Infinix HOT 8 is a perfect budget phone with awesome features

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Infinix Mobile launched the Infinix Hot 8 smartphone in Kenya in October this year. The phone is available in two variants i.e. Hot 8 and Hot 8 Lite.

The phone is a successor to the Infinix Hot 7, which was launched in Kenya in March 2019. The phone was launched globally in early September and was made available in Kenya on pre-order in September 2019.

We received the Hot 8 for review and here are our thoughts on it;

Infinix Hot 8 Specifications

  • Network: 4G/3G/2G
  • Operating system: AndroidTM 9 Pie
  • Internal storage: 32GB
  • RAM: 3GB (HOT 8) & 2GB (Hot 8 Lite)
  • Display: 6.6″HD+ Waterdrop Display
  • Processor: MT6761-> 32GB+3GB & 32GB+2GB editions/MT6580-> 32GB+2GB edition
  • Dimensions: 165.4*76.3*8.7mm
  • Battery: 5000mAh
  • Front Camera: 8MP
  • Back camera: 13MP + 2MP + AI Lens

Design

The Hot 8 comes with an arc design with the screen covering almost the entire front side of the camera. It features a notch that fits the front camera. The screen protector comes separately and you’ll have to attach it to the phone yourself.

The home button is in the middle of the phone with the rest of the controls are on the left and on the right.

There’s a dual SIM card port on the left side which also has the MicroSD port. The power button is on the right along with the volume buttons. A 3.5mm headphone jack is at the bottom of the phone (left) plus a charging port (middle), loudspeaker, and a mouthpiece .

The fingerprint sensor is located at the centre on the back of the phone with the rear cameras on the left plus the camera sensor.

Screen

The phone comes with a 6.6 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen. It  has a resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels with a 20:9 ratio (~269 ppi density) The screen covers 81.5% of the front side of the front side of the front side of the phone.

The notch of the screen can be turned off so that it’s not visible. It is however small and hardly noticeable in case you want to leave it like that.

The screen produces colours pretty well and is quite good even in high light situations like in the sun. When you turn on the adaptive brightness feature on the phone, the light is adjusted automatically depending on the light conditions. At 0%, the screen is still visible.

Other features for the screen include the eye care feature that dulls the screen to reduce eye fatigue when using the phone. It comes in handy especially at night when a bright screen may interfere with your sleep or when you are tired.

Connectivity

The phone is a Dual SIM and it also comes with dual 4G which means that both SIM cards are able to access 4G at the same time. You can also switch usage of data, voice or SMS between the different SIM cards quite fast. Data switching however takes a bit longer than the other.

I used the phone with both Safaricom and Telkom SIM cards. On data, I was able to get downloads of between 20-40 Mbps on Safaricom and uploads of 15-20Mbps. On Telkom, downloads were between 15-20Mbps and uploads of between 10-20Mbps.

The phone can also access 2G and 3G networks and it also has Bluetooth, Micro USB, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Hot Spot and FM radio.

The phone comes with 4G+ which can only be activated on Safaricom in Kenya. This comes with a better browsing experience and better voice calls.

Software

The phone comes with Android 9.0 (Pie) that is coupled with XOS 5.0. The apps it comes with include the usual Google apps and also comes pre-installed with apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook. It also comes with Palmstore, an app store by Transsion Holdings, where you can install additional apps.

Performance

The phone with a Mediatek MT6761 Helio A22 chipset, Quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU and PowerVR GE8320 GPU. The phone also comes with 3GB RAM. The two combine pretty well for a smooth experience most of the time.

It works pretty well with standard apps open at the same time. It struggles a bit when using heavy apps such as Instagram, Tumblr and Snapchat. It holds its own when playing games but you have to close other apps for a great experience.

Camera

The phone with 3 cameras, 2 at the back and 1 at the front. The back features a 13 Megapixel and 2 megapixel with Quad-LED flash, panorama, HDR Video. At the front, there is a 8 Megapixel camera with LED flash.

The camera features include;

  • AI CAM – Recognises features of the objects or things you are taking pictures of and optimizes the light to fit it.
  • Beauty on both front and rear cameras
  • Other features include Bokeh Mode, AR Shot, and Panorama

Here are some of the pictures that I took with the phone.

Battery

The phone comes with a large 5000mAh battery that lasts about 10 hours on heavy use. If you turn on battery saver, the phone can last for an amazing 16 hours. However, on battery saver mode, certain features are turned off such as auto sync. This is a small price to pay especially if the phone is on really battery.

You can also turn on WhatsApp battery mode, which limits the use of data to just WhatsApp, Download and Music apps. This means that you can be able to conserve the battery at a higher rate and the phone will last for way longer without having to charge.

Storage

The phone comes with 32GB internal storage. It is enough if you don’t need a lot of space. However, if you are the kind of to store a lot of pictures and files on your phone, you will need to add a MicroSD. The phone can handle a MicroSD of upto 256GB.

Final thoughts

Infinix has mastered the art of producing budget phones with smashing features and the HOT 8 is no exception. It packs what you absolutely need at a price that is very friendly to your pocket.

The two Hot 8 variants, HOT 8 and HOT 8 Lite are available for sale in INFINIX retail shops countrywide and online on XPark (formerly known as infinixmall) for a retail price of Ksh. 10,999 and Ksh. 9,999 respectively. In addition, a 32GB +3GB variant of HOT 8 is available exclusively on Jumia Kenya for Ksh. 11,899.

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