Shortly after we completed our Infinix Note 4 review, we got our hands on the Pro version which comes with the much sought-after Infinix Note 4 Xpen. Our Infinix Note 4 Pro review is finally ready and we have lots to share with you.
Physical build aside, the two devices are similar in more ways than not. However, the few differences are distinct and significant enough to make the Note 4 Pro much more desirable. Do go ahead and enjoy our review.
Infinix Note 4 Pro Review: Quick Pros And Cons
Before we dive into the review proper, starting with the major pros and cons of this device.
|Excellent implementation of software with electronic stylus (Xpen)||No slot for Xpen on the phone itself|
|Big and bright 5.7-inch display||No Glo 4G support|
|Dedicated memory card slot||Some XOS bloatware|
|You can peg 2G and 3G||You cannot peg 4G|
|Very good battery life|
Infinix Note 4 Pro Review: Design
With a 5.7-inch display, this is a big phone. If you are familiar with Infinix’s Note series, that should be no surprise. It has a big display and a big battery. So, for the most part, you can forget one-handed use.
The Note 4 Pro has a metallic build that looks and feels very good. Below the display is a central hardware Home button with the fingerprint scanner embedded.
The Note 4 has a single “loudspeaker” grill to the left of the regular USB port at the bottom edge, while the 3.5 mm audio jack port sits at the top. Unlike the Note 4, the Pro is a unibody device.
Infinix Note 4 Pro Review: Software
The Note 4 runs Infinix’s custom UI, called XOS, this time cloaking Android 7 Nougat underneath. XOS is light and breezy and includes all sorts of nifty tools. Some include the ability to block numbers for calls and SMS. The drop-down menu also gives the user direct access to several useful features, including toggling ultra power mode, high performance mode, do not disturb, screen recording, cast and scrollshot, among others.
XOS has a number of apps pre-installed though. These include: Ultra Power, XManager, XAccount, XClub, XHide and XWeather. While they may provide some utility, depending on your needs, none of them are uninstallable. In other words, bloat.
Infinix’s Phoenix browser has been improved on, it seems. The experience with it here is better than on the Note 4, where it kept crashing. We have not experienced a single crash of Phoenix here on the note 4 Pro.
Infinix Note 4 Pro Xpen Review
The Xpen is an active stylus, meaning it is not just a dumb piece of plastic that you draw lines or poke about on the screen with. It is electronic and has a button for activating air command features. The Xpen lets you carry out a number of tasks that include taking a note, writing a memo, or writing on the screen.
When you pull out the Xpen from its smart cover slot, the Xpen menu springs up on the display, giving you the above-listed options to select from. There is also a settings button in the top left corner of the menu if you want to further customise the Xpen experience.
The Xpen is great value. Are you reading a webpage and need to highlight a section and forward to a colleague? Pull out the Xpen, highlight or circle the desired area and export. Looking at a creative you are working on for a client and need to point out an omission or correction you desire? Just pull out your Xpen and scribble/draw on the image, export or save, then continue what you were doing. Easy pie.
Want to do a rough or quick sketch for an idea you have? Xpen to the rescue once again.
Smart Select lets you select anything on the screen to crop and edit/save/export it.
In Note mode, you can format text with bold, italics, underline, and alignment just as you do when working on Office Documents. You can save your notes, as well as export them as images, just as you can in Memo mode.
While scribbling or sketching, you can change the colour of your digital ink, change the type and size of brush, erase (also change the size and kind of erasing technique), undo an action, as well as redo it. If you have used Paint or other image editing tool on PC, you will be at home with the options available to the Xpen. If you are not familiar with them, it is easy to use and learn as you go.
The Xpen’s versatility is how you use it while you are in the middle of anything, then save or share the results and then continue where you left off.
The Xpen has a button that you can push to spring up the Xpen menu on the screen when you need it. Support for Xpen is baked into the OS too, so users get extended capabilities.
One of the gripes we have with the Note 4 Pro is how there is no provision for a slot for the Xpen on the device itself. The slot is available in the smart cover. It is the smart cover that provides electrical connects between the phone and the Xpen for charging and for detection. However, what this means is that without using the smart cover, your Xpen cannot be charged and is also likely to go missing quickly. Some of us do not like cases on our phones.
To minimise chances of your Xpen going missing, Infinix implemented Anti-lost notifications that alerts you whenever the phone does not detect your Xpen for a period.
As for software updates, the sales pack includes a statement of guarantee of a one upgrade to the latest Android OS version. Does that mean that users of the Note 4 Pro can expect and upgrade to Android 8 Oreo? Hopefully.
Infinix Note 4 Pro Review: Network, Telephony
Telephony on the Infinix Note 4 is of good quality and the earpiece is loud enough. The phone supports all Nigerian 2G and 3G networks, as well as 4G LTE networks from MTN, Etisalat, Smile, and Ntel. Unfortunately, it does not support Glo’s band 28(700). It does also support Swift and Spectranet.
For the first time, we have an implementation of XOS that does not let the user peg network mode to 4G only. There are 3G only and 2G only modes, but 4G is available only in Auto mode. I get the rationale behind implementing it this way, as majority of users will peg to 4G and wonder why they are unable to make or receive phone calls anymore. Still.
Unfortunately, during our time with the device, our 9mobile SIM card spent more time on 3G than on 4G.
But then, most 4G phones do not offer the ability to peg 4G either, so it may not be a big deal for many people.
The good news is that more savvy users can still install an app like MTK Engineering Mode to take control of network mode and peg to 4G if they so want.
The official specs sheet indicates that the Note 4 supports the two bands used by American GSM networks, so the phone is good for voice calls on that business trip to the United States.
Infinix Note 4 Pro Review: Display and Multimedia
The Note 4’s 5.7-inch display is exactly what fans of big displays want. It is bright and sharp at 386 PPI. The 2.5D glass is smooth and nice. There is no mention of protective glass though.
The loudspeaker on the Note 4 is loud and offers fair audio quality. Coupled with the beautiful display, watching videos on the phone is a pleasant experience.
Infinix Note 4 Pro Review: Photography
Photography on the Note 4 Pro and the Note 4 are basically the same thing, so there is no point repeating it all. We recommend that you have a look at our Note 4 review for details.
Infinix Note 4 Pro Review: Multitasking/Performance
The Note 4 Pro is powered by an octa-core 1.3 Ghz unit and 3 GB of RAM. Switching between apps is smooth, thanks to the RAM.
If you are interested, here are the benchmark results that the phone posted:
- Geekbench 4: 625 Single-Core; 2,601 Multi-Core
- AnTuTu 6: 38,915
- Quadrant: 28,929
As you can see, those scores are not fantastic. But then, the Note series devices have never been big on raw performance. The display and battery are their strong points.
Infinix Note 4 Pro Review: Battery life
With a 4,500 mAh battery, slightly beefier than the Note 4’s 4300 mAh battery, you won’t be worrying about your phone draining fast of battery power. The Note 4 Pro just keeps going. If you use the Xpen a lot, there is some more battery drain than usual, as it needs to be plugged back into its slot at intervals for charging.
Infinix Note 4 Pro Review: Final Words
The Infinix Note 4 is a much more exciting smartphone than the Note 4 (reviewed here). It has a much classier build and extra functionality for productivity/creativity than the Note 4 does. Battery life is solid as well. There isn’t much to dislike about it.