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iQOO Neo 6 Review: The Good, The Bad & The X-Factor
iQOO has launched yet another mid-range handset in India to woo gaming enthusiasts. Starting at Rs. 29,999, the new smartphone brings the fastest chipset in its price segment (Qualcomm Snapdragon 870) along with a 120Hz Super AMOLED display and a speedy 80W fast charging. The affordable 5G-enabled gaming handset also offers a 64MP OIS-enabled triple-lens camera capable of recording 4K 60fps videos with some decent stabilization modes.
- Vibrant 120Hz AMOLED Display
- Lag-Free Gaming & Multitasking
- Good Primary Camera Output
- 80W Fast-Charging
- Uninspiring Design
- Average Secondary Cameras
There are a few more interesting hardware features and the goodness of the latest Android 12 software, all at Rs. 30,000. Should the iQOO Neo 6 be your first choice in the sub-30K price segment? Let's find out.
Smooth Gaming & Lag-Free Day-To-Day Performance
The iQOO Neo 6 justifies its mid-range gaming smartphone moniker, thanks to the old, yet flagship SoC underneath. The Snapdragon 870 for a device under Rs. 30K is an impressive CPU unit for a price point like this even in 2022. The snappy processor and ample LPDDR5 memory ensure lag-free processing and multitasking performance.
You can run the most graphics-intensive games such as BGMI, COD Mobile, and new titles such as Apex Legends at the highest graphics settings without any performance issues. We played BGMI at HDR graphics with FPS set to extreme and the device beautifully handled the graphics. The same is true for COD Mobile and other popular game titles. Asphalt 9's colorful visuals and graphics looked very immersive on the FHD+ AMOLED display.
The good haptic feedback also comes in handy for an immersive gameplay experience. And not just gaming, the phone also handles demanding day-to-day tasks like a pro. Multitasking is smooth and even heavy apps and tasks such as 4K video recording and editing are handled without any issues.
Runs Cooler Than Most Flagship Smartphones
The iQOO Neo 6 has a better heat dissipation system than even most current flagship handsets such as the Vivo X80 Pro, Galaxy S22 Ultra, and devices powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC.
There are primarily two reasons behind it; the SD870 SoC produces less heat than the new Qualcomm processors and the iQOO Neo 6's effective thermal performance. The handset comes equipped with a five-layer three-dimensional graphite cooling system that enables more efficient heat transfer than most modern flagships.
Vivid & Fluid Display
Mostcreditfor the immersive gameplay goes to the Neo 6's vivid and fluid AMOLED screen. It's a 6.62-inch E4 AMOLED panel producing vivid colors and deep blacks. Colors pop well on this panel enabling immersive visuals while playing graphics-rich games such as Apex Legends and COD Mobile. The display registers the slightest touch, both while gaming and general phone usage, thanks to a 360Hz touch sampling rate and 120Hz refresh rate.
Moving on, the display is equally good for video playback. The Neo 6's AMOLED panel supports HDR10+ and is WideVine L1 certified, thus allowing you to stream HDR content on the supported OTT apps.
Decent Looking Phone With Good Ergonomics
While the iQOO Neo 6 doesn't set any new design standards, it looks fairly good and scores decent on ergonomics. Despite a big and tall form factor, the handset feels comfortable to use with one hand, thanks to well-managed weight distribution and the device's curved back panel. There are no sharp corners or edges that might affect one-hand usability during gaming or basic usage. The handset rests comfortably on your wrist.
Good Audio Setup & Decent Connectivity Features
The stereo speaker setup compensates for the lack of a dedicated audio jack. The audio produced by the handset's dual speakers is crisp and loud enough to fill a room; however, headphones are recommended for immersive gameplay and video streaming.
As far as the connectivity is concerned, the iQOO Neo 6 supports four 5G bands- n1/n41/n77/n78, 2.4G/5G Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, OTG and comes with a dual SIM card slot.
Smooth Software & Fast 80W Fast-Charging
The iQOO Neo 6 runs on Vivo's FunTouch OS v12 based on Android 12, which comes loaded with UI customizations and utility features. For a handset that's priced at Rs. 30,000, the software experience is good but Vivo tries to justify it on its top-of-the-line X80-series devices, which doesn't make much sense. In the case of the iQOO Neo 6, the software runs smoothly and whatever bloatware you get, can be uninstalled.
As far as the battery life is concerned, the phone delivers a day's battery life with moderate to some heavy use. A day's battery life isn't groundbreaking but what makes the overall package good is the 80W fast-charging. The bundled charging brick takes less than 40 minutes to refuel the 4,700mAh battery, which is impressive for a mid-range handset.
Impressive Primary Camera Performance
Though the iQOO Neo 6 is marketed as a mid-range gaming handset, it can also be a good camera device when needed. The credit goes to the 64MP high-resolution primary camera. With its OIS-enabled main sensor, you can capture crisp shots with good details in both pixel-binned and high-resolution modes.
Images reveal spot-on contrast and a wide dynamic range. The camera also performs well in the low-light as the bigger sensor lets in an ample amount of light and the OIS helps keep images stable and sharp.The primary camera also records crisp and vivid 4K 60fps videos; however, the stabilization is only limited to 1080p 30fps.
Design Lacks A Gaming Phone Appeal
Similar to most iQOO mid-range devices, the iQOO Neo 6 also lacks a gaming phone appeal. There are no game-centric design characteristics and the device just looks like any mainstream handset. In comparison, the Poco F3 GT looks far more compelling and has a unique game-centric design that instantly resonates with the user base.
No 3.5mm Audio Jack & No IP-Ratings
The iQOO Neo 6 lacks a 3.5mm audio jack despite having a thick body with a large chassis. For a game-centric mid-range device, iQOO could have offered a dedicated audio jack for a more immersive in-game audio delivery. Thankfully, the company bundles a 3.5mm dongle with the device, which should come in handy if you don't lose it in the first week itself.
The iQOO Neo 6's design is sturdy but it lacks water-dust protection. There's no IP rating support, which means you have to be extra careful while using the handset in challenging weather conditions.
Lackluster Secondary Cameras
The only good thing about the iQOO Neo 6's triple-lens camera system is its 64MP OIS-enabled primary camera. The other two sensors- 8MP wide-angle and 2MP macro sensor deliver passable results.
You will find the same set of sensors in almost a dozen of budget and lower mid-range devices. The output from both of these sensors is mostly average and pictures only look decent if shot in ample lighting. Colors are mostly off and pictures lack the desired clarity.
The iQOO neo 6 is a well-packaged product at a starting price of Rs. 29,999 despite some shortcomings. The mid-range handset delivers smooth day-to-day performance and lag-free gaming and brings a vivid and fluid 120Hz AMOLED display to offer an immersive multimedia experience. The design isn't inspiring, especially for a device aimed at gamers, and the second camera performs below average.
If you are spending close to Rs. 30,000, you can also consider options such as the OnePlus Nord 2 5G (for better software experience), Samsung Galaxy M52 5G (better brand value), Vivo V23 5G (better cameras), Motorola Edge 30 (Stock Android experience), and the Xiaomi 11i 5G (better cameras & longer battery life).