iQOO Neo 7 5G review: Ticks right boxes for performance-centric smartphone- QHN
The iQOO Neo 7 5G smartphone is a fresh entrant in the midrange smartphone segment in India. It ticks right boxed for a performance-centric smartphone with MediaTek Dimensity 8200 system-on-chip, up to 12GB RAM and 256GB on-board storage, AMOLED screen of 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, and 120W fast wired charging. But is it an all-rounder? Let’s find out:
The iQOO Neo 7 5G looks modest in interstellar black (review unit) colour variant. It lacks the flare of a premium smartphone, but has a thin-and-lightweight construction to compensate for it. Made of plastic, the phone has a flat profile on the front and two-side curved profile on the back. The phone may not look good aesthetically, but it has a good in-hand feel.
Display and audio
The iQOO Neo 7 5G sports a HDR10+ certified 6.78-inch fullHD+ AMOLED screen of 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. It is a flat screen covering the entire front with minimum bezels on sides. The bezels on top and sides are even, but the bottom bezel is slightly pronounced. Yet, the bezels are thinner than most other smartphones in its segment.
As for the quality, the screen is bright, vivid and responsive. It looks sharp and works well in everyday use. The screen supports adaptive refresh rate, which shifts between 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz based on on-screen content requirements. The shift in refresh rate is barely noticeable and the experience is overall smooth. Yet, if you feel the need, there is an option in the display settings to fix the refresh rate at either 60Hz or 120Hz.
Coming to audio, the stereo speakers are loud and clear but lack balance. It is because the phone’s earpiece doubles up as a secondary speaker and its loudness and quality is no match in comparison to the dedicated loudspeaker, which is available on the bottom side of the frame.
Performance-centric smartphones, especially those aimed at gamers, generally cut corners on imaging front, and the iQOO Neo 7 5G is no different. It has a triple-camera set-up on the back, featuring an optical image stabilisation-backed 64-megapixel primary sensor paired with 2MP depth sensor and another 2MP macro lens.
Of the three, it is just the primary sensor worth writing about because the other two sensors are supplementary and barely usable. The primary sensor is good, but there are phones with better primary camera sensors in the midrange segment.
Nevertheless, it takes detailed shots in good lighting conditions. It is not quick in fixing focus, but gets it right most of the time. In low-light conditions, the camera struggles in finding the right balance between shutter speed and light sensitivity (ISO), resulting in inconsistent experience. Coming to the 16MP front camera, it is good for basic everyday use. Like the other cameras, there is nothing special about it to write home about.
This is the area where the iQOO Neo 7 5G shines. From smooth user interface transitions to quick app loading time, the smartphone impresses with swift performance. It handles routine day-to-day tasks with ease and shows no restraint while handling power-and-graphic intensive tasks. It is as good for gaming with no visible lag or drop in performance after extended usage. On top, there are a few gaming titles such as PUBG: New State and Call of Duty: Mobile that run at 90 frame rate setting with ease.
Complementing the performance is the Funtouch OS 13 interface, which is based on Android 13 operating system. It is not perfect, but the inconsistencies are neither major nor centered around core utilities. For example, there is bloatware in the system, screen-scaling setting is not optimised for all apps, and widgets have improper sizes.
Keeping the show going is the 5,000 mAh battery, which is good for a day of mixed usage. Constantly pushing the phone to its limit by playing graphic intensive games and shooting 4K resolution videos drains the battery quickly, but that is natural for every other phone. Thankfully, the iQOO Neo 7 5G comes with a 120W charger that takes about 35 min to refill the completely drained battery.
At Rs 29,999 onwards, the iQOO Neo 7 5G is a performance-centric smartphone good for mobile gaming experience. It has a thin-and-lightweight construction, which is a plus from a usability perspective. It has a good screen and loud speakers that add to the good multimedia experience besides gaming experience. It could have been an all-rounder if it had the cameras to match the price.
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