iQOO 7 5G Has Everything But You Will Regret Picking It in 2021 | A Must-Read Before Buying iQOO 7

If I have to pick the best smartphone in 2021 in the ₹30,000-₹35,000 range, it would undoubtedly be the new iQOO 7 or the iQOO 7 Legend if the budget can be extended up to ₹40,000. 

With its dual-chip technology, 120Hz refresh rate on AMOLED display, exceptional camera module, graphite layer liquid cooling system, and 1000Hz instant touch sampling rate accompanied by 300Hz normal touch sampling rate, and powered by Snapdragon 870 & 888, iQOO 7 line up leaves nothing to point at when it comes to hardware.

But the software is everything to blame

Vivo has a bad reputation in terms of software. No timely updates and carrying the name as an imposter of iOS, Vivo would be the least pick for anyone who wants to buy a new phone. If you are wondering why am I talking about Vivo here, iQOO is a child company of Vivo just like Realme of Oppo and Redmi of Xiaomi. 

iQOO has stepped up the game with its own UI with iQOO 3 which didn't work out for the company as a toddler in the industry. It might have learned a quick lesson from Realme which catered to Color OS until three iterations and suffered the consequences. 

What happened with Realme?

Oppo has decided to grow Realme as a separate company to beat Redmi's share in the market. It followed the same business model as Xiaomi's. 

With the 2nd prioritized software support mostly unlike Xiaomi, Oppo misunderstood the game of phones here. As a result, it ended up being lashed out with so many complaints, from bugs to software updates.

The new company has got no time for its own software development in parallel with the hardware competition. Because for every 3-4 months, Redmi had its new phone in the market. 

To beat Redmi, Realme has to go on a spree of releasing smartphones back to back without caring about the software it is bundling them with. 

Also, Oppo used to show a step-mother concern on Realme after it got separated. It wouldn't release a software license for its own brainchild company until it is released for its own flagships. What an irony!

So the bugs, updates, and feature requests were halted until Oppo gets the reservation.

This left Realme with no choice but to go with its own UI. With its competitive hardware, Realme has already impressed its customers, since Realme 1. 

Has Realme UI solved the problem? 

Yes. The ownership of its own software has solved problems for Realme. Though the UI carries the DNA of Color OS, it's totally minimized with no cut downs of original stock android features. Mark the last line about 'Original stock android features'.

Realme has now become a real competitor to the Redmi lineup as you see it today.

What iQOO has to do anything with Realme's story?

iQOO didn't want to go through all of what Realme has with Oppo and Color OS. So, to make it easier, it took a leap over creating its own UI, named iQOO UI which is an intelligent move. 

But, the new smart company couldn't handle the software development operations at their end with limited teams. Neither did it pace up with the market, with new phones every 3-4 months, nor did it put efforts to improvize the UI. Moreover, it has no major lineup in the market. 

Working on bugs and features should be less time taking than for companies like Redmi, and now-Realme to work on software. The reason behind it is they have a large lineup of devices in the market. 

What do iQOO have?

It has released two phones so far, iQOO 3 and iQOO 7, also known as iQOO Neo 5 in the Chinese market. While iQOO 3 is a step up with its own UI, iQOO 7 comes with Vivo's Funtouch OS. 

What's happening here? Why would iQOO step back to a dependant software? 

It's a clear indication, if you read between the lines, that it has given up on its own UI and admitted that it cannot handle research and development of its own software. Don't ask me the situation of those iQOO 3 users. They are left to drown in the quicksand. iQOO 3 users got offended by this unforeseen decision of the company. 

Again, iQOO 3 has the best hardware and camera. A professional photographer friend of mine told me that he would rather carry iQOO 3 than his hefty mid-level DSLR for his low-key projects. 

What's wrong with Funtouch OS? Xiaomi also shares the same MIUI with Redmi

You are right. Funtouch is not bad anymore. It has evolved from the imposter phase to a quiet android look. It now looks more like a stock android which is great. 

Although not considering the bad reputation for older versions of Funtouch OS, the UI still lacks some stockish features of Android 11. What? Seriously? 

Any stock-feeling android would carry the inbuilt features of the software regardless of the new ones the customized skin will have. iQOO 7 misses those stock features.

Why would iQOO 7 miss stock Android features? 

System software matters, irrespective of the hardware here. Not just for iQOO 7, but for any other phone or computer. Why do you think Apple computers are so stable and outstanding when it comes to performance? Because the integration of software and hardware is done at the best possibilities. That's why iPhones with 2 GB RAM outsmart Android phones with 4-6 GB RAM.

If you look at the benchmark scores of iQOO 7, it sets a new threshold. The numbers might speak performance to you, but the experience matters at the end. 

Don't you still see the reason why iQOO 7 topping the game here? 

Yes, you are right! The software minimality. The cut down of the features from stock-looking Android is running lighter on the hardware. So is the high benchmark score. The availability of the hardware for application software is kept idle for best performance. 

How is the best performance bad?

Would you use Android 5.0 on amazing hardware for performance? If Android 5.0 runs smoothly on a 2 GB RAM, Snapdragon 420 chipset, won't be giving it an SD 870, and 8GB RAM speed it up? I hope you understand what I mean here. 

Xiaomi shares the same UI for all of its devices except for the POCO series. And the software update history of the Xiaomi family of devices is exceptional. 

How is this possible for Xiaomi but not for Oppo or Vivo with their subsidiaries?

The answer is the user community. Xiaomi has a huge user base compared to Oppo, and Vivo. That's why they get less feedback on their software UIs and so is happening with iQOO now. 

Realme has picked up itself from this phase and created its own user base with a substantial market share. That's why Realme software updates are coming faster than before. 

Also, Xiaomi's and Realme's user base are tech literates. They know what they need and are good at picking up value-for-money products. They would pick up a Xiaomi phone with the same hardware for half the price of an Oppo or Vivo device. 

But the class of customers Oppo and Vivo mostly have are tech illiterates. They don't observe bugs on the phone. They don't care about giving feedback or feature suggestions. This affects their research and leads to slow or no software updates. All the improvements and changes are mostly dependant on other UI skins for inspiration or internal designers' creativity. 

Why is the customer base segregated?

Oppo and Vivo spend a lot on marketing their phones for design, looks, and cameras; and they put that weight in the name of pricing the device on the customer's head. 

Whereas Xiaomi markets features and the value a user gets for the money he is spending. 

iQOO is still not in that position. Just like Realme struggled at the beginning with software update lags and bugs, the chances of iQOO walking in the same path are more. 

It's good to know that Vivo is looking up to Android 12 rollout faster with its beta developer program for iQOO 7 Legend

This assures the chance of Vivo improving the software experience of Funtouch OS on iQOO devices. But it will take time.

Takeaways from this article: 

  • iQOO moving to Funtouch OS leaving its iQOO 3 users to dust is suspicious. You may have to think twice before considering the software experience in the future. 
  • iQOO 7 and iQOO 7 Legend have great hardware. The software on it snatches away few stock Android features for performance. 
  • Vivo might control iQOO like Xiaomi controls all other subsidiary companies in terms of software from now.
  • Based on the history of subsidiary companies, it might take time for iQOO to cope up with the market. Buying it in 2021 might give you lemons as time progresses. 
Update: Some reviewers have reported with proof the shady privacy policies of the native apps on iQOO 7. I didn't talk about them as I was not sure of the policies compared with its competitors.

What do you think? Let me know your opinion in the comments below.

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