The premium, mid-range smartphone segment in India has seen a surge in the number of launches lately. Most smartphone companies have launched new options around Rs. 30,000, which is considered to be the new entry-point for premium devices. Infinix, a company known for its budget and mid-range smartphones in India, has launched its first premium smartphone in the country.
The Infinix Zero Ultra packs some big numbers on paper that tries to justify its price tag of Rs. 36,999. What really matters though is if the phone offers good value based on how it performs in the real world. Should you look past the established premium players and pick the Infinix Zero Ultra 5G instead? We help you decide.
Infinix Zero Ultra 5G price in India
The Infinix Zero Ultra 5G has been launched as a single variant in India. The phone has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage and is priced at Rs. 36,999 on Flipkart. The phone is available in two colours, Genesis Noir and Coslight Silver.
Infinix Zero Ultra 5G design and display
The Genesis Noir colour of the Infinix Zero Ultra stands out as it looks different from most other phones in the market. The rear panel has a dual-tone and dual-texture design. Majority of the rear panel is made of glass and has a glossy finish, which attracts many fingerprints. The right portion has, what looks like, vegan or faux leather but feels like rubberised plastic to the touch.
This does aid in offering better grip while playing games or simply holding the phone. The phone is slightly on the heavier side and weighs 213g. It is also quite thick at 9.16mm. While the design is mostly subjective, I would prefer the Coslight Silver colour which looks a lot more premium.
The plastic frame is curved on the sides and flat at the top and bottom. This design reminds me of the Vivo X80 Pro (Review) and many other Vivo X-series smartphones. You get the power and volume buttons on the right side, which are quite easy to reach and offer good feedback. At the bottom, there is the primary speaker grille, a dual-SIM tray and a USB Type-C port.
One of the highlight features of the Infinix Zero Ultra 5G is its 6.8-inch curved-edge AMOLED display. Since the bezels at the top and bottom are fairly thin, the multimedia experience is quite immersive. You do get WideVine L1 certification for HD video playback in apps such as Netflix, but the lack of HDR10 support is a bummer.
That being said, the full-HD+ screen is plenty bright and did not give me any trouble while using the phone outdoors, during the day. I also did not experience any accidental touches due to the curved display as the frame is thick enough to offer room to rest your fingers while playing games in landscape mode.
There is support for a up to 120Hz refresh rate for a smoother scrolling experience. You get three refresh rate options such as the standard 60Hz if you want to save battery life or you can set it to 120Hz. The third option automatically switches between 60Hz and 120Hz, depending on the on-screen content.
A few things that are missing in the Infinix Zero Ultra 5G are an IP rating or any mention of a scratch-resistant glass over the display.
Infinix Zero Ultra 5G specifications and software
The Infinix Zero Ultra 5G has a MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC. The 6nm chipset is a predecessor to the now-widely used MediaTek Dimensity 1080 SoC found in phones such as the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G (Review) and the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G (Review). The Infinix Zero Ultra 5G also packs a 4,500mAh battery and supports 180W fast charging out of the box. The device has 12 5G bands in India and offers connectivity options such as Wi-Fi 6, USB Type-C 2.0, Bluetooth, FM radio, etc.
Software is where the phone lags behind the competition. The Infinix Zero Ultra 5G runs Android 12-based XOS 12.0. The company has promised to provide the Android 13 update, which will be the only major software update that it will get. In addition to this, users will get software support for two years. While this itself is disappointing, the phone was still on the November 2022 Android security patch at the time of publishing this review.
To make matters unpleasant, the software experience is not very good either. Palm Store, which is the company’s native app store, spams you with frequent notifications. The user interface too does not feel as premium and is filled with many Infinix apps such as Visha Player, XArena, XClub, XShare Mini, etc.
XOS 12.0 does offer many features such as floating windows, sidebar shortcuts and personalisation options. You get options for customising the theme, Always-on Display, and changing wallpapers. It also supports Android 12’s privacy indicators whenever an app uses the camera or microphone.
The one suggestion I would like to give Infinix would be to stick to the standard naming scheme for common parameters such as the battery in the Settings app. XOS 12.0, for reasons unknown, calls it Power Marathon. Such non-familiar terms, in my opinion, might be suitable for marketing at best, but any regular user would simply want to search for “Battery” settings.
