Infinix Hot 3 Review: The Budget Phone

Budget devices do not necessarily have to be crappy and that seems to be what the new Infinix Hot 3 tries to prove. The Hot series is Infinix Mobility’s line of budget devices and the predecessor to the Hot 3, Infinix Hot 2, received a lot of media attention as it was the first Android One phone officially launched in Africa.

Infinix Hot 3 got a design makeover and it breaks away from the edgy design on the Hot 2 and Zero 3. This is a budget phone and can only be compared with devices in the same price range. However, for a budget phone, Infinix Hot 3 is impressive.

Design & Display

As mentioned, Infinix Hot 3 got a refreshed design though the front is still reminiscent of Infinix Hot Note. The phone has curved edges and you won’t find that sharp bevel at the back as seen on the Hot 2; this is replaced with a slight curve.

For a 5.5-inch device, it feels very light. The grip is tight and this may be due to the thin diagonal ridges at the back. Infinix Hot 3 has physical soft keys which are not backlit.

The front camera is a 2MP shooter which is aided by a soft flash placed at the top right.

The volume rocker and power button are on the right and at the top is the 3.5mm earphone jack and the micro-USB port. I find this rather awkward since almost all the devices I’ve used lately have this port at the bottom.

At the back is the 8MP shooter with an LED flash beside it. Towards the bottom is the speaker. The design is quite okay but not the out-of-this-world type; the makeover is quite welcome though. The light weight makes it easy to hold but the positioning of the micro-USB port will take getting used to. The back cover is removable and this seems to be what users prefer in this region.

The device has a 720p resolution on the 5.5-inch IPS LCD screen. It seems Infinix is trying to get rid of 5-inch devices from its product line and I’m sure they’ve probably done a market survey before taking this step. More people seem to love bigger devices. The display is quite bright for a budget phone and you won’t need to cover the screen with your hand to properly see the display inside the sun.

Software: XUI

XUI is the proprietary software overlaying Android OS on Infinix devices. This device still runs Android 5.1 Lollipop. Although the UI is customized, it is minimal as parts of the phone still retain stock Android OS look.

Talk about functionality, you have a bunch of tools all to yourself to effectively take control of your device.

The System Manager is a complete phone management app with tools such asMobile cleanup to help you get rid of junk, Harrassment block to blacklist numbers,Auto-start management to take control of apps that wake up with your device and lots more.

You have a theme manager that lets you personalize your device. Taking this further, there’s also a font manager to change your font as you wish.

Before everything, we should keep in mind that this is a budget phone with a MediaTek MT6580 quad-core processor and one gigabyte of RAM; the benchmark results may not blow your mind but it’s quite okay for a budget phone. The phone still performs well in day-to-day use. There’s no lag with normal use but then, the variant I have comes with just 1GB RAM and it only makes sense not to push it beyond its limit.

Simple games play quite alright and if you’re going to play heavy games, you may have issues if there are other apps running in the background. The bottom line is that you don’t expect to get exactly the same experience with a 1GB RAM device and a 2GB RAm device.

On Antutu, the device got 23,576 points.

There’s a 2GB RAM variant of this device but we don’t know if it’s going to be made available in the Nigerian market any time soon.


Infinix Hot 3 comes with a 3,000mAh battery which seems to be the standard on most Android devices these days. As expected, it lasts for over a day with normal use. However, you can max it out in 8 hours and drain all the juice, it all depends on an individual’s pattern of use.

In a video loop test carried out with MX Player at 50% volume and 50% brightness, videos played for 11 hours and 56 minutes. However, the phone was in offline mode.


Infinix Hot 3 was advertised with the slogan, “Selfie with soft flash” and we thought it was going to be one badazz selfie phone. Well, you get a 2MP camera at the front and by soft flash, it simply means it’s not one of those bright LED flash that will almost blind you. Selfies taken outdoors look quite good but if you’re going to use the “soft flash,” you should have your face close to the camera.

The back camera is only 8MP camera but it produces decent images. The predefined camera settings lets you fine-tune the way you want images to appear and how photos are taken:

Here are some of the photos taken in different lighting conditions.


In this age, there’s no point in listing the file formats devices can play. Infinix Hot 3 has a screen good enough for watching movies and the sound is loud enough that you may not really need your earphones if you’re not in a noisy room.

It comes with Play Music as the default player and the music is quite loud when played through the speaker, but I would still use an earphone for music. I’ve heard better sound quality but it should still be remembered that with a budget phone, you can never get it all.


There are things we love about the phone and the bright screen is one of them. The fact that it’s light and easy on the hand is also a plus. XUI gives you control over your device and that’s a good thing. Second-hand value matters to a lot of people and this device might have that. We can’t be so sure since it’s only a couple of weeks old but the back cover looks like the type to withstand rough use. However, you need a screen protector since there’s no Gorilla glass.

Infinix Hot 3 has its shortcomings but every phone does. For instance, we expect the soft keys to be backlit since they’re not on-screen. The absence of a notification light too can’t go without being noticed.

For a phone that costs about ₦26,500, it still gives you value for your cash. It’s closest competitor in the market might be the 5-inch Tecno W4 as they are in the same price-range and made for the same target users.

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