There is not a whole lot the phone makers can do these days to stand out, especially when they’re dealing with a limited budget. And that’s been the story for nearly every manufacturer that aspires to sell in India’s budget smartphone segment. Infinix is one of them and like others, it has been rather difficult for it to build a name for itself. At Rs 7,999, can its new Hot 6 Pro smartphone change that? We find out in our review.

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The Infinix Hot 6 Pro’s exterior doesn’t answer that question positively. It features a standard, plastic unibody which you’d be hard-pressed to find appealing. There’s a usual setup of components such as the antenna lines on the extreme edges of the back, MicroUSB port on the bottom beside which lies a speaker and a headphone jack. While the phone certainly doesn’t score any points with the design, there’s a lot to like about the build itself.

Thanks to the soft material and a subtle curve on the rear, the phone has a comfortable grip despite the presence of a tall 6-inch screen. In addition, the power button has been textured which is something you won’t even find on more expensive products. The Hot 6 Pro also offers a dedicated SD card slot instead of a hybrid one. Lastly, the bundled charging cable has a flat wire so that it doesn’t tangle easily and has a longer lifespan. The fingerprint sensor could use some work though as in my week’s testing, it was slow even for yesteryear’s standards.

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The speakers are also better than the existing competition. They’re loud, clear, and the sound doesn’t distort at higher volume levels. Although, since it’s only a single arrangement, audio enthusiasts will still end up listening through earphones or external speakers. The 5.99-inch LCD display has a resolution of 720p and an 18:9 aspect ratio. It’s bright, crisp, and big enough for watching movies or playing games.

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For software, the Infinix Hot 6 Pro comes preloaded with Android 8.0 Oreo with the company’s own XOS skin on top. While it’s no bloatware galore, you will still find a ton of unnecessary pre-installed applications on the phone like an app store which doesn’t launch without the phone permission, a themes engine, and more. There’s also a face unlock feature but due to obvious security reasons, we won’t recommend employing it.

The software also offers an app called “CarlCare” which lets you request phone support and reserve appointments. In addition, there are a handful of gestures such as “Double Tap to Wake”, “Turn to Silence”, and more. While the phone does miss out on navigation gestures, you can manually hide the onscreen keys. There’s also a utility called “Freezer” through which you can prevent individual apps from using up the resources in the background.

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One of the key letdowns of the Infinix Hot 6 Pro is the performance. It’s powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 425 chipset, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a 4000mAh battery. Even with regular tasks such as browsing the web or launching apps, the phone tends to lag for a second or two. Gaming can be done on low settings but be prepared for occasional frame drops and freezes. Clearly, it’s not targeted at power users.

The battery life is arguably the Hot 6 Pro’s biggest highlight. It can easily last for two days on moderate usage with an average screen on time of roughly 6-7 hours. There’s no quick charging, sadly because of which the phone takes over three hours to juice up entirely.

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The Infinix Hot 6 Pro, like every other phone in this budget, stumbles with the camera as well. It does have two camera sensors on the rear — a 13-megapixel f/2.0 primary lens and a secondary 2-megapixel snapper for depth-sensing. As you’d expect, the phone can click decent pictures in daylight and indoor artificial lighting. However, the camera app tends to oversharpen images which usually leads to a drop in color. The HDR mode can help a little but that too can be on the aggressive side leading to unnatural tones. Low light shots are unusable the majority of times as the phone struggles with focusing under dimly lit scenarios.

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The phone also has a 5-megapixel f/2.0 camera and a soft flash on the front. Selfies taken on the Infinix Hot 6 Pro do turn out good enough for an entry-level phone with ample details and balanced contrasts. In addition, the software also offers a panorama mode if you’d like to snap wider group selfies. It can record videos of up to 1080p resolution which are just average and can be quite janky due to the lack of any sort of stabilization. Then again, it’s worth mentioning we’re dealing with a phone here that costs Rs 7,999.

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At Rs 7,999, the Infinix Hot 6 Pro offers a handful of compelling reasons including the large display, a long-lasting battery, and an above average pair of cameras for the price. But the weak performance can be a dealbreaker if you plan on playing games or using it for more than a year. Therefore, if battery life is something you don’t necessarily prioritize, we would recommend Xiaomi’s Redmi 5 over this. Otherwise, the Infinix Hot 6 Pro is a fine deal as well.

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