iQOO Neo 6 review: VFM personified

We take iQOO's latest flagship killer - the Neo 6 - for a spin.

Review Summary

Expert Rating4/5

Design
★★★★★
★★★★★
Display
★★★★★
★★★★★
Software
★★★★★
★★★★★
Camera
★★★★★
★★★★★
Performance
★★★★★
★★★★★
Battery
★★★★★
★★★★★

Pros

  • Stunning display
  • Capable performer
  • Reliable main camera
  • 80W wired charging speed

Cons

  • Uninspiring design
  • Assisting cameras not the best

iQOO routinely churns out high-performance flagships and the company’s latest is no different. Dubbed the iQOO Neo 6, the smartphone is the first device under the brand’s all-new Neo series, which will cater to consumers looking for a power-packed handset around the Rs 30K mark. In fact, the company stated that the Neo series has been a long time coming and the range should bridge the gap between the affordable Z-series and the premium number series of devices from its stables.

More to the point, the iQOO Neo 6’s spec sheet is as loaded as it gets and the device is not only backed by Qualcomm’s top-tier Snapdragon 870 processor, but the phone also features an OIS-backed 64MP sensor and stupendously fast wired charging tech. This begs the question – is the iQOO Neo 6 worth it? Well, let’s find out.

Verdict

The iQOO Neo 6 is an enticing offering and the smartphone brings a slew of features to the table, including a gorgeous 120Hz display and Qualcomm’s top of the line Snapdragon 870 processor. Rest assured, buyers looking for a dependable Android or a high-performance gaming device will feel right at home with the iQOO Neo 6.

The lowdown

It’s easy to spot an iQOO phone in the wild and most if not all of the company’s devices look quite similar to one another. To wit, iQOO phones usually feature a curvy back that is further accentuated by a gradient pattern. Furthermore, the handsets often employ a square-ish camera module which has some information about the camera sensors etched on it. The iQOO Neo 6 is no exception to the rule and although the device is available in two tasteful colours, the smartphone’s overall aesthetic is – for the lack of a better word – quite forgettable. That’s not to say that the device looks bad, mind you. Only, the smartphone won’t impress your peers with its design to the same degree as say, the uber-sleek Moto Edge 30 (review), or the Realme 9 Pro Plus 5G (review).

Be that as it may, the iQOO Neo 6 is superbly comfortable to use day in and day out and the smartphone tips the scales at just 190 grams. What’s more, despite its plastic build, the handset doesn’t come across as cheap or flimsy. In fact, I didn’t notice any flex / creaking issues with the unit’s chassis during my stint with the phone either. That’s not all as the iQOO Neo 6 benefits from a slew of quality of life features too, including an IR blaster, as well as superbly tactile haptics which can be accredited to the unit’s X-axis linear motor. Rest assured, you’ll have a gala of a time typing long messages on the phone.

Unfortunately, the phone doesn’t feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. However, the device somewhat makes up for the omission with its stereo speaker setup, which gets plenty loud for watching movies on the fly. The company even bundles a 3.5mm dongle with the device, which is great. Moving on, the iQOO Neo 6 ships with a 6.62-inch, FHD+, E4 AMOLED panel that refreshes at 120Hz. Unsurprisingly, the display is a treat to look at and the screen offers wide viewing angles and exhibits punchy colours. What’s more, at 1,300 nits, the display gets adequately bright for outdoor usage too. I should also add that the device comes with WideVine L1 certification and the handset can even relay HDR media from OTT services like Netflix. Correspondingly, you can enjoy gripping shows like Witcher and Ozark in superb quality on the phone.

Now, the iQOO Neo 6 doesn’t benefit from the company’s framerate interpolation tech. However, the handset offers a snappy touch sampling rate of 360Hz, meaning the phone should pick up on all your swipes and gestures in a jiffy. If anything, I would’ve liked to see sleeker bezels bordering the iQOO Neo 6’s display. But, barring that, the smartphone’s screen checks all the right boxes and the iQOO Neo 6 is, without a shadow of a doubt, a great tool in any media buff’s arsenal.

Coming to the meat of the matter, the iQOO Neo 6 is backed by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 870 processor which works alongside enhanced UFS 3.1 storage and LPDDR5 memory. Now, we’ve already seen similar specs on a handful of other Androids. In fact, the company’s very-own iQOO 7 (review), which debuted last year, was powered by the same core specs too. Be that as it may, the iQOO Neo 6 is priced rather competitively and as such, is the most powerful Android in its segment at the moment. Unsurprisingly, the smartphone fares admirably in day-to-day tasks and can comfortably hold over a dozen resource-hungry apps like Instagram, Snapchat, etc in memory too. The device’s benchmark scores didn’t leave me wanting for more either and the handset net 983 and 3,099 points in GeekBench’s single-core and multi-core tests.

