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Infinix Hot 5 Review: A budget smartphone with killer value for money

Shaoor Munir Written by Shaoor Munir · 5 min read>

With the ever decreasing prices of smartphones and influx of a lot of new smartphone companies in the market, the low-cost smartphone market is booming right now. In a bid to win over the consumers, smartphone manufacturers are adding unexpected features in low-cost smartphones making the competition more intense.

Infinix is one of those companies which has captured a lot of market share with one phone after the another, providing very decent specs in an attractive price range. Today we are looking at another low-cost device from Infinix all set to impress with what it’s offering.

Infinix Hot 5 is the latest low-cost Android phone from Infinix. With an asking price of 13,499 PKR, it certainly lies in the affordable smartphone segment. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer and judge if it is indeed worth the asking price.

Specification

Infinix, along with some other companies, has been redefining the term low-cost smartphone for a while now. And now, with the latest Infinix Hot 5, I am genuinely confused whether to call it a low-cost device or a mid-range smartphone. Infinix Hot 5 is packing some very decent hardware for what the company is asking for the device.

Here’s a list of its specifications:

  • 5.5 inch HD (1280x720p) IPS LCD display
  • 2 GB RAM with 16 GB internal storage (SD card support up to 32 GB)
  • 1.3 GHz Quad-Core Cortex A53 Mediatek MT6580 chipset with Mali GPU
  • 8 MP primary camera with LED flash
  • 5 MP secondary camera with LED flash
  • Front facing dual speakers with Dirac Stereo Widening technology
  • 4,000 mAh non-removable Li-Ion battery
  • Rear mounted fingerprint sensor

Pros and Cons

Before going into depth with the full review, let’s talk about some positive and negative points of this phone. Here’s where this phone stands out from the crowd:

  • Feature packed despite low asking price
  • Very good battery life
  • Impressive sound quality from speakers
  • Good build quality
  • Very good quality fingerprint sensor

Despite having all those points in its favor, here are a few areas where this phone might fall short of the competition:

  • Uninspiring design
  • Back is removable but battery is not

What do you get in the box?

Despite the low asking price, it’s good to see that Infinix hasn’t cut down on the accessories which are packed along with the device. Here’s what you get in the box once you open it up:

  • 5V/2A wall charger
  • Standard length USB-A to micro USB cable
  • 3.5 mm in-ear headphones
  • Ring holder with Infinix logo
  • Warranty and other documentation

Design and build quality

When you are looking for a device under 15,000 Rupees in the market, good build quality is probably not very high on your list of priorities. But Infinix, despite the sub 15K asking price, did not skimp on the build quality for Infinix Hot 5. The device is very well built and feels very solid in the hand. The weight associated with the device is also very well balanced and it fits very comfortably in the hand. The back cover of the device has a snake-skin like pattern which keeps it from being too slippery to hold (This is a blessing, considering the larger than usual display of this device). Apart from the snake-skin like back-cover, the design of the device is not something to write a lot about. Aesthetics were clearly not a focus for Infinix while making this device and the completely black front panel looks like any other generic Android smartphone in the market.
The button placement on the Infinix Hot 5 is a pretty usual affair for most of the new devices coming out these days. The volume rockers and the power button is present on the right side of the device, with the left side left completely clean. The 3.5 mm headphone jack is on the top of the device and the micro USB port is at the bottom. To insert the SIM cards or the microSD card, you need to take off the back cover, which gives access to these slots along with a view of the non-removable 4,000 mAh battery.
All the buttons are very tactile and easy to press, so there shouldn’t be any concern regarding the placement or the clickability of both volume rockers and the power button.

Display and sound quality

Infinix has fitted a 720p 5.5 inch IPS LCD display on the Hot 5. It is a very decent panel with good overall color reproduction and very good viewing angles. My initial impression was that 720p resolution on a 5.5 inch display might be stretching things a little bit, but after using it for a few days, I can say with certainty that most people won’t have any trouble in using the phone as their daily driver. The text is very sharp and readable in nearly all conditions. The display gets very bright in the sunlight which makes the outdoor legibility much better than other devices in this price range.
Overall, the display gets a big thumbs up from my side. It is a pleasure to use and it might be difficult to find a better panel in this price range.

