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Cloudfone Next Infinity Review - Camera-centric 18:9 at PHP 7K!

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In our first impressions, we deemed the Cloudfone Next Infinity one of the best phones for Php 7K because of the 18:9 display and robust cameras! Is it really?
Cloudfone Next Infinity Review - Camera-centric 18:9 at PHP 7K!
Cloudfone Next Infinity review!

On paper, the Cloudfone Next Infinity is is one of the better spec'd phones out there with the 18:9 720p display being the main highlight. So we are very excited to have gotten our hands on this. This is our review of the Cloudfone Next Infinity.

For our review part 1: Cloudfone Next Infinity Unboxing and First Impressions

Display Quality

Nice screen!
Nice screen!

The display is a 10 point multi-touch, 5.7-inch 720P HD+ IPS that is covered by a 2.5D curved glass at 282 ppi. It's maximum brightness and 720p resolution is on par if not slightly better than the phones in this price range. It's good enough to be visible under direct sunlight while maintaining decent sharp images.

18:9 HD+ goodness!

It is an IPS display so it won't have the eye popping saturated colors and deep blacks of AMOLED but it comes close. It is impressive given at its price.

Audio Quality

There is a single speaker at the back. The maximum volume is louder than most of the competition. In our live stream with this phone, many were surprised at how loud it was. We were too. Aside from that, the sound is clear with defined details at up to 80% volume. At Max volume distortion is there and where the distinction between lows, mids and highs blur. Don't get us wrong, it sounds good just not as good as it is at 80% volume.

Speaker quality is good with some distortion at max volume! 

For headphones and earphones, we used the stock earphones and our RHA S500i.

The audio quality is better than when listening to the speaker. There is a decent sound stage with staggeringly better clarity and definition in each tone. At max volume the distortion is minimal and almost unnoticeable.

The microphones are clear and clean enough for calls and recordings. We never had an issue or a caller comment that our voice had concerns during calls.

Battery Life

9 hours 2 mins!
9 hours 2 mins!

Our usual battery benchmark tool would crash whenever the benchmarking would end. It was clocking in at more than 9 hours.

Respectable battery performance!

In our daily use of email, texting, calling, social media interactions, YouTube streaming, we were getting 9 hours of on screen time. We would unplug the phone at 8AM and end our day at 8PM with 20 to 25% battery left. When we increased our LTE usage the battery on screen time drops to 6 to 7 hours depending on your activity.

Charging time is around 120 minutes or 2 hours.

Camera

Camera settings
Camera settings

The rear camera is a 13MP f/2.0 w/ PDAF and LED flash. The images from it are sharp with good color reproduction. It does struggle with white balance and exposure at times but both can be remedied by via OTA updates.
Other modes
Other modes

The camera app is where it shines!

There's pro mode too. It has saturation, ISO to 1600, EV -12 to +12, white balance, focus, and sharpness adjustments. It also has time lapse, video, photo, beauty, portrait mode, and panorama.
It also has a camera roll preview to easily view your shots
It also has a camera roll preview to easily view your shots

The auto camera experience is good. The white balance is accurate 8 out of 10 time. It struggles with warm colored light sources. The autofocus finds focus as soon as you tap to it or as soon as the camera detects a face. It struggles in low light. The Autofocus on the selfie camera is slightly better than the rear camera.

The flash is there if you need it and you can seamlessly transition from one camera to the next and to video mode quickly. The HDR takes a second or two depending on the environment. The shutter takes a lot longer in darker scenarios. It does work well given that you kept a stable hold on the phone.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight auto HDR
Daylight auto HDR
Daylight 2
Daylight 2
Close-up
Close-up
Portrait 50% bokeh
Portrait 50% bokeh
Night mode
Night mode
Flash test
Flash test

On the other hand, it carries the 16MP f/2.0 w/ portrait mode and softlight LED flash as the selfie camera. The surprising feature here is portrait mode with a single camera like the Google Pixel 2!
Flash test
Selfie camera UI

It has a 100 levels beauty mode and a smile shutter where it takes a picture when it detects a smile in the viewfinder. It is accurate 8 out of 10 times where it would take a picture even if we weren't smiling.

Really good selfie camera for the price!

It uses an auto-face recognition autofocus. It works 9 out of 10 times which is an amazing experience whenever we don't have to struggle with using both hands or one hand while trying to balance the phone and tap the shutter button.

