Infinix has launched a number of affordable phones in the past few months that include features like triple rear cameras in models that only cost Rs. 6999. The company's latest offering, the Infinix Hot 8, is no different. It has a fresh gradient design on the back and borrows elements from its siblings such as triple rear cameras, an entry-level MediaTek processor and a large battery. Is this strategy enough to make the Infinix Hot 8 a phone that we can recommend, especially with well-accepted options from Realme and Xiaomi? We check the Infinix Hot 8 to find out.
Infinix Hot 8 design
Seen from the front, the Infinix Hot 8 could be mistaken for water drops on one of several generic-looking Android phones. The earpiece is just above the notch and a little to the left is the soft LED lightning strip, which is only visible when the screen is turned on. It also lights up when the phone is charging, but does not act as a notification light.
On the back, Infinix tried to give its new phone an identity. The back of our Quetzal Cyan test device had a peacock blue color in the upper area, which gradually changes to black below. The glossy surface has a glittering surface that also covers the fingerprint sensor. Infinix also offers the phone in the Cosmic Purple color option, which simply replaces the blue with a dark purple.
However, the back wall seems to be made of thin material and is easy to bend even if you press it lightly, especially near the center. It also stains fairly easily. Fortunately, Infinix provides a transparent protective cover in the sales packaging.
The on / off and volume buttons are within reach and offer a click response. The 3-in-1 tray (dual nano SIM + microSD) is on the left, while the speaker, micro USB port, and 3.5 mm headphone jack are on the bottom.
The curved sides ensure a comfortable grip and with 165 g this phone is not too heavy despite a 5,000 mAh battery. The high 20: 9 display, however, affects the ergonomics, since one-hand operation is out of the question. We often noticed that the phone in our hand was reaching for content in the top half of the screen.
Infinix Hot 8 specifications and software
The Infinix Hot 8 dual SIM card offers a 6.52-inch HD + display (720 x 1600 pixels) with an aspect ratio of 20: 9 and a screen-to-body ratio of 90.3 percent. The display has a peak brightness of 450 nits and produces decent colors. Although the display is reflective, the display of content was not too distracting and the brightness was satisfactory even in daylight. In fact, the Infinix Hot 8 has one of the better displays we've seen on a phone in this price range recently.
This device is powered by the 2.0 GHz octa-core SoC MediaTek Helio P22 with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal memory, which can be expanded by up to 256 GB with a microSD card. Infinix sold the phone in a single 4GB + 64GB configuration for Rs. 8,999, but it became available from Rs. 6,999 when selling online. It comes with a 5,000 mAh battery and a 10 W charger.
For cameras, the Infinix Hot 8 has a triple rear camera setup that includes a 13 megapixel main snapper with a 1: 1.8 lens, a 2 megapixel depth sensor and a special sensor for low light. On the front is an 8 megapixel camera with an aperture of 1: 2.0. The camera hardware of the Infinix Hot 8 is identical to that of the Infinix Smart 3 Plus (review), and the two phones also share software tricks such as AI enhancement, AR stickers and a bokeh mode.
Infinix Hot 8 runs a custom skin called XOS 5.0, based on Android Pie 9. Our test device received an update for the September security patch during our tests. Unfortunately, the user interface remains largely the same as with Infinix Hot 7 (test), Infinix Smart 3 Plus (test) and other company phones. There's a ton of pre-installed bloatware, including in-house and third-party apps like XTheme, XClub, AI Gallery, Opera News, ShareChat, Flipkart, Instagram, and Facebook.
The Kika keyboard, which was recently removed from the Google Play Store due to ad fraud, remains the standard keyboard. In addition, some pre-installed apps like Palm Store show a lot of ads and send numerous notifications that we found to be little to no help. The swipe-based navigation gestures are not very easy to use and often didn't work when we were running a game or multitasking.
On a positive note, XOS 5.0 offers some useful functions such as WhatsApp mode, which restricts access to cellular data of all apps in the background except WhatsApp in order to restrict usage. Then there's the Smart Panel, a customizable widget that contains shortcuts to commonly used apps and tools that you can access by sliding your finger across the horizontal bar on the right side of the screen.
The Freezer function prevents certain apps of your choice from running in the background. You can find more information about XOS 5.0 in our Infinix Hot 7 Pro test. To sum up, Infinix Hot 8's heavily customized Android skin still needs a lot of improvement despite some useful tools.