Infinix is selling Hot 5 as a personal entertainment and media consumption device. Apart from the display, sound plays a big role when consuming any kind of media. With Hot 5, Infinix has included front-facing stereo speakers along with Dirac Stereo Widening technology, which helps to produce more realistic stereo sound. In my usage, I found the speakers to be great when the only priority was volume. They get loud, very loud. The front speakers are enough to fill a small room with blasting sound. The quality, however, is a mixed bag. The sound is very clear at lower volumes, however, it tends to lose some of its sharpness and quality when it is amped up. Despite this little shortcoming, the overall experience is much better than what you would expect to find at this price range.

Software experience

Infinix Hot 5 ships with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. It is complemented with Infinix’s home-brewed skin, ‘XOS Chameleon’.

XOS Chameleon is one of the most customized versions of Android I have seen in recent history. It still is not as ridiculous as compared to Huawei or Samsung’s offerings but it does customize a lot of different parts of the OS. Doing so, it offers some nice features like inbuilt screen recording, resource management, and a very customizable theme engine. All of these features work very well and fit in nicely with the already existing Android features.
XManager is a particularly interesting feature which works to keep the device running smoothly/. It makes all the difference while using the device for the longer duration of time. It can clean up unnecessary files, remove unwanted programs from the memory and check for any rogue applications which might slow down the device.

Performance and battery life

The Infinix Hot 5 runs a 1.3 GHz Quad-core MediaTek MT6580 chipset with an unspecified Mali GPU. It’s not a very high performing CPU, which makes perfect sense considering the price point that it is being offered in. It works well for what it is meant for, handling most day to day tasks and providing a decent user experience. While using the device to make calls, take pictures, sifting through social media applications and browsing the internet, there is no slowdown or any noticeable impact on the performance. However, multitasking of applications might become an issue due to the 2 GB RAM. Graphical performance is another lacking aspect which will prevent you from playing very highly graphics intensive games. It does perform adequately well for games like Subway Surfers and Color Switch, but anything like Modern Combat 4 would struggle to run on its modest hardware. Here are its scores for the popular AnTuTu benchmark and Geekbench applications.
The battery life is one of the strongest points of this device. With its 4,000 mAh battery and very power efficient hardware, it performs exceptionally well when it comes to going through a heavy to moderate usage. It easily lasts a day and a half with a constant data connection, a lot of social media browsing and a few light games thrown in there. The screen on time is also above 7 hours. (screen on time depends on the type of usage and is not a perfect indication of how good the battery life is).

Camera

While buying a phone these days, the camera is another aspect which matters a lot to some people. It is a relief that Infinix realized this and didn’t compromise a lot on the camera quality to keep the price down. It won’t match the quality of any high end or mid-range device, but it gets the job done. The 8 MP back camera takes good quality pictures in suitable light conditions and captures stills which are more than worthy of sharing on the social media.
The 5 MP front camera tells a similar story and is adequate for taking the casual selfie. It might not have any wow factor but also doesn’t give a lot to complain about too. The only complaint I have about the front-facing camera is that the color reproduction is a bit dull in indoor pictures, but given appropriate conditions, it works fine most of the time.

Conclusion

I usually mention in my reviews that talking about only the device’s specification is not enough. Unless we take into consideration the price of the device, it is not fair to judge if the device is worth purchasing. If we only look at the specifications of this device, it might not impress a lot of people. But when we put the asking price and specifications side by side, instantly everything starts to make sense. The price of 13,499 PKR looks like a bargain for a device of this quality. With its decent screen, incredible battery life, sturdy build, good sound quality and mostly smooth performance, it is an excellent candidate for anyone looking to buy a budget device which checks almost all marks of a good all-around device.

Written by Shaoor Munir
I am passionate about technology, hardware and the future of both of them together.Email: shaoor@techjuice.pk Profile