Hisense has now been in the South African market for quite some time now, and continue to have a strong presence among the entry-level and mid-range smartphones. Earlier this year, the company extended its range of smartphones in the country with the release of the H11, F24 and E7 range. We’ve already taken a closer look at the Hisense Infinity F24, a lower mid-range smartphone focused on delivering a visual experience to those who typically are unable to afford it. This time around, we feature the Hisense Infinity H11 smartphone, a slightly more expensive unit, but with a lot more under the hood, for a much better experience.
Build and Design
With the growing amount of mid-range smartphones flooding the market, both local and abroad, there is a need for every OEM to step up their game. Even more so, with a number of really good units already available in this category, it’s important to find a good balance between affordability and performance to offer a favourable experience. But, as the competition for just a small slice of the pie continues, it’s crucial not to overlook other peripheral requirements of a great smartphone, the build and design among one of those requirements. The H11 smartphone attempts to do just that.
The Infinity H11 feels good in hand. This is the most important. The unit is sleek and lightweight, and with its glossy black sheen looks amazing. The unit weighs 170g, which is quite reasonable, although some 25g heavier than the superior LG Q7 at 145g. In addition to this, the unit measures 158.2x75x7.5mm, which makes it almost a full millimetre thinner than the Q7. The unit is put together from a mix of metal and polycarbonate, which says quite a lot about the steps taken to improve the level of quality its mid-range devices by Hisense.
There are other aspects of the H11’s polished finish that raises the levels of the typical mid-range smartphone, which includes a Type-C USB charger, nanoSIM, fingerprint scanner, as well as a 3.5mm jack. While not as important, the unit also comes with a few added peripherals to the box contents, including a tempered glass protective screen, and a rubberised cover. This, alongside the standard contents of a charger and USB cable, SIM drawer pin, and a set of earphones.
Screen and Display
The screen is an upgrade over that fitted on the H24 Infinity. The H11 keeps the 5.99” screen size, but switches to an FHD+ IPS LCD panel for much better results. The new panel has a 1080x2160px resolution – the same you’ll find on the Q7 – to up the pixel density to 403ppi. The capacitive touchscreen display is quite impressive, not only because it extends to 78% of front, but because it just looks great. Speaking of the 78% screen-to-body ratio, the unit has removed the navigation buttons in previous models, with a top bezel that includes the front-facing camera, other sensors, and speaker grille.
The screen doesn’t have Gorilla Glass protection, but it has a 2.5D curved glass protection. The colour reproduction is really good, and crisp, clean imagery. The resolution also means that there isn’t any pixelation at all. The contrast also compliments the colours, rounding off a complete set of ticks for the H11’s screen. While not full marks, the unit is closely comparable to the Q7, although that unit does cost a few extra Rands.
Performance and Battery
When it comes to the specifications of the H11, it isn’t half bad. It may have an older chipset, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 MSM8937, which sports an Octo-Core CPU (quad-core 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 and quad-core 1.1GHz Cortez-A53). The SoC includes an Adreno 505 GPU, and is partnered with 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, and operated by an Android 7.1.2 Nougat OS out the box. The specs are similar to that of the Q7, although that sports the updated Qualcomm 450 chipset. It may be an older chipset, but the performances are still very slick with no performance drops throughout the review period. Under normal conditions, the Infinity H11 was able to handle anything thrown at it. None of its pre-loaded or installed applications had issues with lag and load times, which is a huge plus for prospective buyers. Where the unit did lag somewhat was during some heavy-duty games, which caused a few small hiccups, and slightly longer load times. Still, this is nothing major, and the 430 chipset was more than able to carry its weight.
The H11’s Li-Po 3,400mAh, non-removable battery does a satisfactory job overall and is more than capable of surviving a complete day at the office without worrying about needing to recharge. Interestingly, the unit also supports some fast-charging capabilities, and never takes longer than two hours to fully charge, even from being completely depleted.
So far, the H11 has been able to handle most of what was thrown at it, and able to yield some impressive results, exceeding in some areas. Where Hisense made some interesting choices came in the form of the cameras, which almost seems to have been deployed backwards. The rear-facing unit has a 12MP camera with the front-facing unit sporting a 16MP camera. The rear-facing camera, however, included additional features such as autofocus, which isn’t available on the 16MP camera.
The rear unit, however, carries a Sony Exmor RS sensor in the camera for best results. There’s a notable difference in quality between the two cameras. While the front has a higher resolution, the quality produced on the rear-facing camera is a lot better. Colour reproduction captured is good, with crisp and clear images. The vibrant colours captured during full sunlight don’t hold up under darker conditions, but still good enough not to shy away from using it altogether.
The Hisense Infinity H11 is a great smartphone, which is doubly impressive thanks to the low cost of just R4,499. That’s a R1,500 saving over the much more superior LG Q7 unit, but is capable of competing on most fronts. While the unit may be lightweight, and with a great 5.99” screen and display, it isn’t able to match some of the more powerful units on performance and camera quality. It’s able to hold its own, and will get the job done for anyone looking for a more affordable unit at under R5,000.