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iQOO 7 Review: A worthy iQOO 3 successor?

iQOO 7 comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870, 5G support, 120Hz display and much more. But is this all really enough? Let's find out in this review.

Devesh Arora Devesh Arora @aroradevesh
New Delhi Published on: May 14, 2021 20:37 IST
iqoo, iqoo 7, iqoo 7 review

iQOO 7 features a matte finish back design. 

A few years ago, we would see brands launch a diverse variety of smartphones under their brand name to fulfil the needs of each and every customer. However, in more recent years, we are seeing companies launching sub-brands to each different niche of smartphone they want to offer. It is a similar story with the recently emerged brand iQOO, which is more focused on the high-performance budget phone market.

The iQOO 7 with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 870, along with 5G capabilities, a 120Hz display for those ultra-smooth scrolling and gaming, aims to offer a ton of performance to people on the budget. However, like anything you see on the internet, you should not spend your money just by looking at the marketing material. So is the iQOO 7 really the flagship killer you have been looking for? Read the full review to find out. 

iQOO 7 Review: Specifications

iQOO 7 sports a 6.62-inch FullHD+ AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 20:9 and a refresh rate of 120Hz. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor paired with 8/12GB of RAM and 128/256GB of onboard storage. The storage is non-expandable. It runs on Android 11 based Funtouch OS 11.1 out of the box. All of this is backed by a 4,400mAh battery.

On the optics front, the iQOO 7 features a triple rear camera setup including a 48-megapixel primary camera, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle/macro lens and a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor. Upfront, there is a 16-megapixel selfie snapper.

iQOO 7 Review: Design and Display

iQOO 7 sports a clean design. Most of the companies are trying something flashy with their smartphones. The iQOO on the other hand has made a subtle clean smartphone which is nice. The back is made of matte glass with a rectangle camera module up top arranged in a nice design along with iQOO branding just below the camera module. The frame is plastic but coated in the same matte finish which overall makes the phone feel really nice in hand. The device is only 8.3mm thick and lighter than the competition. 

On the front, the iQOO 7 sports a 6.62-inch panel with a display cutout for a selfie snapper in the centre. The cutout for the camera is really small and the bezels are also small all around.

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There is a punch-hole camera upfront.

As for the placements, iQOO 7 sports a USB Type-C port on the bottom edge surrounded by the dual sim card tray, speaker grille and the primary microphone. The right edge houses the power button and volume rockers. The top edge of the phone is mostly left clean with the exception of the secondary microphone. 

Coming back to the display, it is a 6.62-inch AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2400x1080 pixels. The best part of the display is the 120Hz refresh rate support. Whether you browse Instagram all day or play games or just casually use your phone, a 120Hz refresh rate will obviously make the phone run smoother. If you prefer watching movies and other content on the smartphone, you will be happy to hear that the display is good, with great brightness and view angles. Overall, whether you wanna watch movies, play games or just scroll Instagram, this display won’t disappoint you. 

iQOO 7 Review: Performance, Software and UI

iQOO 7 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor paired with 8/12GB of RAM. Our review unit came with 8GB of RAM. With the phone being priced in the 30,000 range, the Snapdragon 870 is a really good processor. It's the last generation flagship processor by Qualcomm. Apart from packing in 5G capabilities, the 870 brings fluid performance with great thermals. During the review period, the combination of gaming, internet browsing and music playback didn’t cause the phone to sweat even a bit.

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iQOO 7 runs on Android 11 based FunTouch OS 11.1.

During intense gaming sessions, the smartphone got a bit hot but performed like a doll. Asphalt 9, Call of Duty it handles perfectly whatever you throw at it without any hiccup. The phone got a bit hot after really long gaming sessions, but Delhi’s hot temperature might have something to play in that too.

The iQOO 7 runs on Android 11 based FunTouch OS 11.1 out of the box. The user interface feels smooth. But it does bring in some features including a system-wide dark mode, a themes store and much more. The customizations of the basic system are limitless, you can customize the animations, theme colours and much more without a theme, configuring the phone to have small unique touches that you like. Like you can change the fingerprint animation, face recognition animation, charging animation, and much more. 

iQOO 7 Review: Cameras

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The camera module is quite appealing.

iQOO 7 sports a triple-camera setup at the back. The setup comprises a 48-megapixel primary camera, an 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle/macro camera and a 2-megapixel mono-chrome. The smartphone also gets Pro Mode, Night mode, Slow-Mo mode and much more. There is no monochrome mode to make use of the monochrome sensor which is a missed opportunity if you ask me. But again with a 2-megapixel sensor, they might have let it go on purpose.

The camera app is straightforward and offers a good amount of features. The main sensor, the images pack a good amount of detail with the AI optimization boosting the colours a bit. It also has OIS so the photos are a bit more stable if your hands aren’t stable enough. Under low lighting, there is a lot of noise and the photos aren’t as good as one expected considering the performance in daylight conditions. The ultra-wide sensor over sharpens the image and lacks details, but it doubles up as a macro sensor which provides great close up shots

The selfie camera has the same performance. However, its low light performance is way better than its rear counterpart. For the price range, it is not disappointing like many others. 

iQOO 7 Review: Battery

The iQOO 7 sports a 4,400mAh battery which by today’s standards and the price range this device stands in is a bit less. The smartphone does support 66W fast charging and comes with a fast charger included which is great for the price range. During my time with the device, light to medium usage got me around a day and some of usage. On heavier days, the battery lasted around a workday. I am sure the battery life will take a hit when 5G becomes available in India and we start using it.

With the included 66W charger, the smartphone manager can charge itself from zero to 100 in around 30 minutes which is really great for those looking for quick top-ups.

iQOO 7 Review: Verdict

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The in-display fingerprint scanner is quite responsive. 

Starting at Rs 31,990 for the 8GB ram and 128GB storage variant and Rs 35,990 for the 12GB Ram and 256GB storage variant, the iQOO 7 offers good value for money with great design and materials, equally good performance and a display. The software is also really nice and the camera performance is also good. 

Overall, if you are looking for a performance phone at around Rs 30,000 and you don’t mind going for a relatively new brand, the iQOO 7 is one of the best phones you can buy for this money.

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