iQOO 9 review
This year, iQOO has really surprised us with three interesting offers - the iQOO 9 SE, the iQOO 9, and the iQOO 9 Pro. We have already met the flagship Pro and affordable SE model, so it's only natural to wrap up our series 9 tour with the headliner - the iQOO 9.iQOO 9 Pro, iQOO 9 and iQOO 9 SE
The iQOO 9 is a gaming-oriented smartphone, which also surprises with an excellent camera kit and crazy fast 120W charging. And considering the iQOO 9 is noticeably cheaper than the iQOO 9 Pro, we would suggest right off the bat that this is probably the all-rounder many are looking for right now.
We know our words sound hyped, but there is a lot to love in the iQOO 9. It has a 6.56-inch AMOLED of 1 billion colors, 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ certification. On top of the panel is a 300Hz sensitive Monster Touch panel - this means pressure-sensitive blocks for various quick actions during high-stakes games.
Then we have the Snapdragon 888+ 5G chipset by Qualcomm with a large vapor chamber cooling solution. This is still one of the most powerful chips on the market and will handle any game hassle-free.
The camera is truly interesting, too. There is a 48MP primary with gimbal stabilization, followed by a 13MP telephoto and a 13MP ultrawide shooter. All cameras have autofocus, which means the ultrawide can also offer macro photography on the go.
And before we go full technical mode in the specs sheet, we can't but get excited about the 120W fast charging on the iQOO 9. It is available right out of the box as the charger ships with the phone.
vivo iQOO 9 specs at a glance:
- Body: 159.1x75.1x8.6mm, 200g; aluminum frame, glass back; IP52 dust and splash resistance.
- Display: 6.56" AMOLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1200 nits (peak), 1080x2376px resolution, 19.8:9 aspect ratio, 398ppi.
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888+ 5G (5 nm): Octa-core (1x2.99 GHz Kryo 680 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4x1.80 GHz Kryo 680); Adreno 660.
- Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
- OS/Software: Android 12, Funtouch 12.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.8, 25mm, 1/2.0", 0.8µm, PDAF, gimbal OIS; Telephoto: 13 MP, f/2.5, 50mm, PDAF, 2x optical zoom; Ultra wide angle: 13 MP, f/2.2, 16mm, 120˚.
- Front camera: 16 MP, f/2.5, (wide), 1/3.1", 1.0µm.
- Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@60fps, 1080p@60fps; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
- Battery: 4350mAh; Fast charging 120W, 50% in 6 min, 100% in 18 min (advertised).
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); NFC.
The iQOO 9 is IP52-rated for dust and light splash resistance. This is the most basic certification a phone can have these days, and while it's better than nothing, we still think any midranger and above should be waterproofed.
And that is our only concern. Well, that and the software support for the Funtouch OS. iQOO and vivo aren't exactly the names that come to mind when talking about software longevity. Glad to say that iQOO has promised two major Android version updates (13 and 14) and three years of security patches. Well, that is good.
One last thing we want to talk about is vivo. As you can see, we are not mentioning vivo before iQOO 9, and that's because iQOO has become a separate entity operating independently. Vivo is still making its phones and provides Funtouch OS launcher, but iQOO is making all designs and needed features and allegedly has full control over everything.
Unboxing the iQOO 9
The iQOO 9 comes within a stylish black box with BMW Motorsport branding. iQOO is an official partner to BMW Motorsport, and iQOO 9 and iQOO 9 Pro have both Legend editions with BWM Motorsport stripes. It seems even if you don't opt for the Legend version, you still get the insignia on the box.
So, inside the iQOO 9 box, you will find a lot of accessories. The most notable ones are the 120W brick and the USB-C cable needed for the charging to work.
The bundle also contains a 3.5mm-to-USB-C adapter, something you will rarely see included with phones nowadays.
Finally, you also get a soft transparent case and a thin protective film that was applied in the factory.