Infinix S5 Pro Review | NDTV Gadgets 360

Infinix has lately upped its game in the budget segment and has been launching phones with promising hardware at very competitive price points. The company has boasted of launching the most affordable phones with three rear cameras and a hole-punch display. Now, Infinix is looking to nab another first with the Infinix S5 Pro – claimed to function as the lowest priced phone packing a pop-up selfie camera. The latest Infinix model also features three rear cameras with a 48-megapixel main snapper, a pixel-dense full-HD+ notchless display, and a significant 4,000mAh battery.

The brand, owned by Transsion Holdings, can be jumping onto the Android 10 bandwagon with the Infinix S5 Pro. With the grand ambition of taking the fight to popular Chinese smartphone makers such as Xiaomi and Realme, does this product have enough substance to actually emerge as a good alternative? We find out within our review:

Infinix S5 Pro design and build quality

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Infinix S5 Pro’s rear panel is made of plastic and attracts dust particles really quickly

 

Big and bold – they’re the two words that first came to mind when we took the Infinix S5 Pro out of its retail package. The frame and rear panel of the device are made out of plastic, but the construction is good. We noticed minor flex, especially in the center of the rear panel and over the edges, however, not enough to be noticable with day-to-day usage, and far better than the flimsy Infinix Hot 8 (Review). The rear panel is curved on all four sides and meets the frame without creating any sharp edges.

Infinix has done an excellent job of giving the trunk panel a glass-like finish, and thankfully, the phone isn’t too slippery. The colour options are both rather garish, and won’t be everybody’s cup of tea. The Violet colour option that people had for review includes a strong pink undertone that gradually darkens and looks purplish towards the edges, including the frame. The glossy rear panel has a mirror-like finish and is extremely reflective. The other option is Forest Green which is equally bright.

This look may appeal to those who like vivid colours and drawing attention. Unfortunately, the Infinix S5 Pro is available in those two colours, and when you are looking for an even more subtle option, you are out of luck.

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The phone has a large notchless display that is crisp and offers good viewing angles

 

The rear camera module creates a large bump and makes the phone wobble when positioned on a flat surface. Also, the style seems much like that of the Vivo V15, down seriously to the shape and placement of the fingerprint scanner and the physical buttons. The volume and power buttons are within reach and gives a clicky response. As for the pop-up front camera, Infinix says it is often designed to withstand 150,000 lifts, which translates to 50 cycles every day for over eight years. However, we noticed that dust easily accumulates around the pop-up module.

The Infinix S5 Pro does not look like a budget phone from leading, thanks to the notch-less display. However, it’s stuck with a Micro-USB port, which can be disappointing since rivals have finally moved on to the modern USB Type-C standard. The phone has a triple slot tray for two Nano-SIMs and a microSD card, which is a sigh of relief since there isn’t any hybrid solution. The fingerprint sensor had not been accurate within our experience, that has been a huge annoyance. It didn’t recognize our fingerprint at once almost every time we tried to unlock the phone.

Infinix S5 Pro specifications and software

The Infinix S5 Pro includes a 6.53-inch full-HD+ IPS LCD display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, which makes for a 91 percent screen-to-body ratio. The panel has a pixel density of 403ppi and Infinix has used 2.5G curved-edge NEG Dinorex glass for protection. The phone does not feature a pre-applied screen protector.

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Infinix S5 Pro has decent build quality, but one-handed usage is a bit difficult

 

Infinix’s latest offering utilizes the MediaTek Helio P35 SoC paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage, which may be expanded by 256GB. The phone has a 4,000mAh battery, but fast charging is bound to 10W. Connectivity is handled by 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5, and Wi-Fi 802.11ac. There can be a 3.5mm headphone jack in the bottom, sitting along side the mono speaker.

