Since phone manufacturers have started launching their budget phones multiple times in a year they have made one thing clear that it is foolish of us to expect a huge upgrade over a single generation. You can observe this in the 9 to 11k offerings from Redmi, Samsung, Realme, Xiaomi all more or less are still shipped with specifications from early 2020. This is the reason why I was happy when Infinix Hot 10s was launched in May this year with class-leading specifications out of the box. If you read the review there are also some pros and cons with the device which I believe we could still live with seeing how the competition was not doing any better.
Now fast forward to 4 months later Infinix has launched the Hot 11s and the sheer amount of upgrades that it brings to the table would definitely make it a perfect choice for anyone looking for a budget smartphone. I have been using the Hot 11s for about a week now and I can safely conclude that it is the most impressive smartphone under 11k that I have used in the last 2 years. The things that make it so good and convince you to buy it are all inside the phone and here is the full review.
The Infinix Hot 11s is available to buy now from Flipkart and is priced at Rs. 10,999 for the 4GB RAM 64GB internal storage variant. You can choose from Green Wave or Polar black colour variants.
Here’s what we have inside the box of Infinix Hot 11s:
- USB-A to USB-C charging cable
- A protective case
- Screen Protector
- Infinix Hot 11s device
Let’s talk about the on-paper specifications of the Infinix Hot 11s at first:
- Display: 17.22 cm (6.78 inch) Full HD+ Display
- Camera: 50MP + 2MP + AI Lens | 8MP Front Camera
- Battery: Li-Ion 2438 mAh Battery with 20W fast-charging
- Chipset: MediaTek Helio G88 Processor
- RAM & ROM: 4 GB RAM | 64 GB ROM | Expandable Upto 256 GB
- Dimensions: 168.9 x 77 x 8.82 mm
- Weight: 205 grams
The Infinix Hot 11s features an all-plastic construction. You get the same glossy panel with a fingerprint-resistant coating that we have been seeing on the Infinix phones for a while. I am not that of a big fan of how it looks but on the bright side it doesn’t leave any fingerprint smudges or scratches easily and that is a bonus in this segment. The new body design looks unique but I would have expected Infinix to come up with an entirely fresh aesthetic for the phone that would excite the buyers more.
There is also a new rear camera design with a huge circular main camera that does make the phone stand out from the past Infinix phones. Unlike the new iPhone 13 Pro, the camera module does not stick out of the body too much and the phone also isn’t too thick either. That being said, it is still a heavy phone with about 200 grams of weight. I am not quite sure if it’s the width of the device or just how the back curves into the side but this phone is not particularly ergonomic and comfortable to hold single-handed.
The display is probably the most impressive upgrade on the Infinix Hot 11s. The company switched from a waterdrop Notch to a punch-hole camera on the Infinix Hot 11s and also pumped the resolution from 720p to 1080p with increased peak brightness to about 500 nits from 440. Along with the 90 Hz refresh rate, this is by far the most impressive display that I have ever seen on a smartphone under 12k this year. The 90 Hz refresh rate combined with 180Hz samplings provides a smartphone that feels deceptively smooth to use and it makes you forget that it is an 11k phone.
While most of the Oppo and Vivo phones are still stuck at 720p displayed in this price range, what Infinix here provides is nothing short of an amazing value. However, the lack of Widevine L1 still means that you can’t stream Netflix Prime video in full HD.
Infinix Hot 11s comes equipped with a MediaTek G88 processor. The phone is the second smartphone in the Indian market after Redmi 10 Prime that has been launched on the same processor. While the Redmi 10 Prime starts from Rs. 12,499 is significantly higher than the Infinix Hot 11s.
Also read: Redmi Note 10 Pro Max Quick Review
But while the Infinix Hot 11s comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, for the Redmi 10 Prime you get variants that include 4GB/64 GB of RAM and 64GB/128 GB of storage. Also, keep in mind that you have the option to use a dedicated MicroSD card slot and increase the storage upto 256 GB with Infinix Hot 11s.
Talking about performance, the smartphone performed extremely well during my testing. I was multitasking in my use and there were no lags while playing high and games and watching videos. In fact, I was very happy to see that the smartphone took less than 5 minutes to download high and graphics demanding games like Call of duty. But I did find some heating issues after using the device for more than an hour. The long gaming sessions also made the phone stutter and Infinix Hot 11s run hot with continuous gaming. If you are looking for better gaming performance I would suggest you spend 2k extra on a phone with Snapdragon 720G or 732G or Helio G95.
The phone comes equipped with eMMC 5.1 storage which is certainly not better than UFS 2.1. But this is not a huge deal breaker as the phone includes a 90Hz refresh rate screen which delivers a smooth experience and is best suited for casual usage with some gaming from time to time.
The Infinix Hot 11s comes with Android 11 out of the box which includes XOS 7.6 on top. The all-new XOS is an updated version of XOS 7 UI which Infinix used to include with Android 10. The UI feels much cleaner and minimalistic now and I didn’t find much bloatware pre-installed that comes with Infinix phones generally. You do get some preloaded apps but they are all made by Infinix and therefore you can uninstall them easily. The UI includes Palm store which is the company’s own App Store. You might find notifications from this app a little too bothersome so you can just disable them to save yourself from future interruptions.