The selfie camera performs slightly better with the main where it works well in bright lighting conditions and will do a decent job in low light. The autofocus in low light here is better than the rear camera.

It does carry the same inconsistency in white balance and exposure that the rear camera had. Again this could be fixed in an OTA update. We hope.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Face beauty level 2
Face beauty level 2
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie
Selfie flash
Selfie flash

For videos the rear and selfie camera both take 1080p footage. The settings however is almost non existent. You only have the toggle for the flash/torch for both rear and selfie camera and the three resolutions: 1080p, 720p and 480p.

There is no OIS or EIS so there is noticeably wobbling or jitters when taking a video while walking. The video for both are similar characteristics. Both have decent detail and color for all resolution but the noise is more noticeably especially in low light. There is some magenta cast when the lighting is really bad and the camera tries to compensates. 

We hope next time, Cloudfone would give as much attention to video than they do with their stills settings.

Video Samples


Performance

Decent AnTuTu and Geekbench scores

The phone packs the 1.4GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor with the Adreno 308 plus the 3GB of RAM makes this phone more than good enough for your daily needs! It is not designed for gaming but it can handle some games at a respectable performance.

Respectable basic gaming performance the price!

The result is almost silky smooth multitasking and acceptable gaming performance. It has almost no hiccups with normal tasks like web browsing, texting, streaming or productivity related.


We've never had lags or stuttering with our time with the phone even with demanding games like NBA 2018 but at ultra low settings! Even when NBA 2k18 was at ultra low, the gameplay was smooth and we never had input lags or extended loading times.

Because it has a 16MP selfie camera, with enough selfies, the 16GB on board storage will run out. We recommend getting a microSD card to transfer your photos directly.
Cloudfone's UI
Cloudfone's UI

Equipped with the latest Android 7.1 based Cloudfone skin of Android with 18:9 support. It is relatively near stock but have aesthetic differences that help it stood out.

One of my biggest gripes with the UI is the notifications and quick access toggles. In most versions of Nougat, you could access quick toggles by swiping down the notification panel then swipe down again to expand the toggles.

In the Cloudfone's OS you have to swipe down the notification panel and then swipe from the right to access the quick toggles. This defeats the purpose of quick access toggles as it takes another step to get to them. One other concern is the lack of polish of some of Cloudfone's apps like the file manager having disappearing paste buttons and the like.

It is a small matter than can easily be fixed in an OTA update but I use the quicktoggles multiple times a day and most of the time when I am in a hurry so the added one step can take a toll on a given work day.

Pre-installed are the Cloudfone App Shop and the Cloudfone Care app that both adds an added after sales service by curating apps that supports the device and a quick and easy way to customer services via the Cloudfone Care app.

There are Smart Actions and Smart Gestures that allow for customizable access to different functions like drawing "O" to access the camera or double tapping the display to wake up and/or lock the phone.

At least Cloudfone invested a lot to provide a customized respectable software that harmonizes with the hardware.

The fingerprint scanner is not the fastest one we've had but for the price this is more than good enough and is on par with the competition. We did notice that it works 9 out of 10 most of the time. It would misread if your finger moved too quickly before the fingerprint reader could read your fingerprint.

Telephone connectivity is good with strong signal and steady 700MHz 4G data connectivity for better indoor signal reception. There's the usual WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS as well that never failed us

Pros - 18:9 display for price, decent overall performance, robust still photography features, great selfie camera
Cons - No OIS or EIS, some UI elements need polishing, bare videography options, SD card is needed for those big 16MP selfies

Verdict

The Cloudfone Next Infinity is a game changing phone for the sub PHP 7K price range because it introduces a beautiful IPS 720p display with 18:9 aspect ratio and a robust version of Android from a local brand!

Their version of Android and apps like the Cloudfone camera app are a step above the counterparts from other local competitors. The software and the hardware are obviously designed in tandem like how Apple designs their products. 

It is clear that they focused on upping their camera game but as a result barely added features for video. I hope that Cloudfone can fix that in a future update. In addition to this, this phone wasn't designed for gaming so don't expect to put it at all high settings but it can produce a smooth gaming and productivity experience if you play by its strengths.

There are so many wins for the this phone and given that it is priced at just PHP 6,999 we can forgive its faults. We highly recommend this phone!

Build / Design - 4
Display - 4
Audio - 4.25
Battery - 4.25
Camera - 4.25
Performance - 4
Average - 4.13 / 5
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