For the past few days, the all new Infinix Hot 5 smartphone has been with me. And for the sake of this review, I decided to give a brake to my main smartphone, so I could properly put the Hot 5 into it pace and see what the new Infinix device is made of, and for the past few days, the device has been my major driver, running both apps that are compatible with the processor and even those I know very well, are not, which should result to a more balanced review.
To those who knows, this is my third review article aside the first two unboxing reviews I wrote few days back. So I’m begging for your support; please if you like my work, just tell me what you think about it, and help share this article with friends and family via your social networks.
So before we begin digging, let me refresh your memory about the specifications of the Infinix Hot 5.
Infinix Hot 5 (Lite) Specifications at a Glance
- OS: Android 7.0 Nougat underneath Infinix XOS
- SIM Type: Dual SIM (Micro)
- Screen Size: 5.5 Inches HD IPS display with 720 x 1280 pixels (267 PPI)
- Processor Type: 1.3 GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 Mediatek MT6580
- Storage includes a 1GB (or 2GB for the Hot 5) of RAM and 16GB ROM, expandable up to 32GB via a dedicated microSD slot.
- Camera: 8MP camera & a dual-LED (single toned) flash, and a front-facing 5MP with LED. flash
- Battery: 4000 mAh with 2.0A charger.
- Other features include Dual front-facing loud speakers, 3D Dirac Audio and the rear facing fingerprint scanner on the Hot 5.
Infinix Hot 5 Major Drawbacks
- No 4G LTE Network Bands
- A bit Outdated Processor
- Fingerprint Scanner still restricted to only the Hot 5 and Hot 5 Pro
Infinix Hot 5 (Lite) Unboxing Review
I had previously written an Unboxing Review about the Infinix Hot 5, which you can click here to read. However, below is what Infinix bundled with the Hot 5.
- A 2.0A Infinix wall charger,
- Somewhat longer and flexible USB 2.0 cord
- Infinix branded earpiece, yeah, I mean that same earpiece that look like Tecnos’
- A dedicated wring stand alongside a screen protector
- And of course, the Infinix Hot 5 lite smartphone
Infinix Hot 5 Hardware Review and Built Quality
Still don’t forget, the unit we are having is the Lite version which lacks a rear fingerprint scanner. The device came in Sandstone Black, and when I put it on, it was having about 62% battery power. The front panel of the device is covered completely with glass, and what looks like a metal frame traveling round the edges, giving the glass extra protection and adding to it built quality.
On the glass, you’ll notice two incisions which hosts the dual front facing speakers (guys these speakers are real good, more on that). Aside the loud speaker, nothing else was found below the screen, to the top, you’ll notice the front facing 5-mega-pixel camera and an LED flash, alongside some sensors.
As for the usual Android capacitive buttons, Infinix decided to ditch that in favor of on-screen Navbars. One on hand, this development is superb because, one need not worry about using the device in the dark, knowing very well that most mid-rage devices of this price, usually have non-backlighted capacitive keys. But on the other hand, the device screen estate is reduces by some inches, because the Navbars don’t auto-hide in all apps.
With the great built quality of the front, I was impressed, only to turn to the back, and I became a bit disappointed. Why? Well, because the knowledge that the Infinix Hot 5 is all plastic became too obvious! I mean it, no one needs to tell you that. Infinix should at least made the back panel very sturdy and tight to the back of the phone, so it can even give a more premium grip, but no! In fact, in the box is this gummy ring holder and stand (very useful folks). Anytime I’m detaching it, I noticed this cracking and shackling sound, as if the back panel wants to pull along with the ring stand which was a bit disappointing to me. But then, the attractiveness of the pattern rear panel is just too good that I soon forgave Infinix, plus don’t forget, it sub $90 smartphone.
Because my unit is Sandstone Black, the Infinix brand name and HOT logo was not too visible, which I personally like, allowing all attention to the 8-megapixel rear shooter and the dual-LED flash. But when taking photos or recording a video, watch, else your finger might be blocking the camera already. Hope the next Hot series will have a better positioned camera.
