In a market where flagship smartphones are becoming increasingly expensive, finding a budget-friendly alternative that doesn’t compromise on features can be a challenge. If you’ve always admired the iconic design of the iPhone but found it financially out of reach, the HOTWAV Note 13 Pro might just be the perfect solution. Priced at a mere $99, this budget-friendly device combines a sleek iPhone 15 Pro-inspired design with impressive specs that make it a compelling choice for those on a tight budget.
In this review, we’ll take you on a journey through every aspect of the HOTWAVE Note 13 Pro, from unboxing its impressive packaging to diving deep into its design, display, camera capabilities, gaming performance, battery life, and user-friendly features. We’ll explore how this device defies expectations and stands as a testament to what a budget smartphone can achieve in today’s competitive market.
So, fasten your seatbelts as we embark on this journey to unravel the hidden gem that is the HOTWAVE Note 13 Pro. Get ready to be amazed by its features, captivated by its performance, and intrigued by its price-to-performance ratio. Let’s discover why this smartphone deserves a closer look and why budget-conscious consumers should pay attention to what it has to offer.
HOTWAV Note 13 Pro Features
- Slim Body & Premium Design
- Unisoc Tiger T606 Octa-Core SoC
- 6.6″ HD+ Display, 90Hz Dynamic Refresh Rate
- 50MP Main Camera & 16MP Front Camera
- Android 13 OS
- 8GB RAM + (8GB Extended) + 256GB ROM
- 5160mAh battery & 18W Fast Charging
- Face Unlock & Fingerprint Unlock
- Multi-function NFC & Dual 4G SIM
Unboxing the HOTWAVE Note 13 Pro
The HOTWAVE Note 13 Pro arrives in striking packaging that immediately catches the eye. It comes in a simple red box with the words “HOTWAV & Note” printed on it, in black font. This combination exudes a sense of sophistication, leaving a positive first impression.
As you open the box, you’ll be greeted by a carefully presented set of accessories and the device itself. Here’s what you can expect to find within the packaging: The star of the show HOTWAVE Note 13 Pro, carefully protected and eagerly awaiting your exploration. Also, there is a Transparent Protective Case, Tempered Glass Screen Protector, USB-C to USB-C Cable, and SIM Ejector Tool. Also, Inside the box, you’ll find essential documents such as the user manual and warranty card.
The unboxing experience offers a glimpse of the thoughtful details that HOTWAVE has put into providing a complete package with essential accessories included and the device itself well-protected.
Design and Build Quality:
The HOTWAV Note 13 Pro is not just another run-of-the-mill budget phone; It immediately catches your eye with its stunning design, reminiscent of the iPhone 15 Pro. It features a beautiful purple surface and flat edges, giving it a premium look and feel. With a square camera module featuring three large sensors, an LED flash, and a layout akin to the iPhones, this device aims to impress. However, it’s essential to note that there are only two functional sensors, while the other sensor and the LED flash are primarily for aesthetic purposes.
The moment you hold the Note 13 Pro in your hand, you’ll be struck by the premium feel it exudes. It’s astonishing how a budget-friendly smartphone can feel so luxurious. This is primarily attributed to the choice of materials and thoughtful design. Despite its modest price tag, the phone is well-constructed, primarily using plastic. What’s commendable is the finish – it’s far from tacky and feels comfortable to hold without the need for a protective case. It’s neither too heavy nor excessively large, making it a convenient option for everyday use. The HOTWAV Note 13 Pro is available in two appealing colors – violet and black.
On the left side of the smartphone, you’ll notice the hybrid SIM tray. This allows users to opt for either two nano SIM cards or one nano SIM and a micro SD card.
The placement of buttons is another well-thought-out design element. The power button, which also functions as the fingerprint sensor, is conveniently situated on the right side of the device, also you’ll find standard volume buttons. Moving to the bottom, there’s a speaker grille, a microphone, and a USB Type-C port.
The HOTWAVE Note 13 Pro boasts a display that’s sure to capture your attention right from the moment you power it on. It comes equipped with a 6.6-inch IPS LCD panel, that offers a high screen-to-body ratio of 87.3% which, despite being budget-friendly, impresses with its vibrant visuals and excellent screen-to-body ratio. The phone offers a 720p display and 269PPI. Despite the low resolution and PPI, the Text and graphic information are very legible. Not always perfect, but quite good.
