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Infinix Hot 10s Review – A sub P6,000 with 90Hz | An entry-level game changer?

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The Infinix Hot 10S is another jam-packed budget gaming smartphone that offers impressive specs under P6,000. With a large screen plus a 90Hz refresh rate, Mediatek Helio G85 Chipset, 48MP triple camera setup, and a large 6000mAh battery. This latest addition in the Hot 10 series focuses mainly on gaming but what’s more interesting is its price vs specs which could be the entry-level killer this year.

Pros

  • Large battery
  • 90Hz fluid screen
  • Gaming Chipset on a budget
  • Budget offering
  • Color accurate camera

Cons

  • Hefty Body
  • Outdated MicroUSB
  • poorly design UI
  • Low charging speed

Design

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Infinix Hot 10S has a tall body with a 3D curved back making it easy to hold but contrary to its grip as it has a smooth surface. Our unit is the black variant and if it has a matte finish instead of glossy polycarbonate it could look more elegant as it has a nice diamond pattern all over the back instead of the fingerprint-attracted body. I can also feel the heftiness of the device due to the large battery. But you may consider it’s built as it’ll benefit you in some ways by giving performance and the unbelievable specs it has.

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At the back, it has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner in the middle and a triple camera module with an LED flash on the top left side. It is a square-shaped camera module with only a triple camera. It really looks like it has a 4th camera but it only has a text saying 48MP on the 4th circle. To be honest there’s quite a redundancy on its camera module. I wish they just put the led flash on the 4th lens since it is also in a circle shape. It’ll reduce the overall design and texts to look more aesthetically pleasing.

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Around the frame, on the right, are its volume rockers and power button. On the left side is the simtray with dual nano sim slots and a dedicated microSD card slot that expands up to 512GB. Nothing on the top, but at the bottom are the 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, an outdated MicroUSB, and speaker.

Display

For its display, it boasts a huge 6.82-inch IPS LCD with an HD+ and a 90Hz display. Even though the Infinix Hot 10s is only in HD+ resolution, having a 90Hz display around the price point is pretty unique. The IPS panel and 90Hz could sip a lot of juice when using but good thing it has a 6000mAh battery to compensate for it. Meanwhile, the display quality shows quite an impressive in color and saturation. The sharpness, however, doesn’t fit with the large display, as it has a 720p resolution with 263 PPI density, the screen looks a bit stretched out.

It is pretty common nowadays to have a large display but the Infinix Hot 10s is excessively larger. Considering the less sharp look, the cherry on top is the 90Hz refresh rate. It makes the phone smooth and fluid even it has a thick chin and standard-size bezels at the price.

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Camera

Infinix Hot 10s consists of a triple camera setup, a 48MP f/1.8 main cam, a 2MP depth sensor, and an AI lens. What Infinix did here for me is well-executed, there’s no macro cam and in the price point we feel it would be gimmicky, they’ll probably up the budget for putting a macro cam. While upfront, sitting next to the dewdrop notch that houses an 8MP selfie, is a dual-LED flash for capturing bright selfies at night.

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Qualities on the main cam are acceptable for the price and since it has an AI cam on its third lens, it quickly recognizes what is in a scene, which resulted in a color-accurate photo just like in a DSLR. I really like how it captures an accurate white balance indoors thanks again to AI cam. The blacks have details means it has a strong and high dynamic range but still feels like it captures underexposed shots and it still needs HDR processing to further balance the overall image.

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At night time using a night mode is just good but soft. Blacks arent lift up but highlights have drastic improvement and I think the software prevents lifting the blacks as it will introduce a lot of grains. It’s not the best night mode I’ve seen in a very low light scenario but I accept the fact that it doesn’t overprocess things.

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Now for the portrait lens, the only problem I encountered was the detection between a non-living object and its background. AI camera feels insignificant for detecting between foreground subjects and background, it needs a software update, at least, for the camera patch. The depth camera struggles to focus on objects which are quite frustrating but as we nail the focus, it will capture a 98% accuracy on the depth and it looks quite natural as well. Having a subject to detect, like a face, makes the sensor accurately capture a great subject to background separation. Meanwhile, the colors are still the same as with the main cam.

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For the selfie cam, using portrait mode have less accuracy than the rear camera and all of our shots didn’t produce the most accurate skin tone. Even the 8MP front cam outputs inconsistent pinkish skin tone the shadows and highlights are all great. I also love how the beautification mode works as well as the 3D stickers.

For the video recording, the Infinix Hot 10s can record up to 2k resolution with 1080p and 720p options. It doesn’t have UIS which is quite a bummer but it has a slow-motion feature with 240fps burst and 120fps and both have a 720p resolution.

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It has a lot of camera features such as Beauty mode with face and body reshaping, super night mode, video beautification, video with bokeh effect, stickers and filters, short video, AR shot, and eye autofocus.

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Performance

Powering the Infinix Hot 10S is a MediaTek Helio G85 chipset with a Mali-G52 MC2 GPU and it is also paired with 6GB of ram and 128GB of internal storage. The MediaTek Helio G85 chipset is 100% improved over the G35 and 15% over the Snapdragon 665.

