Infinix S5 Review: It Could Do Better

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Infinix S5
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Infinix recently brought the Infinix S5 to the Kenyan market and we’ve taken the device through its paces in our hands-on review, camera review and now in our full review, we tell you if the phone is worth buying for this feature season and be your daily driver the coming year.

Infinix has released a few devices this year including the Infinix Hot 7 and Hot 7 Pro, the Infinix S4, Infinix Smart 3 and Smart 3 Plus, the Infinix Hot 8 and finally the Infinix S5.

Sleek Elegant Design

The Infinix S5 comes in gorgeous design for its price with a colour-gradient back featuring Quetzal design copied from the texture of the Quetzal birds feather pattern. Ours was the Cyan variant but you can get one in Nebula Black and Violet.



There’s a premium feel to it and it offers a comfortable grip even in one-handed operations. However, the glossy back will attract fingerprint smudges so get the clear case provided to avoid them.

The back also features a fingerprint sensor that unlocks your phone fast and a quad-AI camera setup comprised of a 16MP main camera, 5MP wide-angle camera that also takes macros, 2MP camera for depth sensing and a QVGA ‘AI’ camera aligned to the 4 LED flashlights.

“Designed by Infinix” text sits at the bottom of the back.

The 6.6″ Infinity-O display(20:9 aspect ratio) gives the Infinix S5 an almost full-screen experience. It features a resolution of 1600 by 720 pixels and a 90.5% screen to body ratio. The punch hole selfie camera disrupts the screen real estate.

For ports, you get a micro-USB port and a headphone jack next to the single speaker grill.

The screen offers decent experience when consuming multimedia content especially compared to its brother, the TECNO Camon 12 Air that has a relatively lower resolution screen.

You’ll love browsing the web, binging videos or catching up on tv shows or movies with no hassle.

However, you’ll have to increase the brightness to the max when you go outside.

Software and Performance

Does inner beauty count? Under the hood, the Infinix S5 packs a Mediatek Helio P22 processor, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage for our unit(You can get 6GB RAM with 128GB storage variants).

Baked in is Android 9 Pie and XOS Cheetah version 5.5.2  that packs additional features like the Smart Panel. Infinix never learn about their frustrating user interface and you have to install a custom launcher to use the phone unless you want to start seeing lock screen ads and pesky notifications.

Some of the bloat apps can be uninstalled or disabled.

Performance is consistent be it using the phone for daily work such as browsing the web, replying to emails, checking social media, playing light games such as Ninja Arashi. Heavy games like PUBG will only play in lower or medium graphic settings to have a better experience.

The increase in performance and bumped up RAM and storage is commendable when compared to the Infinix S4 it is succeeding from.

Cameras

The Infinix S5 carries more cameras than its predecessors – The rear setup features a 16MP main camera, 5MP ultrawide, 2MP for depth and a 2MP low-light sensor. For selfies, you get a 32MP front-facing camera.

Here are some samples:

More samples can be found in our separate camera review article.

Generally, the Infinix S5 5 cameras are capable when given enough light and time. Daylight photos turn out well except for some that will lack vibrancy such as food shots. Beauty mode works for some shots while for other it oversmoothens and ruins some photos.

Photos will lack details so don’t zoom in on them. Bokeh shots and portraits are a hit and miss as the Infinix S5 struggles with background blur for some shots.

As I said in my camera review article, the Infinix S5 cameras aren’t as versatile for the money you’re paying for them. They are more smartphones released this year in which their cameras offer more value for their money such as its little brother, the Infinix S4 or the recently launched TECNO Camon 12 Air.

Battery Life

The infinix S5 rocks a 4000mAh battery that for light usage will give you almost one and half days and full-day battery life even if you heavily tax the phone.

The downside to this is that it takes close to two and a half hours to fully charge it.

Infinix needs to bring fast charging or type-c port or both to its upcoming Infinix S6 next year.

Conclusions

Infinix really upped their game with the Infinix S5 and brought innovation and affordability with their latest device and would be worth it on its own – but the budget market is a competitive one and the Infinix S5 doesn’t bring value for money when stacked up against its rivals.

The performance and design are commendable but the cameras and software need tweaking – hopefully, the Infinix works on these for next years Infinix S6 and fingers crossed, include Android 10.

Connectivity

You’re spoilt for choice with the Infinix S5 as you get support for both Faiba 4G VoLTE ad Safaricom VoLTE.

Pricing and Availability

The 4GB RAM/64GB onboard storage variant costs Ksh 16,499 shillings while the 6GB RAM and 128GB onboard storage cost Ksh 20,999.

The S5 Lite with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage and the 3GB RAM and 32GB storage variants will begin selling from Ksh 13,899 and Ksh 13,499 respectively.

For now, the Infinix S5 is available on Xpark, Infinix’s official online store and its branded retail stores.

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