The iQOO Neo 7 performs well on all the promises that the brand had made for the smartphone. It is a super performer. Almost too good for a mid-range smartphone, it has a vibrant and responsive AMOLED display, and you get a pretty decent set of cameras.
Successor to a powerful mid-ranger, the iQoo Neo 7 has been launched after a lot of talk from the brand about the smartphone's power and gaming chops. The iQoo Neo 7 is the first MediaTek Dimensity 8200-powered smartphone to have launched in India. This mid-range offering from the brand has a reputation to live up to, a reputation set by its predecessor, the iQOO Neo 6 as possibly the best mid-range smartphone for gaming. Does the iQOO Neo 7 live up to that reputation? More importantly, is it worth your hard-earned money? Let’s take a look to find out!
Beginning with the design, the iQOO Neo 7 doesn’t have anything special going for it. The smartphone looks similar to the iQOO Neo 6, with the most evident distinction being in the camera module. That too, if you look closely. This time around, the macro lens is now placed on the metal frame of the camera module. The smartphone’s frame itself is plastic, with a gradient-like finish on the back panel that feels a bit like frosted glass to the touch.
Up front, the iQOO Neo 7 looks very symmetric. The bezels are thinner at just 1.6mm and the chin is also very thin at just 2.65mm. The almost 1mm difference is negligible, which makes the borders look quite symmetric. We get a 93.1 percent screen-to-body ratio, which is one of the highest screen real estate you get in this segment. iQoo has done well to reduce the volume of the chin. The smartphone also feels quite lightweight in your hands. We measured the weight using a weighing scale, and it came out to be 194 grams, which is very true to the 193 grams claim.
Overall, the design is a safe approach from iQoo that worked well last year. We get a similar design, with slight tweaks like a smaller chin and slightly tweaked camera module that bring it more in-line with the smartphones of this year.
Coming to the display, the iQOO Neo 7 gets a 6.78-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and up to 1,300 nits of claimed peak brightness. The display on the iQOO Neo 7 is very good. We get an FHD+ AMOLED panel, so the colour accuracy is pretty decent. The colours are true to life and the dynamic range is also good. It may not look as vibrant as some other panels in this range (something we have noticed in Vivo and iQOO mid-rangers). Watching YouTube videos and Netflix content is a great experience. iQOO has given a Visual Enhancement feature, which optimises the colour and contrast of the picture for a more vivid and immersive viewing experience on apps like YouTube and Netflix. The iQOO Neo 7 offers two colour profiles - natural and vivid. In vivid, the smartphone’s display has a more saturated configuration, while in natural the colours are slightly more flat.
The details on this display are also pretty good. When scrolling through the UI, watching content, scrolling through feeds, or playing games, the image is always sharp and there are no signs of pixelation or lack of quality at any time. It is also super responsive and bright, with the 120Hz refresh rate that makes scrolling, switching through apps and opening apps quite a smooth and slick experience. iQOO has also given a Frame Rate Priority feature on the iQOO Neo 7 that brings 90FPS gaming to the smartphone. According to our Gamebench tests, the iQOO Neo 7 gave an xyz FPS gameplay on Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9.
Coming to brightness, iQOO claims a peak brightness of 1,300 nits on the iQOO Neo 7, but according to our Lux Meter test, the iQOO Neo 7’s display peaked out at 852 nits of maximum brightness, with the lowest being 7 nits. Overall, this is a good display. It’s an E5 AMOLED panel so the colour accuracy is very good, and it’s super responsive, along with ample brightness to be able to use the smartphone in all kinds of environments.
Performance is where the iQOO Neo 7 impressed me the most. The smartphone feels super fast from the moment you open it up and start using it. Good signs for the successor of the iQOO Neo 6, which itself was a pretty solid performer. In our benchmark tests, the iQOO Neo 7 just thrashes the competition, with one of the highest scores we have ever seen on a mid-range device. On AnTuTu, the iQOO Neo 7 scored an impressive 857,930 score, which is much higher than its predecessor’s score of around 750,000. On Geekbench 5, the iQOO Neo 7 gave us a single-core score of 1,006 and a multi-core score of 3,922. This is almost in the flagship territory. To put it in perspective, last year’s OnePlus 10 Pro had a single core score of 997 and a multi-core score of 3457. Impressive.