The Infinix S5 Pro’s triple rear camera setup is headlined with a 48-megapixel OmniVision sensor by having an f/1.79 aperture. There is also a 2-megapixel depth camera and a dedicated low-light sensor. Interestingly, the company markets the Infinix S5 Pro as a triple rear camera phone, but only 1 of the three sensors is actually with the capacity of taking photos on its own. The pop-up module houses a 16-megapixel front camera by having an f/2.0 aperture. Camera features include AR emojis, Portrait HDR, and wide selfies.

The Infinix S5 Pro runs Android 10 with the custom XOS 6.0 UI. Our review unit was stuck on the dated November 2019 Android security patch. Aside from the native dark theme, the Android 10-based iteration of XOS will not bring any notable new features to the dining table, and its design also remains unchanged. There is a tonne of bloatware; both first-party and third-party. Notably, Kika keyboard still ships because the default on the Infinix S5 Pro, despite having being booted from the Google Play Store as a result of ad fraud.  

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Infinix S5 Pro claims to be the most economical phone with a pop-up selfie camera in India

 

The preinstalled Palm Store and AHA Games apps act as Play Store alternatives, but the quality of apps they offer is poor. Some of the preinstalled apps send spammy notifications, but this can be switched off. XOS 6.0 also shows a carousel of instant apps at the top whenever you pull up the app drawer. These are essentially online apps that don’t have to be downloaded and installed, but they will also be inundated with ads, which may be quite frustrating.

On the bright side, XOS 6.0 now offers some of good use features. We quite like the convenience made available from the Smart Panel, allowing quick access to frequently used apps and tools. We also noticed that navigation gestures tend to be more reliable in comparison to XOS 5.0 on older Infinix phones. The Social Turbo feature is pretty interesting, and allows you to record WhatsApp calls, apply automatic face beautification in video calls, and see messages which were recalled by their senders. Infinix has said this has been developed in collaboration with WhatsApp and users’ security and privacy have not been compromised although Social Turbo has full access to your messages.

Infinix S5 Pro performance

The screen of the Infinix S5 Pro is crisp, and viewing angles are acceptable. Colours are punchy, but there is a distinct bluish tinge to the display helping to make everything appear a little cold. Unfortunately, there’s absolutely no system setting to adjust along with profile or the temperature of the display.

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Infinix S5 Pro runs XOS 6.0 based on Android 10

 

The brightness is sufficient, and we did not need to struggle when using this phone outdoors under direct sunlight. However, a minor annoyance is that the display is quite reflective, which is particularly evident once the UI’s dark mode is enabled. Also, despite its full-HD+ resolution, this phone is only Widevine L3 certified, which means you can not stream HD or higher resolution content on platforms such as for example Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Coming to actual performance, the MediaTek Helio P35 chip proves to be reliable, as long as you stay glued to common tasks. The phone handled multitasking between apps with ease, and did not resort to aggressive RAM management with 10-15 social media and productivity apps running in the background. However, gaming is where the MediaTek Helio P35 starts to struggle.

Casual games such as for example Mario Kart and Alto’s Odyssey ran fine, however the phone struggled with graphics-intensive games. PUBG Mobile ran at the Balanced graphics setting with the frame rate set to Medium, while COD Mobile defaulted to the Low graphics preset. Even so, we noticed frame drops and occasional stutters every now and then. Synthetic benchmark tests also narrate a similar story.

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Infinix S5 Pro benchmark scores compared against Redmi Note 8 and Realme C3

 

The Infinix S5 Pro scored 187 and 1,070 in the Geekbench 5 single and multi-core tests respectively. Coming to the more graphics intensive benchmarks, the telephone reached 449 in 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme and 822 in the 3DMark Sling Shot tests. It is quite evident that the Helio P35 is weaker than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, which can be found inside phones in the same price bracket. Also, it performs significantly worse than the MediaTek Helio G70, which powers the Realme C3 which can be priced even lower at Rs. 6,999.

