IQOO (I Quest On and On), the Vivo off-shoot, has done well for itself over the year gone by. From the get-go, the brand has stood out for bringing affordable phones to the market that are powerful, so much so that some have chosen to call it the OnePlus killer. Of course OnePlus is, in the end, from the same parent company BBK Electronics, but for a moment, let’s pretend we never heard of it. 

The newest IQOO is the Z6, and all it costs is ₹13,999, ₹14,000 or ₹15,999, depending on the variant. And yet, it comes with features that one was paying a hefty premium for a short while ago.

The IQOO Z6 has a plastic back and frame but looks as if it’s made of frosted glass. It has the boxy and flat design that is in fashion these days. This is not a small phone and it has a hefty battery inside, but it’s pretty light and slim. Ours is in the blue-to-pink gradient that’s used quite often in the past couple of years. The back doesn’t retain any finger smudges whatsoever — it’s nice to have it looking clean. There’s a bit of accenting with the way the edges have been chamfered and a signature tone reversal treatment given to the camera square. Around the edges, you’ll notice the headphone jack is retained, if you’re in the habit of using it. 

Smooth experience

In front, the first thing that will catch your attention is probably the small notch in the centre on top. It’s all the more noticeable as so few phones are sporting it these days. It crowns a nice-ish 6.58 inch IPS LCD display whose claim to fame is a high refresh rate of 120Hz and 240Hz touch sampling at this price. The notch does make the phone look dated, but look under the hood and it’s anything but that. In fact, for a budget phone, it comes with Android 12, it’s a 5G phone, it has extended virtual RAM, and more. It is a good option for gaming addicts on a budget. IQOO calls it the fastest, most fully loaded 5G phone in the 15k segment. 

I played around with it for a while to get an impression of how it behaved. I can’t help wishing the notch was not there and that the screen had slightly better viewing angles, but it’s quite fast in navigating and scrolling, with none of the old jaggedness we used to see with budget phones. I tried some simple gaming and wished the haptic feedback was stronger. It runs on the Snapdragon 695 chipset with RAM and storage variants of 4GB+128GB, 6GB+128GB, and 8GB+128GB. It lets you borrow RAM from storage of up to 4GB when you need high performance on the 8GB variant. It has a cooling system for long gaming sessions, and a hefty 5,000mAh battery that doesn’t run out on you in a hurry. 

There are the usual three cameras on the rear, with a 50MP leading the pack. 

The IQOO Z6 is generously endowed for its price segment and a good all rounder.