Infinix Zero Ultra Review: A Surprise Package?

The Infinix Zero Ultra is dripping with top-notch specs like 180W fast charging, a 200-megapixel camera, a curved display, and more. Should you buy it? We answer that in our Zero Ultra review.

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After securing a decent foothold in the budget and mid-budget segments, Infinix’s grand entry into the sub-Rs 30,000 price segment was imminent. The Infinix Zero Ultra is the most premium offering from the company to date, going head-to-head against the Realme GT Neo 3 (first impressions) and the OnePlus 10R. From a cursory glance, the Zero Ultra seems to hold its weight in terms of specifications and numbers. It’s only the second smartphone in India to boast a 200-megapixel camera. Even its charging figures are bonkers, with claims of a ten-minute full charge thanks to the 180W charger.

With the Zero Ultra, Infinix’s parent company, Transsion Holdings, seems to be on a roll to launch high-level devices. Tecno, Infinix’s sibling, also made it to the news by recently launching its flagship Phantom X2 series (first impressions) globally, which will be heading to India in January 2023.

So, can Infinix Zero Ultra’s holy trinity of super-fast charging, 200-megapixel camera and curved display be enough to eat into the market share of its competitors? We have been using the device for a week and here’s our review.

Infinix Zero Ultra Review: A Mixed Design

The Infinix Zero Ultra follows a unique approach towards design. We received the Genesis Noir variant, and it stands proud with a blend of glass and leather on the rear panel. Once you are used to it, there’s a high chance you will start liking it. The leather-based texture makes the phone grippy, whereas the glossy glass back yields it a shiny and premium look. Unfortunately, the glossy texture also happens to be a fingerprint magnet. But if you want to maintain that pristine look, you can slap the bundled TPU case on the back of it.

Just in case you aren’t a fan of this, you can also check out the Coslight Silver variant, which has a star trail design.

The curved glass on the back and front is added to the premium vibe of the entire package. But this is contrasted by the plastic frame sandwiched in the middle, which may be less lucrative for this price. The giant camera module at the rear comprises three sensors and a LED flash in a rectangular box.

In terms of ports and grille placement, there’s a secondary microphone and top-facing speaker with the text ‘Powered by Infinix’ on the top. The bottom has a Type-C port, primary microphone, bottom-firing speaker and a slot for two SIM cards. The right frame has a power button with a neon green stripe and a volume rocker. The headphone jack is missing here, but Infinix has shipped a Type-C to 3.5mm cable in the box, compensating for it. The left side of the phone is entirely clean.

The Infinix Zero Ultra feels bulky due to its 213 grams weight, and it takes some time to get used to it. In fact, the two colourways are slightly different in terms of thickness – the Genesis Noir variant measures 9.2mm between a pair of callipers, whereas the Coslight Silver is slightly thinner at 8.8mm.

Infinix Zero Ultra Review: How fast can it charge?

Thundercharge – that is how the company is marketing the 180W charging prowess of the Infinix Zero Ultra. But the first thing that comes to mind seeing that number is,” Is it even safe?” Infinix states that it is safe because of multiple software and hardware security protection mechanisms that the company uses for its device.

There are two sides to this supercharged tech – one is the bundled charger that distributes the ultra-high wattage into three parallel streams of 60W that prevent overloading and overheating.

Within the phone, the battery is divided into cells, each of which holds 2250mAh of charge, resulting in a total battery capacity of 4500mAh. With the fusion mode enabled, it took our unit exactly 12 minutes to charge from 5% to 100%. That’s some crazy speed, but at the expense of heat. We noticed that our unit started getting hot 10 minutes after we plugged in the charger. You can choose to keep things tame by selecting the standard charging mode.

The battery life is slightly sub-par compared to the seven-hour figures we have seen in the segment. With the brightness set at 70%, the always-on display turned on, and a high refresh rate enabled, the Infinix Zero Ultra regularly gave us a screen-on time between 5 and a half hours and six hours. Our usage primarily consisted of scrolling social media, watching videos, gaming and browsing on the phone. You can stretch out the battery life for a whole day by turning down the brightness and refresh rate.

The phone doesn’t support wireless charging, which we would have loved to see.

Infinix Zero Ultra Review: Display curves are back in trend

The Infinix Zero Ultra has a large 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD+ screen resolution. It is a curved display that looks stylish. Although the company hasn’t mentioned any details about the body-to-screen ratio, the bezels are thin around the screen, which enhances the display experience. The screen refreshes at 120Hz, and you can choose between 60Hz and 120Hz, or keep it at Auto mode, which will set the refresh rate accordingly. A 90Hz mode could have been an ideal choice to experience smoothness by saving battery life. During our review, we used the phone at a 120Hz refresh rate all the time, and we didn’t notice any stuttering, and the experience was smooth overall.

