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iQOO 7 Review: Gaming Prowess At An Affordable Price
The last few years smartphone space has witnessed the rise of Chinese brands and their sub-brands. iQOO is amongst those new brands which are dedicated to pocket-friendly gaming smartphones. The brand unveiled the iQOO 7 series last month integrated with some competitive hardware including Snapdragon 800 series chipset with 5G connectivity, 120Hz display, and 66W fast charging.
- 6.62-inch E4 AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate
- 48 MP triple rear cameras click good daylight images
- Good battery backup and fast charging support
- No dedicated microSD card slot
- Average low-light photography
The premium mid-range offering by Vivo's sub-brand comes in three different options with an asking price of Rs. 31,990 going all the way up to Rs. 35,990 (12GB RAM). A sub Rs. 40,000 price tag and the top-notch hardware do sound like a solid deal. But, is iQOO 7 really a complete package? Here's what we think:
Subtle Design But A Bit Bulky Form Factor
The iQOO 7 flaunts a subtle yet premium looking design. The matte-gradient textured back surface gives a smooth feel to hold. Thanks to the AG matte glass, the rear panel picks up the least of fingerprints and smudges. We'll still advise you to use the case that ships within the retail box.
The device packs the volume and the power keys on the left, while the hybrid SIM card tray, USB Type-C port, and speaker grille are at the bottom. The placement of keys and ports are ideal. But what's missing here is a 3.5mm headphone jack.
It's the large form factor that we aren't a big fan of. That's because it's difficult to use this handset with a single hand. Minus this and the absent 3.5mm headphone jack, the iQOO 7's design gets at par with the competition.
E4 AMOLED Panel Delivers Punchy Output
The iQOO 7 sports a tall 6.62-inch E4 AMOLED display. The display specifications are impressive, so is the output. The panel delivers an FHD+ resolution with a peak brightness of 1300 nits allowing for good sunlight legibility. The display also supports a 120Hz refresh rate that allows for smoother graphics with gameplay.
With videos as well, the performance is optimum. The display offers good viewing angles with vibrant colors. You would be satisfied with both video playback as well as gaming visuals.
Videos get maxed out at HD resolution on streaming platforms such as Netflix and Prime Videos. We would have given some additional points if it rendered FHD videos on these platforms.
Glitch-Free Performance; Good Backup
The iQOO 7 uses the Snapdragon 870 built on a 7nm process. This high-end 5G processor delivers a powerful performance throughout. The device is available with 8GB/ 12GB RAM and 128GB/256GB storage configuration.
The higher RAM capacity allows the device to offer a lag-free experience while performing any task. We didn't find the device slowing down with several apps running in the background.
The device didn't flinch with graphic-intensive games. We played Shadow Fight 4, Asphalt 9 and a bunch of other games to test the performance and were impressed each time. The 120Hz refresh rate makes sure there aren't any frame drops with the highest settings.
What further impresses is that there the device's temperatures remain stable during extensive gaming. You wouldn't find it heating up while plugged into the 66W rapid charger as well.
The iQOO 7 packs a 4,400 mAh battery. While the setup is smaller than other mid-range devices, the difference in backup is minimal. The unit can deliver an entire day of backup if you use it moderately. Count occasional gaming and HD video playback besides web browsing and other tasks.
The backup reduces with extensive usage; however, the device still manages to give over five hours of backup. It takes over half an hour for the 66W super-fast charger to refuel the handset. So, you wouldn't have to wait for long after a plug-in.
Good Camera Performance
The iQOO 7's camera performance has also been good throughout. The device is equipped with a triple-lens setup at the rear which has a 48MP Sony IMX598 primary sensor paired up with a 13MP wide-angle sensor and a 2MP mono sensor.
The camera clicks 12MP pixel-binned shots by default, but there is no compromise with the clarity. That's for the daylight shots where the camera manages to deliver crisp photos with balanced colors. The images have a high dynamic range and edge detection is also good overall.
The wide-angle shots are also well defined, so are the portrait images.The low light shots aren't super impressive. The performance is pretty average with the images retaining noise levels with low light shots.
There is a dedicated Night Mode option in the camera app, but its performance is also average. The details aren't massively enhanced using this option but to some levels. Expect a bit grainy output in the extremely low lit surrounding.
The iQOO 7's 16MP selfie camera is also impressive in terms of performance. It has an f/2.0 aperture and is AI-enabled for improved output. The front camera is also capable of clicking an ample amount of detailing with each click.
The integrated screen flash when enabled will allow you to click good low-light selfies. The software-based self-portraits are also natural-looking. So, there no compromise you'll have to do with the camera output.
Software And Benchmark Performance
The iQOO 7 has been launched with the Android 11 OS and it has the Vivo's FunTouch OS interface pre-installed. While the custom UI appears tries to mimic the stock Android UI, the bloatware and other customizations hamper that experience.
But, the UI isn't bad or laggy, you will find it smoother to navigate through apps and screens. You will find all the Android 11 features along with the new UI. The notification bar has shortcuts for NFC, Smart Monitoring, Dark Theme, and Ultra Dark Mode. You can further modify it via the settings tab.
The device has performed well with the benchmark tests. We tested the iQOO 7's performance on PCMark and 3DMark gaming. In the former's Work Performance 2.0 benchmark test, the handset achieved 11,031 points. In the 3D Mark's Wildfire test it scored 4,237 points.
iQOO 7 5G: Worth Your Attention?
If you count our verdict, the iQOO 7 5G is easily the gaming beast in its league, But, you should give all the attention to its gaming performance. The device has lived up to the expectation in almost all aspects. The 120Hz FHD+ display allows for an immersive viewing experience, while the shutterbug inside you would be satisfied by its camera performance.
The device is 5G-ready which is another bonus point here. But what majorly steals the show is an asking price of Rs. 31,990 which along with all the high-end hardware gives it an edge against the competition.