iQOO 9 Review
I’m using the iQOO 9, a phone that was just launched in the iQOO 9 series by the brand. IQOO 9 series is the successor to the iQOO 7 series that was launched last year in India. It appears to have a lot going for it on paper.
It brings the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ SoC, dynamic RAM expansion up to 4GB, 120Hz AMOLED display, a slew of software customization options for gaming, and more. This makes it a strong contender in its field. Here is my full review of the iQOO 9 5G and how it performs in everyday life.
iQOO 9 Price in India and Variants
The iQOO 9 5G costs Rs 42,990 for the 8GB/128GB option and Rs 46,990 for the 12GB/256GB option. It will be available in two colour options: Legend and Alpha. ICICI Bank credit card holders may pre-order the phone on February 23rd, with Amazon offering a Rs 4,000 instant discount, Rs 3,000 exchange bonus, and no-cost EMI. This reduces the final price to just Rs 38,990.
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iQOO 9 Box Contents
iQOO 9 comes with the following items inside the box:
- 120W Charger
- Type-C USB Cable
- Warranty Card
- Quick Start Guide
- SIM Eject Tool
- Phone Protective Case
- Earphone Jack Adapter
iQOO 9 Specs at a glance
Before we talk in detail about the iQOO 9, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 6.56 inches AMOLED
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus
- RAM & ROM: 8GB RAM 128GB Storage, 12GB RAM 256GB Storage
- Software: Android v12
- Rear camera: 48MP + 13MP + 13MP
- Selfie camera: 16 MP
- Battery: 4350 mAh
- Weight: 200 grams
- Dimensions: 159.1 x 75.1 x 8.6 mm
iQOO 9 Design and Build
Design is the first thing that sets the iQOO 9 apart from the rest, especially the Legend Variant, which has three stripes on the back inspired by BMW’s colour scheme. The latest iQOO 9 Legend variant is instantly appealing to the eyes. In comparison, the Alpha Edition uses a nano-lithography textured back, similar to the carbon fibre you see on high-end sports cars.
Frosted anti-glare matte glass on the backside of the phone makes it look a lot more premium than it is. In terms of design, the edges are curved, the sides are shiny metallic, and the overall look and feel of the phone are both attractive and sturdy. To make it easier to hold, the back edges of this smartphone curve gently and meet the frame.
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Looking at the backside, you’ll see a three-camera arrangement on the top left side, mounted on a thin metallic sheet that says Gimbal Stabilization. It’s an interesting design choice. There are two speakers, one at the top and one at the bottom, and they both sound great. There is no 3.5mm audio jack. However, not to worry, iQOO includes a Type-C to 3.5mm audio converter inside the box.
The bottom of the device includes a dual 5G SIM tray that supports 5G connectivity, but no microSD slot. On the right side, there are volume controls and a power button. The left side is clear and just has an antenna band.
iQOO 9 Camera
The back of the iQOO 9 features a triple camera setup. It features a gimbal 48-megapixel Sony IMX598 primary camera with an f/1.79 lens, a 13-megapixel sensor with an ultra-wide-angle f2.2 lens, and a 13-megapixel portrait sensor with f/2.46 aperture. A 16-megapixel front-facing camera with an f/2.45 aperture completes the front side.
The main sensor works well in outdoor situations where there is a lot of light coming inside the camera. The photographs are sharp and well-contrasted, and the colours appear to be natural. The dynamic range is good, and the sharpness of the images is excellent. There wasn’t much to like about the low-light images because they were noisy and lacking in details.
Images taken by the ultra-wide camera have a 120-degree field of view, and they show little warping around the corners. As an added bonus, it has macro capabilities, allowing you to capture amazingly clear, high-quality close-ups.
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Portrait mode is also quite impressive, thanks to the 13MP depth sensor, which delivers flawless edge detection as well as a very pleasing background blur, even in low lighting conditions. It’s also possible to use the same sensor to take 2X telephoto images, which are better than standard digital zooms.
Selfies taken with the 16MP sensor’s camera were fine, although I felt the colours were a little flat. The image was not very detailed or sharp, but it was not bad. Also, it has a variety of filters and editing options for the face.
The camera app includes tons of features like a 2x optical zoom, Macro mode, Long Exposure mode, Super Night Video mode, Double Exposure, Pro Sports, Astro, Live Photo, Dual View, Motion Autofocus (object tracking), Movie, Slo-mo, AR Stickers, as well as other unusual modes that provide you with the ultimate photography experience.
As far as video is concerned, the back camera can shoot 4K videos at 60 fps while the front camera can record 1080p videos at 30 fps. Back cameras are capable of recording 1080p slow-motion videos with up to 240fps. The Ultra stabilisation option on the Gimbal camera limits the maximum resolution to 1080p, but it delivers amazing stability for video enthusiasts.
The videos also have anti-shaking stabilisation, wide-frame movie mode, super night mode, beauty mode, and a lot of other filters that you can use. Now, if we look at the price, I think the cameras aren’t that great. I don’t mean they are bad, it’s just that, they could be a little better.
iQOO 9 Battery and Charging
The iQOO 9 comes with a fairly small 4,350mAh battery. The battery performance of the iQOO 9 is not particularly exciting. Battery life is easily one day with the normal use of the 60Hz display refresh rate, however battery life will be reduced if you use the 120Hz.
I was able to achieve roughly 4.5 to 5 hours of screen time on days with heavy use, including gaming, social media scrolling, calling, and texting. When you add a few hours of Netflix or YouTube and Instagram scrolling to the mix, the battery dies by the evening.
