Just when we thought Infinix Mobility were done for 2015 when they announced and introduced much cacophonised Infinix Hot Note 2, code named “Infinix Big 6”. We were “shokied” when they announced and launched the Zero 3. Infinix and TECNO have given the big names a run for their money. They did it so well that the big boys are now long-throating to the mid range market while Infinix and TECNO are now doing the reverse.
– Solid build with metal frame and Hybrid metal/Glass back
– Corning Gorilla Glass 3
– 4G LTE
– Micro SD expansion up to 128GB
– Excellent and exhilarating camera
– Value for money
– Thin and lightweight
– Full HD screen
– HIFI speaker
– Non-removable battery
– No earpiece in the sales box
– Occasional heating
– Poor speaker location
– Front flashlight may cause night blandness
– Occasional bugs
See complete specifications HERE. And now, to the Zero 3 user review proper.
The Infinix Zero 3 user review
The Infinix Zero 3 is made up of what I call a hybrid metal/glass material with a solid metal frame protected by a tough Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The protection is tough because I put the screen to test by deliberately dropping it from a 6-metre height above ground level face down, and it survived like a champ.
Infinix continued with the rectangular blunt unibody shape that the Zeroes are known for. They succeeded in shaving off a few millimetres from the width of the Zero 3, which translates to a thinner device. It is lightweight too despite its 3030 mAh battery. The device has a larger bezel, larger than the Infinix Hot Note by a bit, yet its handling is satisfactory thanks to its blunt edge and light weight plus the Oraimo pouch that came with it. The micro SD slot, volume keys and the power button are well placed and within the comfortable reach.
The 3.3mm headphone jack and mico USB port type B is found at the bottom left. A notification LED light that changes from green to red is positioned in the ear piece. The single Hi-Fi speaker is placed at the lower end of the rear side. The dual micro SIM slot can be located on almost the Top left side of the device.
The Infinix Zero 3 comes with a 5.5 inch IPS display with a Full HD screen (1080 x 1920) resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 401 PPI. The large display size makes it a great device for movie and game lovers, as well as for web browsing. The device is a bit larger and taller than the infinix Hot Note. The IPS screen gives you a great viewing angle. Sunlight legibility is normal provided you are on auto screen light or at mid or fullest. Still, even at that, it cant compete with the almighty Samsung super AMOLED screens in terms of vibrancy , colour saturation and outdoor visibility. You will appreciate the Full HD on this device. It results in a fantastic display experience when reading on the lowest screen brightness (provided you are indoor).
The Infinix Zero 3 is a champ in terms of processor type and speed. The device comes with the MediaTek flagship processor Helio X10 (MT6795) clocked @ 2.1 GHz speed. It is backed by what I call the obsolete Power Vr Rogue G6200 graphics processor and 3GB RAM. My unit is the 16GB ROM variant. It handles anything you throw at it. The user experience is super smooth, and expectedly so, due to its processor and clock speed. I never felt any lag while opening or operating any app.
I am not a gaming fan or lover on a mobile device so I couldn’t tell how it holds during gaming. But my gut says this champ will handle almost any 3D game effectively. Antutu v 6.0 score is 43,574.
The device is equipped with a 20.7mp camera with a Sony IMX230 CMOS sensor. This is the same sensor found in the Motorola Moto X. Expectedly, it shoots awesome pictures most especially in day light or a well-lit environment. In poorly lit or dark environment the flash does a good job in most cases. However, it tends to overexpose the background occasionally due to its strong back and front flashlight. Stay away from the front camera at night when using the flash light: you may go blind cumulatively when snapping a selfie at night with it on.
You have an array of modes to toy with in the camera app, ranging from the beauty mode to the professional mode, normal, night, panorama and one PIP. You can play with the ISO setting in the professional mode. There is no OIS but there is PDAF. All in all, the pre-release hype about the camera seems justified and I must confess this device’s camera will give the biggest boys a run for their money.
