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IQoo Z5 review: a decent step forward, but not a big leap forward

On paper, the iQoo Z5 doesn’t seem like a significant improvement over the previous model in this series, the iQoo Z3. There is no AMOLED display like on competing smartphones at around Rs. The price is 25,000 rubles, and its cameras remain the same as on the Z3. However, its price tag is slightly higher – the basic variant sells for Rs. 23 990. So is the new iQoo Z5 worth your money, or are there better smartphones that offer more for less? Let’s figure it out.

IQoo Z5 price in India

IQoo Z5 is available in two versions. There is a variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which is the base variant and is priced at Rs. 23,990 in India. The second option is 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, priced at Rs. 26990.

iQoo Z5 design

The IQoo Z5 is a step up from the Z3 in terms of design. The cushioned finish on the back of the previous model has been replaced with a matte texture that resists fingerprints and won’t slip out of my hands. The camera module has increased in size to a rectangle with rounded corners and protrudes very little from the back surface. The back cover and frame are made of plastic, but the phone is durable to the touch. This time the colors are more subtle. There are two of them – Mystic Space and Arctic Dawn – and both look quite mature and elegant. I received the Mystic Space unit for review and it changes color between dark blue and black when viewed from different angles.

The back panel and frame of the iQoo Z5 are made of plastic.

This phone doesn’t look too bulky at 8.5mm and doesn’t feel too heavy at 197g. There is a 6.67-inch Full-HD + LCD panel with a camera cutout at the top. While the borders at the top, left and right seem to be thin enough, the border at the bottom is rather thick. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack located at the top of the smartphone.

IQoo Z5 Specifications & Software

IQoo Z3 debuted with Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G processor in India, and Z5 received an updated 778G SoC. This updated processor was manufactured using a 6nm manufacturing process and operates at a maximum clock speed of 2.4 GHz, which is lower than the 768G. However, it has an integrated Adreno 642L GPU clocked at 750MHz rather than the 450MHz Adreno 620 on the old 768G.

The phone is offered with 8 or 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128 or 256 GB of UFS 3.1 storage. Communication standards include 5G radio (n77 / n78 bands only), dual band Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.2, and support for conventional satellite navigation systems. The phone has a dual SIM tray and no microSD card slot for expanding storage. It packs a 5,000mAh battery that can be charged using the included 44W charger.

IQoo Z5 Front ndtv software iQooZ5 iQoo

IQoo Z5 runs Funtouch OS 12 based on Android 11.

The iQoo Z5 runs Vivo Funtouch OS 12 based on Android 11. Like the premium Vivo X70 Pro +, the Z5 also has widgets, which you can read in detail about here. Animated widgets work as expected, but not too deeply integrated with either native or third-party apps. They are still fun to use. The rest of the software is similar to the FunTouch 11 and looks fluid thanks to the 120Hz display.

IQoo Z5 performance and battery life

Even though the LCD screen works fine for its price, I noticed a soft yellow tint at the bottom of the panel. Excellent sunlight readability and good viewing angles. On a 6.67-inch display with a 20: 9 aspect ratio, reaching for something is tricky. Vivo claims its display is HDR 10 compatible, but I haven’t found support for that in most OTT apps, including Netflix and Amazon Prime. However, the Z5 is still a good video streaming device thanks to its stereo speakers that sound loud and clear.

IQoo Z5 side display smeared ndtv iQooZ5 iQoo

Display gets dirty easily and fingerprints are not easy to erase

What I didn’t like about the display is that it’s dirty. The smartphone comes with a screen protector. Removing this left a layer of residue that made it sticky and prevented my fingers from sliding over it, especially when playing games. After a play session, Panda’s glass turned into a messy mess and was difficult to clean.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G didn’t disappoint in our benchmarks. The phone’s results were on par with the competition: 5.66,151 points in AnTuTu and 760 and 2,802 points in Geekbench’s single and multi-core tests, respectively.

iQoo Z5 side buttons ndtv iQooZ5 iQoo

The iQoo Z5 power and volume buttons are located on the right.

Gaming performance was pretty good. I tried Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9 and both games ran smoothly. The Snapdragon 778G SoC managed to run Call of Duty: Mobile smoothly with the default very high graphics and high frame rate settings without noticeable heat issues. Asphalt 9: Legends also ran smoothly on default settings.