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However, the charging of the device takes it to the next level. The iQOO 9 supports 120W of fast charging. The 120W charger juices up the battery from 0-100 per cent in just around 18 minutes. In just six minutes of charging, the phone can reach a 50 per cent mark.
The pro variant comes with 50W wireless charging which we don’t see in this vanilla version. Overall, the battery capacity is underwhelming, but they did provide a 120W charger in the box, so I can’t really complain.
iQOO 9 Display
The IQOO 9 5G features a 6.56-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2376x1080p and a refresh rate of 120Hz. The screen has a 19.8:9 aspect ratio, a 92.76 screen-to-body percentage, and a pixel density of 398ppi. Like its competitors, the iQOO 9 sports a high-end display.
The colours are bright, and the high touch sampling rate ensures that it is highly responsive when touched. Additionally, the refresh rate can be set between 60Hz and 120Hz. In addition, an eye protection feature and dark mode are available.
Moreover, it supports HDR10+, has a contrast ratio of 6,000,000:1 and a maximum brightness of 1,200 nits. It is bright enough for outdoor use in direct sunshine. Panda Glass, a competitor to Corning Corning Gorilla Glass, protects the smartphone’s screen. The display comes with an in-screen fingerprint sensor as well as two Moster Touch sensors placed under the display.
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On the subject of the punch-hole, the panel has a tiny cutout at the top, and the bezels around the display are pretty thin. On the whole, the display quality is superb for viewing content, and the overall experience is excellent.
iQOO 9 Performance
IQOO 9 is powered by the Snapdragon 888 Plus SoC, which is paired with as much as 12 GB of RAM and up to 128 GB of internal storage. The microSD card slot is not available in any of the variants. iQOO makes advantage of its software capabilities to increase the amount of RAM available on the device by up to 4GB by simply borrowing it from the internal storage. I think 16GB of RAM is a little too much. The iQOO 9 does exactly what it says it will with no hiccups in performance and is really fast to launch and close apps.
Even if you have a lot of Chrome tabs open, a lot of heavy apps running in the background, and you’re browsing the Interface in general, you won’t have any troubles. Although the overclocked chip can heat up a bit during sustained load, this is a problem that has been seen on some Snapdragon 888 devices.
Gaming can be a completely new experience, and you can play a lot of games without compromising on the graphics quality. You’ll be able to play games at the highest possible quality. I played BGMI, Call of Duty Mobile, and Asphalt 9 on the iQOO 9. All the games ran super smoothly. It’s important to note that when you set the graphics to “Smooth,” BGMI gives you a 90fps option.
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While the game ran as flawlessly as it possibly could, the device became quite hot after approximately an hour of nonstop gaming, despite the fact that iQOO claims to have installed a big vapour chamber inside.
In addition, the device has gaming-specific features like Frame Interpolation, which can boost the frame rate of a game to improve its smoothness. Game Display Enhancement and E-Sports Mode are just a few of the many features available. It has a fast 300 Hz Touch Sampling Rate and also features a 1,000 Hz Instant Touch Sampling Rate offering super-fast touch response which will definitely give you an upper hand while you play. All these gaming-specific features make iQOO 9 one of the best picks in its price bracket.
iQOO 9 Software and UI
The iQOO 9 runs on Vivo’s FuntouchOS 12 based on Android 12. Many devices have started to use the Android 12 os, therefore it’s great to know that the iQOO 9 comes pre-installed with Android 12. Because of the 120 Hz display, the user interface is very fluid and light in weight.
The FunTouch OS 12 is optimised for the Android 12 OS and has been improved over previous versions. Default features include an app drawer and the inclusion of Google Feed is the icing on top, which can be accessed with a right swipe from the home screen. Aside from the BWM-themed wallpaper, the UI has a slew of customization options and features.
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You will get some bloatware, but this does not stop you from uninstalling it; simply remove the applications if you do not wish to use them. A few third-party apps are included in the bloatware: Facebook, CRED, Josh, and Netflix. This phone will receive two years of major OS updates as well as three years of security updates.
iQOO 9 Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
The stereo speaker on the IQOO 9 5G works perfectly; there are no issues to report. The audio from the dual speakers isn’t bad, however, I wish they had a little more depth to them. Overall, the audio quality is superb and there are no problems with call quality.
As far as the 5G connectivity is concerned, iQOO 9 supports 8 bands: n1, n5, n8, n3, n28A, n41, n77, and n78. Apart from this, the phone has Wi-Fi 2.4G/5G MIMO, Bluetooth 5.2, USB Type-C, OTG, GPS, GLONASS, and NFC as other connectivity options.
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IQOO has included an in-display fingerprint scanner because this is an AMOLED display. The in-display fingerprint scanner performs very well in terms of instantly unlocking the phone with great accuracy.
iQOO 9 has a powerful set of hardware, including a Snapdragon 888+ processor with 12 GB of RAM and an additional 4 GB of extended RAM, which delivers flagship-level performance. It also features a vivid and crisp 10-bit Super AMOLED display with a 120 Hz refresh rate. Fast charging is a significant feature of the iQOO 9 5G, with a whopping 120W FlashCharge fast charging.
IQOO is moving in the right way, however, they need to improve their camera performance. Additionally, there is no IP rating for the phone, meaning it won’t survive in water. Despite its flaws, the iQOO 9 is still a good smartphone with a stylish design, solid specs, and a lovely display.
The IQOO 9 5G is a good choice if you really want a powerful gaming smartphone and don’t mind the decent camera performance.