iQoo 7 Legend Review: Almost an All-Rounder
At its India launch, the iQoo 7 Legend instantly made the more affordable iQoo 7 smartphone look slightly underpowered. For an additional Rs. 4,000 over the cost of its sibling, the Legend edition features a refreshing design, with accents and cues from BMW’s Motorsport cars, which give it a unique look and feel. And then there’s the spec sheet, which sounds impossible to deliver at this price point.
When we look at the competition, it’s only Xiaomi’s Mi 11X Pro (Review) that comes close in terms of specifications. It packs in the same Snapdragon 888 processor, but also has a 108-megapixel primary camera and a slightly bigger battery.
At just under Rs. 40,000, neither smartphone offers the complete premium package, as they both lack features such as wireless charging and an IP rating. But these phones are all about performance, design and camera quality, and with that in mind, we’re going to take a closer look at the iQoo 7 Legend because it is almost an all-rounder… with some minor shortfalls.
iQoo 7 Legend design
India is the only market that saw the launch of an iQoo 7 smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor and slightly watered-down camera hardware. Globally, there’s just one model and it’s called the iQoo 7. This makes the iQoo 7 Legend more of a cosmetic variant in international markets.
However, buyers in India have a better reason to go in for the BMW-inspired iQoo 7 Legend as it packs in the hardware of the international model, which is a lot better than what you get with the base iQoo 7 sold in India.
The iQoo 7 Legend looks quite clean, with a brushed metal frame and a matte-glass back. The metal frame is quite interesting because it features well-polished edges, cutouts, and indents that make it look and feel very premium. The power button on the right side has fine ridges and a blue accent that makes it stand out. The matte-glass back features red, black and blue racing stripes on a white surface that resembles the finish of a typical BMW M Motorsport racecar. Whether you are a fan of the brand or not, the colour combination does look unique. There are no options when it comes to the colour or finish of this phone.
The combination of metal and matte glass does keep fingerprints away, but it also is quite slippery, so I would recommend slipping on the included TPU case. With a 6.62-inch display, the phone did not feel overwhelming to hold given that it is just 8.7mm thin, but is moderately heavy at 210g.
The iQoo 7 Legend features stereo speakers. The primary speaker at the bottom sits next to the Type-C USB port, while the earpiece doubles as the second one, and is hidden in an almost invisible slit between the display glass and the metal frame.
iQoo 7 Legend specifications and software
The iQoo 7 Legend is available in two variants. The base 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant is available at Rs. 39,990, and a 12GB RAM + 256GB storage option is priced at Rs. 43,990. This smartphone, just like the Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro, uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and does not allow for expandable storage. It supports several 5G bands and offers dual 5G standby as well. It also has an in-display fingerprint reader, which worked reliably.
The phone has a 5,000mAh battery, which supports 66W charging speeds. There’s a 6.62-inch AMOLED display offering a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz and is HDR10+ certified. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6 (dual-band) and NFC.
The iQoo 7 Legend runs Vivo’s Funtouch OS, which is based on Android 11. The software ran smoothly in everyday use, with no sign of lag or stutter, and felt quite fluid thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate display. Funtouch OS offers some unique customisation options such as the ability to change the animations for the unlock screen, face recognition, charging, USB insertion, and when putting the phone into standby and waking it.
There’s even a touch screen animation option, which adds customisable particle trails (hearts, circles, squares) whenever you interact with the notifications tray, home screen and app drawer. This feature did not appear to affect the use of native or third-party apps.
Preinstalled third-party bloatware includes Moj, Dailyhunt, PhonePe, Snapchat and Flipkart. These apps can be uninstalled if not needed. The V-Appstore will throw up a few promotional notifications every day, but these can be switched off in the app’s settings.
iQoo 7 Legend performance and battery life
The 6.62-inch FHD+ AMOLED display sports a 120Hz refresh rate. Touch sensitivity was spot on and I faced no issues when scrolling through apps or playing graphics-heavy games. I had no problems viewing the display in bright sunlight. The colours seemed natural, and sharpness at 394ppi was not a problem. iQoo claims that the 7 Legend’s display is HDR10+ certified. However, only the YouTube app offered HDR10 streaming; Netflix did not.
Both speakers can get quite loud and sound very clear with balanced output, which makes them great for gaming, but also good for watching movies or listening to music.
In terms of benchmarks, the iQoo 7 Legend performed on par with other premium smartphones that feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. It managed 8,23,003 in AnTuTu, as well as 1,138 and 3,668 in Geekbench’s single and multi-core tests.
