Ever since its launch in 2013, Infinix has always had its focus on one thing – budget killer devices. The company has consistently launched devices under its various lines with the main aim of bringing aggressive value for money. They recently launched the Infinix Hot 12 Play globally on 30 May 2022. The phone is now officially available in Bangladesh as well. Here is a detailed take of the device so that potential buyers can decide whether to use this device or not.
The first thing to notice is that Infinix is a medium and budget device. A quirk with budget devices is that they tend not to stick to one design language. High-end devices like Samsung’s iPhone or the S series always make small incremental changes to the hardware to deliver a seamless experience. However, this is not the case with budget devices and certainly not with Infinix’s hot series.
Previous iterations had a vertical dual-tone rear. This time, Infinix has introduced a horizontal partition at the bottom edge of the device. The top has a pronounced vertical shade while the bottom reveals a faded brushed finish. Light refraction on both sides gives the device its rustic premium look.
Getting to the ports and buttons and everything is expected and useful on a budget device. The phone sports all the usual bells and whistles like a dedicated microSD slot, 3.5 headphone jack and a much-loved USB Type C charging port. The fingerprint sensor now gets its dedicated place on the right side next to the camera module.
Overall, the build and design won’t blow users away. But small increments add up to make a decent device considering the price.
Infinix has yet to jump on the AMOLED bandwagon. The choice to stick with IPS LCD is understandable considering the limited options. But that hasn’t stopped the company from tricking some high-end features into the Hot 12 Play.
The display itself is a large 6.82-inch panel with HD+ resolution and 259 ppi. Modest specs are reduced by adding a 90 Hz refresh rate. Apart from that, the panel has a touch sampling rate of 180 Hz so touching and browsing feels absolutely smooth. The phone’s brightness peaks at 800 nits. Outdoor visibility is not much of an issue but users may experience some glare under direct sunlight.
On the flip side of the device, the rectangular camera housing houses two large vertical camera sensors and a simulated small cutout at the bottom. Although it may look like a sensor, it is only there for aesthetics. Speaking of useless additions, one of the two lenses is a QVGA lens while the main sensor is a 13 MP wide-angle f/1.8 shooter.
It makes no sense why companies still include a QVGA lens with their devices. The choice can be attributed to cost reduction and better selling points with a dual camera.
The main sensor performs the averaging itself. Then again, users would be wrong to expect premium performance from a device priced below BDT 15,000. The lens can take decent photos in direct sunlight and well-lit environments. Just like its predecessor, the problem starts in low light. Images appear grainy and with lots of noise It’s not a phone that would necessarily be known for its camera. Rather, it’s a feature Infinix still perfects.
Talking about refinement, Infinix has brought a great improvement in the processor and performance department. Most competitors in this price range, including the Hot 11, were powered by the entry-level MediaTek Helio G35. The G30 series from MediaTek does only the bare minimum and only registers its presence as a processor.
Infinix has moved away from the partnership and opted for UniSoc T610 processor built on octa-core architecture. And this simple choice made a world of difference in performance. Even on paper, the UniSoc processor performs almost twice as well as the G30 series from MediaTek.
The device shines through every type of daily task thrown at it. We tried gaming on the device and it didn’t let us down there either. The device can run 3D games like PUBG at high settings without any visible stuttering. But there are some frame drops here and there and the device heats up a bit due to the plastic build.
Overall, the Hot 12 Play’s performance is a huge upgrade from the previous generation. It is still a perfect device for everyday casual use. But users can now throw in a few games here and there and play by name.
The OS here is the same XOS based on Android 11. Given the budget constraints, we’d suggest not expecting an update to Android 12 anytime soon.
Infinix Hot 12 Play comes with a removable 6000 mAh battery. The high battery can easily power the device for 7 to 8 hours of continuous use. But the limited 10W charger means that charging up this massive battery will be a time-consuming process.
Infinix Hot 12 Play is officially available in Bangladesh in 2 variants. The 4GB/64GB variant is priced at Rs 12,999 and the 4GB/128GB variant is priced at Rs 13,999. Prices are subject to change.
In all its glory the Infinix Hot 12 Play is still a hit and a miss from the budget brand. While the design, performance and overall usability have improved over the last iteration, there are still areas like the camera and OS that need a major upgrade. Infinix must look into these aspects to truly diversify its customer base. Otherwise they can get stuck in a loop they created themselves – a niche of devices catered specifically to the low-budget client segment.