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Infinix Smart 4 Plus review: a battery monster with good performance

On: August 1, 2020

Tecno Spark 6 AirSamsung Galaxy M21, and Infinix Smart 4 Plus. All these affordable smartphones were launched in India recently, and have one key feature in common – a mammoth 6,000mAh battery. Of these devices, the Tecno Spark 6 Air and Infinix Smart 4 Plus are more recent offerings, both priced under Rs 8,000.

Also readInfinix Hot 9 review: win some, lose some

In fact, at the time of launch, Infinix claimed that the Smart 4 Plus offers the biggest display and largest battery in its price segment. I have been using the phone for some time now, and I am pleasantly surprised with the entry-level offering. Not only does the Smart 4 Plus deliver on the battery front which is the main focus, but also on performance. Without any further ado, let’s delve into my review of the Infinix Smart 4 Plus.

Design and display

The Infinix Smart 4 Plus comes in as a successor to the Smart 3 Plus that was launched last year in April and is a solid upgrade in terms of design. Gone is the flat and boxy design from the last year, as the Infinix Smart 4 Plus comes with a 2.5D curved glass finish plastic back panel. The smartphone features what the brand is calling gem-cut texture design on the back, which is basically angular lines along the bottom half of the rear panel that give depth to the design.

The Infinix Smart 4 Plus is being offered in Ocean Wave, Violet and Midnight Black colours, and I received the first one. The Ocean Wave is more of a green shade with black tint towards the bottom and looks very attractive. The handset does pick up smudges and fingerprints, but they are not quite visible at first glance, which is a plus. Despite being close to 7-inches, the smartphone doesn’t feel unwieldy thanks to even weight distribution and curved back panel. However, those with small hands might find it a bit too large for one-handed use.

The Infinix Smart 4 Plus features a squircle capacitive fingerprint scanner on the back, which is as accurate as a physical fingerprint scanner can be. I was also pleasantly surprised by the speed and accuracy of the integrated face unlock, however, it struggles in low light as expected. The camera module on the back is a rectangular island housing a dual-camera sensor and triple LED flash.

Coming to other elements, the Infinix Smart 4 Plus has physical buttons for volume and power on the left, and SIM tray with dual nano-SIM slots as well dedicated microSD card slot on the right. The SIM tray has a rubber ring around it on the inside to ensure protection from splashes. The top edge is bare, whereas, the bottom edge is home to the 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB port and a noise-cancelling mic.

In case you are wondering where the speaker is, Infinix has placed it in the earpiece slit above the waterdrop notch on the display. And since the speaker is front-facing, it doesn’t get muffled and offers a good audio experience. Additionally, the sound output is tuned by DTS Sound, which offers presets for music, video, game and smart modes. The last one can detect the profile and adjust the sound accordingly.

Speaking of the display, the Infinix Smart 4 Plus comes with a 6.82-inch screen with a 20.5:9 aspect ratio and 1,640 x 720 pixels resolution. Thanks to the waterdrop notch, the display offers a 90.3 percent screen-to-body ratio. It’s an LCD panel, as is expected from an entry-level device, but is pretty sharp and bright even in direct sunlight. Moreover, thanks to the large size and high screen-to-body ratio, the viewing experience is quite immersive.

Cameras

The Infinix Smart 4 Plus comes with a dual-camera setup on the back. The primary camera is a 13-megapixel unit with f/1.8 aperture. The main lens is backed by a depth sensor to aid in portrait shots. The waterdrop notch on the front houses the 8-megapixel camera with  f/2.0 aperture and a dedicated LED flash. The front LED flash is hidden behind the glass to the left of the earpiece and also serves as the battery charging light. The camera app is loaded with features like AI scene recognition, beauty, bokeh, AR shot, panorama and more.

To start with, the Infinix Smart 4 Plus opens the camera app in AI camera mode, which is the default mode. The AI scene recognition works well and is pretty accurate in detecting the frame you are capturing. The skies were overcast the day I decided to take the camera out for a spin, but the resulting shots had ample details with crisp colours. The 13-megapixel camera even managed to capture the dynamic range correctly, aided by the AI scene recognition.

However, the story is different when it comes to low-light imaging. There’s no dedicated night mode on the Infinix Smart 4 Plus, which is expected from an entry-level device. The AI Photo mode correctly detects when you are shooting in less than ideal lighting conditions and tweak the settings accordingly. Even then, pictures captured in dim lighting out to unusable with fuzzy details and an excruciating amount of noise. The depth sensor works as intended and bokeh shots are quite impressive with accurate edge detection. I was pleasantly surprised by the closeup imaging by the camera. Even though these pictures lose details upon cropping, they look pleasant and crisp overall.

