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Infinix Hot 3 Review: It’s Beautiful But is it That Hot?

Infinix Hot 3 Kenya

Infinix has really built a name for itself the last couple of years. The company is known for its affordable devices that brought the much needed competition in the low end market segment that was previously dominated by Samsung and Tecno. The company’s latest device to be launched in Kenya is the Infinix Hot 3 which is available for Ksh 7,899.

The Infinix Hot 3 takes over from the Hot 2 that was launched in the country last year and was the first smartphone to be launched in Africa under the Android One Program. This program is part of Google’s effort to bring affordable to emerging and developing markets.

In this review, we will be looking at the Hot 3 and what it brings to the market and in the end conclude if it brings anything special to the market that the Hot 2 did not bring. Before we get started, you can check out some of the specs of the Hot 3 using the link below.

Read: Infinix Hot 3 (X554) Specifications

Look and Feel

Straight out of the box, the Infinix Hot 3 looks slightly better than the Hot 2 and feels light as well. It has a slightly bigger size with a 5.5 inch display which is sort of the standard for any smartphone these days. Its design is also looks better than that of its predecessor and this is a good thing. With most entry level smartphones, we are used to seeing them with ‘plain’ designs and it is a good thing to see Infinix is trying to change that.

Infinix Hot 3

Infinix Hot 3

For the design, Infinix has decided to go with a plastic back cover that is slightly textured and comfortable to hold with one hand. This textured back cover improves grip and the phone does not feel slippery on the hand. still on the back cover, it can be removed giving you access to the two SIM card slots and the MicroSD card slot.

The back of the Hot 3 is also slightly curved and this makes it comfortable to carry around since it sits comfortably on the hand. At the back is also where you find the 8MP camera with flash and the speaker grilles at the bottom right corner.

Infinix Hot 3 Design

Infinix Hot 3

The side panel looks like metal from a distance and this helps with the looks which am sure some people will appreciate. Both the headphone jack and the Micro USB port (for charging and data transfer) are located on the top section. This did not affect anything for me but it felt weird at first but I got used to it.

Overall, I like the design of the HOT 3. It is bot premium but looks and feels good for its price.

Display

The Infinix Hot 3 has a 5.5 inch display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. As you can see, this is not a Full HD display and this can be a good and bad thing depending on how you look at it. it is bad since…well…it’s not Full HD and is good since it does not consume too much of your battery.

Infinix Hot 3 Display

Infinix Hot 3 Display

This is the same display Infinix used on the Hot 2 and the disappointing is that it collects fingerprints. The screen’s brightness is decent and I did not have any issues even when I use the phone outside. In most cases, the display reproduced colors accurately but in a few isolated cases, I could see that it was struggling to produce the colors and they ended up being a bit saturated. You may not even notice this but I just had to mention it for those who may want to know that.

Read More: Infinix Hot 2 Vs Infinix Hot 3 Specifications Comparison

Software and performance

For software, the Infinix Hot 3 comes with Android 5.1 lollipop with XUI on top of it. For those who don’t know XUI is just Infinix’s custom UI which isn’t that bad as I have seen some pretty bad custom UIs out there. It gives you the same Android experience you are used to with a different touch. I would have hoped for Infinix to at least consider Android Marshmallow as Android Lollipop is pretty old right now.

The Infinix Hot 3 is an entry level smartphone and this is reflected on its performance. Before we go into the performance bit, it is nice to know some of the hardware Infinix has included for this. These include a 1.3 GHz Quad Core MediaTek MT6580 paired with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage space. This is the same combination found on the Hot 2.  For graphics, Infinix has used the Mali-400 MP GPU.

Infinix X554

Now to how it performs, well, you can already tell from the specs listed above that the Hot 3 isn’t the best performing smartphone within its price range. The phone handles most basic tasks well but thing get a bit tricky when you start multi-tasking and opening many apps. I know some people may ask, why don’t you close some of the apps? That is a fair question but do I have to keep doing every time? I believe Infinix could have done better to make the phone a bit more reliable in terms of performance.

I also noticed that in a few isolated incidences when I got notifications (Twitter and WhatsApp to be specific) and clicked on them, the phone was slow to open the apps and in some situations did not do it altogether. I believe Infinix can do something to fix this, probably with a software update.

Using the Infinix Hot 3 as your main smartphone will not disappoint you but you should expect some slowing down when you run heavy applications or when multitasking. This is expected for most entry level smartphones and so it is not isolated for this phone. There is also the issue with the call quality, it isn’t the best and most of the times I had problems hearing the person on the other side. This is not the best experience if you are in a noisy room.  The issues with the Infinix Hot 3 have to do with both the hardware and software and I hope Infinix fixes this with the Hot 4.

Camera

The Infinix Hot 3 has an 8MP camera at the back with a 2MP front facing one. The 8 MP camera at the back takes some good shots especially with good lighting. Its performance is quite impressive for an entry level smartphone. Another good thing about the back camera is that it can record Full HD videos (1080p).

The front facing camera also takes some good shots with good lighting. It struggles a bit when the lighting isn’t good but isn’t the worst I have seen on a smartphone. The front camera comes with soft flash to help you with your selfies when the lighting isn’t that good. Even with that said, camera performance is good and reliable, there are some issues you expect just like from every other entry level smartphone.

Battery

Infinix Hot 3 Battery

Infinix Hot 3 Battery

The Infinix Hot 3 comes with a 3,000 mAh removable battery which was enough for me. This phone isn’t a high performing one so you know this battery can easily last you through the day. If you are light user who uses the phone for WhatsApp, calling, texting, light browsing and for basic tasks, this phone can last you for up to three days or more. It is that good. If you are a heavy user, you can still go through your whole day and still have enough battery power by the time you go to bed.

Conclusion

The Infinix Hot 3 is an interesting entry level smartphone. The phone has the looks and one thing that made me like it is that it doesn’t feel or look cheap. It doesn’t have a premium design but is just right there in the middle. This design is perfect considering the Ksh 7,899 price tag.

Infinix Hot 3 Review

Infinix Hot 3 Review

So should you get this phone? Well, that is all up to you but I think if you have Ksh 8,000 to spend on a smartphone, the Hot 3 should be on the list of devices you want to buy.  Despite the above mentioned performance issues, the Hot 3 is an impressive entry level device. It handles basic tasks without any issues.

If you have the Infinix Hot 2, I don’t think you should upgrade to the Hot 3 just yet. The Hot 2 and Hot 3 are very similar in terms of specs and the display size, design and battery are the two things that differentiate the two, most of the other features are almost the same. If you own the Hot2 you may want to wait for the Hot 4 or just get the Infinix Note 2.

Read More: The Infinix Hot 2 (X510) Review


About author

Editor at TechArena. I cover all things technology and review new gadgets as I get them. You can reach me on email: kaluka@techarena.co.ke
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