Budget Nexus Redefined: Infinix Hot 2 Review

The Infinix Hot 2 is a device that has gained lots of (international) recognition, far more than its peers and predecessors. This was championed by the partnership between Google and Infinix to launch this device as part of the former’s Android One project in Africa. Our Infinix Hot 2 Review is now ready and you can see how it performs in real life.

Infinix Hot 2 Box

This is practically the more affordable version of the ever elusive Nexus phone. We’ve been clamoring for this in this part of the world. The launch brought lots of excitement, but does it end there? Compared to other devices within this price range, the Infinix Hot 2 already is champ on paper. How does this reflect in reality? How successful was this marriage between Infinix and Google?

This and more we shall access, and like I promised, well do proper justice to this phone review. Looking at its key features:

  • 5.0 – inch HD IPS display, 720 ×1280 pixels, (298 PPI).
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, upgradeable to Android M.
  • MediaTek MT6580 chip set with quad-core 1.3 GHz processor, Mali 400-MP GPU and 2GB of RAM.
  • 8 MP Auto focus camera with LED flash, pixel count 3840 x 2160 pixels and Video recording of 1080p.
  • 2 MP front-facing camera, with pixel count 2048 x 1152.
  • Fully Partitioned 16 GB internal storage (11 GB usable).
  • Dual SIM support, Both Micro-SIM, 3G switchable.
  • Removable 2200 mAh battery,

Main Disadvantages

  • No USB OTG.
  • Poor resolution front cam video recording.
  • Would’ve had a higher battery rating.

Read the full detailed Infinix Hot 2 Specifications HERE , as well as our Hands on experience and Unboxing HERE.

The Complete Infinix Hot 2 Review

Hardware

Like we mentioned in the Unboxing review, the Infinix Hot 2 shares a close resemblance to the Infinix Zero series. The lower back side is angled and goes round the lower side of the phone. The Hot 2 also shares similar with the Zero for the positions of camera module, LED flash, volume and power buttons.

Infinix Hot 2 Back side

This phone is made of plastic casing. The phone is nicely built, and feels good to hold. It doesn’t look cheap. until you try to open the back cover then the plastic creaks will be noticed.

The top part has the USB port and 3.5 mm earphone jack. The lower part carries the speaker grill.

 

Design

The Infinix Hot 2 has great design, though it has a few flaws we’d like to highlight. On the hardware side, the bezels are still too big. Especially at the top and lower ends. Maybe Infinix already finished with this design before Google came along and slapped Android on it. The fact that we have on-screen keys on this device should’ve meant that the lower bezel be made as small as possible. It appears this is the case with budget devices.

Infinix hot 2-Screen waste

On the software side. The onscreen keyboard covers a significant part of the screen. The usable screen space is markedly reduced to about 4.7 inch (approximately). The lower section just comes out plain black on some app interfaces. Normally this should have been transparent or blending with the app interfaces to give a uniform design.

 

Software

This is the high point of this device. In fact, one of the best selling points. This baby runs stock Android 5.1.1 Lollipop-the latest version of Android you can find anywhere. Even those carrying some flagships of this world are yet to officially get this software version on their devices. Not only is this the latest Android software, it is the default Android, lean with no bloatware, customization or additional bells and whistles.

Infinix Hot software
There’s this leanness you experience on this device Like something that has been set free from a heavy load. The true Android experience just the way it’s supposed to be. Trust me guys, that feeling is rare, and can only be experienced on the Infinix Hot 2 or any Nexus device.

Lastly, the last software advantage here is that owners of the Infinix Hot 2 as part of the Android One program will receive software updates for a period of two years. At least, we’re rest assured of getting Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) as soon as it comes, while our brothers on TECNO, Innjoo and the rest are languishing on Android KitKat.

 

Display and User Interface

The Infinix Hot 2 shipped with an HD display of resolution of 720 x 1280, and PPI 320. The display is great and exactly what you would expect from a HD Display. When the brightness is set at its lowest, there’s this dark greenish tint you get in places meant to be white, maybe it’s my eyes, or maybe it’s from the stock Android theme. Cranking up the brightness normalizes everything though.

Infinix Hot2 UI

This device has great viewing angles. Tilt it, and you still get to see whatever is happening. Sunlight legibility here is bad-same for every device on this price segment. But increasing the brightness let’s you see well under sunlight.

Like we mentioned earlier, the Infinix Hot 2 runs stock Android Lollipop, so the user interface is pure Android, exactly the way it’s founding fathers made it to be. The notification bar, home screen, app drawer is all stock Lollipop.

