The Infinix Hot 20 Play The company’s new budget offering in the hot-series lineup. Iterative upgrade to handset Infinix Hot 12 Play (Review) which was introduced earlier this year and offers a MediaTek chipset, 18W fast charging, Android 12 and a bunch of other minor updates. I decided to put the Infinix Hot 20 Play through its paces to find out what a phone needs to be a good budget smartphone. Read the full review to find out.
Infinix Hot 20 Play works well. The handset scores well on key aspects like battery life, display and cameras, but could do with better performance. The Infinix Hot 20 Play would have been a better everyday device for everyone if it had a better chipset and near-stock-Android software.
- The Infinix Hot 20 Play is available in three color options: Luna Blue, Aurora Green and Racing Black. I was sent an Aurora Green review unit of the handset and after seeing it, I can say that it is the go-to option for buyers. Color makes your device stand out. As for the design, the Infinix Hot 20 Play has a polycarbonate build with a textured finish under the glossy layer at the back and curved edges. The phone is slightly slippery, but does not attract fingerprints and smudges. The handset is also comfortable to use, its weight of 209 grams seems to be evenly distributed. I had no trouble holding the device to stream content for an hour.
- Moving forward, the handset has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and a rectangular camera module that doesn’t protrude much and keeps the device relatively stable when it’s flat on a surface. The volume rocker and power button can be found on the right spine of the phone, while the left spine houses the SIM ejector tray with a dedicated slot for the microSD card. The USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack and speaker grill are all placed on the bottom edge of the device.
- The Infinix Hot 20 Play has a punch-hole on its 6.82-inch HD+ display that has a 90Hz refresh rate and 500 nits maximum brightness. It’s an IPS LCD panel with relatively thin bezels on all sides except the bottom, which has a wide chin. The panel is bright enough to keep content clear even in direct sunlight and offers good viewing angles. Image quality is good for the price; However, the handset can only stream content from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other streaming platforms in SD (480p) resolution. As for the 90Hz screen refresh rate, it performs well in supported apps and UI.
- At the core of the Infinix Hot 20 Play is the MediaTek Helio G37 SoC, which is paired with 4GB of RAM and 3GB of virtual RAM. The latter uses up some of the phone’s storage. Speaking of which, the handset comes with 64GB of storage onboard, which can be expanded up to 256GB using a microSD card. However, the performance of the device is average. Even the on-screen keyboard takes time to open. There is some lag in multitasking while apps are a little slow to load. Infinix Hot 20 Play is not a device to buy if you are into power user or gaming. The handset is best suited for basic smartphone use.
- The Infinix Hot 20 Play packs a dual-rear camera setup with a 13MP primary sensor and an AI lens. Up front, the handset has an 8MP snapper for selfies and video calling. Both the front and rear cameras support features like portrait mode, AI cam, beauty mode, AR shot, time-lapse and LED flash for low-light photography. The cameras work well, at least during the day. The 13MP primary sensor and 8MP selfie shooters can focus quickly and shoot images in no time. As for the results, the images are generally not sharp, which is the case with most budget smartphones. Colors look decent though. AI cam mode sometimes overfills colors to make up for a lack of detail that affects overall dynamic range. The handset’s portrait mode works mostly on human subjects, but is slightly off with edge detection and fails to deliver a natural-looking bokeh effect. In low light, the Infinix Hot 20 Play delivers unusable results. Despite the rear and selfie camera flash, the handset delivers grainy shots with very little detail to show. Colors also look washed out. Cause there’s no night mode to help.
- Software-wise, the Hot 20 Play runs Android 12 out of the box, heavily customized by Infinix’s custom skin XOS 10.6. The custom skin adds tons of features like ‘Smart Panel’ to quickly access frequently used/recently installed apps and ‘X Clone’ to create a clone of any app for a secondary account. XOS 10.6 also includes Game Mode, Photo Compressor Tool, Kids Mode and more, but push notifications and bloatware, some of which you can’t uninstall, mar the overall experience. Additionally, as of the writing of this article, the phone is running on the September security patch. There is no information on when Hot 20 Play will receive the latest security updates.
- The Infinix Hot 20 Play is powered by a 6,000mAh battery, which scored 16 hours and 49 minutes in the PCMark test. In real life, the phone can easily last up to a day and a half with normal usage. Since the phone cannot handle heavy gaming and multitasking, you can change the refresh rate to 60Hz to extend the battery life. The handset comes with an 18W fast charging solution that takes around 3 hours to lift a dead battery to 100 percent. The phone’s bottom-firing DTS speaker is loud but crackles a bit at maximum volume. The speaker has 3D sound processing which provides a better experience while watching videos or listening to music.
- Infinix Hot 20 Play’s fingerprint scanner is slow, but its Wi-Fi supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The handset comes with 4G LTE connectivity, which worked well for me on Airtel’s Faridabad network.
The Infinix Hot 20 Play earns points for its battery life and display. The handset will comfortably last you a day on normal use between charges, while its 90Hz refresh rate display offers relatively smooth scrolling and animation. Watching content on the device is also a good experience. The cameras on the Hot 20 Play aren’t exceptional, but they perform well when the sun is out. However, the Infinix smartphone failed to leave a mark in the performance and software departments. The handset can handle basic tasks and some light gaming well, but its software needs better optimization and the latest security patches.
Rs. At 8,999, the Infinix Hot 20 Play competes Realme C33 (Review) and Motorcycle E22s, both are capable devices. The Realme smartphone packs a better chipset and cameras than the Infinix phone, while the Moto E22s runs a stock Android OS. The handsets are not big-screen entertainment devices and have relatively short battery life. So if those things are most important to you in a smartphone, the Infinix Hot 20 Play could be a worthy buy.
Editor’s Rating: 3.5 / 5
- Capable of 90Hz refresh rate screen
- Good battery life
- Good cameras during the day
- Slow performance