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Infinix Hot 8 unboxing and first impressions: reigniting the price wars in the budget segment

Infinix has been launching some impressive budget smartphones with good cameras and specifications under its Hot series in India. Earlier in July, the phonemaker launched the Infinix Hot 7, which flaunted several USPs like quad cameras, 4,000mAh battery, MediaTek Helio P25 chipset and more. Now, the brand has launched the Hot 8 in the country and in my opinion, it seems like a solid value for money. Wonder why I say this? Here’s my take on the Infinix Hot 8 after spending some time with it.

Let’s get the packaging out of the way first. Infinix has hinted at what to expect inside by using a gradient pattern on the box itself. The box has branding all around, the phone visual on top and core specs listed at the bottom. As you lift the lid, you will find the Infinix Hot 8 lying atop the compartment housing a wall charger, a micro-USB cable, SIM ejector tool, documentation, a transparent protective case with a quirky pattern on the back and a screen protector. Infinix has not provided earphones with the phone as expected.

The Infinix Hot 8 is a stunning looking smartphone for its asking price. The polycarbonate-clad phone features an attractive gradient with a light hue fading into a much darker shade at the bottom. The paint job has a pearly finish to it, which looks like glitter under light and lends a premium look to the phone. The unit I received is Quetzal Cyan variant, which has dark greenish-blue colour fading into black towards the bottom on rear and it’s a head-turner for sure. The Infinix Hot 8 is also available in Cosmic Purple colourway. The paint job continues on the sides of the phone as well, maintaining the uniformity of the aesthetic. The rear panel is housing triple camera module in the top left corner and the squircle fingerprint scanner with Infinix branding towards the centre.

As for other elements, the volume keys and power button are both located on the right edge of the phone. I personally liked the textured button, which makes it easy to locate the power button just by feel. On the left side, you will find the SIM tray slot that comes with space for two nano-SIMs and a dedicated slot for a microSD card (a plus, if you ask me). At the bottom, there is the speaker grille, micro-USB port and 3.5mm audio interface. The earpiece is situated in a tiny slit right above the waterdrop notch.

While the Hot 7 featured a wide notch, its predecessor flaunts a more recent waterdrop notch and thus offers a higher screen-to-body ratio. The 6.52-inch display offers HD+ (1,600 x 720 pixels) screen resolution and ultra-wide aspect ratio of 20:9. The 20:9 ultra-wide aspect ratio makes the phone future-proof, however, at the moment it might have a compatibility issue with some apps and online content. Infinix has equipped the phone with features like Eye care, read mode, inadvertently mode (to prevent pocket dial), and read more. In the brief time I spent with the Hot 8, I found the display to be slightly on the cooler side with punchy colours and sharp text.

At its core, the Infinix Hot 8 is rocking the MediaTek Helio P22 SoC, which is an octa-core processor mated with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. As I mentioned before, the Infinix Hot 8 comes with a dedicated microSD card slot, which can take up to 256GB microSD card. Of the 64GB onboard, the smartphone offers around 50GB to the users out of the box. While I couldn’t test the device thoroughly, it handled multitasking and routine usage without breaking a sweat. I will be testing the phone more intensively for my detailed review, which should be up soon.

On the software front, the Infinix Hot 8 Android 9.0 Pie-based XOS 5.0, which has a fair share of bloatware and features. Fortunately, the phone lets you uninstall some third-party apps to free up resources. However, the Infinix proprietary app like XTheme, Xclub and feedback cannot be removed. You do get some useful features like Smart Panel, Digital Wellbeing, Game Mode, and more. Powering the phone is a massive 5,000mAh battery, which is a USP for the phone. However, there’s no fast charging support, which means it will take longer than usual to charge fully.

Coming to yet another highlight of the phone, the Hot 8 features a combination of a 13-megapixel primary sensor with f/1.8 aperture, along with a 2-megapixel depth sensor and a low light sensor on the rear. For selfies, you get an 8-megapixel shooter with f/2.0 aperture 81-degree field of view. The camera app is loaded with features like AI Cam, Beauty, Portrait, AR Shot, Wide selfie, HDR and live filters. The initial shots I took using the front and rear cameras were very good and I am pretty intrigued to test them out more.

The long and short of it is that at Rs 6,999, the Infinix Hot 8 is the only smartphone offering 4GB RAM, triple cameras, waterdrop notch display, and a massive 5,000mAh battery. It may face stiff competition from the likes of Redmi 7A (review), Vivo Y90 and Realme C2 (review) but none of these has the combination of hardware that the Hot 8 flaunts.

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