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Infinix Hot 20 Firmly Punches Above Its Weight

Whenever we are given a phone to review, we normally encapsulate said device in one word after play-testing it for a few days. And in the case of the Infinix Hot 20, ‘overdelivering’ is the word that perfectly represents this sub-RM1000 phone that punches well above its weight.

Sure, the Hot 20 does not carry the pedigree of a big brand heading into the super competitive low to mid-range phones but what it lacks in legacy, makes up with delivery. A great starter phone or even as a backup device for many, the Infinix Hot 20 boasts specs that would have been rated flagship-tier just a few years back.

Hot Stuff?

The Hot 20 is available in four colours – Black, white, blue and purple – and comes with not just a charge cable and adapter combo, but a clear phone case as well. If ‘newcomer’ Infinix is able to include these accessories alongside an entry-level device, more prominent brands have no excuse not to.

The 90Hz screen on a 6.82-inch screen combo is no slouch considering many rival flagship models sporting 120Hz refresh rate are selling several thousand ringgits over the Hot 20. This makes media consumption and to a certain extent, gaming on the go a pleasant experience. The Hot 20 also supports NFC, with the Virtual RAM feature, allowing the 6GBs worth of RAM to be bumped up to a respectable 11GB. The Hot 20 is only available with a 128GB storage capacity.

And once you consider other aspects under the hood, a decent stereo speaker, a 3.5mm earphone jack, a 5000mAh battery AND a dual-50MP rear camera setup, you cannot help but ask ‘what’s the catch?’, right?

Well, there aren’t many. Sure the Hot 20 doesn’t run on the latest and most advanced smartphone chip in the market; far from it. However, the Mediatek Helios G85 processor does an admirable job in getting things done. For a phone that costs about 1/8th of many flagship models in the market, it’s actually very impressive what the Hot 20 was able to churn out.

The experience of navigating around the device is pretty good with very little stutters. We did notice a slight lag when we tried to overload the phones with several heavy apps running simultaneously. However, this is more of an outlier rather than the norm. Playing Call of Duty Mobile on the device, we were able to push the graphics quality to ‘Medium’ while the framerate is capped to ‘High’ but these settings didn’t stop us from dominating the lobby.

One prevailing issue we noticed is the fingerprint scanner which is embedded into the side power button. Throughout the period of testing the phone, we experienced failure to capture our fingerprints on numerous occasions. Experience may vary – it could be due to a software issue which can be rectified quickly with an update, a hardware issue or simply, due to us. But we feel it is worth pointing out.

The camera performance can be considered respectable for standard point-and-shoot scenarios but suffered significantly in low-light conditions. It isn’t the worst, but we wouldn’t be solely relying on this device if we are out and about at night, snapping photographs.

The mostly plastic build also left a lot to be desired but at the end of the day, befits the market segment Infinix is trying to appeal to – entry-level yet tech-savvy and discerning crowd. But it doesn’t mean that the Hot 20 feels cheap in any way. It’s got the heft of an RM2000 phone and unless you are really scrutinizing it, won’t notice the material used to assemble the device. The biggest plus from this is that the Hot 20 isn’t as bulky compared to most modern devices.

We are also not fans of the U.I but that’s mostly down to personal preference. Right out of the box, it felt clunky and gave a pre-2019 vibe. But if you are able to get through this, everything else is a breeze.

Too Hot To Handle?

Apart from these minor complaints, the Hot 20 is outstanding in all departments once you take into consideration its retail price of RM599. Definitely worth picking up if you are on a budget but are on the hunt for a secondary or backup device.

We would also recommend this as a starter phone for teens or those dabbling to dip their toes into competitive gaming. The price tag definitely belies the overall value of the Infinix Hot 20 making it at the very least, worth checking out.

Pros

  • A very, very impressive package for a sub-RM600 device.
  • Good battery life performance.
  • 3.5mm headphone jack (YAY!).

Cons

  • Clunky U.I.
  • Passable low-light photography.

 

FINAL SCORE: 70/100

A review unit of the Infinix Hot 20 was provided to us by Infinix. 

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