iQoo Z3 Review: iQoo Z3 stands out among a sea of smartphones at a reasonable price.
Vivo’s subbrand iQoo has no problem with 5G. The company has launched four smartphones in India, including the Z3, and all support 5G. It makes sense that smartphone manufacturers don’t rely on high-speed data to sell their products, as Indian networks are still not operational.
Every manufacturer selling a smartphone between Rs. 17,000 to Rs. 22,000 brings something extra to the table. Xiaomi’s Mi 10i has a 108-megapixel camera (Review), Realme’s X75G comes with dual 5G standby and 120Hz Super AMOLED displays, and so on.
It is the first Indian smartphone to be affordable by iQoo. The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G processor has been chosen. This should not change for a long time. Is into doing enough to stand out in a market crowded by smartphones from many manufacturers?
iQoo Z3 Design
For review, I was sent a Cyber Blue unit from the iQoo Z3. The frame and rear panel of the smartphone are made from plastic. The matte back panel is smooth and does not pick up fingerprints. However, dust can build up easily.
The Cyber Blue finish is multicolored pearlescent and looks rainbow-like from different angles. The Ace Black finish is for those who prefer something subtler. It features a grey-black gradient.
It is slim and easy to hold, thanks to its 6.5-inch screen. The bottom of the phone has a 3.5mm headset jack, a primary microphone, and a Type-C USB port. The power button is located on the right, with the volume rocker above.
It contains a fingerprint reader. The fingerprint reader is easy to reach and unlocks your device immediately.
Software and Specifications for iQoo Z3
The iQoo Z3 smartphone is the first Indian smartphone to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G mobile platform. The iQoo Z3 is compatible with two 5G bands (n77 and n78), but does not support dual 5G standby.
The Snapdragon 768G, a slightly modified version of the 765G, made it to several mid-range smartphones like the Vivo V20 Pro and the OnePlus Nord (Review). iQoo is offering it at a price of less than Rs. It is quite interesting to see a 20,000-dollar smartphone.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G has an octa-core setup that includes one Kryo 475 gold core (2.8GHz), another Kryo 475 gold core (2.4GHz), and six Kryo 4775 silver cores (1.8GHz).
The Snapdragon 750G processor is used in many smartphones at this price, but the Snapdragon 768G has a faster CPU and GPU clock speed and is manufactured on a 7nm manufacturing process instead of 8.
The Z3 was launched by iQoo in India in three configurations. There are three configurations available: a Z3 with 6GB RAM and +128GB storage, an 8GB RAM+ 128GB storage option, or an 8GB RAM+ 256GB storage option. They all support up to 1TB microSD cards for expansion via the hybrid SIM slot.
Vivo’s FunTouch OS is used by the iQoo Z3. It is currently at version 11.1, and it runs Android 11.
My unit was also running the May 2021 Android security upgrade. iQoo had not yet announced any plans to move to Vivo’s next-generation Origin OS. This OS is available on the Chinese version of this phone.
FunTouch OS is very similar to stock Android, in appearance and functionality. However, it offers many customizations that other Android skins don’t offer.
You can modify the animations of the unlock screen, charging, USB insert, charging, and even putting your phone on standby or waking it up. However, you cannot change the icon shape like Oppo’s ColorOS and Realme’s Realme UI smartphones.
There are many iQoo-branded applications, including EasyShare, Notes, and Video. iQoo also has its own dialer, and SMS apps on Z3. Bloatware can only be used by three apps: Snapchat, Dailyhunt, and Moj. All of them can be uninstalled at any time if they are not required.
Performance and Battery life of iQoo Z3
The 6.5-inch FHD+ LCD of the iQoo Z3 has a refresh rate 120Hz and a touch sampling speed of 180Hz. This is very useful for playing games. The display is made of reinforced Panda glass. These fingerprints are easy to pick up and are difficult to clean off. In sunlight, the display is bright enough.
Although colors appear saturated, text and images are sharp. The software felt fluid and fluid during everyday use due to the 120Hz refresh rate. iQoo claims the display is HDR10-certified. Netflix didn’t support HDR streaming. I was able to stream HDR content via the Youtube app.