Coming to selfies, the 8-megapixel sensor on the front exceeded my expectations and managed to capture crisp selfies with a high amount of details. As suspected, the beauty mode is aggressive, but the saving grace is that it’s not turned on by default and is a separate mode on the viewfinder you can maually enable. Using the portrait mode on the front camera results in slight halo effect around the edges.

Hardware, software, and battery

The Infinix Smart 4 Plus is one of the first smartphones in India to come powered by the newest entry-level chipset from MediaTek, the Helio A25. It is a 12nm octa-core chipset with a clock speed of up to 1.8GHz. The processor is aided by MediaTek CorePilot technology, which ensures faster performance with less battery consumption. Infinix is offering the Smart 4 Plus in a single configuration with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. The onboard storage can be expanded up to 256GB using the microSD card slot.

In my experience, the Infinix Smart 4 Plus handled multitasking very well and apps loaded quickly. PUBG opens in lowest graphics settings by default but goes up to balanced graphics and medium frame rates. Surprisingly, PUBG plays smoothly in the smartphone with occasional frame drops here and there. This can be credited to the integrated Game Mode in XOS 6.2, which offers customised settings for PUBG including quality priority, equilibrium mode, and smooth mode, which are self-explanatory. However, the phone does heat up after a 30-minute gaming session and that’s when the performance starts going downhill.

Speaking of XOS 6.2, it’s based on Android 10 and comes with an optional app drawer. As is expected, the interface has a ton of bloatware, with apps like PalmStore, Opera browser, ShareChat and more preinstalled. These can however be removed to free up space. The software has useful tidbits like Social Turbo offering various features for WhatsApp, including a sticker maker and beauty mode for video calls and WhatsApp Mode to allow only the messaging app to access the data. Google’s Digital Wellbeing controls are also available.

Coming to the highlight of the smartphone, Infinix claims the massive 6,000mAh battery offer 23 hours of video playback and 38 hours of talktime. During my time with the handset, with my extensive social media usage, several gaming sessions, and YouTube binge sessions, I could easily push past the one and half-day mark on a full charge. While you can’t expect fast charging on a phone at this price, keep in mind that the battery takes nearly 3 hours to charge fully.

The competition

The Infinix Smart 4 Plus is priced at Rs. 7,999 in India, and goes up against the recently launched TECNO Spark 6 Air. The Tecno offering comes with a slightly larger 7-inch HD+ display panel and a 6,000mAh battery. You get a triple camera setup on the back with an additional lens, the details of which are not known and shouldn’t be a deciding factor. However, the Spark 6 Air misses out on performance front, as it features a dated MediaTek Helio A22 SoC and 2GB RAM.

The Realme C11 (review), which is priced at Rs 7,499 is also a contender for the Smart 4 Plus. The Realme C11 comes with a Helio G35 SoC and smaller 5,000mAh battery. The smartphone offers lacklustre performance compared to Smart 4 Plus, and the 2GB RAM is insufficient for multi0tasking. However, the 13-megapixel dual camera module on the back captures better pictures and also offers a super nightscape mode for low-light imaging.

In case you have the scope to stretch your budget by Rs 1,000 and don’t really need such a massive battery or display, the Realme Narzo 10A (review) is a commendable option. It comes with a striking design, a 12-megapixel triple camera setup that takes great pictures, and Helio G70 gaming processor that offers a superior gaming experience even in PUBG.

Bottomline

The Infinix Smart 4 Plus offers large display, excellent battery life and surprisingly good performance for an entry-level device. While you’ll have to live with the poor low light imaging and long charging times for the battery, these aren’t dealbreakers at its asking price. If you’re looking for a capable device under Rs 8,000, the Infinix Smart 4 Plus comes pretty close to being an all-round package.

Pricebaba’s rating:  8 / 10

What works:

  • Large, immersive display
  • Good performance
  • Excellent battery life

What doesn’t:

  • Poor low-light imaging
  • Unwieldy for single-handed use
  • XOS has a fair bit of bloatware
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Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman is obsessed with all things tech. His hobbies include reading on his Kindle and clicking random pictures on his phone. His secret superpowers happen to be mixing great cocktails and lip reading. In his spare time, you are likely to find him cleaning his aquascape, researching new species of aquatic fishes and planning which aquatic plants to buy next.