Making a smartphone that’s successful is an act of balancing good specifications and understanding the requirement of the end-user. If this is done right then the result is a phone that is tagged value for money. The Vivo sub-brand iQOO has come up with several such phones since its inception. Their new smartphone iQOO Z5 5G also comes fully loaded with features that are an upgrade from its predecessor iQOO Z3 5G. But at the same time in order to save some cost the company has cut some corners too. Here in this review, I shall list out all the Pros and Cons of the device and whether is it a good buy or not.
The iQOO z5 5G is priced at Rs. 23,990. for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant while the 12GB RAM with 256GB storage variant costs Rs. 26,990. The device is made available in two colour variants, these are: Arctic Dawn and Mystic Space and the device is available to purchase from Amazon.in and Iqoo.com.
Here are the things you get inside the box of iQOO Z5 5G:
- iQOO Z5 5G Handset
- 44W Charging Adapter
- Type-C charging cable
- SIM Eject Tool
- Transparent Case
Let’s talk about the on-paper specifications of the iQOO Z5 5G at first:
- Display: 6.67-inch, FHD+ (1080 x 2400 pixels),IPS LCD,120Hz,HDR10, 650 nits, 240Hz touch sampling rate, Panda Glass
- Camera: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP | 16MP Front Camera
- Battery: Li-Ion 5000 mAh Battery with 44W fast-charging
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM7325 Snapdragon 778G 5G
- RAM & ROM: 8GB/12GB RAM | 128 GB, 256GB
- Dimensions: 164.7 x 76.7 x 8.5 mm
- Weight: 193 grams
iQOO Z5 5G comes with a punch-hole display at the front with the selfie camera situated in the centre and with slim bezels and a protruding camera module at the back. Along with a triple camera setup and an LED the back panel also has a glossy iQOO branding. The logo will shimmer based on the angle of light falling on it. The back is matt finished and also has a subtle glamour when you tilt it in different angles. I have the device in Arctic dawn colour and it looks neat.
The back has a matt finish so you don’t have to worry about the back panel getting smudgy or smeared but the front isn’t oleophobic. I would have liked to see Gorilla glass protection at this price range in the phone. Instead, the company has decided to opt for Panda Glass which can be considered similar to Gorilla glass 3 in terms of protection.
Moving onto the sides, the left side of the phone is left empty and on the right side you have the volume rockers and the power button which also works as a fingerprint scanner. This is quite a trend that I have seen in budget smartphones these days that feature a fingerprint scanner and doubling the power button as a fingerprint scanner. I think we all agree that in budget smartphones instead of an in-display fingerprint scanner a physical fingerprint scanner is a lot better. Thanks to the fingerprint placement the unlock process is very fast and even the facial recognition is fairly fast. The overall fit and finish of the device are way better than I have seen on the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE and Samsung Galaxy M52 5G both of which are much more expensive than this phone.
The display instead of the AMOLED display iQOO has decided to go with the LCD display. Don’t worry the company still decided to include a 6.67-inch FHD+ 120Hz refresh rate IPS LCD display in the phone. But since it is not an AMOLED display everything might not seem as bright and vibrant as it should be. The phone is bright enough at 650 nits you can use it out and the display will be visible to do almost anything whether it is gaming or taking video calls.
The company has also decided to include the support of Widevine L1 which means you won’t have any problem while watching high-resolution movies or TV shows at full HD resolution on all the streaming apps. As I mentioned it is an LCD display but the displays not that bad and it features good colour reproduction and doesn’t feel cheap. But still, the company should have provided an AMOLED panel as that’s what all competitor brands are using these days.
iQOO has upgraded the processor in the IQOO Z5 5G to a 6 nm-based Snapdragon 778G chipset. This gives the combined power and efficiency of ARM’s Cortex A78 and A55 cores. Daily tasks on this phone fly and they are just as fast as you expect from a modern-day smartphone without any lag and the performance is snappy.
The Snapdragon 778G chipset is powerful enough to handle almost everything whether it is gaming or your day-to-day tasks. The iQOO has given LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage that means the device will deliver exceptional performance even after years of use. For graphics, the phone uses the Adreno 642L GPU. The available RAM choices you have are 8GB/12GB which is great as most phone manufacturers provide only 4GB/6GB variants. That 12GB RAM variant combined with 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage and you have a phone that is really good for gaming.
In benchmark scores, I tested the phone with GeekBench 5 and it was able to achieve 802 points in single-core and 3,007 points in multicore performance. These are the test results that you’d expect from a phone at this price range. Even in longer durations, the phone sustained performance. Some of the credit also goes to the liquid cooling system included in the phone. As the trend is heading with VRAM usage more and more with the phone iQOO has also hopped on this trend, therefore, the iQOO Z5 5G has also option to expand RAM using the VRAM feature. Here the phone uses storage memory as RAM for less resource-demanding activities.
