iQoo Z7 5G Review: Best Smartphone Under Rs. 20,000?
iQoo Z7 5G is the company’s latest smartphone under Rs. 20,000 in India. It is the successor of the Z6 5G and compared to its predecessor, the Z7 5G has a slightly higher price. However, the new phone gets a lot of improvements including a brighter screen, improved camera system, and support for faster charging. The iQoo Z7 5G competes with the recently launched OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G (Test), Redmi Note 12 5G (Test) and Moto G73 5G (Test). Should you consider buying the iQoo Z7 5G over the competition? Here is our opinion to help you decide.
iQoo Z7 5G Price in India
The iQoo Z7 5G has been launched in India in two storage options. The base model packs 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and is priced at Rs. 18,999. Our review unit has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and is priced at Rs. 19,999.
iQoo Z7 5G design and display
The iQoo Z7 5G looks like a polished version of the more affordable iQoo Z6 Lite 5G (Review), with the camera module being rectangular and slightly larger. It has a flat polycarbonate body and frame, which is common for many smartphones in this price range. iQoo sent us the Pacific Night color of the Z7 5G, which, as mentioned in first impressions, looks quite premium. The back panel has a glitter finish when light hits it at an angle. While the phone has a glossy matte finish, the rear panel rarely attracts fingerprints.
I quite like the overall in-hand feel of the iQoo Z7 5G. The flat edges won’t hurt the palm and it’s also quite light at 173g. It’s a decently sized phone with a 6.38-inch screen that’s now been upgraded to an AMOLED panel, offering good levels of contrast and brightness. The display delivers vivid colors and deep blacks, which you’ll notice when watching HDR10 content on Netflix and YouTube.
The screen also refreshes intelligently between 60Hz and 90Hz with the “Smart switch” setting. During my use, I didn’t notice any stuttering in animations or when scrolling. That being said, I would have liked to see a smoother 120Hz AMOLED panel like the Redmi Note 12 5G.
What makes the phone less modern is the thick chin and the teardrop notch on the screen. While the design grows after a while, most competitors offer a perforated cutout. In return, the phone gets an IP54 rating for basic water and dust protection, which is slightly better than the Redmi Note 12 5G’s IP53 rating and the Moto G73 5G’s IP52 rating.
The iQoo Z7 5G also has a 3.5mm headphone jack, which might be needed as the speaker setup isn’t the best in the segment. The phone only comes with one speaker and the sound tends to be slightly distorted at full volume. For biometrics, there’s a responsive in-screen fingerprint scanner as well as AI-based facial recognition.
iQoo Z7 5G Specifications and Software
The iQoo Z7 5G features a MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC which is an upgrade over the outgoing model. Another area where the Z7 5G has improved is charging speed, which is now 44W. The battery capacity, however, compared to the predecessor, is smaller at 4,500 mAh. The iQoo Z7 5G has a hybrid SIM slot, a USB Type-C port, support for Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6 and GPS.
In terms of software, the iQoo Z7 5G runs Funtouch OS 13 based on Android 13. iQoo promised two major Android updates and security patches for three years, for the Z7. Regarding RAM management, I noticed that it improved slightly compared to the previous model. Most apps kept running in the background and didn’t reload when I went back to them. This is not always applicable when loading heavy apps such as games or recording videos on the phone.
Some pre-installed third-party apps can be uninstalled. Plus, you get the infamous Hot Apps and Hot Games recommendation folders in the app drawer. You can hide them in the V-App Store settings. The latter app sent me at least a few recommendations in the notification shade, every few hours. Luckily, you can turn them off by long-pressing any of the notifications, then tapping “Turn off all V-App Store notifications.”
The iQoo Z7 5G gets all the Funtouch OS 13 features found in the more premium iQoo Neo 7 5G (Review) and the flagship iQoo 11 5G (Review). These include support for Android’s Material You theme engine, customization of animations for various tasks, wallpapers, icons, and more.
iQoo Z7 5G performance and battery life
The iQoo Z7 5G performs quite well in its segment. The phone handles almost all tasks quite well. From routine social media scrolling sessions to gaming, the overall experience was pretty smooth. Heavier apps such as Call of Duty: Mobile, however, took a bit longer to load. However, the gaming experience was quite good. I actually preferred playing games more on the iQoo Z7 5G compared to the similarly priced OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G, which we reviewed recently.
Call of Duty: Mobile defaulted to “Max” frame rate with “Low” graphics setting. Alternatively, you can switch to “high” graphics quality and “very high” frame rate settings. In both cases, the phone showed no signs of lag or stutter while gaming, but there was some stuttering when a notification popped up. To solve this problem, you can activate the “Block notifications” function in the settings of Ultra Game mode. The iQoo Z7 5G does not heat up very quickly even while gaming, despite having a slim body and a powerful SoC.
In our benchmark tests, the iQoo Z7 5G scored 4,36,524 in AnTuTu. It managed to outperform the Moto G73 5G which scored 4,22,824 points with its MediaTek Dimensity 930 SoC, and the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G which scored 4,12,150 points with its Snapdragon 695 SoC. In Geekbench 6’s single-core and multi-core tests, the Z7 5G scored 729 and 1,835 points respectively.
In terms of battery life, the iQoo Z7 5G has an average screen time (SoT) of around nine hours. The phone took just over an hour to charge from 1-100% using the adapter that came in the box. in our HD video battery loop test, the Z7 5G ran for 18 hours and 51 minutes, which is just fine.
iQoo Z7 5G Cameras
The iQoo Z7 5G has a dual-camera setup on the back which consists of a 64-megapixel primary camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) support and a portrait lens of 2 megapixels. For selfies, the phone has a 16-megapixel front camera. The phone lacks an ultra-wide camera.
The daylight performance of the main camera is quite good for the price. Colors are vibrant and you get good detail across the board. However, sometimes shadows are not properly exposed in HDR shots. The same goes for low-light shots. The night mode helps in this case, which also reduces noise in the darkest parts of the photos.
Portrait mode with the rear camera is also quite good for both day and night shots. The background blur looks natural and creamy, but sometimes the software sharpens some images a bit too much. I noticed that the front camera tends to smooth out the skin a bit despite the beauty mode filters being disabled. On the other hand, the Portrait mode on the front camera does a good job with edge detection but makes the skin look a little fairer than it is in real life. If you like this type of color adjustment, you should have no problem with it.
The iQoo Z7 5G can record video up to 4K 30fps using the rear camera. For the price, the video quality is quite good, with good dynamic range and color. The front camera can capture decent 1080p 30fps video. I wish there was an ultra-wide lens here to make the camera setup more versatile.
The iQoo Z7 5G is a clear winner when it comes to delivering good performance under Rs. 20,000. The phone also ticks the right boxes for those who consume a lot of content on their phone and want an AMOLED display with a good battery life and fast charging. Front and rear camera performance is also quite good, but an ultra-wide camera is sorely lacking.
Where the iQoo Z7 5G fails is in the audio department. The single-speaker setup is a far cry from what a two-speaker setup can offer. Software preferences are subjective, but if you’re fine with Funtouch OS, then the iQoo Z7 5G can definitely be a great buy in this segment.
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