Vivo iQOO Z1 5G hands-on review

Last Update 2020-05-19 Views 8096


In February, iQOO announced the iQOO 3 5G flagship phone that featured the Snapdragon 865 mobile platform. It launched the iQOO Neo3 5G last month as the cheapest Snapdragon 865 powered smartphone. Today (19-May), the Chinese firm announced another flagship phone called iQOO Z1 5G. The major highlight of the iQOO Z1 5G is that it is the world’s first smartphone powered by the Dimensity 1000+ SoC by MediaTek. Some of the other attractions of the smartphone include 144Hz refresh rate screen, massive battery with fast charging support, 48-megapixel triple rear camera setup, and side-mounted fingerprint sensor.

Price and availability

The base model of the iQOO Z1 with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage is priced at CNY2,198 ($310/€280), and for CNY300 ($42/€39) more, you get 2GB extra RAM. And if you go for the top-end variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage, you'll have to shell out CNY2,798 ($395/€360). Colour options include black and blue. There’s also a special One Piece edition which has a metallic gold finish, along with the show’s insignia on the back. The handset is already up for pre-booking on Vivo’s official website and it will also be available for pre-booking on other eCommerce platforms starting from May 25th. The first sale of the phone will be carried out on June 1 in China. Along with the iQOO Z1 5G; the company has also released a few accessories for the device. These include 3D texturized covers, a Bluetooth controller with an analog joystick, and a pair of neckband-style wireless earbuds. The accessories will go on sale alongside the device and will be available at a discounted price when purchased with an iQOO Z1.

Design and display

When it comes to the design, the phone doesn’t look different than the iQOO Neo3. It has the same rectangular-shaped triple camera setup on the rear, a side-facing fingerprint scanner, and a punch-hole design on the front. The USB Type-C port, primary speaker, and the 3.5mm headphone jack are placed on the bottom. The secondary speaker is placed underneath the earpiece. The iQOO Z1 5G has a 6.57-inch IPS LCD screen with a punch-hole at the upper-right corner. The HDR10 complaint display supports DCI-P3 color gamut and produces a full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels. The refresh rate here is 144Hz and comes with options to switch between 60Hz, 90Hz, and 144Hz refresh rate. iQOO Z1 5G measures 164 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm dimensionally and has an 83.9 percent screen-to-body ratio.

Front and rear cameras

Vivo iQOO Z1 5G has a frontal shooter of 16-megapixel for selfie experience. The back panel of the phone has a triple camera setup that includes a 48-megapixel main lens, an 8-megapixel ultrawide sensor, and a 2-megapixel macro shooter. Some of the camera capabilities of the smartphone include Hyper HDR, human eye tracking, low-light, and ultrawide photography. The 48MP primary sensor has f/1.8 aperture, 26mm (wide), 1/2.0", 0.8µm pixels, and PDAF technology, while the ultra-wide shooter has f/2.2 aperture, 16mm, 112-degree field of view, 1/4.0", and 1.12µm pixels. The phone’s 2MP macro sensor gets f/2.4 aperture and can capture shots as close as 4cm. As for the video recording, iQOO Z1 5G can record 4K and Full HD videos at 30fps. The front camera with f/2.0 aperture only records Full HD videos at 30fps.

Processor, software, and battery

As seen with the other iQOO devices in the market, iQOO Z1 also puts speed and performance on the front. It is powered by the Dimensity 1000 plus SoC that went official earlier this month. The 7nm chipset is an updated version of the Dimensity 1000 SoC that was launched back in November 2019. The octa-core processor comprises of four Cortex-A77 CPU cores and four Cortex-A55 cores along with Mali-G77 MP graphics. The new chipset brings support for 5G connectivity on both SIM slots of the iQOO Z1. The processor is said to perform 20 percent better compared to the previous generation. The iQOO Z1 is equipped with up to 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.1 storage of up to 256 GB. So, to keep the price as low as possible, iQOO decided to go for LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 2.1 storage instead of the latest LPDDR5 and UFS 3.0/3.1 standards. The handset does not feature a microSD card slot. As far as AnTuTu scores are concerned, the Z1 recorded 536,683 points on the benchmarking platform.

The Vivo iQOO Z1 boots with iQOO UI 1.0 flavored Android 10 OS. iQOO claims that more than 100,000 apps are optimized to work with 144Hz display. Even some of the games have been optimized to support the highest refresh rate on the device. For enhanced gaming experience, the Z1 offers users with five customized sound effects. The iQOO Z1 comes with connectivity features like Wi-Fi 6, NFC, and GPS. For audiophiles, the phone features dual stereo speakers and a Smart PA amplifier. Furthermore, the iQOO Z1 sports a 4,500mAh battery along with a 44W Vivo flash charge via Type-C. The device can be juiced up from 0-50% in just 23 minutes. The iQOO Z1 is also packed with a cooling system to keep the device under intense gaming sessions. iQOO calls it “Cooling Turbo.”