Premium design and build quality
18:9 display on a budget
Good camera performance
Compact form factor
Frustrating software experience
Limited display resolution
After the novelty was introduced to flagship smartphones earlier this year, screens with 18:9 aspect ratios are already trickling down to mid-range smartphones. Clearly, this is the season of longer displays!
With Indian handset maker Micromax‘s newest offering, the Canvas Infinity, the company has brought this feature to an affordable smartphone. But apart from that striking display, is the Canvas Infinity still a competent budget smartphone? Let’s find out in our comprehensive Micromax Canvas Infinity review.
The Canvas Infinity is a budget smartphone, yet there is a hint of style in its chassis. It sports a premium design and good looks, combined with great build quality. Though it’s not a metal unibody design, the Micromax uses top-quality plastic that doesn’t feel cheap at all.
The phone feels great in-hand, especially because of its compact form factor. Even with a 5.7-inch display, the slim bezels and increased height make for a very comfortable phone. It’s smaller than several smartphones in the market with 5.5-inch displays, and gives users a big screen experience without the need to lug around an unwieldy smartphone.
Micromax has done a good job in aesthetics as well as in build quality.
Overall, Micromax has done a good job in aesthetics as well as in build quality. Unlike other smartphones with large displays, the Canvas Infinity is actually comfortable to use with one hand.
The highlight of the Canvas Infinity is of course its display. Micromax offers an edge-to-edge display with 18:9 aspect ratio in a budget smartphone, and manages to be early on the trend. Not bad at all!
The 5.7-inch display sports a 1,440 x 720 resolution and the HD+ IPS LCD has a relatively low pixel density of around 282 ppi. While the colors are bright and vibrant, there is a definite lack of sharpness. The extra screen real estate makes for an immersive video or gaming experience, but the lack of details are a tad disappointing.
Micromax has done well to offer a large and tall display in a compact form factor. It’s not perfect, but a lot of users won’t mind.
Powered by the older Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, the Canvas Infinity is not built to be a powerhouse. With 3 GB of RAM on board, it does not stutter in everyday usage, even with multiple apps and background processes.
When you stretch it though, there are occasional lags or frame drops. For a budget smartphone, I did not mind the performance – even playing graphics-intensive games worked okay. It’s not a device built for multitasking or power users of any kind. Some apps that need a little more processing power, like Facebook, would take a couple of seconds extra to load or refresh. But this is to be expected.
The good news is that even when stretched, it doesn’t get hot. During extended gaming sessions or while charging, it gets a little warm, but it never gets uncomfortable.
Powered by the older Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor, the Canvas Infinity is not built to be a powerhouse.
The 720p display and the modest processor means that the Canvas Infinity manages to squeeze a day’s worth of battery life from the 2,900 mAh battery it packs. It’s not exemplary, but should be good enough for most people. There’s 32 GB of internal storage, with a microSD slot for extending the storage by up to 128 GB.
The Canvas Infinity packs in modest internals, but does a good job in extracting decent performance out of them. Most casual users will enjoy the seamless experience, but power users and specs sheet watchers will want more.
The Micromax Canvas Infinity sports a removable back panel allowing you to replace the battery, an uncommon feature in 2017. The device also features separate slots for two SIM cards as well as a microSD card, so you don’t have to make a choice between the second SIM and expandable storage.
There’s a fingerprint sensor at the back that is fairly accurate and quick to unlock the phone. It is one of the best performing fingerprint sensors I’ve seen on a budget smartphone.
While the 18:9 display is the company’s sole pitch for the device, its camera is the surprise standout of the Canvas Infinity.
The 13 MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture trumps most smartphones in its price segment. Outdoors in daylight, it manages to take some great shots with quite good color saturation and an okay amount of detail.
The camera is the surprise standout of the Micromax Canvas Infinity.
In low light conditions, the photos are a hit-and-miss. While the color reproduction is good enough, the photos turn out a bit grainy.
Incidentally, the 16 MP front camera fares better, even in lighting conditions that are less than ideal. The color reproduction is accurate and it captures decent amount of details for your selfies to get enough likes (and validation) on social media.
The camera app on the Canvas Infinity is pretty good too. It features a portrait mode for both cameras that blurs out the background for the subject (you) to stand out. In most cases, it’s unnatural and artificial though, but I see a lot of people enjoying that – if my Facebook timeline is any indication. There’s also a feature called Super Pixel which takes multiple shots simultaneously and combines them to give a higher resolution photo. Some of these came out pretty good, but, again, they looked artificial.
Micromax has done well to offer decent imaging capabilities and an especially generous selfie camera. Not every shot will be great, so expect a few blurry or grainy photos, but at the price the Canvas Infinity comes at, you knew that already.
The Canvas Infinity runs on Android 7.1.2 Nougat, which would have been good if Micromax hadn’t chosen to hide the Nougat goodness under the company’s own ‘My Launcher’.
The custom skin is responsible for most of the performance issues you may encounter with the device. It is buggy, and pre-installed apps ask for critical permissions randomly. Then there’s the Apps Center that throws up ads as notifications. My Launcher aims to mimic the iOS UI, as is apparent with the icons and the Settings app. I’m not really sure how this UI was approved at the drawing board but it’s a mess.
Also, there’s a plethora of bloatware, including the random addition of the Indian Prime Minister’s personal app. There are a few neat additions like Smart Actions and Smart Gestures, as well as a one-handed mode which is quite handy.
The Canvas Infinity is a big letdown in terms of software, and one should really opt for a third-party launcher. The good thing is that it packs the latest iteration of Android Nougat, and the company has announced that the smartphone will get the Android 8.0 Oreo update soon.
|Operating System||Android 7.1.2 Nougat
Upgradable to Android 8.0 Oreo
|Display||5.7-inch HD+ (1440 x 720) IPS
18:9 aspect ratio
450 nits brightness
|Processor||1.4GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 425
Adreno 308 GPU
Expandable up to 128GB with microSD card
|Rear Camera||13 MP with LED flash
1.12um pixel size
|Front Camera||16 MP with LED flash
|Dimensions||152 x 9 x 73 mm|
Pricing and final thoughts
The Micromax Canvas Infinity is one of the best-looking smartphones in its price segment, and the novelty of a display with an 18:9 aspect ratio is a great addition. The camera is a surprise standout too.
The Canvas Infinity is a capable budget smartphone, with more than one thing going for it.
If you’re not looking for raw power, it will serve you well. Its only downside, and a major one at that, is its frustrating software experience.
At ₹9,999 ($154) in India, the Micromax Canvas Infinity is a good option and puts up a decent challenge against the competition. It has a lot going for it, but it’s not perfect.