‘I need a phone that is light weight, sleek, well designed, good for taking photos; selfies especially, with decent performance, okay battery life and I don’t want to break the bank to get one’ – then the Hot 3 is all you need.
The Hot 3 has some similar specs with its predecessor: the Hot 2, but also differs from the Hot 2 in a lot of ways. It is available in more colors than the Hot 2 and also has a more premium finish.
The first like-able thing about the Infinix Hot 3 at the first impression is its very light and sleek feel.
Bigger in size which means bigger the display with the cool XUI running on top, there are more to discover about the Hot 3 so lets quickly run through the specs and see what the playhot holds in store.
- All plastic body.
- Dual-SIM dual-standby capability
- 5.5″ 720 by 1080IPS capacitive touchscreen.
- Quad-core 1.3GHz processor, 1GB or 2GB RAM
- 16GB of built-in storage expandable via microSD card (up to 32GB)
- OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop with XUI.
- 8MP back camera with phase detection autofocus camera, single-LED flash.
- 2MP front-facing camera with soft flash
- Wi-Fi, hotspot, Wi-Fi direct; Bluetooth 4.0; GPS/GLONASS; microUSB
- 3,000mAh battery capacity.
Inside the playhot box are some familiar components, interior of the box is well arranged into smaller boxes, firstly, opening the box will have you facing just the Infinix Hot 3, further below you will find two other boxes. The smaller one contains the Charger and the other carries the USB cord, headphone and the user guide and I guess that’s all we could find in the box so lets head straight to the design and build.
Unlike the Hot 2 that has a similar design with the Zero series, the Infinix Hot 3 comes with a unique design, though it has its cover made of plastic, it has a premium feel and fits well into the palm, thanks to the curvy nature of the back cover. The back cover of the device is processed with fine diamond texture making more comfortable in hand. The device is available in 5 different appealing colours; Blue, Gold, Pink, Gray and White, we got the Gold color variant.
The power button and the volume adjusters are placed at the right border leaving the left border totally blank, at the top you’ll find both the 3.5 mm headphone jack and the USB port lying next to each other, the micro phone hole is left alone at the bottom.
At the front, there are three usual navigation keys at the bottom bezel with no LED light while the top bezel seem pretty busy with the 2MP front camera, call speaker, proximity sensor and the soft LED flash for taking selfies. The LED flash is barely noticeable, you’ll have to concentrate more before you can see it there. No protection is offered to the screen, this means you may have to invest in tempered glass or other screen protectors in other to keep the screen safe.
On the flip-side, the back camera of the device is sitting at the top left corner with the flash LED placed beside it by the right side, if you’re wondering what that tiny little hole below the camera is for (just like I did) it is a microphone hole for active noise cancellation. The loud speaker is located further below at the back, those dotted openings you see right next to the “HOT” inscription.
The back cover is removable and prying it open will leave you with a large 3,000 mAh battery that is also removable, the dual micro SIM and Micro SD card slots are just above the battery space.
The Infinix Hot 3 is in phablet size, its screen measures 5.5 inches diagonally, the way Infinix makes the front panel of their phones blend to one color leaving the bezel lines barely noticeable when the screen is black is one thing that still impresses me.
The playhot has a manageable resolution of 720 pixels by 1080 pixels with a rather poor pixel per square density (PPI) of 267. Though its colors came out very bold and its very suitable for viewing pictures and streaming videos, there is a slight yellowish (or will I say brownish) tints to its colors where white gets shifted to brown.
That not withstanding, the overall screen performance is impressive and it acknowledges multi touch of up two fingers at the same time.
Operating System, Processor and Memory.
The Hot 3 ships with the regular Android OS with a highly customized Android 5.1 Lollipop running on top of the Infinix User Interface (XUI).
This is another improvement because many users of its predecessor -Hot 2- complained of poor and buggy user interface which prompted Infinix to quickly roll out updates via OTA for the Android One device.
Its fair enough to expect Android 6.0 marshmallow in the playhot considering the fact that the device was launched when most of other devices are getting Marshmallow upgrade but we will be hoping they make an update available sooner.
The device is powered by a 64-bit quad-core MediaTek Cortex-A53 processor (clocking at a speed of 1.3 GHz) and a Mali400-MP2 GPU, the GPU and the number of processor cores (quad-core) is a bit below par, but let’s not forget that the device is an entry-level smartphone and it is reasonably priced.
The Infinix Hot 3 will deliver good gaming experience but certainly not the best especially when you option in for the 1GB RAM version, both the 2 GB and 1 GB RAM variants will offer 16 GB worth of internal storage space, the internal storage is expandable to a maximum of 32 GB using SD card if the user requires more storage space.
The overall performance we saw in the Hot 3 is quite commendable, note that we are having the 1GB RAM model for the sake of this review. There were no lags as to its speed even during gameplay.
We couldn’t help but notice this minor bug of the screen going blank when you pull down the notification bar or when a notification comes flying in, though the bug was fixed by a wireless update that you’ll receive as soon as there is data connection.
The Hot 3 supports smart gestures where you can unlock to any app by drawing a shape when the screen is asleep, you can double tap to wake or lock the screen.
It also features dual-mic noise cancellation, It utilizes upper and lower silicon dual-mic to effectively lower background noise; it is coupled with a wide frequency receiver for excellent call quality.
You also get to enjoy high quality music with the phone as it comes with 2nd generation music amplifier which utilizes unique RNS and noise canceling technology from Aiwei to effectively limit TDD noise. Anti sound-break technology is implemented to smooth out tracks for superior playback quality.
In photography aspect is where the playhot came out very impressive, it combines with 8 mega pixels and 2 mega pixels for the rear and front shutters respectively. The cameras are packed with a lots of features that makes taking pictures more fun with the device, Some of this features includes:
- Smile recognition (smart recognition for smiles)
- Gesture recognition, (fun selfies)
- Voice recognition (smart recognition for the phrase “capture” or “ cheese”)
- Timed photos（great for selfies)
- Touch capture (touch screen for instant focus and capture)
- Focus Tracking（essential tool for spontaneous capture).
The 8MP 5 lens back camera utilizes OV8865 sensor and 5-element lens camera to enhance light intake efficiency for superior picture quality. Compatibility with HDR high dynamic range yields vivid and detailed photos.
The combination of 1.4 µm large pixel and specialized night shooting mode makes it easy to capture high-resolution images in poor lighting conditions. Other modes include scenic, panoramic, and free-range shooting.
Below are some pictures taken with the phones front and back cameras (click on each one to view full size):
Outdoor shots with back camera
Outdoor shots with front camera:
Indoor pictures using back camera:
Indoor pictures with the front camera:
Battery and Connectivity
The Hot 3 is packed with 3,000 mAh removable battery, which offers 9 hours of web browsing when browsing with 3G, 20 hours of talk time, and 33 hours of music play, the Hot 3 battery is an upgrade to that of Hot 2 which offered 2,2oo mAh of battery capacity.
Charging the device is not that time consuming despite not coming with a fast charge technology, its 5V-1.5A output charger sees the the device fully charged in about 2 hours 30 minutes, it also offers ‘charge pal’ capability, which means it can be used to charge other electronic devices.
Infinix Hot 3 comes with 2G and 3G support in both SIM slots. The device also feature Portable and Tethering hotspot with a Wi-Fi version of 802.11 a/b/g/n and the latest Bluetooth version (Version 4.1), it also supports USB on the go.
Price and Availability
The smartphone is now available on all online retail platforms and offline stores and it is currently sold for about NGN 31,500 in Nigeria, while the official price in USD is 75 USD.