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Infinix HOT 10S Review - Good budget gaming phone!

OPPO
Huawei
Here are our thoughts and experiences of the Infinix HOT 10S after a full week of daily use.
Infinix HOT 10S Review - Good budget gaming phone!
Infinix HOT 10S

Infinix continues its release of smartphones with the new Infinix HOT10S. It features a large 6.82-inch LCD display with a 90Hz refresh rate, MediaTek Helio G85 octa-core processor, Mali-G52 GPU, 6GB RAM, 128GB of storage, 6,000mAh battery, and 10W charging via micro USB.


In our first impressions, we said that that we are very excited to try this phone because of the incredible value it is offering for only PHP 5,990. How does it perform as a daily driver though?

Let's dive in!

Multimedia Experience

720p display
720p display

In front of the Infinix HOT 10S is a large 6.82-inch curved IPS display with a 90Hz refresh rate, a 180Hz touch sampling rate, and a 1640 x 720 resolution. Again, there is no mention of Gorilla Glass protection.

At maximum brightness, the image and text on the display are vibrant and contrasty in most conditions. It will only struggle under direct sunlight as the panel. At first, we thought that the 720 resolution would affect the crispness of text and the sharpness of the images but after a while of use, we got used to it.

1080p displays are still better, but this 720p screen is decent

It is a proper 10-point multi-touch display which makes it great for gaming and multi-tasking work. Our taps and gestures were quickly detected and the phone responded accordingly.
Bottom firing speakers
Bottom firing speakers

On the bottom is the single speaker grill that produces sound with a decent sound stage, good clarity, and okay range. At maximum volume, there is some noticeable distortion so for the best audio quality, we recommend dropping it down to 80 percent. 

The microphone recording with the Infinix HOT 10S is acceptable up to a meter away from the phone. The noise cancellation is just right that we never got complaints from our callers about call quality.

Camera

Rear camera module
Rear camera module

At the back of the HOT 10S is the 48MP f/1.79 main camera with eye-tracking Auto Focus, 2MP secondary camera, AI Lens, and a Quad Rear Flash.

The stock camera app includes modes like AI Cam (Photo), Video, Short Video, Beauty, Portrait, and Super Night Mode. Users have access to the resolution, flash, HDR, aspect ratio, and filters around the viewfinder.

Rear Camera Samples

Main camera in daylight
The main camera in daylight

In daylight, the main camera is able to take surprisingly sharp photos with good contrast but the colors are somewhat muted.
Main camera indoors
Main camera indoors

In indoors, the story is the same. The image is surprisingly sharp with good contrast but the colors are not accurate to the real scene.
Main camera low light
Main camera low light

In low light, the image is soft, the colors are off and the contrast is okay.
Main camera Super Night mode
Main camera Super Night mode

The night mode was able to recover the colors but the image is still soft and the contrast was still okay.

In summary, the main camera is able to take good pics for the price. Images are sharp in well-lit situations but the colors could be improved.
Front Camera module
Front Camera module

Above the display is the notch that houses the 8MP selfie camera with dual front flash.

The camera app includes modes like AI Cam (Photo), Beauty, Portrait, Video, Short Video, and AR Shot.

It features unique eye-detect autofocus that surprisingly works. For a phone at this price point to have this feature is great to have. 

Selfie Camera Samples

Selfie daylight
Selfie daylight

In daylight, the selfie camera produces very sharp images with better contrast and better color than the main camera.
Selfie indoor
Selfie indoor

Indoors, the image isn't as sharp and the contrast and color aren't as good as in the daylight image.
Selfie low light
Selfie low light

In low light, the image is soft while the contrast and color are drastically reduced.

We hope Infinix can improve the low light performance of the rear and selfie cameras.

For videos, it is one of the few at this price point with up to 2K video recording. It also has EIS for 1080p videos. It records 1080p selfies as well.

Performance

AnTuTu and GeekBench
AnTuTu and GeekBench

The MediaTek Helio G85 was able to score an impressive 252,455 in AnTuTu V9.0.10-OB and able to score 370 in Single-Core and 1333 in Multi-Core tests from GeekBench 5.4.1 for the price.
3DMark and CPDT
3DMark and CPDT

While in 3D Mark, the Infinix HOT 10S was able to score an average of 183 and an average frame rate of 1.10. On the other hand, the SoC and the internal storage disk were able to produce a sequential write speed of 112.96 MB/s and a sequential read speed of 116.59 MB/s.

Helio G85 is the fastest in the PHP 6K to PHP 7K range!

