MOQI i7s Android game console review

GSMArena team, 05 July 2019.

Display

The MOQI i7s sports a pretty beefy 6.0-inch display in a standard 16:9 aspect ratio. Besides a hefty diagonal, one of its main selling points is the 1920 x 1080 resolution. While that may not sound particularly impressive in smartphone terms, where QHD resolution is not hard to come by, it is still great compared to most portable gaming device competitors currently out there.

The popular Nintendo Switch, for instance, which we have been referencing quite a bit, has a larger 6.2 inch LCD panel, but with a resolution of 1280 x 720. That makes for a less sharp image overall. And since we are sure this comparison is going to come up at some point as well - the GPD XD 2019 revision sports a smaller 5-inch panel with the same 1280 x 720 pixel resolution.

MOQI i7s review

Now, to be fair, there are tangle benefits to running a lower native resolution, mostly having to do with less strain on the GPU and higher average frame rates. However, most Android games and game engines in general are very flexible and masterfully dial back and forth rendering parameters to match your device. Our point is that the MOQI i7s is powerful enough to handle FullHD and most apps are more than willing to play nice and lend a hand with internal optimization if and when the GPU strain becomes a bit too much. But more on that in the performance section.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Xiaomi Mi 9T (Max Auto) 0 646
Motorola Moto Z4 (Max Auto) 0 645
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE (Max Auto) 0 637
Xiaomi Mi 9 (Max Auto) 0 620
Samsung Galaxy A70 (Max Auto) 0 607
Asus ROG Phone (Max Auto) 0 542
MOQI i7s 0.605 537 888
Realme 3 Pro 0.285 508 1782
Huawei Honor View 20 0.365 479 1313
Honor Play 0.414 470 1135
Asus ROG Phone 0 458
Motorola Moto Z4 0 458
Google Pixel 3a XL 0 451
Xiaomi Mi 9T 0 449
Realme X 0 448
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE 0 444
Oppo F11 Pro 0.316 440 1392
Xiaomi Mi 9 0 428
Razer Phone 2 (Max Auto) 0.403 426 1057
Google Pixel 2 XL 0 420
Samsung Galaxy A70 0 407
Realme 3 0.263 385 1464
Razer Phone 2 0.401 380 948
Razer Phone 0.251 300 1195

The MOQI i7s panel might stand out in the very small crowd of portable gaming devices, but it is not really impressive in modern smartphone terms. Don't get us wrong, it's a decent LCD, no obscene air gap or horrible top surface. It is just not really impressive in any way. It does get decently bright, hitting a maximum of 538 nits, but no max-auto beyond that. A real bummer since a gaming handheld is likely to find itself outside in the sun.

Coupled with a pretty reflective surface on top of the panel (the glass screen protector isn't helping either), the MOQI i7s struggles outdoors. It's not a great experience.

MOQI i7s review

Colors are nice and vibrant, but not particularly accurate. There are a total of three display modes to choose from - beauty is what you want to use to get the nice punchy colors in games. Nature mode just dials back the entire pallet and makes everything dull. You probably want to avoid Bright mode altogether since all it seems to do is crush greys leaving only a couple of shades. There is a color temperature slider as well, but without a proper custom white point setting, it didn't really help color accuracy much.

Display settings - MOQI i7s review Display settings - MOQI i7s review Display settings - MOQI i7s review Display settings - MOQI i7s review
Display settings

Out of the box, we measured a pretty bad average deltaE of 11.9 and a maximum of 24.1. The cyan and blue colors, as well as purple being among the most over-saturated of the bunch. Putting on Natural mode and pushing the color slider very slightly to the cold end yields an average deltaE of 11.3 and a maximum of 19.9 and that's really the best we managed. Plus, like we already mentioned, you probably don't want to endure the dull colors this mode provides, so just put beauty mode on and learn to live with the panel.

