The Infinix Hot 9 review

Infinix Hot 9

The Infinix Hot 9 is the latest of the Infinix Hot series popular with consumers for their pocket-friendly prices and rather impressive device specs.

Hong Kong-based smartphone company, Infinix mobile announced the launch of the Infinix hot 9 in March 2020 and in April 2020, the Infinix Hot 9 play, its follow-up, was announced.

The Infinix Hot 9 smartphone runs on the Android 10. Similar to the Infinix hot 8, it is powered by an octa-core processor. This time, however, you get a MediaTek Helio A25 Chipset with a clock speed of 1.5/1.8 GHz. If you do choose to get one, you can get it in two variations; 2 GB RAM mated with 32 Gb internal storage or 3 GB RAM paired with 64 GB of internal storage.

With this marked similarity to the Infinix Hot 8 (that’s including similar display size and resolution of 6.6-inch and 700 x 1600 px respectively), it’s a wonder if the Infinix Hot 9 is an actual upgrade from the Infinix Hot 8. Let’s take a closer look at the smartphone and find out.

Design

The Infinix Hot 9 has a sleek design and a diamond-cut texture that adds extra flair. Even with a weight of 185 g, it doesn’t feel all too heavy. This smartphone comes in four colors; Midnight black, Quetzal cyan, Violet, and Ocean wave. It has a plastic back, which is a bit glossy, so fingerprint smudges could be an issue.

It sports a pill-shaped quad-camera set up, a major design highlight with this phone. Alongside the camera setup are three LED flashlights. The fingerprint scanner is conveniently placed at the back and is easy to reach.

Infinix Hot 9 port configuration

At the top edge of the phone, there are no ports. Where you’ll find the ports are at the bottom, and there are two of them –  the standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a charging port. As expected, Infinix has opted for a micro-USB charging point, which is somewhat disappointing given that many budget phones now spot Type-C USB ports.

Infinix Hot 9 speaker system

The speaker grille is also found at the bottom edge together with the mouthpiece opening. It’s a single mono speaker system, but no one is expecting stereo speakers at this price point. In usual fashion, the volume and power buttons are located at the right edge of the phone, and the left hosts the dual sim card slots and an external MicroSD.

Display

The Infinix Hot 9 features a massive 6.6-inch HD+ IPS display. It has a resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels and an aspect ratio of 20:9. The PPI value for the Infinix Hot 9 rounds up to 266ppi, so images might not look as detailed on this screen.

Overall these are not too shabby display specs. That said they’re certainly not the best out there especially considering Infinix’s asking price.

At the top left corner of the smartphone, you’ll find a punch-hole display housing the front camera. This is an upgrade from the usual teardrop styled display, and it looks good.

The side bezels are considerably thin with the top bezel housing a selfie flash that can be used as a notification LED or a flashlight. You can combine this front flash with the rear flash when taking pictures to create an effect Infinix calls ‘360 flash.’

Performance

The Infinix Hot 9 comes loaded with a 2GB/3GB RAM. That’s enough for regular smartphone usage, but amp up the ante and indulge in some serious bit of multitasking, and you’re probably going to encounter issues. These RAM variants are coupled with 32GB/64GB storage space, respectively.

The Infinix Hot 9 ships with Mediatek’s new entry-level Helio A25 Chipset released earlier this year. This is a change from the MediaTek Helio P22 mid-range chipset version released in 2017 and found in previous members of the hot series.

It’s a welcome development from all indications. Tests have shown a 4% increase in quality from the P22 to the A25. However, the change is not all that significant; you might still experience some lag when you go heavy lifting with games like performance-intensive games like PUBG.

Regardless, the performance is still fluid and considerably better than previous smartphones of the Infinix Hot line up.

Infinix Hot 9 XOS skin

Infinix’s XOS 6.1 Android 10 skin also comes with a whole lot of features that improve phone performance and usability. They include; a dark theme that makes the phone more comfortable to use at night time, floating notifications, hands-off gaming, new gestures including the V-gesture that allows you to answer a call without touching your phone, and much more.

