Infinix Hot 12 Play review: a budget performance and battery champ

Our full review of the Infinix Hot 12 Play.

Review Summary

Expert Rating3.5/5

Design
★★★★★
★★★★★
Display
★★★★★
★★★★★
Software
★★★★★
★★★★★
Camera
★★★★★
★★★★★
Performance
★★★★★
★★★★★
Battery
★★★★★
★★★★★

Pros

  • 90Hz panel on a budget
  • Long battery life
  • Good performance

Cons

  • Cameras could be improved
  • Ships with bloatware

Infinix is launching phones left, right and centre and the brand has seemingly struck gold with its latest range of budget smartphones. I recently reviewed the Note 12 Turbo from the company and today, I will be sharing my thoughts on the recently launched Infinix Hot 12 Play. Priced at Rs 8,699, the device touts enticing specs and there is certainly a case to be made for its positioning in the under Rs 10,000 market. Let’s find out if it’s worth your bucks in this review.

Verdict

The Hot 12 Play’s performance, display, and battery specs make it a reliable entry-level Android phone. Add to that the phone’s wallet-friendly MRP and the device deserves a second look in the sub Rs 10,000 segment.

The lowdown

  • The Hot 12 Play features a standard polycarbonate build and the unit’s chassis is quite sturdy. What’s more, despite its ginormous frame, the device makes for easy handling. I should also add that the phone ships with a USB Type-C port at the bottom which is always nice to see in the budget world. As for colours, I was sent the Daylight Green hue for review but truth be told, the hue looks more like aqua blue in my opinion.
  • On the display side of things, the phone has a massive 6.82-inch panel which is surrounded by chunky bezels. However, I do like the inclusion of a punch-hole at the top to give the device a more modern look. As for the rest of the display specs, the panel touts an HD+ resolution, offers a peak brightness of 500nits and refreshes at 90Hz. The viewing experience is nothing to write home about, however, is more than acceptable given the phone’s MRP.
  • In terms of cameras, the phone has a 13MP primary sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. Photos from the device are not exactly up to the mark and the sensors tend to oversharpen the scene by quite a bit. The device’s dynamic range could do with some tweaks as well and I noticed that the colours turned out a bit dull in the images. Shutter and focus speeds are relatively fast but only in ample lighting. Portrait images look fine and the accompanying edge detection auxiliary sensor gets the job done for the most part.
  • Night-time photos are grainy and underexposed while details have a highly overprocessed look. As for the selfies, the final image skin tones generally do match in real life. On the flip side, the exposure levels and the subject’s facial details could be better.
  • Infinix has collaborated with Unisoc to outfit its latest contender yet again. To wit, the Hot 12 Play is powered by the T610 SoC which has a maximum clock speed of 1.8GHz. The SoC is based on a 12nm manufacturing process and it works alongside up to 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage which, by the way, can be extended up to 512GB using a microSD card. So, how does the device perform? Well, let’s take a look at some benchmark numbers. Starting with GeekBench, the device scored 1,278 on the platform’s multi-core test and 1,94,820 points in the Antutu benchmark. Suffice it to say, the Hot 12 Play can handle low-level tasks without too many issues. I tried switching between a few social media apps while opening half a dozen Chrome tabs and the device’s performance didn’t falter in the slightest.
  • The single speaker unit on the phone’s bottom is pretty average and it even crackles at loud volumes. That said, the fingerprint sensor on the back can authenticate your biometrics in a jiffy. Connectivity-wise, I had no issues operating the device in Noida’s Jio circle. As for software, the device boots the company’s XOS skin on top of Android 11. Bloatware-laden and not the most user-friendly, Infinix does need to improve on its interface a bit more to make it stand out in the market.
  • Lastly, the phone has a 6,000mAh battery that can easily last you for more than a day on normal usage. PCMark’s battery test yielded a result of 17 hours 50 minutes which I consider to be more than good for the given capacity. For charging purposes, there is a 10W charger that takes nearly 3 hours to fully juice up the cell.

Final verdict

Infinix has a decent offering on its hand with the Hot 12 Play, which retails at an appealing price of Rs 8,699 in India. The phone is let down by less than ideal image-taking capabilities and a poor user interface. However, the performance and battery life results are quite good while the 90Hz refresh rate is definitely a nice touch. All said and done, the Hot 12 Play has plenty going for it to get a recommendation from me.

Editor’s rating: 3.5 / 5

Pros

  • 90Hz panel on a budget
  • Long battery life
  • Good performance

Cons

  • Cameras could be improved
  • Ships with bloatware