iQOO 9 review

GSMArena Team, 28 April 2022.

Design, build control, handling

The iQOO 9 is available in three different versions - Phoenix (Orange), Legend (White), and Alpha (Black). Unlike the iQOO 9 Pro, all of these share the same dual-glass build with a metal frame. The orange model has no texture on the back, the Legend has BWM stripes, while our Alpha variant has a cool carbon-like pattern.

iQOO 9 reviewiQOO 9 Pro, iQOO 9 and iQOO 9 SE

No matter which version you hold in your hands, the iQOO 9 will always look stylish with its clean, no-nonsense build. And while the color options are somewhat unique and fresh, we would never consider any of them as flashy.

iQOO 9 review

So, the iQOO 9 is a dual-glass smartphone with a flat front panel and a slightly curved rear one. The metal frame is flat, and it covers the whole top and bottom sides, but is quite thin on the left and right. Its flat design, however thin, does help the overall grip experience. iQOO says it has put multiple antennas around the frame (you can see them if you look up close), so the signal should always be at its best no matter how you hold the phone.

The front panel a.k.a. the screen protection, should be the same Panda Glass as on the iQOO 9 SE and 9 Pro. The curved rear panel is an anti-glare glass piece that is soft on touch. Our model has a nice carbon-like texture mimicking the one seen on expensive race cars.

iQOO 9 review

Finally, the iQOO 9 is IP52-rated for dust protection and minor splash resistance. The ingress protection is the most basic available to phones, but it's better than nothing, and we will take it. But seeing how even mid-rangers are going for IP53 and even IP67 protection, we would very much like to see the latter become a standard for all.

And now, let's take a closer look at the iQOO 9.

Most of the front is home to the 6.56-inch AMOLED screen of high quality. The panel has the usual 1080p resolution, but impresses with 1 billion color support, HDR10+ certification, and 120Hz refresh rate. But wait, there is more!

iQOO 9 review

The screen has 300Hz touch sensing that can be briefly boosted up to 1000Hz in games. There is also Monster Touch function - this is a pressure-sensitive layer that can operate into two independent and configurable halves, and it will help you react quickly in certain gaming situations.

The iQOO 9 has a small perforation centered around the top - here, you can spot the tiny 16MP selfie camera. And just above that cam, there is a small razor-thin outlet for the earpiece/stereo speaker.

iQOO 9 review

The iQOO 9, just like the 9 SE, uses an under-display optical fingerprint scanner. It is quite fast and reliable, as these go nowadays. The iQOO 9 Pro, on the other hand, packs an ultrasonic scanner with a larger scanning area that allows for some cool features.

iQOO 9 review

The back of the iQOO 9 is quite good-looking with that cool carbon-like texture. The camera island is of only interest here, and it's good news all the way. First - it is not jutting out as the setups on many other competitors, and second - it is a premium camera kit made to impress.

iQOO 9 review

Indeed, the three cameras on the back are quite interesting - there is a 48MP primary with gimbal stabilization, then comes a 13MP telephoto for 2x optical zoom, and finally, there is a 13MP ultrawide camera with autofocus that can do both panoramic and macro photos. Neat!

iQOO 9 review

We do like the camera island design, too. There is this rectangular metal piece that houses the dual-tone LED flash, and then comes the protective glass over the camera trio.

And now, let's look around the iQOO 9.

iQOO 9 review

There is nothing on the left side, while the right part of the thin frame has the volume and the red power/lock keys.

iQOO 9 review

The top houses a lonely microphone.

iQOO 9 review

The primary microphone is at the bottom, between the dual-SIM tray and the USB-C port. The second stereo speaker is also around.

The iQOO 9 measures 159.1 x 75.1 x 8.6 or 8.7 mm, making it the smallest in the iQOO 9 family. It is 3mm shorter than the SE and almost 5mm shorter than the Pro. The vanilla iQOO 9 weighs 200g, which is in line with the other iQOO 9s.

iQOO 9 reviewiQOO 9 Pro, iQOO 9 and iQOO 9 SE

The iQOO 9 is a reasonably sized smartphone with a solid build and a likable design. It is a slippery phone even if its frame and rare panel are not glossy. While it felt comfortable using it for mundane tasks, taking photos/videos on the go may put it at risk, especially if your hands are sweaty. We would suggest using the supplied case when you are going on a trip or vacation, otherwise, it should be fine in your not-so-busy work routine.

iQOO 9 review

Overall, the only things we would change is increasing the level of ingress protection and maybe thicken the frame a bit for a more secure grip. Everything else deserves an excellent mark.

Reader comments

  • Badal
  • 20 Dec 2022
  • Dk6

Screen retention issue in iqoo 9

  • Sam
  • 20 Dec 2022
  • XRj

Keep your phone on 30fps 1080p You will see the wide angle option­čÖé

  • Rifat
  • 11 Oct 2022
  • PBs

How many Android and Security Update will IQOO 9 Get?