I felt the software to be very smooth and wonderful but the majority of the credit goes to the 90 Hz refresh rate screen.
One of my favourite features of XOS is ‘Thunderback’. The feature is very easy to enable and fun to use. What you have to do is double-tap on the fingerprint scanner and the app that you are currently using automatically becomes a floating window. Of course, we get floating Windows and the option to split screen on many of the Android phones but they are hidden behind gestures for finger combo that are not just easy to remember.
On the other hand, this feature of Infinix is very easy and intuitive to use. It works very well in all the popular apps such as Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Google Chrome. You can even cycle these apps between floating Windows by double-tapping again. The feature will be most useful in the YouTube app as it will allow you to minimize YouTube without having a premium account.
Another feature that you should try is the ‘social turbo’ feature. They can be super useful to some. You can use the beautiful pictures during your video calls and automatically save the WhatsApp statuses of your friends. It even provides you the ability to read WhatsApp messages without your friends seeing a blue tick.
Overall, I did not notice any major bugs but the phone’s default OTP detection is probably the worst one I have seen. It constantly kept suggesting my cards’ last 4 digits are OTP from the text that had actual OTP. This was my first time using any Infinix phone and I can safely say that the software experience from this phone puts it right up there with other UI skins on Android right now.
Infinix Hot 11s is packed with a 50MP main camera at the back with a wide aperture of f/1.6. The new 50MP sensors are the new craze in this budget segment and the megapixel number game is the new marketing jargon for all brands now. The camera performance is a little bit improved over the Infinix Hot 10s especially in low light conditions. Infinix is doing a great job at improving the image processing algorithms and it is on par with the camera on Redmi 10 Prime. What I found missing is the consistency when taking images with humans and the white balance accuracy is also a bit tricky with different lighting situations.
The phone has an 8-megapixel selfie camera and it does a decent job to provide good-looking selfies. If I talk about the details then they are average considering the lightning conditions but what saves the smartphone is that while most other phones in this segment provide the same camera performance if not worse. Although having a dedicated LED flash at the front does help you capture slightly better photos compared to the screen flash that the competition offers.
Video recording capabilities for the Infinix Hot 11s is still kept at 2k 30fps which is better than the 1080p 30fps that most smartphones in this price range offer. But the lack of any kind of image stabilization is a huge disappointment. The details and dynamic range of the videos have definitely improved and the credit goes to the new sensor. One of the areas where the smartphone lags behind is in terms of mic quality. The Infinix Hot 11s comes with a single mic for video recording and it is no match to the mic recording on competition like the Redmi 10 Prime.
The other two sensors on the back of the camera include an AI sensor and a depth sensor which are probably there to make the smartphone a triple camera phone. I really hope companies stop providing AI lens gimmicks at this price range because it is never useful in anything. I think even a 2MP macro camera would have been a welcome change here.
Another big improvement comes in the charging department where Infinix has now decided to switch to a USB-C port and also provide an 18W fast charger in the box. Although this is quite an upgrade with the standard 10W chargers that used to be the by-default chargers with Infinix smartphones, but the charging speeds are nothing extraordinary to see with the phone talking about 2.5 hours to charge from 0 to 100%. But this is still a welcome change and a comparatively faster-charging speed that you can get at this price point.
But the battery capacity has certainly taken a hit with the 6000mh on the Infinix Hot 10s getting replaced with the 5000mAh. Don’t get me wrong, the battery life is still very good and 5000 mAh is still a humongous battery. The phone manages to provide 6.5 hours of screen on time with an entire day of extreme use. If we take a look at the competition, the Redmi 10 Prime with the same specifications and a bigger 6000mAh battery can last for about 40 minutes extra in a single charge.
It would be foolish to expect a 5G phone at this price point and it is the same with Infinix Hot 11s. The phone supports Dual 4G VoLTE with wifi calling and a dedicated MicroSD card slot. The sound output via the speakers has been an upgrade with the Hot 11s by using the earpiece as a secondary speaker. Although it still sounds a bit too thin and the dedicated stereo speakers setup that we see on the Redmi phones is definitely better. In terms of other connectivity features, you get Bluetooth 5.0 and there is also a headphone jack that provides quality audio when using wired earphones.
Also Read: How To Sell Your Old Smartphone On Cashify
Infinix does have a power-packed device priced at Rs. 10,499 which is certainly less than RealMe 8i and Redmi 10 Prime. Currently, there is no phone under 11k that provides you a screen as good as the Infinix Hot11s, stereo speakers, fast charging, and a 50-megapixel camera. I can keep going on more features but certainly, Infinix has done a great job with the Hot 11s.
It is certainly not a perfect smartphone. I would have liked to see a more functional secondary camera on the back instead of the gimmicky AI lens. Also, a UFS 2.1 storage would have been a nice addition. But seeing the price range the phone offers a lot more than it misses out on. As far as I can tell, the Infinix Hot 11s is the most value-for-money budget smartphone that you can buy right now without any hesitation.