Hardware

Circling back to the original point in this review, that Android gaming handhelds are a rarity - there might be more to add to this statement. If we have to be perfectly frank, it's the mainstream obscurity that strikes us the most. In reality, if you are willing to scour the internet and sites like Banggood, Geekbuying and Aliexpress, there is actually no shortage of gaming handhelds. Many of them running Android and even more models with custom OS and emulation software. The thing is that most of these tend to come with very low-end and often antiquated internals. More or less the bare minimum to run Android games.

MOQI i7s review

One of the things that originally caught our eye about the MOQI i7s are its pretty decent and contemporary internals. Again, this is all relative to the particular market and competitors, but a Snapdragon 710 clearly stands out among the crowd. It is bundled with 6GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of expandable storage. Frankly hardware that could still fit perfectly fine in a budget 2019 Android phone.

A modern chipset also means other creature-comforts like a USB Type-C port, complete with Qualcomm's 18W Quick Charge technology. Since we are already on the subject, it is kind of a bummer that neither the Type-C not the 3.5mm jack offer any support for video output. GPD seems to have this covered across most of its handheld models.

Having said all this, there is another way to look at Snail's choice of chipset of the MOQI i7s and that has to do with GPU power. While definitely no slouch, the Snapdragon 710 has an Adreno 616 GPU at its disposal. Definitely better than anything currently on offer in Qualcomm's 600 lineup of chips and an upgrade compared to the MediaTek Helio X20 and Mali-T880 inside the old MOQI i7. What about an older 800 series Snapdragon and particularly the SD835? Its Adreno 540 looks a lot more capable, at least on paper. Would the i7s perhaps been better off with this chipset? Of course, we aren't in any position to say whether such a substitution was even possible or financially sound. Still, we can entertain the idea through some synthetic benchmarks in the next section.

Benchmarks

We don't really deal with dedicated gaming devices that often, the benchmark charts will be populated with a selection of smartphones instead. Since the MOQI i7s is running on a standard Qualcomm ARM chip and Android OS, it is still an apples to apples comparison. Plus, it is probably the most relevant comparison to make seeing how most people potentially in the market for a dedicated Android gaming handheld will undoubtedly be exploring the alternative approach of a conventional and potentially cheaper smartphone paired with a good gamepad.

In any case, we decided to pick a nice and wide selection of chipsets, mainly considering the GPU as a differentiating factor. That's definitely the potential bottleneck the Snapdragon 710 might encounter with intense gaming loads, since it is pretty well-stacked on the CPU side.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    11181
  • OnePlus 7
    10768
  • Honor Magic 2
    9887
  • Honor View 20
    9530
  • ASUS ROG Phone X mode (Fan on)
    9406
  • ASUS ROG Phone
    9230
  • Razer Phone 2
    8923
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    6863
  • Razer Phone
    6728
  • Honor Play
    6696
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro
    6620
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
    6584
  • Motorola Moto Z4
    6515
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (Android 9)
    6055
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    6020
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    6017
  • Realme X
    5915
  • Realme 3 Pro
    5881
  • MOQI i7s
    5855
  • Samsung Galaxy S5e
    5684
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
    5176
  • Realme 3
    4936

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    3503
  • OnePlus 7
    3380
  • Honor Magic 2
    3316
  • Honor View 20
    3211
  • ASUS ROG Phone X mode (Fan on)
    2556
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    2537
  • ASUS ROG Phone
    2514
  • Razer Phone 2
    2424
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro
    2404
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
    2391
  • Motorola Moto Z4
    2371
  • Razer Phone
    1931
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    1905
  • Honor Play
    1899
  • MOQI i7s
    1859
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (Android 9)
    1807
  • Samsung Galaxy S5e
    1631
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
    1615
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    1560
  • Realme 3
    1482
  • Realme X
    1475
  • Realme 3 Pro
    1471

Two + six cores (2.2 GHz Kryo 360 Gold - Cortex-A75 derivative + 1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver - Cortex-A55 derivative) are more then plenty to keep up with modern workloads, be it gaming or productivity. This setup is pretty much on par with the one inside the Snapdragon 670 and SD675.

