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Infinix ZERO 8 review: A feature-rich budget phone marred by bloatware & data issues

Infinix ZERO 8 smartphone

While it offers great value given the build, performance, features, and accessories, the Infinix ZERO 8 is hit and miss here because of the lack of data while on mobile.

Techaeris Rated 8.5/10

When the average consumer thinks of smartphones, the usual brands come to mind. Apple and Samsung for sure, possibly Google, LG, Huawei, and a couple of others. Most of these companies push flagship devices which easily cost around the $1000 mark. While they do offer more affordable offerings, there are plenty of other companies that do as well.

Infinix is a company that you may have not heard of before. Relatively unknown in the western market, they have a presence in more than 40 countries around the world, covering Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. Looking to expand to western markets later this year or early next year, the company sent over one of their latest devices for review.

Our Infinix ZERO 8 review takes a look at a decent budget smartphone that is unfortunately marred by obnoxious software and data connection issues here in North America. Read on for our full review!

Specifications

The Infinix ZERO 8 has the following features and specifications:

ModelInfinix ZERO 8 X687
Display6.85 inches, 20.5:9 aspect ration, 90Hz refresh rate, 2460×1080, 392 PPI, 480-nit brightness, TFT
ChipsetMediaTek Helio G90 T (up to 2.05GHz) with 3D Liquid Cooling
GPUMali-G76 MC4
RAM8GB
Storage 128GB + microSD card support
Battery4500mAh with 33W SuperCharge (70% in 30 minutes)
Rear CameraIMX686 Sensor
Primary: 64MP F/1.9
Ultra-wide: 8MP f/2.25
Super night mode camera
Bokeh camera
Front CameraPrimary: 48MP f/2.2
Ultra-wide: 8MP f/2.2
Network4G/3G/2G
BandsGSM: B3/B8 or B2/B3/B5/B8
WCDMA: B1/B8 or B1/B5/B8
FDD: B3/B7/B20 or B1/B3/B5/B8
TDD: none or B38/B40/B41
SensorsG-Sensor, E-Compass, Gyroscope, Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Fingerprint Reader
ColorsBlack Diamond, Silver Diamond, Green Diamond
Dimensions76.08 x 168.74 x 9.07mm

What’s in the box

  • Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone
  • 33W charger (EU model)
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • Earbuds
  • Clear protective case
  • Screen protector
  • SIM card removal tool
  • Stickers
  • XClub information pamphlet
  • Customer Service Card
What’s included with the Infinix ZERO 8 smartphone.

Design

At first glance, the Infinix ZERO 8 looks like a flagship device. It’s rather large with its 6.85-inch screen. As a result, it comes in at about 3-inches wide, 6.64-inches tall, but only about 0.35-inches thick.

Inspired by the Louvre’s “Diamond Glass” design, the ZERO 8 is a sharp looking phone. Available in three colour options, our review unit was the Silver Diamond variation. The back of the device does take from those design cues. The quad-camera array is set in an diamond-shaped black hump with the four camera lenses and an LED flash. The top portion of the back is a shinier silver colour which ends in a V about halfway down, following the shape of the camera bump. The rest of the back is also silver but with a matte finish. You might be mistaken that its a metal finish when in fact its not, but it looks pretty great for a budget device.

The back of the Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone
The back of the Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone.

The edges are slightly rounded with curved corners and a nice shiny silver colour. The left side houses the dual SIM card and microSD card slot tray. The right side is where you’ll find the volume rocker and power button/fingerprint scanner. Finally, the bottom edge has a 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C charging/data port, and a single speaker.

As far as the front goes, the display has pretty narrow top and side bezels with a slightly thicker one on the bottom. The dual front-facing camera is off to the upper left in a cylindrical pinhole style.

With its metal frame and plastic back, coupled with the design, the ZERO 8 looks decent and has a bit of weight without feeling too heavy.

Display

The Infinix ZERO 8 has an 6.85 inch TFT display. The display has a 20.5:9 aspect ration, 90Hz refresh rate, 2460×1080 resolution for 392 PPI, and 480-nits of brightness. While only 1080p resolution, it is still decently crisp and clear and is plenty bright for most areas. In addition, the 90Hz refresh rate which is fast becoming the standard, is smoother than phones with the lower 60Hz refresh rate.

