Samsung Infuse 4G Review

The Samsung Infuse 4G was released by AT&T on May 15th of this year. It came at a time when everyone was expecting its other sibling, the Galaxy S II, which was already out in some countries. The Infuse comes with a giant 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 1.2GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and many other features that we will be covering during this review. One of its biggest drawbacks is its lack of real 4G speeds especially when compared with its little bother the Droid Charge which runs on Verizon’s 4G LTE blazing-fast network.It currently sells for as low as $129.99 with a two-year agreement and $589.99, if you like to be contract-free.

Hardware

The first thing anyone will notice when looking at the Infuse is how huge its display is. It measures 5.2-inch tall and 2.8-inch across. As big as this phone is, it is also very thin, 8.9mm for most of it and 9.24mm right down the bottom. You won’t have to worry about weighing down your pockets with this phone because it is only 4.6 oz (131g) heavy. It is indeed the lightest phone in the market!

Here’s the list of the Infuse 4G features:

  • Android 2.2
  • 1.2GHz Hummingbird processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 16GB of internal storage (up to 32GB via microSD card)
  • 2GB external microSD card
  • 8-megapixel rear-facing camera wiht LED flash
  • 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity
  • 1750 mAh battery

You will  find a 3.5mm headphone jack and a mic all the way on the top. The volume rocker is on left side of the Infuse, the power button is on the right and the micro USB port is on the bottom. I am not sure if everyone will like that power button on the side of this phone but I liked it better than the Motorola Atrix which has it in the upper-middle of the device. The speaker is placed in the back and left-bottom of the Infuse. Lastly, the 8-megapixel camera is situated right in the center of the back of this Samsung phone while the 1.3-megapixel one can be found in the upper-left in the front of it.

Display

The Infuse’s Super AMOLED Plus display is the brightest and clearest screen I have seen on a phone to date! It actually has 50% more subpixels and a 800×480 resolution. Its vivid colors, deep black, high contrast and awesome viewing angles definitely makes it an awesome little HDTV.

Another feature I enjoyed was the 720p video playback. The quality of the picture is just out of this world. Check out the picture above from the X-Men trailer which is included within the handset along with a couple other ones.

Software

Here is what I don’t understand, Samsung released the Infuse 4G with Froyo aka Android 2.2 while the Galaxy S II was launched a couple of weeks earlier with Gingerbread onboard. Even the older Galaxy S was updated to Android 2.3. Samsung also included their older version 3.0 of TouchWiz (4.0 for the SGS2).

You will also find Swype pre-loaded within this phone, an AT&T exclusive version of Angry Birds and Samsung’s Media Hub along with a $25 voucher. I am not a big fan of bloatware and as any U.S. carrier-branded phone, the Infuse has some unwanted-pre-installed apps such as Yellow Pages, Live TV, AT&T Navigator and AT&T Code scanner which can easily be removed.

The Infuse has also made history being the first Android phone on AT&T to have sideloading enabled, Yes! This means that you will be able to download third-party apps and also to get the Amazon Appstore app right on that bad boy.

Camera

The Samsung Infuse’s 8-megapixel camera is probably the second best feature that this phone has. I took a lot of pictures with this phone while I was outdoors with the family and I was really impressed. Even the front camera produced good pictures!

The front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera is intended for video chat/calls. It also takes some pretty cool pictures and you cannot record videos while using it. Look at the picture below, not bad heh?.

Video Sample

Performance & Battery Life

The voice quality of the Infuse is just great especially when compared to my older Atrix 4G. It works pretty good on both outgoing and incoming calls and very little dropped calls. You guys will be very impressed!

The part that I really dislike about the Infuse is AT&T!! Right on the phone package, you can read in small print: “4G speeds are delivered by HSPA+ with enhanced backhaul, available in limited areas.” This is very misleading because the speed tests I ran, in the Tri-Satte area, do not reflect the presence of any 4G network whatsoever. The infuse 4G, on the other hand, is their first phone to use HSDPA Cat 14 and HSUPA CAt 6 radios, having the ability to reach theoretical speeds of 21.1Mbps on downloads and 5Mbps on uploads. The best I was able to get is 5.6Mbps down and 1.4Mbps up but only a couple of times.

The Infuse sport a 1.2GHz Hummingbird single-core processor and it can show in the benchmarks tests scores above when compared with other devices. I will have to disagree with a couple of reports about the Infuse having a poor battery life because I have been able to go through a whole day of moderate usage (calls, emails and Web browsing) on it and it’ll still have 20-30% on it. It really depends on how you use your phone, do not expect your battery to last all day if you have the display’s contrast turned all the way up, your Bluetooth on all day or if you use the Mobile Hotspot feature constantly.

Final Thoughts

Cons:

I was fairly disappointed about this phone not having Gingerbread or the latest version of TouchWiz but I am hoping that Samsung will get this part figured out very soon. The 4G part is also left to desire because AT&T doesn’t really offer 4G at all or maybe in their “enhanced backhaul” imaginary world. Expect your battery to drain very fast (70% in 3 hours) when you have Navigation on, I recommend to plug it in while in the car.

Pros:

Its amazing 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, the awesome 8-megapixel camera and the surprisingly great battery life make the Infuse the best Android phone that AT&T has to offer.

Zack has always been a fan of anything with the tag "Gadget" on it, he has had used almost every phone brand except for the Palm and owns a OnePlus One, Moto 360 and a Nexus 7. His favorite camera is the Olympus EM-1. He is a full-time father of two great boys and happily married to his wife. Did we mention the Zack loves Video games? Add him to you circles: Google+

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