Last year, the iQOO 7 and iQOO 7 Legend were two of the most powerful phones to be released in India. Despite their popularity, stiff competition and a lack of software prevented the phones from achieving the flagship killer status that iQOO intended for. After a year, iQOO has released the iQOO 9 Pro, a specs behemoth on paper. It does, however, come with a more advanced FuntouchOS. Is it better than everything else on the market this time? To find out if this phone is right for you, read our entire review.
First, let’s take a look at the phone’s specifications.
iQOO 9 Pro specifications: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 | 6.78-inch 2K E5 AMOLED curved display, 120Hz refresh rate | UFS 3.1 storage, LPDDR5 RAM | 50MP GN5 Gimbal camera + 50MP fisheye wide angle lens + 16MP portrait zoom lens | 4,700mAh battery + 120W fast charging |
iQOO 9 Pro price in India: Rs 64,990 for 8GB/256GB and Rs 69,990 for 12GB/256GB.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, up to 12GB of RAM, and a 4,700mAh battery power the iQOO 9 Pro. The screen is a 6.78-inch 1440p 120Hz OLED display, and the camera system features a 50-megapixel ultrawide, a 16-megapixel portrait camera, and a 50-megapixel primary sensor that, like recent Vivo flagships, incorporates gimbal-style stabilisation. It can be charged via cable at 120W or wirelessly at up to 50W, which is unique for a Vivo-adjacent phone.
A Snapdragon 888 Plus processor, a 4,350mAh battery, and a 6.56-inch 1080p 120Hz OLED screen distinguish the non-Pro iQOO 9. A 48-megapixel main camera, a 13-megapixel ultrawide, and a 13-megapixel portrait camera are all housed in the smaller camera bump. There is still 120W wired charging on the phone, but no wireless charging. The iQOO 9 and 9 Pro are both powered by Vivo’s Funtouch OS 12, which is based on Android 12.
In India, the iQOO 9 Pro will cost Rs. 64,990 ($870) for an 8GB/256GB model and Rs. 69,990 ($940) for a 12GB/256GB variant. The 8GB/128GB iQOO 9 costs Rs. 42,990 ($580) while the 12GB/256GB iQOO 9 costs Rs. 46,990 ($630). From March 2nd, the phones will be accessible.
What’s new in iQOO 9 Pro?
I don’t say this about many phones, especially the good-looking ones, but the iQOO 9 Pro just cannot be protected by a case. It would be a sin to hide this stunning rear panel, complete with BMW motorsport color-strip. Unless you want to use the phone’s included case, which has the similar design but a velvety touch.
The raised roughness of the BMW strip is the sole flaw in this otherwise flawless glass sandwich design. It has the appearance of being taped to the rest of the white back panel. While I doubt it will ever be released, it does disrupt the otherwise smooth feel of the back, which extends to the sides.
The iQOO 9 Pro is a substantial device. You could use it with one hand if you have huge hands, but reaching for the notification panel will be difficult even then. For the most part, this will be a two-handed gadget. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack, however a 3.5mm to USB-C adaptor is included.
The 3D curved display panel is a nice touch, but it might not be for everyone, especially on such a huge phone. It improves the way you engage with edge-based motions while also looking more appealing.
The iQOO 9 Pro’s 2K screen is incredible. Yes, it offers vibrant colours, HDR 10 support, and a 2K resolution that makes watching compatible content a visual treat. This panel, though, has a lot more to offer.
The phone’s maximum peak brightness of 1500 nits makes it easy to use in direct sunlight. The LTPO 2.0 panel helps save battery by intelligently switching between 1Hz and 120Hz based on what’s on the screen. You can choose between 60Hz, 120Hz, or the smart switch mode, which is the default.
There’s also 300Hz touch sampling and 1000Hz immediate touch, which makes gaming on the tablet extremely snappy, making it suitable for fast-paced shooters like Battlegrounds Mobile India.
The phone’s fantastic fingerprint scanner is one among my favourite features. iQOO has designed a considerably larger ultrasonic scanner than other fingerprint scanners. This one, on the other hand, is lightning fast, precise, and completely aligned down the length of this tall smartphone.
