Hands on: iQoo Z3 review
iQoo Z3 is the newest smartphone from the company to make it to the Indian market and is the first one to feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G chipset in India.
It comes with an impressive array of specs for the starting price of Rs 19,990 and even features a 55W fast charging solution which is quite uncommon in this price range. The company mentions that the smartphone comes with a five-layer cooling system to keep the internals cool while playing games. That combined with a 120Hz display will make this a compelling device for gamers.
Here’s an initial look at the smartphone.
The launch of the iQoo Z3 follows up on the iQoo 7 flagship smartphone and seems to adhere to the same standards set by it. One of the more significant features of the iQoo Z3 is the addition of the 55W fast charging, which is uncommon for this segment of smartphones.
iQoo Z3 price in India and availability
The iQoo Z3 will be made available in a 6GB+128GB variant that is priced at Rs 19,990, the 8GB+128GB variant is priced at Rs 20,999, and the top of the line 8GB+256GB is priced at Rs 22,990. The iQoo Z3 will be available in Ace Black and Cyber Blue colours. The first sale is scheduled for June 8 at 1 PM on Amazon.
You can avail Rs 1,000 off with Amazon coupons and up to Rs 1,500 off on ICICI Bank cards. Additionally, you can also avail up to 9 months of no-cost EMI offers on iQoo Z3.
At first glance, the iQoo Z3 appears attractive and unlike the other smartphone designs, despite following some of the usual trends. The rear panel of the smartphone has an attractive finish and is available in two colours, Ace Black and Cyber Blue of which we received the latter one for the review purpose.
The Cyber Blue colour panel might seem just a lighter shade of blue from a distance but it reflects a rainbow pattern as it reflects light on it. The Camera panel on the back is on the top left corner and make quite the bump. Besides the iQoo branding on the bottom left of the rear panel, the colour seems to extend to the side metal panels. But a surprising feature of the sides is that black indented bezels seem to cover a larger area compared to other smartphones.
The device is IP52 rated and seems ergonomic enough, but there is something about the in-hand feel of the high plastic polymer used for the rear panel, which doe not quite make it feel premium. The side power button doubles as the fingerprint scanner as well.
The display seems like a strong point for the iQoo Z3, despite it just being an LCD and not AMOLED. It has a 6.58-inch Full HD+ LCD panel with a 120Hz screen refresh rate and 180Hz touch sampling rate. It supports a resolution of 2408×1080 with 401 pixels per inch and a 90.61% screen to body ratio. There’s Panda Glass protection on top of this.
The display features Eagle Eye Enhancement that uses Local Tone Mapping, Memory Colour Protection, Colour Enhancement, and Detail sharpening, along with HDR10 certification. These work with all the media playback on the device including OTT platforms. With the high refresh rate, the media and games seem to play unfettered.
The display seems to produce some effective colours that are neither unsaturated nor oversaturated. The warmth of the images seems consistent with what to expect as well. The brightness is something that we are yet to test and will talk about in the full review.
We have been using the iQoo Z3 for only a couple of days and have not faced a single performance hitch so far. The smartphone comes with the Snapdragon 768G processor. While the chipset is new to India, it was announced more than a year ago. It is an octa-core SoC built on a 7nm process with a max clocked up to 2.8Hz. For handling gaming and graphics, you get an Adreno 620 GPU. It is a 5G capable chipset and offers n77/n78 band support in India.
The iQoo Z3 will be available in two configurations in India ー 6GB LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB UFS 2.2 storage, 8GB + 128GB LPDDR4X, and another with 8GB + 256GB LPDDR4X. The device also comes with an extended RAM feature which means the 8GB RAM will be equivalent to 11GB. It also comes with a microSD card slot for storage expansion.
This configuration seems to produce consistent results without any hitch and the gaming session seemed to go smoothly. The smartphone’s five-layer liquid cooling system seems to hold up in the limited initial tests as well.
The iQoo Z3 comes with a Samsung GW3 64MP f/1.79 camera, an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 2MP macro lens. On the front is a 16MP selfie camera inside the dew-drop notch. Some of the features of the camera include night mode, portrait, pano, live Photo, slow-mo, time-lapse, pro mode, 4K 60fps, AR stickers, and doc mode.
A few initial snaps seem to show that camera produces good images with correct colour grading. However these are only for daylight shots and we are yet to stress out the camera system during night and low light situations.
The results seem consistent with the front camera and it comes with an Aura Screen Light flash system that brightens up the screen in order to work like a flash and brighten the face for low light selfies.
The iQoo Z3 comes with Funtouch OS 11.1 (Global) based on Android 11 and packs in the security features typical with the version of Android. It does come with quite a bit of bloatware. And something that Vivo and iQoo seem to be sticking to their guns about are non-removable third-party apps like Netflix.
The iQoo Z3 runs on a 4,400mAh battery unit which is backed by a 55W fast charger that iQoo claims can charge the device up to 50% in just 19 minutes. While we are yet to test out the device battery life extensively, it seems to run out of juice quite quickly with the 120Hz mode.
The audio bit of the iQoo Z3 is a bit disappointing and it only comes with a mono style speaker with the outlet on the bottom. In fact, the audio is not loud enough compared to the other smartphones and might be an issue hearing media playing outdoors.
The iQoo Z3 seems to be a good competition for the segment with some bankable new additions and features. With the base pricing of Rs 19,990 of the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage variant, it seems to be at par with the other contenders. It could turn out to give the other smartphones in the segment tough competition if it holds up well in the full review.