iQOO’ latest addition to its Indian lineup of smartphones is the Neo 7, which succeeds the Neo 6 from last year. The iQOO Neo 6 was one of the best performers when it came to gaming and day to day usage. It was also one of the top value for money smartphones that was launched by the brand last year, according to our report card. This builds up pressure on the iQOO Neo 7 to at least perform better than Neo 6 if not similar. With a price tag of Rs 29,999, which is identical to its predecessor, can the iQOO Neo 7 prove itself worthy? Let’s take a look in our review of the latest iQOO smartphone.
iQOO Neo 7: Build Quality
Same as the Neo 6, the iQOO Neo 7 has a plastic build with premium finishing but this time around, the quality seems to have degraded. With the Neo 6, the plastic had a better matte finish than this year’s iQOO Neo 7. The plastic on the sides and at the back does give off the usual feel of plastic which is better subdued on competitors and of course, iQOO Neo 7’s predecessor as well.
This worsened the in-hand feel of the smartphone when compared to the Neo 6. However, haptics’ quality hasn’t degraded, which is still very much appreciable. The back design has changed slightly when it comes to the camera array, as two of the camera sensors now reside inside a bigger circle instead of two separate ones. Overall, it does look distinguishable over the competition.
As for the speakers, during our review of the iQOO Neo 7, the stereo speaker setup felt louder, with the audio shifting more towards the treble side. You cannot expect to feel the beats out of a song but they do get the job done. In addition, you get an IR Blaster at the top which we don’t see often on smartphones nowadays. An app called Smart Remote makes use of the IR Blaster so you can control various appliances with your phone itself.
iQOO Neo 7: Display
The iQOO Neo 7 sports a 6.78-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 2400×1080 pixels resolution, a 20:9 aspect ratio and support for a 120Hz refresh rate. The screen sports a hole-punch cutout at the top centre and a screen-to-body ratio of 93.11 per cent.
This is a slightly bigger panel than Neo 6 and is equally impressive. It no longer has the rainbow tint the Neo 6 had and gets bright enough. The bezels are also marginally thinner; overall, this is a commendable display. The colours are punchy, and the scrolling experience is smooth. I did enjoy watching videos on the phone, thanks to the sharper image quality.
As for the in-display optical fingerprint sensor, it is accurate and quick to identify the fingerprint. It unlocks the device almost instantaneously and has a bunch of customisation options available as well, be it for the fingerprint animation or the icon itself.
iQOO Neo 7: Performance & Software
Under the hood of the iQOO Neo 7, there is a MediaTek Dimensity 8200 SoC. The octa-core SoC has a peak clock speed of 3.1GHz and is based on a 4nm process. It also makes the iQOO Neo 7 the first smartphone phone in India to come with this processor. The chipset is paired with up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB UFS 3.1 storage.
We got the top-end 12GB RAM variant with 256GB of storage. The device also supports virtual RAM expansion of up to 8GB. We are happy to report that the iQOO Neo 7 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to performance. The Dimensity 8200 is a better chip in comparison to Snapdragon 870, at least on paper, and you can expect the device to handle the heaviest of tasks.
As usual, iQOO also doesn’t let down when it comes to gaming, as the Neo 7 can handle pretty much every game with ease. In our review of the iQOO Neo 6, we said that “playing games including Apex Legends, Call Of Duty Mobile, RL Sideswipe was a very enjoyable experience”, and the Neo 7 is no different.
It can handle Call of Duty Mobile at the maximum graphics and frame rate without breaking a sweat. Games like Wreckfest and Genshin Impact also work very well. You also get additional gaming-exclusive features like motion control, 4D game vibrations, voice changer and more. Not all the features work with every game, but if you are a Call of Duty fan, expect to use almost all the available features.
Talking about software, the iQOO Neo 7 runs on Android 13-based FunTouch OS 13 out of the box. Vivo, the parent brand of iQOO, seems to have done some notable work with its software, but it still needs polish in terms of the user interface.
Some elements look odd when compared to others, but the animations remain smooth as ever. The software also doesn’t fall short on customisation options, as you get a bunch of them, including animation styles for various UI elements, Material You theming support, new Always-on display styles compared to FunTouch OS 12, vibration styles and a lot more. You also get the January security patch which isn’t the latest but isn’t too old either.
iQOO Neo 7: Battery Life
The iQOO Neo 7 packs a 5000mAh battery with support for 120W fast charging out of the box. This is a bigger battery cell than the Neo 6, and it also supports faster charging when compared to Neo 7’s predecessor. As expected, during our review of the iQOO Neo 7, we got an excellent battery backup from the device with screen-on times going as high as 7 hours with light usage, such as browsing social media, calling, chatting, etc.
With more heavy or demanding use, you can expect to get around 5 to 6 hours of screen-on time which is very much in line with some of the competitors and even better than what some flagships offer these days.
In our review of the Neo 6, the device went from 5 to 100 in about 40 minutes, but with 120W fast charging on the iQOO Neo 7, you can expect it to get from 0 to 100 in about 25 minutes, which is also miles ahead than what the competitors are offering. However, to experience the highest charging speed, you will first have to turn on the fast charging toggle from settings which is turned off by default to prevent heating. If you keep it off, the charging speeds will change automatically on the basis of the temperature of the device.
iQOO Neo 7: Cameras
The Neo 7 has a 64MP ISOCELL GW3 main camera, a 2MP macro sensor and a 2MP bokeh sensor. For selfies, there is a 16MP front camera sensor. Compared to the Neo 6, the Neo 7 has replaced the Ultra Wide-angle sensor with an unnecessary macro sensor and we’ll talk about that in a second.
The primary 64MP sensor clicks decent shots outdoors with a lot of sharpness and vivid colours. The dynamic range is decent, and the detailing is more than enough. Overall, the camera performs really well when given enough light. Shots with 2x zoom are also well-detailed.
The smartphone has a 2MP portrait camera that clicks average shots at best. Edge detection isn’t on point, and the device fails to identify the subject when the background is too bright. Even in normal conditions, the camera kept on getting blurred on its own which made it difficult to focus on the subject. When it does work, it works in an average manner in terms of colours where I also feel that the edge detection could have been much better.
The 2MP macro sensor is a disappointment as well. It fails to click a photo that has enough details and sharpness. Moreover, there was a bug in the camera app that kept changing the colour tone to yellow and then back to normal within seconds. The result of the two macro shots I took wasn’t impressive by any means.
Coming to low-light shots, they were surprisingly well-detailed with average-looking colours. This is because the colour tone looks slightly faded. In artificial lighting, the results were similar, but the colours became better and were more vivid.
Shots at night were also in line with my expectations. They looked sharp and detailed, and with night mode, things got slightly better with improved exposure control. As for selfies, while these were detailed, the colours were totally off. With a bright background, it made my face look entirely yellow and even in decent lighting conditions, the colours didn’t seem accurate enough.