Around this time last year, we had in our hands the Infinix Hot 10, Infinix’s headliner for its budget segment.
But last year is a long time now. We are already a year down and counting down to a new year. In place of big redesigns and rethinking of the product, Infinix opted to optimize the user experience and offering on the Hot 10 throughout much of 2021 to satisfy the segment of the market that the Hot series has traditionally appealed to.
From where we sit, for the most part, they were able to buy time for themselves as they look to rejig things in 2022.
That is why we have had a number of Infinix Hot 10 series devices this year, much to the surprise of many. We had the Infinix Hot 10T that wowed us with its impressive low-light camera performance. Before it, we had the Infinix Hot 10 Play that just managed to “stay within”. It did not wow us and it did not disappoint us either; combining entry-level features and specs with a favourable price point.
Throughout our usage of the Infinix Hot 10i over the last few months, it is the Hot 10 Play that we have felt it takes after. Entry-level chipset, check, lots of plastic and a “just there” design, check…
If anything, according to us, the Infinix Hot 10i is an Infinix Hot 10 Play “lite”. It keeps the looks and feel – save for that two-tone finish of the Hot 10i that we really like – and reduces the display size thereby managing to do away with the unwieldy feel of the Hot 10 Play that we noted in our review.
It keeps the same mammoth 6,000mAh battery unit, which is easily one of its standout features and keeps pretty much the same optical (cameras) setup as what we are, for the purposes of this review, referring to as its predecessor.
While the Hot 10oi manages to register big wins in the above-mentioned battery department with an impressive endurance rating that is only let down by the lack of a USB Type-C port and any form of accelerated charging (features that we don’t typically see at this price range, anyway), it goes a step back in the camera department.
Photos are “just fine” in sufficient lighting – and you shouldn’t make the mistake of blowing them up anywhere else and muddy in low-light conditions. We were spoilt by the impressive Infinix Hot 10T’s camera so there is that to consider when taking our opinions on the 10i.
The chipset being the Helio G25 from MediaTek, obviously a step down from the G35 that powers the Hot 10 Play and the impressive G70 that drives the Hot 10T, is appreciated for bringing 4G network connectivity to the device. Performance output when doing other things the usual interaction with the user interface and normal tasks – browsing, calls etc – is just fine. Just don’t stretch it. To sum up things, it’s “just okay” for a device in this price segment. It doesn’t help matters that it is paired with a measly 2 gigabytes of memory.
Obviously, the display side-steps any of the 2021 headline features we have seen on Infinix devices like a high-refresh-rate but still manages to do everything just fine. Outdoor visibility, however, does suffer a bit and it isn’t as vibrant.
The Infinix Hot 10i might have been the missing part of the puzzle when it comes to Infinix devices at the low end of the market and that shows in what it packs, what it promises and what it actually delivers: an average smartphone experience. That is par the course at this level. The incentive being that if you need more, like we have highlighted in this review, Infinix has already taken good care of that with impressive offerings not even far away, just within the Hot 10 series family.
For just under Kshs 13,000, the Infinix Hot 10i manages to offer users an option when looking for a capable 4G device that can do more than just access the internet and makes calls and send text messages and backs that up with a big display and, generally, an acceptable performance that will make one want to move up the Infinix ladder.