Good gaming performance
iQOO, the more recent Chinese entrant into the Indian market, introduced its Z3 5G phone recently in India. The device starts at Rs 19,990 and comes in two colour variants: Ace Black and Cyber Blue. We reviewed the 8GB+256GB Cyber Blue variant of the iQOO Z3 5G smartphone which costs Rs 22,990 and here’s how it fared in our review.
iQOO Z3 5G: Design
design with the selfie camera and the earpiece sitting inside the notch. There are thin bezels around the top and the sides and a bit thicker bezels at the bottom of the display.
The right edge of the phone carries the volume buttons and the power button from the top. Both the buttons sit in a little depression that has been made in the middle of the edge and are easily reachable with the thumbs when holding the phone with one hand. The power button almost does not jut out of the phone body; it barely rises up by less than a millimetre while the volume buttons are a bit more prominent and jut out of the body a little more. The left edge does not come with any button.
The top edge of the phone has got the SIM card slot and a microphone orifice while the bottom edge carries a 3.5mm headphone jack, another microphone orifice, a USB Type-C charging port and three capsule-shaped vents for the speakers, from left to right.
The back of the iQOO Z3 is what sets the smartphone apart from other same price range smartphones in looks. It has a plain, glossy finish, without any texture of any kind and has a bluish-green tinge. A triple rear camera setup sits at the top left corner inside a rectangular enclosure that does not jut out of the body of the smartphone too much.
iQOO Z3 5G: Display
The iQOO Z3 5G sports a 6.58-inch FHD+ display with a resolution of 2408 x 1080 pixels. There are thin (about 2mm thin) bezels on the left and right sides of the display and about 4mm thick bezels on the top and bottom. The selfie camera sits in the top middle, inside a notched space, with the earpiece just above it. The display has a dark theme which can work for you when using the phone in dim environments. The eye protection feature decreases the Blue light emission and sets a warmer colour tone. There are no discernible changes in the tint of the display colours from different viewing angles.
There are three colour modes: Standard, Professional and Bright. The Professional mode adds a bit of warm colour setting to the display but only slightly.
The screen refresh rates could be set to 60Hz, 90Hz or 120Hz, based upon the activity on the phone. A Smart Switch feature helps adjust the refresh rates automatically. The adaptive brightness feature worked well in adjusting the brightness of the phone in different surroundings.
iQOO Z3 5G: Performance
The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G 5G mobile chipset and runs Funtouch OS 11.1 Global based on Android 11. The iQOO Z3 is a fast phone when it comes to medium to heavy use. The UI experience is fast and app navigation is smooth. The apps fire up instantly upon tapping them; the heavy ones like some games take 4-5 seconds to load up, which is quite good. There are a few apps that come as bloatware but you can get rid of them, but in spite of them, the phone has a clean UI with sharp icons.
We put the phone to some heavy gaming with Call of Duty: Mobile and it proved itself equal to the task at high settings (Graphics Quality set to ‘High’ and Frame Rate set to ‘Max). There was zero lag or unresponsiveness during the time we put the device to test. The back may warm up a little after one hour but it does not heat up. We liked how the phone handled the game without suffering any kind of issues.
iQOO Z3 5G: Battery
The phone charges to full in under an hour and if you are a light user, and just use your phone to check some emails and watch an occasional video or two, the battery can easily go on till two days. For a medium-to-heavy user, it could go on for more than a day.
iQOO Z3 5G: Camera
The phone comes with a triple rear camera setup of 64MP +8MP (120 Wide Angle) + 2MP (4cm Macro) lens and it has a 16MP selfie snapper. During the day, the phone gave clear and natural shots with well-defined objects. At night, the camera gave mostly clear shots without any blurriness. They are not as sharp as they would come out in the daytime. If you are looking to snap a good pic of the people in your group at night, having a bit of artificial light in the background would help.
The thing we could say we liked with the Night mode shots was that there was no change in the colour of any object or building for the most part when compared to a photo taken without switching on the Night mode. The Night mode brightens some of the areas a little like the sky and the building’s paint colour and also infuses a bit of light in the background which increases the clarity of the pic by bringing out the details which hitherto had been hidden. Take a look yourself.
Clarity and sharpness-wise, we liked how the images came out but had the brightness been a tad more, it wouldn’t have looked like a shot taken in the dead of the night. On comparing the pics with and without Night mode, the sky looks more bright in the night shot but hey, there is a slight change in the colour of the sky too, which is not very good if you are looking for a natural and clear pic at that time.
The portrait mode gives finely detailed shots if you are shooting indoors in artificial light or outdoors during the daytime. The object or the face in focus comes out sharp and detailed, with an effective blurring of the background. The selfies are also sharp, but they need a bit of light around you for a clear pic. In the near absence of light, they come out to be grainy.
The iQOO Z3 has a lightweight build, cool looks and a fast and smooth UI. The battery life is good, which can go for two days if you are a light-to-medium user. While the daytime camera snaps come out natural and detailed, the night shots need some improvement; photos taken in dimly-lit environments do not come out to be sharp. Gaming-wise, this phone can perform well with heavy-duty mobile titles like Call of Duty: Mobile. Overall, this is a capable smartphone from iQOO which came close to being a well-balanced product. If you are looking to go a bit different with your next smartphone, while keeping a budget under Rs 25k, the iQOO Z3 is a capable device.
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