Several smartphone makers have, for the better part of the decade, been trying to make a name for themselves in the Kenyan market, but only a handful of them have managed to crack the insanely competitive field by selling many devices to a demographic that is adopting pocket computers device rapidly. Transsion Holding’s Infinix is one of them, having popularized the brand alongside Tecno with dirty cheap devices for anybody who wanted, and still is out for a low-cost and functional mobile handheld.
Infinix intends to continue the journey with another addition to its device portfolio. While the manufacturer is yet to make an official announcement, listings on its ecommerce site infinixmall.ke indicate that the successor of the un-marketed Infinix Hot 6, the Hot 7 is a done deal. Similar to previous iterations, the Hot 7 is expected to launch with two models; a basic or Lite option with Android Go, a gig or RAM and 16 GB internal storage, as well as a Po version with 3 GB and 32 GB of internal memory.
Although we are yet to see press images for the Pro model, we expect it will be equipped with a screen cutout aka the notch as is the case with the Lite model. This will effectively improve the device’s aesthetics in a market that is quickly associating the notch with modernism. Also, the Pro model packs dual rear cams (13 MP + 2MP for portrait shots) that are a norm in current times. The basic Hot 7, on the other hand, is said to have a single 13 MP; both models have 8 MP selfie snappers.
In my opinion, these design changes are necessary because while the Hot series is a budget segment, the overall allure of the phones was getting a little stale. Remember the Hot 5 with airport-esque bezels thicker than Hot 4’s?
The chipset appears to have been replaced (the Hot series has been notorious in recycling the SoC, having used the MT6737 quadcore 1.3 Ghz silicon repeatedly) with a MT65080P 32nm Quad-Core 1.3GHz. Its clock speed is the same to the former, but the MT65080P is much newer, which theoretically translates to a honed experience. We will determine if that is the case when we get hold of the device.
Priced at KES 10,000 and KES 11,000 for the Lite and Pro models, respectively, the Hot 7 series will face stiff competition from recent devices from the likes of Huawei that has decided to use Transsion’s playbook that has a clause that says our markets should be flooded with smart devices at all budget price segments. A couple of HMD Global’s Nokia phones also feature in the same price segment (the new Nokia 1 Plus will launch in the Kenyan market in coming days, and packs newer (Android 9 Pie) and light software) against Hot 7’s Android 8.1 Oreo. While most people do not care about software versions, especially groups that buy low-end devices, we would have been happier to see Infinix make an effort in that segment (currently, only the Note 5 has Pie, which is a little sad).
Lastly, it should be noted that the new Hot devices have grown in size, measuring 6.27” in screen size powered by 4000 mAh juicers.