iQOO 11 review

GSMArena Team, 10 December 2022.

Design, build quality, handling

Clous de Paris, guilloché, Lychee pattern, CD pattern, fiberglass, CNC engraving, AG glass - the design section of the iQOO 11's press materials is filled with big words and abbreviations. Many of those refer to the Legend variant, the white one we have for review.

iQOO 11 review

Let's get the stripes out of the way first. A continued collaboration between iQOO and the BMW M division (M for Motorsport) means you get a rendition of the German brand's three-striped logo, more of an allusion to it, since the hues aren't quite the same. There's also no mention of BMW (M or otherwise) on the phone itself - just the box. You may have to explain these details to your friends.

It's within those colored stripes that you can see the Clous de Paris (nails of Paris?). The term comes from the field of horlogerie (we could have said watchmaking, but we're following iQOO's lead) and denotes a type of guilloché usually found on expensive mechanical watches that consists of small pyramid-like squares. The nail tips are underneath a smooth finish though, you can't actually touch them.

iQOO 11 review

What you can touch is the vegan leather that the rest of the back panel is covered by. It's got a Lychee pattern which emulates the texture of one of the types of processing of full-grain leather. Fret not, it's not coming off the back of an animal.

This leather-like material is laid on top of a fiberglass layer which gives it the strength and rigidity to actually act as a smartphone's rear panel.

iQOO 11 review

The alternative colorway for international units is called Alpha (we also like to call it black), and that one substitutes the fiberglass/leatherette combo with glass. It's the AG type of glass, meaning it has a frosted finish that should be averse to fingerprints, albeit very slippery - at least that's been our experience with such designs in the past. For China, the phone will be offered in a Green color with the same finish as well.

In both cases, the camera island's chin of sorts is colored to complement the respective colorway and matches the hue of the aluminum frame.

iQOO 11 Alpha Edition iQOO 11 Alpha Edition

Returning to the phone we actually have on our hands, the camera assembly has a rather commanding presence on the back of the iQOO 11. The business end is covered by a large piece of glass with a black backing surrounding the cameras.

A simple 'V2' refers to the in-house-designed chip that does some image signal processing magic in addition to (or instead of?) Qualcomm's 'standard' pipelines. iQOO calls this an 'Ultra sensing' camera and has CNC-engraved that moniker on the aluminum plate below the optics, alongside some lens specs.

The rings around the lenses feature a 'real CD pattern', which is apparently a type of CNC metal processing (a lot of CNC going on). And while CNC does stand for 'computer numerical control', the CD acronym in this context remains elusive to us, having no prior experience in metal treatment.

iQOO 11 review

Still, we know the frame is aluminum, and that's always nice. It, too, is finished to a satin sheen, like the plate below the camera.

Alongside the periphery of the iQOO 11, we find the usual bits in the usual places. The power button is under the volume rocker on the right side, and both treat you to positive clicks.

Aluminum frame - iQOO 11 review Buttons - iQOO 11 review
Aluminum frame • Buttons

On the bottom, the USB-C port is joined by a microphone and the main loudspeaker. Also here is the SIM slot, and the tray takes two nano cards but no microSD for storage expansion. And while the red gasket is a nice touch, don't let it fool you - there's no formal ingress protection rating on the iQOO 11.

Up top, there's another mic, but that's not all - there's also an IR emitter that you can use to control legacy non-connected appliances.

Bottom bits - iQOO 11 review Top stuff - iQOO 11 review
Bottom bits • Top stuff

Over on the front, there's little of note. The 6.78-inch display is surrounded by nicely slim bezels, the selfie camera cutout is... unremarkable, and you can almost miss the thin earpiece slit above the screen.

iQOO 11 review

The iQOO 11 features an under-display fingerprint sensor, and it's the optical variety - the Pro gets ultrasonic tech. Regardless of the underlying method of operation, this one here is a perfectly okay unit, but we do have a single sort of niggle - it's too low for our liking.

iQOO 11 review

The iQOO 11 measures 164.9x77.1x8.7mm and weighs 205g in this Legend version here. For the glass-backed Alpha add 3g and subtract 0.3mm. That means there's little to set it apart from the competition in terms of size or heft - if you're after a 6.7-6.8-ish inch phone, prepare to carry a 200-ish gram bar in your pocket.

iQOO 11 review

Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 27 May 2023
  • U}}

teraflops comparison is very wrong, the render and rasterization performance is the most important one. Example comparison the ps5 gpu to pc gpu, the pc gpu that match ps5 teraflops gpu even lose to the ps5 due to better rasterization, bandwith ,etc

  • 07 Feb 2023
  • fCB

but i think its not for value for money, its over price and ip68 not available

Oh and it's QHD screen is 144hz vs 120hz on other mainstream phones. It's a beast of a chip!