Vivo iQOO Z5 5G review: mid-range smartphone with significant improvements

Although the iQOO Z3 appeared in April 2021, just a few months later there was an update – the Vivo iQOO Z5 5G smartphone. The two models are similar in many ways, but there are plenty of updates to the Z5. The diagonal of the IPS display has increased to 6.67 inches, the Snapdragon 778G is used as a processor, stereo speakers have appeared, and the battery capacity has grown to 5000 mAh.

The changes also affected the design – instead of a “drop” cutout for the front camera, there is now a small hole, and the module with the main cameras on the back looks more stylish. Such updates are necessary to keep up with trends, because the letter Z in the name was chosen for a reason, it means “generation Z”.

Vivo iQOO Z5 5G

Specifications Vivo iQOO Z5 5G

Screen6.67-inch IPS LCD, 2400 x 1080 pixels (395 ppi), 120 Hz refresh rate, HDR10, 650 nits (typ.) Brightness, 20: 9 aspect ratio
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G SM7325 (6nm): Octa-core (4 × 2.4 GHz Kryo 670 + 4 × 1.8 GHz Kryo 670)
GraphicsAdreno 642L
RAM8/12 GB LPDDR5
Inner memory128/256 GB UFS 3.1
System and softwareAndroid 11 with Funtouch 12 (International), OriginOS iQOO 1.0 (China)
Front camera16 MP, f / 2.5, wide-angle
Main camera64 MP, f / 1.8, wide-angle, 26 mm, 1 / 1.97 inch, 0.7 μm, PDAF + 8 MP, f / 2.2, ultra wide-angle, 120˚, 16 mm, 1 / 4.0 inches, 1.12 μm + 2 MP, f / 2.4, macro
Video recordingPrimary: 4K @ 30/60 fps, 1080p @ 30/60 fps, gyroscope-EIS Front: 1080p @ 30 fps
Communication and connectionsWi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.2, A2DP, LE, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, USB Type-C, USB On-The-Go
NetworksGSM / CDMA / HSPA / CDMA2000 / LTE / 5G 2G GSM 850/900/1800/1900 – SIM 1 and SIM 2 CDMA 800 3G bands HSDPA 850/900/2100 CDMA2000 1x 4G bands 1, 3, 5, 8, 28, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41 – China 1, 3, 5, 8, 38, 40, 41 – India 5G bands 1, 5, 8, 28, 41, 77, 78 SA / NSA – China 77, 78 SA / NSA – India
Sound and audioStereo speakers, 3.5 mm
Sensors and functionsFingerprint scanner (side), accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass
BatteryLi-Po 5000 mAh, non-removable, fast charging 44 W, 50% in 26 min
ColorsArctic dawn, mystical space, cybernet, aurora
Materials (edit)Front protective Panda Glass, plastic frame and back cover
Dimensions and weight164.7 x 76.7 x 8.5 mm, 193 grams
PriceFrom 22.5 thousand rubles

Unpacking and kit

Complete with the Vivo iQOO Z5 smartphone, we get:

  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • Charger 44 W
  • Transparent silicone case
  • Documentation and SIM Tray Eject Tool
Vivo iQOO Z5 5G

Design and appearance

In the new model Vivo iQOO Z5 5G, the screen has become slightly larger, but the weight is still relatively small – 193 grams.

This became possible due to the fact that the back surface and sides are made of plastic. It is comfortable to hold the phone in hands, and the matte back cover is rounded at the sides. The module with cameras has also increased, now it is wider and more stylish.

The main design change is that the front camera is now located in a hole in the middle of the top of the screen, which makes the iQOO Z5 5G look more modern than the previous model.

On the right side of the device there is a power button with a fingerprint scanner and volume keys. Click-through feedback is excellent and the scanner works flawlessly. Stereo speakers have also appeared, which are becoming the standard even for the budget segment.

Display and sound of Vivo iQOO Z5 5G

As mentioned, the Vivo iQOO Z5’s screen has increased from 6.58 inches to 6.67 inches and it is covered with Panda Glass.

Vivo iQOO Z5 5G

The display supports HDR10 technology, when the brightness can go up to 600 nits. Widevine L1 delivers the ultimate video quality on Netflix and Amazon Prime streaming services. However, since it is an IPS panel and not an OLED, the contrast is not the highest.

The refresh rate has also increased to 120 Hz, although most games are limited to 60 fps. In the Chrome browser, you will also have no more than 60 Hz, but many other applications do not have this problem.

In terms of sound quality, the iQOO Z5 5G uses both the speaker at the bottom and at the top to create a stereo effect. This helps to make the output sound louder and richer. If you don’t want to use the emitter, plug in wired or wireless headphones, the 3.5mm jack is on the top here.

