vivo iQOO Z3 5G hands-on review


Vivo’s sub-brand iQOO is mainly known for its gaming-oriented phones, but with the Z-series, the company wants to appeal to a different audience – the Gen-Z. That’s why the series is called iQOO Z.

We have the iQOO Z3 in our hands – a toned-down version of the IQOO Z3 Pro. The duo was already announced in China back in April, but the vanilla Z3 is the only one that is available internationally.

The OEM says that it wants to distance itself from the gaming label with the Z-series, and we should be assessing the Z3 as a whole package – a fairly capable all-rounder with aggressive pricing. It’s also one of the first Snapdragon 768G-powered devices – it’s a potent chipset, and we are talking from experience.

vivo iQOO Z3 specs at a glance:

Body: 164.0×75.3×8.5mm, 186g; Panda Glass on the front, plastic back and frame.
Display: 6.58″ IPS LCD, HDR10, 120Hz, 1080x2408px resolution, 20.07:9 aspect ratio, 401ppi.
Chipset: Qualcomm SDM768 Snapdragon 768G 5G (7 nm): Octa-core (1×2.8 GHz Kryo 475 Prime & 1×2.4 GHz Kryo 475 Gold & 6×1.8 GHz Kryo 475 Silver); Adreno 620.
Memory: 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM; UFS 2.2; microSDXC (uses shared SIM slot).
OS/Software: Android 11, Funtouch 11.1 (International), OriginOS 1.0 for iQOO (China).
Rear camera: Wide (main): 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/1.97″, 0.7µm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 120˚, 16mm, 1/4.0″, 1.12µm; Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4.
Front camera: 16 MP, f/2.0, (wide).
Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps, gyro-EIS; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
Battery: 4400mAh; Fast charging 55W.
Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); 3.5mm jack.

Paired with 6GB/128GB memory in the base model and running a 6.58-inch 120Hz display (although IPS), and supporting 55W charging, the iQOO Z3 sounds like a good bargain at INR 19,999 starting price. Not to mention that this is one of the few 5G-capable devices in its class, and vivo is betting big on that, relying on customer research.

And if you are lucky enough, you can get the Cyber Blue variant with a frosted glass-like finish. We can definitely see iQOO’s apparent attempt to appeal to the Gen-Z audience. In case you need something less flashy, the more orthodox Ace Black and Silver colors are available for you.

Now let’s take a deeper dive into the Z3 and see how it fares against the competition, too.