Infinix has been doing a tremendous job in equipping people with low-cost devices. The manufacturer’s low-end series of devices aka the Hot line got a refresh for 2019, having released the Hot 7 a couple of days ago. The device is already in shop shelves and online e-commerce sites for purchase at KES 10,000 or and KES 11,000 for the Hot 7 and Hot 7 Pro respectively, the latter of which we picked a couple of hours ago for a review. Before I can sum up my first impressions, let’s examine what’s in the box.
In the box
Infinix has decided to throw in some goodies for folks who will purchase the Hot 7. Our set of gifts include an Infinix branded gym bag, a small Android mascot and a tiny phone grip that secures your device during usage for the clumsy.
The other box has the device, a charger and USB cable, a set of earphones, a screen protector as well as warranty and user guide information booklets. The packaging and presentation of the device and gift hamper are great, and we hope Infinix will continue the trend of supplementing a device with something more than a clear case (there is one in the package too). We are also glad that Infinix has not strayed away from including the basics in the box (others, such as Xiaomi just give you the phone and charge – and if you are lucky, a flimsy case for select models).
Well, this is the first Hot device with a dual camera and a notch. It is also the device Hot smartphone with 32 GB of internal storage.
Regarding the notch, we are kind of glad Infinix is aligning design choices to the all-screen trend that has become the norm in 2019, where manufacturers are on a race to shrink bezels by all means necessary. It should also be noted that this is a budget phone (check the price again), and Infinix could have decided to include those big bezels we have seen in previous iterations – but they knew better because while the phone’s price does not guarantee notable hardware finishes, it was long due for a refresh – and for that, we are happy.
The screen is still limited to HD+ which is not bad. RAM has also remained the same at 2GB (the non-Pro model has 1 GB), but the SoC has been replaced. However, it is still a quadcore 1.3 GHz chip that is by all means budget, so we are going to let that slide. The entire spec sheet can be read here.
The plastic back can be popped off to reveal a non-removable 4000 mAh cell, two nano-SIM slots, and a microSD card opening. Charging is handled via a micro USB port, and the device’s speaker is at the back just as the Redmi 6/6A. This is so 2012.
Right at the top is a headphone socket that you can use to listen to your tunes.
By the way, a fingerprint scanner is available for both the Hot 7 and Hot 7 Pro. Steps in the right direction!
Both the 8 MP front snapper and dual 13 MP and 8 MP (wide-angle) cameras are equipped with LED flashes. The one at the front acts as a notification indicator, which is fine but I find it a little too bright.
It is a little sad there is no Android 9 Pie here, which we could have loved, really, because this is 2019 and Infinix had all the time to ship the device with the latest OS available. Will it see an update to Pie in coming days? Doubtful. But if the software does not bother you (most of you guys don’t care), then you will be just fine.
Anyway, Android 8.1 Oreo paints the show under Infinix’s skin namely XOS Honeybee v4.1.0. I will examine its offerings at a later date, but as usual, it packs a bevy of features such as a series of okay-looking wallpapers and a couple of extra apps, some of which you will uninstall immediately. You can also spruce up the interface with themes if that is your thing.
Have I told you that I can’t see any ads on the app drawer? I hope they have been eliminated for good – and it is my prayer that this statement will not come to bite me. Don’t bring those ads back, for the love of God/Allah.
It is a little too early to talk about additional things like camera and battery performance. It is also untimely to praise or fault day-to-day performance – but I will have a full report for you guys in the next couple of days. If you have any questions, our emails and comments section are open and will make sure we capture your queries in the review.