iQOO 3 5G Review: First Impressions

By Anuj Sharma - February 25, 2020
The iQOO 3 is the first smartphone from the Vivo-backed company. The smartphone is targeted at gamers and comes with top of the line Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor and a never seen before 180Hz ref....

iQOO abbreviated for i Quest On and On, is a sub-brand of Vivo, which has made debut in India with iQOO 3 smartphone and is targeted at gamers. The phone is powered by the top of the line Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor and joins the list of select smartphones including the Realme X Pro 5G, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G that supports the fifth generation of cellular networks – 5G.  We got our hands on the device and here are our first impressions.

Design and display

Despite having a plastic back, the back of the iQOO 3 looks much more refined and clean. And to make it scratch resistant, the company has used the Gorilla Glass 6 at the back. At the front, there is SCHOTT Xensation Up, a chemically-strengthened lithium alumino-silicate (LAS) cover glass offering a great amount of strength, flexibility and reliability. How it actually differs from the latest Gorilla Glass 6 will tell you in detail in our full review later.

Iqoo Button Side

Being a gamer oriented phone, the smartphone also has two pressure-sensitive buttons at the side of the frame. Called as Monster Touch buttons, these buttons are designed to help users achieve quick multi-finger operations in the game. The company says, these buttons have been certified by the US-Egro claiming to have better grip, wider adaptation and comfort.

Another interesting feature is that while playing games is there is 4D vibration that simulates the recoil when shooting and steering wheel when driving, which makes the gaming experience much more realistic.

The iQOO 3 also offers an immersive full screen experience but to differentiate it from Vivo V-series phones that use the Ultra Full View display terminology, the company is calling it Polar View display. It houses a front camera which is smallest in the segment. The screen is E3 Super AMOLED, measures 6.44-inch and can reach a max brightness of 800 nits under strong light and in some cases, can reach 1200 nit, which is impressive.

Performance and battery life

The iQOO 3 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which uses a 7nm manufacturing process and is equipped with the A77 architecture. In comparison to the Snapdragon 855, the performance of the Snapdragon 865 is increased by 25 per cent and energy consumption is reduced by 30 per cent.

During our time with the device, the smartphone offered a speedy performance thanks to the Snapdragon 865 and 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, which brings users faster application retrieval and cache speed and multi-tasking. The iQOO 3 has the 180Hz Super Touch Response rate (the maximum in a smartphone till now) which improves the screen touch scan frequency by 50 per cent from 120hz standard and enhances the overall gaming experience.

For an uninterrupted gaming experience, the smartphone has a dedicated ultra-game mode, which allocates system resources prioritising your game performance. And to improve the heat dissipation, the company has used an advanced liquid-cooled cooling system combined with superconducting carbon fibre and a temperature equalising board.  

The smartphone runs on iQOO UI 1.0 based on Android 10. The icons are smart meaning they can automatically change their colours based on the wallpaper colours to make the overall viewing comfortable. You can also change the icon shapes according to your preferences. A swipe up from the home screen enters the drawer mode wherein all installed applications are available and you can also move the most frequent apps used by you to the home screen display. Instead of a simple change of colour in the dark mode, the depth of the UI elements has also been adapted for dark colours to offer you a more pleasant picture.


The iQOO 3 sports a quad camera setup at the back consisting of a 48MP main camera, a 13MP telephoto lens (20X Zoom), a 13MP super wide-angle camera and a 2MP bokeh camera.

Iqoo Camera

The camera also has a Super Macro mode allowing you to capture images at extremely close distances. For videos, the camera has ‘Super Anti’ shake mode that the EIS algorithm with an ultra-wide-angle lens. Thus, when recording a video, the Super Anti shake mode performs real-time image stabilisation processing by cutting and processing the edges of the screen to capture a clear and stable video picture. There is also a dedicated night mode which we will test later.

To give you a quick overview, the 48MP camera captured neat images, however with a lot of sharpness in them, which at times makes the colour lose their originality. Overall, the camera of the iQOO 3 has a warm colour tone. We will extensively test the camera in our full review, till then here are some of the images captured by the iQOO 3.

Super Macro shotIqoo 3 Macro 2

Again a Super Macro shot and you can clearly see the details carved in the leaf in the below imageIqoo 3 Macro

The 48MP primary sensor shot without night modeIqoo 3 Night

Iqoo 3 Normal One


Early Verdict

With the iQOO 3, the company is aiming to impress the gamers community that demand a fast performing device, a great display and a gamer oriented design. The iQOO 3 has skilfully ticked these check boxes till now, however, we will test this device extensively over the new few days to see how it fares among the competition. So, stay tuned.

Pros: 180Hz refresh rate, fast

Cons: A bit heavy

7/ 10
  • Design 7
  • Camera 7
  • Performance 7
  • Tags
  • iQOO
  • iQOO 3 5G