Having used the Motorola Nexus 6 as my daily driver for a few months, the arrival of the Infinix Hot 2, the first Android One smartphone for Africa, threw up an interesting question: What would it be like going from a N100,000 flagship running stock Android to a sub-N20,000 budget smartphone running exactly the same software be like?
Interested? I thought so. Come with me! But I assure you that this won’t be a long read.
First thing: the software experience is exactly the same across both devices. I missed nothing. But that’s expected; right? Stock Android is stick Android. The UI is exactly the same too.
The differences lie in two things: 1) hardware, and 2) performance.
The hardware is where the extra N100,000 between the two devices go. The Nexus 6 has a better design and build, a more high quality display, better loudspeakers and a better camera. It has 3GB RAM and a more powerful processor as well.
The Hot 2 on the other hand, has nothing outstanding about its design, and does not feel anywhere near premium. But it does have 2GB of RAM (the cheaper model has only 1GB), a lower clocked quadcore processor and a microSD card slot (which the Nexus lacks).
So, how do these differences translate to performance? Of course, the Nexus 6 is the better performer. The issue is that for most daily tasks, that performance difference isn’t huge. Stock Android Lollipop on the Infinix Hot 2 is very smooth. It is so smooth that if I had never used the Nexus, I wouldn’t know it could be better.
The Nexus 6 takes more stunning photographs, produces very awesome audio via the 3.5mm jack and via the stereo speakers. The premium, glossy finish on the display isn’t what you will find on the Hot 2 either. Hardware-wise, the Nexus is premium to the finish. It is a work of craftsmanship and a beauty to carry around.
What about battery life? The Nexus 6 has a 3,000 mAh battery that powers a 2.7GHz processor and a vibrant 6-inch display. In contrast, the Hot 2’s 2,200 mAh battery runs a 1.3GHz processor and a basic 5-inch display. I got a little bit more usage time out of the Nexus than I am getting from the Hot 2. But, again, it is not a huge difference. If you are the average user, it will get you through the day. Push it harder and you need to top it up at least once in the course of the day.
However, truth be told, I am no less productive using the Infinix Hot 2 as my daily smartphone right now. That, I believe, is the crux of the mission of Android One. And to that extent, the Hot 2 ticks all the boxes.