iQOO Neo6 Review: Value for money gaming phone


iQOO launched its Neo6 smartphone in India this week, and it is the company’s first Neo series phone to launch in India. This brings the 6.62-inch FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display and Snapdragon 870 from the iQOO 7,  packs a slightly bigger battery and faster charging. Is this the best gaming phone in the market in the price range? Is this worth the price? Let use dive into the review to find out.

Box Contents
Camera
Battery Life
Conclusion
Box Contents

  • iQOO Neo6 in Dark Nova colour
  • 80W Flash charge fast charger
  • USB Type-C Cable
  • USB Type-C to 3.5mm converter
  • SIM Ejector tool
  • Clear protection case
Display, Hardware and Design

The iQOO Neo6 sports a 6.62-inch (1080 x 2400 pixels) Full HD+ 20:9 aspect ratio E4 AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate. The display is bright, thanks to, up to 1,300 nits brightness and offers good colour output since it has 105% NTSC color gamut, and the sunlight legibility is good as well.

You can select from standard (default), professional and bright screen colour modes. The 1200Hz refresh rate offers a  smooth user experience, especially when you are scrolling through the UI and when gaming. You can select smart switch or force it to 60Hz or 120Hz. Visual enhancement optimizes the color and contrast of some pictures for more vivid display effects, says the company.

It also has HDR 10+ support, which works for YouTube and Netflix. The phone doesn’t have a notification LED, but this has an always-on-display that shows contextual info and notifications all day or as per schedule. It doesn’t consume a lot of power since this is an AMOLED screen, but the company says that it increases the power consumption. The screen has SCHOTT Xensation glass protection.

The phone has a 16MP front camera inside the notch. There is an earpiece on the top edge which also works as a secondary speaker.

You can also notice a small bezel below the screen. The haptic feedback is good as well, thanks to the X-Axis Linear Motor.

Coming to the button placements and ports, the power button is present on the right side along with the volume rockers. The dual SIM slot, primary microphone, USB Type-C port and the loudspeaker grill are present on the bottom and the secondary microphone is present on the top along with the IR blaster. The phone doesn’t have an expandable storage. The phone has a polycarbonate frame with a matte finish.

The back of the phone has a camera part with triple rear cameras. It also has Neo branding. Even though it has a polycarbonate back instead of glass, it looks premium, and has a smooth matte finish that doesn’t attract fingerprints.

Camera

  • 64MP main camera with Samsung GW1P sensor, f/1.89 aperture, LED flash, OIS
  • 8MP ultra-wide sensor with f/2.2 aperture
  • 2MP macro camera with f/2.4 aperture
  • 16MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture

The camera UI is the same as other phones running Funtouch OS 12. It includes several features such as AR stickers, Pro Sports mode, double exposure, dual view, 64MP  mode and more. Even though the phone has a 64MP rear camera, the final output is 16MP in size after pixel binning, and the front camera output is 16MP.

Coming to the camera quality, the daylight shots are good, and it is recommended to enable HDR option which automatically switches on HDR according to the shot, so that the dynamic range is good. The camera can focus quickly. Macro shots are good as well, but the 2MP macro camera is just useless since the resolution is low. 8MP ultra wide-angle camera is useful. You can adjust the aperture manually in the portrait mode for the best background blur. Low-light images are good, but it could have been better. The night mode is useful, thanks to the optimization.

The 16MP camera is good in daylight, and the front camera portrait is decent as well, but it is not the best when it comes to low-light.

Check out some camera samples below

It can record videos at 4k resolution at up to 60 fps from the rear camera and the front camera supports 1080p 30 fps recording.  There is also a night video mode option. It has standard and ultra stabilization, but the resolution is down to 1080p in ultra option since it crops the content. OIS does a good job in stabilization.

Software, UI and Apps

Coming to the software, the phone runs on Android 12 with Funtouch OS 12 on top.  It has Android security patch for May 2022. The company has promised two years of Android updtes and three years of monthly security updates. Funtouch OS 12 brings new home screen widgets such as Nano Music Player, Album highlights, Stickers, grid view for multitasking, extended RAM technology allocates part of the ROM storage to the RAM and increases RAM space as well as Android 12 features such as privacy dashboard, security enhancements, Microphone & camera indicators and more.

