Infinix has been launching new phones at a rather fast pace. We have recently seen new models in the Hot and the Note series and now there is a new smartphone called the Infinix Zero 8i. The slightly amusing name aside, the Zero 8i packs in some impressive specifications on paper. You get a MediaTek Helio G90T processor, 8GB of RAM, 90Hz refresh rate for the display, 48-megapixel quad-camera setup, and a starting price of just Rs 15,999. So do all these specifications translate to good real-world performance? We review the Infinix Zero 8i to find out.
The Infinix Zero 8i is a tall smartphone, and the big 6.85-inch display makes single-handed use a little tricky. Reaching the top of the screen requires a quick shuffle in the hand. Infinix has gone with a dual selfie camera setup embedded in the top left corner. The Zero 8i isn't thick, and the curved sides make it comfortable to hold. Infinix has put the fingerprint scanner on the power button which is slowly becoming the norm these days even for budget smartphones. The positioning of the fingerprint scanner is convenient but I can't say the same about the volume buttons which are on the same side.
There is a selfie flash towards the top of the display, which is neatly hidden from sight. I could only spot it when it was active. The SIM tray is on the left side of the Zero 8i while the top of the frame is bare. At the bottom, it has a USB Type-C port, 3.5mm audio jack, and loudspeaker. Turn the phone around and the diamond-shaped camera module will draw your attention. This module sits in the center towards the top and is slightly raised, causing the smartphone to rock when placed on a flat surface. The Zero 8i is available in two colours, Silver Diamond, and Black Diamond. I had the former for this review and I liked the matte finish on the back.
I found the Infinix Zero 8i to be a little too heavy, tipping the scales at 210g. It packs in a 4,500mAh battery which is below the average battery capacity that you get at this price point. The Infinix Zero 8i is capable of 33W fast charging but ships with an 18W charger in the box.
Like I said at the start of the review, the spec sheet of the Infinix Zero 8i is quite interesting. You get a big 6.85-inch full-HD+ display with a 20.5:9 aspect ratio and a fast refresh rate of 90Hz. The display is set to 90Hz by default but you do have the option to switch it to 60Hz or set it to Auto. Infinix has picked the MediaTek Helio G90T processor which is a bit dated now and was last seen powering the likes of the Redmi Note 8 Pro (Review) and the Realme 6 (Review). What's more interesting is that Infinix has paired it with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. The Helio G90T is a gaming processor, and Infinix claims it has used liquid cooling to keep thermals in check. You get a triple-slot tray on the Infinix Zero 8i to accommodate dual Nano-SIMs and a microSD card.
In terms of the software, the Zero 8i runs XOS 7 on top of Android 10. My unit had the October Android security patch which is dated at this point. The UI seems very familiar and I did not have issues finding my way around. There's a Game Mode that disables automatic brightness and prevents the phone from switching between your data network and Wi-Fi to prevent issues. It also has a game anti-addiction feature that sends you a notification if you play for too long. There is a parental control setting as well which lets you lock any game after a set amount of time.
There is a fair amount of bloatware that comes preinstalled on the Infinix Zero 8i. I found a few third-party games and apps as well as the Theme app by Infinix and an app called Palm Store which looks like an alternative to the Play Store. I found these two apps to be spammy as they kept sending suggestions.
The Infinix Zero 8i has a fast fingerprint scanner, and the device needs just a tap on the power button to unlock itself. Face recognition was also quick, and did not require more than one attempt. The big display on the Zero 8i makes content engaging and I enjoyed streaming video on it. Stereo speakers would have enhanced the overall experience, but this feature is missing. I found the display brightness to be adequate but the surface of it is reflective. With the Zero 8i set to the faster 90Hz refresh rate by default the UI felt snappy. I did not have to wait for long for apps to load, and multitasking was a breeze
I ran benchmarks on the Infinix Zero 8i to see how it fares compared to some of the other smartphones available at the same price today. In AnTuTu, the phone managed 289,887 points. It scored 529 and 1703 points in Geekbench 5's single-core and multi-core tests respectively. The Zero 8i also managed 26fps and 15fps respectively in GFXBench's Manhattan 3.1 and Car Chase tests.
Call of Duty Mobile was quick to load and ran at the High settings by default for both graphics and frame rate, without any issues. After playing the game for 15 minutes I noticed a 6 percent battery drop and only the top of the smartphone was barely warm to the touch. The Zero 8i manages gaming well, but a bigger battery would have been better for people who intend to spend a lot of time playing games each day.
The Infinix Zero 8i offered decent battery life. With my usage pattern I was able to get through a full day, and only needed to charge it the next day. In our HD video loop test the phone went on for 16 hours and 45 minutes which is acceptable given the battery capacity. Infinix offers 33W fast charging support on the Zero 8i but you only get an 18W charger in the box. Using this, the smartphone charged to 33 percent in 30 minutes and got to 68 percent in an hour.
The Infinix Zero 8i has a quad-camera setup with a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel depth sensor which Infinix calls a “bokeh lens”, and a low-light sensor which is referred to as an “AI lens”. You can take macro shots with the Infinix Zero 8i using the ultra-wide-angle camera. For selfies, there's a 16-megapixel primary camera and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera. The camera app is pretty basic and easy to use. I also found the AI to be quick to detect any scene and set the phone up for it.
Daylight shots taken with the Zero 8i were average. Objects nearby had decent detail but the phone did not capture detail well for objects farther away. Photos taken using the ultra-wide angle camera had a slightly different colour tone and lacked detail as well. The camera app has distortion correction enabled by default which is useful.
For close-up shots, the camera occasionally struggled to focus where I wanted it to. Photos appeared good as is, but magnifying them revealed that the output isn't very sharp. Portraits were good enough and had good edge detection. You do get the option to set the level of blur before taking a shot. You can get higher-resolution shots from the wide-angle camera than you would with the dedicated macro cameras on most phones, but the details are still strictly average.
Low-light shots were average and lacked detail. After enabling Night mode, the quality did improve but it takes about four seconds to capture a shot and there was still visible grain on zooming in.
Selfies taken with the primary front camera had good detail., The wide-angle selfie camera offers a wider field of view but does not match the primary one in terms of quality. You can take selfie portraits as well, and I found edge detection to be quite good. Low-light selfies were good and the selfie light does come in handy when shooting in dimly lit areas.
Video recording tops out at 4K for the primary front and rear cameras. Footage shot at 4K wasn't stabilised, and but 1080p video did still have visible shakes. There is an Ultra Steady mode that helps stabilise footage, but it had a visible shimmer effect in lowlight.
The Infinix Zero 8i packs some interesting hardware which does help it deliver good performance. The MediaTek Helio G90T is a capable processor, and paired with 8GB of RAM there are very few things that can slow it down. Even the 90Hz display plays a role in making the overall user experience smooth.
However, the Zero 8i does have a couple of shortcomings which could make potential buyers think twice. The first one has to be the software; there's a lot of bloatware preinstalled and some of the stock apps push spammy notifications, which is disappointing. Battery capacity is decent but if you are a heavy user looking to game often, this phone might need frequent changing. Finally, if you want better cameras as well as better battery life at this price level, you could take a look at the Realme 7 (Review) and the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max (Review) as possible alternatives.