It had been a while since I last owned an Infinix smartphone. The last one I owned was the Zero 4 Plus, Infinix’s first attempt at a premium flagship, back in 2016. I also think that the last Infinix phone I reviewed was the Hot 6 Pro back in 2018.
As far back as 2016, I observed that Infinix was already making decent hardware. Both the Zero 4 Plus and the Hot 6 Pro were built with a certain attention to quality. Fast-forward to 2021, and I expect no less than that from Infinix and indeed any other smartphone maker.
Infinix Note 10 Pro review: the hardware is good
I was not disappointed when I peeled open the box of the Note 10 Pro and picked up the phone. It was reassuring in the hand. This felt well-built. Because I was already conversant with the specs of the phone, I also had certain expectations of performance.
With a MediaTek Helio G95 chipset and 8 GB of RAM, I wasn’t expecting any hiccups in use, and I am happy to say that I didn’t experience any. Infinix Note 10 Pro runs smoothly for day-to-day tasks, and even for heavier tasks. The unit I am reviewing comes with 128 GB of internal storage, which is adequate for most users.
The fingerprint scanner is built into the Power button and works well. Setting it up was breezy and using it was without any issues.
A key marketing highlight of the phone is the 90Hz refresh rate screen. I had 90Hz enabled all the time and didn’t notice much difference in use. I kept looking out while scrolling and watching videos.
The display is bright and clear – very good, actually, but that isn’t because of 90Hz refresh rate. And if the display works as good as it does, I am okay with it.
And lastly, on the subject of hardware, the colour scheme of this unit is beautiful. It isn’t anything we haven’t seen before on other smartphones, but beauty is beauty, no matter how many times you have encountered it, and the Note 10 Pro is beautiful.
Infinix Note 10 Pro review: not uhuru yet for the software
Where I expected to be annoyed was with the software on board the Note 10 Pro, and that was exactly what happened. At first, it started after I launched the pre-installed Phoenix browser: two notifications popped up on the phone. Later, another set of notifications from another pre-installed app, Scooper, popped up. And then another from here and another from there.
Some of these bloatware can be uninstalled, and I uninstalled them – Scooper, Opera News, and Vskit. The others, like Phoenix, Hi Translate, Palm Store, Phone Cloner, Phone Master, XClub, XPARK, XShare, and YoParty can not be deleted. I had to spend time in the phone’s settings disabling notifications for all of them – and for XOS launcher too, before I got a semblance of peace and order on the phone.
The user shouldn’t have to jump through these hoops to make their phone usable. Infinix and TECNO need to revisit this matter on their devices. I love the hardware. I am mostly indifferent about much of the software. But the pesky notifications one gets right from after setup are hellish and need to be expunged.
Infinix Note 10 Pro review: battery life and charging are great
Other than that, Infinix Note 10 Pro has great battery life, and I love that it has 33W quick charge. 33W is where I affirm that true fast charging starts from. 10W and 18W charging are too slow for my liking. With 33W fast charge, topping up the Note 10 Pro quickly is a delight.
Infinix Note 10 Pro review: photography
What is a smartphone review without touching talking about how well the cameras – in front and at the back – perform?
Infinix Note 10 Pro has a 16 megapixels camera in a centred punch hole. It is a big hole, but you won’t notice it most of the time, especially if you have the system-wide Dark theme enabled. If you don’t, it is in your face like this:
What are selfies like? Selfies taken in normal mode have the typical over-processing of facial skin that we have come to know with the brand’s selfie cameras. That smoothening doesn’t happen elsewhere – not even on other parts of the body. Other than that, the Note 10 Pro front camera produces good photos. Here are a few samples.
And on to the main camera at the back of the phone, here are some sample shots:
In summary, the photos in normal mode are good, not exceptional. The Super Night Mode, however, is fantastic, and you can get really creative using that in dimly-lit scenarios.
Infinix Note 10 Pro review: wrapping it up
The Infinix Note 10 Pro ticks most boxes and is easy to recommend to anyone looking for a device in its class (the 8/128 GB variant I reviewed sells for about ₦135,000 now). If only Infinix would choose not to annoy users with deluged of notifications and recommendations, it would be a perfect smartphone.
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