The gallery app is also called AI Gallery instead of just Gallery. Normally, apps are placed in alphabetical order in the app drawer which makes it easy to find what you’re looking for, but that’s not the case here. It’s not a major issue once you get used to Infinix’s software terminology but it’s definitely a learning process if you’re coming from any other Android phone.
Infinix Zero Ultra 5G performance and battery
The Infinix Zero Ultra 5G does the job well for basic, day-to-day tasks. Be it switching between or loading apps and playing games, the phone is powerful enough for most use cases. I did not experience any major lag or stutter while playing Call of Duty: Mobile with ‘High’ graphics and ‘Very High’ framerate settings.
However, the phone is not the best option for those who want something that can handle intense gaming sessions for hours on end. For the price, phones such as the OnePlus 10R 5G (Review) and iQoo Neo 6 (Review) would be better for gaming. In fact, even the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ and Realme 10 Pro+ are much cheaper and offer better value when it comes to raw performance.
In the AnTuTu benchmark, the Infinix Zero Ultra 5G scored 4,76,451 points. The phone also scored 773 points and 2204 points in Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core tests. While the Infinix Zero Ultra 5G scored better than the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G in both these tests, the phone lagged behind the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G.
Battery life is also an area where the phone is not the best one out there. The average screen-on time (SoT) was just above seven hours. This could be due to the software not being optimised well enough or due to the large display. In our HD video loop test, the device lasted for 12 hours and 26 minutes, which is quite less. In comparison, the Realme 10 Pro+ 5G lasted for 19 hours and 43 minutes, whereas the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G came in second with 15 hours and 23 minutes of runtime. I did expect the Infinix Zero Ultra 5G to offer better battery life, given its specs.
The Infinix Zero Ultra 5G makes up for the not-so-good battery life with its fast charging experience. Thanks to the 180W charger, the device managed to charge from 1 to 50 percent in just 5 minutes, and was fully charged within 15 minutes. The company claims that with the ‘Furious Mode’ toggle enabled in the battery settings, users can charge the battery in just 12 minutes. Without Furious mode, the phone charged from 1 to 100 percent in 23 minutes, which is still very fast.
Infinix Zero Ultra 5G cameras
The Infinix Zero Ultra 5G is now the third smartphone in India to feature a 200-megapixel primary camera sensor with optical stabilisation (OIS). It also comes with a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, the phone has a 32-megapixel front camera.
The camera setup looks solid on paper but there is room for improvement in real-world usage. In HDR shots, the colours tend to get boosted quite a bit in order to retain overall details. There is also noticeable colour fringing in some areas of HDR images.
When there is no harsh light in the frame, the primary camera offers a good balance of colours and details. In night mode, the 1/1.22-inch sensor struggles to expose the shadows well. There are times when the night sky looks sort of blue and not greyish-black in night mode images. Also, the phone takes a few seconds longer to capture and process images shot in the “200MP” mode and night mode.
Images shot using the ultra-wide camera has a warmer tone and distorted edges. The dynamic range is decent but there is a noticeable lack of details around the edges of the images.
Samples from the front camera taken with the standard AI Cam mode are closest to how I look in real life. Selfies clicked using the Beauty and Portrait modes made my skin look too smooth and a touch fairer. That’s probably the purpose of the Beauty mode but I feel Portrait mode should avoid artificial skin smoothening by default. Edge detection also needs some improvement as the software tended to blur out my ear and hair in Portrait mode shots.
In terms of video recording, the Infinix Zero Ultra 5G can capture up to 4K 30 fps using the main rear camera. The front camera supports 1080p 30fps video recording. I found the overall video performance to be quite average. The camera captures good details and close to accurate colours but dynamic range performance needs to improve.
By now, you must have already realised from this review that the Infinix Zero Ultra 5G has its fair share of flaws. The smartphone scores well for design, display size, and fast charging experience. The 200-megapixel camera could use better optimisation to get the best results. While the 180W fast charging is super quick, actual battery life is not as good. There’s no Android 13 either and while the update is expected, there is no confirmation of when that will happen. Unless you want a phone that charges fully in in 15 minutes, there are better performing options in this price range.
All in all, I think the Infinix Zero Ultra is a hard sell for Rs 36,999 as other options such as the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ 5G or the iQoo Neo 6 offer a better experience and cost a lot less.