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Infinix Zero 2 Review – Get your money’s worth with this mid-range smartphone

37 min read
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Another mid-range smartphone from Infinix, Zero 2 with eight-cores clocked at 2GHz and 2GB of RAM only for Rs. 18,900/-

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Infinix is now well familiar to consumers in Pakistan unlike when the very first device from the company, Infinix Hot Note was launched in country with pretty good hardware for only rupees 12,900/- surprising many.

Infinix Zero 2 is the next smartphone recently launched in the country and has been under our trial for a couple of weeks. Infinix, just reminding, has the “factory-to-consumer” business model for selling their devices to consumers via online retailers as e-commerce is something where both the seller and buyer are having advantage of lower cost. In Pakistan, daraz.pk is all in all care taker of the customer relationship.

Overview and Specifications

Continuing on with the review, you might need to look at the detailed specifications of Infinix Zero 2

Infinix Zero 2 – Specifications

Chipset / CPU / GPU MediaTek MTK 6592 Turbo, 2GHz octa-core processor,
ARM Mali-450MP4 GPU (700MHz)
Display Size: 5.0 inch, Resolution: 720 x 1280 HD, Super AMOLED
RAM 2 GB RAM
Storage 32 GB Internal Storage
Rear Camera 13 Megapixel Camera, Large aperture (F2.0), 0.5s Auto-Focus
Samsung S5K3M2 CMOS sensor: 1.12µm pixel size.
Front Camera 5 Megapixel Front Camera
85° wider angle lens
Software Android 4.4 KitKat, Infinix User Interface v2.0
Networks / Connectivity 2G: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
3G: 900/2100 MHz
WiFi, WiFi Hotspot,USB, BluetoothTM 4.0
Sensors G-sensor, Light sensor, Proximity Sensor, Hall sensor
Battery / Power 2300 mAh
Dimensions / Weight 145mm x 71.5mm x 6.5mm / 118 grams
Color Options Milan Black, Purple Red and Golden
Price Rs. 18,900/- (Pakistani rupees)

Unboxing

As far as now there is no retail store handling Infinix sales, daraz.pk is the only online store where you can buy Infinix Zero 2 for PKR 18,900/- in Pakistan for now.

Earlier to this review, we have done the unboxing session of Infinix Zero 2 with our very first impressions about the device. If interested, you can check how the Infinix Zero 2 gets delivered to you and how well it’s packed in. However following is what comes within the sales package.

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Box Content:

  • The device: Infinix Zero 2 X509.
  • A stereo headset.
  • A micro USB cable for data connectivity and charging.
  • A Charger with two types of connector plugs.
  • An eject tool for SIM / microSD card slots.
  • User guides and safety manual.

Hardware and Design

Infinix Zero 2 is powered up by MediaTek SoC which have been used commonly in cheaper smartphones in Asian markets mostly just like some major smartphone brands also have used MediaTek hardware in a few of their entry-level and mid-range smartphone models including Gionee, Alcatel, Lenovo, Meizu, Xiaomi, Huawei, HTC etc.

It’s MediaTek MT6592 that comes packed in the Infinix Zero 2. However this is the same chipset that came in Hot Note, but the CPU in Zero 2 is clocked at 2GHz – the maximum of MT6592 SoC unlike 1.4GHz in Hot Note. Mali-450 graphics processor is on-board with Zero 2 clocked at 700MHz. They also call it a “true octa-core” platform with the energy efficient ARM Cortex-A7 processor. For more extent, this 28nm chip packs with the eight low-power Cortex-A7 cores.

2 GB of RAM in Zero 2 is also a plus point with this mid-range device in the price tag we are having on it. That’s just what on paper we have but it actually has performed better in our regular usage. The benchmark score is due and will be covered after the break.

Coming over to the design and the outer fit of Infinix Zero 2, it’s good to be fit in your hand.

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5 inch screen is still not best practically for single handed use. But it’s not been very common now when you will be operating your touch screen smartphone with single hand. 5″ display is pretty standard now and widely acceptable.

Considering the on-screen navigation keys, the blank space on the front-bottom (under the display) could have been avoided to make it little smaller and to provide more compact handling. In my opinion, unused blank spaces don’t give a good impression however it’s not too bad either on Zero2.

