Infinix Hot 9 features one of the better-looking design upgrades we have seen in the Hot 9 series. Compare it with that of the Infinix Hot 8 and you immediately notice a very refined design, one that tries its best to fit into the latest trend.
The rear of the Infinix Hot 9 features curved edges and a glossy finish with a mild gradation in color. This rear panel is home to a capacitive fingerprint sensor, a quad-camera setup, and the Infinix logo, which indicates it’s an Infinix phone.
Upfront, we have a setup that resembles that of the Infinix S5. It’s a 6.6-inch IPS LCD display housing a single camera cut-out. This display has a screen resolution of 720 x 1600 pixels and a screen density of 269 PPI.
Let’s find out more about the new Infinix Hot 9 Play in this review.
Infinix Hot 9 Play Specifications:
Body: 6.76 x 3.07 x 0.35-inches; 209gm; Plastic body with gem-cut finish
Display: 6.82-inches TFT IPS LCD panel; 82.40% screen-to-body ratio; 263 PPI
Resolution: HD+ (1640 x 720 pixels); 20.5:9 aspect ratio
Chipset: MediaTek Helio A22 / A25 (12nm mobile platform)
CPU: Quad-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 / Octa-core (4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.5 GHz Cortex-A53)
GPU: PowerVR GE8300 / PowerVR GE8320
RAM: 2/4GB RAM
Storage: 32/64GB eMMC 5.1 (expandable)
Software & UI: XOS UI on top of Android 10
Rear Camera: 13MP primary lens, QVGA low-light sensor; Triple-LED flash
Front Camera: 8MP with flash
Security: Physical fingerprint sensor (rear-mounted)
Audio: Single front-firing speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack
Connectivity: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS with A-GPS, Micro USB 2.0, LTE
Battery: 6000mAh with 10W charging
Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass
Colors: Quetzal Cyan, Violet, Ocean Wave, Midnight Black
Price in Nepal: Rs. 11,490 (Helio A22, 2/32GB) | Rs. 14,990 (Helio A25, 4/64GB)
Infinix Hot 9 Play Review:
- Plastic body with a gem-cut finish
- Pretty big and wide phone so it may take some getting-used-to
- 6.82-inches HD+ TFT IPS LCD panel
- No protective glass of any kind
Moving on to the display, the Infinix Hot 9 Play has a big 6.82-inches TFT IPS panel. So, content consumption on such a large phone was an absolute delight… well, not so much. Unfortunately, in a bid towards pushing for big numbers, OEMs don’t really care about the complementary elements that are quintessential for a well-rounded experience. Here, Hot 9 Play’s large display features a mediocre HD+ display with a pixel density of 263 PPI.
That spec-sheet is enough to make a general assumption about the quality of the display and you’d be right. It’s mediocre or maybe worse. The tall display and low resolution are not a good combo and it really shows. Videos aren’t enjoyable as the image looks way too dull and at most times, subjects have this weird white edge to them – which is a result of the phone trying to compensate for the minuscule pixel density for such a big phone. The colors aren’t that great either although I won’t be going at length about it since that’s acceptable for a phone at this price range. All in all, don’t give in to the large display hype on the Hot 9 Play as it doesn’t paint the whole picture.
- Either quad-core MediaTek Helio A22 or octa-core A25 (12nm)
- 2/4GB of RAM with 32/64GB of expandable internal storage
- XOS UI on top of Android 10
Now Infinix Hot 9 Play’s performance is quite interesting. There are different memory configurations, yes but on top of this, they differ when it comes to silicon as well. Here, the 2/32GB variant is powered by MediaTek’s Helio A22 while the 4/64GB option packs in Helio A25 instead. Our review unit features A25 too so from hereon after, I’ll be discussing Hot 9 Play’s performance based on that configuration. Using the dedicated slot, you can also expand the phone’s storage to up to 256GB which is nice.
Mobile gaming’s gotten big these days so allow me to discuss the phone’s gaming prowess first. Based on the 12nm process, Helio A25 has an octa-core CPU (compared to quad-core on the A22) with Cortex-A53 cores. Handling the graphics side of things on the Hot 9 Play is IMG PowerVR GE8320 GPU. So, I went on to try some of the popular FPS titles like Call of Duty Mobile, and PUBG Mobile Lite. The latter ran sufficiently well under Smooth graphics and Extreme frame rate. Similarly, CoD and other games like Brawlhalla ran well too.
Besides gaming, other regular tasks run fairly well although I noticed how it takes a while to open apps – not just games, or other heavy apps. Hot 9 Play runs Android 10 out of the box (the 2/32GB comes with Go Edition by the way) with Infinix’x XOS UI on top. It is far from a stock Android experience with tons of customization options. Here, using XTheme, you can personalize the look of your device. The phone does come with a bunch of bloatware app and while you can uninstall most of them, some of them can’t be completely removed and you are left with the option to disable them.
- Rear: 13MP primary lens plus a QVGA low-light sensor
- Front: 8MP selfie camera (teardrop notch)
Getting to the cameras, one can easily confuse the Hot 9 Play for one with a triple-lens system. I mean, Infinix has gone out of its way to carving a lens-like circular engraving in the rear camera module to make it look so when in reality there are only two sensors altogether. Moreover, one of them is a QVGA low-light sensor so effectively, this phone works around with a single 13MP lens.
Moving on to the front-facing camera, there’s an 8MP sensor with a flash inside the teardrop notch at the top-center of the display. Interestingly, Infinix has also managed to sneak in an LED notification indicator on the left side of the notch. I have to admit it’s something I’m seeing after a long while in a modern smartphone and reminded me of the essence of this nifty little feature.
Battery & Audio
- 6000 mAh battery with 10W charging (Micro USB 2.0)
- Single front-firing speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack
Finally, let me talk about the phone’s massive 6000 mAh battery. And right off the bat, this may very well be one of the best battery phones in the sub-15K market in Nepal. I honestly struggled to drain it out in a day and even with the heaviest of usage, the phone easily lasted me two full days. You can imagine how long it can last under light-moderate usage. While the endurance is great and all, charging it is an absolute pain.
The phone only supports 10W charging via the Micro USB port and on average, it took me about 3 hours and 40 minutes to take the Hot 9 Play from 0 – 100%. Now that’s something I haven’t seen in a modern smartphone in a long time either. Also, Infinix says the Hot 9 Play supports OTG input but my review unit wouldn’t accept it. Here’s to hoping it’s not universal.
Besides the headphone jack, you’re getting a single front-firing speaker setup which is located above the selfie camera. It’s not that pleasing to listen to. For even louder audio, there’s the DTS sound app and honestly, I didn’t find that much of a difference in the audio output with or without it.
Wrapping it all up, the Infinix Hot 9 Play is a surprisingly decent phone although it does have its undoings. The phone’s large display may attract many but will definitely notice its mediocrity after using it for a while. Having said that, if you can live with that, Hot 9 Play becomes a media-consumption powerhouse for its price.
People who watch a lot of videos, or travel frequently or students who require a larger screen space can definitely make something out of the phone. But once again a reminder, you’ll most probably need to charge the device overnight since it takes way too long to fully juice up the battery. And if you’re someone who can’t accommodate its compromises, there are other options like the new Redmi 9C or the Realme C11.
Infinix Hot 9 Play Review: Pros & Cons
- The decent design and the gem-cut finish looks good
- Excellent battery life (2-day phone)
- Okay-ish performance on the 4GB RAM variant
- The cameras can produce good-looking images
- The large display maxes out at just HD+ resolution
- A fair amount of bloatware apps and occasional ads
- Extremely slow charging via the Micro USB connection