The phone feels more smooth thanks to the 120Hz refresh and 240Hz touch sampling rate. If you or someone like me and want to save a little bit of battery life you can turn off the unnecessary animations within the dynamic effects section as well as developer options. But there are some animations that you get with the FunTouch OS 12 based on Android 11 that you can’t turn off.
The iQOO Z5 5G comes with a new FunTouch OS 12 which is based on Android 11 out of the box. The new UI replaces Vivo stock apps with Google dialer and messages. The skin is fairly feature-rich but it is one that asks a lot of privacy permissions for using many of the features. You get features like the screen recorder, one-handed mode, Google Discover page on right-hand swipe, the home screen phone clone, easy touch screenshot tool kit, etc. Even the ultra game mode is jam-packed with modes like eagle eye enhancement, 4D game vibration sound effects, etc. These all features would come in handy judging the performance of the games while you are playing them.
Read more: OPPO F19 Pro+ 5G Quick Review
What might spoil your fun is the bloatware that comes around with the skin. While most of them are easily uninstallable but there are still some stubborn apps that don’t go away easily.
In the ultra game mode, there is a feature that you can enable called the monster mode to get the ultimate performance out of this phone. Further, you also get nice enhancements like the ones I mentioned above.
The key highlight of the iQOO Z5 5Gis its primary 64 megapixel Samsung Isocell GW3 sensor. The camera output is pixel binned to 12 megapixels. Then there is an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera that can shoot with a 120-degree field of view. To complete the triple camera setup there is a 2-megapixel macro camera. For the front camera selfies, the phone has a 16-megapixel selfie shooter. For videos, you get the support of 4K 30fps or 1080 p 60fps from the primary camera while the front camera supports only 1080 p at 30fps.
I found the photos to be mostly crisp and sufficiently detailed in proper daylight. The camera app opening and shutter speeds are fairly quick enough to just click and save some good-looking photos with a snap. But I found the camera struggling to focus sometimes and even when you tap to focus in the viewfinder, the shot might not come out as sharp as you would want. You can use the night mode to click photos with better sharpness in the evening and in conditions with a less favourable light.
You can easily switch to other lenses using the viewfinder by clicking on it you can shoot at 0.6 x ultrawide, regular and 2x digital zoom. In terms of portrait mode, I didn’t find it very effective in detecting edges. The blur level also turns down automatically for some reason and I have to manually set it to full bokeh many times.
In the nighttime conditions, the dedicated night mode does help in sharpening and controlling the exposure. As I mentioned already you can use it before sunset in low-light conditions to get more appealing images. If we talk about the video capabilities you can record 4K videos at 30fps with the primary camera and the results are somewhat disappointing. I captured videos with the camera and they turned out to be jittery, hunting for focus, and lacked dynamic range when compared against the video shot simultaneously with my iPhone 11.
The iQOO Z5 5G features a big 5000mAh battery and it provides an amazing 22 hour 11 minute run time in the PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test. So I can say for sure that the battery would run quite long for your average use. Although the company has bundled chargers and it has been downgraded to 44 watts but this is still a lot fast compared to the competition. It is rated to fill the battery life in 23 minutes and in my testing charged to 100% in a little more than an hour. The build quality for both the charging cable and the adaptor is really good which should get some points for the company for sure.
I played Asphalt 9 and drifting across the streets in it and shooting down opponents in the Battlegrounds Mobile India for about half an hour iQOO Z5 5Gs down and your battery by 5% and the temperature rose by just 1%.
iQOO Z5 5G comes with 5G support and you get support for two 5G bands, n77 and n78. This isn’t a lot but they are the prominent ones that are likely to roll out in India. The rest of the time till 5G shows up you can use the two VoLTE SIMs for calls, data, and messages. The calling experience is alright you can use Wi-Fi or VoWiF1 for calling. Additionally, for connectivity, you also get GPS and Bluetooth 5.2 support.
The phone comes with added stereo speakers and it performs very well. I don’t have anything to complain about the audio quality and you will be more than happy with the audio. I didn’t face any problems with calling or even while using Bluetooth earphones. In terms of security, the fingerprint scanner that comes embedded in the power button is quite good and responsive. I mostly used the face ID which is the quickest way to unlock the smartphone.
The Z5 5G has all the specs that you need to compete in the current market. But compared to its predecessor the phone lacks microSD expansion and the charging speed is a bit slower, what has improved is the battery size. The hole punch cutout looks modern but the selfie camera lacks a bit in terms of portrait modes. The edge detection in both front and back cameras needs to be improved.
So while Z5 5G is a good performance-oriented device it still has some tough competition in the market. I’m not talking about just the phones in a similar price range but even the flagship devices too as their prices occasionally drop due to periodic sales and price slashes.