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iQOO Z5 Review: It’s A Mixed Bag
Indian market over the last few years has seen several players in the smartphone space. However, a major chunk has been dominated by Chinese manufacturers that have grabbed the audience with pocket friendly yet feature-rich phones. We have seen smartphone OEMs introducing smartphones dedicated to gaming, photography, and multimedia. Only a handful of brands are solely focused on introducing gaming handsets; iQOO being one of them.
- Good gaming performance
- Good battery backup with fast charging support
- Premium look and finish
- Cluttered UI with pre-loaded bloatware
- Average night camera performance
The iQOO Z5 is the company's latest bet in the mid-range segment. It comes as a successor to the iQOO Z3 which was the first generation phone in the company's 'Z' smartphone lineup. The latest entrant brings some worthy upgrades over its precursor and has all the modern days' features that you can expect from a good mid-range phone. Speaking of the prices, the base model (8GB/128GB) is priced at Rs. 23,990, while the top model (12GB RAM/256GB) storage variant is announced at Rs. 26,990.
This sub Rs. 30,000 segment is getting super crowded and we have seen a plethora of 5G-ready phones debuting in the same category. How well does the iQOO Z5 manage to fend off the competition and whether or not it should be on your buying list? We are breaking it down for you in this review:
iQOO Z5: Design, Display Performance
The iQOO Z5 wears a subtle yet premium looking design. It has a slim form factor which is complemented by the matte-gradient finish at the back and metallic-tone frames. You can select from Mystic Space and Arctic Dawn colors. We received the latter and would like to add that the iridescent panel enhances the appeal. The upper left corner has an all-black protruding camera module placed vertically.
It isn't much prone to fingerprints or smudges which definitely is a respite. The device does ship with a transparent TPU case which you can use to keep it protected from accidental drops. Both volume rockers and the power key are placed on the right spine (usual positioning for most devices). The latter embeds a fingerprint scanner that is quick and accurate with unlocking.
The bottom panel has the USB Type-C port sandwiched between the speaker grille and a hybrid SIM slot. A missing dedicated SIM card tray for dual SIM and a microSD card support simultaneously restricts it from getting a perfect score here. The form factor is large and is you will have difficulties using the handset with a single hand. However, the slim form factor allows for a good grip.
iQOO has been one of those brands which have equipped even its affordable handsets with high-end displays. The iQOO Z5 isn't much different. The panel used here is an IPS LCD that measures 6.67-inches and has 1080P FHD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. The touch response is smooth the feedback while scrolling is also good.
It also comes with HDR 10 certification for HD video streaming. It's a decent panel that has balanced color production and average viewing angles. You'll realize the shortcomings while binging on shows and movies where the darker hues tend to pixelate.
The video playback experience otherwise is good. An AMOLED panel would have not only completed the package but also raised the competition bar. The brightness levels are good indoors but average as soon as you step out under direct sunlight.
iQOO Z5: Hardware And Battery Backup
iQOO has been maintaining a rapport of launching power-packed handsets that perform well under all circumstances. Driven by the Snapdragon 778G processor clubbed with up to 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB UFS 3.1 storage, the iQOO Z5 isn't much different. As expected, this handset performs well with not just general tasks but gaming as well.
are hardly any lags while extensive gaming and you can experience smoother frame transitions with graphic-rich games. Of course, the performance gets better with the highest settings. Also, no major heating issues are what we experienced throughout. It does slightly warm up during charging. But that's something not of major concern.
That said, the iQOO Z5 packs a big 5,000 mAh battery under the slim hood. It packs ample fuel to drive the handset through almost an entire day on a single charge. If you are an extensive gamer or consume high-res multimedia consistently; the backup will drop. The battery gets 44W fast charging support which comes as a rescue for quick refuels. It takes around an hour for a full charge (zero to 100 percent).
iQOO Z5: Camera Performance
The iQOO Z5's camera setup at the back has a 64MP main lens which is a Samsung GW3 sensor. The main camera gets accompanied by an 8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor and a 2MP macro sensor. The imaging experience is fairly decent if not too great. The rear camera comes with OIS support. You will probably have no complaints about the quality which the cameras deliver during broad daylight.
The main lens captures ample detailing and the additional sensors perform fair on their part. The wide-angle shots as well as the bokeh effect added to the images are well-defined. The iQOO Z5's rear camera can record both 1080p and 4K resolution videos, Stabilizations factor is decent with both.
As far as the night camera performance is concerned, it isn't too great. Like most of the modern days' phones, the camera app comes with a dedicated Night mode. However, manual settings rather than the dedicated mode will get you better output. The iQOO Z5 features a 16MP selfie camera. The front camera won't disappoint you if you frequent social media uploads or like to click self-portraits.
iQOO Z5: Software And Benchmark Performance
The iQOO Z5 has been launched with the Android 11 OS which is topped with Vivo's FunTouch OS. The UI tries to mimic the stock Android UI, however, with multiple bloatware pre-installed, it fails to deliver on so. Some of the third-party apps can't be installed manually, so you are left with a cluttered interface. A leaner UI minus the bloatware would have enhanced the overall user experience.
Now coming to the benchmark scores, the iQOO Z5 performed fairly on Geekbench5, PCMark, and 3DMark gaming tests. The device achieved 781 and 2,989 points in the single-core and multi-core tests respectively on Geekbench. On the other hand, it logged 8927b points in the Work 3.0 performance test on PCMark. We also ran the Wildlife Extreme Stress test where the Z5 score 708 points in the loop score.
iQOO Z5 Verdtci: A Hit Or A Miss?
The iQOO Z5 is an all practical device that suits the modern generation. While it is a good phone, it has several shortcomings that restrict it from being the perfect mid-range phone. The display is the primary factor which in our opinion would have not only solidified the deal but also given it an edge against the competition. A cleaner UI and better cameras are also the factors that could have made the iQOO Z5 a perfect mid-range 5G-ready handset starting under Rs. 25,000.