The brand Infinix has now established a reputation in the Indian smartphone market to the extent that it has even introduced an upper mid-range device. However, the brand has continued to return to its roots despite this. The Note 12i is the same kind of phone that the company originally offered at incredibly low prices. Infinix’s Note series has performed well overall, and the company is placing a significant amount of faith in Note 12i to continue this tradition.
The phone comes with a lot of hardware that you may have seen in previous Infinix products, including a big display, a 50MP camera, and more for less than INR 10,000. We have been using the Infinix Note 12i for a while now, and if you are in the market looking for a smartphone on a tight budget, this review is for you.
Infinix Note 12i Specifications
Before starting with the Infinix Note 12i review, let’s have a look at the phone’s specifications.
- Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED panel, FHD+ resolution
- CPU: Octa-core MediaTek Helio G85 Processor
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB internal storage, expandable up to 256GB
- Software: Android 12 (XOS 12)
- Main Camera: 50MP + 2MP (f/2.4) + QVGA sensor
- Selfie Camera: 8MP (f/2.0), LED flash
- Connectivity: USB Type-C port, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack, FM Radio
- Cellular: Dual SIM
- Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, side-mounted
- Battery: 5,000mAh, Li-ion Polymer, non-removable
Design & Display
You would be aware of these phones’ enormous size if you have ever used or even just looked at an Infinix smartphone. The Note 12i is no exception to the brand’s reputation for producing smartphones with enormous displays. The company has made what could be considered a first move by sticking with the thin and light design, which makes handling the phone easier.
The entire construction is made out of plastic, and the back has a lovely two-tone design. The phone definitely draws attention and outperforms its peers in terms of aesthetic appeal. Additionally, Infinix has used a thoughtful color scheme. Starting with the back, we can see a triple-rear camera setup that, when you take into account where the flash module is located, is actually a Penta-camera module. Another deliberate design choice is to keep the entire camera island in polished plastic, which somewhat invokes memories of POCO devices that also use comparable design principles.
Coming to the button placement the power button also doubles as a fingerprint scanner and the volume rockers are located on the right side of the device. A SIM tray on the left-hand side, followed by the speaker grill, USB port, microphone, and a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom.
When the phone is turned over, the enormous 6.7-inch AMOLED display with an FHD resolution and a dewdrop notch housing the selfie camera is visible. Given the price, it is a good thing that there aren’t many bezels anywhere, even on the chin.
The panel used here is of very good quality and is legible outdoors even under direct sun. Infinix claims that the panel has a 1,000 nits brightness which seems like an exaggeration, that said, the panel is perfectly legible outdoors. Colors come out well and can be tweaked as per your taste via settings.
Software & Performance
The Infinix Note 12i’s operating system is an outdated version of Android 12 with the company’s XOS 12 skin on top. Like MIUI or ColorOS, XOS is an extremely customizable skin that is applied on top of Android. It allows you to change a wide range of UI elements, including themes, custom icons, and more.
Just like their counterparts, the phones’ user interfaces (UIs) are packed with animations, which the phone’s respectable internal chip renders well. A Game Boost mode, auto-call rejection, and auto-replies are some of the cool UI additions. You still get to see a lot of bloatware, including Opera, News, Flipkart, and games like Danger Dash and Mayan Jump, get cut once more. There is also the company’s own app store, a substitute for the Play store that is well known for pushing spam notifications. The good news is that you can disable some of these apps from the settings or uninstall them.
Coming to the performance, the Infinix Note 12i gets powered by the octa-core MediaTek Helio G85 Soc Though this chip is now a bit old, but it still holds its ground well and has been lately popping up on several smartphones. The phone is being offered in a single RAM configuration as of writing this review with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage which can be further expanded up to 512GB via a microSD card.
The Helio G85 is a competent chipset that can power the phone through routine tasks, but it struggles under pressure. This is partly attributable to Infinix smartphones’ superior RAM management, which has always been a potent suite. The phone performed admirably in our tests, which involved casual gaming, social media use, and light browsing. We did try some gaming, and titles like Call of Duty Mobile ran smoothly at low to medium settings.
Cameras & Battery
Infinix Note 12i has a triple-camera setup on the back, which we’ll get to later. In addition to a 2-megapixel depth sensor and a QVGA camera, there is a 50-megapixel main sensor.
The front of the phone has an 8-megapixel selfie camera hidden inside a dew-drop notch, giving it a contemporary appearance. A simple camera app with common modes is provided, and AI is heavily integrated. The primary sensor produces passable images when used in bright sunlight. Also respectable is the HDR performance. We get a small amount of background blur thanks to the extra depth sensor, which improves the pictures.
The main sensor did struggle a little in low light, as we anticipated, but turning on SuperNight mode did help brighten the subjects. When it comes to the front camera, the 8-megapixel unit produces better-than-average pictures given the price of the phone.
The phone has a 5,000mAh battery, which is small compared to other Infinix smartphones. With the adoption of a Type-C slot, Infinix has finally abandoned the MicroUSB port. In our tests, the phone held up for two days under moderate usage, which included texting, social media, web browsing, and sporadic gaming. The phone comes with a 33W charger inside the box, and by using the same brick, we were able to recharge the phone in under 2 hours.
Verdict- Should you buy it?
The Infinix Note 12i improves on a lot of aspects that were lacking in the older models. The biggest change is in the display, where Infinix decided to use an AMOLED panel and update the look. The brand still needs to improve in some areas. In addition to using the outdated MediaTek Helio G85, the phone still has a ton of bloatware, which is problematic.
Given that it costs INR 9,999, the Infinix Note 12i is rather inexpensive given the type of audience it is being targeted at. It could be a good choice for those looking to get a new smartphone.