The volume rockers and power button were kept at the right hand side of the smartphone. Pressing these buttons really give nice feedback, but trust me, the buttons are too popping out. Would have been nicer, if these buttons were more blended into the body of the phone, than giving such different feelings when rubbing your fingers over the edges of the device. While the left hand side of the device is bare, a 3.5 mm jack, a USB 2.0 port and a microphone shares the top and bottom of the device respectively, with each pushed to either side of the smartphone.
I pulled off the back cover, and seriously, that was when I fell in love with the Hot 5 again. The battery is covered in a rather beautiful metal panel, reassuring us again that, although we see plastic outside, but the internals are well taken care of. Unfortunately, the dual SIM slots and dedicated microSD slot was all we could see because we didn’t look further.
Storage, Processor and Display
Our unit came with 16 GB and 1 GB of RAM. But out of the 16 GB, Infinix XOS had already eaten 6+ GB leaving you with less than 10 GB. So if you watch lot of movies, you might want to consider an external SD card, which must not more than 32 GB.
Processing power comes from a Mediatek MT6580 32-bit processor built on ARM Cortex-A7, alongside Mali-400MP4. We put this processor through Antutu 6, and the result below was what we got.
(Click the bars for exact score)
Those were the only two Benchmarks we saw necessary to run. I tried Epic citadel and GeekBench, but the processor was responding too slow, so I just quited.
Infinix Hot 5 Display
As for the display, well it a 5.5-inch HD IPS display, and if you don’t expect too much, then trust me you won’t be disappointed. The display was very OK for a device of this price group. Text and icons were not popping out on the glass as on premium smartphones like the Sammy Galaxies, but there were sharp and colors were more accurate than there’re not.
Indoor usage was really good, but my pain was outdoor use. While the screen was still generally visible outdoor, don’t expect stunning view under direct sunlight, because the screen is very reflective, and the weakness of the brightness (NIT) will soon become very obvious under direct sunlight.
In all, the built quality of the Hot 5 is acceptable to me, aside the week and lofty back panel which tend to crackle sometimes.
Infinix Hot 5 Software Review
All the above hardwares function together with Infinix proprietary XOS operating system, running on top of Android 7.0 (Nougat). The processor is a 32-bit and so is the Android OS. While Infinix did Polish up the their OS as much as they could, I still did not enjoy the buttery fluid of Android Nougat, because there were still few hangs and stutter here and there.
Seriously, the XOS version running on this device is not optimized enough. Since this review, I’ve forced this device off thrice, most times while running multiple tabs on Chrome, and other times, while playing with Benchmark apps. Although, I’m currently having an OTA firmware update which I have not done yet, and I do hope it fix the problem when done, but still, I think first impression matters a lot.
Another issue with the XOS is the space it occupies. I think 6 GB plus is two much. I mean since it a mid-range device, why not prepare a ‘Lite’ OS for it? This will help leverage unnecessary load on the processor and RAM, Instead of the multiple force closing and rebooting.
Haven said that, the XOS came with few applications that caught my interest, like the ultra power saving which shows when your juices hit 15%. It deactivates almost everything, and keep you going for a longer time than you would. The notification drawer was also very helpful carrying some necessary apps and toggles by default, like the flash into touch light, and few other XOS default apps. But believe me, some of theme are Bloatwares and if you wish to remove theme, just comment below, and I’ll show you how.
In all, nice work to Infinix especially for the OTA update, which means the Infinix Hot 5 might get Android 8.0 (Finger crossed).
Well, if there’s an aspect of the Infinix Hot 5 you are going to love, believe me, it will be the speakers. Men, the speakers are damn good! More on that! Calling with this smartphone was not a problem at all. At times, I will even have to reduce the volume or keep a distance between my ear and the phone, and I’ll still hear my caller very clearly. So for some people who believes that phones to the brain is not good due to radiation, well just go get the hot 5.
Network Reception (and dissemination)
Network reception is on the good side. Although when indoor, my main phone tends to show more network bars than the Infinix Hot 5 does, but believe me, my main phone, even with it more bars, never outshine the Hot 5 in Telephony or Internet activities. Both SIM can be powered on 3G, and Infinix Hot 5 3G network switching is the easiest and fastest I’ve seen. Wi-Fi reception was not a problem either, and many times, I was able to tether Internet access to my other gadgets via the Hot 5.
