Infinix Hot Note Review: A huge phone for a cheap price
The Infinix Hot Note has created quite a buzz amongst the people looking for a low budget smartphone. The phone is currently available with Daraz.pk exclusively at a price of 13,000 rupees. On paper, the specs look outstanding for the price. You get 16GB internal storage, a 5.5” IPS display, a 4000 mAh battery with rapid charging and an octa-core processor rolled up into a single package.
Will the phone live up to the hype it has generated in the past few weeks or just prove to be yet another addition to the already saturated market of Chinese phones? Let’s find out.
At first glance, the phone felt and appeared like mid-tier phone, instead of a cheap, entry-level smartphone. It was easy to grab and had a nice feel to it, a feature rare in this price range. Inside the box, you will find a USB cable, wall charger, earphones and instruction manuals.
- 5.5” 720p IPS Display
- 16GB internal memory
- microSD slot
- 1GB RAM
- 1.4GHz Octa-Core Processor
- 4000 mAh Battery
- 8MP primary and 2MP front cameras
- 3G support
- 13,000 rupees price tag
The 5.5 inch 720p screen gives a pixel density of ~267 ppi, which means you will experience visible pixelation if you have near perfect eyes. But it is good for people with big fingers and weaker eyes, as lower screen resolution provides bigger icons and generally good overall navigation experience. In outdoor conditions, the screen provides ample brightness which makes it very easy to read the texts even in the most brightest conditions.
Playing videos on YouTube at 720p resolution gave me mixed results. The colors were sharp and vibrant sometimes but other times the display felt a bit dull. If you are okay with the occasional drop in quality, you will find the display adequate for most applications. I did notice slight differences between running videos with and without ClearMotion – a feature present in the phone, which acts as a “video fluency enhancer”. However, the video quality remained acceptable at large.
The phone comes equipped with an 8-megapixel primary camera, which like any other budget phone, is mediocre at best when it comes to resolution, color rendering, and image quality. On the front, there is a 2-megapixel wide-angle front camera, which allows more people to fit in a group photo with average quality.
The primary camera works well in the daylight and good indoor lights, but as soon as you walk into dim-lit conditions, the camera shows its true colors, and by that I mean very poor results. Front camera also works well in bright conditions but starts producing grainy dark photos when there is no adequate light.
In short, there’s nothing to flaunt about the camera of this phone, and honestly when you consider the price tag, this becomes irrelevant.
Here are the shots for your viewing pleasure: (pictures directly taken out of phone, no resolution change)
Performance-wise, the phone worked well enough generally and video games performed well. Having tested Mortal Kombat X and Asphalt 8: Airborne, the phone proved that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Although, the performance was not something you would get from the high-end phones like Galaxy S6, OnePlus One, etc. but hey, it’s a budget phone, right?
Web browsing was seamless and I had no problem opening the desktop versions sites like Gsm Arena, Android Authority, Tribune, etc. Each website managed to open and worked.
The phone comes with 1GB of RAM, which is kind of a deal breaker as you get around 400MB free with default apps and stuff. Imagine, what would happen if you install some intensive apps? This phone is not for multitasking. You can run an app or two in the background, but as soon as you open a third one and try to switch it, the phone will get laggy and you will have to kill a few processes to resume normal operations. Heavy games also take a while before they are loaded.
Although, most benchmarks mean nothing but here are the results of for those who want to some benchmarks taken on the phone:
Design and Build Quality
The phone is thick and bulky, as you would expect from any phone with a massive 5.5 inch display and 4000 mAh battery. The edges are curved and the phone feels heavy in hands.
On the design side, the phone has standard configuration. You have an earphone jack at the top, microUSB slot and microphone at the bottom, and the power button and volume rockers on the right side of the phone. The back of the phone is plastic and houses the camera at the top left with a single LED Flash below it. The bottom center of the phone has the speaker for calls, music, videos, etc. Of course, this goes without saying, but the phone doesn’t have Gorilla Glass display on it, so be careful when you put it in your bag or in the pockets with keys, lest you might scratch it badly. The body or frame of the phone is plastic too, much like its back.
On the software side the phone is a disappointment. Launching a phone in the mid of 2015 with a software from 2013 is nothing praiseworthy. The phone is currently running on 2-year old Android 4.4 operating system with Infinix custom skin on it, which is not very impressive to be honest. There is not word on the launch of Android 5.0 on it either so you are kind of stuck with what you get.
If you are planning on sticking to Android KitKat for the long run, then this phone will do the job for you. Apps will still support Android 4.4 for a few years at least and you will rarely encounter an app in the playstore that demands Android 5 as a prerequisite so it is not a dealbreaker.
Unique Features: There are a few unique features to this phone that make it stand out against the competition.
Hot Knot: The opposite of NFC, you can interact with another Infinix phone with Hot Knot, face the screens and instantly share media.
Turbo charging: The advertisements promise a 20 minute charge will get you by for 7 hours, a full 55 minute charge will give you a day and half and even more, depending on your usage.
Tapping Wake: A rare feature present in phones within the price range, you can simply double tap the home screen / lock screen to wake up the phone and put it back to sleep.
Quick Start: Whilst the screen is in sleep, drawing an assigned letter on the screen will instantly launch an App. By default drawing a C with your finger will run the camera, W will bring up WhatsApp, and M will bring up Music. You can assign a total of 8 gestures on the screen in the shape of letters, V, Z, O, e, and S.
Let’s get down to the real USP of this phone. The 4000 mAh battery is truly amazing. The phone manages to live up to the promise of being fully charged in 55 Minutes, and that full charge will easily last you a day and a half in usage. Even more so if you are careful with your usage of screen time, camera, data, etc.
Out of the box, we used the phone with 98% battery, below are the results of running the phone on WiFi on and off, lots of photography and a mix of heavy and light gaming done on the phone (Mortal Kombat X, Asphalt 8: Airborne and Subway Surfers ). Plus, running the above benchmarks of Antutu, Geekbench, and Basemark variants on the phone. All of this done with the phone just out of the box.
- Huge 5.5” 720p screen
- Adequate performance for the price
- Great battery life
- Mediocre camera
- Very small RAM
- No lights on capacitative buttons
- Bulky and heavy
The phone handled everything I threw at it, ranging from benchmarks to even the most demanding games but for that I had to kill every process in the background and free up RAM for the games to start, but for a 1GB RAM this is pardonable. Lighter games of course such as Subway Surfers and Temple Run 2 ran smooth as silk.
If you are looking for a phone to get you by for a while, this phone will aptly do the job all while providing you a good display and and amazing battery life. But if you want a phone that you can use intensively, this phone will leave you wanting for more. However, for the price, this phone is the best you can get these days. I mean 2 days battery life and 5.5-inch screen are hard to come by in 13,000 rupees.
Keep in mind one thing that this phone is exclusively available with Daraz.pk and they are not very organized when it comes to handling customer complaints and after sales services so caveat emptor.
The winner of this phone is Hassan Mehmood. The winner will be contacted by email through which they commented. Hassan should get back before Monday.