It's obvious to those that read my reviews that I'm not a fan of either Infinix or Tecno. But with the Infinix Zero 8, it seems that they have realised that 2020 is the year of the Camera phone.
Just in case you think I hate Infinix phones, here is a sample of what people say about them.
Of course you can't ignore the fact that Kenyans spend their time complaining on Facebook. Neither can you ignore the fact that one should be changing their Smartphone every 3 years and not wait until it dies.
That's one of the reasons I got interested in the new Infinix Zero 8. It's a competitor to the new Tecno 16 Premier. Hopefully, this review shall make it easier to make an informed choice.
- Chipset /iOS and Performance
- Display and Design
- Battery Life and Performance
- Camera and Video Capabilities
Things to Consider Before Buying A Mid Range Phone in Kenya
For most manufacturers, mid-range phones are their bread and butter. They have better specs than than cheap smartphones but at the same time keep costs lower. Some of the things you should consider before you buy one include:
- The Processor Type – A better processor means a better performing phone for you.
- RAM – You are likely to stay with a mid-range phone for some time. A minimum of 4GB RAM is what I would suggest. Unless, you want to spend your weekends cleaning old files.
- Battery Size – A good mid-range phone should have the battery capacity you need to do your work. In 2020, I'd suggest you take a look at phones with quick charging features.
- The Price – Price matters and at between 25k to 35k you should get a durable phone that you will take pride in.
- Brand – Yes, the brand matters. Android update frequency, user interface and brand value does matter in mid-range phones.
Choose wisely as one of the main reasons you buy a mid-range phone is longevity. It is not fun buying a ksh. 25k phone that breaks after a year. Trust me, I've been there and it's not fun.
Which brings us to the Infinix Zero 8
It's coming into an already crowded mid-range phone sector. We already have the Samsung M31, Huawei Y8p and my favorite Nokia 7.2. But I have to say, this a better offering than it's predecessors.
Infinix Zero 8 Specifications
Display: 6.85 inches 1080 x 2460 pixels | CPU: Octa-core (2×2.05 GHz Cortex-A76 + 6×2.0 GHz | RAM: 8 GB | Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB / Yes | Rear camera: 64 MP (wide) + 8 MP (ultrawide) + 2 MP (macro) + 2 MP (depth | Front camera: 48 MP, f/2.2, (wide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm | Platform: Android 10 | Battery life: Li-Po 4500 mAh, non-removable
Chipset /iOS and Performance
The Zero 8 comes with Android 10 but they have to include their custom XOS 7 skin. I don't mind an Android 10 but the XOS 7 skin can be annoying at times. The moment you turn on the phone, you get tens of notifications from apps that you will never use.
It will take you some time to set it up the way you wish to. Every app seems to come with it's own permissions settings. If you forget to to turn them off, you end up with more notifications. This can be great for people who want to seem busy. But it's a put off for those who are truly busy. In my view, those extra apps and permission settings need to go. Who knows what type of data I give access to the moment I turn it on.
Having said that, I do like the parental controls features on the phone. It's not easy controlling kids with access to phones. It allows you to setup strict gaming parameters.
It also has a clever background resource optimization scheme. This lets you select apps that you want and app that you don't want. Very handy when you need to control access to your apps.
The Infinix Zero 8 is based on a Mediatek MT6785 Helio G90T chipset. It performs very well compared to others such as Redmi Note 8 and even the Samsung A21s. That came as a surprise.
The performance of this chipset is truly a surprise. Of course you can't compare it to the higher end brands. However, if you need a phone with a smooth experience without the price tag, then it's a good choice.
Display and Design
Though it's plastic and I do hate plastic based phone, it does come with a unique design especially at the back. It's cameras have been setup in a diamond shape that looks kinda cool. But the plastic will make you keep a wiper handy. Smudges and fingerprints are part of owning the phone.
I still can't get my head around the plastic though. The camera bump requires proper placement on a surface or at least a larger than normal phone case.
Having said that, the phone feels study and easier to handle than previous Infinix phones which were the very definition of bulky. It is heavier on the lower side but that's OK seeing that it comes with better features at the price range.
It comes in different colors such as Silver Diamond, Black Diamond, and Green Diamond. Someone in the company was really stuck on the diamonds this time.