Out of 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM about 11.32GB is usable, out of which 7GB is free when the default apps are running in the background. Out of 256GB  of UFS 3.1 storage, 223.4GB is free out of the box. We got about 1715.1MBps sequential read speed on Android Bench.

Apart from the usual set of utility and Google apps, it comes preloaded with a lot of apps such as Facebook, Spotify, Byjus, Cred, LinkedIn, Netflix, Mx TakaTak, Moj and Sharechat. These apps can be uninstalled, but they come back after reset.

Fingerprint sensor and Face unlock

The phone has an in-display fingerprint sensor which immediately unlocks the phone just by keeping your finger on the sensor.  There are different animation styles that display when you unlock, which you can disable. The phone also has face unlock that can unlock the phone in seconds, but it is not as secure as fingerprint.

Music and Multimedia

The default Music Player also has equalizer and DeepField sound effects. It doesn’t have FM Radio support. Audio through the stereo speakers is good and loud. Audio through the headphones is good as well. This has Widevine L1 so that you can play HD content on Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and other streaming apps. It also supports HDR content on Netflix.

Dual SIM and Connectivity

It has the usual set of connectivity features such as 5G with support for n1/n41/n77/n78 bands, dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4 + 5GHz), Bluetooth 5.2, GPS + GLONASS, but doesn’t have NFC support. It also has USB OTG support. The phone also has carrier aggregation. We did not face any call drops and the earpiece volume is good, even though it is present on the top edge.

The iQOO Neo 6’s body SAR is 0.87W/Kg and head SAR is at 1.24/Kg which is slightly high compared to some mid-range phones, but it well under the limit in India which is 1.6 W/kg (over 1 g).

Performance and Benchmarks

This is powered by Snapdragon 870 6nm Mobile Platform that uses Qualcomm Kryo 585 CPUs. It has 1 x Kryo 585 Prime CPU (A77-based) at up to 3.2GHz, 3 x Kryo 585 Performance CPUs (A77-based) at up to 2.42GHz, 4x Kryo 585 Efficiency CPUs (A55-based) at up to 1.80GHz

The Adreno 650 GPU offers a smooth gaming performance even in graphic intensive games, and the phone doesn’t get too hot even during long hours of gaming, thanks to 36907mm²  Cascade Cooling System and 5-layer 3D graphite cooling plates, which greatly improves the heat dissipation efficiency.

The phone gets a bit warm on intensive gaming, but it doesn’t too hot. We did not face any issues or frame drops in the graphic-intensive games like COD, BGMI and Genshin Impact. It reached maximum 41º in our testing indoors in Wi-Fi, but this might vary outdoors in 4G. That said, check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.

As you can see in the benchmarks, the iQOO Neo 6 Pro powered by the Snapdragon 870 chip outperforms several phones, but the Snapdragon 888 and the latest Dimensity 8100 are better.

Battery life

Coming to the battery life, the phone packs a 4700mAh (typical) battery, which is decent for a mid-range phone. It can easily last for a day with heavy use and for 2 days with typical use with 4G enabled and multimedia, thanks to the optimization. I got over 5 hours of screen on time with 2 days of use, mostly on Wi-Fi. Since the phone has support for 80W fast charging, it can charge from 0 to 50% in about 12 minutes and up to 100% in about 35 minutes.

Conclusion

At a starting price of Rs. 29,999, the iQOO Neo 6 is a value-for-money phone for multimedia and gaming. Even the rear camera is good in daylight and also has OIS. This is more like a version of the iQOO 7 with downgraded ultra-wide camera, slightly bigger battery and fast charging.

Pricing and availability

The iQOO Neo 6 is priced at Rs. 29,999 for the 8GB + 128GB model and the 12GB + 256GB model costs Rs. 33,999. It is available from Amazon.in and iQOO.com. ICICI Bank cards get Rs. 3000 instant discount.

Alternatives

The iQOO 7 with the same Snapdragon 870 is still a good buy for the same price if you need a better ultra-wide camera, but this has a slightly smaller battery. The POCO F3 GT is also a good alternative for gaming that comes with triggers. The upcoming POCO F4 should be a good competition if it launches in the similar price range.

Pros

  • 120Hz E4 AMOLED HDR display is brilliant
  • Smooth performance and good gaming performance
  • Stereo speakers
  • Good battery life with 80W fast charging

Cons

  • Average ultra-wide camera and 2MP camera
  • A lot of preloaded apps

Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram