The Infinix Zero 8 has average specs, a great camera, and a low price point. Is this the right phone for you? Jack Wallen takes a look.
When I received the Infinix Zero 8, I must confess I didn't have high hopes for it. After unboxing and connecting the Android device to my Google account, my first impression was that it was a midlist phone with certain features that could quickly turn off many users. Then something interesting happened--I started playing with the camera.
I wouldn't consider myself someone who places a high priority on a phone's camera. That's not to say I don't make regular use of the feature--I do. In fact, I take daily photos for various purposes, but for me, the camera is an afterthought. When I review phones, it tends to be one of the last things I test. Upon giving the Infinix Zero 8 a whirl, those initial impressions were stripped away.
Let's take a look at this mid-spec'd Android device and see what it has to offer, other than a really nifty camera.
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A bit of background
You've probably never heard of the company behind the Zero 8. Infinix is a Shenzhen-based company, founded in 2013, as a subsidiary of Transsion with development centers between France and Korea. All Infinix phones are designed in France and manufactured in China.
The Infinix Zero 8 was released August 27, 2020 and has, for the most part, remained under the radar. The price point of the Zero 8 is around $250.00 USD. Unfortunately, at the moment, it doesn't seem possible to purchase the Zero 8 in the US or the international market. Currently, the device is limited to the following markets:
Hopefully Infinix will extend the market of the Zero 8 soon. In the meantime, let's take a look at what this device has to offer.
Specifications for the Infinix Zero 8
For the price of the Infinix Zero 8, you get some pretty decent hardware. The spec sheet looks like this:
OS: Android 10 with XOS 7
Display: 6.85" full HD+ with 90Hz refresh rate and 180Hz touch sampling rate
CPU: Octa-core MediaTek Helio G90T SoC
RAM: 8 GB
Internal storage: 128 GB
Battery: 4,500 mAh with support for 33 W fast charging
Cameras: Rear - 64 megapixel primary sensor and 8 megapixel secondary sensor, both with ultra-wide-angle lens, depth sensor, and ultra-night video/Selfie - 48 megapixel primary sensor with 8 megapixel secondary
Cooling: Multi-dimensional liquid cooling
Fingerprint scanner (side-mounted)
The spec sheet is fairly impressive for a mid-range phone and the device really does perform quite well. In fact, my first impression of the hardware was that it certainly punched above its weight. Apps opened quickly, network speeds were quite good, streaming of video was outstanding and the sound was on par with any smartphone I've ever used.
So why did those first impressions stop me cold? Let me explain.
Questionable added software
Out of the box, I found some fairly questionable software included in the mix. To make matters worse, there were ads popping up for other software titles in the notification shade. Most of these titles were games, which makes sense given Infinix targets this phone as a gaming device, but Infinix goes even further to include a third-party game store.
Anyone that has read me long enough knows how I feel about third-party app stores on any mobile platform--I'll pass.
What's worse, some of those applications cannot be removed. AHA Games? No. The Instant Apps app? Nope. XClub? Nada. Phone Master? Don't even bother.
This list of extraneous apps might well turn many users off to the Zero 8. Not only do those apps take up precious space, but there's no way of knowing how secure they are. Some of those apps (such as AHA Games) can't even be found in the Google Play Store, so who vetted them?
Then there's the Instant Apps, which are constantly advertised within the App drawer (Figure A).
Security on a mobile device must be given the highest priority. Whether or not these added apps pose a threat to that security is hard to say. The big question then is, "Are you willing to risk it?"
The camera is impressive
The camera on the Zero 8 has a number of tricks up its sleeve. First, it has a built-in macro feature--something even my Google Pixel 4 camera cannot do. Taking photos up to 2.5 cm from the subject is not only possible, but results in some really impressive macro shots (Figure B).
The camera on the Zero 8 has modes for the following:
No matter the type of photo you want to take, the Zero 8 has a mode. Both the Super Macro and Panorama modes produced serious results. The Panorama mode offered almost zero distortion of my office (Figure C).
In terms of clarity of photo, the Zero 8 camera doesn't quite stand up to the Pixel 4. But that the Zero 8 adds the macro mode (and a few other interesting modes) makes up for that. Given the difference in cost, anyone looking for a mid-range phone with a camera that performs like it's on a flagship device, could certainly do far worse than the Zero 8.
Who is the Infinix Zero 8 for?
Simply put, anyone looking for a cheap, performant Android device with an impressive camera, and who is willing to put up with some additional apps they'll never use (and might get slightly annoyed by), should check out the Infinix Zero 8. If the phone is in your market, it should definitely be on your radar.
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