We also ran other CPU and GPU-based tests on the iQOO Neo 7. These include PC Mark Work, where the iQOO Neo 7 scored 10,992 points. Now, this isn’t the highest in the category, but still pretty good for a mid-range smartphone. In the 3D Mark Wildlife test, the iQOO Neo 7 scored 6,591 points, which is again one of the highest we have seen in this category.
Now, this is how the iQOO Neo 7 performed in benchmark tests. Given that the brand is positioning the smartphone as a gaming-centric device, let’s talk about how the gaming experience has been so far. During my brief usage, I played several games on the iQOO Neo 7. These include Call of Duty: Mobile, Genshin Impact and Asphalt 9. All these games ran pretty smoothly, and on the highest-possible graphics and FPS settings. During my usage, I experienced no lags or frame drops at all. We played Call of Duty: Mobile for long hours as well, and the smartphone held up to the demanding task at hand very well. The game ran as smoothly throughout and the frame rate stability on this smartphone is nothing short of impressive. It does heat up a little bit after long gaming sessions or even other demanding tasks like running benchmarks, recording videos or charging, but it's not the worst we have seen on a smartphone. We measured the temperature using a Flir heat camera while the smartphone was running GPU benchmarks, and it showed a highest temperature of 45.9 degree celsius. That is not too bad for a smartphone functioning at the highest of its capabilities.
With the battery, the iQOO Neo 7 didn’t offer as outstanding a backup as we had expected. The smartphone’s battery backup is decent, unless you make it work hard. We ran several tests on the smartphone and found the battery to be draining a bit faster than what we have seen in similar smartphones. For example, GPS Navigation for 1 hour drained 10 percent of the smartphone’s battery. Watching a YouTube video on 2160p setting at about 75% screen brightness for 30 minutes drained the battery by 5 percent, and a 15-minute long session of Call of Duty: Mobile drained the battery by 6 percent.
Now, these numbers aren’t bad by any definition, but given the battery optimisation other smartphones in this range offer, our expectation was a bit higher. Overall, with loads of benchmarks, battery, and gaming tests, the iQOO Neo 7 easily gave us more than 6 hours of on-screen time, which is quite good for any smartphone.
Coming to the charging, the iQOO Neo 7 is one of the fastest charging smartphones in this category. The smartphone charged its battery from 0 to 100 percent in just under 29 minutes with the help of iQOO’s 120W fast charging tech. So while the battery backup may not be as impressive as some other numbers this smartphone has achieved, the charging definitely checks that box and makes for an overall good battery/ charging experience.
Coming to cameras, another area where iQOO has made changes. We get a new 64-megapixel primary Samsung ISOCELL GW3 sensor, alongside a 2MP telephoto and a 2MP macro lens. While iQOO hasn’t focused much on the camera chops of the Neo 7, the camera is still pretty good. You can easily click good images with this camera, and the colour profile is more saturated than true-to-life. The smartphone blows up the colours and highlights in low light conditions, mostly to make the images look more aesthetic and colourful. In extremely low light conditions, on the other hand, the images lose detail.
In ideal lighting conditions, however, this camera is very good. I clicked a few images in natural light and a few images in the studio. Every time, I was pretty impressed with the quality of images. The images have a nice colour tone that will appeal to all kinds of users, and don’t lose detail in most scenarios. Here are a few shots to give you a better idea of the camera performance.
The front camera on the iQOO Neo 7 is also very good. We get a 16-megapixel shooter, which clicks very good selfies in good lighting conditions. In low light as well, the images out of this selfie shooter are good, but lose out on detail.
So the iQOO Neo 7 performs well on all the promises that the brand had made for the smartphone. It is a super performer. Almost too good for a mid-range smartphone, it has a vibrant and responsive AMOLED display, and you get a pretty decent set of cameras. The battery drains a bit too quickly in some cases, but the super-fast charging more than makes up for it. The design of the smartphone doesn’t stand out as such, but then again, those who will buy this smartphone won’t care much about the design.
So, is the iQOO Neo 7 worth your Rs 29,999? Most definitely. If you want a power-packed smartphone mainly for gaming and other high-performance tasks, the iQOO Neo 7 is the best in this budget. However, if you want a more camera-centric smartphone, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+ would be a better option at the same price. If you are all about the design, the Realme 10 Pro+ or the new Oppo Reno 8T are more stylish at a price of Rs 24,999 and Rs 29,999, respectively.
|Release Date:||16 Feb 2023|
|Variant:||128 GB/8 GB RAM|