For the past week, the sensor hasn’t missed either of my two registered fingers once. Even when I pressed my thumb halfway outside the designated circle, it responded correctly. This is due to the larger sensor, which according to the brand is 11% larger than the one on the iQOO 7. Fun fact: When adding a new finger, you only need to push on the scanner once, not multiple times from different angles.
On the back of the iQOO 9 Pro, there is a highly competent camera arrangement. The main sensor performs admirably in daytime photography, capturing natural skin tones and realistic colours without oversaturation. When you have a fast-moving subject, the Gimbal stabilisation helps you produce clearer shots. It also aids in getting better, much clearer night shots, however I found night photos to be over-processed.
The ultrawide camera is also fantastic, with a 150-degree field of view, making it one of the broadest on a phone. With the numerous fisheye modes, you can get incredibly wide images as well as a variety of creative shots.
Another feature I enjoyed was the automatic switch to macro mode when you get close to a subject, as well as the ability to turn it off if you want greater control. Although details were lost rapidly in indoor and low light shots, the iQOO 9 Pro’s front camera performs a superb job with selfies.
Performance and gaming
The iQOO 9 Pro speeds through everything from simple games to numerous editing programmes in action, as well as more resource-intensive games, thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor onboard. Geekbench 5 has a single-core score of 1224 and a multi-core score of 3598 if benchmarks are something you’re interested in. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (Exynos 2100) scored 924 and 3085 on single and multicore tests, respectively.
On the iQOO 9 Pro, I tested famous games like Asphalt 9 and Battlegrounds Mobile India and was pleased with the performance. I was able to get Extreme fps with HDR and UHD visuals using BGMI. Everything went smoothly and quickly, and the experience was fantastic. After approximately 20 minutes of playtime at maximum settings, the phone did become a bit heated, but it didn’t get too hot and cooled down fast.
Despite attempting multiple graphics and framerate settings, as well as turning on the frame interpolation toggle, the framerate in BGMI remained consistent at 60fps for now. The iQOO In-Display Dual Monster Touch is also absent from the gadget.
The 4,700mAh battery isn’t the largest, but thanks to the LTPO 2.0 panel, you get above average battery life on the iQOO 9 Pro, making it a full-day phone. That is, unless you make a lot of video calls, play games, or take a lot of photos, in which case you may need to charge the phone in the evening. The 120W charging is lightning fast, as seen by the charge timings below, which were measured from a dead 0 battery state.
Charging Time Battery percentage
0 mins 0%
5 mins 27%
10 mins 50%
15 mins 69%
20 mins 87%
25 mins 97%
28 mins 100%
A USB Type-C to Type-C connection is also included with the charging brick (instead of a Type-A to Type-C one). With a separately purchased wireless charger, the phone also enables 50W rapid wireless charging. However, we had a problem with the billing process (more on that below).
What’s not to like about iQOO 9 Pro?
The 120W fast charger is quick, however it warms up both the phone and the charger significantly. While the phone heating up is typical and anticipated, our charging device became quite hot, and we began to hear a high-pitched sound from the charger around the 80% – 85% point.
This happened when I tried charging my OnePlus 9R using the iQOO 9 Pro charger and at numerous wall socket sites. However, I must tell out that in the several times I have charged the smartphone, this has had no effect on the charging.
The software on the iQOO 9 Pro isn’t horrible, but it’s still the phone’s weak spot in a device that shines in almost every other area. FuntouchOS 12, which is based on Android 12, is considerably cleaner than earlier versions, although there are still a few bloatware and system apps that ask for permissions the first time they are launched. Thankfully, the bloatware can be removed, but it shouldn’t be included on a phone in this price range in the first place.
Furthermore, the iQOO 9 Pro will only receive two years of system upgrades, which is currently considered a low standard for flagships, with Samsung delivering twice as many years of updates. The iQOO 9 Pro was released with Android 12 and will only be upgraded till Android 13.
IQOO 9 Pro – Verdict
Should you get the iQOO 9 Pro?
From its design and camera to the sheer performance on offer, the iQOO 9 Pro is a good phone for the price. The iQOO 9 Pro is a decent pick if you’re looking for a phone with the raw performance of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 for less than Rs 70,000, as well as an outstanding screen, great cameras, and attractive design.
However, if you’re looking for something a bit more economical with a roughly similar experience in terms of games and sheer performance, the vanilla iQOO 9, which begins at Rs 42,990, could be worth a look.