It’s not every day that we get a phone with a VIP name in his name here at HQ. 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 harnesses a 120W beast of a charger that can, on paper, do the 0% to 100% in just 17 minutes.
As for the display, the Infinix Note 12 VIP pulls out all the stops 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:
- Body: 163.5 x 76.7 x 7.9mm, 199g; Glass front, glass back, plastic frame.
- Display: 6.70″ AMOLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, 700 nits (peak), 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 393ppi.
- Chipset: Mediatek MT6781 Helio G96 (12nm): Octa-core (2×2.05 GHz Cortex-A76 & 6×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G57 MC2.
- Memory: 256 GB 8 GB RAM; UFS 2.2; microSDXC (dedicated slot).
- Operating System/Software: Android 12, XOS 10.5.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 108 MP, f/1.8, 1/1.67″, 0.64µm, PDAF, Laser AF; Ultra wide angle: 13mm f/2.2; Depth: 2MP, f/2.4.
- Front camera: 16 MP, (wide), 1/2.76″, 1.12µm.
- Video capture: Rear camera: [email protected], [email protected] ; Front camera: [email protected], [email protected]
- Battery: 4500mAh; 120W fast charge, 100% in 17 min.
- Various : Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; FM radio; 3.5mm jack socket.
Finally, the Infinix Note 12 VIP packs a 108MP main camera that combines 9 pixels into 1 for a resulting 12MP image, or can take 108MP full resolution photos. It’s backed by a 13MP ultrawide 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 we have a 4,500mAh battery, MediaTek Helio G96 chipset, 8GB of RAM that can be expanded using up to 5GB from the 256GB storage and Android 12 with the XOS from Infinix as well. Finally, some nice touches, like the 3.5mm headphone jack and stereo speakers.
The retail experience depends on the VIP name. The expected accessories are all there – headphones, a free case, an incredibly compact 120W charger and a USB cable.
Then you have a few extra niceties that Infinix has added – a plastic screen protector, a mix of stickers, a SIM ejector tool and a voucher for an XGold to spend in 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 entirely flat except for a very slight curve around the edges. The surface on 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, it doesn’t feel too big, although it’s definitely not a compact phone.
At just under 200g, it’s not light either, but it’s not the heaviest around. And when you pick it up, the Infinix Note 12 VIP feels lighter than expected.
The display is impressive. It’s surrounded by thin bezels and the punch-hole camera doesn’t eat too much into it. The panel is quite bright, but isn’t as good as flagship OLED screens in direct sunlight.
The contrast of the panel stands out. The colors are very deep and punchy, making it a pleasure to consume multimedia on this screen. There’s a noticeable blue tint that more observant users will notice immediately, and it’s not something you can fix due to the limited tuning 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 found Ultra Touch, which can further adjust the screen for faster swiping and movement 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 included a large number of first-party and third-party apps, often with overlapping feature sets.
Most importantly, XOS 10 runs smoothly with no 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 screen is also affected by the 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 application.
The operating system contains all the features you would need, including features like an always-on display, power manager that manages RAM usage, theme engine, FM radio, scanner code, a compass, the list goes on.
The unit we’re testing comes with a MediaTek Helio G96 – featuring an octa-core processor with two 2.05GHz Cortex-A76 cores and six 2.0GHz Cortex-A55 cores. There is 8GB of RAM which can be expanded using up to 5GB from the 256GB storage.
We tested this chip in detail in our Infinix Note 11 Pro review.
This is only the second Infinix phone to surpass 64MP on its main camera, the other is the Zero X Pro, also with a similar 108MP main camera. The sensor on this phone is different, slightly larger. And it’s paired with a different set of cameras.
On the Note 12 VIP we get a 13MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera with autofocus, a 2MP depth sensor (which contributes next to 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. The colors lean more towards the natural and we rarely got an overdone result. White balance is slightly cold and there is blue and cyan creep in the whites.
Detail is 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 plenty of sharpness to bring back detail, but the result is over-processed photos. Still, if you like your images noise-free, these look the part.
The sensor is large enough to provide a good level of background blur, especially if your subject is close to the camera.
Main camera footage – 12MP
Here’s a preview of the same scene, shot with the default 12MP and full 108MP. Shooting at full resolution seems to have lost its HDR effect and we see some blown out highlights. Multi-frame sharpening is also gone, leaving soft, poorly defined textures in the fruit. And, the phone was noticeably slower to take the picture. We’d steer clear of this mode as it really doesn’t offer enough benefits to justify the trade-offs.
Main Camera – 12MP versus 108MP
We would also avoid using the 2x digital zoom. His unholy amount of over-sharpening makes things pretty awful.
Main camera – 2x digital zoom
The ultra-wide camera is hit or miss. One photo is sharp, the other is not. And the camera can’t cope with any sort of reflections in the frame (notice the blown whites in both images).
Ultra wide camera
The mediocre dynamic range theme continues with the selfie camera, but other than that we’d give this one high marks. It is large, true to color and very 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 loud that the very process of taking the photo is a bit uncomfortable.
Camera for selfies
Alright, now we come to the meat of the Infinix Note 12 VIP – the charge. Infinix claims 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 deliver the charge efficiently.
And, there are 103 protection functions inside the phone to protect this process. 18 additional real-time temperature monitoring systems ensure that the battery does not 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 heat up significantly while charging. It was only hot, never hot.
However, we couldn’t reach Infinix’s claimed 17 minutes, we’d only go 88% at this point. During our tests, we got an average of 22 minutes from 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 things up, the Infinix Note 12 VIP is a great all-around phone. Its clean design matches well with its good build quality, it is very well packaged and it works great.
You’ll get good battery life, we’re sure, but more importantly, you’ll get superb charging, thanks to 120W Hyper Charge. selfies. While the display is solid too.
The Infinix Note 12 VIP will soon be available in select regions at $300. You can visit the official website which will guide you to a store near you.