iQoo 3 Review

iQoo is the newest smartphone brand to enter the Indian market. While most companies enter the new market with the intention of first capturing the budget segment, iQoo has come up with a different plan in India. The company made its India debut with the iQoo 3, which is a premium smartphone and comes with some powerful hardware. For example, Iku 3 includes Qualcomm’s most powerful processor Snapdragon 865. Not only this, the top-end model of iQoo 3 comes with 5G connectivity support. However, this is only good for show at the moment, as 5G network is not available in India at this time. The starting price of the smartphone is Rs 36,990 and if you look at the specifications of the iQoo 3 on paper, then this price does not feel much. Should you put your money on this new player? We are reviewing the device to find out.

iQoo 3 Design

When we first saw the iQoo 3, we were quite pleased with its build. Weighing in at 214.5 grams, it certainly feels heavy but at the same time feels premium. It has a 6.44-inch AMOLED display. It has a small hole-punch cutout for the selfie camera. There are very thin bezels around the display.

The earpiece is set on the iQoo 3’s frame, which is difficult to locate at a glance. The phone includes a metal frame, which gives the device a premium look. The power and volume buttons are on the right side of the device and are very well set up. It is not difficult for the thumb to reach them. The power button comes in an orange finish.

iQoo has also given capacitive shoulder buttons on the right side of the frame. These are set up in such a way that you can use them by keeping the phone in landscape mode while gaming. On the left side of the iQoo 3 is a smart button that can be used to access Google Assistant. The phone has a 3.5mm audio jack at the top, while the USB Type-C port and loudspeaker are at the bottom.

iQoo

The rear panel of the device comes with the protection of Corning Gorilla Glass 6, which will protect the phone from minor scratches in everyday use. iQoo has introduced this smartphone in three color options – Tornado Black, Quantum Silver and Volcano Orange. Our review unit was in the Tornado Black variant color, but we really liked the Volcano Orange finish, as it looks different from the normal color.

The Aiku 3 has a quad-camera setup at the back. The camera module looks similar to most of the upcoming smartphones today. The iQoo 3 packs a 4,440mAh battery and the good thing is that the phone comes with a 55W “Super FlashCharge” charger in the box, which helps in quick charging the device.

iQoo 3 specifications and software

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset has been given in Aiku 3. It is the most powerful chipset ever to come in an Android smartphone, with one core clocked at 2.8 GHz, three cores clocked at 2.4 GHz and the other four cores clocked at 1.8 GHz.

iQoo has launched three variants of iQoo 3 in the Indian market. The base variant has 8 GB RAM RAM and 128 GB storage and its price is Rs 36,990. Its second variant has 256 GB storage with 8 GB RAM, which costs Rs 39,990. There is also a 12 GB RAM and 256 GB storage variant of the phone, which supports 5G. Its price in India is Rs 44,990. UFS 3.1 storage and LPDDR5 RAM are included on all variants of the iQoo 3.

The smartphone flaunts a 6.44-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display with 409ppi pixel density and HDR10+ support. iQoo’s display has Schott Xensation UP glass for protection and comes with 91.4 percent screen-to-body ratio.

iQoo

Connectivity options on the iQoo 3 include 5G (top variant only), dual 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, and GLONASS. It has a 4,440 mAh capacity battery, which supports 55W fast charging and 55W Super FlashCharge charger is also available in the box of the phone. The charger has a pill-shaped 90-degree bendable connector and Aiku claims that it makes it easier to charge the smartphone while gaming.

Come to software. iQoo 3 comes with iQoo UI 1.0 based on Android 10. We liked its user interface, as it is very easy to operate and simple to look at.

Iku’s UI doesn’t have an app drawer and all icons appear on the home screen. It does not cause much problem when using it with one hand. There are many customization options available on iQoo as well. You can choose different animations for lockscreen, fingerprint and facial recognition. This phone also has an always-on display feature.

Users also have the option to choose between a three-button navigation layout and swipe gestures. This feature is convenient to use and iQoo has also added a quick launch gesture, which makes it easy to swipe back and hold. Vivo’s smart assistant Jovi is also present on the device.

iQoo

Android 10 features like Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls are also available. The iQoo 3 has a Monster Mode, which instantly boosts CPU performance and turns off all power-saving options. This feature also changes the theme of the smartphone. It also has Ultra Game Mode, which when turned on starts all the gaming features of the smartphone.

