Hello folks, you're watching the EJ tech show, I'm Abhishek, and today, I'm about to drop some "IQ" knowledge bombs on you, so brace yourself!
This is the iQOO NEO 7 5G - a mid range smartphone that promises flagship performance.PTC: There's a lot to talk about but before I dive into the review, please make sure you subscribe to the editorji channel
Now, I've been using this bad boy as my daily driver for the past two weeks -which means I've been gaming, taking photos and watching cat videos on YouTube...
Like a lot of cat videos! It's not even funny, I think I might need help.
Anyway, this phone has blown my mind in a lot of ways but it's not perfect either. So, let's get into the nitty-gritty. Starting with the design...Design and Build
Why fix something that ain't broken? That's what they said about my love life, but I digress.The iQOO NEO 7 maintains a similar design to its previous version, with some minor modifications such as a different coloured back panel and a switch from glass to metal for the outer part of the camera island. The screen bezels have also been reduced.The inclusion of an IR blaster is a useful feature, particularly when you want to use your phone as a remote for your TV or air conditioner.The volume button could benefit from improvement, as it lacks satisfactory tactile feedback. On the bright side, the in-display fingerprint scanner functions exceptionally well.Display and Speaker
iQOO NEO 7 comes with a 6.78-inch AMOLED display with a 120 Hz refresh rate and 1200 HZ instant touch sampling rate for a smoother gaming experience.I had a great time binge-watching gadget reviews of my favourite tech show, the EJ tech show.
I know that was a plug, but it's a good plug. Anyway, the screen didn't try to fry my eyeballs with SPF 10,000 sunbeams out of the display like some flagships but even then I had no issues watching videos in bright daylight. Viewing angles, colour reproduction, and contrast everything was good. To make the video-watching experience better, iQOO has also utilised the earpiece as a secondary speaker. And it also works as a secondary speaker, left and right channel imbalance was noticeable to me. But overall, this can be a great device for all your multimedia needs.Performance and Software
The iQOO Neo 7's standout feature is its utilisation of the new 4nm Dimensity 8200 SOC, making it the first phone in India to employ this advanced chipset. The power of this processor is reflected in benchmark scores! It scored 860533 on antutu and 3960 multi-core on Geekbench. I tested PUBG New state, which on this phone features 90FPS, and I was impressed by the buttery smooth gaming. Additionally, the Neo 7 boasts 4D gaming mode and motion controls, which offer enhanced haptic feedback and a more engaging gameplay experience.The phone also features a larger vapour cooling area compared to its predecessor, which effectively ensures that the phone operates at a lower temperature. The only instance where this phone showed any signs of overheating was when I subjected it to the highly demanding 3D Mark Wildlife extreme stress test. Despite this, the phone still managed to receive an exceptional 99.5% stability score.The iQOO Neo 7 is also equipped with a maximum of 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM that can make use of virtual RAM memory to reach an impressive 20GB, and 256GB of non-expandable UFS 3.1 storage. This translates to the phone being capable of smoothly handling virtually any task you throw at it. While there may be some occasional hiccups when opening multiple resource-intensive applications, overall the phone delivers a lag-free experience.PTC: Considering its price point of 30,000 rupees, I must say that this phone has definitely made a positive impression on me.
On the software front, the iQOO Neo 7 runs on the latest Funtouch OS 13 based on Android 13. It's always great to see the latest software on a smartphone and iQOO has always been good in that regard. The not so good aspect about the software is that it's full of bloatware. What’s funny here is that iQOO is marketing the Neo 7 as a gaming phone and the first bloatware that you see on the app drawer is Byju’s app. I mean Iv'e already completed my graduation so I uninstalled Byju’s and other bloatware, but sadly I can’t remove hot games and hot folders. In terms of software updates, Iqoo says the Neo 7 will get two major Android updates and three years of security patches.Cameras
Let's delve into the camera capabilities of the iQOO Neo 7, which, as we know, is primarily a gaming-focused phone.Traditionally, such devices are not renowned for their optics capabilities; however, I'm pleased to inform you that the Neo 7 boasts a strong primary shooter.That being said, there is no need to get overly excited, as the phone has done away with the 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera in favor of two 2MP depth and macro cameras, both of which are fairly ordinary. I mostly stuck with the main camera and it was evident that Vivo's expertise is present in the device's HDR performance.As an example, in one of my photos, the sun was shining brightly, but the Neo 7 was still able to capture the details in the highlights while keeping the shadows well-balanced. I have included some other examples for you to appreciate.In low-light conditions, the camera's performance is decent, with minimal noise. However, the night mode feature doesn't always make a significant difference. In fact, at times, it can negatively affect the photo by washing out the colors and only enhancing the brightness. Unfortunately, one aspect of the phone's camera that was rather disappointing was its inconsistency.For instance, take a look at these two photos that I captured in succession without altering the angle - the difference is quite apparent.On the plus side, the 16MP front-facing camera on the Neo 7 also produces impressive results, including great dynamic range, accurate white balance and colour, and impressive detail. Additionally, the phone captures high-quality portrait shots.Moving on to the video capabilities of the iQOO NEO 7, like most phones, it can record 4K videos at 60fps, and the quality is reasonably good. However, the stabilisation in video mode appears to be a software-based one, which results in a lot of cropping within the frame, something that should not be the case if OIS were enabled.Battery and Charging
If you have battery anxiety, then fret not because this phone's got your back.The iQOO Neo 7's 5,000mAh battery easily lasts one full day even with heavy usage. But just in case you need to charge the phone you can do that with the included 120W flash charger. In my testing, I could charge the phone from 0-100% in around 30 minutes which is just superb.Verdict
Well, like I mentioned at the start of my review, this phone has really caught my attention in a lot of right ways but there are a few hiccups that make it fall short of being the perfect midrange phone.They dropped the ultra-wide camera and the software experience is just okay. Still, let's give credit where credit is due, this phone handles everything smoothly and that too for under 30,000 Rupees.
So, I can definitely call it a Smooth Operator!