Infinix is really out there to impress. Their releases, no matter the price range, offer a set of specs with an appealing value. That’s something we’re seeing on the new Infinix HOT 20S.
On paper, this device sure is a stunner. For a price of under Php10,000, it managed to offer a fast and enormous screen, gaming-centric processor, a flashy design, sharp cameras, and large battery. Now the question is, do they really translate into an awesome smartphone experience? We find out in our Infinix HOT 20S review.
Infinix HOT 20S Specs
- Android 12, XOS 10.6
- Dual SIM, Dual standby
- 6.78-inch FHD+ IPS display, 2460 x 1080 pixel resolution, 396ppi
- 120Hz refresh rate
- 2.0GHz MediaTek Helio G96 octa-core processor
- Mali-G52 GPU
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 1TB
- 8-megapixel front camera, LED flash
- 50-megapixel (f/1.6) + 2-megapixel + 2-megapixel rear cameras, quad-LED flash
- Side-mounted fingerprint scanner
- Stereo speakers
- HSPA+, 4G LTE
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
- FM radio
- GPS, GLONASS
- USB Type-C
- Dimensions: 168.65 x 76.75 x 8.47mm
- Weight: 202g
- Colors: Tempo Blue, Light-Rider White, Fantasy Blue
- 5,000mAh non-removable battery, 18W fast charging
Design and Build Quality
Every Infinix phone we’ve seen recently was bang for the buck. Even if it’s a budget device, the company goes out of its way to make sure it looks good. What we have here is the Free Fire edition, although the branding only applies on the interface, not on the device itself.
The unit that we have here is the Sonic Black color, which has a shiny glass-like surface that’s made of plastic. It also has a sunray-like pattern that looks more distinct as it reacts to light. The patterns start from the camera area, which has two large circles and a single small one. It’s a similar look to other handsets we’ve seen that no longer have the usual camera island.
This model can also be had in Light-Rider White, Fantasy Purple, and Tempo Blue. Select markets will also get the special Neon Edition, which has a color-changing design that reveals the HOT logo as it absorbs light.
The Infinix HOT 20s has a boxy design. But unlike the new iPhones and other similarly-looking devices, it has chamfered edges, which is quite annoying in the hands.
For a more comfortable grip, you might want to use the free clear case in the box, which also protects the shiny back panel from fingerprint smudges.
In addition, while we do appreciate the large screen, the device feels really huge. It’s 168.65mm tall and 8.47mm thick. It also weighs 202g, which is a bit on the heavier side.
You can get used to it, but you’d definitely feel tired when using it single-handedly.
Overall, the build is really robust and sturdy. It also comes with a screen protector pre-applied for extra protection since Infinix didn’t mention Corning Gorilla or any glass protection.
Speaking of which, what we have here is a 6.78-inch display, with a punch-hole for a cleaner look. It has thin bezels resulting that makes better use of space. There’s also the earpiece on top that also works as the second loudspeaker for a stereo setup.
The left side has the hybrid SIM card slot, while on the right we have the volume controls and the fingerprint scanner that doubles as a lock/power button. Both the volume up and down controls feel satisfyingly tactile and clicky. The flat power button is not so much, but it gets the job done.
The top is clean, while the bottom has the USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, built-in microphone, and the primary loudspeaker.
Display and Audio
The Infinix HOT 20S has a 6.78-inch FHD+ IPS display, with a 2460 x 1080 pixel resolution, 396 pixels per inch, and 120Hz refresh rate.
At this price, we really can’t be picky about displays. Still, Infinix stepped up. The IPS panel offers good quality with nice colors and contrast. The large screen also makes content and gaming more immersive and gives more room for multi-tasking and reading.
Although, the 120Hz refresh rate is barely noticeable. Due to its midrange chip, it doesn’t feel really smooth and we’ve seen flagship phones with more powerful chipsets that are a whole lot smoother despite only having 90Hz panels.
The dual speakers are good, though. They are not the loudest, but they are audible enough. Also, having a large screen means the two speakers are separated well enough, creating a distinct stereo separation.
Hardware and Performance
The Infinix HOT 20S is powered by a gaming-centric MediaTek Helio G96 octa-core processor, with a Mali-G52 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage that’s expandable up to 1TB via the microSD card slot.
Infinix HOT 20S benchmark scores
It’s definitely not the fastest around, and as I’ve said earlier, it’s not powerful enough to take full advantage of the 120Hz refresh rate. Still, the performance is quite satisfactory.