In short, the Infinix HOT 10S was able to perform very well in our usual slew of synthetic benchmarks.
Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact

In modern games like Genshin Impact, the game defaulted to the lowest setting. Even tho we were at the lowest setting, the phone was struggling with running the game. Framerate drops and stuttering were frequent.

We do not recommend playing Genshin Impact on the HOT 10S until Infinix can optimize the software for heavy games like Genshin.
Call of Duty: Mobile
Call of Duty: Mobile

In older games like Call of Duty: Mobile, the game has the option to go up to Medium Graphics and up to High Frame rate setting. We recommend selecting low graphics and high frame rates for the best gaming performance.

The game is playable and the temperatures are good for the first hour. It becomes warmer after an hour of gaming.

Both the face unlock and the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner set-up process is fast and straightforward. The face-unlock tech quickly detects my face and unlocks the phone as soon as the display is active. It struggles to detect my face when wearing my mask.

WiFi, Bluetooth, LTE connections are stable. We've never experienced forced disconnections or the like while the GPS acquires our locations immediately and accurately.
PCMark Battery Benchmark
PCMark Battery Benchmark

Inside the HOT 10S is a 6,000mAh battery with 10W charging. In the PCMark Battery test, the phone was able to last for over 11 hours. For a 6,000mAh battery, this is just okay. We've seen other phones with a 6,000mAh battery and a more powerful chip that lasted longer in this benchmark.

In our daily use where we used the phone as a daily driver where we used for texts, messaging, voice calls, social media, YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, Web surfing, e-mails, and the like. We would unplug the phone from the charger at 8AM and get home from work at 8PM with 30 to 35 percent battery left.

From 0 percent, it takes around 2 to 2.5 hours to charge the phone to full with the included micro USB 10W charger.
XOS UI
XOS UI

Under the hood is Android 11 with XOS on top. It has a unique design that somewhat still keeps the Material design aesthetics. What is interesting is that Infinix has Google apps pre-installed but also has Infinix's own version of those apps pre-installed.

In the app drawer, users get ads to play and install games. There is a lot of bloatware but it is understandable to keep the price down. Users can individually uninstall these preinstalled apps at their leisure after the initial set-up.

Even though we couldn't remove the ads, the phone is surprisingly snappy and responsive. Navigating thru the OS and opening apps is fast enough for the price point. The 90Hz refresh rate and 180Hz touch sampling rate adds to the fast look and feel. 

Pros - Helio G85, 90Hz refresh rate, 48MP main camera, 6,000mAh battery
Cons - Camera low light performance and battery life can be improved thru firmware update, ads and bloatware pre-installed, micro USB and 10W charging

Infinix HOT 10S Specs

Display: 6.82-inch 2.5D curved LCD (IPS) screen w/ 90Hz refresh rate, 180Hz touch sampling rate, HD+ 1640 x 720 resolution at 263 ppi
CPU: 2.0GHz 12nm MediaTek Helio G85 octa-core processor
GPU: Mali-G52 2EEMC2 (1000MHz)
RAM: 4GB/6GB
ROM: 64GB/128GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 48MP f/1.79 w/ Eye-tracking Auto Focus + 2MP + AI Lens + Quad Rear Flash
Selfie Camera: 8MP + Dual Front Flash
Battery: 6,000mAh w/ 10W charging
OS: Android 11 w/ XOS 7.6
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, FM Radio, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, face unlock, DTS audio, Colors: Morandi Green, Heart of Ocean, and 7° Purple
Dimensions: 171.5 x 77.5 x 9.2 mm
Price: PHP 5,990 (4GB/64GB), PHP 6,990 (6GB/128GB)

Verdict

GIZGUIDEPH website
GIZGUIDEPH website

At PHP 5,990, the HOT 10S offers an incredible value because of its specs. After a week of use, we saw that the Helio G85 is able to perform by giving a smooth experience in most situations and games like Call of Duty: Mobile. It does struggle with the heavy Genshin Impact.

The 6,000mAh battery is able to last for more than a day but it does take 2 hours and 30 minutes to charge the phone from 0 to 100 with the micro USB port.

The selfie and main cameras' eye-detect autofocus is a rare feature and is a welcome edition. Images from both the front and rear cameras are good in daylight but struggle in low light.

Lastly, there is a lot of bloatware and ads installed but users can uninstall most of the apps so it will be up to the user if they can live with this concern. 

Otherwise, the HOT 10S is a good pick for people on a tight budget if they can live with the micro USB, 10W charging, bloatware, and unimpressive low light camera performance

Do you agree with us?

Build/Design - 3.75
Multimedia Experience - 3.75
Cameras: 3.5
Performance - 4.5
Average - 3.875/5
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