One standout feature of the HOTWAVE Note 13 Pro’s display is its support for a 90Hz refresh rate. This enhanced refresh rate ensures smoother scrolling and improved overall screen responsiveness. It’s noteworthy that a 90Hz refresh rate in a budget smartphone is a welcome surprise, making the phone stand out in its price range.
The device’s display performance continues to shine when it comes to brightness. With 500nit Brightness, under bright sunlight and studio lighting, you won’t find yourself struggling to read the screen outdoors. This feature is particularly valuable for those who use their smartphones in varying lighting conditions.
Color reproduction on the HOTWAVE Note 13 Pro is commendable, making your content pop with vibrant, true-to-life colors. The display isn’t plagued by issues like color tints or flickering, ensuring a stable, visually pleasing experience. This is especially important for users who appreciate well-reproduced colors in their content, be it for media consumption or social media use.
Moreover, the phone’s design allows for a seamless, uninterrupted display experience. The minimal bezels and waterdrop notch contribute to a distraction-free display. When it comes to multimedia enjoyment. So, The HOTWAVE Note 13 Pro’s display can be favorably compared to many mid-range devices, offering a visually satisfying experience.
Playing the content on YouTube, was very smooth. You can play videos at a maximum of 720p at 30FPS without any problems or lag, And this is the highest quality you can get. Next, let’s take a look at the DMR information and Widevine security. I can tell you I’m a little disappointed with this because it’s only Level 3, so you won’t be able to get HD on Netflix or other streaming services. and this level may not be found on all budget smartphones without exaggeration. However, you can still enjoy Netflix and all other streaming services in 480p resolution.
Many budget smartphones struggle with audio quality, but HOTWAVE has managed to strike a balance between cost-effectiveness and audio performance. The HOTWAVE Note 13 Pro defies budget smartphone expectations. The device is equipped with a bottom-firing single loudspeaker, and while one might not have high hopes for audio quality on a budget device, the Note 13 Pro pleasantly surprises.
What’s particularly impressive is the audio quality—despite the limitations of a single loudspeaker, the sound remains crisp and relatively rich. The speaker manages to produce a balanced audio output, ensuring that you can enjoy your content without distortion or muffled sound.
One area where compromises are more evident is in the camera department. The HOTWAV Note 13 Pro’s camera capabilities are very basic, reflecting its affordability. While it delivers an acceptable performance, it falls short when compared to mid-range or high-end smartphones. Armed with a 50-megapixel OV50C40 main sensor, it outperforms many smartphones within its category. The camera’s performance isn’t solely attributed to the sensor but is enhanced through meticulous camera algorithm optimization.
Main Camera & Secondary:
The star of the show is undoubtedly the 50-megapixel main sensor. In well-lit conditions, the camera performs reasonably well, but it struggles in low-light environments. The device lacks versatility, and its ability to capture detail and vibrant colors is somewhat limited. Both the front and rear cameras offer basic performance, and the phone’s camera system is not tailored for photography enthusiasts.
Complementing the impressive main camera is an Auxiliary sensor. Serves its purpose as an additional camera by offering functionalities like wider-angle shots, enabling users to explore creative photography. Although it doesn’t match the main sensor’s prowess, it provides versatility when capturing different perspectives.
Front Camera: Perfect Selfies and More
The HOTWAVE Note 13 Pro doesn’t just with its rear camera; it also offers a front camera for those who love taking selfies and video calls. Equipped with a 16-megapixel S5K3P3 sensor, the front camera performance is praiseworthy, especially when considering the smartphone’s budget-friendly nature. The front camera also comes equipped with beauty modes, allowing users to enhance their photos further. These modes let you adjust various aspects such as skin tone, blemishes, and more, ensuring that your selfies reflect your desired look.
The device offers Full HD (1080p) video recording, which is the standard for most budget-friendly smartphones. This resolution is suitable for everyday video needs, such as vlogs, video calls, and social media sharing. While it lacks dedicated image stabilization technology like optical image stabilization (OIS), it compensates for this with software-based stabilization. This digital stabilization helps reduce shakes and wobbles in videos.
The 16-megapixel front camera on the HOTWAVE Note 13 Pro also contributes to its video recording capabilities. While it may not rival the rear camera in terms of megapixels, it’s more than capable of recording clear and detailed videos. The front camera offers high-definition (HD) video recording, making it suitable for video calls, video messages, and selfie vlogging.
