Do you recall the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition? Yes, the one with Papaya Orange stripes bordering the edges of the phone? It was excited to behold and made OnePlus do another McLaren version a year after. Sadly, the trend died in 2020 with the onset of COVID-19 but iQOO is trying to revive it in a tricky 2021 with the iQOO 7 Legend. In fact, iQOO is offering it as the only colour variant of the Legend in India.

Those BMW M Motorsport stripes surely grab eyeballs, especially on the pearl white finish. Combined with the Vivo-inspired design theme and a solid build quality, the iQOO 7 Legend looks unlike any anything on the market right now. When you glance at the specs sheet and the price, it becomes difficult to control the buying impulse. Starting at Rs 39,990, this is the most affordable phone with a Snapdragon 888 chip (the Xiaomi Mi 11X is expensive by Rs 10).

iQOO sent me a review sample of the Legend and in these troubled COVID times outside, I took the iQOO 7 Legend for a quick spin. Here are my first impressions.

Design

iQOO 7 Legend

In a sea of boring gradient-showered slabs, the iQOO 7 Legend is distinct by some margin. Unlike the Chinese variants, India only gets the BMW M edition, i.e., a matte white rear with a tricolour stripe in BMW M shades running across. In compliance with the tradition of Chinese brands obsessed with English quotes, the iQOO 7 Legend carries one on its BMW stripes – “Fascination meets Innovation”. Hmm.

While I was unable to find fascination for the quote, I found truckloads of the same for the entire design. The BMW-ness separates an otherwise generic design we are used to seeing on several Vivo, Oppo, and Realme devices. Compared to a OnePlus 9R and a Xiaomi Mi 11X, the iQOO 7 Legend looks pretty (in my opinion, this is subject to variation).

iQOO 7 Legend

It is built nicely too – metal frame holding glass panels on either sides. Little touches such as the blue-coloured power key and fine inscriptions like “Dual speaker” at the bottom add to the premium-ness. That said, all the glass and metal add up to a heavy overall weight of 209 grams and this is something I felt while using. The fit and finish are top-notch.

It is worthwhile to mention that Vivo is giving a lot of stuff in the box – something very unusual for an expensive phone these days. You get a pre-applied screen protector, a 66W charging adapter and cable, a plastic case (not a good quality one), and some BMW cards inside.

iQOO 7 Legend

Sadly, the iQOO 7 Legend misses out on the shoulder keys that we saw on the iQOO 3 last year. Additionally, the pill-shaped charger port is also gone.

Features and specifications

iQOO is presenting the iQOO 7 Legend as a gaming phone and it has some ambitious numbers as well as names to help its case. Snapdragon 888 as the chip, 120Hz AMOLED display, and a 66W fast wired charging – you will find everything in here. And sure enough, it feels its part once you start using it.

iQOO 7 Legend

Unlike last year’s iQOO 3, the iQOO 7 Legend is relying on Vivo’s FunTouchOS 11 based on Android 11. This is far from the gaming feels that iQOO’s previous interface offered and feels no different than a Vivo X60 Pro. FunTouchOS 11 does not look as modern as OxygenOS or some other custom Android experiences, but it is well optimised.  In fact, I was unable to find any iQOO elements throughout the interface, except for the shortcut to iQOO’s website.

iQOO 7 Legend

A few moments with the iQOO 7 Legend, however, proved that this is a fast phone by all means. Basic social media apps like Twitter and Facebook did not exhibit any struggle while a quick session of Call of Duty: Mobile demonstrated the Snapdragon 888’s capabilities. The 120Hz refresh rate and 300Hz touch response rate proved extremely beneficial while I was scoring kills in the Crossfire map. That said, there’s a lot of gaming and general usage left in order to let me deliver a verdict on the phone’s performance.

The swift performance does take a toll on the battery but in the last 48 hours, the 66W Flash Charge solution has come handy for quick refills.

iQOO 7 Legend

I am yet to test out the promising rear cameras but initial impressions paint a lot of similarity with the Vivo X60 Pro. The 48-megapixel main camera seems to take more natural-looking photos in comparison to Vivo X60 Pro.

iQOO 7 Legend First Impressions

iQOO 7 Legend

Starting at Rs 39,990, the iQOO 7 Legend is a tempting deal for a mobile gamer. You are getting the Snapdragon 888’s performance at the price of a Snapdragon 870-equipped phone. Despite its focus on gaming, it seems to have commendable cameras and a beneficial fast charging solution. Best of all, it is painted in BMW M Motorsport colours amp up its glam quotient.

Keep an eye on our full review of the iQOO 7 Legend within the next few days.

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