Hisense Infinity Pure easy on wallet, eyes - review

2014-05-23 13:00 - Duncan Alfreds
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Hisense is taking on the established players with a new smartphone. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)


Cape Town - There are over a billion people expected to come "online" within the next five years, but they are not going to spend $1 000 on a smartphone.

Hisense is not a name you would generally associate with smartphones, but the company has registered its intent to disrupt the South African market with a range of lower cost devices.

The Infinity Pure may not be the sexiest name on the block, but the device is elegantly designed. It lives happily alongside some expensive names without you feelingembarrassed.

The phone has a large 14cm display and even though that makes the Infinity feel on the large size in your hand, it's not uncomfortable - not, at least, for reviewers with mitts for hands.

The Hisense Infinity doesn't feel as big as it is. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Powering the Infinity is a 1.3GHz quad core - yes quad core - processor and you get 1GB of RAM.

Of course that means that the device is somewhat underpowered compared to the flagship smartphones from Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony, but it performs well enough running intense applications.

Even on games like Real Racing 3 and Cricket T20 Fever, the Hisense performs adequately with few obvious slowdowns. In fact, it continued to perform well even during application switching.

It runs Google's Android 4.2, and there is no bloatware on the device. Settings are simple and the OS performs much like the Nexus 5.

Camera quality

You get an 8 megapixel main camera which delivers crisp pictures in direct sunlight though it struggles somewhat in low-light conditions.

Like hardware from some of the big players, the video camera allows you to pause recording to facilitate more creativity in creating video.

No shimmer was observed during tests of the video camera though it suffered minor issues when shifting from bright to dark shots, an issue that plagues most smartphones.

But alas, you won't see the Hisense at a mobile operator catalogue near you - at least - not at all in the near future.

The reason? It upends the market because you get a clean version of Android, most smartphone features, and dual SIM at a budget price.

The Hisense smartphone has elegant design. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Mobile operators in SA are loathe to range dual SIM devices because they cover the whole country, unlike in many parts of Africa and want users to be loyal to one operator.

With dual SIM functionality, you could, for example, use one SIM to make calls and another exclusively for data.

The Infinity Pure is targeted at people who want functionality and don't care too much about fashionable branding. In this it does its job, but can't have it all its own way.


A number of manufacturers are targeting lower priced handsets, including Lenovo with the Vibe, Acer with the Liquid, Huawei with its recently launched P7, and even Nokia with the X series of Android smartphones.

The difference between the expensive smartphones costing more than an LCD TV and the Infinity is that you can have it now and have a chuck of cash to spare.

The Hisense Infinity Pure retails for R2 999 and is available from kalahari.com and takealot.co.za.

Check our News24 video review of the Hisense Infinity Pure 1:

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