Vivo’s spin-off brand iQOO has always given us some of the most powerful flagship smartphones and the iQOO 7 Legend 5G is no different. It brings along the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 888 chipset along with a stereo speakers setup, charming display and design, impressive gaming features, and more and all that at an aggressively low price. I meant almost 2/3rd (if not less) of what other flagship smartphones are available at.
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But is it worth paying a sub-40K INR for iQOO 7 Legend 5G even with all that specs, bells, and whistles? Let’s find out in this detailed hands-on review that takes you through all the aspects of the phone and how it performs in real use cases.
Price in India, Variants, Availability
The top-of-the-line variant in the iQOO 7 series is the iQOO 7 Legend. It is available in just one colour i.e. Legend with Legendary Track Design and has two storage variants that are base 8GB+128GB and top 12GB+256GB variant. The base variant carries a price tag of Rs 39,990/- while the top variant carries a price tag of Rs 43,990/- available on iQOO India and Amazon India. Of course, you get a tonne of deals and discounts such as up to Rs 3,000/- cashback on using ICICI CC Full and EMI txns. There’s also an exchange offer on Amazon India among other deals you can club.
The award for best smartphone packaging goes to iQOO 7 Legend for the year 2021, as it is not just stylish but one of its kind. It is very unusual to see what all iQOO is offering here inside the box.
- iQOO 7 Legend phone
- Pre-applied screen protector
- 66W charging adapter
- USB Type-C cable
- Plastic case
- Few BMW cards
Specs at a glance
Before we talk in detail about the iQOO 7 Legend let’s see what the on-paper specs look like?
- Display: 16.82cm (6.62) 120Hz AMOLED Display
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660 GPU
- Storage: 8GB/12GB, 128GB/256GB
- Software: Funtouch OS 11.1 based on Android 11
- Rear cameras: 48MP + 13MP + 13MP
- Battery: 4000 mAh, 66W Flashcharge
- Weight: 210g
- Dimensions: 162.20 x 75.80 x 8.70 mm
Handsome BMW Inspired Design
If you want both style and performance at affordable pricing, iQOO 7 Legend 5G will not discourage you. It has a performance comparable to Asus ROG Phone 5 and its design made it win the Red Dot Design Award 2021.
At the back, you have an AG Glass back with a matte finish, and thanks to the bright white colour palette, this minimizes the risks of visible smudges and fingerprint marks. The back is glass with a triple rear camera setup which is reminiscent of the Vivo X60 series. A metal plate extends from the camera assembly downwards with “iQOO” branding on top of it.
But hey, what makes it look amazing is the signature tri-colour strip that implies its partnership with the BMW M Motorsport DTM team. Guess what? Now you would want to skip having a phone cover and instead use the phone bare to flaunt the tricolour strip that looks premium. The frame is made up of aluminium and has contours that make it easy to hold, although one-handed usage on this 209 grams phone may not be a piece of cake (at least for some).
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On the front, you get a seriously non-obstructive tiny punch-hole at the middle of the forehead bezel that seems like not there when you are watching movies or playing games. The bezels are reduced to just a few millimetres across all four sides which is something that makes its display pop.
You get a SIM Card slot, a primary mic, a USB-C port, and a bottom-firing loudspeaker at the bottom (duh). Both volume rocker and a power button (clad in a stylish blue accent) are on the right and finally, there’s a secondary mic and a second loudspeaker on top and that completes the design section right here.
Display - Makes It More Appealing
iQOO 7 Legend 5G sports a giant 6.62-inch AMOLED panel with a 1080×2400 pixels resolution offering a rich 394 PPI density. The display has an HDR10+ and 120Hz refresh rate and can reach a peak brightness of 1300 nits. No doubt it is a top-of-the-line flagship smartphone. I wouldn’t simply depend on the specs sheet but rather read reviews to get my head around. Here’s a detailed hands-on experience that I gained when using iQOO 7 Legend w.r.t. its display.
