The hybrid indirect evaporative cooling-mechanical vapor compression (IEC-MVC) process is deemed a promising cooling system for hot and humid areas. It possesses the merits of high energy efficiency and strong capability of temperature and humidity control. Herein, we provide an overview of the state-of-the-art investigations over different aspects of the hybrid IEC-MVC process. Firstly, we evaluate the potential of IEC as a pre-cooler and heat-recovery device. Then, we compare the energy efficiency of IEC-MVC with standalone MVC and summarize its long-term energy-saving potential under specific weather conditions. Subsequently, we discuss the economic viability and water consumption of the hybrid process. These studies form a solid foundation for the future installation of the IEC-MVC system.