iQOO 3 5G: Value flagship device, exceptional fast charging

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) Chinese tech giant BBK Group's smartphone brand iQOO is the second smartphone in the country – after Realme – that has launched a 5G-capable handset. The price of its newly-launched flagship smartphone iQOO 3 with 5G capabilities begins at Rs 36,990.

The iQOO 3 device is available in three variants — 8GB/128GB with 4G connectivity for Rs 36,990, the 8GB/256GB 4G variant for Rs 39,990 and the 5G-enabled variant of the phone with 12GB/256GB storage at Rs 44,990.

We used the 12GB/256GB storage variant for a couple of days and here's what we think of it.

The build quality of the device is solid — sturdy body that felt premium in hand.

Interestingly, the design language of the smartphone faintly reminded us about Vivo V17, albeit for a smoother finish. The design resemblance is not much of a surprise as iQOO existed under Chinese handset maker Vivo's umbrella (only in China) for some time.

In terms of display, the device has a big 6.44-inch AMOLED screen with a small hole-punch on the top right corner. Considering the full-HD+ resolution, the viewing angles very pretty good. For added protection, the company has used a screen protector.

At 214.5 gram, the device is on the heavier side. This could partly be due to a hefty 4,440mAh battery.

The rear of the phone is manufactured out of Corning Gorilla Glass 6 which curves at the sides, thus, making it comfortable in the palm.

Even as there is some similarity between the Vivo V17 and iQOO 3, the cameras are different: The iQOO 3 packs in a quad-camera set up with 48MP primary camera, a 13MP telephoto camera, 13MP wide-angle camera and a 2MP depth sensor.

The images shot in daylight were impressive with balanced colours. There's a 16MP camera in the front for selfies which produced decent images too. Low-light images lacked details though.

The bottom houses a USB Type-C port, the SIM tray and the speaker. Those who still prefer wired listening can rejoice as the smartphone comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

There's a brightly-coloured power button to essentially break the monotony of the dark coloured body.

The device comes with a 7nm class 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset which can clock CPU speed up to 2.84Ghz. It is said to be a better power-efficient processor than the 855 series and consume 30 per cent less power compared to its predecessor.

Thanks to the flagship 865 chip, performance was blazing fast. However, we would have loved to see a higher refresh rate in this device, considering the fact that even the mid-range price segment is seeing devices with 90Hz displays.

A high point of the device is the big 4,400 battery which can be quickly charged with a 55W charging technology that's very handy.

The company's proprietary software iQOO UI (user interface) appears to have taken a cue from Vivo's Funtouch OS. However, there's a bit of clutter in the UI.

Conclusion: While the India premium market will witness several 5G-capable phones (although the 5G technology is still far) this year, iQOO 3 comes with a flagship chipset and extremely fast charging to charm users. It scores as a decent value flagship device.

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