Friday, April 19, 2024

REVIEW | Infinix Note 12 Pro 5G premium midrange smartphone  

Back in July, Transsion Holdings’ smartphone brand Infinix introduced two devices under its new Infinix Note 12 series. Both the standard and Pro variants were presented as affordable 5G-powered smartphones that enable more consumers to get access to better connectivity without spending more money, while lowering costs and speeding up production for the company. 

“To popularize 5G technology and its amazing benefits, Infinix has been working on powerful smartphones with stunning photographic capabilities, clear and vibrant screens, and trendy design language to meet the needs of users in emerging markets. We believe that the Note 12 5G series will allow consumers to fully utilize the speed and convenience of a smart 5G powered digital lifestyle,” said Vento Lin, product manager at Infinix Mobility. 

Compared to the Infinix Note 11 Pro introduced in October 2021, the Infinix Note 12 Pro 5G now comes with more powerful connectivity, a lighter frame, a better display material, a stronger glass protection, the newest Android version, a more power efficient processor, and better camera sensors now with 2K recording.  

The Infinix Note 12 Pro 5G gives the impression that users are getting a metallic smartphone when they’re actually not, so it looks premium but feels considerably lighter and thinner on hand. Although the corners are rounded, the edges at the side which are in direct contact with the user’s hand are angular and makes the device bulkier and less comfortable when used in one-handed mode.  

There is not much to say about the smartphone’s form factor other than it weighs less versus its competition. The chin bezel is more pronounced than the forehead, and the side bezels are close enough to mimic edgeless designs.  

In landscape mode, both the dual stereo speakers and the charging port are easily covered by the user’s fingers so gaming while charging can be a cumbersome experience. The side-mounted fingerprint sensor, which is also the power and lock button, is placed in a sufficient distance from the slightly flimsy volume rockers.  

The camera island takes up approximately a third of the back’s real estate, giving the illusion that its shooters are the main highlight of the device. Half of the camera island is actually just a cosmetic element and should have been omitted so that the back appears more streamlined and not too busy.  

It’s nice to see that Infinix is stepping up its game when it comes to delivering premium specs in midrange prices. With the Infinix Note 12 Pro 5G model, the brand ditched the IPS LCD display with a more vivid and higher contrast AMOLED panel.  

Although the brightness levels take a hit, the blacks are now deeper, and content looks more immersive. Gamers, on the other hand, will instantly notice the lack of 120Hz screen refresh rate in their games – so it all boils down to personal preferences in the end.

Since the device has a low-end midrange price tag, gamers will have to decide if they want better color performance from the AMOLED, or more fluid graphics and animations from the IPS LCD. 

An important value proposition offered by the Infinix Note 12 Pro 5G is the existence of a 108MP camera system as its price point – one we consider as among the cheapest currently available in the market.  

Despite the brand’s insistence that users must leverage its professional-level photography capabilities and customization, the AI algorithm installed already does a fine job optimizing each shot.

However, contrary to what’s advertised, we’re not really seeing a dramatic change in terms of quality versus its older 64MP sensor.  

Based on how it performs in day-to-day usage or with demanding tasks, it is clear that the biggest upgrade of the Infinix Note 12 Pro 5G is the power of its 6nm processor.

Its power-efficiency rating means gamers can do more on a single charge – with an added bonus of quick 33W charging rate that goes 0 to 100% in a little over a single hour, multi-tasking is a breeze and doesn’t show any signs of stuttering or slowdowns, and intensive gaming seldom produces any lag or frame drops.  

The brand’s own user interface leans towards productivity instead of simplicity. Light to moderate users might view the XOS as a little cluttered and convoluted, but performance users will find the platform useful and convenient in many areas, especially when gaming.  

Verdict  

The Infinix Note 12 Pro 5G is a welcome upgrade to the brand’s midrange line. Despite a few trade-offs, the refreshed Note model solves the pain points consumers had against its predecessor.

The screen quality has improved, the performance leapfrogged to new heights, and the enhanced cameras may be just a precursor on what Infinix has in store when it comes to advancing its imaging capabilities across the board.    

There are a few smartphones out there that can compete with the value-for-price ratio offered by the Infinix Note 12 Pro 5G. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 10 Pro is priced lower but is equipped better cameras and display, the Tecno Pova 5G is similarly priced but has a smoother 120Hz screen, the Samsung Galaxy A23 has a simpler interface and better color options, and the older Infinix Zero X Pro has a slightly higher price tag but overpowers the Infinix Note 12 Pro 5G in every way.  

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