Weighing only 118 grams it’s impressively light carrying on with its slim profile.

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Infinix Zero 2 is built up with aluminium bezel frame/body which definitely is solid but unfortunately, the color on the body is easy to peel off with something sharp. You sure will be needing to buy a cover to protect it. A single drop on the solid surface may also hit it hard.

To make the device slimmer, lighter and probably tougher, the back of the phone is made of the synthetic fiber – Kevlar. It has been used commonly in sports equipment, tyres and other consumer products for its light weight and high resistance. It’s very rare in smartphones – one such phone is the Motorola DROID Ultra.

Kevlar fiber is ultra flexible, highly resistant and 5 times lighter than steel. Commonly used for innovative industry, Kevlar is highly valued for its toughness and can endure high temperature (150 to 160 degree). Kevlar has many applications, ranging from bicycle tires and racing sails to body armor because of its high tensile strength-to-weight ratio; by this measure it is 5 times stronger than steel.

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Specially when in phones, it’s one of the best materials to hold in your hands. Its matte finish supports it to not slip from hands. It’s light in weight but rather tougher than most phones built with plastic. In first impressions, Zero 2 can impress anyone.

If you by chance have seen Infinix Hot Note, the Zero 2 is of course smaller, slimmer and lighter smartphone. Just to take a quick shot of difference, check both of them side by side below.

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Components, Controls, Ports and Slots:

Front side of the phone hosts a couple of common components you will see in any smartphone. 5 megapixels front-facing camera alongside the proximity and ambient light sensors. In the middle top we have the earpiece.

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Infinix Zero 2 does not equip with the capacitive hardware navigation keys. You will get those on-screen which takes its space from the full HD resolution of the phone 720×1280 giving you a little lower resolution vertically for the display in most apps. Full screen apps or games will take full resolution hiding the navigation keys.

Viewing at the top, we have a 3.5 mm audio jack on the left along side the micro USB port on its right.

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At the bottom side, we have two speaker grills. One of them is just empty while the speaker output is only from one grill. Of course it’s to justify the visual elements to keep things aligned, a single wider grill in the center could also have been better.

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Right side of the device hosts the power key and the volume rocker. The micro SD card slot is also provided on the right side. Likewise the SIM card slot is provided on the left side of the device.

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You can use both the SIMs and a microSD card simultaneously as both have their dedicated slots.

The back of the phone is secure and fixed, you can not remove the battery or replace it while SIM and memory card are handled in the slots given at the sides of the device as shown above.

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There is 13 megapixels camera on the top-left corner of the phone with an LED flash beneath it. “Infinix” brand name is there in the upper half with the model name “Zero” below on the back

Display:

Infinix Zero 2 sports a 5″ Super AMOLED display with HD resolution of 720×1280 pixels. The display provides vivid colors and high contrast ratio for which outdoor visibility gets also impressive. Viewing angles are also impressive at normal brightness – thanks to Super AMOLED.

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In general when you talk about resolution, 720p on displays is not considered up to the mark now a days but mostly the main factor is overlooked – pixels density. The resolution alone does not effect the clarity of a display. It depends on the size of the display. 5″ display with 720p resolution gives you the pixels density of 294 PPI on Zero 2 which is much better in its price tag.

Plus, Zero 2 also features Gorilla Glass 3 on the display for secure and smooth performance to your touch.

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You will have features for the display when used with accessories like smart view cover or holster.

With the display, it can satisfy most of you with no question.

Software and Operating System:

Infinix Zero 2 runs on Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS with customized Infinix User Interface version 2 which is only custom skins, the notification/switches resembling the Huawei EMUI 2. Custom icons on home screen and launcher etc. To impress someone, this UI is not that thing to compare with others. That’s the same thing I said for Hot Note. Zero 2 comes with version 2 but I hardly see a difference from the one came with Hot Note.

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I want to mention here that the buyer will have access to the Infinix forums where Infinix users will have option to get in touch discussing issues or about software updates. There is a development team announcing about the development for the devices. So Infinix Zero 2 has already an Android 5 Lollipop OS build for consumers who want to update their devices.

Thing to tell is that, you won’t be isolated with the stock ROM on the Infinix device if you buy one. In the trial period, I got a couple OTA updates too. That means the phone maker is actually busy building consumer connections after the sales.

