A powerful competitor in the budget smartphone category
iQOO may be a new player in the smartphone market, but with a series of impressive releases in a short period of time, the company has already established a strong position in the competitive landscape. Offering specification-packed phones with unique features, iQOO is on a path to stand out from its competitors, which includes its parent company Vivo. We got our hands on the recently released iQOO Z6 Lite 5G and used it as a primary driver for a week, here’s our review.
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iQOO Z6 Lite 5G review: Design and display
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The iQOO Z6 Lite 5G comes in its original box with a diagonal slotted lid, which contains the handset, USB cable, SIM eject tool, warranty card, quick start guide and silicone phone cover inside. There is no power adapter inside the box, although there is a section assigned to it. The iQOO Z6 Lite 5G is available in Stellar Green and Mystic Night color variants. For this review, we used the second option.
In terms of design, iQOO has kept it simple and clean on the Z6 Lite. The smartphone has a plastic frame and back, which is standard for budget phones under Rs 15,000. However, the matte texture of the plastic back and the clean design give it a premium feel. The dual camera unit fits nicely in the upper left corner of the rear panel. The back glistens in direct sunlight. iQOO didn’t try anything extravagant with the Z6 Lite, but at the same time, it doesn’t seem like they’re keeping the design choices downright safe.
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At the bottom of the frame, you’ll find the headphone jack, USB Type-C port, and speaker grille. The SIM card slot makes its way to the top of the phone with the volume rocker and power button located on the right side. The power button also doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The left side of the smartphone remained without buttons.
Moving on to the display, the iQOO Z6 Lite sports a 6.58-inch 120Hz IPS LCD display. The water drop notch at the top houses the selfie camera. The bottom of the screen also features some thick bezels that make the display look a bit dated. The 83.9% screen-to-body ratio can certainly be improved as well. The display with a resolution of 1080 x 2408 pixels is sufficient for watching HD content on media platforms such as YouTube and Netflix.
The display offers smooth touch response when scrolling. Browsing through various apps and browsing the web is a seamless experience, and the display registers even the smallest touches quite easily. It came in quite handy while gaming. We’ll go into more details about gaming performance later in the review. Screen brightness is optimal for outdoor and indoor conditions. Even in direct sunlight, we could clearly see what was on the screen.
iQOO Z6 Lite 5G Review: Performance and Cameras
The iQOO Z6 Lite 5G is the first smartphone with a Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 processor. The S4 Gen 1 is referred to as the successor to the Snapdragon 480+ SoC. The Z6 Lite is available in two RAM and storage variants: 4GB + 64GB (Rs 13,999) and 6GB + 128GB (Rs 15,499). We used the 6GB + 128GB model for our review. In addition to the 6GB of dedicated RAM, the Z6 Lite also uses an additional 2GB of storage space when running heavy tasks.
Handling the operating system duties on the Z6 Lite is Android 12 with the Vivo Funtouch 12 skin. Funtouch 12 is getting a lot of criticism from the audience and the media, but when it comes to gaming, it offers some unique features that have not been replicated by other operating systems. However, there are several aspects where the Funtouch operating system needs immediate improvement. First, the smartphone comes with a lot of bloatware.
You can uninstall all the bloatware apps, but it’s never good when the UI isn’t clean out of the box. The “Global Search” feature also proves annoying as it triggers every time you swipe down on the screen. Usually, you want to be able to access the notification bar every time you swipe down from any part of the screen. However, Funtouch only allows you to view notification tiles when you swipe down from the status bar.
There is also a problem with unnecessary ads disguised as notifications flooding the screen. The browser application is particularly notorious in this regard. To work around this problem, you will need to uninstall all bloatware apps and limit notifications for your default browser. There are a few basic steps you need to take before you can fully enjoy your smartphone. Once you get past those issues, Funtouch is a decent operating system that can hold its own with its peers.
Moving on, we were quite happy with the phone’s performance. Apps loaded negligible and even with multiple apps running in the background, the smartphone didn’t slow down even a bit. Lightning fast speed along with smooth touch response took the overall browsing experience to the next level. In the Geekbench application, the iQOO Z6 Lite scored 627 points in the Single-Core test and 1860 points in the Multi-Core test. These tests place the Z6 Lite above the Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Xiaomi Pocophone F1.
We put the IQOO Z6 Lite to the game test. Usually iQOO phones do pretty well when it comes to gaming and the Z6 Lite lives up to that reputation. We played Call of Duty Mobile on the Z6 Lite and the smartphone coped quite well with the higher resolution graphics. We encountered no lag or frame drops in our extended gaming sessions. Overheating was not a problem for the first 30-40 minutes, after that the phone got a little warm. After pausing the game and leaving the phone alone for a few minutes, the temperature dropped quickly.
Gamers will be delighted that the Z6 Lite is equipped with “Monster Mode” and “Ultra Game Mode”. By turning on Monster Mode, the smartphone switches to a high-performance mode that is ideal for playing graphics-intensive games. The battery naturally drains faster in Monster Mode, so it is not recommended to use it all the time. Ultra Game mode gives users access to a gaming sidebar that offers quick tools and shortcuts like voice changer, screen recording, WhatsApp picture-in-picture mode and more. The sidebar also shows CPU and battery usage levels.
One of the best aspects of this smartphone is its giant 5000mAh battery. Even after above-average daily use, the Z6 Lite lasts more than a day. We used the Z6 Lite as our primary driver, and our daily usage consisted of an hour of gaming, 40-90 minutes of video playback, casual browsing that consisted of Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram, and casual WhatsApp use. The phone easily lasted all day with 20-30% battery left. The smartphone does not come with a power adapter, which is disappointing, but it does support 18W charging. It took us less than 2 hours to fully charge the phone.
The iQOO Z6 Lite 5G comes with a dual rear camera comprising a 50MP primary shooter along with a 2MP macro lens. On the front, you get an 8MP selfie camera. We tested the cameras extensively and were quite happy with the results, although we wish iQOO had ditched the macro lens for an ultra-wide shooter.
In daylight, the Z6 Lite produced well-composed images with a decent amount of detail. We recommend turning on 50MP mode to fully unlock the camera’s potential. The photos we took showed good color composition without being overworked. Shades of the sky were captured quite well during the day, but the background was regularly overexposed when shooting against sunlight.
Portrait mode works decently on the Z6 Lite, although we feel the edge detection could have been a lot better. While the subject remains in focus, the edges can be really off in some situations. In limited light conditions, the Z6 Lite leaves a lot to be desired. Even with the night mode on, the images were quite grainy. The processor could use a bit more to produce cleaner images.
The front selfie camera works well. It’s ideal to take photos in sufficient light, but the image processor significantly lightens the skin tone, which is a problem that all budget smartphones suffer from. However, the front-facing camera does well in cross-platform video calling. Both the front and rear cameras can record 1080p videos at 30 fps.
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Priced at Rs 13,999, the IQOO Z6 Lite 5G is a great budget phone that offers good performance thanks to the new Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 processor. If you’re looking to buy a gaming smartphone, the Z6 Lite is one of the better options at this price point. While the display may seem a bit dated, the smartphone more than makes up for it with lightning-fast speeds and respectable performance.
Great gaming phone for the price
Apps load quickly
Great battery life
A significant amount of bloatware
Camera performance could have been better
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