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Getting started with Infinix Note 12 VIP



Getting started with Infinix Note 12 VIP


Table of Contents:

Introduction

It’s not every day that we get a phone with a VIP name in your name here at headquarters. But in the case of the Infinix Note 12 VIP, it might have been better to simply call it Note 120. Or 120 + 108. Let’s explain.

The Infinix Note 12 VIP focuses on three things: fast charging, fast screen refresh rate, and camera performance. Charging takes advantage of a 120W beast of a charger that can, on paper, go from 0% to 100% in just 17 minutes.

As for the display, the Infinix Note 12 VIP goes all out with a 6.7-inch 1080x2400px 10-bit AMOLED with 1 billion colors, 700 nits of brightness, and a 120Hz refresh rate.

Infinix Note 12 VIP Features at a Glance:

Finally, the Infinix Note 12 VIP packs a 108MP main camera that combines 9 pixels into 1 for a resulting 12MP image, or you can take full 108MP resolution photos. It’s backed by a 13MP ultra-wide with autofocus, a 2MP depth sensor, and a 16MP selfie stick that has its own LED flash. We will also review them.

Rounding out the spec sheet is a 4,500mAh battery, a MediaTek Helio G96 chipset, 8GB of RAM that can be expanded using up to 5GB of the 256GB storage, and Android 12 running Infinix XOS as well. Finally, some nice touches like the 3.5mm headphone jack and stereo speakers.

The retail experience depends on the VIP name. All the expected accessories are there: headphones, a free case, an incredibly compact 120W charger, and a USB cable.

Then you have a few extra niceties that Infinix have added: a plastic screen protector, a combination of stickers, a SIM eject tool, and a coupon for an XGold to spend at Infinix’s XClub. Not bad for $300.

So, now let’s talk about the phone itself.

Design and build quality.

The Infinix Note 12 VIP is straight, square, and flat. The back panel is flat, the sides are flat, and the screen is almost completely flat except for a slight curve around the edges. The surface of the sides is glossy and its color matches the back panel, which has a matte finish.

Despite the difference in surface finish, the Infinix Note 12 VIP is a slippery phone if you use it without the included case. On the other hand, the phone fits comfortably in the hand. It’s well balanced, doesn’t feel too big, though it’s definitely not a compact phone.

At just under 200g, it’s not light either, but it’s not the heaviest. And when you pick it up, the Infinix Note 12 VIP feels lighter than expected.

The screen is impressive. It’s surrounded by thin bezels and the hole-punch camera doesn’t eat up too much. The panel is pretty bright, but it’s not as good as flagship OLED screens in direct sunlight.

The contrast of the panel stands out. The colors are very deep and punchy, which makes it a pleasure to consume multimedia content on this screen. There’s a noticeable blue tint that observant users will notice right away, and it’s not something you can fix due to limited adjustment options.

By default, the phone is set to automatically switch between 60Hz and 120Hz. The automatic behavior favored 60Hz, which feels choppy for those spoiled by modern high-refresh-rate displays. Digging deeper into the settings, we find Ultra Touch, which can further adjust the screen for faster swipe and swipe speed. Setting both to Fast made the Infinix Note 12 VIP infinitely smoother.

A few words about XOS 10, which is based on Android 12. It is packed with features and options. Maybe even massively. Many of the included apps could also be considered bloatware, as Infinix has bundled a large number of first-party and third-party apps, often with overlapping feature sets.

More importantly, XOS 10 runs without hiccups or stutters despite the influx of apps. So Infinix has done its job pretty well in the custom UI department. And when we say custom, we mean custom.

From the lock screen you get an optional Magazine service. Beyond that, the clock face is also affected by powerful theme support, which includes things like video slideshows, custom fonts, as well as an online theme repository in the form of a separate XTheme app.

The operating system contains all the features you’d need, including features like an always-on display, power manager that manages RAM usage, theme engine, FM radio, code scanner, a compass, and the list goes on.

