Transsion Holdings-owned Infinix, which is known for offering powerful budget smartphones under its Note series, recently expanded the lineup with two new phones – Note 11 and Note 11S in India. These devices differ in terms of display, processor and RAM/storage configurations. While we have already reviewed the standard Infinix Note 11 smartphone, this time it’s the more premium one of the two i.e. Infinix Note 11S which we used for couple of weeks. The smartphone comes in two RAM-ROM variants – 6GB+64GB and 8GB+128GB – in Haze Green, Mithril Grey and Symphony Cyan colour options. We had the 6GB+64GB variant in Haze Green shade priced at Rs 12,999, and this is what we experienced so far, in this comprehensive review.
The smartphone looks sophisticated and sturdy at first sight. Having a minimal form factor with a single shade sporting a gradient, shimmering surface and matching side rails, the Infinix Note 11S has a matte finish on the polycarbonate rear panel that doesn’t attract smudges. The curved edges on the back makes it ergonomic. There is a slightly protruded rectangular camera module at the top left on the rear panel, having a large primary camera on the top with three more camera cutouts and an LED flash, all arranged orderly underneath.
The top edge is plain, whereas at the bottom you get a 3.5mm audio jack, a noise-cancelling mic, a USB Type-C port and a speaker grille. While there is a dual nano-SIM tray on the left side, you get the volume rockers and the power button on the right. The power button, interestingly, also works as the fingerprint scanner, which is fairly flawless and fast.
While the ports and the buttons are perfectly placed, similar to the other Infinix offerings in the recent past, the Infinix Note 11S is relatively tall, which makes it a bit clumsy for one-hand operation. You need to shuffle your fingers to reach the top corners of the display. Besides, the smartphone is not very lightweight.
Continuing its tradition of offering large screens in its Note series, Infinix has come up with a 6.95-inch Full HD+ IPS display with a fast 120hz refresh rate in the Note 11S. A punch-hole is beautifully placed in the top middle of the display. It goes without saying that the bigger screen is ideal for watching videos. What works more in the favour of Note 11S is the WideVine L1 certification for HD OTT streaming, which is like icing on the cake for multimedia consumers. On the flip side, the colour reproduction is slightly more contrasty and under-saturated in nature due to the LCD panel, in comparison to the AMOLED panel available on the basic Note 11 model. The brightness levels leave a lot to be looked-for when using the smartphone under direct sunlight. Overall, there is nothing to be disappointed about, as the company has done a good job with the display.
The Infinix Note 11S is powered by MediaTek Helio G96 SoC. I had the base 6GB variant for the review and it was altogether a decent experience. It’s good for day-to-day usage. As I experienced so far, you’ll not face any issue with moderate usage involving social media, instant messaging and OTT streaming. Although it’s good for gaming, the smartphone gets warm after about 40 minutes of playing graphic-intensive games like BGMI. Thankfully, Infinix has included a dedicated game mode to optimise gaming performance. Besides, the smartphone is backed by Dar-Link 2.0 Game Boost technology and a Supercool system, for improved heat management during gaming.
Infinix Note 11S runs the in-house custom XOS 10 based on Android 11. The OS itself is loaded with features like Game Mode, Lightning Multi-video, Social Turbo, Peek Proof, and Smart Panel, etc. The entire interface seems to be inspired by iOS 15, complete with similar-looking widgets, folders, quick settings, and the notification panel.
On the flip side, there’s lot of bloatware such as Beez, WeZone, YoParty, Magic Line, Hi Browser, and CarlCare, amongst many others, which is unfortunate given the phone’s limited storage. The settings interface is fastidious, and many of the primary features have the word AI added to them needlessly.
The Infinix Note 11S packs a triple rear camera setup, with a 50MP primary shooter, a 2MP macro lens for close-up photography, and a 2MP depth lens for bokeh photography. Up front, the device features a 16MP AI selfie camera with dual-LED flash. The camera interface is basic with preview, shutter, Google Lens, and camera toggle laid at the bottom. On the top, it features the settings, flash, HDR, 50MP mode, aspect ratio and live filters. You get short video, video, AI Cam, Beauty, Portrait and Super Nights modes on the viewfinder Rolodex.
In terms of performance, the 50MP primary camera captures details with great sharpness levels in bright sunlight. The colours are pleasing to the eye and appear to be natural. The photos appear bright and slightly oversaturated in certain conditions. The dynamic range is suitable for the camera resolution. The close-up shots ended up good with acceptable levels of sharpness, thanks to the macro lens. The depth sensor, on the other hand, takes portrait images with natural skin tones, good details, and sharpness levels. Surprisingly, the shots taken in low light were also decent.
When it comes to the selfie camera, it clicks good pictures. The overall quality of the selfies appeared natural, with skin tone and details that were similar to reality.
The smartphone comes packed with a massive 5,000mAh battery with support for 33W fast charging. The battery life is incredible. The phone would easily last a day and a half for a casual user, but this largely depends on how you use the device. It takes around an hour to fully charge from 10 per cent to 100 per cent, thanks to the 33W fast charging.
The smartphone has got a decent look, good cameras, performs smoothly, and offers a big 6.95-inch display with a high refresh rate. Even the battery backup is impressive with great charging speeds. Although the poorly executed software is a downside over here, the Infinix Note 11S is one of the best phones to buy in terms of price-to-performance.