Infinix Hot 9 battery life

The Infinix Hot series has been consistent in providing users with above the board battery life. The Infinix Hot 9 does not disappoint. It comes with a Non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery. Fast charging is not available for this device, and it takes around 3 hours for the 10W charger juice it up from 0 to 100%.

On the plus side, the phone’s battery capacity is quite commendable. When it was tested with moderate battery consuming apps, it took about 38 hours to run it down from 100 to 0%. Upon heavy use, the battery life reduced to about 20 hours. All good enough for a budget smartphone.

Infinix Hot 9 Camera performance

Multiple cameras are the apparent trend of 2020, and the Iinfinix Hot series spots a whole five of them.; 4 at the rear and 1 selfie camera. The rear cameras consist of a 13mp primary lens, 2mp depth sensor, 2mp macro lens, and a QVGA camera for low light. The front selfie camera has an 8mp lens. On paper, it all sounds great, but tests have shown that this setup performs somewhat below expectations in poorly lit environments.

Video recording for both front and rear cameras are capped at 1080p and 30 fps. However, due to a lack of stabilization – this phone doesn’t come with optical (OIS) or digital image stabilization –  the video has focus issues and looks very rough. So, this smartphone is not really one for unleashing your video production skills.  

Infinix Hot 9 extra features

This Infinix Hot 9 also comes with the regular set of extra features you’d expect from a budget smartphone. You get proximity sensors, an accelerometer, and a gyroscope. It also has the DTS audio processing feature which improves the audio from speakers and when connected to headphones.

Infinix Hot 9 pricing and availability

At the time of this publication, the Infinix Hot 9 and the Infinix Hot 9 play are both available for purchase at stores everywhere offline and online.

The Infinix Hot 9 2GB RAM/32GB costs ₦ 53,350

The Infinix Hot 9 3GB RAM/64GB costs ₦ 57, 350

And the Infinix Hot 9 play is priced at ₦ 51,000

Infinix Hot 9 variants

Asides from the 2GB RAM/32GB storage and the 3GB RAM/64GB storage variations, you can get the Infinix Hot 9 in the Play configuration. Think of the Play variant as the ‘lite’ version of the Infinix Hot 9.

What is the difference between the Infinix Hot 9 and the Infinix Hot 9 play?

Well, there are more similarities than differences. Still, these differences are quite significant as they cause a major drop in the price.

Processor

The Infinix Hot 9 Play is powered by an octa-core Cortex A53 processor and runs on the MediaTek Helio A22 Chipset. It has a 2 GB RAM and 32 GM internal storage. The operating system used here is the Android 10 Go Edition skinned by Infinix’s inhouse XOS 6.2 UX.

Display

It features a 6.6-inch HD+ IPS display with a resolution of 720 x 1640 px and a teardrop notch which houses the front 8mp camera. The top bezels also house a dual front flash, one on each side of the teardrop notch. At the rear, it has a dual-camera setup up made of a 13mp primary camera and a QVGA camera for low light. This is coupled with a triple flash setup.

Battery

This device also comes loaded with a 6000mAh battery, which in my opinion, is very impressive and obviously higher than that of the Infinix Hot 9. However, this battery difference comes with an increase in weight to 205g.

Feature list

It comes with all the other regular features, which include Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, FM radio, and a MicroUSB 2.0 port. This smartphone, like the Infinix Hot 9, is also available in four different colors; Midnight Black, Quetzal Cyan, Violet, Ocean Wave.

Infinix Hot 9 final notes

Even though there’s a lot of similarities between this smartphone and its predecessor, the Infinix hot 8, there are also noticeable incremental upgrades. The processor, android version, and display quality all get a performance bump.

This is a step in the right direction. Although we expected a whole bunch of upgrades like a better 5500mAh battery, the Infinix Hot 9 still makes a case for a robust budget smartphone.

If you are not a heavy gamer or a video blogger, this smartphone is a very decent choice for you.