The device runs on Android 13, providing a stock Android experience. This means you won’t encounter bloatware or cluttered interfaces. And it’s unlikely to receive updates beyond that version. The user interface is clean and user-friendly, featuring a straightforward notification bar and easy access to settings. The Note 13 Pro provides a convenient and minimalistic user experience.
Within the settings, users will find standard options for customization. Users can opt for either gestures or a virtual button for navigation. In the battery settings, you can efficiently manage the phone’s usage. The device also features a Kids Mode, which allows you to restrict access to specific apps and set usage time limits, making it a handy tool for parents. These additional features add value to the device.
For gamers, take note! The HOTWAVE Note 13 Pro delivers an impressive gaming performance that defies its budget-friendly price point. With a powerful SoC and ample RAM, this smartphone is more than capable of handling your favorite mobile games with ease. At the heart of the gaming experience lies the UniSOC T606 SoC, an octa-core processor that is equivalent to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 662.
The CPU performance of the phone is commendable. In the Geekbench 5 multi-core test, the HOTWAV Note 13 Pro stands out, it delivers responsive performance for everyday tasks such as web browsing, multitasking, and media consumption. The Note 13 Pro delivered a multi-core score of 1,403 and 376 in the signal core, which is a considerable distance behind other budget phones that aren’t that much more expensive. This is also in the Antutu benchmark with around 270k to 280k score.
Paired with 8GB LPDDR 4X of RAM, this budget device can even be extended to 16GB with the inclusion of virtual RAM and has 256GB UFS 2.1 of internal storage which is quite generous for a budget device. The result? A lag-free gaming experience, smooth multitasking, and rapid app launches.
I tested some of the most demanding games, including PUBG Mobile, Real Racing 3, and Need for Speed, and the device performed admirably. While it may not support extreme settings in all games, it still delivers a remarkable gaming experience. Thanks to the T606 SoC, the smartphone doesn’t overheat even during extended gaming sessions. However, it’s important to note that this device is not designed for heavy gaming or running resource-intensive applications. It won’t handle the latest games with high-quality graphics settings. But for basic gaming and less demanding apps, it performs quite well.
Battery Life And Charging
The battery life of the HOTWAVE Note 13 Pro is truly impressive, offering users a reliable and long-lasting power source. Equipped with a substantial 5,160mAh battery, this device ensures that you won’t be constantly tethered to a charging cable. With moderate use, this smartphone can easily last 12 hours of screen-on time. Additionally, the 18W charger included in the package efficiently refuels the battery. This means that when you do need to recharge, it takes around 90 minutes to get your device back to full capacity.
Connectivity & Call Quality
In the connectivity department, the HOTWAV Note 13 Pro doesn’t disappoint. It features a slot on the left side that accommodates a Micro SD card and a Nano SIM card. This phone plays nice with most carriers, with no apparent reception issues, making it a versatile choice for various mobile service providers. The call quality and data performance are on par with expectations. One outstanding feature of this phone is that it supports NFC, which allows you to do various things like mobile payments and connecting to other devices.
The HOTWAV Note 13 Pro is an impressive budget-friendly smartphone that successfully combines a sleek iPhone 15 Pro-inspired design with solid features and performance. Priced at just $99, it offers an affordable alternative for those looking to own a stylish and capable smartphone without breaking the bank. It might not be a flagship killer or even a middle-range phone, but it offers great value for everyday use. It looks stylish with a user-friendly interface, stunning display, impressive battery life, user-friendly features, and robust gaming capabilities making it a standout in the budget smartphone category. It proves that a premium experience can be offered at an affordable price.
Nevertheless, it’s crucial to consider the compromises that come hand-in-hand with the budget-friendly price tag. The device’s performance is best suited for basic tasks, and its camera system, while functional, lacks versatility and quality.
While it may not compete with upper devices, the HOTWAV Note 13 Pro excels in its segment and is an excellent choice for users seeking an affordable and reliable daily driver. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to own an iPhone-inspired smartphone for a fraction of the cost.
Remember, as with any smartphone, it’s important to consider your specific needs when making a decision. If the HOTWAV Note 13 Pro aligns with what you’re looking for in a budget-friendly smartphone, it could be a great choice for you and should be at the top of your list.