Cloudfone Next Infinity Review
Cloudfone isn’t letting the year slip by without releasing a slew of new devices in the form of their Next Infinity series. These devices are the brand’s entry into the 18:9 aspect ratio display market. While the Next Infinity Quattro is equipped with all the bells and whistles the brand has to offer, the Next Infinity wasn’t that left out. Does it have what it takes though, to edge out the competition at its price point? Let’s find out in our full review.
Design and Construction
The Next Infinity actually has a fairly simple design with an all-black finish. Its over-all bezels are toned down to make way for the change in aspect ratio, making the device look thinner and slimmer. It’s also one of the smallest phones sporting an 18:9 aspect ratio display, as most are at 5.99 or 6-inches. It’s still quite big though at 5.7-inches but it maintains a small footprint. Cloudfone added no extra gimmicks to the looks of the Next Infinity apart from its two-tone colored backplate. Now it may not be a looker, but it certainly isn’t ugly either.
Up front, you’ll be greeted by the 5.7-inch 18:9 aspect ratio HD+ display, 16MP Camera, LED flash, call speaker, light sensor, and notification LED. The bottom is all bezel, as the device uses on-screen navigation. All of these components are encased in 2.5D glass.
Moving over to the right, we have the power button and volume rockers while the left side is absent of any keys or ports.
Up on top is the 3.5mm audio port while down below we have the micro-USB port and primary microphone.
Flip it on its back and you’ll be greeted by the secondary microphone, 13MP camera, LED flash, fingerprint scanner, and loudspeaker.
Cloudfone went the old school route here and gave the Next Infinity a removable backplate, which is where you’ll access the SIM card slots and microSD slot. This is a departure from the normal SIM tray formula we got accustomed to and quite a rare sight nowadays. Users who are accustomed to carrying extra batteries would be pleased to know that the device’s battery is also removable.
Despite the plastic build, the Next Infinity still feels solid and well-made. We were actually quite surprised to find out that it has a removable backplate, due to its unibody structure and overall feel. It’s also relatively thin and light, making it easy to carry around. The phone isn’t a fingerprint magnet but it does attract smudges quite a lot. Thankfully, Cloudfone included a silicon case in the package to eliminate that pesky problem.
Display and Multimedia
The Next Infinity’s display uses an IPS panel with a resolution of 1440 x 720 which translates to 282ppi. Icons are crisp and clear and the screen has relatively good color reproduction, accuracy, and viewing angles. It’s actually surprisingly good despite the 720p output and is even better than a few smartphones out there with the same resolution and aspect ratio. We have to thank the smaller screen size for that, as at 5.7-inches the display was able to push out more pixels.
It’s still nowhere near the quality of 1080p screens though, or even 720p screens with the normal 16:9 ratio. Nonetheless, it’s a good display that will provide users with a pleasant viewing experience. We also have to give props to Cloudfone for making the right decision in reducing the phones display size.
As for audio, the loudspeaker can reach high volumes but loses clarity in the process albeit only slightly. Quality-wise the mids and highs are okay but bass is non-existent. It’s a pretty average speaker, to say the least. Thankfully, the included earphones offer a good audio boost and even provides that missing bass. Not to mention, it’s quite comfy too.
Now, this was where the Next Infinity was, kind of, left out compared to its other brethren as it’s only equipped with two single shooters — a 13MP rear and a 16MP front. Nonetheless, both cameras are packed with the essential features we have today such as Beauty, Panorama, Portrait, and Timelapse, to name a few. The rear camera has additional features though that the front doesn’t have such as Super Pixel, Night, Professional, and QR Code. As for settings you have Self Timer, Camera roll, Smile shot, Shutter sound, Anti-flicker, Touch Shot, Auto Scene, and Picture Size.
Image quality is actually quite good, especially at brightly lit conditions. The rear camera produces images with good detail, sharpness, and color reproduction. Low-light shots though are average at best with images now showing a bit of grain and noise. Still, it’s able to capture images at poorly lit conditions, but don’t count on the quality. The LED flash is also adequate enough to provide users with a strong light source but it does hamper image quality.
The front camera is also an adequate performer. Selfies in bright environments have good detail, sharpness, and colors. Although low-light selfies are only average with noticeable grain and noise. It does take in the light quite well though as long as you are near the source, otherwise the image produced won’t impress.
Videos, on the other hand, maxes out at 1080p, 30fps, in MP4 format. Quality is average and the autofocus is stable, although we did encounter weird audio recording in one of our videos (see below), this was an isolated case though. Low-light performance isn’t the best either. Watch the sample videos below.
Daylight Sample Video:
Night Time Sample Video:
OS, UI, Apps, and Storage
The device is powered by Android 7.1.2 Nougat with Cloudfone’s own personal touch. Its launcher uses home screens instead of an app drawer to house your applications much like Apple’s iOS and Huawei’s EMUI. If you’re not a fan of that, you can easily download a different launcher from the Play Store.