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That’s not all, as the company has incorporated a brand-new cascade cooling system that keeps thermal throttling at bay as well. In fact, the device throttled to just 79 percent of its peak performance in the CPU throttle test, and that’s despite being overloaded with 20 threads. In a similar fashion, the handset yielded 99.4 percent stability in 3D Mark’s Extreme Stress test too.

Of course, a good chunk of my testing revolved around playing graphically intensive games on the phone. To that note, the device can run demanding games at the highest graphics and FPS settings without breaking a sweat. For instance, I was able to run BGMI at the HDR graphics and Extreme FPS presets. Similarly, CoD Mobile can scale at the Very High graphics and Max FPS presets too. And, lest I forget, you can even download the enhanced UHD texture pack for BGMI on the phone. That’s not all, as the company is working on bringing a 90FPS mode for BGMI as well. Suffice it to say, the smartphone is more than adept at running the latest apps and games from the play store.

The iQOO Neo 6 doesn’t disappoint in the battery department either. In fact, provided you don’t game a lot, the smartphone’s 4,700mAh cell should last you a full day off a single charge. What’s more, the device ships with an 80W brick in the box that can refuel the smartphone’s battery pack completely in just a little under 40 minutes. As for software, the iQOO Neo 6 boots the company’s FunTouch OS v12 custom skin on top of Android 12. Now, we’ve covered the interface numerous times so if you’d like to know more about the utility or get insights on the features it brings to the table, do check out my colleague’s review of the iQOO 9 SE (review). That said, it’s important to note that, unlike other iQOO phones, the Neo 6 ships with significantly lesser bloatware. In fact, you can choose to not download various third-party apps like Moj, Josh, etc whilst setting up the device for the first time, which is great.

Camera-wise, the iQOO Neo 6 ships with a 64MP Samsung GW1P main sensor that works alongside an 8MP ultra wide angle shooter and a 2MP macro sensor. For selfies, the device gets a 16MP camera upfront. I’ve summed up my experience with the handset’s cameras below, so take a gander –

  • The iQOO Neo 6’s primary sensor can click delightful images during the day that are replete with details and peppy colours. The photos offer ample sharpness too and the objects positioned towards the centre, as well as the periphery of the frame, appear adequately structured. That said, I would’ve liked to see more realistic colours in the frame. As things stand, the smartphone boosts the greens and the reds in the frame, which is evident in the shots of my apartment complex as well.
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  • The ultrawide angle sensor, on the other hand, clicks passable photos at best. You see, while I can look past the colour temperature disparity when switching from the main to the UW sensor, the unit doesn’t offer satisfactory corner sharpness.
  • The selfie camera, on the other hand, clicks superb images, at least during the day. The output does falter after the sun has set however, the device can still overturn a gram-worthy photo, thanks to its built-in screen flash feature. What’s more, unlike some competing devices, the Neo 6’s front-facing camera doesn’t muck up a subject’s skin tone terribly either.
  • I should add that the smartphone can record videos in up to 4K resolution at 60fps. What’s more, the device is backed by OIS too, so you should be able to record excellently stabilised clips with the phone. That said, I noticed that the sensor struggled to expose an overtly bright scene properly. Furthermore, it would’ve helped if the colours in the footage were more authentic too.
  • The lowlight images don’t leave a whole lot to be desired either. To wit, the sensor mitigates noise admirably and the photos don’t appear overly bright either. That said, the objects towards the edges of the frame appear a tad soft.

Final Verdict

The iQOO Neo 6 starts at Rs 29,999 and for the price, offers the fastest chipset in its price segment. It also helps that the device ships with a stunning display that is compliant with HDR media. Furthermore, the smartphone charges stupendously fast too and this time around, iQOO has cut down on the bloatware too. All said and done, the iQOO Neo 6 gets a lot right and correspondingly, gets a recommendation from me.

Editor’s rating: 4 / 5

Pros:

  • Stunning display
  • Capable performer
  • Reliable main camera
  • 80W wired charging speed

Cons:

  • Uninspiring design
  • Assisting cameras not the best

Key Specs

iQOO Neo 6 5G
RAM8 GB
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 870
Rear Camera64 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP
Front Camera16 MP
Battery4700 mAh
Display6.62 inches
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iQOO Neo 6 5G Price
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Rs. 29,999.00
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