Have you noticed that there have been more and more new phones and tablets coming out lately? This always seems to happen right around the Holiday Season, which just so happens to be right now. One of the newest phones to make their way into the Philippines is called the Infinix Hot Note, and it’s a phablet-status smartphone running a slightly modified version of Android 5.1 Lollipop.
If the Infinix Hot Note can be said to be big on any one thing, it’s the screen. Secondary to that would be its pre-installed OS and onboard apps. Finally, it should also catch your attention with its good overall performance. We’ve been using one for a while now and we would know. Learn more about the Infninix Hot Note here in our latest review.
Design and build quality
In terms of design the Infinix Hot Note is not too flashy. Our review unit came in the color black, and even though we saw right away that it was made out of plastic, we didn’t think for a second that it was cheap. And unsurprisingly, the Infinix Hot Note is lightweight, which is always a huge plus for any phone that’s bigger than 5.0 inches.
Usually, phablets are harder to carry than your average smartphone, not only because of their size but sometimes because of their weight as well. Thankfully, the Hot Note doesn’t have any problems in this regard.
The Hot Note’s front is dominated by a 5.5-inch IPS touchscreen display with superb viewing angles and good responsiveness to touches. It’s also helped by three capacitive touch menu keys located near the bottom of the phone. This makes navigating the menus on the screen a bit easier with one hand, and leaves more room on the screen for things like apps in fullscreen.
The display is not only useful for navigating the screens on Android, it’s also quite delightful to look at. Thanks to an automatic brightness setting, you don’t have to fiddle with the amount of available backlighting no matter where you use the Infinix Hot Note.
No matter where you look at the Hot Note’s screen from, you’ll be met with readable text and crisp icons on the screen. This is useful especially for the Hot Note’s two built-in cameras, which you can use with pretty much any Android-compatible camera app that you would like.
With that said, the Hot Note does come with its own built-in camera app. And when we tested the cameras, we found satisfactory performance from the rear camera and acceptable front cam performance for candid selfies. That’s with enough ambient lighting, of course.
The rear camera on the Infinix Hot Note also has its own built-in LED flash, which you can of course rely on for extra lighting on your photo subjects. But if you really want to take some good pictures, you’re better off using natural light, which is the same for many other Android smartphones, so we’re not going to complain.
Speaking of things that we’re not going to complain about, the Infinix Hot Note comes loaded with a 4000mAh non-removable battery. The fact that it can’t be removed easily and replaced by the average smartphone user might be a dealbreaker for some, but taking the high capacity of the battery into account almost makes it forgivable.
We’ll talk more about the battery and the battery life later. The last things you will find on the back of the Infinix Hot Note are the Infinix logo as well as the built-in speaker, which you can use for system sounds as well as for media playback.
For the Hot Note’s other hardware features, all you need to know is that it has a built-in hardware power button on the right side, which is joined by a volume rocker for volume up and volume down buttons on the side as well. There’s a 3.5mm headphone port for audio up top, and a microUSB port is used for battery charging and data transfer.
Software and performance
As we mentioned near the beginning of this review, the Hot Note runs a slightly modified version of Android 5.1 Lollipop. It’s all-Android, of course, but the UI is different, and we especially like the lock screen with the rotating wallpapers and quotes (albeit without attribution).
It’s one of the most interesting features of the Infinix Hote Note: its lock screen shows a collection of changing wallpapers which are underscored by a single line of text that also changes. The text is usually a quote that you’d expect to see on a greeting card, like, “Letting go doesn’t mean you are weak. It just means you are strong enough to let go.” Or, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” We swear this is true.
Quotes aside, the Hot Note relies on a number of basic Android features with some useful additions like support for gestures, and even double-tap-to-wake. Otherwise, it’s as Android as you can get, with support for all of the latest Android apps as well as the most popular Android mobile games.
Removing the back cover of the Infinix Hot Note reveals its two SIM card slots and microSD card slot. The phone itself has 16GB of internal storage, but you can add more to it by using that microSD card at the back.
As for the SIM card slots, you can insert up to two different SIM cards based on your preferences. The Hot Note supports HSPA+ data, so you can enjoy 3.5G speeds with your preferred network provider. We’ve had no trouble using either one of the three big local networks available in the Philippines, and we imagine that you wouldn’t either if you used the Infinix Hot Note.
We’ve already told you that the Infinix Hote Note comes with a built-in 4000mAh battery. Now we’re going to tell you that it’s every bit as awesome as you imagine it would be to have such a high capacity battery.
The Infinix Hot Note’s battery takes more than a full day of use to drain beyond 40%, and it can be recharged to full within 2 hours at most. If you use the bundled charger, you can be sure to never run out of batteries between 2-3 days. This is impressive battery life for such a big phone.
For performance, the Infinix Hot Note uses a familiar processor in the form of the octa-core MT6592 processor from MediaTek. As expected, it blazes through pretty much everything Android can throw at it. Mobile gaming is not a problem, as is multi-tasking.
Needless to say, the Hot Note is excellent both as an entertainment device as well as a communications device. And with the right apps installed, it can also be used for a bunch of other things like navigation, fitness tracking, and Internet browsing to name a few.
The bottom line about the Infinix Hot Note is this: it does absolutely everything right, from the design, to the performance, to the price.
We’re looking at a low mid-range to entry-level price point for the Hot Note based on our contacts at the company, and that honestly wouldn’t be bad at all.
If the company behind this phone can somehow convince you to get onboard with the phone — with this model in particular — then you would likely not be disappointed.