Iku 3 comes loaded with bloatware like Helo, Dailyhunt, Flipkart, Facebook, WPS Office, Amazon Shopping and Opera. The device also has its own app store, called V-Appstore. Let us know that if you launch apps like Dailyhunt and Helo, then spam notifications start coming. If you do not want to use these apps, we recommend that you remove them.

iQoo 3 performance, battery life

A 60Hz refresh rate panel has been given in the display of Aiku 3. Still its color production is very good. The viewing angles of the panel are good and it performs well even in sunlight. There are three color modes to choose from and you can also tweak the color temperature. The iQoo 3’s display has a small hole-punch, but it won’t distract you from entertainment while watching content. However, we weren’t happy with the iQoo 3’s loudspeakers. It lacks a stereo output and the speaker makes little noise in it for our liking.

Along with the in-display fingerprint scanner, there is also a Face Unlock feature, which is fast and accurate. We did not find any problem with it while playing apps or games. Since we had the 12GB RAM variant, multitasking also felt like butter.

iQoo

We saw it playing PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends. Both the games ran on high settings and we did not feel any lag or frame skipping during the entire gaming. We also tested the gaming trigger while playing PUBG Mobile. We found that it is very useful for players who are fond of PUBG.

You will be happy to know that iQoo 3 delivers good battery life. In our HD video loop test, this phone managed to last for 19 hours and 13 minutes. With regular use this phone can last for about one and a half days without any problem. In our charging test, the iQoo 3 took 30 minutes to charge to 78 percent and took about 50 minutes to fully charge. A short five-minute charge was able to take the smartphone to 16 percent which is impressive. If some people compare it with the Realme X50 Pro 5G, then let us know that the phone takes less time than the iQoo 3 to charge 100 percent, but the thing to note is that the 65W charger comes with the Realme phone and it has 4,200 mAh. Has a small battery.

iQoo 3 cameras

The back of the Aiku 3 houses a quad-camera module, which reminds us of the Vivo V17. The primary camera has a 48-megapixel Sony IMX582 sensor with f/1.79 aperture and the secondary camera has a 13-megapixel telephoto sensor with f/2.46 aperture, which supports 2x optical zoom and 20X digital zoom. The other two cameras include a 13-megapixel wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture and a 2-megapixel depth sensor with an f/2.4 aperture. The camera app is similar to the one found in Vivo’s smartphone.

iQoo

The iQoo 3’s camera setup locks focus quickly and its AI can easily detect which subject the phone’s camera is trying to focus on. Apart from this, the camera also suggests which camera to use for taking a particular shot. In daylight, the smartphone captures the light correctly. Photos taken in daylight are good, but the color tone was a bit faint in some pictures.

iqoo
iqoo
iqoo

There was no lack of detail in most of the pictures, grains (fine grains) are seen in the pictures when zoomed-in and taken photos. Switching to the wide-angle camera reduces the quality of the pictures and leads to distortion at the edges. We also noticed that the color tone in the pictures is also slightly different from the original. The telephoto camera supports 2x optical zoom and can take some decent pictures just like the primary camera.

iqoo
iqoo

Close-up shots were good with the primary camera. The smartphone creates a natural depth effect between the subject and the background. You can also take macro shots with the iQoo 3 by switching to the wide-angle camera. Macro shots deliver decent detail and the iQoo 3 lets you take pictures very close to the subject.

iqoo

Portrait shots are also good in the phone. The phone gives you the option to set the level of blur before taking a shot, but it lacks a bit of detail compared to other smartphones in this price range.

iqoo
iqoo

In low light, the performance of the camera falls to average and we also noticed a lack of detail in the pictures. Switching to Night Mode makes little difference to the pictures. However, the phone’s camera performs slightly better in areas with light shadows as opposed to complete darkness. The exposure looks good along with the details in the pictures.

iqoo

Selfies taken with the iQoo 3 also looked better. Focus is sharp and the smartphone applies beautification by default. When shooting in bright light, the smartphone automatically enables HDR, which helps in delivering better output.

Talking about video recording, with the primary back camera, it can record video in 4K with a maximum of 60fps and with the selfie camera at 1080p resolution at 60fps. In daylight we noticed that there is a slight flicker in the video. It also has a super steady mode. However, even after using it, there is a slight vibration in the video. Video footage is poor in low light, but Super Steady mode improves the video somewhat.

Verdict

The iQoo 3 is the first smartphone from this new brand in India and it comes with some powerful hardware. Snapdragon 865 chipset has been given in the phone and support for UFS 3.1 storage is also included. These two combinations are seen in very few smartphones. The phone also has a 5G connectivity variant, if you take the top variant and spend Rs 44,990. Although 5G networks are not available in India at the moment, so you can also choose the below variants without any worries. However, in our review, we have only tested the 5G variant with 12 GB RAM.

The software of iku 3 is good. However, it gets even better when the bloatware involved is removed. Although the camera felt light on several occasions. Apart from its camera performance, the iQoo 3 didn’t leave us with a chance to complain.