And due to AMOLED display, you will experience dark themes all around such as settings, notifications, shortcut switches.

Lock Screen, Home Screen and App Drawer

As told above with little customized skins, these main elements are just not more than standard lock and home screen along with an app drawer.

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Customization & Multitasking

Following shows the home screen customization which is initiated via the menu key where you can set wallpapers add/remove widgets on the home screens. The screen at the right is the multitasking view to bring up an app from background or terminate the app by slide aside.

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Notifications & Switches

Notifications menu from top is also skinned a little bit along side the switches to the right.

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Settings & Phone Information

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Dual SIM Operation/Switching

Due to the dual SIM nature of this smartphone the user interface, to me, is not as brilliantly designed as it could have been. You always have to choose your SIM card before making a phone call. Or at the most you can set a default SIM card for your outgoing calls. However making a new call is fine by always choosing a SIM card to call from or using a preset default SIM card. But when calling back someone you would most probably want to call from the same number you received the call on, which is not an option by the software.

The same goes for text messages as, with no doubt, you will want to reply back from the number you received a text message on. Instead, the user interface will always prompt you to choose a SIM card to send/reply to the message – well presetting the default sender SIM option is not reliable either as it will always use the default SIM card for your outgoing text messages even when you have received a text on the other SIM card. That will be annoying for both you and the peer you are having discussion with. Check the screens under the Calls and Messages below.

At least what you can do, is to bind specific contacts to either of the SIMs. In that case if you are texting or calling such a contact, you will still see a prompt to choose a SIM card to initiate the function but the bound SIM card will be tagged or highlighted to notify you about the binding of that contact.

SIM Management

Activate/deactivate a SIM. Set default/preferred SIM for voice, video messages or data connection. Bind SIM to specific contacts.

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Contacts & Calls

Contacts list interface, Dial pad with the recent call log. Select SIM to initiate call with if not preset as default.

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Smart dialing is available just like in any other Android smartphone.

Text Messaging

Simple threaded interface of discussions. Compose text message. Select source SIM to send message with if not preset as default.

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Camera User Interface

Camera UI is rather similar to the most Android devices with most common options to choose from. You can set exposure value (-3 to +3), white balance (auto, incandescent, daylight, fluorescent, cloudy, twilight, shade) and the ISO sensitivity from (auto, 100 to 800). ISO is something unusual to be only limited to 800 unlike mostly Android phones have 1600 maximum ISO sensitivity. Infinix Hot Note as well had 1600 at maximum leaving me curious to know the reason.

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Taking still shots, provides you with the features like Face detection, a gesture – wave hand to capture and self timer of 2 seconds and 10 seconds. Some pre-defined settings are available with scene modes (auto, night, sunset, party, portrait, landscape, night portrait, theater, beach, snow, steady photo, fireworks, sports, candle light). Continuous shots have options up to 40 or 99 at once.

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Daydream

Android’s daydream feature is there for enhanced screensaver mode.

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Wake Gestures

This is “Quick start” feature in Hot Note, a set of short handles to wake the screen, unlock it and then launch the assigned app. It’s that you draw a letter on the screen while the device is in sleep mode, the device screen turns on, unlocks the device and launch the app instantly.

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Unlike Hot Note, these gestures are are turned off by default. You can set available letters to some apps as you want.

Note: that if you have set the security on lock screen such as a PIN code, the Wake gestures will wait on the screen for you to provide the PIN code and then launch the app.

Camera

13 megapixels primary camera captures images at both wide (16:9) and standard (4:3) aspect ratios. Result is good and above average unlike many mid-range phones out there.

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When taking shots, it’s good outdoors with bright sunlight but as well the indoor shots produced impressively low-noise considering its camera specifications and price of the phone. It’s quick and image detail is also not bad for the price. Focusing was fast but had some issue which bothered me a lot as it keeps refocusing with a really minor movements.

Outdoor partly cloudy

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Outdoor low-light

Infinix Zero 2 Outdoor (low-light)

Indoor without Flash

Following shot were taken with auto ISO (left) and manual ISO 200 (right). The digital noise is unexpectedly and impressively low. When auto, the system used ISO 415 with exposure time 1/33th of the second which is stable without camera-shake. However, to reduce the noise even further with manual ISO 200, the camera had to be steady enough as the shutter speed went down to 1/12th of the second. Even though the noise reduced but you can see a little shake making the image blur when looking at the 100% crops.

