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iQoo 9 Pro Review: A Ginormous Leap Forward


iQoo launched its first smartphone, the iQoo 3, in India again in February 2020. It sat on the entry level of the premium phase and supplied aggressive {hardware}, which made it enticing to players. Since then, we have had the iQoo Z3, and simply final yr, the iQoo7 Series (iQoo 7 and seven Legend) in India, which as soon as once more sat on the decrease finish of the premium phase.

While the iQoo 9 was anticipated, the corporate additionally introduced a brand new iQoo 9 SE (a extra reasonably priced premium smartphone) and an ultra-premium mannequin known as the iQoo 9 Pro, which is aiming to tackle immediately’s newest flagships. As I identified in my first impressions, the iQoo 9 Pro is clearly dressed to impress, and in addition boasts of top-notch {hardware} together with its major rear digicam with gimbal stabilisation. Clearly, iQoo appears able to play with the massive names corresponding to OnePlus and Samsung. So, is that this newcomer within the premium phase price a glance?

iQoo 9 Pro value in India

The iQoo 9 Pro is accessible in two variants and two finishes. There’s the bottom variant with 8GB of RAM priced at Rs. 64,990, and the top-end variant with 12GB of RAM priced at Rs. 69,990 in India. Both have 256GB of inner storage and can be found in Legend (white) and Dark Cruise (black) finishes.

iQoo 9 Pro design

The iQoo 9 Pro’s design utilises a steel body which is sandwiched between two sheets of glass. I obtained the 12GB RAM variant within the Legend end for this evaluation. It has loads of similarities with the iQoo 7 Legend (Review) when it comes to the general design. There’s a three-colour BMW Motorsport-inspired racing stripe working off-centre down the rear panel. The energy button can be completed in blue, identical to on the iQoo 7 Legend (Review).

The iQoo 9 Pro has a physique that is made from steel and glass

 

Look just a little nearer and there are some new particulars to be discovered. There’s a high-quality carbon fibre-like weave etched into the white portion of the rear glass. The white space additionally has a matte end, which feels easy and doesn’t collect fingerprints, however is kind of slippery. Thankfully, iQoo features a colour-matched case within the field. The stripes on the again have a shiny end, giving the rear panel a dual-tone impact.

The digicam module takes up a couple of third of the again panel. It barely protrudes, which I like. It’s largely beauty, but in addition prevents the cellphone from wobbling when positioned on a flat floor.

iQoo has utilised Panda glass for the show on the 9 Pro and it curves on the left and proper sides, lending the smartphone a slim profile. The bezels are minimal, and I like how the skinny slit for the earpiece is sort of invisible. Both the highest and backside of the cellphone are flat. There’s a SIM tray, major microphone, USB Type-C port, and speaker on the underside, and an infrared emitter on the highest, together with the secondary mic.

iQoo 9 Pro back half design ndtv iQoo9Pro  iQoo

The rear panel of the iQoo 9 Pro has a dual-tone end with a mixture of matte and shiny glass

 

A main premium function that is lacking is an IP ranking. The firm claims that the iQoo 9 Pro has all the mandatory seals (round ports, the SIM tray, and so on) to fulfill an IP52 ranking equal, nevertheless it’s not formally licensed. I believe it could be greatest to be a bit cautious with this one round water and mud. The lack of an IP ranking would possibly grow to be a dealbreaker for a lot of, since practically each competing cellphone on this value phase has one.

iQoo 9 Pro specs and software program

The iQoo 9 Pro debuted Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC in India, adopted by the launch of the Moto Edge 30 Pro (Review) the very subsequent day, and the Samsung Galaxy S22 sequence shortly after. This new SoC is constructed utilizing a 4nm fabrication course of and the CPU cores run at a most clock velocity of 3GHz. The SoC has a three-cluster structure with a single Arm Cortex-X2 CPU core clocked at 3GHz, three massive Cortex-A710 cores clocked at 2.49GHz, and 4 small Cortex-A510 cores clocked at 1.785GHz. Graphics are dealt with by the brand new Adreno 730 built-in GPU. The processor additionally packs an built-in Snapdragon X65 5G modem.

Just like Vivo with the X70 Pro+ (Review), sister firm iQoo has included what it calls an Intelligent Display Chip (IDC) within the 9 Pro. The IDC is meant to assist primarily with gaming by enhancing colors and smoothening framerates utilizing Motion Estimation and Motion Compensation (MEMC) algorithms. In phrases of connectivity, there’s Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, and assist for the standard satellite tv for pc navigation programs. The cellphone is powered by a 4,700mAh battery which will be charged utilizing the bundled 120W charger.

(*9*)

The iQoo 9 Pro’s Funtouch OS 12 is predicated on Android 12 

 

The iQoo 9 Pro ships with Funtouch OS 12, which is predicated on Android 12. This Android pores and skin is accessible on different iQoo units too together with the iQoo Z5. You do get the brand new Android 12 Material You widgets for Google apps and providers, and so they one way or the other mix properly with Funtouch OS. There’s even assist for the theming engine which picks colors out of your present wallpaper and applies them to UI components. There are a number of iQoo-branded apps which are mainly duplicates of a few of Google’s inventory apps.