Overall performance was excellent with no stuttering and lag. In our benchmarking tests, the new Snapdragon 768G SoC saw a significant increase in score. The iQoo Z3 scored 4,45,029 in AnTuTu along with 710 and 1,985 respectively in Geekbench 5’s single- and multi-core tests.
This processor performed significantly better than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G inside the OnePlus Nord CE 5G Review, which scored scores of 3,918,813 in AnTuTu and 639 and 1830 respectively in Geekbench 5’s single- and multi-core tests.
The Snapdragon 765G is a great processor for gaming at mid-level, while the 768G offers excellent graphics performance. The iQoo Z3 ran smoothly when playing Call of Duty: Mobile on the default High graphics settings and High frame rates.
There were no signs of overheating. After switching to Very High graphics and framerate (with anti-aliasing enabled), the phone began to heat up but it maintained its performance. Asphalt 9 Legends ran flawlessly at High Quality without stuttering or lag.
Although the single speaker at its bottom is quite loud, it sounds very tinny. The speaker is adequate for gaming but not for listening to music or watching movies. Those who want better sound quality will be happy to know that iQoo has provided a 3.5mm headset jack.
The 4,400mAh battery can charge up quickly. It charges in just 30 minutes and then goes from zero to 67 percent. The entire charge takes 60 minutes.
The phone’s battery life was impressive with a remarkable score of 19 hours 32 minutes in HD video loop testing. The phone was able to last most days with only 30-40% battery remaining after an hour of gaming, taking photos, and checking social media sites.
iQoo Z3 Cameras
The iQoo Z3 has a triple rear camera setup. It includes a 64-megapixel f/1.79 main camera, an 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, and a 2-megapixel f/2.4 micro camera.
The 16-megapixel sensor is equipped with an aperture of f/2.0. You’d find the same camera interface on all iQoo or Vivo smartphones. You can swap the default visible camera mode for any other you use.
Photos taken in daylight were saturated and had a lot of texture detail. The noise was manageable and shadows were well-detailed. However, there was visible purple fringing in brighter parts of the scenes.
Although the ultra-wide angle camera took acceptable photos, it was unable to capture enough detail.
Also, there was a lot of purple fringing in bright settings. Surprisingly, the 2X digital zoom mode produced photos with good detail. Portrait mode photos showed a little more saturation and better edge detection.
Low light photos had no noise, but the detail in shadows was not as sharp, even when there was some lighting nearby.
Night mode was able to bring out the highlights and brighten scenes. I prefer cropping photos taken with my primary camera, even though the macro camera was 2-megapixels.
Although the selfies taken in daylight were clean, they seemed too bright. The front camera still managed to capture good backgrounds and subjects.
The selfie camera was good in low light conditions, as long as there was enough light. Night mode is a mess and applies some makeup to faces even with beautification turned off. This makes people look textured and synthetic.
Videos shot at 1080p at 30fps and 60fps with the primary camera had good detail and stabilization.
As with photos, there was a lot of purple fringing in videos shot with the ultra-wide-angle camera. Low light video at 1080p 30fps looked blurry. EIS also created a horrible shimmering effect while walking.
The 4K videos were found to exhibit abnormally high levels of color saturation, both in low and daylight. These videos also had no stabilization, which made them look jerky when recorded while walking or panning.
iQoo now boasts a strong contender in the premium segment of budget smartphones with the Z3.
The main hardware feature, Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G processor offers superior performance than other competitors, but it isn’t a huge leap. The box also includes a bright 120Hz refresh rate screen and the best-in-class charging with a 55W adapter.
The phone looks great in Cyber Blue despite its plastic body and back. It also supports 5G, which is a bit future-ready. Its average low-light performance is the only problem.
The iQoo Z3 is a great value for money, starting at Rs. 19,999. The closest competitor to it is the Realme X7 (5G) (Review), which has a 120Hz OLED screen and 50W charging, along with dual 5G standby SIMs.
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