in India. Though not as big a brand as some other peers, Infinix includes at least one feature in its smartphones that most other brands lack in the segment concerned. The brand’s recently launched Infinix S5 is a similar story.
At Rs 8,999, the Infinix S5 is the only phone in the budget segment to feature a punch-hole display. Besides, it has a quad-camera set-up on the back, a big-capacity battery and a sleek gradient glass-like design. On the face of it, the phone seems to be a feature-rich device that could match the likes of Redmi, Realme and Samsung in the budget segment. But is it? Let’s find out:
Design and display
The Infinix S5 is a good-looking budget phone that is made mostly of plastic. Therefore, it lacks the premium feel and has questionable durability. In cyan colour (review unit), the phone has a reflective gradient design on the back panel that shows slanting lines when looked from angles. The phone’s chassis is painted in the glossy blue colour that looks neat and in sync with rest of the phone.
The phone’s back boasts a quad-camera set-up, vertically aligned on the top left corner. Next to the camera module are quad-LEDs that serve two purposes — in-camera flash and torch light. The phone also has a capacitive fingerprint sensor on the back that is surprisingly one of the biggest seen in current-generation smartphones.
On the front, the phone has a 6.6-inch HD+ resolution screen with a punch-hole for front camera. The screen is stretched in a 20:9 aspect ratio, which gives the phone a tall stance. Though the display has negligible bezels on three sides, it has a prominent one at the bottom — that is reasonable considering the phone’s budget price tag. What is unreasonable, however, is the lack of ambient light sensor that regulates the screen’s brightness in different lighting conditions. As a result, you need to manually adjust the brightness every time.
The Infinix S5 has a quad-camera set-up on the back, at least on paper that is. The phone has a 16-megapixel primary sensor of an f/1.8 aperture, a 5MP wide angle sensor, a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP light sensor. While the former three sensors have a specific role to play in the phone’s imaging, the light sensor’s utility is ambiguous as it does not work independently or assist other sensors in any way.
In terms of output, the phone’s primary camera is good for day-time photography, but struggles in low light. The ultra-wide’s output lacks details and shows high noise deterioration. It also struggles in low light and fails to capture a moving scene, possibly due shutter lag. The ultra-wide sensor doubles up as macro lens for close-up shots (2.5 cm), but the results are unimpressive.
On the front, the phone has 32MP selfie shooter, which does not justify its higher megapixel count. It takes decent selfies in day-time, but fails miserable in low-light conditions – even in artificially lit spaces.
Overall, the phone’s imaging is nothing to write home about. In the same segment, there are phones that deliver better imaging experience even with lesser options of camera lenses such as Realme 5, Redmi 8, etc.
Performance and battery
Powering the phone is a MediaTek Helio P22 system-on-chip, paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. The phone boots the Android Pie operating system, covered under the company’s custom-tailored XOS Cheetah user interface. The phone’s performance is decent, if not class-leading. It performs basic functions, like calls, messages and internet browsing, without breaking sweat. However, put it to a processor- or graphic-demanding task and the phone struggles to keep up. It also heats up if you try hard to use it for the tasks it cannot efficiently handle.
Besides, the phone’s UI is not user-friendly. It does have a lot of customisation options and neatly integrated features, like auto move newly downloaded app to a folder, but the extensively pre-loaded bloatware and pesky advertisements hampers the phone’s overall user experience.
The phone is powered by a 4,000 mAh battery, which is good for a day's on-battery time. The phone comes with 10W microUSB-based charger, which takes more than two hours to charge its completely drained battery to its full capacity.
With the S5, Infinix continues its legacy of offering premium features at an affordable price. The phone’s most sought features, including quad-cameras on the back and punch-hole screen, look good on paper. However, they do not add much in the phone’s overall utility and performance. Moreover, its advertisement-infested user interface, obsolete microUSB charging and data transfer port, and lack of ambient light sensor, make it a weak challenger to Realme and Redmi-branded devices in the same price segment.