The introduction of 5G has turned the budget smartphone segment super competitive. However, I feel, most phones in this segment cut corners in areas such as build quality, or performance. I used the Infinix Hot 30 5G, a phone powered by MediaTek Dimensity 6020 chipset, for nearly two weeks. As a phone that belongs to the budget segment, does the Infinix Hot 30 5G compromise on performance, or does it hold its ground? Let’s find out.
Infinix Hot 30 5G specifications: 6.78-inch 120Hz LCD | MediaTek Dimensity 6020 | 8GB RAM + 128GB storage | 50MP camera | 5000mAh battery + 18W charging | XOS 13.1 based on Android 13
Build Quality and Design
The Infinix Hot 30 5G is a chunky phone. I got the ‘Aurora Blue’ variant, which has a glossy plastic back. The device changes colour between a mixture of green, yellow, orange, and blue depending on how light reflects. It also has a big camera island with a sparkly look, which adds to the aesthetics.
The back panel has a glossy finish that changes colour depending on the angle of the light source. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express)
Compared to other phones in the price bracket which come with a glass back, the Infinix Hot 30 5G feels a tad heavy in the hands despite its plastic back but offers excellent grip. I used the phone without cover and not once did I feel like I would drop it.
The frame of the phone is also glossy and is made from plastic. Like the majority of phones, you will find the volume buttons on the right side with the power button located just below. One thing I liked was the fingerprint scanner embedded in the power button. It is snappy and unlocks the phone in under a second. It also comes with a dedicated microSD card slot which we do not see often on recent phones. One of the unique features of the device is that it comes with stereo speakers, something which is rarely seen on budget devices.
This is a great device for media consumption. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express)
How good is the screen?
Since 5G modems are expensive, it looks like Infinix has compensated for the price by opting for an LCD screen. The Hot 30 comes with a huge 6.78-inch 120Hz FullHD+ screen. The colours are not oversaturated unlike some phones and you won’t have any issues playing games or watching movies for hours on end. Unlike other budget devices that sport a teardrop notch, the Infinix Hot 30 5G features a punch-hole camera, which is a welcome addition.
The only issue I had with the phone was the brightness. Even at the highest brightness under direct sunlight, the text is barely readable, which again, is expected from a phone that costs less than Rs 15,000. Other phones in the price bracket have the same problem, so this is something you have to live with when buying a budget 5G phone.
Another thing to note is that the phone comes with a pre-applied screen protector, which is a nice addition. However, it is quick to catch scratches, especially when the phone is in the pocket or a bag, but you can easily remove it and go with a high-quality screen guard.
What about gaming?
Infinix Hot 30 5G is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 6020 chipset, which is a slightly toned-down version of the Dimensity 810 that can be found on phones like the Realme 9i 5G (review), Poco M4 Pro 5G, and Redmi Note 11T (review).
While you cannot play games like Genshin Impact, Garena Free Fire, Call of Duty Mobile, and BGMI at the highest settings, the phone performs well and can easily run most games at medium settings without dropping frames. I tried playing BGMI for two hours and it was stable at ‘HD’ graphics and ‘Ultra’ frame rate (40fps). The same applies to Call of Duty Mobile. It gets warm after a while but does not heat up even if you play for hours on end. I think MediaTek has done a commendable job of managing thermals.
The Infinix Hot 30 5G runs on XOS 13.1 based on Android 13. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express)
Multitasking and user interface
The Infinix Hot 30 5G runs on XOS 13.1 based on Android 13 out of the box. The user interface borrows some elements from MIUI and iOS, which is not a bad thing. Swiping down from the right of the notification bar opens quick settings, where you can adjust the brightness, volume level, and a bunch of other settings, whereas swiping down from the left opens the notification panel.
The phone also has a couple of pre-installed apps that cannot be uninstalled and are annoying to deal with. These include AHA Games, Beez, and YoParty to name a few. On the plus side, XOS 13.1 includes some useful features that are listed under the ‘Special Functions’ tab in the ‘Settings’ app.