Gaming performance was also quite solid. Call of Duty: Mobile performed flawlessly with no hint of lag at the highest settings possible. The phone did not warm up quickly either. Things only began to feel warm after about 40 minutes of intense gameplay, which is quite good. Asphalt 9: Legends ran impressively at High Quality with the 60fps mode enabled.
The iQoo 7 Legend features ‘4D Game Vibration’ using the phone’s dual linear vibration motor. This feature worked well when playing Asphalt 9: Legends, letting me feel the impact when my car landed and bumped into things, like the feedback you’d get from a game controller. However, I switched it off when playing Call of Duty: Mobile, as it became very distracting, especially the very jarring vibration whenever I got hit by a bullet.
The 4,000mAh battery did fall a bit short of expectations and only lasted a day on a single charge. With an hour of gaming, a few phone calls, some photos, and frequently browsing through social media apps, the iQoo 7 Legend ran out of power by the end of the day. Switching the display’s refresh rate from 120Hz to Auto or 60Hz only extended battery life by an hour and a half or so. Our HD video loop battery test only lasted 13 hours and 3 minutes, which is quite low for a premium smartphone these days.
While this might be a dealbreaker for power users, iQoo has provided a very fast charging adapter in the box. The 66W charger can take the iQoo 7 Legend from a dead battery to a 100 per cent charge in just 31 minutes.
iQoo 7 Legend cameras
The iQoo 7 Legend features a triple rear camera setup, which includes a 48-megapixel f/1.79 primary camera, a 13-megapixel f/2.46 telephoto camera (with 2X optical zoom) and a 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle f/2.2 camera. Selfie duties are carried out by a 16-megapixel f/2.0 camera. The camera interface is typical of what we have seen on Vivo and iQoo smartphones so far, with all important controls available at a single tap.
The camera modes can be customised depending on what you need. What annoyed me a bit about the camera interface is the Portrait mode. It seemed to be a bug in the software, but the aperture selection control was always set to f/16 when using the selfie camera. Taking a photo using this aperture setting meant that there was no depth effect at all. I had to manually set the aperture every single time I wanted to take a portrait selfie, which was quite frustrating.
Photos taken in daylight came out sharp with good dynamic range and good detail in the textures. No matter which camera I chose, the results were impressive. However, I did notice some purple fringing in the brighter areas of the frame when using the ultra-wide-angle camera. Portrait photos of friends and pets came out quite sharp, with good edge detection and great dynamic range. While the Portrait mode defaults to the 2X telephoto camera, I could also shoot using the main camera at 1X. Autofocus was quick with all three cameras.
The ultra-wide-angle camera on the iQoo 7 Legend also does double duty as a macro camera because it has autofocus. This meant that I could shoot objects as close as 2cm away. And with a 13-megapixel sensor, the results were impressive and loaded with detail.
In low light, the iQoo 7 Legend’s cameras held up quite well. The primary camera captured photos with low noise but fell a bit short on detail in the darker areas. The Night mode takes care of this and even brightens up photos a bit. The ultra-wide-angle camera also performed well when some light was available in the vicinity, but struggled with textures in dimly lit environments.
Selfies came out clean and sharp in daylight with good dynamic range allowing the subject and background to be exposed correctly. In low light, details took quite a hit and the images looked flat. Night mode helped, provided there was an adequate source of light.
The quality of video recorded by this phone was quite good overall. The iQoo 7 Legend managed 1080p video at 30fps and 60fps well, with loads of detail and good stabilisation. 4K videos also showed plenty of detail and good stabilisation even when walking or panning. Videos recorded in low light looked quite good and had low noise, but I noticed a light shimmery effect when walking. While the ultra-wide camera managed decent quality in daylight and low light (though with some purple fringing), the lack of stabilisation resulted in really shaky footage.
Given its hardware specifications and competitive price tag, the iQoo 7 Legend is quite hard to ignore in the premium smartphone segment. The only other smartphone that comes close in terms of raw power is Xiaomi’s Mi 11X Pro (Review). While the Mi 11X Pro has a 108-megapixel primary camera, it does not offer OIS, and charging is a bit slower at 33W.
The OnePlus 9R (Review) is also a good alternative. It may feature a slightly underpowered Snapdragon 870 processor, but is a good combination of performance and features in a package that is just 8.4mm thick.
The iQoo 7 Legend offers the Snapdragon 888 processor, a good 120Hz refresh rate OLED display and excellent build quality, plus cameras that perform quite well. It might fall short in terms of battery life, if you are a power user, but although the battery is relatively small, it sure charges quickly!