The back of the Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone
The Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone has a 6.85-inch display.

Colours are pretty decent but there are no options for natural, vivid, or boost like other device have. On that note, it does have color correction mode for people with deuteranomaly (red-green), protanomaly (red-green), and tritanomaly (blue-yellow) color issues. Auto-brightness worked well for the most part and the device also has a dark mode.

Software

I’m not sure if this is normal for devices that are shipped to Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia but man, the notifications and bloatware installed on the Infinix ZERO 8. Powered by Android 10, the phone is skinned with the company’s XOS overlay.

When setting up the device, US/Canada/UK weren’t listed so I had to choose Other in the country list. This is somewhat understandable as North America and Europe aren’t the target market for this device. At any rate, once set up, the list of default preinstalled apps is huge. In addition, most of them can’t be uninstalled at all (marked by * in the list below). They can be disabled but the average person likely won’t know that.

As for the default apps, the list includes:

  • XClub* (can earn XGold for rewards, communicate with others via forums)
  • Instant Apps*
  • AHA Games*
  • AI Gallery*
  • Antivirus (powered by Trustlook)*
  • Boomplay
  • Carlcare*
  • Cleaner*
  • Danger Dash
  • DTS Sound*
  • Facebook
  • Feedback
  • File Manager*
  • FM Radio*
  • Hi Translate*
  • Instagram
  • Jumping Zoo
  • Magic Line
  • Majestic Quest
  • Modern Combat: Rebel Guns
  • Music FX
  • Palm Store*
  • Phone Master*
  • Puzzle Pets
  • SIM Toolkit*
  • Smart Scanner
  • SongPop
  • Sound Recorder*
  • The Love Boat
  • Video Player*
  • Weather*
  • X-boy*
  • XClub*
  • XShare*
  • XTheme*
  • YoParty*
  • plus the default Google apps

Bloatware aside, the device started popping up the notifications like crazy. Some were for phone features but the vast majority were for suggested games to install from the multiple app stores installed on the device. I found by disabling AHA Games, Palm Store, Phone Master, XClub, XShare, and Carlcare, I could get rid of most of them. On that note, after a couple of weeks of use, I actually started getting notifications from an Infinix website which I had never visited through Chrome.

Examples of the notification spam on the Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone
Examples of the notification spam on the Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone.

Some of the apps are duplicates of default Android apps, while a couple of the apps are pretty useful. Instant apps let you use apps or play games without having to install them locally. Phone Master lets you see and clear the current memory used by your device, as well as manage storage, scan for viruses or malware, cool the CPU, boost the phone’s performance, and more.

XClub is a platform provided by Infinix for its users to share and interact with each other. With it you can view product and service information, interact with other users, win Xgold to exchange for prizes, and more. My few ganders through it found it cluttered but there are content areas for a lot of different interests like games, technology, beauty, and more.

Excessive apps aside, the Infinix ZERO 8 also has fingerprint and face unlock, which work rather well, a Smart Panel, and other gesture features like using three fingers to swipe down for a fast screenshot. The smart panel can be accessed by swiping and holding from the left or right edges. Once it appears, you have quick access to taking a screenshot, locking the screen, scanning a document or QR code, the screen recorder, power boost, clean up, do not disturb, and background calling. Unfortunately, you can only set four of these for access in the Smart Panel at a given time. You can also add up to nine different apps or actions as well to provide quick access to your favourites.

The power button/fingerprint scanner and volume rocker on the Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone
The power button/fingerprint scanner and volume rocker on the Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone.

Performance

With a MediaTek Helio G90 T (up to 2.05GHz) with 3D Liquid Cooling, Mali-G76 MC4, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage, the Infinix ZERO 8 has pretty decent performance. Apps open and switch pretty smoothly and there’s a feature to free up unused RAM and storage at the press of a button.

For gaming, there is a Game Mode that adjusts a few settings for gaming. On that not, my few rounds of Call of Duty: Mobile seemed fine enough without stuttering or any visible lag.

Sound Quality

With only a single bottom speaker, the Infinix ZERO 8 definitely lacks a bit on the sound quality. While it can get loud, it is pretty tinny sounding and there’s no bass. Not to mention, when used in landscape mode, my hand tended to cover and thus muffle the speaker.

