iQOO started its journey as another brand in the market but it would be hard to deny that its involvement has been much deeper than we thought. The company has focused on different price segments and tried its best to be innovative and refreshing. That stands true with its high-end phones as well, and the latest from the brand is the iQOO 9T which takes over the mantle for the affordable flagships in the market.
We got the new iQOO phone for testing and after a few week’s of use here’s what we can tell about the smartphone.
iQOO 9T Design
When you take the phone out of the box, nothing really stands out about the iQOO 9T, except it does in subtle ways. The phone is tall and wider than most devices we have used in recent months. It weighs around 206 grams which is solid but definitely not the easiest to hold. We got the Legend variant of the iQOO 9T which gets a glass body, metal finishing on the frame and a giant yet sleek camera module at the back.
The power button is blue in colour and you have the volume controls right above it. The USB C charging port sits between the SIM slot and the bottom-facing speaker. So, yeah, like we said, there is nothing unique or bad about the look and feel of the iQOO 9T.
iQOO 9T Display
iQOO 9T has a display that’s not excellent but it’s not bad either by any means. It has an AMOLED panel that supports 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ for your high-res Netflix streaming and 1500 nits of peak brightness, which offers good outdoor visibility.
Unlike the premium phones, iQOO has opted against giving an LTPO 2.0 screen so the refresh rate switches between 60Hz and 120Hz. To the naked eye, you won’t notice these differences, and the fluidity of the screen and the pleasing contrast ratio will give you a good viewing experience.
This is one aspect of the big screen that really comes in handy, especially when you are streaming movies or favourite shows. The screen also gets Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection and during our time with the device we didn’t see it getting a lot of scratches. Overall, we would have liked iQOO to make some tweaks, but not much to complain otherwise.
iQOO 9T Performance
iQOO has given its new smartphone the latest available hardware, which is the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, built on the TSMC 4nm process. Performance will never be an issue with this phone, especially when you can pick up the 12GB RAM variant, with further expendable support virtually. You get 256GB storage which is not expandable like other phones in this segment.
You can easily multitask on the phone, enjoy games at the highest graphics settings, even the most intensive titles, and still be left with a lot in the tank. This Snapdragon chip is quite an improvement over the first-gen 8 Gen chipset. That’s not all, you see the way the hardware is able to manage the heat gushing through, but it never reaches to the end point to make you feel the effect. Granted, iQOO has added its own layers for cooling the device, but without the hardware being effective, its impact would be negligible.
Having said that, for a Rs 50,000 phone, the software is a drawback. It runs on the Funtouch 12 version which has a lot of bloatware. You can delete them, but having these in the experience is not pleasing. Vivo and iQOO need to work out a better software strategy for its premium devices.
iQOO 9T Camera
iQOO 9T has a capable set of cameras at the back. It has three sensors, offering versatility and the output delivered is quite good in daylight conditions. The colours are rich, and the details are intact. Even the ultrawide lens does a decent job of capturing the frame without losing details of the subject. iQOO has also given a telephoto camera on the phone. The low-light imaging for us was a mixed bag.
There were times when the additional light helped us capture decent images, but when you closely noticed, the details were amiss. iQOO is betting a lot on the cameras of this phone, so we are hoping a few software tweaks can make it better. The front camera is average, and the quality we got is clearly not at the level of this phone’s price.
iQOO 9T Battery
iQOO 9T has a 4700mAh battery but its effectiveness became evident during our time with the device. Using this phone as our primary device for over 2 weeks, we got an average screen-on-time of around 6+ hours.
These figures are good especially when we used the phone to use multiple social media apps, had a fitness watch running 24×7, Bluetooth connected to earbuds for a few hours and web browsing. The call quality from iQOO 9T on the Airtel network was also good, and we didn’t notice major issues from the device, except when the network was patchy in some areas. Club this with the 120W charger in the box, and the 4700mAh battery went from 0 to 80 per cent in less than 20 minutes.
iQOO 9T Verdict
iQOO 9T is a performance monster, and also because it has these huge dimensions. The display is quite good for all purposes, and the use of the new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset left us impressed. The cameras also fared well during our tests, however, we would like the low-light imaging to improve. The other main change we would like is the software, too much bloatware spoils the experience for this phone.
Also, for a phone in this range, iQOO hasn’t offered any IP rating or wireless charging support. These things seem to be allowing the brand to give you 120W charging speed and reliable cameras in daylight. iQOO 9T is a competent device, and alternatively, you can look at the OnePlus 10T 5G or even the Realme GT 2 Pro.
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