HiSense is getting further into the smartphone game here in South Africa and if what we’ve seen of their TVs is anything to go by, they could be making inroads into the territory more traditionally held by the bigger cellular players quite soon. Inspecting their Infinity H6 handset, a 5-inch mid-ranger with a price to match, doesn’t do much to dispel that impression.
Make no mistake, the likes of the HiSense Infinity H6 isn’t going to have Samsung’s Galaxy S6 or the Apple iPhone 6 cowering in their electronic boots any time soon but the company has a good shot at claiming territory normally held by the less universally-praised handsets from Samsung, LG, Sony and the like. The Infinity H6 is a solid contender, what with sturdy build quality and a bright, responsive screen being bolted into a collection of specs that won’t make you sad you opted for the brand.
The Infinity H6 is a rectangular slab that puts me in mind of a Sony handset that has skipped dieting for a while. It’s solid, with the review handset featuring white bezels under glass for the entire front-end, while the rear is a combination of aluminium bordered by white plastic strips. Along the edge all around runs a metal strip in which resides the volume rocker and power button (upper right side), charge port, dual SIM card slots and microSD port (upper left, needs a pin to get the ports open) as well as the headphone jack (top side).
The 2,000mAh battery is non-removable and non-replaceable, so if your Li-Ion craps out you’re going to need HiSense to attend to that. But the construction lends itself to a reassuring weight that doesn’t feel unwieldy in the slightest. Though the phone is largely smooth throughout, the slight edges on the… er… edge make it quite grippable.
The look of the H6 is better than the performance you’re going to get from the handset, really. The 5-inch display is a 1,280 x 720 affair, large enough to make browsing and videos a pleasant experience but not quite big enough to really impress. The quad-core 1.2GHz processor attained acceptable marks in the Geekbench runs but these also reveal that the Infinity H6 is more ‘show’ than ‘go’.
For single-core performance, the H6 scooped up a score of 326, multi-core topped out at 1089. This pegs the phone at below the Snapdragon 400, Qualcomm’s ridiculously common mid-range chip, but over the Tegra 3 T30L in terms of performance. So… not terribly great then but I’ve certainly seen worse. There’s 1GB of RAM in there and 16GB of storage, not counting microSD additions, of which 12.6GB was available.
But the most notable feature of the Infinity H6 is the SIM card setup, which supports two cards. One (WCDMA) can be used for data only, while the GSM SIM can be dedicated to calls. Dual SIM phones are surprisingly popular here in SA, as they are in China, so this is a definite selling point for locals.
For the rest, you’re looking at dual cameras. There’s the fast-becoming-standard 5MP front-facer, the 8MP rear shooter and they’re both… cameras. Shots are acceptable but they’re nothing truly special. There’s a limit to how many impressive features can be crammed into a R3,500 phone, after all.
But HiSense’s take on Android 4.4 isn’t bad at all. There are a few too many bloatware apps installed from the outset for my tastes but they’re the same as those found on the Sero 8 Pro tablet so there might be a point to them. You never know.
The HiSense Infinity H6 is a good handset. I’m not going to go into superlatives for this one, it’s a solid piece of hardware that could be better in places. But that’s expectation speaking, as well as a lot of exposure to high-end hardware. The Infinity H6 isn’t high-end but it looks like it could be. It’s certainly not priced that way, though, and that’s perhaps the best thing about this slab of plastic, glass and metal.