Review Verdict: Infinix raises the bar with the Note 12 in what to expect on an under Php 10k phone in the Philippines. It may fall short in terms of camera performance and the AMOLED panel used, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a phone under Php 10k to have a huge 256GB storage and a decent processor.
- Great processor of choice for its price
- Huge 256GB internal storage
- Downgrade to 60hz refresh rate
- Too much uninstallable bloatware
Infinix has been nailing it by delivering incredible value-for-money phones lately, and the Note 12 is its latest attempt to bring features like large internal storage and an AMOLED display–all for under Php 10k. With what it has to offer, can the Note 12 be the new budget phone king for 2022?
Infinix Note 12 Review Philippines specs
- MediaTek Helio G96 processor
- 8GB LPDDR4X RAM
- 128GB/256GB UFS 2.2 internal storage, expandable via microSD
- 6.7-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display
- 50-megapixel f/1.8 main camera with PDAF, 2-megapixel depth sensor, AI camera
- 16-megapixel selfie camera
- LTE, 4G
- WiFi, Bluetooth, side-mounted fingerprint scanner
- Stereo speakers
- 33w charging
- 5000mAh battery
- Android 12, XOS 10.6
The Note 12 has a modern look with its flat edges and large camera bump. Compared to the Note 11S, the Note 12 is smaller, slimmer, and lighter, making it more compact to fit into your average jeans pocket.
Similar to rival POCO’s design approach with its entry-level devices, Infinix chose to use a glossy finish on the area beside the camera bump to give an illusion of a humongous module. Thankfully, the rest of the back panel utilizes a textured, wavy finish that gives character to the Note 12’s back panel while being both smudge-resistant and durable enough that you can comfortably use it without a case.
The Note 12 has the power button and volume controls on the right side. While the power button doubles as a fingerprint scanner, you will need to get used to it being a bit flush to the frame. At the bottom, you get a speaker, USB-C port, and the much-loved headphone jack.
One of the biggest changes on the Note 12 is its use of an AMOLED display, which is a first for Infinix’s Note line. We do welcome the upgrade, though it has a few setbacks. Aside from still using a dated notch and being limited to 60hz, the AMOLED panel used on the Note 12 is not as bright as other AMOLED sporting phones.
Despite those limitations, the benefits of using an AMOLED display include more vibrant colors and deeper blacks, making them great for watching videos or playing games–more on that later. However, note that it only comes with Widevine L3, so you are limited to SD streaming.
Like its predecessor, you get stereo speakers on the Note 12. Overall audio quality is decent, as long as you don’t crank up the volume beyond 70%.
The Note 12 borrows the same camera setup used on the Note 11S. While we lament that the other two cameras are virtually useless (especially the so-called AI camera), the color accuracy problem we encountered with the Note 11S has been addressed with the Note 12.
One thing that the Note 12 still falls short is with low-light performance: despite a high-resolution main camera, it has a hard time preserving details properly in low-light scenarios.
Video recording is still capped at 2K resolution due to limitations of the Helio G96. Like with the Note 11S and Hot 11S, there’s no EIS with the Note 12, so you will need a pair of steady hands or a gimblal to get clean footage.
Internals and Battery Life
The Note 12 shares the same set of internals as the Note 11S, though you get the option for 256GB of internal storage. Right now, the Note 12 is the only phone under Php 10k to offer that much internal storage.
Like what we said about the Note 11S, the use of a Helio G96 is one of the best processor options for the under Php 10k segment. We really prefer the Helio G96 over popular choices like the Snapdragon 680 because of its more powerful GPU, which is one of the things responsible for smooth gaming. This makes the Helio G96 more suitable for gaming than Qualcomm’s budget mid-range processor.
When it comes to gaming, data obtained from Gamebench shows that the Note 12 is indeed capable of running some of the most popular titles out there. It can run PUBG Mobile and Apex Legends flawlessly at 30 and 40FPS respectively with graphics set to HD and frame rates set to high, while we experienced a very good experience with Asphalt 9 at 30FPS.
As with Genshin Impact, despite being set at the Lowest graphics by default, it is possible to play the game at Medium graphics comfortably. Based on our test, where we did an end-game Abyss run, we managed to net an average of 26FPS with a respectable 79% stability, making the Note 12 capable of competitive gaming in Genshin Impact even at medium graphics.
The Note 12 comes with Android 12-based XOS 10.6, and is the only Infinix phone to have the latest Android software. While it feels more refined, we still hope that the bloatware present in the phone can be uninstalled.
Like the Note 11S, the Note 12 also gets a 5000mAh battery that supports 33w wired charging. We got a score of a little over 10 hours in PCMark’s battery benchmark test, which should translate to a day’s worth with moderate use. Topping up the battery takes you around a little over an hour, which is the general trend with most budget midrange phones in 2022.
Wrap-up and Conclusions
The Note 11S was already a great phone for under Php 10k, and Infinix stepped up their game even further with the Note 12 by offering as much as 256GB internal storage and an AMOLED display for the same price. While it has a few setbacks, we still laud Infinix’s effort in bringing the best possible specs-to-price ratio on a budget mid-range phone in the Philippines.