Infinix Mobility has been making waves this first quarter of the year with their new line of mid-range smartphones with the Infinix Zero 4 Plus leading the product line. Touted by many as a flagship killer, we examine here whether this smartphone can indeed hold its own against the established market leaders.
The Infinix Zero 4 Plus is 16 cm. long, slightly more than 8 cm. wide, and 0.82 cm. thick. This makes it easy to classify as a phablet as it houses a 6″ Full HD IPS screen with 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass. It has a seamless full-metal unibody that allows it to withstand the routine wear and tear of daily use while making it look sophisticated and classy at the same time. If you plan to use this as your daily driver you will have no problem carrying it in your pants’ front or back pockets if you don’t mind displaying its outline. While other comparable smartphones in the market are thinner, the Zero 4 Plus owes its girth to its specially-designed rear camera which has been engineered to help you capture sharp and clear images and videos. More on the camera later.
The volume rocker and power button is found at the right side, while the hybrid sim card/microSD card tray (which can hold your choice of 1 micro + 1 nano sim card or 1 micro sim + 1 microSD card) is over on the left side. Earphones can be plugged on the top side and the included USB charger can be inserted at the bottom micro USB port located between the speaker vents.
The front face sports the selfie camera and over at the back are the auto-focus laser emitter, the rear camera, and the fingerprint scanner.
The back camera noticeably protrudes and makes the unit incline slightly when placed face up on a flat surface. Be careful therefore not to put it on top of a sloping, slippery flat plane. Fortunately a case is included in the package which, when used, solves the matter.
The IPS screen has a 1080 x 1920 resolution with a pixel density of 401 ppi. We encountered no issues watching our favorite movie or playing graphic-intensive games. Images are displayed sharp and clear and colors do not appear washed out. It is very responsive and supports multi-touch for up to 5 fingers. No lags were experienced navigating the screens even when the included tempered glass was installed.
Infinix Mobility uses its own flavor of Android on its devices, the XOS Chameleon, first implemented with the launch of its Hot S and Hot 4 devices August 2016. The native XOSLauncher is intuitive and easy to customize. A long tap reveals the different screens and buttons that can help you select wallpapers, widgets, screen switching animation effects, and the ability to quickly arrange/re-order icons. The app drawer shows apps in alphabetical order with a category for favorites displayed first. An index on the right hand side can be used to quickly scroll through the list for faster navigation to the desired app.
Under the Hood
The heart and brain of the device is MediaTek’s Helio X20 chipset. With 10 cores, 4 MegaBytes of RAM, a 64 GigaByte storage capacity and a Mali-T880 GPU, this phone/tablet hybrid has positioned itself as a contender for the best mid-range smartphone available in the market today. No doubt competition is tough but we found that this phone holds itself very well against the main players. With these specifications on paper, we decided to use it for one week as we went through our daily routine.
The Zero 4 Plus blew us away with how well it performed when used everyday by a typical user. This involved the following:
- having the brightness set at the medium level
- using social media apps
- taking and receiving calls a total average of 30 minutes per day
- texting heavily throughout the day
- wi-fi always on, only turned off when outdoors
- mobile connection turned on only when needed
- an hour or two of playing graphic games (Asphalt 8 Air, NBA Live Mobile, UFC Mobile)
- listening to music 20-30 minutes a day
- taking a couple of pictures and videos a day
Apps launched relatively fast and multitasking was admirable. When the week was over we found the 4000 mAh built-in rechargeable battery a great design choice because it lasted an average of 14-18 hours depending on what was done throughout the day.
The phone features dual LED flash for both front and rear cameras. The primary 20.7 MP camera takes very clear photos thanks to the Auto Focus Laser mounted beside it. In addition, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) further helps in minimizing, if not totally preventing, blurry pictures. We have to admit though that when used outdoors at night it struggles a bit and the outcome may require some image editing. On the other hand, the 13 MP front camera delivers images with wonderful clarity proving the adage “the camera never lies” true. However, if you do need it to lie for whatever reason, it comes with several filters and the ability to beautify so you can get the shot you want. You also don’t have to worry about holding the horizontally when taking a selfie picture of yourself with your friends with the bundled wide selfie feature.
