iQOO, Vivo’s performance-focused sub-brand, has set the bar high with powerful mid-range smartphones in recent times. With last year’s Neo 6 being a hit with consumers, let’s find out what the updated iQOO Neo 7 brings to the table.
The phone is quite slim—just 8.5 mm—and despite the massive 6.78-inch display, it could fit in my pocket easily. The review unit is iridescent blue with a frosted matte finish. Well-built gaming phones should be easy to hold for long hours of gaming and this 193-gram beast didn’t bother me one bit during 2–3 hour gaming sessions.
The iQOO 7 Neo features a 120Hz 6.78 Inch AMOLED display and this may be one of the best displays for this price range. The fluid experience of a 120 Hz display on a gaming smartphone makes it a winner in my book. I was able to choose the colour reproduction on-screen to be either neutral or rich. In either case, with deep blacks and vivid contrasts, it was a pleasure to watch both YouTube and OTT content in full HD.
The phone features a MediaTek Dimensity 8200 5G processor and is the top-end when it comes to MediaTek processors. The processor scores an average of 8,52,500 on the AnTuTu benchmark beating the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G, and the Galaxy S22 5G around the same performance point.
During real-life usage, the phone breezes through day-to-day tasks.
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The phone is based on Fun Touch OS 13 (Android 13) and works fine on a day-to-day basis. The inclusion of a gaming mode and a heads-up display make for good value-adds.
It’s good for customising gaming experience like monster mode for a boosted performance profile. The e-sports mode turns off background notifications and smartly manages the system resources is a godsend for after-work-hours gaming sessions at home.
The unit I reviewed had 12 GB RAM and 256 GB storage space. Multitasking with gaming and Micosoft Teams running simultaneously was an easy affair with no stuttering or slowdowns. The phone did tend to get slightly warm when maxing out the game resolution in Call of Duty. However, it managed to deliver sustained performance without any slowdown, which is a sign that the cooling tech that IQOO has incorporated is doing its job well.
One of the most disappointing component of this smartphone is its camera. The iQOO Neo 7 features a 64-megapixel main camera with OIS as well as a 2 MP depth sensor and macro lens. The main camera captures decent images in daylight, but when the light drops, it suffers from too much noise. The automatic post-processing doesn’t help in any regard in making the images more usable, rendering them just about good enough for social media sharing. The front 16 MP camera would suffice in a pinch for a game-winning selfie, but front cameras aren’t the USPs of gaming phones and this one’s no different.
The smartphone features a 5,000 mAh battery and easily sailed through 2–3-hour bouts of gaming every day, 2-4 hours of video playback, and Microsoft Teams running through the workday, before hitting 20 percent charge.
Thanks to the 120-Watt adapter that comes with the phone, charging between gaming sessions was quick. On average, the phone can be fully charged from 0 to 100 in less than 30 minutes.
The iQOO Neo 7 is the right package for a 5G-capable gaming smartphone with a powerful processor, gaming-centric optimisations, and a great 120 Hz display for the price. The only drawback is the below-average camera.
Price: ₹29,999 onwards
Pros: Powerful gaming processor, effective cooling and battery life
Cons: Below average camera.
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