iQOO Z5 review: A solid deal under ₹25,000
The iQOO Z5 is one of the fastest phones for its price today, offering the stable performance of the Snapdragon 778G. But is the rest of the package good enough?
- Great battery life
- Smooth display
- Good for gaming
- Nice cameras
- Display quality could be better
- Only two 5G bands
Rear Cameras64MP wide + 8MP ultrawide + 2MP macro
Charging44W wired charger
Display6.67-inch IPS LCD 120Hz
OSFunTouchOS 12 based on Android 11
iQOO has gone aggressive this year with its launches in India and its latest iQOO Z5 is a testament to its plans. Starting at ₹23,990, this is the most affordable phone with the reasonably capable Snapdragon 778G chip. At its price, nothing comes close to the performance potential this phone has to offer.
However, a phone is more than just its chipset and iQOO has impressed us with its 7 series flagships this year for the same. Can the iQOO Z5 live up to that legacy? I have been living with the phone for the past week to find out.
iQOO Z5 design review
iQOO usually borrows design elements from Vivo smartphones but this iQOO Z5 is highly reminiscent of the iQOO 7. It looks simple on paper but in person, it imparts the big phone vibes. The tasteful colour gradients, the rectangular camera, and the matte finish help make this plastic unibody design desirable. Don’t use a case on this, it looks handsome.
The overall fit and finish is way better than I have seen on the Xiaomi 11 Lite NE and Samsung Galaxy M52 5G, both of which are more expensive. The buttons depress satisfactorily, the display has narrow bezels, and the 193 grams weight is manageable. Plus, you also get stereo speakers and a headphone jack! Quite the complete package.
iQOO Z5 display review
Despite skipping the popular AMOLED display tech, the iQOO Z5’s LCD display is bright and well tuned. It lacks the high contrast look but it is good enough to enjoy gaming, binge watching, browsing social media, and the likes. The 120Hz display makes it a smoother experience and turning on the Monster mode amps up the touch response. Display geeks may find the backlight bleed around the edges disturbing though.
iQOO Z5 performance review
With the Snapdragon 778G chip at the helm, the iQOO Z5 has performed consistently. Daily tasks fly-by just as fast as you expect from a modern-day phone, with nary a lag or app crash. Vivo’s FunTouch OS 12 based on Android 11 is the most refined I have seen Vivo’s software ever. The interface is neat while menu layouts and other elements are sober; more in line with the older versions of Realme UI.That said, it still comes pre-loaded with 3rd party apps and some of Vivo’s proprietary apps throw ads persistently.
Gaming is another reason you’d buy the iQOO Z5 and it certainly impresses in this regard too. Call of Duty: Mobile runs best on Medium graphics at High frame rates. Casual titles like Shadow Fight 4: Arena and F1 Clash can run at the highest settings with ease. The phone heats up around the cameras but the plastic body keeps it comfy and the thermals don't affect performance. The Game Space tool is simply a launcher with fancy graphics; no tools to block notifications or alter other settings.
The stereo speakers add to this experience and while audio quality is decent, the volume levels can go very high. The headphone jack is present too. Network performance has been nice and I did not observe abrupt call cuts or disturbances.
Do note that you only get two 5G bands support, which is surprising as Motorola offers multiple bands on its Edge 20 Fusion.
iQOO Z5 camera review
Being a gaming oriented phone, the iQOO Z5 surprised me with good camera performance. The 64MP main camera goes for a saturated look more akin to Samsung but returns bright and vivid photos holding a good amount of details. The dynamic range is limited though, which means some colours fade in comparison. Low light makes the camera prioritise longer exposures for brighter photos at the cost of details.
The 8MP ultra-wide camera is decent in daylight but lacks the colour science of the main camera. The 2MP macro camera brings out fine details in saturated colours and photos are certainly useable on social media; Xiaomi’s 5MP camera still stands unbeaten in this segment.
The 16MP front camera is highly aggressive in its processing but the selfies are astonishing. Facial features are rendered in great detail while the skin tone is near to natural, even against the light. The portrait mode does an impressive subject separation without deteriorating the quality and sharpness. No other phone in this segment renders the background with as much details as the iQOO Z5. Watch out for the halo effect around the person though.
iQOO Z5 battery review
With a typical 5000mAh battery powering the Snapdragon 778G chip,the iQOO Z5’s battery performance was on par with expectations. On regular days, the phone easily lasted an entire day and still had around 40-45 percent left. Add gaming to the usual activities such as browsing the web, streaming songs, taking long calls, and casual camera work, and it dips faster but it lasts the entire day with ease.
The 44W fast charger takes almost 30 minutes to partially recharge the battery and total charge usually takes an hour from the clock.
iQOO Z5 review verdict
I thoroughly enjoyed using the iQOO Z5 and can easily recommend it under ₹25,000, considering all things. The Snapdragon 778G chip delivers fast and reliable performance of higher caliber, which is unseen in the sub- ₹25,000 category. The addition of a nice camera system, a clean software experience, and reliable battery life make it very easy to recommend the iQOO Z5. Our top pick for less than ₹25,000!