iQOO’s new offering, the Z7 Pro is positioned to go head-to-head with some of the popular smartphones in its category, including the Lava Agni 2 (review), Realme 11 Pro (review), and Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus (review). Key specifications of the new iQOO phone include a curved design with a ‘3D Curved Super-Vision display’, MediaTek’s Dimensity 7200 SoC, a 5,000mAh battery, 66W fast charging support, and a bunch of gaming-focused features, among other things. Let’s find out in this iQOO Z7 Pro review how far the smartphone goes in giving its competitors a run for their money.
Table of Contents
The iQOO Z7 Pro stands out as a performance-focused smartphone adept at effortlessly handling gaming and multitasking demands. Additionally, the device scores high in aspects like design, display, and battery life. However, as it turns out, the phone may have missed a trick or two in the camera and audio domains, though those might not really be a deal breaker depending upon what you’re looking for.
Design and display
- The iQOO Z7 Pro design is similar to the Vivo V27 series launched earlier this year. It showcases a sleek design with curved edges and an exceptionally thin form factor. The handset measures just 7.36mm in thickness, making it incredibly comfortable to hold. There isn’t a colour-changing back; rather, the rear panel of the Z7 Pro curves gracefully, featuring a sparkly matte surface that is quite appealing. Moreover, it adeptly conceals fingerprints and smudges.
- While the frame of the phone might be plastic, the Z7 Pro doesn’t creak or crack when pressure is applied. Additionally, the handset is IP52-certified for splash resistance. The rear panel of the device also sports a giant camera module, which houses a dual camera setup along with an LED ring, marketed as Aura light. The handset features an in-display fingerprint scanner that unlocks the device with acceptable speed. Other features include a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer at the bottom edge, along with a speaker grille and SIM tray.
- The iQOO Z7 Pro sports a curved 6.78-inch tall display of AMOLED variety. The display bears FHD+ (1,080×2,400p) resolution in a 20:9 aspect ratio and a pixel density of 388ppi. The maximum refresh rate is 120Hz, and there’s HDR10+ support too. Additionally, the display can reach a peak brightness of 1330 nits, ensuring excellent readability and content visibility even in bright sunny conditions.
- The default colour profile of the display looks quite crisp and vibrant, though some might find the palette slightly favouring warmer tones. However, you do have the option to select various colour profiles, such as Pro and Bright, from the phone’s settings menu. The 120Hz refresh rate works across UI and supported apps. It can drop down to 60Hz manually or depending on the content being played on the screen. The handset supports a 1200Hz touch sampling rate, ensuring minimal latency when you interact with the screen while gaming.
- Shifting focus, the handset boasts commendable viewing angles, further elevating the overall visual experience. While streaming content on the device is an absolute delight, the audio feels inadequate. This could be attributed to the mono bottom-firing speaker that tends to crackle at maximum volume. The iQOO Z7 Pro lacks stereo sound output, which is a bummer.
Performance and software
- The iQOO Z7 Pro is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 7200 SoC, launched earlier this year. This new mid-range chipset can be found on Vivo’s V27 smartphone as well. The SoC has a two-cluster configuration, with 2x Cortex-A715 cores and 6x Cortex-A510 cores, and a clock speed of up to 2.8GHz. Starting with the benchmark tests, the iQOO Z7 Pro attains an impressive score of 7,13,965 points on AnTuTu. As for the handset’s Geekbench score, it reached 1,181 and 2,682 points in the single-core and multi-core tests respectively.
- The phone maintains its impressive performance on the CPU Throttle test, where it sustains 91 percent of its peak performance. This consistency was evident while carrying out various tasks on the smartphone in real-world scenarios. The handset offers a seamless multitasking experience. Additionally, it refrains from prematurely closing background apps, enabling you to seamlessly pick up from where you left off. This holds true for a multitude of apps, including browsers, social media, offline games, and streaming apps, ensuring a consistently smooth user experience.
- As for gaming, the iQOO Z7 Pro is capable of handling almost every title out there. I mostly spent my time with the device playing BGMI at HDR graphics and High frame rate settings and there weren’t any instances of lag or frame drop issues. Everything ran pretty smoothly. Moreover, the phone’s thermals remain in check. Furthermore, the phone’s thermal management is well-controlled. The device incorporates a 3,000mm Vapour Chamber Cooling system, but it can get worked up too with excessive workload. The handset also features 4D Game Vibration, which is said to identify the gaming scene and create special vibrations for a life-like gaming experience, and Motion Control.
