Getting 32GB of built- in storage space and other equally compelling features like high resolution audio in a phablet that retails for less than Sh.17, 000 is the stuff of dreams. Until it is not.
That is exactly the phone that we have in our possession which we could not wait to unbox and get a first hand experience.
Magnus Infinity G20 comes packaged inside a yellow hardcover box which contains the phone itself, a charger head with the USB cable it connects to, a pair of earphones and a SIM ejection tool. The user manual is also tucked in there with plenty of safety precautions and snippets of information concerning how the phone itself works.
The phone just launched in Kenya having previously sold predominantly in United Arab Emirates and other parts of Africa. Devices in the infinity lineup make up the company’s flagship range and the Infinity G20 is right at the top of this pile.
Being a newcomer in the Kenyan mobile phone market, we subjected it to several days of tests through usage and benchmarking to put this review together. We sought to establish what makes it different from other brands found in phone shops currently, and from the results of the probe there are a few things potential buyers should arm themselves with to guide their decision.
First on the list is the physical appearance of the phone. Looking at it the first time, one will notice that the Infinity G20 does not pop out. Rather, it has an understated appearance but with a little bit of detail here and there. It is a very thin phone, an aspect which enhances its looks and makes it easy to hold with one hand.
It weighs just 166g and the thickness is a svelte 7mm. When you pick it up, it just feels pleasant to hold and I feel like I could hold it for long hours at a time. On this particular cold morning as I write this, I pick it up and have to put it down again because there is a cold sensation coming from the metallic strips that punctuate the sides of the device. Note that the sides are not entirely made of metal. What you get on this device is a plastic frame with metallic strips running around the edges.
For some reason, you can easily pop out the plastic back cover. Considering that this device has a built- in battery and there are no slots to access here, we found this to be quite strange. The only reason I could contemplate for this was that it is meant to act as a repair “hatch.”
This back cover is a magnet for grease and fingerprints. It is hard to imagine how you keep this part of the phone nice and tidy unless you are thinking of getting a flip case. One thing I love about it though is the fact that it closes down nice and tight. Unless you are a curious adventurer like me, you might not even notice that it can open.
The 5.5- inch display is a HD LCD panel. We have come to accept HD as a bare minimum for phones that are retailing at Sh. 16, 999 as this one is. Based on the quality that I have interacted with, the colors betray its budget credentials but the brightness levels are good. You can adjust brightness manually or let the phone itself adjust automatically depending on the surrounding lighting conditions (we are talking ambient light sensors on the phone). There is a quick- access menu deck on one of the home screens which allows you to set the kind of lighting that you need for the phone depending on the environment. Outdoor visibility is not at all bad given the fact that you can tweak the brightness manually to operate the phone reasonably well in bright sunlight.
Operating the phone in darkness is another thing all together. The display has the brightness sorted out to allow you to even use it under the blanket as you lie in bed (not that I do this sort of thing… often). The only issue I can single out is that since the navigation buttons were placed below the screen, they should have all been backlit. I keep finding myself missing the back and menu buttons all the time to a point where it gets frustrating.
The Home key at the centre can be found more easily because it is has a bit of lighting, but not always. There is a small dot on this key which lets the shine of the LED light beneath it guide its position. This dead- centred key lights orange when the Magnus Infinity G20 is low on charge, when charging and when there are pending notifications; it lights green when the battery is filled and blue when the alarm is going off. If you were looking for bells and whistles among the details, then this is pretty much part of that. As to the positioning of this notifications light, that is subject to personal preference. In my own personal opinion, it is tacky.
Android lovers will be familiar with the Android 5.1 Lollipop software that it runs on. If you were using Android Lollipop before, this would be a comfortable adjustment, but for users of Android Marshmallow, this would surely be a downgrade. Hoping for an update to the latest version of Android becomes the only solace.
I counted three home pages which you access by scrolling left and right to find your widgets and app shortcuts. The list of apps is however located on the app drawer, which is the centred circle with six dots located at the bottom of the home page. From the list of apps, you still scroll left and right.