A 120Hz AMOLED display has become a thing in 2021 with flagship smartphones. With iQOO 7 Legend 5G, you get a rich 6.62-inch AMOLED panel with slim bezels that make it feel edge-to-edge. You can set the refresh rate to standard 60Hz or 120Hz or select a smart switch so that the system dynamically changes the RR based on the requirements.
The display gets very bright at 1300 nits peak which is a sure-shot easy to view even in harsh sunlight so that’s a problem solved. The phone supports a high touch sampling rate of 300Hz which makes it blazing fast and higher than most flagships available in the market. This is something that will translate into faster actions and reactions when playing games like COD: Mobile.
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With HDR10+, the display is vivid, vibrant, and the colour punches out to make it one of the best displays ever. It is AMOLED after all which makes a lot of sense with the rich colours including brighter whites and darker blacks.
Truly Legend Performance
iQOO hasn’t spared even a single bit of its specifications up to chance. iQOO 7 Legend 5G literally got everything you would want on a flagship phone.
The phone runs on the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G clocked at 2.84GHz of max frequency. The chipset has a tri-cluster arrangement and has been manufactured on a 5nm node. It has Adreno 660 that takes care of the graphics processing. Overall, both CPU and GPU performance is 25 per cent (or a bit more) better than the last-gen flagship Snapdragon 865.
You also get 8GB/128GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128/256GB of UFS 3.1 storage which when combined, you are getting a beefy specs sheet w.r.t. its powertrain. Well, this was a bit about the specs but here I have shared my experience on using the phone practically testing out its processor, graphics rendering, and more.
This goes without saying, Snapdragon 888 can take it all. Regular usage which includes calling, texting, browsing the internet and social media apps, emails, listening to music, and watching videos are all child’s play for iQOO 7 Legend 5G. In fact, it doesn’t break a sweat even on high-fidelity apps and games like COD: Mobile let alone day-to-day apps.
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App loading time is almost nil, the app switching and multitasking is bliss thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate which is truly beautiful. When it comes to gaming which is essentially why you would choose to buy iQOO 7 Legend 5G, you can literally play any and every game available out there.
I played COD: Mobile for an hour and guess what? There was no stutter, no frame drops, no lag, and no overheating. You can even play games on the higher settings available since SD888 really breaks free of any limitations be it on graphics or frame drops. But the frame did warm up a bit but rest assured as you get a 4096 sq. mm vapour chamber under the hood to handle dissipation.
No Special Software
From hardware, let’s see what the software has to offer. iQOO 7 Legend 5G comes with Android 11-powered FunTouchOS 11.1. iQOO has actually ditched iQOO UI for FuntouchOS UI which is clean and has improved a lot when compared to its previous iterations. A bunch of features, dynamic and extended 3GB RAM, a bunch of bloatware (though you can remove some) are some of the features you would get with the UI.
However, somehow iQOO didn’t bundle this supposed special edition smartphone with themes, icon packs, widgets, wallpapers branded with iQOO and BMW for some reason so that’s a bummer.
Cameras - Not The Best Here
To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if iQOO 7 Legend 5G doesn’t perform well camera-wise because it is a hardcore gaming-oriented flagship phone but it’s still better than the lot. It has a triple rear camera setup that has a 48MP primary sensor with OIS, a 13MP telephoto with 2x optical, and a 13MP ultrawide sensor. The front on the other hand is a 16MP sensor. But before you can subconsciously decide whether this configuration is good or bad, here’s an in-depth hands-on review w.r.t. the camera that you must read.
What you are getting with the iQOO 7 Legend 5G is a brilliant camera setup (at least for its price if not more). It shares the same hardware as Vivo X60 Pro. The primary sensor captures images with a wide dynamic range, colour reproduction is nice and the colours pop up making the scene look realistic. There’s no doubt the shots are amazing when it comes to daytime photography as well as indoor shots with abundant light.
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On the other hand, a dedicated night mode captures grand photos at night in a low-light condition thanks to the algorithm under the hood. Although the ISO is raised, the noise is a bare minimum, and the OIS powers the night mode to capture nighttime shots with required stability.
The telephoto sensor works well too and has a 2x optical zoom if you want. Fortunately, the shots captured on zoom are almost comparable to the primary sensor although there’s some drop in sharpness and colours which isn’t surprising given the difference in sensor sizes.
