Infinix Hot 8 has potential on paper, but is the actual performance enough to make it rise above the competition?
By Nadeem Sarwar
Infinix Hot 8's build quality and performance are underwhelming
XOS 5.0 has a tonne of bloatware and needs a lot of refinement
The phone's battery easily lasts more than a day with regular usage
Infinix has launched a slew of affordable phones in the past few months, packing features such as triple rear cameras in models that cost as little as Rs. 6,999. The company's latest offering, the Infinix Hot 8, is no different. It has a fresh gradient design on its rear panel and borrows from its siblings elements such as triple rear cameras, an entry-level MediaTek processor, and a large battery. Is that strategy enough to make the Infinix Hot 8 a phone we can recommend, especially over well-received options from Realme and Xiaomi? We review the Infinix Hot 8 to find out.
Infinix Hot 8 design
From the front, the Infinix Hot 8 could be confused for one of several generic-looking budget Android phones with waterdrop notches. The earpiece is located just above the notch, and a little to the left, one can find the soft LED flash strip that only becomes visible when the screen is turned on. It also lights up when the phone is being charged, but doesn't function as a notification light.
The back is where Infinix has tried to give some identity to its new phone. The rear panel of our Quetzal Cyan review unit had a peacock blue shade in the upper region, which gradually fades into black going downwards. The glossy surface has a glittery finish that also covers the fingerprint sensor. Infinix offers the phone in a Cosmic Purple colour option too, which simply swaps the blue in favour of a dark purple shade.
However, the rear panel appears to have been made out of flimsy material, and it flexes easily with even a gentle press, especially near the middle. It also picks up smudges rather easily. Thankfully, Infinix supplies a transparent protective case in the retail package.
The power and volume buttons are positioned within reach, and provide a clicky response. The 3-in-1 (dual Nano-SIM + microSD) tray is located on the left, while the speaker, Micro-USB port, and 3.5mm headphone jack are on the bottom.
The curved sides ensure a comfortable grip and at 165g, despite packing a 5,000mAh battery, this phone isn't too heavy either. However, the tall 20:9 display hinders ergonomics, as one-handed usage is simply out of the question. We often found ourselves adjusting the phone in our hand to reach for content on the upper half of the screen.
Infinix Hot 8 specifications and software
The dual-SIM Infinix Hot 8 packs a 6.52-inch HD+ (720x1600 pixels) display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and 90.3 percent screen-to-body ratio. The display has a peak brightness of 450 nits and produces decent colours. Even though the display is reflective, viewing content on it was not too bothersome, and the brightness was satisfactory even under daylight. In fact, the Infinix Hot 8 has one of the better displays we have recently seen on a phone in this price segment.
Infinix Hot 8 performance and battery life
The MediaTek Helio P22 processor at the core of the Infinix Hot 8 is a decent performer as long as you stick to the basics. Tasks such as Web browsing, social media usage, and basic productivity were fine, but as soon as there were more than 10 apps or games running in the background, the phone started to stutter. The faltering navigation gestures worsened the experience for us. Multitasking was very sluggish at first, but the update we received improved that.
Infinix Hot 8 cameras
Starting with the camera app, basic camera modes and controls such as the AI Cam, Beauty, Video, Bokeh, and AR buttons are located in a strip above the shutter button, while HDR, flash, scene modes, and the aspect ratio are controlled by buttons above the viewfinder. Surprisingly, the Infinix phone can't capture photos in the 16:9 aspect ratio. The brightness control slider is also a bit finicky, and drastically changes the frame brightness with even a small adjustment. Another issue is that the shutter button often became unresponsive for a few seconds after switching camera modes.
The Infinix Hot 8 appears to offer capable hardware, especially for its discounted price of Rs. 6,999. However, despite packing 4GB of RAM, the phone struggled while multitasking, and XOS has its downsides too. The likes of the Redmi 7 (Review) and Realme 3i (Review) fare better with a less RAM, because they pack faster processors.
This phone's general performance is decent, provided you are not into playing heavy games. If camera output is your primary concern and you can live with some performance limitations, the Infinix Hot 8 could be a decent choice.
If you are looking to purchase a budget all-rounder that won't stutter or lag frequently, has decent cameras, and provides a polished software experience, the Redmi 8A is a good option.