We don’t notice any lagging when taking pictures, browsing social media apps, downloading files, and whatnot.
Games also ran fairly well on this device, as long as you’re fine with medium graphics settings. It did get warm a bit after a while, but nothing too alarming. Overall, we’re satisfied with the performance we got with the HOT 20S.
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Software and User Interface
The Infinix HOT 20S ships with the Android 12 operating system with XOS 12. This is the Free Fire version, so we’re getting a pretty aggressive special theme out of the box. If you feel like it’s too much like we do, you can switch to the standard look in the settings menu.
Everything else looks fairly clean. The control center has large buttons for quick controls, with sliders for the volume and screen brightness. There’s also a card below that lets you easily control other devices like smart home products.
The farthest desktop page has your most-used apps, steps counter, phone usage, and other cards like important news.
Infinix also included a dedicated Privacy Analysis and Privacy Protection in the settings. Smart Scenes is also available under AI assistant that shows events, flight services, and other recommendations based on usage scenarios.
The device also has tons of other features under the Special Function tab in the settings. There’s the lightning multi-window, MemFusion that virtually increases the memory, game mode, XClone for multi-account management, kids mode, and more.
Power Marathon is also here to increase battery life. Oddly enough, unlike other brands, Infinix doesn’t have a dedicated Performance Mode.
Out of the box, it uses Google Keyboard that’s easy to type on and has quick access to GIFs, emoticons, and more. The camera app is fairly clean, albeit it doesn’t have a standard photo mode other than “AI CAM”, which is annoying if you don’t want AI meddling with your shots.
Overall, the interface is pretty intuitive. But take note that the special Free Fire interface isn’t for everybody.
The Infinix HOT 20S has a sharp 50-megapixel main camera and two 2-megapixel sensors. We wish Infinix just went with a dual-camera setup and made the latter ultra-wide, which could’ve been more useful. On the front, there’s an 8-megapixel selfie snapper.
That said, the main camera takes sharp images, no surprises there. They are fine and worth sharing online, although the colors look a tad bit washed out, and the contrast could be better.
Low-light images are surprisingly good. They capture a lot of detail, especially when you use the Night Mode, which takes a long-exposure shot for brighter night images.
The 8-megapixel selfie camera, then again, is not the best. We’ve seen other devices with a similar sensor that take better images. Skin tones are a bit all over the place and the sharpness and details are quite failing. Still, it’s useable for casual snaps and video calls.
For its price, the HOT 20S takes decent images. But then again, don’t expect to be blown away by its quality.
Battery life and charging
The Infinix HOT 20S has a 5,000mAh battery, which is standard in entry-level and midrange phones today.
We ran PC Mark’s battery test that loops synthetic workloads until the battery drops to 20%. We did that with the WiFi and Bluetooth off and the volume and brightness at 50%.
Under these circumstances, the Infinix HOT 20S was able to get a screen-on time of 14 hours and 12 minutes — one of the best scores we got on any smartphone. This means that it should easily last you for an entire day of light to moderate use, with still a little juice left for the next day. Heavy gamers and binge-watchers can also enjoy this device for 6 to 8 hours or even more.
The device then comes with an 18W charging adapter which is, again, a standard on devices of this caliber. Fully charging the HOT 20S will take around an hour and a half.
Infinix included dual-band WiFi 5 on the HOT 20S, as well as Bluetooth, GPS, FM Radio, Android Auto, HSPA+ and 4G LTE mobile connectivity, and USB Type-C with OTG.
All of them worked during our tests. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have 5G and NFC, but I guess that’s too much to ask for the price.
The Infinix HOT 20S, especially this Free Fire edition that we got, is really made for gamers and entertainment junkies on a budget. It has capable performance, an enormous display, stereo speakers, reliable battery life, and an aggressive special interface.
But being a budget smartphone, it’s no surprise that it didn’t get everything right. For one, we wish the camera took better photos, and the midrange CPU wasn’t able to take full advantage of the fast display.
Still, for its price, the Infinix HOT 20S is one of the most feature-packed phones you can get in the market today.
Infinix HOT 20S pricing and availability in the Philippines
The Infinix HOT 20S has a price of Php8,499 in the Philippines and is available on Shopee, Lazada, and TikTok Shop.
- Attractive design, Robust build
- Large display
- Stereo speakers
- Decent performance
- Reliable battery life
- Fingerprint-magnet back panel
- 120Hz refresh rate not noticeable
- Camera quality could be better, no ultra-wide
- No 5G