The folks are Stuff are a spoiled lot. We handle more handsets than an octopus with a severe case of FOMO and a truck full of fish-flavoured iPhones. As such, we get to see what the best devices in each company’s stable are capable of. Eventually, all that high-end hardware does result in a craving for something a little less… overpowered, though. Not everyone can use an iPhone X or a Galaxy S9, after all. We sometimes yearn for something like the Hisense Infinity F24, another jewel in the company’s Infinity gauntlet.
Design — So hot right now…
And if you’ve been paying attention, you might have noticed that the Infinity F24 bears more than a slight resemblance to a certain Samsung flagship smartphone. Hisense’s thinner edge bezels and curved corners, and even the camera and sensor placement all look to have been cribbed from Samsung’s blockbuster. The only this missing is the curved edges of the display. Even the box for the handset draws inspiration from the S8’s marketing. But that’s just from the front.
From the rear, the Hisense is its own phone — the design there is in keeping with previous Hisense designs. There’s the centrally-placed camera, flash and circular fingerprint sensor. The volume rocker and power key live down the right side (if you’re holding the phone facing you), the SIM and microSD port is on the upper left, and the charge and headphone powers are on the bottom and top of the phone respectively.
Specs — Lower-middle class
On the inside we’re looking at a 1.5GHz MediaTek ARM MT6737T processor, a quad-core that puts in a decent performance considering it’s… you know, a quad-core. We don’t see that many of those in the Stuff offices these days. It’s backed by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage — of which 10GB was free. Happily, microSD expansion is supported but you’re going to have to forgo the second SIM card to up your storage.
The 5.99in (Hisense was very specific) IPS display is a 720 x 1,440 affair or as Hisense likes to style it: HD+. The colour reproduction is bright enough, though a shade paler than you’ll see with a more expensive smartphone.
The hardware here is decent enough, though it’s also unremarkable at the same time.
The Infinity F24 runs Android 7.0 out of the box but there’s a considerable update for the installed apps on boot. Speaking of which: There’s almost no bloatware to be had, just the standard stack of Android regulars — that’s just the way we like things.
Performance — Enough to get the job done
We put the new Infinity through our usual battery of tests, as well as some real-world conditions to see what the paper specs work out to in practise. Our two tests, Antutu and Geekbench 4, provided the numbers but it’s really the actual performance that is of interest. So let’s save the best for last, shall we?
We hammered the F24 in Antutu, in an almost literal sense. 3D rendering tests were more slide-show than video game and the test actually managed to hang part-way in on our first go. It all came out fine in the end, though, popping out a score of 44,609. To give you something of a yardstick, the iPhone X has an average score of over 200,000 on this particular benchmark.
Geekbench was our next port of call, a test that took longer than expected to conclude. Final score? 670 for single-core and 1886 for multi-core, which puts the F24 into Nexus 5 territory — even though LG’s Nexus had a Snapdragon 800 quad at its heart and this little fella has a MediaTek quad. Ain’t tech grand?
In practise, this means that there’s a noticeable lag when opening apps. Almost all apps, actually. We’re probably more likely to notice the delay than most, because we’re not used to seeing it. At all. Because Stuff. You’ll also see it when zooming in on full-sized images — there’s a slight delay as the image goes from fuzzy to sharp. If you really want to be slammed in the face with the processor lag, you just need to fire up a 3D mobile game. You’ll only do it once.
Camera and battery — There are a few conditions…
The Infinity F24 lands with a 13MP rear camera and an 8MP front cam — the bare minimum we’d expect from a smartphone these days. The cameras are decent enough in a good light, capturing accurate colours and crisp images that even hold up to magnification. To a point, obviously.
Introduce some poorer light and you’ll see the picture quality drop like a new smartphone towards a toilet bowl. Image sharpness takes a hit quickly and grain creeps in very noticeably in darker environments. There are also no extras to be had at this price point — don’t expect anything other than autofocus here. The camera is for on-the-go snaps, which is how these things were originally designed.
On to the power bank. Normal use will see the battery draining over a civilised period but you’re going to resort to a charger by the end of the day with moderate usage, even with the 3,500mAh battery. You’ll have some juice left in the tank for the following morning but you’ll battle to get through two days on a charge. That’s okay, it happens to everyone.
At least Hisense has put some thought into their target market. The Infinity F24 comes with a bundled screen protector, a hard plastic sheet that is back-edged around the bits where your bezels lie, as well as a clear, rubbery case. We don’t know if you’ve ever had to track down an aftermarket case of any kind for a Hisense phone but… we’re just glad that they’re packed in the box now.
Hisense Infinity F24 Verdict
The Hisense Infinity F24 will run you about R3,300, if you opt to pay cash in full. That’s not a bad price for this little low-to-mid-ranger when a flagship will cost you five times as much. If you’re just looking for a very large display, a camera that’ll work on outdoor targets and in good lighting, basic web browsing, and a design that’ll make any Samsung look twice, then the Infinity F24 is for you. If smartphone speed and picture sharpness are your two main tickboxes, then you’re going to have to look elsewhere.