iQoo Z7 5G Review: Best Smartphone Under Rs. 20,000?

iQoo Z7 5G Review: Best Smartphone Under Rs.  20,000?

iQoo Z7 5G is the latest smartphone from the company below Rs. 20,000 in India. It is the successor of Z6 5G and compared to its predecessor, Z7 5G is priced a bit higher. However, the new phone gets a lot of improvements, including a brighter display, improved camera system, and support for faster charging. The iQoo Z7 5G competes with the recently launched OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G (Review), Redmi Note 12 5G (Review) and Moto G73 5G (Review). Should you consider buying the iQoo Z7 5G over the competition? Here’s our review to help you decide.

Price of iQoo Z7 5G in India

iQoo Z7 5G launched in India in two storage options. The base model comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and is priced at Rs. 18,999. Our review unit has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and is priced at Rs. 19,999.

iQoo Z7 5G design and display

The iQoo Z7 5G looks like a polished version of the more affordable iQoo Z6 Lite 5G (review), with the rectangular and slightly larger camera module. It has a flat polycarbonate body and structure, common in many smartphones in this price range. iQoo sent us the Z7 5G’s Pacific Night color, which, as mentioned in first impressions, looks quite premium. The back panel has a glossy finish when the light hits it from an angle. Although the phone has a glossy matte finish, the back panel rarely attracts fingerprints.

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iQoo Z7 5G has a flat frame design

I quite like the overall feel of the iQoo Z7 5G in the hand. The flat edges won’t hurt your palm and it’s also quite light at 173g. It’s a decent-sized phone with a 6.38-inch display that’s now been upgraded to an AMOLED panel, offering good contrast and brightness levels. The display delivers vibrant colors and deep blacks, which you’ll notice when viewing HDR10 content on Netflix and YouTube.

The screen also intelligently refreshes between 60Hz and 90Hz with the ‘Smart switch’ setting. During my use, I didn’t notice any interruptions in animations or scrolling. That said, I would like to see a smoother 120Hz AMOLED panel like the Redmi Note 12 5G.

What makes the phone less modern are the thick chin and the waterdrop notch on the screen. While the design grows on you after a point, most of the competition offers a punch cutout. In return, the phone gets an IP54 rating for basic water and dust protection, which is slightly better than the IP53 rating of the Redmi Note 12 5G and the IP52 rating of the Moto G73 5G.

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The iQoo Z7 5G’s chin is quite thick compared to the rest of the bezels around the display.

The iQoo Z7 5G also gets a 3.5mm headphone jack, which might be necessary as the speaker setup isn’t best-in-class. The phone only comes with one speaker and the sound tends to be slightly distorted at maximum volume. For biometrics, there is a responsive in-screen fingerprint scanner along with AI-based facial recognition.

iQoo Z7 5G Specifications and Software

The iQoo Z7 5G has a MediaTek Dimensity 920 SoC, which is an upgrade over the previous model. Another area where the Z7 5G has improved is its charging speed, which is now 44W. The battery capacity however compared to the predecessor is less at 4,500mAh. The iQoo Z7 5G has a hybrid SIM slot, USB Type-C port, support for Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6 and GPS.

In terms of software, the iQoo Z7 5G runs Funtouch OS 13 based on Android 13. iQoo has promised two major Android updates and security patches for three years, for the Z7. With regard to RAM management, I noticed that it has improved slightly over the previous model. Most apps kept running in the background and didn’t reload when I went back to them. This is not always applicable when you load some heavy apps like games or record videos on your phone.

There are some pre-installed third-party apps, which can be uninstalled. Plus, you get the infamous Hot Apps and Hot Games recommendation folders in your app drawer. You can hide them in V-App Store settings. The last app spammed me with at least a few recommendations in the notification shade every few hours. Fortunately, you can disable them by long-pressing any of the notifications and tapping “Turn off all V-App Store notifications”.

