Build and Design: Looks elegant, but it’s a tad heavy

The first word I said when I held the iQOO 3 in my hands was, “Wow!” I must admit, the iQOO 3 does look pretty darn interesting.

Well, the front is standard 6.44-inch glass slab protected with something called the Schott Xensation glass, with a tiny punch hole present on the top right hand corner. Turn the phone around and that’s where the magic lies. The iQOO 3 is officially available in three colours namely Tornado Black (the phone under review), Volcano Orange and Quantum Silver, all of which are very eye catching.

The Tornado Black version is covered with Gorilla Glass 6 and looks smart, although it does manage to collect smudges. It is on the thicker side at 9.2 mm and weighs in at a massive 214 grams. But, thanks to the good weight distribution, you won’t feel like the phone will topple over when typing.

The glass barely hides a patterned design underneath that has a subtle purple hue when a sliver of light shines on it. The edges are curved, which also assists with the good grip. I also liked the fact that the phone wasn’t too wide.

There’s no mention of water resistance, so it’s safe to assume that it does not come with any IP rating.

It houses an optical fingerprint scanner in the display in the lower half. iQOO has also bundled a frosted silicon case, which looks nice and has the rims jutting out a bit over the display to protect it. iQOO has also added a glass protection layer on top of the display.

The camera module is ever so slightly raised and looks smashing. It is a rectangular module housing the 48 MP + 13 MP + 13 MP + 2 MP array, but the way the cameras have been arranged adds an elegant touch to the module. It makes use of glossy and matte finishes, which looks good. The dual-tone LED flash is present just above the 2 MP depth camera.

The top and bottom edge have a flat finish, which is good to see for a change. You get a 3.5 mm headphone jack up top (Yay!), USB Type-C (More yay!) and dual SIM support. There’s only a single, downward firing speaker though.

On the left hand edge, you have the AI assistant button, which can be pressed to activate Google Assistant. A patterned power/standby button (in striking orange) and the volume rocker button are located on the right. There is optimal tactility on these buttons, although the AI button seems a bit too flush with the edge.

The right edge features two flat spots near either corner, which turned out to be pressure sensitive buttons for gaming that iQOO calls “Monster Touch Buttons”. And if you’re wondering, yes, they work through the silicon case.

For those with long fingers, the placement may seem a tad bit inconvenient as your index fingers will be in a claw formation rather than just resting along the top edge when you hold the phone horizontally.

Specifications:

  • Display: 6.44-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display with HDR10 support
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
  • Graphics: Adreno 650 GPU
  • RAM: 8 GB LPDDR5
  • Primary Camera: 48 MP Primary camera (Sony IMX582), 13 MP Telephoto with 20x digital zoom, 13 MP wide angle with macro lens, 2 MP Bokeh lens.
  • Battery: 4,400 mAh with 55 W Fast Charger
  • Colours: Tornado Black, Quantum Silver, Volcano Orange
  • Cooling: Carbon fibre VC liquid cooling technology
  • Audio: Hi-Fi audio with AK4377A chipset
  • Software: Android 10 with iQOO UI

Gorgeous display ticking of all boxes

The iQOO 3 employs a 6.44-inch Super AMOLED display which has a FHD+ resolution of 1,080 x 2,400 pixels, giving you a pixel density of 409 PPI. There is a punch hole selfie camera on the top right, and it’s not much of an annoyance, though I’d have preferred a black bar over it at least when gaming in full screen mode.

Thanks to the pixel density, the display is sharp even when using the smallest system font. While this isn’t a high refresh rate display, I didn’t find that to be much of a deal breaker.

Contrast and brightness levels are top notch, and iQOO also promises a peak brightness of 1,200 nits. As it supports HDR10+, it was a joy to watch HDR content on streaming platforms. Even in gaming mode, you get a feature called Eagle Eye Mode that make even the tiniest details pop out when gaming — but to be honest, I didn’t find it actually enhancing the gaming experience over the regular mode.

Sunlight legibility is on point. You do get the standard eye protection mode and dark modes.