We thoroughly tested the cameras by shooting various still and moving subjects and came away with clear and beautiful indoor and outdoor shots. The rear cam creates balanced and captivating photos with vibrant colors while the front cam truly is great for instant selfies anywhere, anytime. For professional photographers and enthusiasts who want to manually adjust camera settings when using the rear cam, the phone provides a PRO mode which, when activated, brings up a gear where you can make changes for MF, ME, EV, S, ISO and WB on the fly. Check the gallery below for unedited pictures taken in various settings. Videos are provided as well to gauge its quality output. It performed suitably and produced impressive photos and videos.
Note: Pictures and videos are unaltered except for resizing due to publication constraints.
Here are a couple of sample videos:
Gaming, Movies and Music
Using the device for games is really good. No lags or sudden crashes were experienced at all. Watching movies is likewise trouble-free and the speakers, though average, function quite well. We only wish that better earphones came with the package, nevertheless we were satisfied with it with all the extra functions that come out-of-the-box.
Pre-installed Applications and Other Features
One thing you will definitely notice is the abundance of pre-installed apps. A lot of them are unfamiliar and some probably might be unnecessary for most users. You can either simply uninstall or disable those you do not need. The ones we do like however are:
- Magazine Lock Screen – Granted there are many lock screen apps in Google’s Play Store, but this app is simple and does the job well. It rotates its own gallery of lock screen wallpapers together with a quote. The wallpapers are very colorful and we often found ourselves pressing the lock botton just to see what eye candy image was next in line. If you don’t need a performance-enhancing lock screen utility and prefer to just relax and rest your eyes a bit by viewing pleasing images, then this app is for you.
- Multi Account – Sometimes there is a need to share a device between two or more people and when this is the case it’s often cumbersome switching from one person’s account to another. This app solves that issue by enabling two people to have both social media accounts of the same platform active and running at the same time. Very useful indeed!
- XTheme – This is the default theme manager from XOS. You can change the overall look and feel of your device from here. You also have the option to change just wallpapers and/or fonts. As of this writing the choices are limited but there’s no stopping you from creating your own theme and sharing it to others by submitting it from here for inclusion in the catalog.
- Vocal Command – Record yourself saying a word or phrase and use it to unlock your phone! Trivial yes, but fun.
- Fingerprint – This is probably the feature we used most of the time. It provides a fast and hassle-free means of unlocking your phone.
- XManager – Free up some RAM, lock specific apps, clean cache and clear out unneeded files and more using this app.
- XHide – Keep photos, videos, apps, audio files and others secure by adding them here. Items hidden here can only be accessed using your fingerprint or by entering your password.
These are just a few and there are many more we are still discovering and testing. Some apps we are having a problem running like the Compass and XWeather but so far we are satisfied with the list above. The plethora of bundled apps is overwhelming and there are some that provide redundant functions but we guess this is so because the good folks at Infinix Mobility are trying to anticipate their users’ needs and, in order to provide answers, have gone out of their way to make all these available right from the get go. A laudable attitutude, and for that, the huge amount of pre-installed apps can be forgiven.
After using it for 7 complete days we can say with confidence that this smartphone gives you great value for money. Aside from the heating issue when mobile data is on, and the bloatware, it has proven itself to be a worthy mobile device that you can use everyday. If you are looking for a smartphone option that comes with all the bells and whistles you can find in well-known brands but does not have a hefty price tag, then you can’t go wrong with this device.
Indeed, the Infinix Zero 4 Plus has proved itself to be a very satisfying smartphone and is worthy to be included in the top ten list of mid-range smartphones this year.
Note: This is an unbiased and unpaid review. If this article has helped you in anyway, kindly support us by buying the Infinix Zero 4 Plus through the ads below. Thank you!