Options for affordable phablets in the market is very sparce. Most manufacturers target ‘big phones’ to the mid-range and highend audience, ignoring the mass market. Infinix Hot Note X551 is a new big phone from Infinix targeting this ignored space. We have been playing with the Infinix Hot Note for a couple of days and will be sharing our first impression review here. Checkout the Infinix Note 5 and the Infinix Note 5 Stylus.
Where to Buy Infinix Note Phones
Infinix Hot Note will be competing with offerings from Innjoo like the Innjoo Note and Note E. It went on sale on March 11, 2015 with preorder starting exclusive on Jumia Nigeria for a price of 23,500 Naira.
The Infinix Note 3 launched in August 2016 is the latest member of the Infinix Note series.
Infinix Hot Note is not just a bigger build of the Infinix Hot. It comes with more power thanks to the built-in octa-core processor, offers a better display, and comes with a massive battery with a promise of up to 2 days of use on full charge.
Infinix Hot Note has a premium look and feel to it. This has a lot to do with the metal textured finishing on the back and side frames. Our review unit from Jumia is the Mint Green model, but the Infinix Hot Note is also available in Anthracite Grey, Copper Brown, or Champagne Gold.
The Hot Note at 8.9 mm is the same thickness as its major competitor in the Nigerian market, the Innjoo Note, but is slightly lighter weighing 172 g against 188 g.
The body is smooth, but it grips well with your hand. Despite the large screen, one hand use of the phablet is possible for most of the time. However, like most large phones you will have to call your second hand to action some of the time.
The back is made of the same material as the sides, but while the sides are polished smooth, the back has some grain-like patterns running across it. The 8 megapixels camera sits on the top-left corner with the LED Flash below it, which is a departure from the Infinix Hot that has its camera in the top centre position.
The loudspeaker however, remains in the same bottom-centre location as the Infinix Hot, but this time Infinix is adding the Hot branding a little bit above the loudspeaker.
Also similar to the Hot, the Infinix Hot Note has the volume and the power rockers located on the right-side of the phone.
The 3.5 mm audio jack for your earbud or ear phone is located on the top side.
Look on the bottom side for the microSD port for charging phone of syncing with your computer and mouthpiece.
On the front is the 5.5-inch touch display with the three capacitive touch buttons below it. The earpiece and the 2 megapixels camera are located above the screen.
To get to the SIM slots, you need to open the back cover. However, unlike in the Hot where the back cover wraps the sides, the back cover of the Infinix Hot Note does not extend to the sides, but sits on the back like a lid.
Once the lid is off (this is very simple and requires just your finger), you will see the two micro-SIM slots for the dual-SIM function and the microSD slot.
You will also see the 4000 mAh Li-Po battery, which is built into the phone and is not user removable.
Infinix Hot Note comes with a high-quality display. It measures 5.5-inches with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution that gives 267 pixels per inch. The display performed beyond my expectation with accurate colour reproduction and sharp images.
The brightness of the screen can be controlled manually or you can set it to automatic brightness so the Note regulates screen brightness depending on the ambient lighting.
Infinix Hot Note sports two cameras. An 8 megapixels camera on the back with LED flash and a 2 megapixels camera on the front. Both cameras offer zero shutter delay (ZSD) so you can take photos faster without delays. Face Detection, Geo-tagging, Gesture shots, and many other features are all available on both cameras.
The rear camera can record 1080p HD videos while the front facing camera offers VGA videos (480 x 640).
Both cameras on the Infinix Hot Note are capable, but still offers a couple of tools for retouching your photos.
Infinix Hot Note sports the Mediatek MT6592 chipset with eight processor cores clocked at up to 1.4GHz each. On paper, the 1GB RAM sounds disappointing, but I did not notice lags or delays as everything runs smoothly.
My test with games like Fast & Furiuos 6 were seamless, so was video streaming on YouTube.
Infinix Hot Note scored 28451 points on the AnTuTu Benchmark, which places it ahead of the HTC One M7 and Xiaomi’s Redmi Note, but below the Innjoo One which scored 30300 points.
In the performance explanation, the Infinix Hot Note performed better than 95% of devices in general performance. Infinix Hot Note also performed better than 60% of devices in game performance and better than 50% of devices in battery performance.
Infinix Hot Note sports a massive 4000 mAh Li-Po battery, which gives it an edge over affordable phablets from Innjoo.
We ran the AnTuTu Battery tester to further test the battery. After three hours of battery endurance testing, the Infinix Hot Note scored an 7442 points ahead of the duo of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5 as well as the Galaxy S4 and Xiaomi Mi3.
According to Infinix, the battery can last for up to 48 hours on full charge, however battery life depends on how you use it. Personally I see the Infinix Hot Note going more than a day for an average user, but if you are going to spend several hours gaming do not expect battery life to last up to a day.
For example, I used the Infinix Hot Note fully charged as a mobile hotspot for about 6 hours and had 53% battery capacity left. Infinix Hot Note also promises fast charging, but I will have to report back on that as I have not tested this capacity.
Infinix Hot Note runs on Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) with a similar UI as the Infinix Hot, which is actually stock Android. Like in Stock Android, clicking on the middle icon in the bottom row of icons on the home screen takes you to the App Drawer, for a lineup of apps and setting on the phone.
The large Google search bar is clearly visible on the home screen and you can search both the web and your phone.
Infinix Hot Note does not come with a lot of apps pre-loaded, but with about 12GB free space and support for microSD slot and the Google Play Store you can install lots of apps yourself.
WhatsApp, Facebook, Palmchat, and BBM are preloaded for your instant messaging and social networking. Of course, the Infinix Hot Note comes with Google suite of apps like Search, YouTube, Photos, Google+, Chrome, Maps, and Play Store.
Infinix Hot Note comes with the WPS Office, which is an app for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets, and presentation.
Infinix Hot Note handles calls well with good audio quality. It offers fast 3G data and Wi-Fi. Videos streamed seamlessly on both connections.
Infinix Hot Note supports 3G internet on both SIMs, but you have to specifically enable 3G on the applicable SIM slot. You can also also setup a mobile hotspot for up to 8 devices.
The Infinix Hot Note is the ultimate in affordable phablets. It offers all the good stuff you should expect from a phablet.
It sports a large and bright 5.5-inch display that is great for watching movies, browsing the web, or your other work or play stuff with a powerful processor that ensures everything runs smoothly and a big battery that ensures you get a lot more done before you need to recharge your battery.
The non-removable battery might be an issue for some and for others if might be 2 megapixels front camera might be it, but for an amazing price of 23,700 Naira and the biggest battery at that price range, the Infinix Hot Note is a great deal.