Initial verdict: Infinix positions the HOT 30 as a budget phone that can handle gaming. While its features are promising, we’re hesitant about the performance of the Helio G88.
-Improved camera performance
-Back panel is less of a smudge magnet
-Fast charging for a budget phone
-Helio G88 is not a strong processor for 2023
After releasing the more affordable HOT 30i and HOT 30 Play, Infinix completes the lineup in the Philippines with the vanilla HOT 30. As the top-end variant, the HOT 30 aims to offer decent gaming on a budget with its large RAM and an equally large display.
The Hot 30 retains the same glossy plastic back as its siblings and predecessors, but Infinix spiced things up with a glass-like finish that has lines adorning it. We usually don’t like glossy finishes because of how prone they are to smudges, but the HOT 30 is less of a smudge magnet. The line pattern on the back adds a nice touch to the HOT 30, but we’d rather use the included all-black case–which looks cooler with the tonal graphics and branding.
The button and port layout is the same as you’d expect on an Infinix phone, and that includes a power button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner, a headphone jack, stereo speakers, and a USB-C port. The HOT 30 also looks modern with the punch-hole on its 6.78-inch IPS display.
The HOT series has set the benchmark for offering a 90hz refresh rate on budget devices, and the HOT 30 continues that tradition–and even makes it better by having a Full HD+ resolution. During our time with it, the HOT 30 has more vibrant colors compared to its predecessors and has a better overall brightness range. The latter is a big deal since most budget phones tend to compromise display brightness in order to offer a high refresh rate.
The only sign that the HOT 30 is a budget phone with a decent display is its thick bezels and even thicker chin. We may be nitpicking at the design, one thing we appreciate about the HOT 30 is that it has Widevine L1 on Netflix. This means that you can watch your favorite shows in Full HD, making the HOT 30 a rare budget phone that’s capable of doing so.
The HOT series are not really focused with camera performance, but Infinix does put in the effort to equip them with a decent setup. In the HOT 30, you have a 50-megapixel main camera and a rather unusual QVGA depth sensor. Infinix has been using the same 50-megapixel main camera with an f/1.6 aperture across a number of HOT (and some NOTE) devices, though we noticed that camera performance is better at least with daylight shooting when we took it with us to Tanay, Rizal.
We will still need to test the HOT 30 further for its camera performance to see if Infinix did make significant improvements to the camera software despite using the same sensor for the main camera.
The HOT 30 comes with a Helio G88 processor that’s paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. While the HOT 30 is class-leading for having 8GB RAM as a budget device, we’re not as confident with the processor its using. The Helio G88 is based on the 3-year-old Helio G85 but adds support for 90hz displays–and we’re not sure if this processor can handle heavy gaming despite having generous amounts of RAM. We will be putting the HOT 30 to the test with its gaming performance in our full review, so stay tuned for that.
Just like most Infinix phones, our biggest concern with the HOT 30 is the amount of bloatware that’s included–with most of them being uninstallable. We wished that Infinix starts to tone down on the bloatware of its XOS UI–or at the very least make them uninstallable.
As for the battery, the HOT 30 gets a familiar 5000mAh cell but leads the competition for having 33w wired charging–a rare feature to see in phones priced under Php 10k, where the competition would usually use 18w charging instead.
Wrap-up and Initial Conclusions
Infinix’s HOT series offers great value for money in the budget segment, and the HOT 30 aims to continue the line’s legacy by offering great value for money. Save for its processor of choice, we’re pretty optimistic that the HOT 30 is a serious contender in the under Php 10k segment in the Philippines.
We don’t know the official price of the HOT 30, but given that Infinix priced the HOT 20S at Php 8.5k in the Philippines, we expect the HOT 30 to be more affordable.