Vivo’s spin-off brand iQOO is back after almost a year. With the iQOO 7 series, the company wants to shake up the mid-range premium smartphone market by offering cutting edge specifications and design at aggressively low prices.
The iQOO 7 legend is the top-end device, which features the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, HDR 10+ display with 120Hz refresh rate, impressive vapour cooling chamber, gaming features and a beautiful design. We’ve used the device for two weeks now. But is it smartphone the best option under Rs 40,000? Read our review to find out.
iQOO 7 Legend review: What’s good?
The iQOO 7 Legend comes with a no-nonsense design and solid build quality. The BMW Motorsport-inspired three-stripe livery with a white paint job, metallic frame and matte glass look gorgeous. The phone stands out compared to what we usually see in the market.
The rectangle rear camera module does not bulge too much, which is nice as most phones these days have a big camera bump. But, the device is not as thin and heavy at 165 grams. The frame is a bit curvy, though the metallic finish and chiselled edges help offer a better grip.
The textured volume and power button offer a “clicky” response, but both of them are on the right side of the frame, which makes it a bit difficult to adjust the volume. There is no headphone jack, which is not surprising.
The matte finish at the back does help keep the fingerprints and smudges at the bay. You will have to use a case if you want to protect the glass panel from getting damaged.
I liked the fact that it features a flat screen. The front is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The 6.2-inch AMOLED display supports up to 120Hz refresh rate. There is a Smart Switch option, which automatically switches the appropriate refresh rate as per usage scenarios.
The iQOO 7 has a great display that renders lively colours, and crisp output. The colour temperature of the display was on point. You can change that in the display settings if you don’t like the default colour temperature. The smartphone has Widevine L1 DRM certification, so you get to watch Netflix or Prime Video content at the highest resolution. It also supports HDR10+. Its peak brightness is also impressive at 1,300nits.
There is a feature which the company claims can boost the touch sampling rate to reduce input lag. The device has a 300Hz touch sampling rate, and it can be buffed all the way up to 1000Hz. While this sounds great, there is no option in the settings section to manually enable/disable it or to modify it. It is also unknown what all games are supported. But, the gaming experience was great on this smartphone.
The gameplay on the iQOO 7 Legend was smooth and very pleasing. I played games like Call of Duty, Asphalt 9: Legends, and Genshin Impact.
In Genshin Impact, I was happy to see dense foliage, good shadow quality, and sharp-looking structures or objects during the gameplay. The graphics settings was by default set to medium and I had no issues. I was able to play the game at the high settings too and during the intense fights, the frame rate was stable with close to no lag. But it is better to play at the medium settings if you don’t want to drain the battery.
You can switch to “high render resolution” instead of High settings as it will offer a more balanced gaming experience. But it should also be kept in mind that Genshin Impact is a very graphically demanding game.
Call of Duty and Asphalt 9 Legends ran at High settings and the gaming experience was flawless. The back of the game did get warm after playing a game for more than an hour. There is also a Game sidebar, which you can use to change some settings during gameplay. These include call alerts, 4D Game Vibration, autoplay with screen off, screenshots, screen recording, and the pressure-sensitive buttons assignment, among others.
Gaming features like on-screen pressure-sensitive sensors and 4D Dual-Linear vibration motors did offer an immersive gaming experience, which is mostly true for the battle royale games. The Ultra game mode also includes an Eagle Eye View feature, which helps offer better local tone mapping, contrast settings and sharpness. You can enable or disable it in the Game sidebar.
The company has added two impressive speakers, which offered a balanced output with rich enough mid/high-tones. The general performance is excellent as well. The multitasking experience was smooth and I had no issues while scrolling or panning around websites or the user interface.
But the phone only sports a 4,000mAh battery, which is disappointing considering most flagships over 4,500mAh battery, if not a 5,000mAh unit. We got less than a day’s battery life with general usage. If you are gaming and binge-watching for hours, you will have to plug the phone into the charger after about 7 hours. iQOO ships a 66W fast charger inside the box, and it takes less than 30 minutes to fully charge the phone.
The iQOO 7 Legend runs on Vivo’s Funtouch, which offers a variety of customisation options. These include personalised animation effects, touch screen animation, Always On Display (AOD), Ultra Gaming mode, etc. The device will also get early access to the latest Android 12 OS. It is currently running on Android 11, but you can install the beta version or wait for the stable one.
iQOO 7 Legend has three cameras at the back, including a 48MP Sony IMX598 sensor, a 13MP wide-angle camera with a 120-degree field of view and a monochrome sensor with a 2x optical zoom. The primary shooter can take good daylight shots with accurate colour reproduction and high dynamic range. The exposure is also on point. The images captured using the 48MP mode offered better details and clarity.
Click on the below album to access all the camera samples
The smartphone can quickly lock focus on a subject and can offer beautiful images for Instagram. The device also shines when it comes to ultra-wide-angle shots. It can offer a very wide field of view with almost same level of colour contrast, sharpness, and zero barrel distortion, which is impressive. However, I also noticed a bit of perspective distortion.
At times I had to click two-three photos of the same subject to get a perfect image as hues appeared to be slightly warmer and vibrant. This happened only when I tried clicking close up shots. I liked the fact it can add a good level of dramatic background blurring in close-ups. The portrait mode delivered good results as the edge detection was on point.
In ideal lighting conditions, the camera can take beautiful selfies with natural skin tone. You can get good low light and night shots as well depending on how much light there is around you. The Night mode did a great job of retaining colours and details, even with a bare minimum light source.
iQOO 7 Legend: Should you buy it?
If you are looking for a performance-oriented phone under Rs 40,000 segment, then the iQOO 7 Legend is a good bet. iQOO has gone for Qualcomm’s top-notch Snapdragon 888 to offer users better processing power and smooth performance. The device is well-geared for gamers, though the battery is a let down. The camera performance is also good in this price range, which is another added advantage.