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V-App Store keeps spamming with recommendations every few hours

The iQoo Z7 5G gets all the Funtouch OS 13 features found in the more premium iQoo Neo 7 5G (Review) and flagship iQoo 11 5G (Review). This includes support for Android’s Material You theme engine, customization of animations for various tasks, wallpapers, icons, etc.

iQoo Z7 5G performance and battery life

The iQoo Z7 5G performs quite competently in its segment. The phone handles almost all tasks very well. Whether it was the routine scrolling sessions on social media or gaming, the overall experience was pretty smooth. Heavier apps like Call of Duty: Mobile took a little longer to load. However, the gaming experience was very good. I actually preferred gaming more on the iQoo Z7 5G compared to the similarly priced OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G we recently reviewed.

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iQoo Z7 5G features some bloatware apps in UI

Call of Duty: Mobile defaults to ‘Max.’ with the graphics setting ‘Low’. Alternatively, you can switch to ‘High’ graphics quality and ‘Very High’ frame rate settings. In either case, the phone didn’t show any signs of lag or stuttering while playing the game, but there were a few bumps when a notification popped up. To resolve this, you can enable the ‘Block notifications’ feature in Ultra Game mode settings. The iQoo Z7 5G doesn’t heat up very quickly even while gaming despite featuring a slim body and a powerful SoC.

In our benchmark tests, the iQoo Z7 5G scored 4,36,524 on AnTuTu. It managed to outperform the Moto G73 5G which scored 4,22,824 points with its MediaTek Dimensity 930 SoC, and the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G which scored 4,12,150 points with its Snapdragon 695 SoC. In Geekbench 6’s single-core and multi-core tests, the Z7 5G scored 729 and 1,835 points respectively.

In terms of battery life, the iQoo Z7 5G had an average screen-on time (SoT) of around nine hours. The phone took a little over an hour to charge from 1 to 100 percent using the adapter provided in the box. in our HD video battery loop test, the Z7 5G ran for 18 hours and 51 minutes, which is pretty good.

iQoo Z7 5G Cameras

The iQoo Z7 5G has a dual camera setup on the back, which consists of a 64-megapixel main camera with support for optical image stabilization (OIS) and a 2-megapixel portrait lens. For selfies, the phone has a 16-megapixel front camera. The phone misses out on an ultra-wide camera.

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iQoo Z7 5G has a dual camera setup on the back

The main camera’s daylight performance is very good for the price. Colors are vivid and you get good detail across the board. However, there are times when shadows are not properly exposed in HDR photos. The same goes for low light photos. Night mode helps in this case, which also reduces some noise in the darkest parts of photos.

iQoo Z7 5G main camera previews (tap for full size)

Portrait mode with the rear camera is also very good in day and night shots. The background blur looks natural and creamy, but sometimes the software sharpens some images. I noticed that the front camera tends to smooth out the skin a bit and that’s despite disabling the beauty mode filters. On the other hand, the Portrait mode on the front camera does a good job with edge detection, but it makes the skin look a little lighter than it does in real life. If you like this kind of color adjustment, you shouldn’t have a problem with this.

iQoo Z7 5G front camera previews (tap for full size)

iQoo Z7 5G can record videos up to 4K 30fps using the rear camera. For the price, the video quality is very good, with good dynamic range and colors. The front camera can capture decent 1080p 30fps videos. I wish there was an ultra wide lens here to make the camera setup more versatile.


The iQoo Z7 5G is a clear winner when it comes to offering good performance under Rs. 20,000. The phone also ticks the right boxes for those who consume a lot of content on their phones and want an AMOLED display with good battery life and fast charging. The performance of the front and rear cameras is also very good, however, an ultra-wide camera is sorely lacking.

Where the iQoo Z7 5G falls short is in the audio department. The single speaker setup doesn’t even come close to what a dual speaker setup can deliver. Software preferences are subjective, but if you’re okay with Funtouch OS, the iQoo Z7 5G can certainly be a great buy in this segment.

Smartphone companies released many attractive devices in the first quarter of 2023. What are some of the best phones released in 2023 that you can buy today? We discuss this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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