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Infinix Hot 9 Play Review: A Value Packed Budget Phone

The Good

  • Big display
  • Impressive battery
  • Decent main camera
  • Fingerprint sensor

The Bad

  • Speaker is tiny
  • Average performance
  • XOS is full of bloatware

Many might not have heard about Infinix mobile phones but they have been very active in recent weeks in Nepal. They have launched two new phones named Infinix Hot 9 Play and Infinix Note 7. Both of these are budget phones but we are going to talk about the Hot 9 Play in this article.

Infinix Hot 9 Play is an entry-level budget phone that boasts an impressive spec sheet for a phone under Rs. 15,000. I used this phone for a week and I like what this phone provides for its price tag. Why? Let’s check it out.

Infinix Hot 9 Play Specifications

  • Body: 171.8 x 78 x 8.9 mm, 209 g, Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Display: 6.82 inches IPS LCD, 720×1640 Resolution, ~82.4% screen-to-body ratio, 263 ppi
  • Chipset: Mediatek MT6761 Helio A22 (12 nm) – 2/32GB / Mediatek MT6762 Helio P22 (12 nm) – 4/64GB
  • CPU: Quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 / Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53
  • GPU: PowerVR GE8300 / PowerVR GE8320
  • Memory: 32GB 2GB RAM / 64GB 4GB RAM
  • OS: Android 10.0, XOS / Android Go (2-32GB)
  • Rear Camera: 13 MP, (wide), 1/3.1″, 1.12µm, AF
  • Front Camera: 8 MP, (wide)
  • Battery: Non-removable Li-Po 6000 mAh battery
  • USB: microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
  • Misc: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), Accelerometer, Proximity, Compass, 3.5mm Headphone Jack
  • Colors: Violet, Ocean Wave, Quetzal Cyan, and Midnight black

Infinix Hot 9 Play Price in Nepal: Rs. 11,490 (2/32GB) / Rs. 14,990 (4/64GB)

Infinix Hot 9 Play Review

Good Design

  • 171.8 x 78 x 8.9 mm
  • 209 g
  • Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)

Infinix Hot 9 Play uses a plastic body and has a glossy finish on the rear. On the front, it has an LCD display with a water-drop notch.

Infinix Hot 9 Play Design
Infinix Hot 9 Play Design

The plastic back looks stylish and the rectangular camera module also makes it look more appealing.

The rear houses a dual-camera setup with a rectangle camera module alongside a fingerprint sensor. The sides curves into the frame and the edges are curved as well. This is one of the few phones to include a fingerprint sensor under Rs. 15000 in Nepal.

On the front, the side bezels are slim but the chin is still prominent. The buttons are on the right side whereas there’s a tray for two sims and one micro-SD.

Infinix Hot 9 Play Buttons
Infinix Hot 9 Play Buttons

On the bottom, we get a headphone jack, a micro USB port, and a mic. On the top, there’s a speaker. The speaker is placed right above the notch where we usually get the earpiece.

ALSO READ: Samsung Galaxy M31 Camera Review: Impressive Mid-range Snapper

Ergonomically, I like how it fits in the hand. It isn’t slippery and I can use it with my on hand. But, it’s not exactly easy to use with a single hand. It’s a big phone.

Big Display

  • 6.82 inches IPS LCD
  • 720×1640 Resolution
  • ~82.4% screen-to-body ratio
  • 263 PPI
  • 60Hz panel
  • Protectin not mentioned

Hot 9 Play has a 6.8 inch 720X1640 (HD+) IPS LCD display. It is a decent panel with neutral colors but is brightness is not that good.

Infinix Hot 9 Play Display
Infinix Hot 9 Play Display

The color reproduction is quite good and watching content will be really enjoyable as it rocks a very big screen. Its brightness is good enough for indoors but you will have some difficulty outdoors under sunlight. You don’t get display options to boost the color or choose the display temperature either.

This phone has the biggest display in this price range and that makes it good for content viewing. Even though the display won’t be as sharp due to the HD+ resolution, it’s really good for the price.

Camera

Rear Camera

The 13MP main sensor does a good job under bright sunlight and it can provide good detail if photos are clicked under good lighting. The color reproduction is also slightly saturated. It mostly boosts green and blues.

Infinix Hot 9 Play Camera
Infinix Hot 9 Play Camera

About its dynamic range, it’s not that good. It loses details on the darker part of the picture. So, you won’t get good details on the darker areas of the photos. And, the photos will not be appealing if it’s shot in an overcast situation. Photos from the rear camera are usually exposed quite good and the brightness is also on point.