Since this is a smartphone geared towards gamers, there is also “4D Gaming Vibration” that can be activated from the Ultra Game Mode menu or from the sidebar of the game. It didn’t work as expected, sending out harsh vibrations that were either too late or didn’t make any sense, and I found it distracting at best.

iQoo Z5 rear camera ndtv iQooZ5 iQoo

IQoo Z5 is equipped with three rear cameras.

The battery life with the 4400mAh battery on the iQoo Z3 was pretty good, and the iQoo improved things a lot with the iQoo Z5. This phone packs a 5,000mAh battery, which easily lasts a day and a half with regular use. The phone lasted an impressive 21 hours 57 minutes in our HD video battery life test. The slightly slower 44W charger that comes in the box still charges the phone from a depleted battery to 100 percent in 1 hour 10 minutes, which is not bad. In short, iQoo’s attempt to sacrifice faster charging for a longer battery seems to have paid off.

iQoo Z5 cameras

IQoo Z5 is equipped with three cameras on the back – 64MP main camera, 8MP ultra wide angle and 2MP macro camera. Selfie duties are handled by a 16MP front camera. The camera app interface is pure Vivo, and all important controls, including the switch for macro photography, are just a tap away. You can also customize camera modes. The maximum 4K video recording rate is 30fps for the rear cameras, while the front camera is limited to 1080p video at 30fps.

Samples of iQoo Z5 daylight cameras. Top: main camera, bottom: ultra wide-angle camera (tap to see full size)

In photographs taken in daylight, colors were slightly saturated, with a slight purple fringing in brighter areas. At first glance, they looked decent, but after a small increase it was easy to tell that there was little resolution in these photos. Selfies came out fine with good dynamic range, but edge detection in portrait mode was average.

Samples of iQoo Z3 close-up cameras. Top: macro camera, bottom: main camera (click to see full size)

Photos taken with the ultra wide-angle camera were passable and had blurry details around the edges of the frame. The 4cm fixed focal length macro camera is not easy to use and the result mostly looked impressive with a lot of oversharpness. I preferred the close-ups taken with the main camera.

Samples of a selfie portrait camera iQoo Z5. Top: Daylight, Bottom: Low Light (Click to see full size)

As with the iQoo Z3, the low-light image quality of the Z5 cameras was not the best. Photos taken in low light show hazy details as well as a lot of speckled textures. Switching to night mode did not help, it only added contrast to the image and nothing else. Selfies taken in low light lacked detail and looked quite soft, and edge detection was below average.

Examples of iQoo Z5 cameras for low light. Top: Auto, Bottom: Night Mode (tap to see full size)

Videos shot in daylight came out at constant frame rates and offered good stabilization, but the Z3 couldn’t handle bright scenes and tended to overexpose them. Oddly enough, I noticed a slight flicker effect when walking even in daylight. In low light, the details were on the underside. The stabilization was good, but the frame rate was a little erratic. The flickering effect was also visible in low-light footage. The 4K video recorded while walking looked very jittery.


While the iQoo Z3 with its sub-rupees. The starting price of Rs 20,000 seemed to offer reasonably good value for money, which is not the case for the Z5 because its base price is Rs. 23,990 in India. The iQoo Z5 offers some improvements over the iQoo Z3 (review), namely stereo speakers, a larger battery and a newer processor, but that’s not enough to compete with other popular phones that cost around Rs. 25000.

iQoo is officially planning to turn off the Z3, but it is still selling for just Rs. 17,990 (6GB RAM + 128GB storage) are currently online. In comparison, the Z5 is not a big enough step forward in terms of overall performance, nor does it offer enough value. Competitors have the best smartphones at similar prices.

From a hardware point of view, you get a powerful Snapdragon 778G processor, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but among the competitors is the Realme GT Master Edition (Review), which offers similar specs with a much better Super AMOLED display, good camera performance and 65W Fast Charge. , for Rs. 25,999. Gamers might prefer the Poco F3 GT (Review) with its magnetic suspension triggers, RGB lighting and larger battery, even if it costs a little more starting at Rs. 26 999.

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