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Infinix has been launching new phones at a rather fast pace. We have recently seen new models in the Hot and the Note series and now there is a new smartphone called the Infinix Zero 8i. The slightly amusing name aside, the Zero 8i packs in some impressive specifications on paper. You get a MediaTek Helio G90T processor, 8GB of RAM, 90Hz refresh rate for the display, 48-megapixel quad-camera setup, and a starting price of just Rs 15,999. So do all these specifications translate to good real-world performance? We review the Infinix Zero 8i to find out.

Infinix Zero 8i design

The Infinix Zero 8i is a tall smartphone, and the big 6.85-inch display makes single-handed use a little tricky. Reaching the top of the screen requires a quick shuffle in the hand. Infinix has gone with a dual selfie camera setup embedded in the top left corner. The Zero 8i isn’t thick, and the curved sides make it comfortable to hold. Infinix has put the fingerprint scanner on the power button which is slowly becoming the norm these days even for budget smartphones. The positioning of the fingerprint scanner is convenient but I can’t say the same about the volume buttons which are on the same side.

The Infinix Zero 8i has a dual-selfie camera setup

 

There is a selfie flash towards the top of the display, which is neatly hidden from sight. I could only spot it when it was active. The SIM tray is on the left side of the Zero 8i while the top of the frame is bare. At the bottom, it has a USB Type-C port, 3.5mm audio jack, and loudspeaker. Turn the phone around and the diamond-shaped camera module will draw your attention. This module sits in the center towards the top and is slightly raised, causing the smartphone to rock when placed on a flat surface. The Zero 8i is available in two colours, Silver Diamond, and Black Diamond. I had the former for this review and I liked the matte finish on the back.

I found the Infinix Zero 8i to be a little too heavy, tipping the scales at 210g. It packs in a 4,500mAh battery which is below the average battery capacity that you get at this price point. The Infinix Zero 8i is capable of 33W fast charging but ships with an 18W charger in the box.

Infinix Zero 8i specifications

Like I said at the start of the review, the spec sheet of the Infinix Zero 8i is quite interesting. You get a big 6.85-inch full-HD+ display with a 20.5:9 aspect ratio and a fast refresh rate of 90Hz. The display is set to 90Hz by default but you do have the option to switch it to 60Hz or set it to Auto. Infinix has picked the MediaTek Helio G90T processor which is a bit dated now and was last seen powering the likes of the Redmi Note 8 Pro (Review) and the Realme 6 (Review). What’s more interesting is that Infinix has paired it with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. The Helio G90T is a gaming processor, and Infinix claims it has used liquid cooling to keep thermals in check. You get a triple-slot tray on the Infinix Zero 8i to accommodate dual Nano-SIMs and a microSD card.

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The Infinix Zero 8i packs in a 4,500mAh battery

 

In terms of the software, the Zero 8i runs XOS 7 on top of Android 10. My unit had the October Android security patch which is dated at this point. The UI seems very familiar and I did not have issues finding my way around. There’s a Game Mode that disables automatic brightness and prevents the phone from switching between your data network and Wi-Fi to prevent issues. It also has a game anti-addiction feature that sends you a notification if you play for too long. There is a parental control setting as well which lets you lock any game after a set amount of time.

There is a fair amount of bloatware that comes preinstalled on the Infinix Zero 8i. I found a few third-party games and apps as well as the Theme app by Infinix and an app called Palm Store which looks like an alternative to the Play Store. I found these two apps to be spammy as they kept sending suggestions.

Infinix Zero 8i performance

The Infinix Zero 8i has a fast fingerprint scanner, and the device needs just a tap on the power button to unlock itself. Face recognition was also quick, and did not require more than one attempt. The big display on the Zero 8i makes content engaging and I enjoyed streaming video on it. Stereo speakers would have enhanced the overall experience, but this feature is missing. I found the display brightness to be adequate but the surface of it is reflective. With the Zero 8i set to the faster 90Hz refresh rate by default the UI felt snappy. I did not have to wait for long for apps to load, and multitasking was a breeze

I ran benchmarks on the Infinix Zero 8i to see how it fares compared to some of the other smartphones available at the same price today. In AnTuTu, the phone managed 289,887 points. It scored 529 and 1703 points in Geekbench 5’s single-core and multi-core tests respectively. The Zero 8i also managed 26fps and 15fps respectively in GFXBench’s Manhattan 3.1 and Car Chase tests.

