iQOO may be a new player in the smartphone market, but with a series of impressive releases in a short span of time, the company has already gained a strong foothold in a competitive landscape. Offering spec-laden phones with unique features, iQOO has stuck to the path of standing out from its rivals, which includes its parent company Vivo. We got our hands on the recently released iQOO Z6 Lite 5G and used it as a primary driver for a week, here is our review.
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iQOO Z6 Lite 5G review: Design and Display
iQOO Z6 Lite 5G comes in a signature diagonal slit-lid box with the handset, USB cable, SIM ejector tool, warranty card, quick start guide, and a silicone phone cover inside. There is no power adapter inside the box, even though there is a section assigned to it. The iQOO Z6 Lite 5G comes in Stellar Green and Mystic Night colour options. For this review, we used the latter variant.
When it comes to the design, iQOO has kept things simple and clean on the Z6 Lite. The smartphone has a plastic frame and back which is the standard for budget phones under Rs 15,000. However, the matte-like texture of the plastic back and the clean design gives off a premium feel. The dual camera unit fits nicely at the top left corner of the back panel. Under direct sunlight, the back turns sparkly. iQOO hasn’t tried anything extravagant with the Z6 Lite, but at the same time, it doesn’t feel like they’ve kept the design choices overtly safe.
At the bottom of the frame, you’ll find the headphone jack, USB Type-C port, and speaker grille. The SIM tray makes its way to the top of the phone, with the volume rocker key and the power button mounted on the right side. The power button also doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The left side of the smartphone has been kept buttonless.
Moving on to the display, iQOO Z6 Lite sports a 6.58-inch 120Hz IPS LCD display. A waterdrop drop notch at the top houses the selfie camera. The bottom part of the screen also contains some thick bezels, which certainly makes the display look a bit dated. The 83.9% screen-to-body ratio can certainly be improved upon as well. The 1,080 x 2,408-pixel resolution display is adequate for watching HD content on media platforms like YouTube and Netflix.
The display offers a smooth touch response while scrolling. Scrolling through different apps and browsing webpages is a seamless experience, and the display registers even the slightest of touches quite easily. This came in quite handy while gaming. We will go into further details about the gaming performance later in the review. The screen brightness is optimum for both outdoor and indoor conditions. Even in direct sunlight, we could make out what was on the screen quite clearly.
iQOO Z6 Lite 5G review: Performance and Cameras
iQOO Z6 Lite 5G is the first smartphone to feature the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 processor. The S4 Gen 1 is dubbed the successor to the Snapdragon 480+ SoC. The Z6 Lite is available in two RAM and storage variants: 4GB + 64GB (Rs 13,999) and 6GB + 128GB (Rs 15,499). For our review, we used the 6GB + 128GB model. Apart from the 6GB dedicated RAM, the Z6 Lite also utilises an additional 2GB memory from the storage space when it is running heavy tasks.
OS duties on the Z6 Lite are handled by Android 12 skinned with Vivo’s Funtouch 12. The Funtouch 12 gets its fair share of criticism from audiences and media alike, but when it comes to gaming, it offers some unique features that have not been replicated by other operating systems. However, there are a few aspects where the Funtouch OS needs to improve immediately. Firstly, the smartphone comes with a lot of bloatware.
You can uninstall all the bloatware apps, but it is never a good look when the UI isn’t clean out of the box. The ‘Global search’ feature also proves to be an annoyance as it triggers every time you swipe down on the screen. Typically, you want to access the notification bar every time you swipe down from any part of the screen. But Funtouch only lets you view the notification tiles when you swipe down from the status bar.
There’s also an issue of unnecessary ads disguised as notifications flooding the screen. The browser app is particularly notorious when it comes to this. In order to get around this issue, you will need to uninstall all the bloatware apps and restrict notifications for the default browser. There are some basic steps that you need to take before you can fully enjoy the smartphone. After you get around these issues, Funtouch is a decent operating system that can hang with its peers.
Moving on, we were quite pleased with the performance of the phone. Apps took negligible time to load, and even with multiple apps running in the background, the smartphone did not slow down one bit. The lightning speed along with a smooth touch response took the overall browsing experience to the next level. On the Geekbench app, the iQOO Z6 Lite scored 627 points on the Single-Core test and 1860 points on the Multi-Core test. These tests place the Z6 Lite above Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC, Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro, and Xiaomi Pocophone F1.
We put the iQOO Z6 Lite through the gaming test as well. Usually, iQOO phones fare quite well when it comes to gaming, and the Z6 Lite upholds that reputation. We played Call of Duty Mobile on the Z6 Lite and the smartphone handled the higher-resolution graphics quite well. We did not come across any lags or frame drops in our extended gaming sessions. Overheating was not an issue for the first 30-40 minutes, after which the phone did get a little warm. After pausing the gameplay and letting the phone rest for a few minutes, the temperature quickly went down.
Gamers will be pleased to know that the Z6 Lite is equipped with ‘Monster Mode’ and ‘Ultra Game Mode’. Turning on Monster Mode puts the smartphone in high-performance mode, which is ideal when playing graphically demanding games. The battery naturally drains faster in Monster Mode, which is why it isn’t advised to use it all the time. The Ultra Game Mode gives users access to a gaming sidebar that offers quick tools and shortcuts like voice changer, screen record, WhatsApp picture-in-picture mode and more. The processor and battery usage levels are also displayed on the sidebar.
One of the better aspects of this smartphone is its giant 5000mAh battery. Even after above-average daily usage, the Z6 Lite lasts more than a day. We used the Z6 Lite as the primary driver and our daily usage consisted of an hour of gaming, 40-90 minutes of video playback, regular browsing which consisted of Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram, and regular WhatsApp use. The phone easily lasted an entire day with 20-30% battery left to spare. The smartphone does not ship with a power adapter, which is a disappointment, but it supports 18W charging. It took us under 2 hours to fully charge the phone.
The iQOO Z6 Lite 5G comes with a dual rear camera unit comprising a 50MP primary shooter along with a 2MP macro lens. At the front, you get an 8MP selfie camera. We tested the cameras extensively and were quite satisfied with the results, although, we wish iQOO had ditched the macro lens for an ultrawide shooter.
In daylight conditions, the Z6 Lite produced well-composed images with a decent amount of detail. We would suggest turning on the 50MP mode to fully unlock the camera’s potential. The photographs we took displayed a good colour composition without being overprocessed. The hues of the sky were captured quite well during the day, but while shooting against the sunlight, the background got regularly overexposed.
The Portrait Mode works decently on the Z6 Lite, although we feel that the edge detection could have been much better. While the subject remains in focus, the edges can be really off in some scenarios. In limited lighting conditions, the Z6 Lite leaves a lot to be desired. Even with the Night Mode turned on, the images registered quite a bit of grain. The processor could have pitched in a bit more to produce clearer images.
The selfie camera up front works well. It is ideal to take pictures in ample lighting but the image processor brightens the skin tone by a considerable factor, an issue that all budget smartphones suffer from. However, the front camera performs well on video calls across different platforms. Both front and rear cameras can record 1080p videos at 30 fps.
Priced at Rs 13,999, the iQOO Z6 Lite 5G is a great budget phone that pulls in a good performance, thanks to the new Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 processor. If you’re interested in buying a gaming smartphone, the Z6 Lite is one of the better options at this price point. While the display may feel a bit dated, the smartphone more than makes up for it with its lightning-fast speeds and respectable performance.
Great gaming phone for the price
Apps load quickly
Great battery life
Significant amount of bloatware
Camera performance could have been better