After a brief hiatus, Vivo’s sub-brand iQOO is back in the running with two compelling devices dubbed the iQOO 7 and the iQOO 7 Legend. I recently reviewed the former and to cut a long story short, was supremely impressed with the hardware on offer. That said, with the iQOO 7 Legend, the company is going the extra mile and have not only equipped the phone with top-notch internals, but the brand has also partnered with motor racing giant BMW to capture the essence of a fast and speedy Android phone. So, is the iQOO 7 Legend worth your bucks? Well, let’s find out in this review.
The iQOO 7 Legend packs incredible performance, capable cameras and stupendously fast wired charging in a handsome package. Rest assured, the handset offers the most complete smartphone experience under Rs 40K.
The iQOO 7 and the iQOO 7 Legend draw a lot of parallels to one another, and both the devices come toting a stunning all-glass design with an AG matte finish. That said, the iQOO 7 Legend sets itself apart from the herd of other glass-back phones as the smartphone features BMW’s iconic racing stripes towards the back. Coupled with the blue accents on the power button, the company has managed to add a touch of panache to the iQOO 7 Legend’s otherwise understated appearance. Rest assured, the iQOO 7 Legend’s aesthetics are easily among the best in the biz – so much so, I still haven’t come to terms with using the phone with a case.
Be that as it may, seeing how the handset is geared towards power users and gamers, the iQOO 7 Legend’s design would have benefited immensely from a headphone jack. What’s more, unlike the OnePlus 9R (review), the handset ships with a USB 2.0 spec Type-C port, which is a bummer. Thankfully, the device offers stellar biometrics, and the in-display fingerprint reader, as well as the smartphone’s facial recognition tech, worked flawlessly during my testing. I was also quite happy with the phone’s haptics which offered tactile and clicky feedback, so if you’re heavy on texting, you’ll enjoy typing messages and emails on the handset. As for audio, the iQOO 7 Legend ships with a stereo speaker setup which, unsurprisingly, gets quite loud and offers pristine audio too.
Coming to the smartphone’s display, the iQOO 7 Legend shares the same 6.62-inch Super AMOLED panel as seen on the iQOO 7 I reviewed a while ago. What’s more, much like its watered-down sibling, the iQOO 7 Legend’s screen also refreshes at 120Hz, which sets the scene for buttery smooth animations and transitions. Oh, and the panel gets satisfactorily bright too at 800nits and I for one didn’t face any difficulties using the screen under the sun. Unfortunately, despite the company’s claims, the iQOO 7 Legend doesn’t relay HDR media via OTT services as of yet. But, you do get WideVine L1 certification with the phone so streaming content in HD shouldn’t pose any problems.
Interestingly, unlike the iQOO 7, the iQOO 7 Legend doesn’t ship with a dedicated display chip and instead, the handset makes use of a pressure-sensitive screen which allows gamers to map in-game commands to a sterner long-press of sorts, akin to Apple’s 3D touch. For instance, I mapped the hip fire in Call of Duty Mobile to the left-hand side of the screen and could instantly trigger the command without actually pressing the designated button. Ergo, if you’re not comfortable with say, a four-finger claw grip, then you can map the commands triggered by your pointers to the pressure-sensitive areas on the phone and effectively deploy the same grip with just two fingers.
So, instead of lifting your thumb from the movement joystick to press the hip-fire trigger, or using your pointer to do the same, you can simply long-press on the left-hand side of the screen with your thumb and initiate the same command effectively. Now, I will admit, the utility does have a slight learning curve and you will need some time to acclimate yourself to the pressure-sensitive inputs but, once you do, there’s no going back. Rest assured, iQOO’s hardware refinements for both, the iQOO 7, as well as the iQOO 7 Legend, will go a long way in solidifying the brand’s presence amidst hardcore mobile gamers.
Camera-wise, the iQOO 7 Legend ships with Sony’s IMX 589 sensor which has been paired with a 13MP telephoto shooter with 2x optical zoom capabilities and a 13MP wide-angle sensor. It’s noteworthy that the company has retrofitted the wide-angle shooter with macro capabilities too. For selfies, the device gets a 16MP shooter up front. So, is the iQOO 7 Legend a viable camera phone? I firmly believe it is, and here are a couple of reasons as to why –
- The iQOO 7 Legend’s primary sensor clicks detail-laden images with authentic colours. Do note that the smartphone does spruce up the saturation in the shots but it does so rather tepidly and therefore, the images shot through the phone will convey the colours of the scene rather accurately.
