Hot off the introduction of Infinix HOT 10S in the Philippines, we’re ready to give you our thoughts on this new affordable smartphone with a long-lasting performance. Priced at PhP 5,990 for the base model, is the Infinix HOT 10S the budget gamer’s ultimate device? Read our review and find out.
Inspired by the mirror-like surface of Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, Infinix says the design aims to mesmerize with flowing light and shadow. True enough, the back finish has a very reflective and glossy surface protecting a glittery, textured pattern underneath.
As with other phones with a smooth and glossy finish, the back panel does attract fingerprints easily so a quick wipe is necessary every now and then to keep it looking nice if you’re not a fan of putting a phone case on.
A fingerprint sensor is seen on the higher portion of the back that suggests the use of an index finger to activate. This is then close to the camera module and its triple sensor setup going on. An LED flash rounds up this area.
Running along the right side are the volume rocker and a power/lock button. Meanwhile, on the opposite side is the dual nano SIM tray plus a microSD slot to expand storage. The top is totally void of anything and not even a pinhole for mic is found.
Checking the bottom and we see the usual suspects — a 3.5mm audio jack for your headphones, a speaker grille, and, sadly, a microUSB port. This means it’s going to take longer time to refill its 6000mAh battery as compared to charging via USB-C. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and we’ll discuss its battery performance in just a bit.
Overall, the HOT 10S is a pretty tall phone that favors content consumption and gaming when the phone is used in landscape orientation. It feels solid and well-built with just the right thickness.
Buttons are easy enough to reach but I do have bigger hands than most Filipinos so a smaller hand might find it a bit difficult reaching the volume rocker without readjusting the grip.
There are four color options to choose from namely, Morandi Green, Heart of Ocean, 7° Purple, and 95° Black — what a unique naming scheme.
Display and Multimedia
I mentioned that the HOT 10S is a rather tall phone and this is mainly due to its large 6.82-inch display that’s meant for better enjoyment of different content. The panel comes with an HD+ resolution (1640 x 720) and boasts a 90Hz refresh rate which is a first in the HOT series.
On top of that, the phone also sports a 180Hz touch sampling rate that more accurately reads your touch input. And for gamers out there, you know that sometimes a delay in input is all it takes to win or lose a match, especially for fast-paced games.
While it’s true that it only maxes out at 720p, you can still enjoy an immersive experience as streaming high-res video shows good enough detail for mobile consumption. Images are clear, contrast improves quality, and colors are vibrant enough for casual viewing.
Its 90Hz refresh rate is noticeable when browsing through its UI but is more effective when playing games that support this feature. Even with Genshin Impact that maxes out at 60fps, the playthrough is still more pleasing to the eyes than a standard 30fps.
Having a single speaker grille on the bottom, you’d be better off connecting a pair of headphones to its 3.5mm jack for a more balanced and immersive experience whether you’re listening to music, watching videos, or playing games.
Armed with a triple camera setup, the HOT 10S is headlined by a 48-megapixel main shooter accompanied by a 2-megapixel depth camera for bokeh effects and an AI camera for auto scene detection. Once the AI sensor detects what you’re shooting, it will optimize the settings to produce better images.
The phone also comes with features for shooting like its Super Nightscape, eye-tracking autofocus (another first in the series), auto-blur videos, and face beautification videos at 2K resolution. It also comes with super slow-mo video capture at 240fps for those buttery smooth clips.
Photos produced are decent although some shots appear a bit desaturated and with dull colors. Its HDR mode effectively shows a wider dynamic range which is good especially when shooting both light and dark areas. Sharpness is also decent and captures detailed subjects.
Meanwhile, for your selfies, it comes with an 8-megapixel front camera. It has its own AI that enhances your self-portraits and comes in handy if you feel you really need it. Additionally, its eye-tracking feature proved useful and kept portrait shots in focus.
At the heart of the Infinix HOT 10S runs a MediaTek Helio G85 processor tweaked to pack more punch for heavy games as well as promote power optimization to make gaming sessions last longer. The phone also comes with a choice of either 4GB or 6GB RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.
If you find this storage still lacking, you have the option to expand it up to 512GB using a microSD card.
With these working hand-in-hand, performing everyday tasks are no sweat for the HOT 10S, and gaming is definitely handled well. We were able to run popular titles like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and PUBG without running into any major hiccups.
For games that support a 90Hz refresh rate like Pokémon Go, its smooth animation is really a treat for the eyes and elevates the mobile gaming experience.
To further improve a gamer’s experience, it also features Dar-link game booster which is a proprietary game optimization engine that makes improvements to the graphics display, touchscreen sensitivity, and optimizes data load.
The device does get warm after hours of usage but not to the point that it’s unusable. Pausing for a while and giving the phone some time to rest cools it down in no time.
It runs on the company’s XOS 7.6 which is based off on Android 11. It highly prioritizes safety and comes with features like App Lock that limits what other users can access on your phone and X-Proof that discourages people around you from peeking at your screen.
Navigation through its UI is fast but it comes with third-party apps that you can do away with. And speaking of pre-loaded apps, it comes with Beez app that lets you easily create a loop of beats and samples that you can use for your alerts which I personally find really cool.
Its 4G connectivity also proved reliable when I’m out of the house. I was able to play games and stream videos continuously without experiencing signal drops and the like.
For security, you have a choice of using a fingerprint scanner as mentioned earlier as well as facial recognition using its front camera. Unlocking the device using its fingerprint scanner was quick and misreads were kept to a minimum. Its facial recognition also worked well even with a face mask on so that’s useful for our situation today.
With its 6000mAh battery, you’ll expect this to last long before needing to recharge and that’s exactly our experience with the HOT 10S. With 90Hz turned off and casual gaming every once in a while, I was able to make the phone last for two whole days before plugging it again.
Meanwhile, for our standard battery test of streaming a high-res video at 50% brightness and no audio, the phone lasted for 17 hours and 11 minutes which puts it up there in our ranking of phones with long-lasting batteries.
Charging it, however, was a different story. Using only its microUSB charger, you’ll need a little over three hours to fully charge the HOT 10S. Although, it comes with its Safe Charge technology that cuts the power automatically when the device reaches its full capacity so you can just leave it plugged in for a long time.
As always, in our review, The Modern Creatures aims to find special features in devices that make them worth having — a Creature Feature if you will. For the Infinix HOT 10S, it would have to be its battery life that makes it last for days on a single charge.
With phones having bigger displays with high resolution, the 720p resolution of this phone was one of the main reasons it’s able to last such lengths in terms of battery life. And I would say that’s a good tradeoff to have.
Pricing and final thoughts
The Infinix HOT 10S is priced at PhP 5,990 for the 4GB + 64GB variant and PhP 6,990 for the 6GB + 128GB model. It’s available at the Infinix Super Brand Days from June 15 to 18 exclusively on Shopee, with PhP 500 off, bringing its price to PhP 5,490 and PHP 6,490, respectively.
At these price points, the Infinix HOT 10S is a really good deal not only for gamers, but also for power users in general. With it, you’re able to accomplish tasks on a rather large display and not worry about running out of juice all the time.