TheNFAPost Podcast
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Bengaluru, NFAPost: Infinix Hot 8 is the entry-level flagship challenger in the budget segment. It is already a crowd favourite and currently out-of-stock on Flipkart as it is selling like hotcakes.

Infinix Hot 8 is the successor of Infinix Hot 7 featuring a triple rear-camera setup along with a Super-selfie camera. The latter was launched in India early last year in January while the former was unveiled the same year at an event in India on 4 September.

Design and Display

The Infinix Hot 8 features a massive 6.52-inch HD+ waterdrop display with an IPS LCD capacitive touchcreen running at a native resolution of 720×1600 pixels, and a pixel density of 269ppi (pixels-per-inch).

The Hot 8 flaunts a premium look and feel with a glossy finish on the back panel coupled with sleek, rounded, and trendy body-contours.

It feels quite bulky for one-handed use with a massive screen-to-body ratio of 80% and weighing 179g. It is expectedly heavier (14g more) than its nearest rival, the Lenovo K8 Plus, which comes with a smaller 5.2-inch display.

The power and volume buttons are conventionally placed on the right panel while the left panel features the ejectable tray for dual nano-SIMs and a microSD card. A battery-charging LED sits on the top-left corner of the screen.

Memory and Storage

Infinix Hot 8 is currently available in a single configuration of 4GB RAM with 64GB of internal storage. The 2GB RAM with 32GB storage variant is strangely missing from the Flipkart product listing.

In-Built Software and Apps

Infinix Hot 8 runs Android Pie out-of-the-box, which is powered by Infinix’s native UI – XOS 5.0 Cheetah.

The XOS 5.0 Cheetah is power-packed with a host of AI technologies such as AI Beauty for video chat (enhances your looks with virtual makeup), redesigned icons (rounded, elegant and appealing), AI reading mode or night mode (reduce stress on eyes), Smart Photo Clean Up (delete bunch of pictures by categorising them into dark or blurry), Intelligent voice broadcast (an intelligent voice assistant to notify you of incoming calls, weather, event, schedules and SMS), Bike Mode (SMS auto reply function for hassle-free bike cruises) and Smart Panel (add favourite apps and services for instant access with a simple swipe).

Performance

Processor Configuration and Multitasking

The Infinix Hot 8 is built on the same Mediatek Helio Chipset found in the Lenovo K8 Plus. Albeit, it is the newer P22 model based on 12nm architecture unlike the K8 Plus which is powered by Helio P25 (based on 16nm architecture).

The Hot 8 packs one quad-core Cortex-A53 processor running at 2.0GHz and one low-powered octa-core Cortex-A53 processor running at 1.8GHz. The Cortex-A53 unit is coupled with PowerVR GPU to serve the basic graphic needs of the user.

The Infinix Hot 8 completely disappoints in the multitasking front as it simply pauses the video-playback if you simultaneously try opening other apps like WhatsApp from the Smart Panel.

The phone fails to live up to the expectations of multi-tasking geeks and power-hungry users as there is a significant lag while switching between apps.

Processor Benchmarks

Geekbench 5 – CPU Benchmark

The Infinix Hot 8 delivered an extremely weak performance in the single-core test with just 146 points. In contrast, its multi-core performance looks decent with a moderate score of 870 points.

Its single-core performance fell below the similarly configured Galaxy S6 (running on Exynos 7420 @1.5Ghz) which secured 276 points.

In the multi-core benchmark, the Infinix Hot 8 fared marginally better than Samsung’s former flagship phone, the Galaxy S7, which secured 822 points.

Gaming Benchmark

Geekbench 5 – GPU (OpenCL) Benchmark

Our review unit failed to complete the OpenCL benchmark on multiple attempts as the app crashed midway during the test. This further strengthens our notion that the Infinix Hot 8 is not meant for gaming.

We managed to finish one round of the ‘Africa Moto Bike Race’ with a laggy touchscreen interface and choppy controls. The Bike Race is a 2D game which is bundled with the unit and works without any installation when connected to the internet.

We were not impressed with its ‘Game Mode’ either, as it only managed to improve the input response marginally without actually enhancing the framerates or graphics performance. 

Furthermore, the Infinix phone delivered extremely choppy framerates with enormous lag during visual processing tasks in GPU-intensive graphics tests. The textures looked jagged, blurred, and the frames got stuck intermittently for every few seconds throughout the test.

Overall, the Gaming benchmark results are extremely disappointing for avid gamers and multimedia fanatics alike.

AnTuTu Benchmark

Our Infinix Hot 8 X650C scored 80,947 points in the overall AnTuTu benchmark results beating 20% of the users with similar hardware configuration. This is a consolidated score including results from extensive CPU, GPU, UX and memory tests.

Our review unit managed to beat just 11% of users in the GPU test, which reaffirms that the phone is poor at gaming. The Hot 8 did well in the memory test as it managed to beat 48% of the users while settling for an average performance in UX (defeated 26% of users) and CPU tests (defeated 25% of users).    