I also compared the camera quality with the almighty camera-centric TECNO Camon C8. The Infinix Zero 3 trumped the Camon C8 both in daylight and low light environments, thanks to the sensor and its higher megapixel count. In the following comparison shots, the Zero 3 is always on top:
Loudspeaker and Audio
The Hi-Fi loudspeaker is WOW and compelling enough for me to juxtapose it with that of the famous HTC series Boom speaker. The Zero 3 comes with no ear piece in the box (only Infinix Mobility can explain why), but I tested the Byte One Tab headset with it and the sound produced was absolutely awesome. I have my Ayinla Omowura songs on replay, thanks to Infinix Mobility.
The Infinix Zero 3 runs on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with Infinix’s custom interface called XUI. It is almost stock Android, with the exception of the arrays of changing wallpapers and themes. There is a pre-installed app for changing the font. I dislike the fact that I cant stop the wallpapers from changing as I believe its really telling on the battery life of the device.
I also discovered a bug: the inadvertent mode occasionally kicks in when not in the pocket or covered. Occasionally, the device warms up, especially during charging and when the Hotspot or Wi-Fi is enabled. Hopefully, future firmware upgrade will be provided to quench this bugs. There is also a feedback app which I applaud Infinix for. There are some bloatware, some of which are removable and some non-removable.
The internal storage of this variant is 16 GB. It was disappointing too that not everything is available to the user. Thankfully, you have micro SD expansion up to 128GB.
The device comes with a non-removable lithium ion 3030 mAh battery. The phone supports fast charging provided you use the charger that it is sold with.
Before the launch of the Zero 3, on Infinix Mobility’s Facebook page, I had cried foul of the device battery capacity in view of the Helio X10, the clock speed, and the FHD Screen. How a tech rookie and novice like myself could identify this flaw and Infinix’s tech gurus couldn’t is beyond me.
From a 100% charge, with HSDPA active, screen brightness set to Auto, plus consistent browsing and the occasional phone call, the battery endures for just 2hrs 20min before it sharply drops to 46%. This falls short of the admirable 5hrs 30min endurance performed by my former device, Infinix Hot Note. The Zero 3’s power hungry processor, reduced battery capacity, plus FHD screen are responsible. While there are awesome power management bouquets, you will have to sacrifice some things when you use them. It is simple to understand that these are one of the avenues Infinix Mobility cut cost. Still, in my opinion, thumbs down to Infinix Mobility here.
The device is 4G LTE enabled but it doesn’t support Smile 4G LTE network band 20 (800mhz). Whether it supports the other obtainable 4G service (Spectranet) in the country, I was unable to determine.
Amazingly, the device doesn’t support dual 4G/3G. Yes; amazingly, because my previous devices (TECNO H7, Infinix Hot Note) offered that with aplomb and they are not premium devices. Again cost cutting was prevalent here. Call quality is normal. During calls, the other party is crystal clear. 3G browsing is fast. I am berserk here also because common sense requires Infinix Mobility to have researched the obtainable 4G networks in this country before they release any 4G device here.
I got the device for N46,000 on queue at 3C Hub, Ikeja. For all its worth, the pricing for this device got me and kudos to infinix mobility on this. The price was a competitive one, largely due to the fact that the device was a direct response to the more premium TECNO Phantom 5.
Infinix Zero 3 user review: Verdict
This wonderfully crafted device is a combination of premium and value for money. The materials used and its simplicity bring forth immense beauty second to the Elephone M2, and perhaps also the TECNO Phantom 5 and other beautiful crafted metallic devices. It has its flaws, but its advantages outweigh though.
If you want a device that screams premium like the popular flagships in terms of performance, camera, and design but that doesn’t need you to break the bank, get this. But if you want an enigmatic device whose battery lasts like the Infinix Hot Note et al, take to your heels. I mean, run away like you suspect Anthrax or Ebola.
It is clear that Infinix have not learned from their mistake on original Zero – substituting battery life for design and other petty qualities – despite the endemic epileptic power supply that Nigeria is plagued with. But again, we cannot have it all. Other industry big boys make the same trade-offs too. Whether this device will stand the test of time and bring success to Infinix mobility like its predecessors is something that only time will/can tell.