Infinix has a brand new budget smartphone in the Kenyan market, the Infinix Hot 6 Pro. Coming into the market at this time of the year when we’ve already seen some interesting releases from Infinix’s competitors means that the Hot 6 Pro has to make sure it’s got it all right from the get-go.
As Infinix’s first smartphone release of the year in Kenya, that appears to be the case, at first glance. The pricing, just under Kshs 16,000, is right. The feature set… wait a moment.
In the box
There is the SIM tray ejection tool, a free clear case, a pair of earphones, a USB cable, a wall adaptor and a user guide.
- The headphone jack is on the bottom of the device making for a very clean top part of the phone – not even a microphone is on sight!
- Thanks to the 18:9 display, the device feels rather tall even though I am able to manage handling it without any issues. The placement of the volume rocker and the power on/off button on the side perfectly aligns with the positioning of my fingers most of the time making it easy to use the volume rocker as a camera shutter button as well.
- Of course, it is hard to miss the towering 6-inch display. Sure it is nothing more than an elongated 720p panel but Infinix’s XOS user interface has all this colourfulness thing going on that it’s hard to be bothered by the display resolution. I have hardly used the devices extensively so I am not sure how that display visibility is when you’re trying to do something on it outdoors.
- Interacting with the user interface, the phone feels much faster. Maybe it is because my unit is still fresh and I haven’t cluttered it with everything. Maybe it is just the way it is supposed to be. I hope to find out more over the next few days.
- Interestingly, while one is prompted to enroll their fingerprint during the initial device setup, they’re not prompted to set up “Face ID”.Thankfully, an icon that lets one do just that without having to dig up the settings app, sits right on the home screen after one is done with their initial setup. That is assuming one does not opt to sync apps and app data from an old Android device.
- The Infinix Hot 6 Pro is one of the cheapest, if not exactly the cheapest, smartphones in the Kenyan market that come with the new generation of face unlocking software. I say “new generation” because there’s been renewed interest in the feature since Apple made it the only biometric-based way to authenticate users on the iPhone X last year even though the feature has existed for a long while and even had native support in Android, albeit in a rudimentary and unsafe manner. Not that it’s gotten any safe over the years, traditional passwords and fingerprint readers are still recommended over it, but Android’s native face unlock, the one we saw in November 2011 and subsequent years, was wanting. I haven’t used the Infinix Hot 6 Pro’s face unlock feature for long but I am impressed these few times that I have tried it out. It’s fast and tries as much as possible to stay functional even when lighting conditions are not the best.
- I am yet to take the phone’s cameras through their paces so that is something to watch out for in coming days.
- I like that it is now becoming more of the norm rather than the exception to have a standalone microSD card slot alongside those dedicated to the two SIMs. This is always better than the hybrid arrangement that forces users to choose between adding extra storage (which you might need if you go with the 16GB variant) and slotting in an additional SIM to take advantage of the various offers mobile network operators have at a given time.
- A small irritation is the inclusion of the microUSB port. It’s 2018 and our expectations are… USB-C everything! Sure, having good old USB 2.0 means all your old charges and accessories live to see another day but for how long? The sooner we all get on the Type-C bandwagon, the better. However, the Infinix Hot 6 Pro seems to be in good company in this regard as most of the budget options that I have encountered from the competition tend to favour sticking with microUSB.
The Infinix Hot 6 Pro has been up for pre-order on e-commerce site Kilimall over the last few days. That pre-order period ends today, the day when the device is going on sale everywhere in the country, both online and offline.
The Infinix Hot 6 Pro goes for Kshs 13,700 and Kshs 15,700 for the 2GB and 3GB RAM variants respectively.