iQOO 9 is a mid-range smartphone aimed more at gamers than casual users. In addition to powerful hardware, we get incredibly fast 120W charging and an excellent set of cameras. The diagonal of the AMOLED display is 6.56 inches, and the polling rate of the touch layer is 300 Hz.
The Snapdragon 888+ 5G is used as a processor, and there are no performance problems here. But IP52 protection against water and dust is disappointing – this is the baseline of the possible. There are two versions of the iQOO 9 on the market, with the Chinese one having the more powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, a different camera system, display, and components.
iQOO 9 Specifications/Features
|Screen||6.56″ AMOLED, 2376 x 1080 resolution, 398 PPI pixel density, 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+|
|Processor||Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888+ 5G (5nm): Octa-core (1×2.99GHz Kryo 680 + 3×2.42GHz Kryo 680 + 4×1.80GHz Kryo 680)|
|Inner memory||128/256 GB UFS 3.1|
|System and software||Android 12, Funtouch 12|
|Main camera||48 MP, f/1.8, 25mm, wide-angle, PDAF, gimbal OIS
13 MP, f/2.2, 16mm, ultra-wide-angle, 120˚
13 MP, f/2.5, 50mm, telephoto, 2x optical zoom, PDAF
|Front camera||16 MP, f/2.5, wide-angle|
|Video recording||Main: 4K@24/30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps
Front: 1080p at 30 fps
|Communication and connections||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.2, A2DP, LE, A-GPS, ГЛОНАСС, NFC, USB Type-C 2.0, USB On-The-Go|
|security||IP52 against splashes and dust|
|Sound and audio||Stereo speakers, 24bit/192kHz, no 3.5mm|
|Sensors and features||Fingerprint scanner (optical, under display), accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass|
|Battery||Li-Po 4350 mAh, non-removable, fast charging 120 W|
|Colors||Legend, Alpha, Phoenix Orange|
|materials||Panda Glass front, glass back, metal side bezels|
|Dimensions and weight||159.1 × 75.1 × 8.6 / 8.7 mm, 200/202 g|
iQOO 9 comes in a stylish black box with the BMW logo. iQOO is an official partner of BMW Motorsport, so there is a version of the Legend with a special design on sale.
Inside the box, along with a smartphone, there are many accessories:
- Charger 120W
- Transparent silicone case
- USB cable and adapter 3.5 to USB-C
- Documentation and SIM tray eject key
The display of the phone is already covered with a protective film, which is also nice.
iQOO 9 Design and Appearance
Three color versions of iQOO 9 are available for sale: Phoenix (orange), Legend (white), and Alpha (black). Their body is covered with glass in front and behind, and the side frames are metal. The orange model has a smooth back cover, the Legend has BMW-inspired stripes, and the Alpha has a nice textured finish.
The 6.56-inch screen of the iQOO 9 is flat, but the back cover is slightly rounded on the sides. The side frames are quite thin, but it is comfortable to hold the smartphone in your hand. The screen is protected by Panda Glass with an anti-reflective coating, and under the display is an optical fingerprint scanner.
The three-camera module looks nice: it is rectangular and matches the “sporty” design. On the right side of the case, you’ll find the power and volume keys, but nothing on the left. On the top there is one microphone, on the bottom side, there is a slot for two SIM cards, a speaker, a USB-C connector, and another microphone. At 159.1 x 75.1 x 8.6 (or 8.7) mm, the device is the smallest phone in the lineup. The device weighs 200 or 202 grams, depending on the version.
iQOO 9 Display
iQOO 9 has a very juicy 6.56-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2376×1080 pixels, and a refresh rate of 120 Hz with HDR10+ support. In addition, the display is divided into two zones with built-in Monster Touch sensors, which makes it easier to control in games.
The color depth is 10 bits, the screen is capable of displaying up to a billion shades. It fully covers the DCI-P3 color space. Brightness reaches 455 nits in manual mode and 750 nits in automatic mode in daylight sunlight. The minimum brightness is 2.3 nits.
Three color profiles are available in the settings – the default Standard, Vivid and Professional. The first two cover the DCI-P3 color space and provide accurate hues with a slight blue shift. The latter corresponds to the sRGB space, with color accuracy everything is fine here – the average delta E is 2.6.
The refresh rate also has three modes: 60Hz, 120Hz, and Smart Switch. The last two work pretty much the same – the only difference is that Smart Switching is sometimes 90Hz instead of 120Hz. While watching a video, the frequency is always reduced to 60 Hz, regardless of the mode.
The iQOO 9 screen supports HDR10+ and Widevine L1 DRM, so you can watch HDR 1080p content on any popular streaming platform. Visual Enhancement improves colors and contrast in some apps like Netflix and YouTube, while Game Display Enhancement does the same for games.
The most interesting feature of the iQOO panel is the Monster Touch technology, and the iQOO 9 Pro does not have it. The screen is divided into left and right halves with a buffer zone, and they can be used as buttons. Since the pressure zone is large, you will perform the necessary actions faster, which will give you an edge over your opponents in intense games. The size of the Monster Touch zones can be adjusted through the Ultra Game Mode.
iQOO 9 Cameras
There are three cameras on the back of this iQOO: a 48MP stabilized main camera, a 13MP 120˚ ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 13MP telephoto lens. The resolution of the front camera is 16 megapixels. When shooting from the main sensor, photos are saved at a resolution of 12 megapixels by default, and the quality is excellent.
