With the mid-range smartphone segment seeing new launches frequently in India, consumers are getting more options to choose from. One such option is from iQOO, and that’s the iQOO Z7 5G that was launched in India earlier in March. Launched at a starting price of Rs 18,999, is the iQOO Z7 5G appealing enough to be considered? Let’s take a look.
Display & Build Quality
The iQOO Z7 5G has a plastic build all around and we can’t expect more at the price. The back of the device has a matte finish and the blue colour we got looked really appealing. It gets bright when light shines on it, and the panel feels premium to the touch.
However, when you hold the device, the plastic frame doesn’t give off a premium enough feel. The build then feels cheap and I would have expected it to be better. As the sides are flat, you get a good grip on the hand and a compact feel overall. Further, you also get a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom which is a welcome addition.
Then on the front, you get a 6.38-inch AMOLED full-HD+ display with a 2408 x 1080 pixel resolution. In addition, the display has a 90Hz refresh rate and a 360Hz sampling rate. Now, this isn’t the best panel I have seen from iQOO. A rainbow effect runs across the screen and is very noticeable.
The colours, however, are vivid and rich, while the panel gets bright enough under direct sunlight. While the 90Hz refresh rate is decent, we have seen 120Hz screens from competitors in the same segment. Apart from that, the water-drop notch at the front doesn’t look very attractive.
Performance & Software
As for power under the hood, the iQOO Z7 5G packs the Dimensity 920 chipset from MediaTek and gets up to 8GB RAM and 128GB storage which is expandable up to 1TB using a microSD card via a hybrid slot. You get FunTouch OS 13 based on Android 13 out of the box.
The performance of the iQOO Z7 5G is impressive for its price. It has a capable chip that can run tasks smoothly and handle most things smoothly. There haven’t been any issues in daily usage. However, the software is where things can be improved because I could feel some jitters in animations across the user interface. In addition, the device also comes with a considerable amount of pre-installed bloatware.
Moreover, iQOO seems to have removed the option to keep the Always-on display continuously switched on. It can now only be shown for new notifications or when you pick up the device, which is something I found to be odd. However, I am not sure whether it has been removed only from this device or from all iQOO smartphones. Other features, such as changing system animations, gaming mode, etc, are all present.
As for gaming, the device can handle some heavy games with decent graphics. It could handle Call of Duty Mobile at high graphics with a high frame rate. The device didn’t get hot to the touch at any given point and could handle the game without any hiccups.
Further, if we talk of security, you get an optical fingerprint sensor which works in an average manner. It is quite slow to recognise the fingerprint but does identify it 9/10 times. We also got an update as soon as we booted the device, which contained the March security patch as well. Connectivity options such as 5Ghz Wi-Fi, 5G, Calling and Bluetooth performance remained optimum.
Coming to battery life, the iQOO Z7 5G sports a 4,500mAh battery with 44W fast charging support. While the battery size is decent, so is the battery backup. I could get a day’s worth of usage with around 5 hours of screen-on time with my usage which included social media scrolling, watching some videos, chatting and 10-15 minutes of calling.
However, if you are someone who plays a lot of games and performs other heavy tasks often, do not expect the device to last you a day as you might have to plug it in mid-day. The device takes more than an hour to go from 0 to 100, which is decent but not the best. We have seen competitors do better with a battery size bigger than iQOO Z7 5G’s.
The iQOO Z7 5G has a dual camera setup on the back of the device. This includes a 64MP primary camera with f/1.8 aperture and a 2MP depth sensor with f/2.4 aperture. This iQOO device has a 16MP selfie camera with an f/2.0 aperture on the front.
While the setup itself is a disappointment, as it has a 2MP useless sensor, the shots from the primary camera are surprisingly decent. When given enough light, the sensor can perform well and give out photos with an ample amount of detailing and sharpness. The colours are on the punchier side, and the dynamic range is also decent. The 2x crop also doesn’t miss out on details much and provides an impressive photo.
As for the portrait shots, the sensor can capture photos with high detailing and colours. Thanks to the data from the 2MP sensor, the bokeh effect looks nice and has accurate edge detection as well.
Shots under artificial lighting aren’t the best with sharpness, but the colours remain intact. Under low lighting, though, the performance of the sensors drops drastically, with the whole photo looking like an oil painting. There’s no sign of sharpness and detail in such photos.
Selfies from the front-facing camera are good. Though, the skin tone could have been much better the sharpness and colour accuracy don’t disappoint.
Night shots aren’t the best by any means. The photos are noisy and turning on night mode does enhance the details but do not expect a drastic difference.