 

Camera

The camera is 8 MP at the back and 2 MP for the front. Though, we later discovered it’s actually 8.3 MP/2.4 MP respectively. The back camera really takes in light unlike other 8 MP sensors we’ve tried. Images come out sharp and colors are more natural. In dark places, the flash does well and pictures come out clear, though you can’t compare them with the flagship phones we have now.

The 2 MP front camera takes good selfies – but there’s this gripe I have with Infinix for not making it wide angled. The case is same with other Infinix models like the Infinix Hot and Infinix Hot Note.

To show us how good the camera of the Hot 2 is, below are comparison pictures with the Gionee M2 that has same 8 MP camera. Now you be the judge. The Hot 2 sample is at the top and Gionee M2 sample below:

Night time shot.

Hot 2-vs-M2-night

Daylight shot.

Hot 2-vs-M2-day

 

Multimedia

The Infinix Hot 2 has good sounding speakers, Music playback is loud and clear. Google Play Music comes as default and isn’t bad at all. Music listening is ok, here both with external speakers or with earphones. The default Android video player is crap.

To enjoy a better video watching experience, you would have to install a 3rd party app like MX Player. The FM Radio after initial scan automatically saves a list of favorite stations. It also supports recording.

 

Multitasking /Performance

The Infinix Hot 2 is great for multitasking. The 2 GB RAM just glides along with the stock Android. Open the likes of WhatsApp, GReader Pro , Chrome (with 5 tabs open), and going back to each of them, everything still remains just like you left them.

One funny thing here. The Hot 2 and Gionee M2 runs same 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, but the Hot 2 performs considerably faster. Below are screen shots of its AnTuTu Benchmark and Quadrant tests.

Infinix Hot2 tests (2)-horz

 

Battery life
Fans and enthusiasts have asked, why would this device carry a (meager) 2200 mAh battery? Folks will hang on to see a review like this to be sure of how the battery lasts before making a purchase. Ears are tingling in anticipation to know how the 2200 mAh battery measures up.

With 2 SIM cards installed and steady 3G, 4 hours or browsing and chatting, a few calls, 2 hours movie playback and 1 hour of gaming, we were able to achieve approximately 8 hours of use before the battery hit 5%. On average use, the Infinix Hot 2 should take you through one day of use. Below is a screenshot of how long it can last. The straight line parts of the graph indicates standby by times.

Infinix Hot 2 Battery (2)-horz

Switching to EDGE will save you extra power. Switching to the battery saver mode will even save you extra juice.

Miscellaneous
The Infinix Hot 2 has no Double Tap to Wake function, No USB OTG, though the option appears in Settings, we inserted a USB cable and nothing showed up.

On this phone, after first boot up, you can’t side load any apk at all. You can’t access files/folders because there’s no default file manager. You’ll have to connect to internet, install a file manager and Xender (or any other file transfer app), or you transfer your apk files through Bluetooth.

Another observation, when WiFi hotspot was shared from this device to my Windows 7 laptop, it refused to connect but it connected on another Windows 8 machine. We can’t really conclude if this is a Windows 7 issue. But we’ll see if the problem can be rectified.

Like every other Nexus device, you can’t peg the Infinix Hot 2 to full 3G (only preferred or auto mode). You’ll need an extra app like Notification Toggle to peg it to 3G.

This phone doesn’t heat up. While charging or while gaming. A big ups to Infinix and Google on this one. Call clarity here is loud, clear and audible. The 16 GB internal storage is fully partitioned with 11.78 GB usable. There’s a notification light at the top that blinks red when any notifications arrive or green the the battery hits 90% while charging.

Some apps came pre-installed on this device and they include : Carlcare, MTN Music+, My 2015 app, Naij and Jumia store apps.

Final Words
The Infinix Hot 2 is a beautiful device inside out. The important thing here is that it’s targeted to a group of users. Do you want to experience Android in it’s purest and truest form? Get the Hot 2. Do you want to use the latest version of Android on your device, and also receive the latest update as it comes? Get the Hot 2.

We have a few gripes with the No USB OTG, and most especially the battery life. I personally would’ve greatly appreciated if the battery rated up to say 3000 mAh. But then, the price would have escalated, and that would deviate from the true purpose of the Android One project which is offering the best possible specs at the cheapest of prices.

The Infinix Hot 2 can be summed up with this phrase: It’s the budget Nexus device redefined!!

Summary
Review Date
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Infinix Hot 2
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