Basemark OS 2.0

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    5346
  • ASUS ROG Phone X mode (Fan on)
    4702
  • ASUS ROG Phone
    4614
  • Honor View 20
    4281
  • Razer Phone 2
    4163
  • Honor Magic 2
    4106
  • Razer Phone
    3492
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
    3328
  • Honor Play
    3294
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (Android 9)
    3293
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    3102
  • Motorola Moto Z4
    2975
  • MOQI i7s
    2778
  • Realme X
    2748
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
    2737
  • Realme 3 Pro
    2648
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    2232
  • Realme 3
    2020

The SD710 inside the MOQI i7s performs as expected and offers no surprises in terms of general productivity. So, let's move on to the more exciting GPU showdown. Going through the opponents we picked, we have the Qualcomm 712, which sports the exact same Adreno 616 GPU as the SD 710 and right above it the SD730, with its Adreno 618. In the 600 series - the SD670 is rocking an Adreno 615, while the SD675, oddly enough has an Adreno 612. And on the flagship side - the Snapdragon 835 - Adreno 540, SD845 - Adreno 630 and SD855 - Adreno 640. We also threw in the Kirin 980 with its Mali-G75 MP10 and the Kirin 970 with a Mali-G72 MP12. For good measure, the MediaTek Helio P70 is also on the chart, with just three of the same Mali-G72 cores at its disposal.

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    372006
  • OnePlus 7
    365085
  • ASUS ROG Phone
    290975
  • ASUS ROG Phone X mode (Fan on)
    288821
  • Razer Phone 2
    285051
  • Honor View 20
    275413
  • Honor Magic 2
    274466
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    211915
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (Android 9)
    206711
  • Honor Play
    204876
  • Razer Phone
    190271
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro
    180754
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    180057
  • Motorola Moto Z4
    173234
  • MOQI i7s
    169232
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
    167750
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
    159110
  • Realme 3 Pro
    155647
  • Samsung Galaxy S5e
    152610
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    150218
  • Realme 3
    132764

Mind you, the devices we have picked to represent their respective chipsets vary in display and hence rendering resolution. So the off-screen performance tests are the ones to take into account here. Plus, you would be hard-pressed to even find a standard 16:9 FullHD phone nowadays, with the ongoing ultra-wide trend, making any on-screen comparison even more irrelevant.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 7
    57
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    56
  • ASUS ROG Phone
    54
  • ASUS ROG Phone X mode (Fan on)
    54
  • Honor View 20
    50
  • Honor Magic 2
    45
  • Honor Play
    36
  • Razer Phone 2
    33
  • Realme 3
    26
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    24
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    24
  • MOQI i7s
    24
  • Razer Phone
    22
  • Realme 3 Pro
    20
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
    19
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (Android 9)
    15
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro
    15
  • Motorola Moto Z4
    14
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
    13
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    12
  • Samsung Galaxy S5e
    11

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    70
  • OnePlus 7
    67
  • ASUS ROG Phone
    60
  • ASUS ROG Phone X mode (Fan on)
    60
  • Honor View 20
    53
  • Honor Magic 2
    53
  • Razer Phone 2
    51
  • Razer Phone
    42
  • Honor Play
    39
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (Android 9)
    30
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    27
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    26
  • Realme 3 Pro
    23
  • MOQI i7s
    23
  • Samsung Galaxy S5e
    20
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
    20
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro
    17
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
    15
  • Motorola Moto Z4
    15
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    14
  • Realme 3
    13

That is actually a good point to make in favour of the MOQI i7s. As far as gaming is concerned, a standard 16:9 aspect is really the best way to go. You are not running the risk of bad compatibility, artifacting and performance issues on unoptimized or older titles. Plus, no extra load on the GPU to draw more pixels. If you are planning to play a lot of emulators, you are likely to even end up with a 4:3 window, since that is native for most older systems. All things considered, the standard aspect ratio of the panel gets a resounding nod from us.