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The Infinix Zero 8i has a 48-megapixel primary rear camera.

 

Call of Duty Mobile was quick to load and ran at the High settings by default for both graphics and frame rate, without any issues. After playing the game for 15 minutes I noticed a 6 percent battery drop and only the top of the smartphone was barely warm to the touch. The Zero 8i manages gaming well, but a bigger battery would have been better for people who intend to spend a lot of time playing games each day.

The Infinix Zero 8i offered decent battery life. With my usage pattern I was able to get through a full day, and only needed to charge it the next day. In our HD video loop test the phone went on for 16 hours and 45 minutes which is acceptable given the battery capacity. Infinix offers 33W fast charging support on the Zero 8i but you only get an 18W charger in the box. Using this, the smartphone charged to 33 percent in 30 minutes and got to 68 percent in an hour.

Infinix Zero 8i cameras

The Infinix Zero 8i has a quad-camera setup with a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel depth sensor which Infinix calls a “bokeh lens”, and a low-light sensor which is referred to as an “AI lens”. You can take macro shots with the Infinix Zero 8i using the ultra-wide-angle camera. For selfies, there’s a 16-megapixel primary camera and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera. The camera app is pretty basic and easy to use. I also found the AI to be quick to detect any scene and set the phone up for it.

Daylight shots taken with the Zero 8i were average. Objects nearby had decent detail but the phone did not capture detail well for objects farther away. Photos taken using the ultra-wide angle camera had a slightly different colour tone and lacked detail as well. The camera app has distortion correction enabled by default which is useful.

Infinix Zero 8i Review NDTV Gadgets 360

Infinix Zero 8i daylight camera sample (tap to see full-size image)

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Infinix Zero 8i daylight wide-angle camera sample (tap to see full-size image)

 

For close-up shots, the camera occasionally struggled to focus where I wanted it to. Photos appeared good as is, but magnifying them revealed that the output isn’t very sharp. Portraits were good enough and had good edge detection. You do get the option to set the level of blur before taking a shot. You can get higher-resolution shots from the wide-angle camera than you would with the dedicated macro cameras on most phones, but the details are still strictly average.

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Infinix Zero 8i close-up camera sample (tap to see full-size image)

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Infinix Zero 8i macro camera sample (tap to see full-size image)

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Infinix Zero 8i portrait camera sample (tap to see full-size image)

 

Low-light shots were average and lacked detail. After enabling Night mode, the quality did improve but it takes about four seconds to capture a shot and there was still visible grain on zooming in.

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Infinix Zero 8i low-light camera sample (tap to see full-size image)

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Infinix Zero 8i night mode camera sample (tap to see full-size image)

 

Selfies taken with the primary front camera had good detail., The wide-angle selfie camera offers a wider field of view but does not match the primary one in terms of quality. You can take selfie portraits as well, and I found edge detection to be quite good. Low-light selfies were good and the selfie light does come in handy when shooting in dimly lit areas.

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Infinix Zero 8i daylight portrait selfie camera sample (tap to see full-size image)

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Infinix Zero 8i low-light selfie camera sample (tap to see full-size image)

 

Video recording tops out at 4K for the primary front and rear cameras. Footage shot at 4K wasn’t stabilised, and but 1080p video did still have visible shakes. There is an Ultra Steady mode that helps stabilise footage, but it had a visible shimmer effect in lowlight.

Verdict

The Infinix Zero 8i packs some interesting hardware which does help it deliver good performance. The MediaTek Helio G90T is a capable processor, and paired with 8GB of RAM there are very few things that can slow it down. Even the 90Hz display plays a role in making the overall user experience smooth.

However, the Zero 8i does have a couple of shortcomings which could make potential buyers think twice. The first one has to be the software; there’s a lot of bloatware preinstalled and some of the stock apps push spammy notifications, which is disappointing. Battery capacity is decent but if you are a heavy user looking to game often, this phone might need frequent changing. Finally, if you want better cameras as well as better battery life at this price level, you could take a look at the Realme 7 (Review) and the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max (Review) as possible alternatives.