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Full resolution shots below. Click image to view or download.

Infinix Zero 2 Indoor (no-flash) Infinix Zero 2 Indoor (no-flash)

Flash or No Flash

For indoor or low-light, to capture near objects you have an LED flash on the phone is not impressive as well as no one can depend on this thing. It will always throw the light on the object as much as it wants randomly with no clue what does it calculate before taking the shot and how does it set the values. Following flash shot (on right) is one lucky image from a few taken.

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HDR performance

HDR performance is also pretty impressive with dynamic range and vivid color output but the image comes with increased digital noise. Check following images side by side as the phone reserves the normal image as well as provides HDR processed enhanced image too.

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(Left: normal, Right: HDR – Click on the image to see full resolution)

As the phone captures more than one image to create an HDR image so the drawback is that the phone has to be steady as well as the object is not moving in your frame or your frame should not have a prominent object. Or otherwise you will have your object shaking as well as some pretty good colors.

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(Left: normal, Right: HDR – Click on the image to see full resolution)

Considering the price point, we believe the camera results are really good.

Performance

The Infinix Zero 2 comes with an ARM Octa-core processor on MediaTek MTK 6592 Turbo chipset clocked at 2GHz along with the Mali-450MP4 GPU clocked at 700MHz. Zero 2 bundles with 2GB of RAM. These things actually make Zero 2 a real contender in its price range.

Using it for quite a few weeks as a primary device worked flawlessly with anything we tried on it. Surfing the internet on web browser or via social apps was pretty regular and it didn’t fail on it. Games, when tried on earlier handset Hot Note with 1.4GHz and 1GB of RAM – Modern Combat 5, Mortal Kombat X and Asphalt 8 as well as Subway Surfer, were quite impressive. On Zero 2 with 2GHz and 2GB of RAM, it sure will give even smooth performance, we believe. The phone never showed me its lagging side anywhere anytime.

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If you are a fan of looking on the numbers then checkout the benchmark results below from various benchmark apps.

AnTuTu 5.7.1

Score: 35166

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Geekbench 3

Score: 487 (single-core), 2511 (multi-core)

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Basemark OS II & Basemark X 1.1

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Battery Performance

Infinix Zero 2 does not equip with a giant battery like Hot Note but only offers 2300mAh capacity. On normal usage as primary phone with both the SIM cards active where one on 3G and WiFi always on – the phone spent easily up to 2 days. However video playback and gaming takes a lot from battery and it may also be drained with 15 to 20 hours.

Stock charger can charge the battery from 0 to 100% within 2 hours. This is quite good with the phone to spend at least a day with you with one full charge. So there should not be any objection with the battery.

On the positive note, the phone offers normal power saving and ultra power saving to extend the battery life even further in rare/urgent cases.

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Conclusion & Verdict

Everything, we could possibly, is written above but to wrap up our final remarks let’s short it down. Sharp and vivid display is quite impressive with Super AMOLED delivering impressive quality both indoors and outdoors. HD resolution with 5″ display is also not bad – you won’t get better than this for the listed price. The display performance is better amongst the devices within the price range. Gorilla Glass 3 on top of the display is also a plus point.

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No objections with 2GB of RAM phone that also comes with 32GB of internal storage. MediaTek chipset with Octa-core processor does not match the performance by current Qualcomm’s flagship processors but for the price it’s much capable to what previous expensive Qualcomm’s flagships could do. Simply, forget the numbers and don’t compare – for the price you get impressive performance with Zero 2. Main camera quality is also not bad.

Design is compact, sleek and actually feels premium. However, the color on top of the aluminium body doesn’t feel so protected and can easily be peeled off by something sharp. User Interface is just not appreciable and can not be recommended. It depends however – if you are not so keen to have brilliant Android user interface, Zero 2 won’t let you feel bad with it.

Before you make your mind, be noted that Infinix still doesn’t have customer centers in Pakistan and only sells the devices online at daraz.pk. While it does worth buying if you have a plan to buy some mid-range phone, you may want to clear things up with daraz.pk before you buy it.

Do let us know about this review, does it make your concerns answered? You can still ask your questions in the comments below, we’ll try to get you the answers.

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