iQOO Z3 review: Decent mid-range phone

iQOO Z3 review: Decent mid-range phone

In just a little over a year since making its foray into the Indian market,  iQOO has managed to carve a good slice of market share in the sub-Rs 45,000 price range by offering premium phones at affordable prices compared to established brands such as Samsung and OnePlus.

With the Z3 series, iQOO has set eyes on the mid-range (under Rs 25,000), which is a highly competitive segment ruled by Xiaomi, Samsung, Vivo, and Oppo.

It is available in three configurations-- 6GB RAM + 128GB storage, 8GB RAM + 128GB storage and 8GB RAM + 256GB storage-- for Rs 19,990,  Rs 20,990 and Rs 22,990, respectivel

On paper, iQOO Z3 comes with a good set of hardware at a cost-effective price. Does it live up to the hype? let's check it out.

Design, build quality, and display
Our iQOO Z3 review unit is an Ace Black model. It features a smooth glossy shell on the back and looks lovely in the sunlight.
The rear side panel is made of sturdy polymer plastic material and the compact design makes it easy for fingers to wrap around the phone firmly. The only qualm is that the surface is a fingerprint magnet and needs constant cleaning.

Thankfully, the company offers a free transparent silicone case, which saves us the time to clean the phone, but also protects it from getting physical damage during accidental falls.

It features a Type-C port along with a mic, a 3.5mm jack, and a single-grille speaker at the back. By the way, the audio output of the speaker is decent.

On the top, it features another mic and along with SIM tray slot. The latter has two slots- one for SIM-1 and the other can only accommodate only one of the two- SIM-2 or microSD card. The consumer has to make the choice whether to have bigger storage or go for a second SIM.

iQOO 3. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

On the right, there is a volume rocker along with the power button, which also houses the biometric fingerprint sensor. The security feature does its job really well in terms of response time. It recognises the finger impression quickly and opens the screen without wasting any time. Even the facial recognition works good in well a lit environment, but not so much in pitch darkness.

On the front, 6.58-inch full HD+ (2408 × 1080p) LCD screen and is protected by a Panda glass shield.  Additionally, the company pre-fits another layer of display guard to protect it from scratches from keys and other articles in the pocket.

The display is bright and supports up to 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ content.  The company has incorporated the 'Eagle Eye Enhancement' feature that would enable to the display do customized adjustments to boost the visuals for many mainstream mobile gaming genres, dynamically tweaking the contrast and saturation for better in-game performance.

It also supports a touch sampling rate of up to 180Hz, which will further enhance the gaming experience on the phone.

iQOO Z3 houses a 7nm class Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G octa-core chipset (1 x 2.8 GHz Kryo 475 Prime + 1 x 2.4 GHz Kryo 475 Gold + 6 x 1.8 GHz Kryo 475 Silver) backed by Adreno 620 graphics engine, 6GB / 8GB LPDDR4x RAM with 128GB/256GB (UFS 2.2) storage (expandable up to 1TB).

The phone fares well in terms of day-to-day tasks such as opening apps, operating cameras, and even while gaming, it doesn't heat up much. Overall, a really good performer.

It runs Android 11-based Funtouch OS 11.1, the same as we find in phones manufactured by iQOO's parent company Vivo. The user interface comes off a bit rigid for a first-time user, but for those who have already owned Vivo phones, it will be like a walk in the park.  However, a rookie may take a day or two to get the hang of the Funtouch OS.

iQoo Z3. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

On the Geekbench 5.0, it scored 710 and 1,859 points on single-core and multi-core tests, respectively.

The iQQ Z3's Snapdragon 768 chipset comes integrated with a 5G Qualcomm Snapdragon X52 Modem-RF System. It supports peak download speed of up to 3.7 Gbps and upload speed up to 1.6Gbps.

It comes packed with a 4,400mAh cell and offers more than a full day's battery life under normal usage. 

The company offers a 55W fast charger with a retail box. It normally takes around 50 to 60 minutes to fully charge the phone from zero to 100 per cent. A 30-minute charging is enough to power up the phone's battery level from zero to more than 60 per cent. 

The new iQOO Z3 boasts a triple-camera module--main 64MP (with Samsung ISOCELL GW3 sensor, f/1.79, EIS: Electronic Image Stabilisation) backed by an 8MP (f/2.2) 120-degree ultra-wide camera and a  2MP(f/2.4) macro camera with LED flash. 

iQOO Z3 camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It takes decent HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos in the natural sunlight with an amount of detail and near-accurate colours. The wide-angle shots and portraits too are good, on par with rival brands in its class.

iQOO Z3 camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

The night mode pictures are a bit more dramatic. The camera adds a bit more greenish tint in the background. In the sample photo below, you can notice it behind the coconut tree and the result is that it comes off visually good without any requirement of editing or filter, worthy to be showcased on social media platforms. 

iQOO Z3 camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It can record high-resolution 4K videos with up to 60fps (frames per second) and Full HD 1080p at both 30 fps and 60fps. The phone comes with an EFB Autofocus Tracking feature. It is capable of tracking the subject taking up the biggest proportion of the frame. And also enables the user to change the subject as well. The tracking is continuous, as the feature can track faces when eyes cannot be tracked, and then track human bodies when faces cannot be tracked. 

iQOO Z3 camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

On the front, it features a 16MP (f/2.0) camera. It takes good selfies and offers a wide range of superficial filters to adjust the skin tones and colours.

iQOO Z3 camera sample with Night mode on. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Also read | iQOO 7 review: Affordable flagship phone

Final thoughts
iQOO has made a good attempt with Z3 to set foot in the mid-range phone segment. It has made the right choice of using a reliable Qualcomm chipset, which does a fine job offering smooth performance. Also, long-lasting battery life is another positive aspect of the device. The camera hardware takes decent photos, worth the asking price. 

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps, cybersecurity, and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.



Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox