iQoo offers some great devices with not just excellent value for money but with terrific performance too. The new iQoo Z5 5G we reviewed is currently the most affordable 5G gaming smartphone available right now. The handset is the successor of the iQoo Z3, which is another gem in the company’s portfolio.
If you have not checked the smartphone (review), go check it out, but you are only allowed to do it after you have read our iQoo Z5 review. After an entire month of usage, here is the verdict if you should pick it up over all the other options available in the market.
iQoo Z5 5G Review: Design and Display
So let’s begin by talking about the design first. Frankly speaking, we were not particularly thrilled about the design, but what we liked the most is the matte finish on the rear panel, which helps keep fingerprints and smudges at bay. The rear panel is a bit slippery, so you have to guard it by using a protective case. In the top left corner is the rear triple rear camera set up, which is now larger than its predecessor.
Adding to that, the phone is not at all lightweight. Yes, it is a bulky phone as it weighs around 193gms, attributed to the big battery it packs in. The frame and the rear panel are plastic, but they seem durable and have been curved from the sides, making the phone comfortable to use and hold.
iQoo has opted for a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, which sits on the right side of the frame while the volume key sits just above it. The tactile feedback of the button is okay, while the fingerprint scanner unlocks the phone pretty fast too.
On this device, you do get a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top, while at the bottom, there is a SIM tray, a USB Type-C port, and the bottom-firing speaker.
The iQoo Z5 5G sports a 6.67-inch full HD+ LCD display with 1,080 x 2,400 pixels of resolution. The screen also comes with a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR 10 support, a DCI-P3 colour gamut and offers a 20:9 aspect ratio. The screen also has a TUV Rheinland rating and a 240Hz touch sampling rate. The display has a hole-punch notch at the top, while the bezels on the sides are slim, but the bottom chin is thicker.
Getting to the display’s performance, we wonder why the company is still sticking with the IPS LCD display. Though this is of decent quality, the company should have gone for an OLED display. The colours look vibrant and neat. But we noticed a hint of pink tint all around. The device does have Widewine L1 certification, but its HDR 10 compatibility could have been better.
Actually, you can only play HDR videos on YouTube, yes it is not supported on OTT platforms. The screen is quite bright and offers 480 nits of peak brightness, but the phone struggles outdoors under direct sunlight. In terms of viewing angles, the saturation level dips when seen from the sides, so it i.e. meant for single person use.
The 120Hz refresh rate support is well optimised and is buttery smooth. The display can switch between 60 to 120Hz depending on the content that is being played on the phone. This is complemented by a 240Hz touch sampling rate, which enhances the gaming and typing experience. In the end, the display left us with a mixed bag of emotions.
iQoo Z5 5G Review: Performance and camera
On the performance side of things, the iQoo Z5 5G is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC paired with an Adreno 642L GPU. It comes with up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. This combination makes it the cheapest 5G smartphone shipping with the 778 chipset.
Everything on the device feels snappy, and you won’t be disappointed at all as it is so quick and responsive. We were amazed by its multitasking results. The phone can keep a maximum number of apps in the memory for a longer duration, and we didn’t notice any lag either.
On the gaming front, Call of Duty: Mobile is playable at the highest setting and we did not experience any lag or stutters. Even Battlegrounds Mobile India ran smoothly on the device. So, all in all, the gaming experience is quite good on the iQoo Z5.
Talking about the software, the handset runs on Origin OS 1.0 on top of Android 11. It comes with tonnes of features, but again, we really hated the bloatware it comes loaded with. Of course, you can uninstall them, but what’s the need here? Moving ahead, day-to-day usage is flawless.
In terms of endurance, this smartphone comes with a 5,000mAh battery with 44W flash charge fast charging support. We absolutely love the charging speed here. The battery lasted an entire day while we watched videos, browsed social media, and played games.
It takes about an hour and a half to fully charge the 44W power brick.
Coming to the cameras, the iQoo Z5 5G includes a triple rear camera set-up that includes a 64-megapixel main sensor with an f/1.79 aperture. The set-up also housed an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture and a 2-megapixel macro lens with an f/2.4 aperture. Upfront, there is a 16-megapixel sensor with an f/2.45 aperture for taking selfies and video calling.
If we talk about the cameras, you will find a similar camera system as seen on its previous edition, which is the iQoo Z3. The camera offers similar performance to its predecessor. The daytime shots are well detailed. The photos sometimes looked flatter and the colours looked dull, though. The same goes with the ultra-wide images. The portrait shots were good enough, with great dynamic range. However, this lacks details at times, and you have to click a few times to get the desired shot. If you are someone who enjoys taking macro shots, then you can look somewhere else as we would consider the macro lens a sub-par one.
Again, low light images were dull and the colour did not pop out well. The images produced look soft as well. Even turning on night mode will not get satisfactory results.
In terms of selfies, the edge detection is accurate, but you would need to edit images as we found them to be less vibrant and they looked pale. The 4K videos at 30fps lacked stabilisation, but that is enabled in 1080p at 60fps resolution.
The subject appeared a little faded in the selfie videos at [email protected], and the background exposure was not very good. The audio quality, on the other hand, sounds sharp.
Overall, the iQoo Z5 5G is a solid mid-range 5G phone. The device performs well, but the IPS display disappointed us due to its low outdoor brightness. Other brands are offering OLED displays in this price range. Cameras needed a facelift, too. So, overall we were left with a mixed bag of emotions. If you do not mind an LCD screen, but want a superb gaming experience/performance, you can think of picking this smartphone up.
iQoo Z5 5G Pros and Cons
- Beautifully designed
- Fast Charging
- Great gaming
- Average cameras
- Lacks OLED display
- Display Less Bright
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