The smartphone space comes with a sea load of phone brands that it’s becoming really difficult to decide on what phone to buy. Hence our buying decisions have now come down to three factors; Price, Specs and aesthetics. These three, are the bed rock for making a decision on buying a new phone. Am I able to afford the phone, are the specs good enough to last me for the next year to two? Does it look good enough to make me want to bring it out in public before my vain friends and colleagues.
Once you’re able to answer these questions, then it’s time to dole out that hard earned cash of yours to pick up a slab of metal and glass, sometimes plastic and glass.
The Infinix Hot 5 is a mid range smartphone from Infinix mobility that I’ve been using for about two weeks now. Touted as a ‘Mobile Cinema’, I had to find out for myself if the device lives up to it’s tagline. So in my full review of this device i’d be looking at how the Hot 5 performs against the three bed rocks/questions above.
Infinix Hot 5 Full Review
The Infinix Hot 5 is reasonably priced at N37,500 ($105 or 6700 Rupees for our international/Indian audience). This is a very budget price and should be quite affordable to almost anyone. But at a price this low what are you getting?
Build, Display and Battery
For the above price you’re getting a plastic build smartphone that comes with a huge 5.5 Inch IPS display at 720p. What does all of this mean? Well, IPS (In-Plane Switching) is the technology used in your display but i’m not going to talk about that here, you can go here if you’d like to know about the technology. But the display renders it’s images at 720p which puts its at HD resolution, meaning your images will be clear and view-able but not super sharp.
In addition to the display you get a 4000Mah battery in the device. This, combined with a 720p display delivers absolute satisfying battery life. I was able to get two full days of moderate use on the device on a single charge. This is what everyone asks for in a phone, better battery life.
The only down side to this experience is the fact that the HOT 5 does not come with the proprietary X-Charge (fast charging) feature and I can’t understand for the life of me why Infinix would do this. How do you put a 4000Mah battery in a phone in 2017 and not have fast charging? Meaning I have to charge my phone for a whopping 4 hours to go from 0 to 100%. That is ludicrous. Power is a big problem in Nigeria and some of us simply wont have that much power to fully charge the phone. Moving on…
The Hot 5 has a diamond cut 3D design on the back (made from plastic) that feels good to the touch but is flat out slippery. If you’ve got sweaty palms, sorry. I guess Infinix figured this out and had to make a last ditch effort to allay the impending complaints from it’s customers by including an adhesive Key Ring holder in the package without which the ‘Mobile Cinema’ tagline becomes absolutely balderdash . This ‘ring’ should help you hold on to your phone for a long time if you decide to watch a movie or some series. See my unboxing video.
To the back of the device still, Infinix included a fingerprint scanner which is nicely placed at the center and to the top. The fingerprint scanner isn’t fast according to 2017 standards, but it gets the job done.
The Infinix Hot 5 comes with an 8MP rear facing and a 5MP front facing camera. In my tests, the cameras take about 2 seconds to load, which is not a lot of time, but may cost you when trying to capture a moment. There are also no shortcuts to launch the camera.
The selfie camera is basic to say the least. It’s got a beauty mode that smooth-ens your face when taking pictures and It comes with a front facing flash. The rear 8MP camera on the other hand is also quite average in it’s abilities. Taking pictures is easy, but the cameras shutter speed is slow and you need a good amount of light to achieve balanced images.
You have the option to turn on HDR mode, gestures and set the camera to take pictures simply by touching the screen in the cameras setting.
If you’re looking to take really awesome photos, this phone probably won’t cut it.
Speakers, Surround Sound and Video
Now this is where this phone shines! It’s ability to deliver an enjoyable experience while watching video content or listening to music or a podcast using the external front-facing speakers. Because it’s speakers are front-facing, audio in the Infinix Hot 5 sounds very loud. If you choose to activate the DIRAC 3D surround sound, the volume becomes even louder and implements surround sound capabilities. This is nice, but when it’s too loud, you begin to get distortions and it sounds quite terrible. So leave your volume at a nice point.
Video on the Hot 5 was good, you’re maxed out at 720p so expect videos that play at that resolution to look very good. You can however not watch videos in 1080p or 4k as the display resolution won’t support it. Who needs that anyway when Internet speeds here in Nigeria aren’t very dependable.
The Infinix Hot 5 comes with Android 7.0 nougat out of the box and Infinixs’ X-OS skin atop android. I’m not a fan of the X-OS skin and I replace it almost immediately with Nova Launcher or Lawnchair whenever I get an Infinix Device for review. If Infinix sees this article and i hope they do, please work on your software skin. It’s terrible to say the least. you could take some cue from uncle Sammy or China’s Apple (Xiaomi). Minimal design features, clean lines, lots of white and very minimalist icon pack. there are a ton of awesome icon packs on the Playstore. Approach one of those designers and buy an icon pack off them and own it. Clean up your settings page. Keep it simple.
If it’s too confusing and you need help with UI/UX design Infinix, reach out to me. I’ll be willing to help.
The Infinix Hot 5 comes with dual SIM slots, a slot for expandable storage, a 3.5mm headphone jack, is charged and handles data transfer via a micro USB port.
So on our Bukka meter aesthetics scale, the Infinix Hot 5 ranks 6 out of a possible 10. What does this mean you may ask? Well it means your phone is at White Rice, Plantain and Fish. Whereas a 10 is Chow Mein with Pork and Vegetable Fried Rice, served with Lamb Chops, Baked Fish, and Beef in Mushroom sauce washed down with Chilled water and a bottle of pristine sparkling wine.
So the question most of you will ask is, should i buy this phone? While i can’t decide for you, let your decision be based on what you need the phone for. If all the above fits you agenda and pocket, then you’re fine. But if you want the whole buffet, well you might want to look somewhere else.