Swiping from the top will open up the notifications tab and swiping right from there will reveal the shortcut menu. The transition of the notifications tab and shortcut menu though isn’t smooth, and instead of a seamless animation, Cloudfone opted to make it into a swapping one, which at first glance make it seem like the phone is lagging. Other features include One-hand mode, Smart gestures, and a few shortcut actions and gestures under Smart Actions.
The device is riddled with pre-installed apps like Lazada, EA Play, Opera Mini, Spotify, and UC Browser which you can, thankfully, uninstall. Other than that you have the basic Google apps and two homebrew apps from Cloudfone. Storage is actually a negative for the device as users were only given a measly 16GB of internal storage. It also didn’t help that almost half of that was taken over by the OS and system apps, leaving only 7.95GB free from the initial 16GB. Thankfully, memory could be expanded up to 128GB via a microSD and easy file transfers are present thanks to USB OTG.
As for the aforementioned Cloudfone apps, we have the Cloudfone App Shop and Cloudfone care. The latter application provides OTA updates, connection to the company’s Customer Care department, a feedback button, system maintenance and Cloudfone news. While the other app is just the company’s own rendition of the Play Store.
Performance and Benchmarks
Let’s head on over to the juicy part, performance. The Cloudfone Next Infinity is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 425 Quad-core processor, Adreno’s 308 GPU, and 3GB of RAM. Mundane tasks such as texting, browsing, and social media operations are a breeze. Home screen navigations, app launching, and app installation were also lag-free. Even multitasking is possible thanks to the 3GB RAM. Heavier tasks though such as gaming and other graphical activities will give the device quite the challenge. Below are a few benchmark scores:
- AnTuTu – 36,781
- GeekBench – 678 (Single-Core), 1,891 (Multi-Core)
- PCMark – 3,333 (Work 2.0)
- Vellamo – 1,416 (Multicore), 1,176 (Metal), 1,485 (Chrome)
- AndroBench – 263.92 MB/s (Read), 72.96 MB/s (Write)
Speaking of that, gaming on the device was a generally pleasant experience. Light to moderate games like Candy Crush, Zombie Tsunami, Vain Glory and Mobile Legends were playable with enjoyable framerates. Heavier games, however, like Iron Blade: Medieval RPG and Asphalt 8: Airborne will have some frame drops. Even so, heavy gaming is still quite possible on the device but don’t expect to run every game you throw at it. Heat won’t be a problem either as the device remains cool throughout prolonged gaming sessions and the only parts that get even remotely warm are at the fingerprint scanner and camera areas.
Connectivity, Call Quality, and Battery Life
The device’s call quality and signal reception are good. Basic connectivity is present as it has LTE, Bluetooth, and WiFi. GPS is also quite accurate and would not be a problem in the long run. By giving the device a removable backplate Cloudfone allowed users to take advantage of two SIM slots and a dedicated microSD card without sacrificing one or the other. Not to mention, the device also has OTG support for added storage and convenient file transfers.
Cloudfone equipped the Next Infinity with a 2,900mAh battery, while technically not small it is lower than what we are accustomed to. Its battery life is on the average as it barely got us through the day on a single charge with light to moderate usage. Heavy usage also takes a toll on the device and will require users to plug it in at least once or twice to survive the day. Sadly, the phone doesn’t support fast charging and even with the sub-3K battery capacity charging from 0-100% took as long as 2 hours and 15 minutes. As for benchmarks, PC Mark ranks the device at 10 Hours and 6 minutes, while during our standard Video loop test it lasted 12 Hours and 13 minutes.
While not equipped with features such as quad cameras, big storage, and big battery capacities, the Cloudfone Next Infinity still proved itself to be a capable device. Underneath that unassuming design is a phone with a surprisingly good display, respectable performance, well-built body, and admirable cameras. Although it does fall short in audio quality, low-light camera performance, built-in storage and battery life. Even so, at an asking price of Php 6,999 the Cloudfone Next Infinity is one of the cheapest 18:9 device out there. Not to mention, it brings performance and an all-screen display within reach of consumers on a budget.
Cloudfone Next Infinity specs:
5.7-inch HD+ IPS 18:9 display, 2.5D curved glass
Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor
up to 128GB via microSD
13MP PDAF rear camera w/ portrait mode, LED flash
16MP front camera w/ portrait mode, soft light
4G LTE, 700MHz
Android 7.1.2 Nougat
What we liked about it:
- Good display
- Well-constructed body
- Very affordable 18:9 device
- Capable performance
- Admirable cameras
What we didn’t like about it:
- Smudge magnet
- Poor Low-light camera performance
- Small internal storage
- Long charging time
- Unimpressive speakers