Infinix Hot 8 Review: Is It the Real Deal?

TL;DR You should probably get this

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Infinix Hot 8
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We’ve had the Infinix Hot 8 for some time and while the phone brings interesting features, how does it stack up in the real world – so here’s our full review.

We’ve already gone through our first impressions of Infinix’s latest device in the Hot series and even talked about its gigantic battery and how it turns the phone into an absolute powerhouse.

Apart from the huge battery, what other features does the phone bring to the table and are they enough to warrant a purchase? That will be the focus of this article.



It is worth noting Infinix brought a few new updates to the Infinix Hot 8 that missed from its older sibling, the Infinix Hot 7.

Infinix Hot 8 Design and Display

As with most smartphones this year, the Infinix Hot 8 sports a colour-gradient back coming in various colours such as Berlin Grey, Ice Blue, Purple and Milan Black(our unit). The phone is an absolute looker especially for the price it starts selling from. The paint job and finish though plastic gives the phone a premium feel. However, the back scratches easily and is a fingerprint magnet so you’ll have to use the case provided in the box to protect your phone.

One thing I loved is the textured power button. The volume rockers are also well placed too. On the left, you’ll find the dual nano-sim card tray that also has a dedicated slot for MicroSD. A speaker grill, micro-USB charging port and a headphone jack sit at the bottom.

The Infinix Hot 8 rocks a triple camera setup on the back and a fingerprint sensor.

the back is curved slightly for better grip and one-handed usage. The phone is relatively heavy courtesy of its huge battery.

On the top bezel, you’ll get the usual notch that houses the selfie camera and LED flash plus other sensors such as ones that let you unlock the phone using your face. Both biometrics work fast so kudos to Infinix.

The face unlock is pretty adorable. Before you unlock the phone, there’s a blinking eye animation as the phone searches for your face.

One annoying thing is that the LED flash doubles up as a battery charging indicator. Infinix should have gone with using it as a notification light – that would have been a better use of it when not taking selfies at night which is its primary function.

The Infinix Hot 8 rocks a 6.52″ waterdrop notch display that comes with a resolution of 1,600 x 720 pixels. The phone offers decent viewing angles and colour reproduction so reading in sunlight won’t be a huge problem. The screen isn’t the best but for its price, it does the job.

One qualm about the Infinx Hot 8 screens 20:9 ultra-wide aspect ratio is that you are stuck to watching YouTube videos or a majority of video streaming sites with black bands on either side. Also, the Widevine L3 support will have you watch standard quality content so if you’re a huge binge-watcher, the Infinix Hot 8 is not for you.

Infinix Hot 8 Performance

The Infinix Hot 8 is powered by an octa-core Mediatek Helio P22 chip coupled with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The phone will handle most regular tasks but in some instances when I decided to tax the phone and launch multiple graphics-heavy apps, I could notice lag and it could be frustrating at times.

The Infinix Hot 8 will run smoothly from playing light to moderate games or editing on the go while switching between multiple social media apps. Intense games like Asphalt 9 become unplayable so if you’re into heavy games, proceed with caution if you’re thinking of getting this phone.

Games like PUBG can only be played if you switch to low graphics settings. Also, Gboard fails to launch at times and you’ll have to use another third-party keyboard app. If you are a hoarder or like storing things like music/videos on your phone, you’ll have to purchase an external microSD card a sthe 32GB of onboard storage won’t be enough.

XOS 5.0 Cheetah will randomly offer ads in the middle of you using your phone. Infinix will also push you to use their Intelligent broadcast feature right from nowhere even when your phone is locked.

The only thing you can do is uninstall or disable bloatware to remain sane while using the phone.

You can also play around with other features the Infinix Hot 8 include Smart Panel, Digital Wellbeing, Game Mode and the Google Files app that comes preinstalled to help you with file management.

The 5000mAh battery performs very well. If you are one who really taxes your smartphone and can’t take the risk of it dying before your day ends, then the Infinix Hot 8 is the phone you’d want to pick if you don’t want to keep checking that battery percentage icon. As we said in our battery review, you’ll never run out of juice ever again with the Infinix Hot 8.

The Infinix Hot 8 also supports Safaricom’s 4G VoLTE.

Cameras

The Infinix Hot 8 features a triple rear setup that includes an f/1.8  13MP primary sensor with aperture, 2MP depth sensor and a low light sensor. The selfie department is taken care of with an f/2.0 8MP shooter.

You have different modes to work with including HDR, Video Live Filter, AI Cam, Beauty, Bokeh, AR Shot, Wide Selfie and Panorama.

Here are some samples:[Click to Expand]

Selfies

Portraits

Regular shots

Bokeh

Worth noting, the camera performance on the Infinix Hot 8 is a hit and miss and photos will depend on the ambient lighting conditions. You’ll see some portraits and bokeh shots have inconsistent blur. However, in decent light, you get decent photos for sharing on social media. Expect overexposed photos if you’ll be shooting in bright sunlight.

Is It the Real Deal?

My expectations weren’t pretty high when using the phone so in some instances, I was impressed at what the Infinix Hot 8 could do considering its price. Its main competition at its price segment is the TECNO Spark 4 that retails at Ksh 11,999 and the Infinix Hot 8 beats it coming second to the TECNO Camon 12 Air that features relatively better cameras, more RAM, faster processor and a Dot-in display with a punch-hole camera that goes for Ksh 13,499.

The Infinx Hot 8 makes for a worthy purchase for the average user and apart from the nitpicking, the phone checks off on all the necessary boxes.


The Infinix Hot 8 would be perfect if it came with an extra gig of RAM and twice the storage to complement the big battery it packs.

Pricing and Availability

The 2GB RAM version of the HOT 8 (4G) goes for Ksh 10,699 while the Hot 8 Lite(3G) goes for Ksh 9,699 on Xpark(formerly Infinix Mall). On Jumia, the Infinix Hot 8 goes for Ksh 11,999.

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