Battery Life and Performance
Inside, the 4500mAh large-capacity battery matches your pace through the day, and with its 33W SuperCharge speed, Zero 8’s battery recharges rapidly even when you only have 30 minutes to top up. #InfinixZERO8KE#VisionMaster pic.twitter.com/yzSR322Sei
— InfinixKenya (@InfinixKenya) September 7, 2020
Infinix has stuck to it's original specs. They just love huge batteries. At 4500 mAh it's not their biggest but will do very well for those who hate charging their phones. One extra cool thing is that it also has fast charging capabilities. For those who love big batteries, this is a great choice of phone.
According to GSM Arena, they weren't very impressed with the excessive battery size versus the phone perfromance
However, the flip side of the story is that the Zero 8 is clearly leaving unused battery life on the table and outright wasting it in its 90Hz mode. That's not a stab at the 90Hz mode, directly, though. It does what it is supposed to do – manually fix the refresh rate at 90Hz regardless of what is currently on screen, like a video player, playing our 24ish fps sample video GSM Arena.
In other words, better battery life does not equate to better performance. My pet peeve with these huge phones with huge batteries.
The saving grace is the 33W charger that allows you to fully charge in about an hour 20 minutes. For people like me who charge phones when asleep or in the office, it isn't that great.
However, it's a must have for those always on the go as it allows you to get to at least 50% charge in half an hour.
Camera and Video Capabilities
All their adverts are selling the camera capabilities. And unfortunately one is judged by their own words. You can't compare this to the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra but the Zero 8 has made a major step towards creating quality phones.
The phone design is not a mistake. They wanted to show that they can compete with the big brands known for camera quality. But having tested the Samsung M and A series, the phone still has some ways to go.
The Infinix Zero 8 can capture video at up to 4K@30fps on its main camera. The video as you can see below is not that great.
But for vloggers in Kenya, the selfie camera mode is great. They have done a great job with the front camera with a lot of color and auto focus. It's great for a starter phone without those huge bills from the Samsung brands.
Infinix Zero 8 Price in Kenya
Launched on August 28th 2020, the current price of the Infinix Zero 8 in Kenya is about ksh. 28500 to 29000. This is one of their most expensive phones based on it's new features.
You can check out our other other reviews of the latest smartphones in Kenya
What Comes with the Zero 8
I personally like the quick charger at 33w. But as usual Infinix goes further than other brands when it comes to accessories
- Free Wireless Ear Bud
- Free Bluetooth Speaker Black Diamond
- Ear Phone
Alternatives to the Infinix Zero 8
As stated earlier, the mid-range smartphones market in Kenya is very competitive. It's harder for brands that are known for cheap phones try to compete in the sector. There are a few great alternatives to the phone not least being the Samsung Galaxy M and A series phones
Samsung Galaxy M31s
It's hard to fault the M31s. If you really do need that extra battery power, then the 6000 mAh in the Galaxy M31s should satisfy you. They are priced in the same range but the M31s is a superior option.
The only problem is that you can only find a Dubai version in Kenya which doesn't come with a warranty.
If warranties matter to you, then stick to the Zero 8
Tecno Camon 16 Premier
This was released just 2 days before the Zero 8. The phones are exactly the same in terms of specs. No wonder as they are both owned by the same Transission holdings company. If the brand name matters to you then you have a choice between the two phones.
I am biased towards Nokia phones but this a review of the Zero 8 not a personal opinion. The Nokia 5.3 is just as good and in areas such as the camera build, 3x better. It's a study phone and comes at a lower price point. The only difference is the battery size at 4000 mAh.
But I'm sure a difference of 15 minutes in battery life won't deny you the pleasure of owning the better phone.
There is a huge improvement in the Infinix Zero 8 in Kenya over previous versions of their phones. But one can't escape that nagging feeling that there's always something left on the table by Infinix and Tecno phones.
Granted they serve a huge market for those who cannot afford higher priced phones. This would be a good phone for someone who doesn't care much about brand names and would prefer to have a smooth phones without gimmicks.
Infinix Zero 8
The Infinix Zero 8 is surprisingly a great phone that performs as well as other higher priced models. Infinix seems to have upped their game with this new phone.
- Good enough Camera
- Great Videos at a Reasonable Price
- It's an Infinix
- Too much bloat in the XOS 7 Skin
- Plastic Body