However, our review unit could find us indoors, no matter how many times we tested it. We also took the IQOO on a bike ride to test its location accuracy against our reference Garmin Edge bike computer. Our review unit performed surprisingly poorly, deviating by around m from the route that the Garmin plotted. In short, the IQOO could not keep up with us and cut corners to do so, resulting in it recording a much shorter overall route. We would recommend using a more reliable or dedicated device if you need to know your precise location, as the IQOO is not accurate enough. Vivo preinstalls an in-house dialler as the default in FunTouch OS.
This looks and operates much like other dialler apps that Android smartphones have.
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The app places a shortcut for your contact list next to the call button though, rather than in a dedicated tab like the stock Google app does. Our review unit performed well in our call tests and consistently reproduced our voice well. The earpiece is rather quiet though, so you may struggle to hear the person to whom you are talking if you are in a busy or noisy environment.
There is also a 13 MP ultra-wide sensor along with a 2 MP depth-of-field sensor. However, the sensor struggles to pick out many details, which is characterised by blurry edges of objects and a lack of fine structures. The default camera app also only includes several colour filters, AI-controlled beautification effects, an HDR mode and various lighting effects. The app does not include a professional or manual mode.
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The main rear-facing sensor generally takes sharp-looking photos with punchy colours, especially in good lighting. Details are clearly visible, and object edges are separated from each other, unlike the front-facing sensor, while poorly lit areas of shots are still exposed well. This applies to macro shots too, although objects outside of the focussed area look a bit blurry. Surfaces with similar colours also blend together if they are not in the foreground of the photo.
Low-light photos are passable, but the sensor cannot capture as much detail as the ones in the iPhone XS and OnePlus 6T can. Bright areas look overblown too.
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You can use all the settings that the default camera app provides for the front-facing sensor with the rear-facing one too, plus a wide-angle mode along with bokeh and night modes. Vivo also includes a professional mode, which contains settings for manually adjusting the brightness, ISO value, shutter speed, white balance and focus. Videos are of a similar quality to photos in that they are a mixed bag.
An image stabiliser compensates well for minor camera shakes, while the main rear-facing sensor can record in up to 4K. Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens.
One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device. We also subjected our review unit to further camera tests under controlled lighting conditions.
In short, the main sensor reproduces colours too brightly compared to the ColorChecker Passport reference colours, with only dark blue looking almost accurate. Colours look overly bright and a little washed-out in the photo of our test chart too. Fine lines and structures are reproduced throughout though, and contrast levels are good at the edges of the image. Surprisingly, contrast levels are at their lowest at the centre of the image, which is not often the case with smartphone cameras.
Vivo does not currently sell any IQOO specific accessories on its website or through third-party retailers. However, we would recommend researching the risks and pitfalls of importing a smartphone from China, as you may find yourself with a costly warranty repair if you must return the device to China.
The app works just as well as it does on other devices that we have tested. You can download other keyboard apps from places like the Google Play Store too.
Vivo IQOO Smartphone Review
The touchscreen in our review unit precisely and reliably reproduces inputs onscreen. The glass protecting the touchscreen has a pleasantly smooth finish, on which it is easy to perform multi-finger gestures like drag-and-drop movements. The accelerometer also responds quickly when we rotate the display.
Unfortunately, we found ourselves having to press the screen unnaturally hard before the sensor would recognise our registered fingers. Hence, the inclusion of an in-screen sensor may be the fashionable choice, but the one in the IQOO is not as practical as a conventional capacitive sensor would have been. The IQOO also has touch-sensitive shoulder buttons, which are adjacent to the power and volume buttons. You can customise which actions they trigger while gaming with FunTouch OS settings, although we found we had to rather deliberately press them before they would activate.
This means that you should not find yourself accidentally triggering them, but you may also occasionally find that you have not quite pressed them correctly while gaming, which could become annoying. Vivo has equipped the IQOO with a 6. Our review unit flickers at Hz across the whole brightness range, which is low enough to cause PWM-sensitive people health issues like eye strain and headaches. If PWM was detected, an average of minimum: 5 - maximum: Hz was measured.
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Correspondingly, colours are well separated, while black tones look rich. We also did not notice a grey haze, which is typical of cheaper displays. CalMAN analysis demonstrates that the display in our review unit has a blue tint to it. You can mitigate against this by using the eye-protection mode to make the display look warmer, but the tint should not be a big deal in daily use.
You may still have to strain your eyes to see the screen in bright sunlight from oblique angles, but generally we had no issues with seeing what was being displayed onscreen even in the summer sun. We can read the display from practically any viewing angle undisturbed.
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There is no loss of brightness, contrast or a greenish tint that is common for OLED panels even at acute viewing angles. In short, the IQOO should handle any app or task with ease regardless of its complexity. We also experienced no lags or stuttering even during heavy multitasking in daily use. Our review unit performed well in synthetic benchmarks and generally tops our comparison tables or is a few percent behind the Mi 9. We expected as much though since most of our comparison devices are equipped with Snapdragon or series SoCs, which are weaker than the Snapdragon in the IQOO.
The IQOO continued to perform well in browser benchmarks. Browsing the web on Chrome 74 always remained smooth, as did the scrolling animation. Websites load quickly, as does media content. While the write speeds of the UFS storage are below average, its read rates are on par with our comparison devices that are also equipped with UFS storage. The IQOO lives up to its marketing as a gaming smartphone. Complex titles like Asphalt 9: Legends and PUBG Mobile always ran smoothly during our tests regardless of the graphics settings at which we played them. The device remained comfortable and easy to use even during prolonged gaming sessions too.
The touch-sensitive shoulder buttons must be pressed precisely to activate though, so you need to ensure that your press is a deliberate one. The accelerometer and associated sensors worked perfectly throughout our gaming sessions. The screen always rotated without delay, while the cars in Asphalt: 9 Legends moved accurately with gesture controls enabled.
Our tests certify that surface temperatures on our review unit reach a peak of Parts of the screen reached Our review unit never felt dangerously or uncomfortably hot though. The IQOO has a mono speaker, which is both comparatively quiet and underwhelming. Mid-tones dominate its frequency spectrum, with there being a distinct drop in volume below mid and high-frequency peaks.
Overall, the speaker sounds good enough for occasionally playing music or video content, but we would recommend using external speakers or headphones where possible. You can connect external audio equipment via the headphone jack or Bluetooth. Both worked perfectly during our tests, while the former grips headphone jacks firmly. The IQOO generally consumes considerably more than our comparison devices.