Last year, we saw the emergence of a new trend: 18:9 aspect ratio displays and dual cameras that allow you to shoot portrait like photos like dedicated cameras. This was seen in the high end of the spectrum and started to trickle down to the mid-range devices.
Enter the Infinix Hot 6 Pro, the company’s latest device that offers these features and more to the customer at a budget, and honestly, they have a winner here.
The sides and back are made of plastic and only the front is covered in glass. On the left we have the dual nano SIM/MicroSD combo tray and on the right, we have the volume rocker and power button.The headphone jack is at the bottom, not my favourite place, but you get used to it quickly. The loudspeaker is also at the bottom and it is sufficiently loud. It uses a micro-USB port for charging, which is fine since it is incredibly easy to get third party cables for cheap.
The Hot 6 Pro is huge, no doubt about that, and it is thanks to its 6 inch 18:9 screen. The phone is rather tall and it has substantial bezels, although I don’t mind at all. The screen looks quite good for a 720p display (1440 x 720 to be exact) and using it for browsing or watching videos is a treat.
The rear sports the dual rear cameras with the incredibly bright LED flash to the side, and the trusty fingerprint scanner towards the top half. The antennas are well hidden at the top and bottom.
I’ve had this phone for over a week now and so far it breezes by everything I ask it to do. The Snapdragon 425 with the 3GB RAM enabled me to multitask with ease, especially in multiscreen mode, which works in perfect squares thanks to the 18:9 display.
The Hot 6 Pro that I have also has 32GB of internal storage and I’ve only managed to use half of it, and I’ve downloaded a lot of apps. Most of my ‘big files’ are kept in my SD card like my music and photo albums, and this helps in freeing up the internal storage.
The Hot 6 Pro runs Android Oreo 8.0.0 and it flies on this hardware. Infinix has its own XOS Hummingbird seasoning on top of it, and honestly, I don’t mind it. It is indeed very colourful. It consists of brightly colored wallpapers, themes and rounding off icons.
The launcher lets you customize a bunch of settings like how densely packed the icons are, infinity scroll, how to scroll between panes, icon size, auto-arrangement of icons and much more. My favourite setting is smart arrange which arranges your icons into relevant folders, like Twitter and Facebook are put under ‘Social’. It is not perfect yet since you will see some apps in the wrong folders, but still cool nonetheless.
The fingerprint scanner works well but it is not the fastest I’ve ever used. However, just like most fingerprint scanners out there, make sure your fingers are dry while using it or else it won’t work.
Also, there is a face unlock feature installed. However, it didn’t seem to work with me for some reason, but I didn’t mind it since the fingerprint scanner is more reliable.
The Hot 6 Pro features a dual camera system at the back that can allow you to shoot portrait photos, since that is the in thing now. There is a 13MP main sensor under a lens with an f/2 aperture and a 2MP secondary camera that seems to aid in depth perception.
Using the 13MP normally, the shots turned out okay and they have a tendency to overexpose, especially when you touch to focus. The new portrait mode is the last one on the iOS like camera carousel. The phone usually suggests to make sure your subject is between 0.5m and 2m away to generate the effect.
Just like any other camera phone mimicking portrait mode that I’ve used, they are still not there yet when it comes to defining the edges and they need a clear subject to make it pop.
There are other modes like Auto, Beauty and Video and interesting enough, one name Modes that features Panorama, Night, Timelapse and a Professional mode.
The front facing camera is a 5MP sensor with a f/2.0 lens and next to it is a really bright front facing flash which you can adjust its intensity (low-medium-high). That flash is great for shooting videos and selfies in lower light conditions and I wished this was on flagship phones. Both the primary and selfie camera shoot videos upto 1080p at 30fps.
This is a major thumbs up to the Infinix Hot 6 Pro. It has a massive 4000mAh battery which typically lasted me an entire day of heavy use easily. I got between 5-6 hours of screen on time before I needed to charge it again. Since it doesn’t have fast charge, it takes a while to charge fully the phone (around 3 hours).
If you want to extend the battery life even further, there is a battery saver toggle under the battery settings, for those rare instances you’d need to use your remaining power more efficiently.
Conclusion: Who is this for?
This phone is in a unique place in the market. It is well priced, has a great 18:9 720p screen, really good battery life and the portrait mode is a nice edition to this budget device. I’d advise anyone to fork out more for the version that I have (32GB + 3GB RAM) which is Kshs 15,699, which is only Kshs 2000 more than the 16GB+ 2GB RAM variant.
This phone is also perfect for those people wishing to upgrade to the latest trends (like the 18:9 display and portrait mode) without breaking bank.