iQOO has officially released its latest smartphone, the iQOO Neo 6, outside of China and aimed at the Indian market. In China the device is known as the iQOO Neo 6 SE and, while it is mainly focused on gaming, its specifications should appeal to the people who are interested in an overall fast performing smartphone.
The device has also landed in our hands and we gave it a bit of a test run over the past couple of days. You can read our impressions below and have a look at the camera samples – hopefully we will help you figure out if this is the mid-range device you were looking for.
IQOO Neo 6 Design
We received the device in the Cyber Rage color option, and it’s definitely the first thing you will notice about the phone. It doesn’t have a glossy finish however, which makes it fingerprint-resistant and also gives it a little bit of a grip. Cyber Rage, which shifts from blue to pink and purple depending the angle you shift it at, is one of the two color options the phone is available in. The other one is called Dark Nova, which features a non-glossy much darker finish.
To begin with, the smartphone is not heavy as the body is made of plastic and the display features thin bezels with a little bit of a chin, but it’s definitely not large enough for it to be a distraction.
The cameras on the back are set up in a square housing and the bump itself barely takes up any space and doesn’t add much to the bulk of the phone. Overall it’s pretty slim and easy to handle.
The selfie camera is set up in a punch-hole at the top of the screen, in the middle. It’s a little bit distracting when watching videos but it’s not a deal-breaker and easy to get used to.
The display is a 120Hz AMOLED with HDR10+. It has an in-display fingerprint scanner and a peak brightness of 1,300 nits. It has a 360Hz touch sampling rate but, depending on what games you prefer to play, it can go up to 1,200Hz.
There is a SIM tray present at the bottom, accompanied by the microphone, speaker and the USB Type-C port, while the right side of the device hosts the power and volume buttons.
IQOO Neo 6 Specs
As mentioned before, the Neo 6 is mainly geared towards gaming and while that might not be what you’re interested in, it doesn’t mean that you should not give this device a chance because it does come with a handful of premium hardware for its price range.
To begin with, there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset under the hood. Its Chinese twin features the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset but the 870, which is clocked at 2.3GHz, is still powerful enough to handle long gaming sessions and demanding work days.
It’s enough to go through a game of Call of Duty: Mobile to see how capable it is which is exactly what I did – the phone is snappy and performs just as well as games such as Genshin Impact or arcade-style ones. The IQOO Neo 6 also features 4D Game Vibration as well as a gaming panel you can drag from the left side of the screen.
The panel will allow you to choose from a battery-saving mode, to a balanced mode and a completely gaming-aimed mode frighteningly dubbed monster mode, that will offer you the best speed and graphics. You have options to mute or edit your notifications from there, as well as other features that will allow you to personalize your gaming experience to get the best out of your device.
Of course, you can expect it to heat up during intense sessions but the internal cooling system does a great job at keeping it running smooth and we didn’t experience any excessive heating during our gaming sessions.
We have to thank the phone’s Cascade Cooling System for that: it features five layer 3D graphite cooling plates that aid heat dissipation.
The Neo 6 packs a 4,700mAh battery and comes with 80W fast-charging support. The device comes with the required charger in the box and you can expect it to charge from 0% to 100% in roughly around 37 minutes.
The battery life is nothing to laugh at – after a day of normal use (emails, YouTube, browsing through social media, etc.) the phone still had around 20% worth of juice left and it was just as snappy.
Other features include Bluetooth 5.2, dual-band Wi-Fi, no less than four 5G bands and 4G VoLTE. Unfortunately, the storage is not expandable even if the SIM tray has two slots, so keep that in mind if you need the space – it’s best to aim for the higher storage option.
Unfortunately, there is no NFC, so keep that in mind if you got in the habit of using your phone to pay for stuff.
The phone runs FuntouchOS 12, blanketed on top of Android 12. iQOO will offer two years’ worth of AndroidOS updates and three years of security updates, which is really good news. As is the case with FuntouchOS, you will get a handful of bloatware pre-installed, but most of them can be easily uninstalled.
As we mentioned in our Vivo X80 review however, most of these pre-installed apps have seen quite the jump in the past few years – they have received a number of improvements and it’s worth giving them a shot, you might be surprised, who knows?
On the front, we’ll find a 16MP selfie snapper while on the back there is a 64MP main camera with OIS, accompanied by an 8MP ultra-wide angle camera as well as a 2MP macro camera.
Overall, the phone has a good color rendition however, the standard photo settings feature a flat color profile. This is something most people like, but if you prefer more saturated photos, you’ll have to fiddle around with the settings a little. The camera has a good dynamic range that is helped by the software.
The panorama mode too, is pretty good. It does a good job at stitching the photos together and most of the time you won’t get extremely visible artifacts in the shot.
The macro on the other hand is not all that great: the photo quality is quite poor and, depending on the light you shoot in, the highlights get pretty blown up and it lacks detail.
The OIS does a very good job – videos we’ve taken of people in movement (walking, sparring) were very balanced. However, you can still catch glimpses of motion artifacts on occasion, depending on how fast they’re moving.
Pricing and Availability
The iQOO Neo 6 is available in India as of the 31st of May and comes in 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM and 12GB RAM + 256 ROM options. Price-wise, it will cost INR 34,999 (~ $450) for the base version while the larger storage version will cost INR 39,999 (~ $515).
Pros: The phone has a very good battery life and can handle tasks very well. It’s snappy and playing games on it is a lot of fun, the colors are vivid and there is no lag or delays even after a long session. It’s also a really good-looking device.
Cons: There’s no NFC, the macro camera needs a lot of improvement.
Overall, the phone performs very well for a mid-range offering, and is a good purchase even for someone who is not particularly interested in gaming.