- The iQOO Z7 Pro comes with 8GB of internal RAM + 8GB of virtual RAM, along with 128GB or 256GB storage options. The storage is not user-expandable, so choose your option wisely. Here’s a 5G speed test done on the iQOO Z7 Pro using the Airtel 5G Plus network in Faridabad, Haryana:
- On the software front, the iQOO Z7 Pro runs Vivo’s custom skin FunTouch OS 13 atop Android 13 out of the box. It is not clean software, you will find plenty of apps pre-installed, but there are several customisable features including the option to remove/ uninstall some apps that are deemed unnecessary. Besides that, the software allows you to customise UI icons, hide albums, and prevent heating with the iManager Cooling phone app, among other things.
- There is also an ultra-gaming mode for an uninterrupted gaming experience and six motion gestures to have better control over games. Moreover, the company has promised two years of major software and security updates for the iQOO Z7 Pro.
- The iQOO Z7 Pro’s camera prowess falls short of being its standout feature. Equipped with a capable 64MP primary camera enhanced by Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), it is paired with a secondary 2MP depth camera and an Aura light at the rear. In well-lit conditions, the primary camera captures images replete with decent details, highlights, and exposure levels. While colour accuracy might slightly miss the mark, the overall outcome remains satisfactory. Indoors or in low light conditions, the cameras fail to reciprocate the same. While the images don’t come out hazy, thanks to the OIS, they tend to exhibit graininess, resulting in a slight loss of detail and sharpness. The Aura light is only good at filling brightness into the scene, with the quality remaining largely consistent.
- For selfies and video calling, the iQOO Z7 Pro rocks a 16MP shooter in the punch-hole setup. However, the performance of this shooter is rather average. While the selfies it captures could bring you relatively accurate skin tones in daylight, the detailing of facial features leaves much to be desired. The portrait mode of the smartphone isn’t that good either. The edge detection could have been better both with selfie and rear cameras. There are smartphones in the segment that might offer you better performance in this department.
Battery and charging speeds
- The iQOO Z7 Pro features a 4,600mAh battery, slightly smaller than the standard 5,000mAh batteries in its segment. However, the smartphone’s battery management appears to be quite efficient. The handset is capable enough to deliver a screen-on-time of six-seven hours, depending on your usage. Intensive users, such as those engaged in prolonged gaming sessions, might find themselves needing to connect to a charger at least once during the course of the day.
- In the PCMark test, the iQOO Neo 7 achieved an impressive score of 19 hours and 19 minutes, surpassing the performance of most of its competitors. When it comes to charging, the handset takes approximately 45-50 minutes for a full charge from nothing using the compatible 67W fast charger provided in the box.
The iQOO Z7 Pro has been priced in India starting at Rs 23,999. Whether or not you should invest in smartphones hinges on your specific usage. The handset has a lot of things going for it, but isn’t as impressive in the cameras and audio department. Competitors like Realme 11 Pro (review), and Redmi Note 12 Pro Plus (review) can do a better job in these aspects. Both smartphones are equipped with stereo speakers. Additionally, the Note 12 Pro Plus boasts a 200MP primary camera along with a dedicated 8MP ultra-wide sensor around the back, whereas the Realme 11 Pro features a 100MP primary camera.
That said, the iQOO Z7 manages to surpass its competitors when it comes to performance. So, if you require a smartphone capable of handling gaming and day-to-day tasks efficiently, this handset would be a suitable choice. Furthermore, the Z7 Pro boasts a captivating design and display, while also providing a respectable battery life.
Editor’s rating: 8 / 10
Reasons to buy
- The iQOO Z7 Pro features a sparkly matte surface that looks quite appealing.
- The handset offers a seamless multitasking and gaming experience.
- The smartphone’s battery management appears to be quite efficient.
- The handset boasts commendable viewing angles, further elevating the overall visual experience.
Reasons not to buy
- The iQOO Z7 Pro’s cameras are not its strongest suit.
- The audio quality is quite average due to the absence of stereo speakers.
- The software comes with several pre-installed apps.