Some of these include the ability to read WhatsApp messages without triggering the blue tick, playing videos from YouTube in the background, and a dedicated smart panel and game mode.
Another thing I liked about the phone is that it comes with 8GB RAM, which makes multitasking seem like a breeze. Also, compared to phones from other phone manufacturers in the price bracket, the Infinix Hot 30 5G features 128GB internal storage, meaning you won’t have to rely on your SD card to store photos and videos.
What came as a surprise is that the phone also supports NFC, enabling users to make contactless payments. While NFC is not in use at the moment, based on recent RBI announcements we may have the feature soon. This will likely make the Infinix Hot 30 5G a top contender among budget 5G devices equipped with NFC.
The camera island is sparkly. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express)
How good is the camera?
On paper, the Infinix Hot 30 5G features a 50MP shooter accompanied by another sensor. Like the majority of phones, the primary sensor does most of the work. During daytime, the phone takes good photos, but so do other phones in the price bracket.
While the images come out crisp and detailed, the colours often look oversaturated. I feel like this is a subjective thing since many people prefer oversaturated photos over natural ones. If you take full-resolution 50MP photos, the colours look a bit natural, so I think this is something Infinix can change with a software update.
The HDR range is not that great, but the phone can take decent photos to share on social media. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express) Sky colour is inconsistent but here the phone managed to take a good photo. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express) Macro shots are just average, but this is the case with all phones in the price bracket. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express) Daytime photos come out crisp and have a lot of detail. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express) Colours often come out oversaturated. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express) If you prefer natural colours, try turning off AI enhancements in the camera app. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express) Another close-up shot of a plany against the sun. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express) This photo was taken during sunset but the phone manages to retain details despite the poor lighting. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express) The nighttime sky looks good for a phone priced under Rs 15,000. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express) Just another photo after sunset. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express) The scene here looks darker than it was to the naked eye. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express) At night, photos often lack detail. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express) The phone overexposes the lights despite trying multiple attempts. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express)
As for nighttime photography, the Infinix Hot 30 5G manages to capture details, but light sources are overexposed. Night photos are good for social media, but you might have to look elsewhere if you want a camera phone.
In the video department, the main sensor once again does a good job of stabilising the footage, but don’t expect hardware-level stabilisation. Another thing I noticed is that the phone can record videos in 2K, something that a majority of mid-range phones miss out on.
On the front, you get an 8MP sensor and a dedicated LED flash that can come in handy when recording videos or taking photos using the selfie shooter. While the camera takes average photos, it can record videos in 2K.
The battery can easily last a day even if you use the phone on 5G. (Image Credit: Anurag Chawake/Indian Express)
Can the 6,000mAh battery last a day on 5G?
If you are someone like me who uses their smartphone to browse the internet for hours, watch videos, or listen to music on the go, phones that come with a 5,000mAh battery might not be enough for you. This is where the Infinix Hot 30 5G shines. During my two-week-long use, I never ran out of battery even when I was on 5G.
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My typical day involves listening to music on YouTube for hours on end on mobile data, using WhatsApp, browsing the internet, reading news, and playing a couple of games at the end of the day. Even if you are a heavy user like me, the Infinix Hot 30 5G will easily last you a day, with almost six to seven hours of screen time.
Should you buy the Infinix Hot 30 5G?
The Infinix Hot 30 5G performs smoothly most of the time and does not stutter even when switching between multiple apps. The performance combined with the large 6,000mAh battery means you won’t have to worry about charging in the middle of the day. The only reason to not buy the phone is the software update. Most smartphones by the company generally receive only one OS update, which is a bummer since most other brands offer at least two years of Android updates.
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If you are willing to look past the sunlight visibility, don’t care about software updates, and are looking for a solid budget 5G device, the Infinix Hot 30 5G is an easy recommendation, offering more performance and battery compared to the recently launched Redmi 12 5G (review), Poco M6 Pro and others.
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