The 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C charging/data port, and single speaker on the bottom of the Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone
The 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C charging/data port, and single speaker on the bottom of the Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone.

Camera

Budget devices don’t usually have the greatest cameras. In the case of the Infinix ZERO 8, there is a rear quad-camera array and dual-cameras on the front. Powered by an IMX686 Sensor, the rear cameras consist of a primary 64MP F/1.9, ultra-wide 8MP f/2.25, Super night mode camera, and Bokeh camera. On the front selfie side, there is a primary 48MP f/2.2 and an ultra-wide 8MP f/2.2 to take betting group selfies.

While not on par with flagship cameras, I thought the camera was decent enough. The AI Cam features 0.6x, 1x, and 2x settings but can zoom all the way 10x with its digital zoom. There is also a beauty option, bokeh feature, and super night camera. There are two video options as well: video and short video. The ZERO 8 supports 4K30, 1080p60, 1080p30, and 720p30 video recording.

Reception

As with any overseas device, you might have issues with reception. In my case, while I was able to make phone calls and send and receive texts in my local area, when not on Wi-Fi, I had no data with my carrier. I made a visit to my local store to see if they could help out but after 15 minutes, they said the device wasn’t fully supported here. When on Wi-Fi, however, data was fine.

On that note, the phone also dropped off the 4G network to 3G and occasionally no networks, an issue I haven’t had with any other device to date. Hopefully, once Infinix does start to push their products to western markets, they’ll update the bands used in the phone for better compatibility.

The AI Quad-Cam on the back of the Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone
The AI Quad-Cam on the back of the Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone.

Call Quality

When I could make a call, I had no issues with the call quality. The other party said I sounded fine and I had no issues hear them.

Battery Life

With a 4500mAh battery, you’re getting one of the larger ones currently available in smartphones. As a result, I was able to easily get two days with average use on the device which included a mix of surfing, video watching, gaming, and checking emails. Even heavy users should have no problems getting a full day out of this phone. If you do find yourself short on power, the phone does charge back up pretty quickly, giving you 70% battery in about 30 minutes of charge with the included 33W charger.

Accessories

Not only do you get a smartphone when you purchase the Infinix ZERO 8, but you also get a clear case, earbuds, and a screen protector. All of these things are getting rarer to find with major OEMs and some are even omitting the charging block itself with their devices. In this case, you’ll be getting pretty much everything you need to use, enjoy, and protect the device right in the box.

The Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone in the included case
The Infinix ZERO 8 Android smartphone in the included case.

Price/Value

Phones are expensive these days. Flagships now cost over US$1000 in some cases. Costing about US$305/£230 (converted from 116,900 Nigerian Naira), the Infinix ZERO 8 falls under the budget to mid-range category.

Software and data reception issues aside, this smartphone does have a lot of features not normally found on budget phones. It has a pretty decent camera, long battery life, a decent 90Hz screen, plenty of RAM and storage, and facial and fingerprint biometrics.

Wrap-up

At this point, the Infinix ZERO 8 is a mixed bag for western markets. While it offers great value given the build, performance, features, and included accessories, it’s hit and miss here because of the lack of data while on mobile. If you don’t mind going data-less except on Wi-Fi and are willing to disable a bunch of boatware, this smartphone definitely offers bang for your buck.

Although this device might not be 100% ready for the western market, it does show that there is much more value for much less than we’re used to paying for smartphones out here.

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Infinix ZERO 8

US$305

Design

9.5/10

Display

9.0/10

Software

8.0/10

Performance

9.0/10

Sound Quality

7.0/10

Camera

8.5/10

Reception

5.0/10

Call Quality

10.0/10

Battery Life

10.0/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Solid premium looking design
  • Decent performance for most tasks
  • Decent, large screen
  • Huge battery with great battery life
  • 8GB RAM/128GB storage
  • Fingerprint scanner and face unlock
  • Decent camera for the price
  • Dual SIM card support
  • microSD card slot
  • Headphone jack

Needs work

  • Obnoxious software notifications, even after disabling
  • Way to many apps preinstalled, including three or four app stores
  • Single speaker gets covered in landscape mode
  • No IP rating
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