Samsung’s Galaxy Note series is widely credited for bringing stylus-functionality to the mainstream again with capacitive displays, way back in 2011. Since then, most OEMs have still kept their distance from including a stylus with the phone — and more specifically, inside the phone. The technical challenges with including a stylus are many; and while some OEMs like LG have tried their hand at this market segment, they haven’t met with the same success as the Galaxy Note series.
Hopeful at grabbing some share of this market, Infinix have launched the Infinix Note 5 Stylus — an Android One device with an included stylus. What sets apart the Infinix Note 5 Stylus from Samsung’s Note series is that it targets a completely different price bracket, and so, does not compete directly with Samsung’s flagship offering outside of the Pen functionality.
The highlight of the Infinix Note 5 Stylus (X605) is, of course, the stylus pen. Infinix is calling it the Xpen, and it comes with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. The Xpen charges within the device, and claims to provide up to 90 minutes of use with 20 seconds of in-device charging. You can use the Xpen to create notes, memos, take screenshots, doodle and paint. Infinix also claims that an OTA update will soon allow users to write equations and let the phone calculate the answer for you. Written text recognition will also be made available for English and Hindi in a future OTA update.
The Infinix Note 5 Stylus comes with a 5.93″ FHD+ LCD display. The device is powered by the 16 nm, 64-bit MediaTek Helio P23 octa-core SoC with 8x Cortex-A53 cores. The phone comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, with an expandability option of up to 128GB through the hybrid dual-SIM slot. As can be seen, the phone retains the 3.5mm headphone jack, but also comes with a microUSB port instead of a USB Type-C port. The 4,000 mAh battery on the device supports 18W fast charging, and thankfully, a compatible fast charger is said to be included in the box. For the camera, the phone sports a 16MP rear sensor with f/1.8 aperture. The front is a 16MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture, with a soft LED flash on the front as well.
The phone also comes with Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box, and is part of the Android One program. We are unable to comment on Infinix’s track record for updates, even though they have launched Android One devices in the past. The company has not mentioned any details for an eventual Android 9 Pie update for the device.
The Infinix Note 5 Stylus comes in Red and Blue colors and is priced at ₹15,999 (~$225). The phone will be available exclusively via Flipkart, starting from December 4, 2018.
The success of the Note 5 Stylus hinges on how well it executes the Xpen functionality. While including quality hardware for the pen is paramount, it is also necessary to create a meaningful software experience around the pen functionality to elevate it to a position of an indispensable feature and not relegate it to being a mere gimmick. Samsung does nail down the S-Pen experience through their UX, and it remains to be seen if other OEMs can ever match up to that experience.
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