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For the software, it runs on Android 11 with its own XOS 7.6 OS on top. The UI seems to do a pretty good job handling multitasking and browsing however it feels a bit heavy due to animations. The GUI also feels out of date, as the texts are larger it doesn’t fit seamlessly on its large screen. The drop-down notification panel feels over-designed and it didn’t blend on the screen as well. Meanwhile, the fingerprint scanner works fine with 99% accuracy. It also has a face unlock that is reliable however it struggles in low light.

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Infinix Hot 10s does have tons of features like game mode, kids mode, social turbo, smart panel, and thunder black which is a small screen for multitasking. I also love how fast it capture a screenshot with a simple click. Overall, it has unique and reliable features and it can be one of the best OS if the UI design can be improved.

Gaming Test

Just like other phones in the market, the Infinix Hot 10s also comes with a pre-installed game booster. The Dar-Link Ultimate Game Booster enhances interactions and stronger visual impact. The system leverages its analytic, predictive, and calculative capabilities to match the game image processing rates with the relevant scenes. It’s a relief that you can control the performance mode. Since it’s mainly known as a budget gaming phone, we listed below the results of our gaming tests.

For Call of duty, mobile the default settings are set to Low graphics and medium frame rates. but it can go up to medium graphics and High frame rates. In the multiplayer mode it has 53 to 56 fps with 98% stability while on the battle royale mode it has 48 to 53 fps with 97% stability.

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Heading to PUBG Mobile, the default setting is set to HD graphics and high frame rates. You get ultra frame rates on both balance and smooth graphics quality. For PUBG mobile players this phone doesn’t have Gyroscope sensors. With the recommended settings it has 27 to 29 fps with 98% stability, and on balanced and ultra frame rates it has 35 to 37 fps with 97% stability.

Now heading to MOBA games, League of legends Wildrift is set to quality, and even the device has a 90hz display, the 90hz frame rate option is still locked. Quality resulted from 58 to 60 fps with 99% stability.

Mobile Legends on its default settings, everything is already turned on and the graphics quality is already set to high. With its maxed-out settings, it has 60fps with 100% stability.

Honkai impact 3, By default settings, it is set to number 3, with 60fps. It has 50 to 55 fps with 98 percent stability.

Lastly, on Genshin Impact, by default of lowest option and 30fps, it only has 22 to 25 fps with low stability. While on the lowest plus 60frames option, it has 45 to 50 fps but with lower stability.

For its gaming performance, it performed acceptable performance in 720p budget gaming. It offers a great gaming experience on both competitive and esports titles, and very acceptable performance for graphic demanding games, especially around the price point. Once again the MediaTek Helio G85 delivers a great gaming experience.

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Battery

For its battery, it is backed with a massive 6000mAh battery paired with a 10W charger. For us, the 6000mAh battery is just the perfect lineup for the specs as the device’s hardware consumes more juice. It has a 90Hz display, the chipset isn’t that power saving enough, it’s an LCD display, and since the processor could go high above the recommended settings we are filling the capacity of the processor making it drain faster. It took us 2 hours and 40 minutes of gaming until our battery dropped from 100 percent to 66 percent. But the pain comes with the charging as the higher capacity with just a 10W charging took us around 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Verdict

The Infinix Hot 10S really offers a cost value lower than the industry’s standard price range for the entry-level smartphone. For just P6,990 for the 6GB/126GB and P5,990 for 4GB/64GB, it has a fluid 90Hz screen, entry-level gaming chipset, massive 6000mAh battery, and a 48MP triple cam.

I can’t say for sure that this is the best budget gaming smartphone in 2021 since we’re only in the middle of the year. But for now, it offers features that are not only a gaming-powered machine but also a smartphone game-changer with an entry-level price tag. If it was paired with a better charger and UI design, or we didn’t encounter a lot of frame drops in the Genshin Impact that could be a different story.

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Infinix Hot 10S specs, price, availability in the Philippines

  • Display: 6.82-inches, HD+ IPS LCD, 90Hz refresh rate
  • Design: Glass front, plastic back, plastic frame
  • Dimensions: 171.5 x 77.5 x 9.2 mm
  • Chipset: MediaTek Helio G85 (12nm)
  • CPU: Octa-core (2 x 2.0 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6 x 1.8 GHz Cortex-A55)
  • GPU: Mali-G52 MC2
  • RAM: 4-6 GB
  • Storage: 64GB-128GB, eMMC 5.1, with dedicated microSD slot
  • Main Camera: 48MP Main Cam, 2MP Depth, AI lens, Quad-LED flash, up to [email protected]
  • Selfie Camera: 8MP Front, Dual-LED flash | video up to [email protected]
  • Connectivity & Ports: 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BEIDOU, FM Radio, micro USB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
  • Security: Fingerprint (rear-mounted)
  • Features: Accelerometer, proximity
  • Battery: Li-Po 6000mAh battery, non-removable
  • Audio: with loudspeaker
  • OS: Android 11, XOS 7.6
  • Colors: Black, Purple, Morandi Green, Heart of Ocean
  • Price: P6,990 (6GB/126GB) and P5,990 (4GB/64GB)
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