A 1.3 GHz MTK6753 octa- core processor is responsible for launching and running apps. The multitasking on the other hand is facilitated by 2GB of RAM accompanying it. There are a total of eight cores in the processor which have a single- core and multicore score of 629 and 2843 respectively going by tests carried out on Geekbench. I did not encounter any major performance issues with the apps that were already installed since they worked perfectly with the hardware provided.
Still, I thought the number of preinstalled apps on this phone was an overreach. Before you install anything else, there are three pages of software you have to acquaint yourself with. There are only a handful I could consider using frequently but the rest I would easily classify as unnecessary hangers- on.
Call quality is good. You can communicate in a noisy place and the sound from the earpiece is great when you are in a silent room. The phone will last you a solid day starting from a full charge. The 3000mAh battery located inside takes long to drain. I took a couple of pictures, played a game or two, made a few calls, twiddled with apps here and there, lit my way at night using the torch function and wrote plenty of messages without ever having to charge for a whole day. I only plugged it in the next day in the morning. On this score, the Infinity G20 did quite well.
The Graphics processor enables you to turn the 5.5- inch display into a gaming screen and bring enjoyment into your leisure time. I was able to install and play both Asphalt 8 and City Racing 3D and I must say, once I started I kept on going for hours at the expense of all other activities. The graphics card in use here is the Mali T720 which works well with this phone.
Magnus Infinity G20 is a dual SIM phone which uses both a micro SIM and a nano SIM card. However, the SIM 2 slot which takes the smaller of the two cards is also the micro SD card slot. It is not ideal, but you will have to make a choice on which among the two features you prefer to use frequently. You will either select the memory slot or the second SIM functionality. Interchanging them from time to time can be quite a hustle since you need the SIM ejection tool to do the tedious work each time.
The Infinity G20 has a 13 megapixels camera at the back which also has a flash. On the front is the expected 5 megapixel camera, but this time it comes with an LED flash. Since I have been using Wiko Slide 2 this week, I must say that the quality of the pictures from both camera on this phone is a little underwhelming. I found that the camera software itself was rudimentary when I compare with what I have seen in other budget android phones. When you are outside on a bright day, you will still be able to capture good images provided you are perfectly still. That way, you can look forward to outdoor activities armed with this phone because the camera will enable you to capture some decent pictures.
One of the most compelling feature in this phone is the fact that it comes with 32 GB of storage space. This is enough to install plenty of apps and store many files. This might even make the decision not to use the mico SD card very possible without sacrificing much. If you choose to install a micro SD card, you will be glad to know that you can upgrade by a maximum capacity of 64 GB.
The audio jack is located at the top side of the phone. I must commend the manufacturer for the high quality audio from this phone’s earphones and speakers; but especially the earphones. The sound quality is really good, even when you are listening to radio programmes. There is adequate bass and there is no strain to the ears on extended periods of use. The box says the radio is high definition, which I confirmed when I subjected it to tests. If you are in to entertainment features in devices, then listening to music and other audio clips on this phone will be just what the doctor ordered for you. It is my favorite feature on this phone.
Since there is enough memory, you could carry movies to watch while on the move. Although phones such as Wiko Fever might give you a better watching experience, this particular phablet is just cheap enough to appeal to those who are budget conscious.
|Dimensions (LxWxD)||151 x 77.3 x 7.0 mm
|OS||Android OS, 5.1 Lollipop|
|Processor||1.3 GHz Octa-core Cortex A53,
MediaTek MT6753 chipset (64-bit)
|Internal storage||32 GB|
|External storage||Micro SD, up to 64 GB|
|Screen size||5.5 inches|
|Resolution||720 x 1280 pixels (HD)|
|Pixel density||267 ppi|
|Screen type||IPS capacitive, 16M colors|
|SIM||Micro SIM + Nano SIM, dual SIM|
|Battery||3000 mAh, Li-Po|
|Camera||Primary 13 MP, autofocus, LED flash
Secondary 5 MP, LED flash