The normal photos from the rear camera are quite good.

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You can also capture portrait photos from the rear camera. And, the results were decent. The edge detection is quite good but ofcourse it is not perfect around some tricky areas like the hair. But, the background blur is quite nice.

As for low-light photos. You don’t want to capture images at night because it won’t be good. Also, there’s no night mode. We cannot expect good low light performance from a budget phone.

ALSO READ: Infinix Note 7 Review: Good Performer with A Huge Display!

Front camera

Now on to the front camera, I like it. The 8MP sensor takes some good photos with nice colors. The details are average under sunlight. The color is neutral and it doesn’t necessarily boost the colors. The details are fine while shot indoors as well. However, the HDR is not that good and the background will get washed out if there’s too much backlight.

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You can also capture portrait selfies which turn out quite nice. But, the highlights will get blown out if the background is well lit.

Performance

  • Mediatek MT6761 Helio A22 (12 nm) – 2GB/32GB
  • MediaTek Helio P22 (12 nm) – 4GB/64GB
  • Octa-core (4×2.3 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.7 GHz Cortex-A53) – 2GB/32GB
  • Octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 – 4GB/64GB
  • PowerVR GE8300 – 2GB/32GB
  • PowerVR GE8320 – 4GB/64GB
  • 32GB ROM 2GB RAM, 64GB ROM 4GB RAM

Underneath, the Hot 9 Play is powered by MediaTek Helio A22 chipset on the 2/32GB variant whereas it uses Mediatek Helio P22 chipset on the 4/64GB variant. This review was carried out on the 4/64GB variant.

So, the performance is what we normally see on a budget phone. The phone doesn’t feel smooth and you will notice that even when navigating through the menus. It will be more evident if you do multiple tasks and switch between the apps. Even though it has 4GB of RAM, the performance doesn’t feel smooth.

As for games, you can play games like monument valley with ease. You can even run games like COD but ofcourse there will be stutters in the lowest settings. But you can play it, it’s not totally unplayable.

Security

In terms of unlocking options, you can use the fingerprint sensor or face unlock but I prefer the fingerprint sensor. It’s not super fast like we normally see from Xiaomi phones at this price range but it does the job.

If you prefer, you can use face unlock as well and it’s quite good.

Speaker

Hot 9 Play has a single speaker on top. It is placed where we usually get the earpiece. It’s not loud enough but the clarity is decent.

Battery and Charging

  • Non-removable Li-Po 6000 mAh battery, Normal charging 10W
  • micro USB 2.0, USB On-The-Go

Without any doubt, Infinix Hot 9 Play’s battery is a monster. It has a 6000 mAh battery and is the phone with the best battery in its price range.

Infinix Hot 9 Play Charging
Infinix Hot 9 Play Charging

I was easily getting 10 hours of screen on time and I was still left with a 25% battery. It’s stand by time is also really nice and you can use this phone for 2 days on general usage. You could even use this for more than 2 days.

It’s charging is not good though. The 10W charger takes more than 4 hours to charge the phone from 0 to 100%.

Software

  • Android 10, XOS/ Android Go (2GB RAM variant)

Infinix Hot 9 Play uses two different OS. The 2GB RAM variant gets the Android Go edition of Android 10, whereas it uses its own skin XOS on the 4GB RAM variant.

XOS has lots of bloatware and you will want to uninstall them. There are some pre-installed apps that cannot be installed too. And, you will receive plenty of notifications from these apps. So, you will want to turn off some notifications as well.

As for the experience, I like it’s settings menu and the toggle menus as well. Its icons are not that good, they look tacky. You do get to choose some themes from its own theme gallery but it’s limited. You don’t get too many options for customizations.

Should You Buy Infinix Hot 9 Play?

Infinix Hot 9 Play is a really good phone for it’s asking price. What I like the most is that it has 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. You don’t get this memory configuration on phones under Rs. 15,000 that easily. Also, it has a fingerprint sensor which is rare in this price segment. And, then its battery. It’s massive and it has the best battery life under Rs. 15,000.

What could have been better is the performance because phones from Redmi feel much smoother but it’s not bad. The XOS is fine but could have been better without the bloatwares.

For, Rs. 14,900 this is one of the best phones you can pick up under Rs. 15,000.

I hope you like our review of Infinix Hot 9 Play. If you have any questions regarding this device, then drop it in the comments below. I will try my best to answer each of them.

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