Multimedia and Camera Reviews
One of the major SP of the Infinix Hot 5 is it Multi-media prowess. Well, while the device did deliver what it promised, I still find it not meeting up in some areas. On the bright side, you’ll enjoy great audio output, either from a video or a music file, especially when played via the dual front-facing speakers. Most of the time, my room get too filled up with sound emanating from the speakers that I even have to reduce them. Sometimes I get scared up by the front speakers, especially when I’m using the phone quietly, and a call comes in all of a sudden.
Playing a music or video with the phone facing my ears in landscape mode gives these feelings of rich 3D surround sounds, but sadly that’s where the joy ends. Plug in the follow come earpiece, and you’ll notice all the 3D sounds have disappeared. After the disappointment from the follow come earpiece, I quickly reach out to my Xiaomi Mi Piston HD Pro (Piston v4), thinking that it was the weakness of the follow come earpiece, but no, nothing really get better.
In fact I found the audio output via wired headphones to be better on the Tecno Spark K7 without the Dirac output than it is on this device. Seriously guys, don’t think I’m being too critical, because this is why it called a review.
On the bright side, if you check the subtitle of this review. You’ll know that I already rated the speaker output of this device so very high and why? Because it really is a mini picnic companion you can trust. Sometimes I prefer listening to music and watching movies on this little guy than my Lenovo T440p. The output via the dual front-facing speakers is real rich. Bass are even very noticeable without leaving out Mid and Highs, which is a big thumbs up to Infinix. But a little more focus on the connected devices would have been better.
Infinix Hot 5 Camera Review
The rear camera on this device is an 8-megapixel unit assisted with dual-LED flash. Outdoor performance for this lense is no problem at all. During bright days, your pictures are real clean. During dark nights and indoor, the rear flash does it job pretty well too. I also discovered that aside the rear flash, the camera naturally take in more light, and try to produce acceptable pictures with the available light. Although the show will get fuzzy when you try using the rear camera out door at night.
I also discovered that the rear camera knows how to handle it duties far better than the front. As most pictures I tried taking using the front camera turned disappointing. Indoor at night, and you’ll appreciate the front-facing flash.
In all the cameras on the Infinix Hot 5 are very satisfactory to me, especially the rear 8-megapixel, thanks to the dual-LED flash, and if you think otherwise, then don’t it retails around $90.
Infinix Hot 5 Battery Review
The Infinix Hot 5 comes with a large 4000 mAh built in and non-removable battery, and in a nutshell, the battery in the Infinix Hot 5 is awesome! The unit I reviewed was 62% charged when it came. So I immediately pushed it to 100% and began observing immediately. Because of my curiosity to know how well the speakers performs, I loaded in a movie and began my journey. With three email account connected (serious email acocunts), brightness set to 100%, 70% volume, and 3G network on, from 100%, one HD movie of about 1 hour and 47 minutes brought the battery to 79%.
On my heavy usage test which comprise of continuous activities and screen on with brightness at 100%, I was about to crash down this device from 100% to 15% in 7 hours 43 minutes.
So if you are a light user with few calls and less outdoor activities, you should expect this phone to keep you going for two days. Thanks to the power efficient processor.
But if you are still able to exhaust the battery, you need not worry much about charging. The Infinix Hot 5 come with 2A wall charger, and in my test, while the phone was turned on, with dual SIM inserted and data network deactivate, I was able to charge the device full within 2 hours and 20 minutes from 12%. This is very fast, considering the presence of a large 4000 mAh battery.
If you read through this article until now, you should already have your conclusions. But in my opinion, I think the Hot 5 is a good mid-range device. And here is why:
Infinix Hot 5 Pros
- Great Battery
- Acceptable Rear facing camera and bright LED light
- Outstanding speaker quality
- Pocket friendly
- Good charging time.
- Acceptable display
- Over the Air Android updates
Infinix Hot 5 Cons
- Poor front-facing camera
- Yet un-optimized XOS
- Less sturdy back panel
This is what I think about the Infinix Hot 5, you can let us know your own thoughts in the comment section below, and don’t forget to support us by sharing this article on your social networking apps, it won’t cost you anything more than it takes to put these review online. Thank you.