The PHIN photoinjector has been conceptualized by a collaboration between ?Laboratoire de l'Acc‚l‚rateur Lin‚aire (LAL)?, ?Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL)? and ?Organisation Europ‚enne pour la Recherche Nucl‚aire (CERN)?. The photoinjector has been installed, in 2008, on a dedicated test-stand at CERN. During the commissioning of the PHIN photoinjector, the beam properties have been studied by rigorous systematic measurements and simulations. The transverse and longitudinal phase spaces have been measured both in a integrated and time-resolved manner. The single shot measurements revealed useful information about the shot-to-shot stability of the beam properties, whereas the time-resolved measurements have reflected the stability along the bunch train. The experimental characterization and the numerical studies clearly indicate the feasibility of PHIN as an injector for the Compact Linear Collider (CLIC) drive beam test facility (CTF3).