Starting off its journey as a Vivo sub-brand, iQOO made its debut in India in 2020 with a focus on gamers. It’s back with a bang now with two new phones – iQOO 7 and iQOO 7 Legend – that have almost all the elements required for a premium device to hit the bull’s eye. The one that I had for review is iQOO 7, which is more competitively positioned of the two, with the prices starting from Rs 31,990 for the base variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The smartphone comes in Storm Black and Solid Ice Blue colour options, and looks really good on paper with decent upgrade and at par with many flagships launched in the recent past. Let’s discover where this phone stands out in this review!
The Storm Black variant that I had for review will give you a premium feel as soon as you take this out from the box, which also contains 66W fast charger, USB cable, TPU case and user manual. It boasts a dual-tone shell on the rear with dark blueish on the sides and light blue in the middle when viewed from a certain angle. It looks beautiful in the sunlight. The handset sports a raven-hued camera module in the top-left corner with iQOO brand underneath.
The smartphone is quite slim and light, measuring 8.4mm in thickness and weighing below 200 grams. The side frame is made of good quality polycarbonate. While the left side of the device is blank, the right side has the power button and volume keys located suitably for your thumb, as there’s no need to shuffle the phone in your hand to reach these buttons. At the bottom, you’ll find a SIM tray, Type-C port and speaker grille.
There’s an optical in-display fingerprint reader and a fast face unlock on the front to unlock the device. The display on the front has almost uniform bezels and a centrally aligned punch hole notch. There’s a pre-applied screen protector that has an unmatched dew-drop cutout over the front camera.
Taken as a whole, the iQOO 7 looks quite attractive, is compact and very handy. On the downside, there’s no audio jack in this device.
The phone houses a 6.62-inch full HD+ (1080?x?2400?px) AMOLED display that supports a 120Hz refresh rate and a 300Hz touch sampling rate. The display supports wide colour gamut, is HDR10/HDR10+ compliant, and can get really bright with the company claiming 1300 nits of peak brightness. The handset comes equipped with DRM L1 certification and can stream 1080p content on video streaming platforms such Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos and YouTube. There are three colour profiles to choose from and each comes with a colour temperature slider. The phone also supports DC Dimming that reduces PWM flicker when using the screen at low brightness, thus reducing eye fatigue. iQOO has incorporated special Intelligent Display Chipset, which promises an enhanced frame rate in games for smoother visual enjoyment. Overall, the display quality is truly excellent in the given price.
The all-new iQOO 7 is powered by 5nm class Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 octa-core processor, which is further backed by Adreno 650 graphics engine, Android 11-based FuntouchOS 11.1. It comes equipped with up to 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB of the latest UFS 3.1 storage.
The smartphone has a Multi Turbo feature that is capable of extending memory space and reduces energy consumption to offer a lag-free experience. If your phone model has 8GB RAM, the phone can extend to a further 3GB to 11GB RAM virtually to offer smooth functioning of the device for tasks such as playing graphics-rich games or while recording high-resolution videos. Besides, there is a 6000mm² Graphite layer and also there is a liquid cooling system in place to dissipate excessive heat, which happens while doing heavy-duty tasks.
If we look at its performance, the gaming experience was simply wonderful, as many of the games ran very smoothly even without leveraging the game-centric features. The game mode has three new highlights – 4D game vibration, Game frame interpolation and Display enhancement – the last two of which are powered by a separate display chip.
The in-display fingerprint reader works very smoothly and performance is a very strong part of this device. On the flip side, bloatware is present. There are a number of third-party apps, many of which can be uninstalled.
In terms of audio output, the device has stereo speakers that get pretty loud. The stereo output is outstanding and immersive while listening to music or watching movies.
The iQOO 7 houses a triple-camera module on the rear – a 48MP (Sony IMX598 sensor, f/1.79, OIS: Optical Image Stabilisation), a 13MP 120-degree ultra-wide sensor (f/2.2 with 2.5cm macro) and a 2MP mono camera (f/2.4) with LED flash to help with portraits. On the front, it has a 16MP (f/2.0) sensor for taking selfies.
In terms of camera performance, the phone takes pretty good pictures in proper daylight. It captures sufficient details. Colours come out nicely and the dynamic range is wide. In the lowlight conditions, camera algorithms bump up ISO rather liberally, but the noise and artifacts are still very acceptable. The OIS helps with lowlight photography. The portrait sensor does a decent job with edge detection and there are a number of style filters. Selfies taken by this phone in daylight is outstanding, whereas it struggles a bit in the lowlight. Videos come out well with this phone.
On the whole, the iQOO 7 carries Vivo’s legacy of offering camera-centric phones, particularly for those who are obsessed with posting pictures on social media.
The iQOO 7 comes equipped with a 4,400mAh battery, backed by a 66W super-fast charging adaptor. It takes within 30 minutes to fully charge the phone. The power backup is sufficient for more than a day. This is one of the best value-added features of the iQOO 7.
The smartphone stands tall in every department, offering premium design, decent display, great performance, amazing cameras and heavy-duty battery. The iQOO 7 is an all-rounder indeed, even though it is aimed at reaching out to more gamers.