Coming to the cameras, the layout of the default camera app remains unchanged. All the camera modes including Video, AI cam, Beauty, and Bokeh Effect, among others, are situated in a row in the bottom, while the HDR, flash, scene mode, and settings icons are at the very best. Notably, there’s absolutely no Pro mode in the camera app, and you also cannot take photos in 16:9 aspect ratio. Another quirk is that despite having a passionate low-light sensor, there is no Night mode.

The Infinix S5 Pro is severely undercut by rivals that offer more versatility by means of wide-angle and macro cameras, but what it lacks in versatility, the Infinix S5 Pro tries to create up with raw image output. Daylight photos come out really well for a phone priced under Rs. 10,000. The images are crisp and retain enough detail. There is good contrast, and dynamic range is decent as well. We quite liked the fact that the Infinix S5 Pro will not overprocess photos, and colours look natural. However, the telephone occasionally struggled with white balance under harsh sunlight and produced washed-out landscape shots.

The phone also impressed us with its close-ups, which retain a healthy quantity of detail and also have punchy colours. Another strong area of the Infinix S5 Pro is portrait shots. The phone did a good job of subject separation and the depth effect was acceptable. Edge detection was also decent, except with hair once the subject in focus was a human.img 20200317 154237 289 1585052416406img 20200319 222117 801 1585052283394img 20200317 154123 156 1585052223219img 20200317 153740 914 1585052156189

Infinix S5 Pro camera samples (tap to see full size)

 

Low-light photography is certainly not this phone’s forte. Despite packing a dedicated low-light sensor, night shots ended up grainy with just minimal sharpness and contrast. We tested the low-light sensor’s effectiveness by physically covering it, but couldn’t spot any visible difference in photos with the exception of a slightly higher ISO. The phone would have produced better results by combining multiple shots captured at different exposure levels using a Night mode.

Selfies captured by the 16-megapixel front camera look pleasing and skin tones were natural, but there is not much to resolve with regards to detail in the event that you zoom in. Infinix has toned down the aggressive skin smoothening that we have observed on its previous phones, which is a welcome move. What we did not like was that the backdrop is overblown in selfies shot outdoors under sunlight. Portrait selfies look decent, but the back ground blur is flat.

There is a wide selfie mode, but the results were typically distorted. There is also an AR emoji feature, however the animated face avatars look more like bad 2D masks. Head movements are captured smoothly, but eye tracking could have been better.

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Infinix S5 Pro low-light photo sample (tap to see full size)

 

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Infinix S5 Pro low-light photo sample with low-light sensor covered (tap to see full size)

 

Battery life was just about average. With regular usage that involved day-long Internet connectivity, up to three hours of music playback over Bluetooth headphones, and around an hour or so of gaming and social networking usage each, the phone had 20-25 % left in its battery at the end of the day. Playing a graphics-intensive game such as for example PUBG Mobile for 30 minutes consumed 10 percent of the battery, and the telephone didn’t get too hot.

In our HD video battery loop test, the Infinix S5 Pro lasted 15 hours and 42 minutes prior to the battery fully discharged. The bundled 10W charger is very slow though. It took 61 minutes to charge the 4,000mAh battery up to the 50 % mark, after which it the charging rate slowed up and it took an additional an hour and 53 minutes to charge this phone fully.

Verdict

The Infinix S5 Pro has a few things planning its favour. The notchless full-HD+ display and pop-up selfie camera are impressive for a phone in this price bracket.The performance, however, is just middling, and when in comparison to equally priced rivals, this phone leaves a lot to be desired. The main camera performs well in the daytime, but despite packing a dedicated low-light sensor, night photography output is sub-par. Battery life is also scarcely average, also it takes nearly three hours to charge the 4,000mAh battery.

If most of your concerns are style and standing out, and you can create a few compromises in terms of functionality, the Infinix S5 Pro could be a decent pick for Rs. 9,999. On the other hand, if you want the most value for your money, the Redmi Note 8, Realme 5S, and Vivo U10 are a lot better than the Infinix phone in almost all key areas.