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Infinix HOT 12 Play Review


Infinix HOT 12 Play Review: The Infinix HOT 12 series was launched in the Kenyan local market earlier this month.  The Hot 12 is available in three variants: HOT 12 Play 64+4 that the company is selling for Ksh 16,499, HOT 12 Play 128+4 which is available for Ksh 18,499 and the HOT 12 128+4 selling for Ksh 19,999.

We got the HOT 12 Play for review which is what we will be focusing on in this article. The phone succeeds the Infinix HOT 11 Play from last year and comes with some pretty interesting upgrades. 

Inside the box, you have the usual accessories: The phone, a plastic case, some user manuals, a warranty card, a Type-C charging cable, a 10W power brick, a pair of earphones and a Sim ejector tool.

Infinix HOT 12 Play Design and Display

Infinix HOT 12 Play

The colour option we have for our review unit is what Infinix is calling Racing Black. Other colour options include Legend White and Origin Blue.

The phone comes with a polycarbonate back and gives you that budget feeling we have seen in most budget phones in the market. It’s not really heavy and this is quite interesting considering it houses a massive 6000mAh battery. 

The Infinix HOT 12 Play is a huge phone featuring a 6.82″ IPS LCD display that is slightly interrupted by the punch-hole selfie camera. One thing though, I feel smartphone brands should just start making budget phones smaller. The Infinix HOT 12 Play for example couldn’t fit in my jeans pocket. 

Infinix HOT 12 Play Review

The back of the Infinix HOT 12 Play sports the 13MP dual-camera setup and a fingerprint sensor. At the bottom, there’s the headphone jack, microphone, speaker and Type-C charging port. The addition of a Type-C charging port was a much-needed upgrade to the HOT series. 

On the right side, we have the volume rocker buttons and power buttons. The left side has the slot for the dual nano-SIM cards and an extra slot for an external microSD card.

Infinix has also added a 90Hz refresh rate coupled with the 180Hz Touch sampling rate to the 720p screen. At that price, the display is quite good but of course, I would have appreciated a better resolution. It’s bright enough and the high refresh rate even makes it more enjoyable to use. 

Infinix HOT 12 Play Performance and Battery Life

Powering the Infinix Hot 12 Play is a Helio G85 Processor coupled with Mali G52 GPU. The phone offers 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Important to also mention that Infinix is giving you an option to expand the RAM to 7GB using the MemFusion feature. 

The phone comes with Android 11 and XOS 10. XOS has improved over the years to give users a better user experience on Infinix devices. 

XOS 10 on the Infinix HOT 10 Play comes with detailed crafted icons, a brand-new design style, and enhanced technical features. Other features we’re getting include 

MOL translation engine, Smart Panel, Power Marathon, XClone, Monster Game Kit, Dar-link 2.0 Game Booster Software, DTS Audio, and  Privacy Tracker.

The phone offers a smooth experience. I did not notice any lags or stutters during my experience with the phone. Apps open just fine just as it’s with surfing on the browser. One problem you will just have to get used to is the usual bloatware which can be really annoying. The phone comes loaded with apps and you also keep getting those crazy notifications from Play Store. You can, however, disable these apps but for now, we just need to agree that this is something Infinix is never going to fix. The phone also heats up a bit during heavy use. Overall, the phone is able to handle day-to-day tasks without so much struggle. 

For the battery, Infinix outdid themselves here. This is actually the phone’s main highlight.  The battery size is a massive 6000mAh to get you through the day. The phone manages to survive for 24hrs straight without running out of charge. It however supports 10W charging which is quite slow and takes close to three hours before it’s fully charged.  

Infinix HOT 12 Play Cameras

When it comes to optics, the Infinix HOT 12 Play features a dual-camera setup that houses a 13MP primary lens that has an aperture of f/1.8 and a depth sensor. On the front, there’s an 8MP selfie camera.

The camera comes fitted with a number of camera modes including AI Cam which is the default, Beauty, Portrait, AR Shot, Slow Motion, Video (1080p max), and Time-Lapse (1080p) on the selfie camera. There is no Night Mode. 

 Check sample shots below:

The camera performance is not the best really. Even daytime photos looked a bit fuzzy and lacked details. In low light, the image quality drops even more. You can however use the images for your social media or insta stories. 

Should you buy the Infinix HOT 12 Play? – Pricing and Availability

Infinix HOT 12 Play Review

This is a budget phone that Infinix is selling at Ksh 16,499. Compared to its predecessor the HOT 11, Infinix made some massive upgrades with the key highlight being the huge 6000mAh battery, the 90Hz refresh rate, the 7GB of RAM and of course the Helio G85 chipset.

The cameras might not be the best but the phone handles everything pretty well. Infinix still needs to do something about those annoying notifications and unnecessary apps that come with XOS. Other than that, the phone is a good recommendation.

The phone is available for purchase from Infinix outlets countrywide as well as the company’s online store XPARK.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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