- The main sensor also keeps exposure in check and you’ll seldom find instances of highlight clipping in the shots. That said, the device doesn’t bring out satisfactory details from the shadows or the darker parts of a composition. Still, for the most part, the iQOO 7 Legend’s primary camera will not disappoint you under ideal lighting conditions.
- Coming to the wide-angle sensor, the images offer ample details around the centre, however, there’s noticeable grainy-ness towards the edges of the frame. Thankfully, the macro shots look superb through the iQOO 7 Legend’s wide-angle lens and offer exceptional clarity.
- The telephoto sensor, on the other hand, could do with some tweaks. While the images shot at 2x zoom are quite sharp, the handset struggled to keep the highlights in check and correspondingly, there were noticeable bright spots in all of my zoom samples. That said, the iQOO 7 Legend does a good job of keeping the colour temperature consistent across its different lenses.
- I was quite satisfied with the performance of the iQOO 7 Legend’s selfie shooter. The images were crisp, the skin tone was acceptable and the smartphone managed to create a rather convincing blur effect around my face in portrait mode as well.
- Lowlight images look stellar too and while the phone struggled to capture adequate details with the night mode disabled, enabling the feature allowed the sensor to squeeze out every bit of details from the shadows.
It’s time to talk about the iQOO 7 Legend’s performance. Simply put, for the price, the iQOO 7 Legend thwarts the competition and is the fastest Android phone under Rs 40K. The device is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor which has been paired with UFS 3.1 storage, ensuring apps and games open in the blink of an eye. I did run a slew of benchmarks on the phone and to no one’s surprise, the handset outputted exceptional numbers in all synthetic tests. I was able to max out the graphics settings in a bunch of demanding titles too, the likes of which include Genshin Impact and Call of Duty Mobile and the unit’s temperatures didn’t spike abnormally even after an hour of gaming either, which is great.
Software-wise, the device ships with FunTouch OS v11 out of the box which is based on Android 11. Now, I’ve already discussed the salient features of the custom skin in my review of the iQOO 7, but in a nutshell, expect a UI which looks very close to stock Android. However, there’s tons of bloatware and not enough customisation options. As for the phone’s battery life, you should know that the iQOO 7 Legend lasts a full day off a single charge on moderate usage, however, performance users might have to top up the phone’s 4,000mAh cell by the evening. Thankfully, much like the iQOO 7, the iQOO 7 Legend also ships with 66W fast wired charging which refuels the device from 0-75 percent in just 15 minutes – let that sink in. What’s more, a full charge takes just 25 minutes and consequently, the iQOO 7 Legend will not give you any battery anxiety whatsoever.
Now, the iQOO 7 Legend is a 5G-enabled phone and supports the n41 and n78 sub-6GHz bands. Moreover, I didn’t run into any connectivity issues on my Airtel 4G postpaid SIM either and the device was netting me satisfactory download and upload speeds in the Delhi NCR area, which is great.
One would assume that iQOO is wet behind the ears, seeing how the company has but three phones under its belt. Well, nothing could be further from the truth as iQOO’s latest contenders are amongst the most well-rounded smartphones I’ve reviewed this year. The iQOO 7 Legend, for instance, offers excellent performance, a high-quality display and uber-fast wired charging, all bundled in a handsome, luxurious package.
What’s more, the device is a godsend for gamers, thanks to iQOO’s display innovations and will surely level up a user’s gaming experience tenfold. Honestly, barring FunTouch OS v11’s limiting customisation features, there’s nothing major holding the iQOO 7 Legend back. Suffice it to say, buyers in the market for a new phone should keep the iQOO 7 Legend at the top of their wishlists.
Editor’s rating: 4 / 5
- Stunning design
- Excellent performer
- Capable cameras
- 66W wired charging
- Innovative display
- FunTouch OS v11 needs more refinement
- No headphone jack
- Telephoto sensor could do with some tweaks