Stepping up their game, Infinix recently launched in India the Hot 10S smartphone, which is a massive upgrade from its precursors in the Hot series. It comes packed with an array of top-notch features, superior gaming technology, powerful processor, latest OS, massive battery and sharp cameras. The handset comes in four colour options – Heart of Ocean, Morandi Green, 7-Degree Purple and 95-Degree Black, and is competitively priced at Rs 9,999 for the 4GB RAM+64GB ROM model and Rs 10,999 for the 6GB RAM+64GB ROM variant. The smartphone is pitted against Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 10, Realme’s Narzo 30A and Motorola’s Moto G30 and G10 Power. But does it have the element to take on these biggies that have a stronghold in the market which Infinix is trying to capture. Let’s find out in this review.
We had the Morandi Green colour with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The phone is not that showy, although it looks decent and pleasing to the eyes. However, akin to the company’s existing line-up, the Infinix Hot 10S is a bit large and definitely not good for one-hand operation. The phone is made of polycarbonates and has a pattern on the back with textured finish, which offers a solid grip on the phone, even with slightly greasy or wet hands. It looks really good and doesn’t retain smudges and fingerprints.
There is a triple-rear camera setup at the top left on the rear which looks like a quad-camera module. You also get a fingerprint sensor at the centre while the Infinix branding lies underneath. The multifunctional sensor is fairly quick in unlocking the phone, it can also be used for accepting calls, dismissing alarms and quick-start apps. While there is a SIM tray on the left, the right-hand side of the device features the power button and the volume rockers. The top of the device is plain, whereas at the bottom you get a speaker grille, a mic, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro-USB port.
Overall, the Infinix Hot 10S is a complete package and good for the price.
On the front, the smartphone features a massive 6.82-inch LCD display with HD+ resolution and a dewdrop notch. The bezels all around are thin except for the chin. Although this can be justified given the price, it would have been better had Infinix worked on this aspect. The quality of the display is good but the sheer size of it coupled with just an HD+ resolution is a disappointment. The display is suitably bright and outdoor visibility is decent, however it can be a bit tough at times under direct sunlight. The colours come out well and can be adjusted as per your need via Settings. The company offers you features like Adaptive brightness and eye care within the software to better suit your needs.
Overall, the display is not that good. It could have been better had the phone got an FHD panel instead of the HD+. Anyway, the Hot 10S is still a good device for content consumption.
The handset runs the latest Android 11 build with the company’s custom XOS 7.6 on top. XOS lets you change a lot of aspects of the UI, ranging from themes, custom icons, and more. The Infinix Hot 10S is powered by the octa-core MediaTek Helio G85 SoC, which delivers a decent performance, and is a capable chipset to push the phone through day-to-day tasks but struggles when there is too much heaviness. The RAM management is good and you will not face any issues. The phone performed really well during internet browsing, using social media and enjoying casual gameplays. Games like Call of Duty: Mobile ran at low to medium settings without any struggle.
Interestingly, with this smartphone, Infinix has introduced a new Dar-Link Game Boost Technology for gaming. This proprietary technology, as per the company, reduces screen tearing, elevates touch panel response, and also enhances colour reproduction. During the review, the device was able to handle the game without any issues and frame drops. It didn’t even heat up but got a bit warm, which is very normal, and it happens with any gaming phone.
Like its predecessors, this phone too come with a lot of bloatware like Opera, PHX News, Flipkart, and games like Danger Dash and Mayan Jump. Worse, there is also the Palm store, which is a Play store alternative that is notorious for pushing spam notifications. However, the good thing is that you can uninstall or disable some of these apps via Settings.
What’s more, the smartphone is further backed by superior DTS-HD surround sound. Although it doesn’t get much loud, you’ll get clear and crisp vocals.
In terms of optics, the Infinix Hot 10S houses a triple-camera setup on the back. You get a 48MP primary lens with f/1.79 aperture, Quad-LED flash, a 2MP depth sensor, and an AI camera. There is an 8MP sensor on the front for selfies which has two LED flash modules located uniquely atop both the sides for better selfies. You also get a fairly basic camera app with common modes and there is heavy use of AI baked in.
In terms of performance, the pictures taken by the main camera in broad daylight come out decent. The HDR performance is also good. With the additional depth sensor, you get some amount of background blur which elevates the shots. Whereas, in lowlight conditions, the main sensor did struggle a bit but kicking in the SuperNight mode did help brighten the subjects.
If we talk about the front camera, the selfie shooter produces really good shots justifying the price of Infinix Hot 10S. With a bright background, the camera tends to struggle a bit, and the exposure isn’t handled in the best way possible.
The smartphone gets its juice from a 6,000mAh battery, which is further backed by Power Marathon technology that optimizes power and increases the battery backup by up to 25% by enabling dark theme and adaptive brightness mode, switching the screen refresh rate from 90 Hz to 60 Hz, to name a few.
Although having this much of battery capacity has become a new normal for Infinix, what is disappointing is the use of a micro-USB port and a 10W charger that it comes with, especially at a time when its competitors are shipping fast chargers of different watts (from 18W to 33W). The phone took over two-and-half hours to charge from 3% to 100%. It lasted almost two days with light-moderate usage which included browsing, social media, messaging, watching videos and a little bit of gaming. One thing is for sure that the phone will not exhaust in a single day, even after strenuous usage.
Infinix seems to have done a lot of research before bringing in this phone. Having a better Helio G85 processor, Dar-Link Game Boost Technology and a 48MP main camera is definitely a part of this endeavour to make it stand out in the budget segment. Although the bloatware is still an issue of concern to some extent, the overall performance of Infinix Hot 10S will not let you down.