There’s a 13MP ultrawide snapper that doubles as a macro camera too. In fact, it has one of the best macro cameras that can capture details of any object up close, and in some cases, it is way better than many other smartphones including some eligible flagship phones. In ultrawide-angle mode, you get a wider canvas to shoot. It is 108-degrees with edge distortion correction which is way better than having a really wide image with distorted edges.
Finally, the front assembly has a 16MP selfie shooter that does its job in abundant daylight. The algorithms under the hood manage to process images that have high standards including sharp facial features, natural colour tones, and good subject separation and bokeh image among others. No doubt there are still some areas where the camera fails including complicated scenes like hair strands for example.
Talking about video recording, you get OIS on the primary snapper although it is activated only at 1080p footage. The sensor can max at 4K@60fps but without OIS but you get a gyro-EIS on-board so expect some stability if not more.
Mixed Reviews On Battery
What you get with iQOO 7 Legend 5G is a 4,000 mAh battery. To be honest, by 2021 standards and considering that this is a flagship phone, this is a small battery. Expect it to last a day without moderate to high usage. You can squeeze get around the next day with light usage although the many extrinsic features won’t let you extend the battery further. An hour of COD: Mobile cost me a 25 per cent decrease in the battery levels which is quite embarrassing for a flagship phone.
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Luckily, you get a 66W SuperDart Charging support which takes just 25 minutes for a full recharge. To put things into perspective, an episode of FRIENDS is around 20 to 22 minutes long so you can make the calculations. Perhaps what bugged me is the 120W charging tech that the Chinese iQOO 7 Legend 5G bundled with it that should take more than 12-14 minutes to juice up a 4,000 mAh battery for sure.
Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
iQOO 7 Legend 5G sports a stereo speaker setup which is way better than a single bottom-firing speaker. It is quite loud and improves your gaming and videos watching experience to the next level. However, it lacks accounting for finer details and the sound isn’t that immersive. Since there’s no headphone jack, you have to rely on wireless headphones and earphones to listen to songs and more.
There’s no second thought about iQOO 7 Legend 5G’s connectivity features. The phone has 5G with 1, 3, 28, 41, 78 SA/NSA bands in India. Next up, you get Wi-Fi 6 support covering both 2.4GHz and 5GHz (dual-band), Bluetooth v5.2 with codecs LE, aptX HD, and A2DP. There’s also extended support for various navigation systems including NavIC. You also get NFC for contactless payments. Finally, the USB-C 2.0 port takes care of data transfer and charging.
As usual, you have PIN and Pattern mechanisms in place if other methods face. You get an in-display fingerprint reader that lets you authenticate in a jiffy. Simply tap your finger on the sensor and bingo, it’s unlocked. You can even change the animations in case if you are bored with the default one. You also get a super-fast face unlock feature that lets you unlock at an incredible speed as well.
Pros & Cons
- AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate
- 66W super-fast flash charging
- 12GB RAM + 256GB internal storage
- Vapour chamber liquid cooling
- Superfast 5G connectivity
- 48MP triple-rear camera setup
- Provision for RAM expansion
- No certification for dust and water resitance
- No wireless charging feature
Now that you have read the entire hands-on review on iQOO 7 Legend 5G, it becomes imperative to decide whether you go through with it or not. The phone is a true all-arounder thanks to vibrant display, impressive and blazing fast chipset, fast charging, and an eye-design design, iQOO 7 Legend 5G makes all the strikes to win your heart.
At Rs.39,990/-, it is an impressive price tag for a flagship-grade smartphone. It has strong competition from the OnePlus 9R, iPhone SE 2020, iPhone XE, Vivo X60 Pro among others while the Mi 11X Pro does lags a lot behind the Legend. It’s just the battery pack (which isn’t that small) but the rest of everything is up to the point of a flagship phone. So, I wouldn’t deny recommending the phone if someone wants a combination of the best design, powerful performance, fast charging, and excellent setup in the Sub-40K to 45K INR price bracket.