Aztek Vulkan Normal (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 7
    41
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    41
  • ASUS ROG Phone
    36
  • ASUS ROG Phone X mode (Fan on)
    35
  • Razer Phone 2
    33
  • Honor View 20
    29
  • Honor Magic 2
    25
  • MOQI i7s
    13
  • Samsung Galaxy S5e
    11
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
    11
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro
    9
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    8.4
  • Motorola Moto Z4
    8.2

Aztek OpenGL ES 3.1 Normal (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    43
  • OnePlus 7
    41
  • ASUS ROG Phone
    38
  • Razer Phone 2
    37
  • ASUS ROG Phone X mode (Fan on)
    37
  • Honor View 20
    30
  • Honor Magic 2
    30
  • MOQI i7s
    14
  • Samsung Galaxy S5e
    12
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
    12
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro
    9.8
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
    9.1
  • Motorola Moto Z4
    9.1
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    8.7

To be clear though, looking at the synthetic benchmark numbers it is pretty obvious that the Adreno 616 is hardly a powerhouse. We are happy to see it perform just right and within expected margins on the MOQI i7s, alleviating any worries we originally had about poor software optimization from Snail.

What you get is a GPU that easily outpaces the typical MediaTek chips, found in other obscure Android gaming handhelds out there. That being said, if you are after the best possible performance for money Android gaming platform, the Snapdragon 710 can easily be trumped by slightly older flagship silicon.

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • ASUS ROG Phone X mode (Fan on)
    60171
  • ASUS ROG Phone
    59072
  • Razer Phone 2
    54750
  • Razer Phone
    51455
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    45089
  • Honor Magic 2
    43562
  • Honor View 20
    43537
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (Android 9)
    39372
  • Honor Play
    32238
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    31318
  • MOQI i7s
    28671
  • Realme X
    28416
  • Realme 3 Pro
    27031
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
    25962
  • Motorola Moto Z4
    21197
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
    19341
  • Realme 3
    19157
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    16838

The older Kirin 970, for instance, as found in the Honor Play does roughly 50% to 60% better in GPU tests, with its 12 Mali-G72 cores. And then there is the Snapdragon 835, which can practically pump out twice the number of frames in certain scenarios. Both of these can now be had for a bargain due to their age - a lot more irrelevant of a consideration on a dedicated gaming device, which doesn't necessarily need extra goodies like the latest connectivity options.

3DMark SSE 3.1 Unlimited

Higher is better

  • OnePlus 7
    6058
  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    5816
  • ASUS ROG Phone
    4875
  • Honor Magic 2
    3599
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (Android 9)
    3237
  • Honor View 20
    3025
  • Xiaomi Mi 9T
    2329
  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE
    2218
  • Honor Play
    2206
  • MOQI i7s
    1986
  • Google Pixel 3a XL
    1748
  • Samsung Galaxy S5e
    1723
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    1275
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro
    1220
  • Realme 3
    1189
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
    1112
  • Motorola Moto Z4
    1044

So, in short, do we think that the MOQI i7s would have been better off overall with a Snapdragon 835, rather than a Snapdragon 710? Well, yes, probably so. But again, we can't really be sure that was even an option to consider on Snail's part. Plus, synthetics are fine and dandy, but what really matters is how well the i7s handles actual gaming loads, like the ones you would throw at it. Join us on the next page as we sample a nice selection of native Android titles and emulators to really test the i7s' gaming pedigree.

Reader comments

  • Deenz

COD mobile allows you to use Bluetooth controllers natively....it's even in their settings.... Why would they ban you?.... 🤦🏽‍♂️

  • Timmy

No because there are a lot of popular games that ban people who use bluetooth/wired controllers on android because it's an advantage. So no you can't just get an extended controller to play all games, will be banned in PUBG and COD mobile.

The best mobile gaming set-up I've used recently was, February 2017 I got a second hand Moto Z2 Force with a Gamepad motomod, that was hands down the best I've used, emulators ran smooth, even in a couple of cases smoother than my Shield TV, and the ...