    

Overall, the Infinix Hot 8 stood at number 51 in the performance rankings across low to mid-range segment. ROG Phone 2, Asus Zenfone 6 and OnePlus 7 Pro took the top three rankings in that order in the overall AnTuTu benchmark results.

The AnTuTu test results clearly suggest that the Infinix Hot 8 is just a feature-rich budget phone, which is not built for either gaming or performance.

Audio and Video Quality

The Infinix Hot 8 is tailor-made for music buffs and avid movie fans as it delivers excellent bass and treble quality through the integrated speaker system with Dirac sound enabled.

Furthermore, there was zero lag or stuttering while streaming a 720p video-playback via YouTube on my 40Mbps fibernet connection.

The absence of stock headphones was truly missed as the speaker system sounds tinny at volumes higher than 30 percent.

The display does not support full HD (1080p) videos which is a big let-down as its competitors (in sub-7K price range) like the Lenovo K8 Plus do support 1080p video-playback.

Battery

Powered by a massive 5000mAh battery, the Infinix Hot 8 delivers amazing endurance as it can easily last for 2 to 3 days on a single charge in normal usage conditions.

Our normal usage conditions include surfing the internet for a couple of hours, live-streaming videos via YouTube for an hour, making the necessary calls and sending messages on WhatsApp and Facebook, and testing the various camera functions.

The battery has enough juice to last for one-full-week on a single charge in standby mode. Battery-backup time for a sub-7K budget phone can’t get any better than this.

Camera

The 13MP primary camera delivers top-quality stills with crisp and vibrant images in the sunnier daylight-shots. However, the night shots are a bit inconsistent as both the image clarity and colour accuracy suffer in low-light conditions.  Its 2MP depth sensor does a decent job in producing a layered effect of the image being captured.

The camera unit supports four different modes of operation: AI Cam, Beauty, Bokeh, AR Shot and Panorama. AI Cam works similar to the Smart Cam mode which balances the ISO and aperture settings based on the varying lighting conditions and the focal distance of the image being captured.

Beauty mode just enhances the brightness and colour accuracy without compromising the image clarity to deliver a crisp snapshot as seen in the photos above.

AR Shot mode enables you to mix and match background art with the subject being captured. It adds more fun while capturing your memorable moments of life with your friends and the beloved.

Panorama mode does a decent job of stitching a series of images in 360-degree or a semi-circle with a wide-angle effect.

Coming to the value-adds, the Google Lens feature is an interesting add-on as it helps you identify strange objects by just pointing your camera at it. The object you are trying to focus will be matched with similar objects from the Google database to give you further insight and information about it.

Overall, the stock camera unit excels at capturing brilliant stills in the daylight while the night shots deliver mixed results. 

Price and Availability

The Infinix Hot 8 is currently (listed as Temporarily Unavailable) sold in two trendy colours on Flipkart: Quentzal Cyan and Cosmic Purple.

The Hot 8 was launched exclusive to Flipkart, but it is now available for sale on Amazon India. As part of the introductory offer, the smartphone sold at a special price of Rs. 6,999 after a discount of Rs. 2,000 on its MRP. It is now selling at its regular price of Rs. 8,499 via Flipkart.

Pros

1. Infinix Hot 8 ships with a massive 5000mAh battery which can easily last one-full-week on single charge in standby mode.

2. It bundles with a custom back-panel cover which offers adequate protection and fits well within the phone’s design aesthetics.

3. Bike Mode is a real value-add for both urban commuters and cruise bikers as its Auto Reply feature enables them to enjoy the ride without bothering about incoming calls or messages.

4. Great audio and video playback performance

5. Face Unlock feature works just fine to make screen unlocking a hassle-free experience.

Cons

1. Infinix Hot 8 ships with a 720p display which is below par when compared to its rivals like the Lenovo K8 Plus (comes with 1080p display and Corning Gorilla Glass protection) in the same price range.

2. Its charging-cable length is too short

3. Poor Multi-tasking capability

4. Stock headphones are missing

5. Game Mode is just a gimmick as it fails to improve the frame rates or overall gameplay performance.

6. Glossy front and back panels are prone to fingerprint smudging and require periodic cleaning to keep them in good shape.

Verdict

The Infinix Hot 8 is a feature-rich phone which offers a great bang for your buck. It is a serious contender for the title of ‘Budget Flagship Challenger’ as it delivers on multiple fronts except for a sub-par display, poor multitasking capability and disappointing gaming performance.

We cannot complain about the performance part as this phone is intended for budget-conscious consumers who always look at value-for-money offerings rather than raw performance. The Hot 8 easily scores an 8 out of 10 for its rich assortment of value-added features alone.

The Infinix Hot 8 is simply unbeatable at its launch price of Rs. 6,999, as it has fewer rivals that can match up to its prowess in the given price range. We badly missed a 1080p display on this one (unlike the Lenovo K8 Plus) as that could mean the difference between the challenger and the king in the budget segment.

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