Infinix has taken a unique approach to the curved display by not spilling content on the curved edges. Despite this, accidental touches were pretty common.

The display is, by default, set to show the original colour, but you can choose a bright colour mode to see a saturated display. We feel that the original colour mode is better. That said, the display looks great, and the colours come out punchy and vibrant. Watching movies and YouTube videos was a delightful experience on the Infinix Zero Ultra. The device supports the Widevine L1 certification which means you can watch Full HD content on OTT platforms.

The phone can go as bright as 900 nits. So under direct sunlight, the content was visible.

A stereo speakers setup backs the audio performance. The bottom-firing speaker is primary, whereas the top-faced speaker is secondary. They are really loud and have good clarity. If you do not have your earphones around, then watching movies using the phone’s speakers should not be a problem. Strangely, the rear panel rattles a lot whenever a sound is played at 80% or above volume.

Infinix Zero Ultra Review: Is Dimensity 920 SoC Good Enough for a Flagship-Grade Phone?

The Infinix Zero Ultra, despite being the company’s flagship, uses a mid-range Mediatek Dimensity 920 SoC. The same chip can be found in much cheaper phones such as the Realme 9 Pro Plus and Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge. The octa-core Dimensity 920 is based on a 6nm fabrication. The SoC is coupled with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Furthermore, it supports 5GB Virtual RAM technology which means that it will take out some storage from the onboard storage to use as RAM.

Although it’s a mid-range chip, we really do not have many complaints about it. We didn’t face any stuttering while navigating across apps. We opened multiple Chrome tabs, played PUBG: New State and Call of Duty: Mobile, scrolled through social media platforms and watched videos, and everything mostly ran smoothly. Multitasking was also not an issue on the Infinix Zero Ultra.

However, we felt that the refresh rate of the screen dropped when we started using its multi-window mode, which lets you minimise any app on a small window on the screen.

The RAM management of the device also didn’t seem up to the mark. Whenever we left an app in the background and returned back after half an hour, the app would take us to the splash screen instead of the page that we were on.

The phone does not heat much, and the haptic feedback feels good.

Talking about the benchmarks, the Infinix Zero Ultra scored 4,85,320 on AnTuTu. On Geekbench, it achieved a single-core score of 722 and a multi-core score of 2046. To give you an idea, phones in this range usually post scores of at least 7,50,000 in AnTuTu, so the Zero Ultra seems a bit of a sitting duck on paper. In fact, even the Realme 10 Pro Plus, which sits in a lower tier at Rs 24,999, managed a better score of 512682 on AnTuTu tests.

The Call of Duty: Mobile runs smoothly on Medium graphics at a very high frame rate. But you do have the option to set the max frame rate on low graphics. Similarly, PUBG: New State can go on ultra graphics at the max frame rate. But you do get the option to choose 90fps with low graphics. We had a hardcore gaming session with both games, and we didn’t notice major lags until we had played a whole 30 minutes match. After half an hour of playing PUBG: New State, the back panel started heating. We played a few simulation games, and they were smooth to play.

For biometrics, it has a face unlock and an in-display fingerprint. Both of them are blazing fast. However, we felt that the fingerprint sensor sat a little too low for our liking.

Infinix Zero Ultra Review: Only 1 Major Android upgrade

The Infinix Zero Ultra runs Android 12 based XOS 12 operating system at a time when smartphone brands have started shipping their devices with the latest Android 13. That’s disappointing. Making things worse is the fact that the phone will only receive a single major update to Android 13. If you promise only a single Android update, at least give us the latest OS out of the box so that the users can taste what’s coming next.

The software experience is disappointing overall. It’s nowhere near stock Android. The notification bar is divided into two parts: swiping down from the top right reveals the control centre, whereas swiping down on the left shows you notifications. You will have to put up with this behaviour, whether you like it or not.

The UI is filled with many bloatware, such as AHA Games, Boomplay, Visha Players, and more. These pre-installed apps can’t be uninstalled and can only be disabled, which is disappointing. In addition, they send spam notifications frequently, which gets annoying.

Apart from complaints, the UI has a bunch of useful features too that you can enable from Settings. The Smart Sidebar gives you quick access to apps and shortcuts with a simple swipe from the edge, much like what we see in Samsung smartphones. Multi-Window mode lets you use apps in the picture-in-picture (PiP) mode. Apart from these, there’s also social turbo, game mode, xclone, video assistant, kids move, always-on display (AoD) and much more that you can access after going to the phone’s settings.

