Infinix Hot 10i Review: More Than Expected

Infinix Hot 10i is a battery powerhouse and delivers more than you expect.

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Infinix Hot 10i Review

Infinix has launched a few devices in its Hot 10 lineup this past year -ranging from the Hot 10Hot 10THot 10 PlayHot 10 Lite and Hot 10S.

The Hot 10i is their latest budget smartphone launched early last week. We’ve been using the device for a good amount of time and the smartphone is pretty impressive and we’ll talk about why in this full review:

Design

Infinix Hot 10i is pretty compact the moment you unbox it. It has a 6.52″ 720p display. For reference, the Hot 10 had a 6.78″ display while the Hot 10T and the Hot 10 Play have 6.82″ displays.


So if huge displays threw you off, you will be better served with the Hot 10i’s relatively smaller screen and general form factor.

Another thing that wowed me was how light the phone is. For a phone that’s packing a 6000mAh battery – you’ll love its lightness.

The back has a two-tone textured finish separated by a horizontal line. It has a good feeling in the hand. The finish is smudge resistant and the design isn’t slippery so you can use it with one hand.

Our unit came in the Morandi Green colour.

You can use the phone without the case but if it’s your preference there’s a hard transparent plastic case provided in the box.

Talking of one-hand use, the power button and volume rockers are easily accessible even for people with small hands.

This goes for the rear fingerprint reader that is easily accessible and quick to unlock.

We have a micro-USB charging port, microphone and headphone jack. There’s no speaker grille at the bottom – the earpiece serves as the speaker right above the notch that houses the 8MP selfie camera.

The Infinix Hot 10i is dual SIM and has a slot that supports microSD storage expansion.

The display is decent enough in its own right. It is fairly bright and colourful even outdoors. I enjoyed browsing the web, social media, consuming multimedia content even gaming on this device. The earpiece functioned well as the speaker together with the DTS audio processing Infinix uses with its smartphones.

You’ll have to keep the volume at medium as it can get distorted when it’s loud.

Overall, I love the compact look and design choices of the Hot 10i especially at the price point it sits on.

Software and Performance

Infinix Hot 10i is powered by Android 11 Go and XOS 7.5. Android 11 Go because the Hot 10i ships with 2GB of RAM. Android 11 Go is an optimised version of Android 11 suited for budget devices – you are getting Google Go apps that are lighter and use less memory, space, mobile data and space including Google Go, Assistant Go, and Gallery Go.

XOS 7.5 is Infinix’s user interface and comes with huge swipeable cards at the top row, social turbo, smart scanner, XClone, Image Compressor, Game Mode, dark mode among a host of other features.

You get the usual bloatware apps that you can uninstall or disable.

At the helm is 2GB of RAM paired with 64GB of RAM powered by MediaTek Helio G25 processor and PowerVR GE8320 GPU. The other version ships with the same RAM but with 32GB onboard storage. Both have the option for expandable storage with a microSD card up to 128GB.

Despite its limitations, the Hot 10i held its own and surprisingly very well even gaming. Average tasks won’t be a problem – checking email, browsing the web and your social media timelines, streaming Spotify and watching YouTube.

Less graphic-intense games like Ninja Arashi, Atomas, Two dots, Temple Run 2, Dead Trigger, GrimValour, Alto’s Odyssey and Dead Trigger play really well.

The Infinix Hot 10i is a reliable perfomer in normal day-to-day use.

Heavy games like PUBG need to be played with balanced graphic settings and medium frame rates for quality gameplay.

Overall, day-to-day tasks including a little gaming will be handled very well. It’s when you start heavy multitasking and heavy gaming that you’ll start noticing stutter.

Battery Life Performance

This is the highlight of the Infinix Hot 10i. It packs a 6000mAh battery and that’s a huge battery capacity for such a small phone. It is going to be hard to exhaust it.

On days with heavy usage, I was getting more than 8 and half hours of screen-on-time and on less hectic days, the Hot 10i could pull a day and a half before running out of juice.

Now here’s the downside. There’s no fast charging on this bad boy which uses a micro-USB port and it will take you more than 3 hours to fully juice it up.

Cameras

Infinix Hot 10i packs three cameras for its photography. We have a 13MP dual-camera setup at the back that includes a QVGA camera.

For selfies, we have an 8MP front-facing camera accommodated in the notch.

There’s a couple of features to check out including AI cam, Beauty, Portrait, AR shot and HDR mode.

For video, we have Slow Motion and you can record 1080p, 720p and 480p resolution.

Surprisingly the Infinix Hot 10i didn’t disappoint when it came to photography even in low light.

Here are some shots:

Selfies and Portraits including lowlight

Regular Shots

Lowlight shots

As you can see, you’ll get really good shots both in good lighting and low-lit scenarios including selfies and portraits.

You need to be a little patient to get better shots at challenging scenes, especially at night as lowlight shots can be a bit grainy and noisy. The Hot 10i has a night view option that sorta helps.

I was making audible wows when taking most of the photos and bokeh shots during the day and I loved the results – the colours, the detail, the exposure, and the dynamic range especially with this overcast weather.

Infinix Hot 10i fares better than expected when it came to its photography capabilities

The selfies are clear including portraits. However, the selfie camera does suffer from over-exposure especially if it’s a challenging background. It gets even harder for lowlight scenes. They’re not the best and it’s a hit and miss and sometimes you can get usable shots for sharing on social media.

The Infinix Hot 10i fares better than expected when it came to its photography capabilities and that’s a win for me and ticks a really important checkbox for the smartphone.

Verdict

The Infinix Hot 10i is a robust overall package. Its impressive battery life is its key highlight but the smartphone packs potential features under its metaphorical sleeve. You are getting dependable cameras even in lowlight scenarios, delightful compact design, solid performance for average use – these are high accolades on their own and adding the affordable price make the Infinix Hot 10i worth considering.

The Infinix Hot 10i faces competition from the likes of the Samsung A10s that shares most of its features. The A10s has 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, an 8MP selfie camera and a 13MP dual setup. The only difference that gives the Hot 10i an upper hand is that it ships with Android 11 Go while the A10s has Android 9 Pie, Helio P22 processor while the Hot 10i has a Helio G25 processor and more storage at 64GB., Also, the 10i has a bigger display at 6.52″ while the A10s has a 6.2″ screen. The 10i also has a bigger battery at 6000mAh battery while A10s has a 4000mAh battery.


So overall, the Hot 10i is a more modern smartphone that offers quite the specs at its pricing when put against its rivals and is a more solid option to pick.

Pricing and Availability

Infinix Hot 10i starts selling from Ksh 11,499 for the 2GB RAM, 32GB storage version while the 64GB storage variant sells at Ksh 12,599 at official Infinix retail stores countrywide.

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