The colors are vibrant and saturated, and the detail is high, as is the contrast. Sometimes the hues seem oversaturated, Samsung style, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But the AI mode is better not to turn on, otherwise, the colors will be unnatural.
The photos from the 13 MP ultra-wide-angle camera are also pleasing, although the sharpness can be excessive. There are no distortions in the corners, the colors are contrasting, although a shift to purple is sometimes noticeable. The ultra-wide-angle lens supports autofocus, so it can be used as a macro lens.
The third camera is a 13 MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. There is no optical stabilization, so the detail is not high, but the colors are balanced and contrasting. The iQOO 9’s main camera can shoot video up to 4K/60 fps, while the other three shoot up to 1080p/30 fps. The main sensor has optical stabilization with a gimbal, it works excellently – there is no judder when shooting.
The iQOO 9 smartphone runs on the Android 12 operating system with a new version of the Vivo shell – Funtouch 12. There are many differences from version 11: the interface has ceased to resemble pure Android, the menus are more optimized for one-handed use, and there is a section with recommendations in the application drawer.
Side backlighting of the screen is available while receiving notifications, you can customize the colors, animation, and duration of the backlight. Vivo has taken care of people with hearing problems: in the settings of iQOO 9, you can calibrate the sound accordingly.
The volume for notifications and calls is configured separately, as well as the vibration intensity. Holding down the volume down button will launch one of the functions, but only the camera, flashlight, and voice recorder can be selected. Overall, Funtouch 12 looks good, and you can even speed up the OS if you disable animations. However, if you prefer a cleaner Android, you won’t like the overly colorful interface with a lot of customization.
iQOO 9 Performance
The iQOO 9 uses Snapdragon 888+ 5G as a processor – better than the iQOO 9 SE with SD888 5G, but inferior to the 9 Pro with the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. RAM can be 8GB or 12GB, and internal – 128 or 256 GB. The Snapdragon 888+ 5G is made on a 5nm process and runs on eight Kryo 680 cores with a maximum clock speed of 2.99GHz. Adreno 660 is responsible for the graphics.
While the Snapdragon 888+ isn’t the most powerful, it delivers flagship-level performance. In the GeekBench 5 test, the iQOO smartphone scores 1143/3503 points, and in AnTuTu 9 it scores 852,898 points. Graphic GFX Car Chase ES 3.1 (onscreen) produces a result of 65 fps.
The device is also equipped with a cooling system with a large evaporation chamber, but there are big problems with heating. The phone under test may become so hot that it cannot be handled. Perhaps the problem is not in the cooling system, but in the software – throttling does not work well, which could limit the temperature of internal components. It remains to be hoped that iQOO will solve the problem with an update.
iQOO 9 has hybrid stereo speakers: a full-fledged bottom speaker and a speaker grille above the front camera. Of course, the first one is noticeably more powerful, and the conversational one is mainly responsible for high frequencies and voices. In landscape orientation, the sound is balanced, but the quality leaves much to be desired, the bass is almost inaudible. At least the volume is high.
Under the body of iQOO 9 is the smallest battery in the line – the capacity is only 4350mAh. But the smartphone supports 120W charging. Surprisingly, the battery life is longer than the 9 Pro and 9 SE, with enough battery life for 14 hours of normal tasks or 15 hours of video playback. The battery is divided into two parts, thanks to which such a quick charge is possible. A 120 W adapter is included, it replenishes the battery up to 100% in just 16 minutes.
iQOO 9 Pros and Cons
- Reasonable price
- Gorgeous 120Hz display
- Performance processor
- Excellent image quality on all cameras
- Autonomy of work and charging 120 W
- Weak speaker
- No full water protection
- Chassis heats up under load
Alternative Smartphones to iQOO 9
One of the main competitors is the Poco F3 GT. The model costs less but has a 120Hz AMOLED display, a good processor for the Density 1200 5G, and physical trigger keys. But iQOO has better cameras and faster charging (120W vs 67W).
It is worth paying attention to the OnePlus 9RT 5G – it has longer software support and a Snapdragon 888 processor, which does not have problems with overheating. The 9RT has similar cameras but no telephoto lens and 65W charging speed.
You can also take Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G. It has a fully water-resistant case, a beautiful 120Hz AMOLED screen is cheaper, and the chipset is a fairly powerful Snapdragon 778G. Again, iQOO is much faster, has a telephoto lens, and has 120W charging.
You’ll have an OIS camera, a telephoto lens, 120W fast charging, and Monster Touch technology for easy gaming. The display is also good, and the processor easily copes with any task, although it is prone to overheating.
It lacks water protection, and the sound quality from the stereo speakers isn’t all that impressive. But the main problem iQOO – the cooling system does not always cope with the work, especially during games. That’s why Asus and ZTE are putting real fans on their gaming smartphones, and when designing the next iQOO model, you need to think about it.