Infinix Hot 8 performance and battery life
The MediaTek Helio P22 processor, which is at the heart of the Infinix Hot 8, does a great job as long as you stick to the basics. Tasks like surfing the internet, using social media, and basic productivity were fine, but once more than 10 apps or games were running in the background, the phone started to jerky. The stagnant navigation gestures worsened the experience for us. Multitasking was very sluggish at first, but the update we received improved it.
This phone was clearly not intended for people who frequently have to switch between multiple apps. It took some time to load heavier apps and games, and occasionally the UI froze. While casual games like Mario Kart Tour went well, despite repeated attempts, PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9 could not be loaded, which is not surprising given the hardware beginners.
If you only want to use your phone for everyday tasks, the Infinix Hot 8 should be a good solution for you. However, if you put too much strain on it, it will be a below-average experience. Fortunately, we didn't feel that this phone got too warm while playing.
In the synthetic benchmark results, the Infinix Smart 3 Plus achieved 148 points in the multi-core Geekbench 5 891 test and in the single core test. The AnTuTu number of the phone was 81,453. 3DMark Sling Shot scored 746 points, 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited 11,970.
The battery life is one of the strongest colors of this phone. The phone's 5,000 mA battery easily lasted one day. With moderate use that included occasional gaming, days of internet connectivity, using social media and productivity apps, and listening to music through cable headphones for at least a few hours, the phone lasted a day and a half. In our HD video battery loop test, the phone lasted 17 hours and 21 minutes.
Infinix Hot 8 cameras
Starting with the camera app, basic camera modes and controls such as AI Cam, Beauty, Video, Bokeh and AR are in a strip above the shutter, while HDR, flash, scene programs and aspect ratio are controlled with the buttons above the viewfinder. Surprisingly, the Infinix phone cannot take 16: 9 aspect photos. The slider for brightness control is also a bit tricky and changes the image brightness drastically with just a small setting. Another problem is that the shutter often stops responding for a few seconds after switching camera modes.
In terms of photo quality, the pictures taken with the 13-megapixel main camera in daylight were decent. The autofocus was mostly accurate and the photos looked vivid, even though the colors were a bit washed out. When you zoom in on a large screen, the details aren't particularly detailed, but the photos on the phone's display look sharp enough.
The dynamic range was also fine, but there was a significant weakening at the edges and corners of each shot. We very much liked that this phone does not oversaturate the colors of objects and gives natural looking results. When it comes to close-ups, the Infinix Hot 8 has clearly outperformed and produced sharp photos with a decent amount of surface detail and sharp edges. The colors turned out to be punchy, but the camera occasionally struggled to keep the focus up close.
Daylight bokeh shots showed acceptable motif separation and good colors, but edge detection was inaccurate. Dedicated bokeh mode often struggled with complex objects and quickly lost focus, even with a slight movement. We also noticed that the background was blown despite a slight increase in brightness. There is a slider in the camera app that allows users to adjust the blur intensity. You can also adjust the blur intensity and adjust the focus point in the Standard Gallery app after taking a picture.
Indoor shots, especially in low-light conditions, looked grainy and had a lot of noise with subdued colors and minimal sharpness. A dedicated night mode would have worked better in such scenarios, but phones in this price range usually miss this luxury.
The 8-megapixel front camera took photos that can best be described as average. Sure, they can be posted on social media, but if you're looking for details like skin texture, you'll be disappointed. Selfies in daylight looked lively, but some skin smoothing was clearly visible. In poor light conditions, they were grainy and subdued. The Infinix Hot 8 can record videos at a speed of up to 1080p. However, due to the lack of stabilization, the film material is jerky and there are also problems with focusing.
The Infinix Hot 8 apparently offers powerful hardware, especially for its reduced price of Rs. 6,999. Despite packing 4 GB of RAM, the phone had trouble multitasking, and XOS also has its drawbacks. Much like the Redmi 7 (Review) and the Realme 3i (Review) do better with less RAM because they offer faster processors.
The overall performance of this phone is decent provided you don't play hard games. If camera output is your main concern and you may face performance limitations, Infinix Hot 8 may be a good choice.
If you want to buy an affordable all-rounder that doesn't jerk or run frequently, has good cameras, and offers a sophisticated software experience, the Redmi 8A is a good option. Other alternatives are Realme 3i (review) and Honor 8C (review).