The unit we are testing comes with a MediaTek Helio G96, which features an octa-core processor with two 2.05GHz Cortex-A76 cores and six 2.0GHz Cortex-A55 cores. There is 8GB of RAM which is they can expand using up to 5GB of the 256GB storage.

We tested this chip in detail in our Infinix Note 11 Pro review.

Camera

This is only the second Infinix phone to exceed 64MP on its main camera, the other being the Zero X Pro, also with a similar 108MP main camera. The sensor on this phone is different, a bit bigger. And it’s paired with a different set of cameras.

In the Note 12 VIP we get a 13MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera with autofocus, a 2MP depth sensor (which adds almost nothing), and a 16MP f/2.4 fixed-focus selfie shooter. There’s no dedicated zoom camera, but the 108MP allows for decent quality 2x crops.

The 12MP pixel shots of the Infinix Note 12 VIP are good. Colors lean more towards the natural and we rarely got an overdone result. White balance is slightly cool and there is blue and cyan creep in the whites.

Details are decent, but much of it has been sacrificed by the noise reduction algorithm. Infinix has avoided noise like the plague, there’s no trace of it, which unfortunately means a lot of fine detail is lost. There’s a lot of sharpening to bring back detail, but the result is over-processed photos. Still, if you like noise-free images, these look good.

The sensor is large enough to provide a good level of background blur, especially if the subject is close to the camera.

Main camera images – 12MP

Here’s a preview of the same scene, shot at the default 12MP and full 108MP. Shooting at full resolution seems to have lost its HDR effect and we see some lights out. The multi-frame sharpness is also gone, leaving soft, undefined textures on the fruit. And, the phone was noticeably slower to take the photo. We’d stay away from this mode as it doesn’t really offer enough benefits to justify the trade-offs.

Main camera: 12 MP vs. 108 MP

We would also avoid using the 2x digital zoom. Its unholy amount of over-sharpening makes things pretty awful.

Main camera – 2x digital zoom

The ultra wide angle camera is hit or miss. One photo is sharp, the other is not. And the camera can’t cope with any kind of reflections in the frame (notice the white burn-in in both images).

ultra wide angle camera

The theme of lackluster dynamic range continues with the selfie camera, but other than that we’d give this one a high rating. It is large, true to color and highly detailed. This camera is also more tolerant of noise, allowing subtle facial texture to show through in the resulting image. Its dedicated flash is also very powerful, which should help for those bar selfies. It’s so noisy that the very process of taking the photo is a bit awkward.

selfie camera

charging

Alright, now we get to the meat of the Infinix Note 12 VIP: charging. Infinix claims that the Note 12 VIP’s 4,500mAh battery can go from 0% to full in just 17 minutes. Its 120W Hyper Charge technology relies on a dual cell battery in the phone and a dual charge pump to efficiently deliver charge.

And there are 103 protection functions inside the phone to protect this process. An additional 18 real-time temperature monitoring systems ensure the battery doesn’t overheat, allowing Infinix to guarantee up to 800 charge cycles with this phone.

We drained the phone to 0% and charged it several times. In none of them did the phone get significantly warmer while charging. It was only hot, never hot.

We weren’t able to hit the 17 minutes claimed by Infinix though, we’d only hit 88% at this point. During our tests, we got an average of 22 minutes on a full charge, which is still very impressive. The fastest phone we’ve tested to date did it in 16 minutes, using up to a 150W charger. The 120W Xiaomi 12 Pro and 11T Pro did it in 21 minutes.

To wrap

To conclude, the Infinix Note 12 VIP is a great all-round phone. Its clean design goes well with its good build quality, it’s nicely packaged, and it works great.

You’ll get good battery life, we’re sure, but more importantly, you’ll get excellent charging, thanks to 120W Hyper Charge. While the screen is also solid.

The Infinix Note 12 VIP will soon be available in select regions for $300. You can visit the official website, which will guide you to a store near you.

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