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Diamonds may help measuring thermal conductivity in living cells

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Scientists have very precise instruments, but measuring properties of tiny little cells is still very difficult. Now researchers at the University of Queensland have developed a new tool to measure heat transfer inside living cells. It includes actual diamonds and it can work as both a heater and a thermometre. Someday it can improve cancer diagnosis.

Diamonds may help measuring thermal conductivity in living cells

Diamonds are essentially very hard pieces of carbon, which makes them great for some scientific applications. Image credit: En-cas-de-soleil via (Wikimedia(CC BY-SA 4.0)

Cancer cells are different – they behave differently and exhibit different properties. Scientists have long speculated that in some cases precisely targeted thermal therapies could be very effective against cancer. However, in order for this to become reality scientists needed to know thermal conductivity of living cells. With current technology it is literally impossible to measure thermal conductivity – the rate that heat can flow through an object if one side is hot and another is cold – inside of such tiny living things as cells.

Scientists from Australia, Japan and Singapore now employed nanodiamonds (just tiny little diamonds) to act as minute sensors in a new system. Diamonds are great, because they are very hard and because they are just a different form of carbon, which is very well-known to us. Scientists coated their nanodiamonds with a special heat-releasing polymer. This resulted in a sensor, which can act as a heater or a thermometre, depending on what kind of laser light is applied. This sensor allows measuring thermal conductivity in living cells with a resolution of 200 nanometres.

Associate Professor Taras Plakhotnik, lead author of the study, said that this new method already revealed some new interesting information about cells. He said: “We found that the rate of heat diffusion in cells, as measured in our experiments, was several times slower than in pure water, for example.”

If cancer cells and healthy cells exhibit different thermal conductivity, this kind of measurement could become a very precise diagnostic technique. Also, because these particles are not toxic and can be used in living cells, scientists think they could open the door for  improving heat-based treatments for cancer. Measuring head conductivity could help monitor biochemical reactions in real time in the cell. But that’s not all. Scientists think that this method could lead to a better understanding of metabolic disorders, such as obesity.

Diamonds are commonly used in science and industry. People oftentimes see them as something from the jewelry world, but they are much more common elsewhere. And they are not even that expensive. Hopefully, this study will result in a new method to research living cells and maybe some novel therapies as well.

 

Source: University of Queensland




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Redmi Note 10 Launch Teased Officially After Rumours Tipping February Debut in India

Redmi Note 10 launch has been officially teased on Weibo. The new development comes just weeks after the rumour mill suggested the existence of the Redmi Note 10 series that could include the Redmi Note 10, the Redmi Note 10 Pro, and the Redmi Note 10 Pro 5G. The new series is expected to succeed the Redmi Note 9 family that debuted with the launch of the Redmi Note 9 Pro and the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max in India in March last year.

Redmi General Manager Lu Weibing has teased the launch of the Redmi Note 10 on Weibo. Instead of giving away details of the phone directly, Weibing has posted an image of the Redmi Note 9 4G asking users about their expectations with the Redmi Note 10.

The Redmi Note 10 is speculated to launch in India alongside the Redmi Note 10 Pro in February. Both phones will be priced aggressively, according to tipster Ishan Agarwal. The Redmi Note 10 in the series is tipped to come in Gray, Green, and White colour options.

Although Xiaomi hasn’t provided any specifics about the phone yet, the Redmi Note 10 Pro 5G purportedly received a certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) earlier this month. The phone is also said to have surfaced on the US

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website with the model number M2101K6G. It has also reportedly appeared on the websites of other regulatory bodies including the European Economic Commission (EEC), Singapore’s IMDA, and Malaysia’s MCMC.

Redmi Note 10 series specifications (expected)

The Redmi Note 10 Pro is rumoured to come with a 120Hz display and include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G SoC. However, the 5G variant of the Redmi Note 10 Pro is said to come with the Snapdragon 750G SoC. It is speculated to have 6GB and 8GB RAM options as well as 64GB and 128GB storage versions. The Redmi Note 10 Pro models will come with a 64-megapixel primary camera sensor and include a 5,050mAh battery, according to a recent report.

Similar to the Redmi Note 10 Pro models, the Redmi Note 10 is also rumoured to have both 4G and 5G versions. The smartphone is tipped to have a 48-megapixel primary camera sensor and include a 6,000mAh battery.

