To say that the Indian smartphone segment sees cutthroat competition would be putting it mildly, and those who track this industry would know exactly what we mean. With brands trying out different strategies, building up hype around new launches, and attempting to differentiate their offerings using various means, it’s a tough world out there. In a scenario where even incumbents are finding it hard to survive, it’d be an uphill task for a relatively unknown brand to make its presence felt… and that’s putting it mildly too. One brand that seems to have broken through in recent times and created ripples is iQOO, if data from our latest Great Indian Smartphone survey is any indication.
Vivo’s sub-brand iQOO ventured into the Indian market with a bang, thanks to the iQOO 3 smartphone it launched in the country early last year. One of the first to come powered by the Snapdragon 865 SoC and to offer 5G support, the phone ranked high on performance, appearing as a solid value proposition for its asking price. But the brand went quiet after that, and for many, it was a classic case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. This year, iQOO made a comeback of sorts with not one, not two, but three smartphones… launched one after the other in quick succession. Not just that, all three smartphones seemed to have resonated well with the users. These devices come in the form of the iQOO Z3, the iQOO 7, and the iQOO 7 Legend, and they’ve proven to be great all-rounders at their respective price points… scoring high on performance, camera capabilities, charging speeds, and delivering a good overall experience in general.
iQOO’s efforts with these phones seem to have paid off too, especially when it comes to user satisfaction. For one, iQOO is ranking at the top with regards to satisfaction based on pure performance, with almost 80 percent of its users saying they’re happy with the speeds their phones offer. iQOO did well in choosing high-end Snapdragon SoCs, including the 768G, 870 and 888 for its new offerings, and that does seem to have played a part. Next, iQOO stood second in user satisfaction based on battery life, with 62 percent votes.
In the all-important camera category, iQOO ranks second again, just behind Apple, with its users voting in the brand’s favour for both the rear cameras as well as front cameras. This is corroborated by our reviewers too, since our camera tests have shown exactly what these cameras are capable of. This line taken from our iQOO 7 Legend review sums it up well: “The iQOO 7 Legend packs incredible performance, capable cameras and stupendously fast wired charging in a handsome package.”
We also asked survey respondents whether they’re satisfied with their phone displays, and iQOO has managed to grab the fourth position here. The brand’s score in the software department is quite impressive as well, where it’s ranking third, just behind OnePlus and Apple. This is interesting, since software is a tough aspect to master, and even biggies like Samsung haven’t scored high here. And when it comes to value for money, a whopping 87 percent of its users have given iQOO a rating of 4 or higher on a scale of 5. All this means that the overall user satisfaction rating for iQOO has gone through the roof, making it the top contender in the list with over 67 percent votes, and beating the usual winner OnePlus in the process, relegating the latter to second place. Winning over users and topping the user satisfaction charts is a huge deal, since these folks are bound to spread the word and also return as loyal customers when they buy their next smartphones.
This, of course, bodes well for the relatively unknown sub-brand still trying to find its feet in India, and shows how critical it is for manufacturers to focus on solid product offerings instead of resorting to gimmicks or depending just on hype or marketing buzz. Some of these things might be important from a brand awareness standpoint, but ultimately, the product is the hero. And if iQOO can continue in the same vein without losing momentum, the competition sure has cause for worry.