Infinix Zero Ultra Review: The Magic of 200MP Sensor

The Infinix Zero Ultra is the only phone in India after the Edge 30 Ultra that comes with a 200-megapixel camera sensor. It uses a Samsung ISOCELL HP1 for primary photography duties. Accompanying it are 13-megapixel ultrawide and 2-megapixel sensors. Infinix hasn’t specified the use of the latter, although we believe it’s for depth-sensing capabilities. On the front is a 32-megapixel shooter for selfies and video calls. You also get an LED flash on the front for the occasional low-light selfies.

The camera app has a simple look with a bunch of modes. It includes Portrait, beauty, AI cam, Panorama, AR shot mode, 200MP, documents, slow motion, Pro, film, time-lapse and a short video mode. But first, let’s talk about the pictures that we have captured with the Infinix Zero Ultra.

    1. The primary sensor produces some fascinating shots. In daylight conditions, the phone captures excellent photos with good details, and they come out sharp. The dynamic range is well-defined. Sure, the colours are slightly boosted and have a warm colour tone, because of which the photos may look unnatural sometimes, but overall the photos clicked by the camera are good. In the below pictures, check out the Airtel banner and the red bricks around the Hospital Block text; you can easily notice how boosted the red colour is.
    2. The 200MP mode clicks photos with really great details while not messing with the processing. You can zoom in as much as you want to check out each detail. The phone takes some time to capture these shots. However, each photo captured by this mode is over 70MB, which is extremely huge. Of course, adding those large-sized pictures won’t be possible on the website, so click here to check all the 200MP camera samples captured by the Infinix Zero Ultra.
    3. The Infinix Zero Ultra super night mode is excellent. It clicks some lovely shots in low-light conditions. Once turned on, it increases the exposure, and sharpness of the picture, removes the grains, and the final result looks good. Check out the pictures below.
    4. Human subjects are not well captured on the device. Details are crushed in shadows, the skin tone is inconsistent and looks unnatural, and the final result is disappointing. In Portrait mode, the AI struggles to differentiate between the subject and background due to which it poorly detects the edges.
    5. The 13-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens captures shots with fewer details than the primary. The colours look well-maintained, though, and the overall look is far less vibrant compared to the primary sensor.
    6. The primary camera can also click some good-looking macros with natural colours and pretty good focus.
    7. The selfies were not up to the mark. Photos have a yellowish tint with smooth skin textures even when the beauty mode is turned off. The super night mode tries to fix the colours and details in low light conditions, which look better than those clicked by normal mode. In portrait mode, it made some mistakes in differentiating between faces and backgrounds.
    8. The rear video limits are capped at 4K@30fps, and they turn out to be crisp and sharp with good colours. If you want 60fps, you can switch to 1080p. While Infinix claims the videos taken by the Zero Ultra are optically stabilised, the output was quite shaky.

Infinix Zero Ultra Review: Verdict

The Infinix Zero Ultra is a good attempt by the company to provide a premium experience to its consumers. The key highlights of the device are its display and blazing fast charging; these two offer excellent user experience. We have mixed opinions about the camera, but if you want to post them on social media, they are fine.

The performance is mediocre, but you won’t face any issues in day-to-day usage or in casual gaming. Last, the software experience has to be the biggest con of the Infinix Zero Ultra.

The Infinix Zero Ultra comes in a single configuration of 8GB RAM and 256GB storage available at an introductory price of Rs 29,999. The company has not announced the original price of the phone. No phone around this segment offers such a strong mix of camera, display and battery specifications. In terms of performance, it’s a bit of a letdown, but then you win some, and you lose some. In terms of alternatives, the Realme GT Neo 3 and the OnePlus 10R promise better speeds. The iQOO Neo 6 (review) and Poco F4 5G (review) are also some well-rounded alternatives for gamers. If you’re into a clean UI and a bit of design flair, you can also consider the Nothing Phone (1) (review), which has received some major price cuts recently.

Infinix Zero Ultra

Rs 29,999
7.3

DESIGN & BUILD

8.0/10

DISPLAY

8.0/10

PERFORMANCE

7.0/10

BATTERY

7.5/10

CAMERA QUALITY

7.5/10

SOFTWARE

6.0/10

AUDIO

7.0/10

DAY-TO-DAY USE

7.0/10

VALUE FOR MONEY

7.5/10

What Is Good?

  • Superfast charging
  • Beautiful display
  • 200MP mode offers a good amount of details
  • Lovely choice of materials on the back

What Is Bad?

  • Poor software support
  • Mid-range processor
  • Inconsistent colours in photos
  • Accidental touches are frequent