The Redmi Note 10 Pro and the Redmi Note 10 are both expected to run on Android 11 with MIUI 12 out-of-the-box.


What will be the most exciting tech launch of 2021? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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Cybersecurity: Blaming users is not the answer

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A punitive approach toward employees reporting data breaches intensifies problems.

Image: iStock/iBrave

Experts are warning, when it comes to cybersecurity, blaming users is a terrible idea. Doing so likely results in creating an even worse situation. Many organizations have defaulted to a blame culture when it comes to data security,” comments Tony Pepper, CEO of Egress Software Technologies, in an email exchange. “They believe actions have consequences and someone has to be responsible.”

“In cases where employees report incidents of data loss they accidentally caused, it’s quite common for them to face serious negative consequences,” continues Pepper. “This, obviously, creates a culture of fear, leading to a lack of self-reporting, which in turn, exacerbates the problem. Many organizations are therefore unaware of the scale of their security issues.”

Pepper’s comments are based on findings gleaned by the independent market research firm Arlington Research. Analysts interviewed more than 500 upper-level managers from organizations within the financial services, healthcare, banking, and legal sectors.

What the analysts found was published in the paper, Outbound Email Security Report. Regarding employees responsible for a loss of data, 45% of those surveyed would reprimand the employee(s), 25% would likely fire the employee(s).

SEE: Identity theft protection policy (TechRepublic Premium)

Pepper suggests while organizations may believe this decreases the chance of the offense reoccurring, it can have a different and more damaging effect. There’s a chance employees may not report security incidents, to avoid repercussions from company management. 

“Especially in these uncertain times, employees are going to be even less willing to self-report, or report others, if they believe they might lose their jobs as the result,” adds Pepper. 

It gets worse 

According to survey findings, a high percentage of organizations rely on their employees to be the primary data breach detection mechanism–particularly when it comes to email. “Our research found that 62% of organizations rely on people-based reporting to alert management about data breaches,” mentions Pepper. “By reprimanding employees who were only trying to do their job, organizations are undermining the reporting mechanism and ensuring incidents will go unreported.”

The lack of truly understanding why data is escaping the digital confines of an organization makes it hugely difficult for those in charge of cybersecurity to develop a defensive strategy that will effectively protect an organization’s data.

Overcome the blame game

Once it is understood that reprimanding employees is ineffective, organizations should look to create a more positive security culture. One immediate benefit is the increased visibility of heretofore unknown security risks.  

Another benefit is the ability to show regulatory bodies the organization has taken all reasonable steps to protect sensitive data. Pepper adds, “If you don’t know where your risks are, it’s hard to put reasonable measures in place. Regulators could surmise that during a data breach investigation and levy higher fines and penalties.” 

Technology has a role

Once the blame game is curtailed, it’s time to get technology involved. “The first step is to get reporting right, using technology, not people, which will remove the pressure of self-reporting from employees and place the responsibility firmly in the hands of those in charge of cybersecurity,” suggests Pepper. “Advances in contextual machine learning mean it’s possible for security tools to understand users and learn from their actions, so they can detect and mitigate abnormal behavior–for example, adding an incorrect recipient to an email.”

This is where technology makes all the difference. It prevents accidental data loss before it can happen. It empowers employees to be part of the solution, and technology gives the security team unbiased visibility of risks and emerging threats. 

What cybersecurity teams need to understand

Education about potential consequences is vital. Anyone working with the organization’s digital assets needs to understand the possible outcomes from a data breach–for example, regulatory fines or damage to the organization’s reputation. 

It’s a safe bet when users understand the consequences of emailing client data to the wrong recipient or responding to a phishing email, they’ll be much more likely to report the incident if and when it occurs. Remember: If an incident isn’t reported, there’s no way to remediate it or prevent it from happening again.

Pepper, in conclusion, offers advice to those managing cybersecurity. “The best way to engage employees with security, and ensure they understand its importance, is to create a ‘security-positive’ company culture,” explains Pepper. “Security teams need to reassure the wider organization that, while data breaches are to be taken seriously, employees who report accidental incidents will receive appropriate support from the business and not face severe repercussions.”

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