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iQOO Z7 5G Review: A Solid Budget Smartphone

The iQOO Z7 5G is the latest smartphone from the company in India under INR 20,000. It succeeds the Z6 5G and brings several improvements, including a brighter display, improved camera system, and faster charging. The iQOO Z7 5G competes with several other smartphones in its price range, including the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G, Redmi Note 12 5G, and Moto G73 5G. This review will discuss the design and display, software and performance, camera, and battery life of the iQOO Z7 5G to help you decide if it is the right smartphone for you.

iQOO Z7 5G Specifications

Before starting with the iQOO Z7 review, let’s glance at the phone’s specifications, pricing, and things we get with the device.

  • Display: 6.3-inch FHD+ AMOLED, 90Hz refresh rate
  • CPU: Octa-core MediaTek Dimesnity 920 processor
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Software: Android 13, FunTouch OS 13
  • Main Camera: 64MP primary sensor + 2MP portrait lens
  • Selfie Camera: 16MP
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS
  • Cellular: Dual SIM
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, in-display
  • Battery: 4,400 mAh, non-removable
  • Charging: 66W fast charging

Box Contents

Here’s a complete list of items you get inside the box:

  • iQOO Z7 smartphone
  • 66W Charger
  • USB Type-C charging cable
  • Sim Ejector Tool
  • Documentation

Design & Display

The iQOO Z7 5G has a polished design, reminiscent of the iQOO Z6 Lite 5G, with a rectangular camera module that is slightly bigger. The phone has a flat polycarbonate body and frame which is common among smartphones in its price range. The Pacific Night color variant we received for review looks quite premium, with a glittery finish on the rear panel that catches the light from certain angles. The rear panel has a shiny matte finish that rarely attracts fingerprints, which is a plus.

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The iQOO Z7 5G has a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is a great addition, given that the speaker setup is not the best in the segment. The phone only has a single speaker, and the sound tends to get slightly distorted at full volume. There is a responsive in-display fingerprint scanner and AI-based face recognition for biometrics and added security.

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The phone has a decently sized 6.38-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD+ resolution that offers good contrast and brightness levels. The display provides vibrant colors and deep blacks, making it great for viewing HDR10 content on Netflix and YouTube. The screen refreshes between 60Hz and 90Hz with the ‘Smart switch’ setting, and there are no noticeable stutters when scrolling or navigating the interface. However, it would have been nice to see a smoother 120Hz AMOLED panel here.

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The phone also features a waterdrop notch in the display and a thick chin, making it look less modern than most competitors. That said, the Z7 also comes with an IP54 rating for basic water and dust protection, which is slightly better than the likes of the Moto G73 5G’s IP52 rating and the Redmi Note 12 5G’s IP53 rating.

Software & Performance

The iQOO Z7 5G boasts impressive software and performance features. The phone runs on Android 13-based Funtouch OS 13, and the company has committed to providing two major Android updates and three years of security patches for the Z7. The phone’s RAM management has also seen improvement from the previous model, as most apps continue to run in the background without reloading when the user returns to them. However, heavier apps like games and video recording may still require reloading.

Some preinstalled third-party apps come with the phone, but users can uninstall them. The phone also has the Hot Apps and Hot Games recommendation folders in the app drawer, which can be hidden from the settings of the V-App Store which has been missing on some iQOO devices altogether. However, the V-App Store app can be quite spammy, sending multiple recommendations through notifications every few hours. Fortunately, users can disable these notifications by long-pressing one of them and tapping “Turn off all V-App Store notifications.”

The iQOO Z7 5G uses a MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC, an upgrade over the previous model. The phone is quite capable in its segment, performing most tasks smoothly, from routine scrolling on social media to playing games. Heavier apps like Call of Duty: Mobile may take longer to load, but the gaming experience remains enjoyable. During our extensive review period, we did encounter a single instance of any apps crashing or seeing choppy frame rates within games.

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In benchmark tests, the iQOO Z7 5G scored an impressive 4,36,468 in AnTuTu, outperforming the Moto G73 5G with the Dimensity 930 SoC and the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G with the Snapdragon 695 SoC. In Geekbench 6’s single-core and multi-core tests, the Z7 5G scored 724 and 1,840 points, respectively.

Overall, the iQOO Z7 5G is a great option for those looking for a high-performance phone with a smooth user experience. With its impressive benchmark scores and improved RAM management, the phone can handle most tasks with ease, including gaming.

Camera & Battery

The iQOO Z7 5G is equipped with a dual-camera system at the back, comprising of a 64-megapixel primary camera with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) and a 2-megapixel portrait lens. There is also a 16-megapixel front camera for selfies, but unfortunately, the phone lacks an ultra-wide camera. Nevertheless, the primary camera produces impressive results in daylight with vivid colors and sharp details. However, in some instances, the shadows in HDR shots aren’t properly exposed, and low-light shots also suffer from the same problem. Night mode is available and it helps to minimize the noise in darker areas of photos.

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Portrait mode shots taken with the rear camera come out well both in daylight and low-light conditions. The background blur looks natural, but sometimes the software oversharpened some images. Meanwhile, the front camera tends to smoothen the skin even with beauty mode filters disabled. However, the front camera does a great job in detecting edges for portrait mode shots, but the skin tone is slightly lighter than in real life.

The iQOO Z7 5G can shoot up to 4K 30fps videos using the rear camera, and the quality is impressive for its price range with good dynamic range and colors. The front camera can shoot decent 1080p 30fps videos as well. Overall, the iQoo Z7 5G’s camera performance is quite good, especially in daylight conditions. However, the absence of an ultra-wide camera is a disappointment.

When it comes to battery life, the iQOO Z7 5G has an average screen-on time (SoT) of around nine hours with the 4,400mAh battery. It takes a little over an hour to charge from 1-100 percent using the 66W adapter provided in the box. In our HD video battery loop test, the Z7 5G lasted an impressive 18 hours and 51 minutes.

Verdict

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The iQOO Z7 5G is a well-rounded smartphone that offers good value for its price. It has a decent design with a good AMOLED display, a capable MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC, and a good main camera. The phone’s performance is also quite impressive, with smooth multitasking and gaming capabilities. The software is a bit cluttered with pre-installed apps and notifications, but it can be easily managed.

To sum it up, the iQOO Z7 5G competes well against the recently launched OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G, Redmi Note 12 5G, and the Moto G73 5G. The phone offers good value for its price and is a worthy consideration for those looking for a budget 5G smartphone.