IQOO Z5 5G Cameras

The Vivo iQOO Z5 5G cameras have not changed compared to the Z3, there are three of them: the main 64 megapixel (f / 1.8), the ultra-wide-angle 8 megapixel with a viewing angle of 120 degrees, and the 2 megapixel macro lens.

Vivo iQOO Z5 5G

The front camera shoots at a resolution of 16 megapixels. The quality of the shooting is good, although the shades are lacking in saturation. There is an AI (artificial intelligence) mode that analyzes the conditions and adjusts the settings accordingly.

In good daylight, samples generally come out crisp and detailed. The cameras and shutter speed are pretty fast to click and save some pretty photos to the gallery. But sometimes the camera starts to focus, and even after focusing, the picture may not turn out as sharp as you would like.

Low-light shots are no longer as impressive. Images come out more grainy and lacking in detail.

The on-device camera app has a simple user interface with many customization options. At the top, there are quick switches for HDR, AI scene optimization, flash, filters, and more. You can also quickly switch between shooting modes – Portrait, Video, Night and others with a simple swipe gesture.

Portrait mode is not very good at detecting edges, and the level of blur is automatically reduced for some unknown reason. I have had to manually set full bokeh many times.

Videos can be shot in quality up to 4K 30fps from the main camera. The results are unstable, requiring focusing and dynamic range fluctuations compared to video captured on the iPhone 11 are noticeable.

Software

Vivo iQOO Z5 5G works on the Android 11 operating system with the Funtouch 12 shell.

Vivo iQOO Z5 5G

It’s disappointing that there is no update to Android 12 yet, but the OS is smooth and lag free. You also no longer have to remove advertising notifications, and while there are still many preinstalled apps, you can uninstall most of them. You can also hide the Hot Apps and Games recommendations if you are not going to check them.

Vivo also promises us two years of Android OS updates and three years of security updates. Other system elements like the notification bar, the Settings app (very similar to OxygenOS 11) and the lock screen are also much cleaner than before. They have handy tools, and all additional customization functions are neatly hidden away.

However, there are still a few basic elements missing, like support for icon groups in the launcher by default. But third party software can fix this easily. Overall, the iQOO operating system has taken a big step forward in the right direction.

Component performance

Compared to the previous model, the processor has also changed, in the Vivo iQOO Z5 5G we get the Snapdragon 778G.

Vivo iQOO Z5 5G
Vivo iQOO Z5 5G
Vivo iQOO Z5 5G
Vivo iQOO Z5 5G

RAM 8/12 GB, and the amount of internal storage can be 128 or 256 GB. Unfortunately, there is no microSD card slot. In addition to 5G networks, we also get GPS and Bluetooth 5.2 with support for aptX HD and aptX Adaptive codecs.

In the GeekBench 5 performance test, the Vivo smartphone scores 805 points in single-core mode and 3034 in multi-core mode. The GFX Car Chase ES 3.1 (onscreen 1080p) graphics test gives the tested smartphone 35 fps. CPU throttling under load is not very strong – the processor retains more than 80% performance even at maximum loads.

Autonomy Vivo iQOO Z5 5G

Vivo has significantly increased the battery capacity of the iQOO Z5 – from 4400 mAh for the iQOO Z3 to 5000 mAh.

Vivo iQOO Z5 5G

The battery delivered an astonishing 22 hours and 11 minutes in the PCMark Work 3.0 benchmark. So her energy should last for a long time. The charging speed has become lower – instead of 55 W, it is now 44 W, so half of the battery’s energy is recovered in 26 minutes. It will take you a little over an hour to replenish the battery with energy up to 100%.

Outcome

The Vivo iQOO Z5 5G smartphone brings several important changes from the previous model, but they are not significant enough to justify a sharp jump in price. In addition, charging is slower and there is no microSD card slot.

The LCD display is also not as good as the OLED panels from many of the competition. At the end of 2021, it is not enough to just add 5G to a budget smartphone for it to be successful.

Should I buy

In terms of components, you get a powerful Snapdragon 778G processor, 8/12 GB of RAM and 128/256 GB of internal storage, which is pretty good. But among the competition is the Realme GT Master Edition , which offers similar specs with a much better Super AMOLED display, good cameras, and 65W fast charging.

Advantages and disadvantages of Vivo iQOO Z5 5G

Advantages

  • Stereo speakers and 3.5mm
  • Large 120Hz screen
  • Quite a powerful processor
  • 5G and upgraded connectivity
  • Autonomous operation with high-speed charging
  • Multi-functional software

Disadvantages

  • Non AMOLED screen
  • Plastic case
  • No memory card slot
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