The iQoo 9 Pro additionally comes with some preinstalled third-party apps corresponding to Josh, Netflix, Facebook, Cred, Moj-Lite, and ShareChat, however all of those will be uninstalled. I additionally saved getting annoying push notifications from the default browser regardless that I by no means opened it, however I managed to disable these notifications within the Settings, in order that they stopped bothering me after that.

iQoo 9 Pro efficiency and battery life

The iQoo 9 Pro contains a 120Hz 6.78-inch curved-edge AMOLED show with a 1,440×3,200 pixel (2K+) decision. Text and pictures appeared fairly sharp. Colours appeared a bit too saturated on the default ‘Standard’ color setting, so, I switched to the ‘Professional’ setting which made them seem extra real looking and pure. The show additionally bought fairly vivid outside and was legible underneath direct daylight. It is an LTPO panel which suggests it might regulate its refresh charge all the way down to 10Hz when required, which in concept ought to enable for higher battery life. The display screen additionally helps a 300Hz contact sampling charge which got here in useful when enjoying FPS video games.

iQoo 9 Pro front gamepad ndtv iQoo9Pro  iQoo

iQoo’s new Gamepad is kind of helpful and gives loads of bodily buttons, however must be bought individually

 

The iQoo 9 Pro’s panel is able to 10-bit color replica, helps HDR10+, and has a Widevine L1 DRM certification for HD video streaming. However, HDR didn’t work in streaming apps corresponding to Netflix on my evaluation unit. Standard content material seemed sharp and showcased deep blacks. Amazon Prime Video for some cause solely performed video at blurry SD high quality. YouTube was the one app that managed to showcase HDR content material. The stereo audio system on the iQoo 9 Pro have been loud and fairly clear, which made gaming and streaming films pleasant. However, I did discover that they weren’t balanced, and the first speaker pushed out extra bass than the earpiece.

The cellphone contains a 3D ultrasonic fingerprint reader underneath its show, which is kind of distinctive. It takes only one agency faucet to register a fingerprint as an alternative of a number of faucets, which makes setting it up a breeze. The readable space for registering or studying a fingerprint can be quite a bit bigger than on different smartphones; sufficient to accomodate two thumbs aspect by aspect, so authentication was all the time fast and seamless.

The iQoo 9 Pro carried out as anticipated in our benchmarks, attaining higher scores than smartphones with a Snapdragon 888 SoC. The iQoo 9 Pro managed 9,91,830 factors in AnTuTu and 1,222 and three,636 in Geekbench’s single and multi-core checks. The cellphone additionally managed 84fps within the Manhattan 3.1 take a look at and 47fps within the Car Chase take a look at in GFXBench.

iQoo 9 Pro front half display fingerprint ndtv iQoo9Pro  iQoo

The sensor space for registering or studying a fingerprint is quite a bit bigger than on different smartphones

 

Gaming efficiency was additionally top-notch. The cellphone solely bought heat when maxing out the graphics settings in video games corresponding to Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) and Call of Duty: Mobile, and ran cool when enjoying racing video games corresponding to Real Racing 3. Both FPS titles gave the impression to be capped at 60fps, it doesn’t matter what graphics settings or body charge I chosen. The body interpolation function, which claims to utilize the IDC to bump up framerates and make gameplay seem smoother, didn’t seem to have a noticeable impact. The 4D Game Vibration function was nowhere near the form of suggestions you’d get from a controller, so I ended up switching it off as I discovered it fairly distracting. The show’s contact sampling charge was spot on and I didn’t discover any lag whereas enjoying FPS titles. As for the 120Hz refresh charge, just a few video games corresponding to Real Racing 3 and Subway Surfers appear to make the most of it. Most different titles have been capped at 30 or 60fps.

iQoo has additionally introduced a brand new iQoo Gamepad which is offered individually. It snaps on to the left aspect of the cellphone (when held horizontally) and provides a number of helpful bodily buttons (L1, L2, R1, an analogue stick and a D-pad) which have been helpful when enjoying FPS titles. I attempted it out with Call of Duty: Mobile and I skilled no lag throughout gameplay which is kind of good as a result of it connects to the handset through Bluetooth. The gamepad is available in a black end with yellow accents, has its personal built-in battery (fees through a USB Type-C port), and gives a pleasant grip albeit solely on your left hand.

iQoo 9 Pro back battery charging ndtv iQoo9Pro  iQoo

The iQoo 9 Pro has a 4,700mAh battery which will be charged rapidly utilizing the bundled 120W charger

 

The iQoo 9 Pro’s 4,700mAh battery is a giant improve over that of the older iQoo 7 Legend’s 4,000mAh unit. This one simply will get the job completed and lasts a complete day even with heavy gaming. The cellphone managed 17 hours and 16 minutes in our HD video loop take a look at, which is kind of good. With informal use, the cellphone ought to have about 30-40 % left by the top of the day. The iQoo 9 Pro helps 120W quick charging. The comparatively massive 120W adapter fees the cellphone from a lifeless battery to a one hundred pc in simply 20 minutes. It takes simply 10 minutes to get to 50 %, which is properly above common.

Moreover, there aren’t any software program toggles to activate manually, and the cellphone will all the time cost at this charge when it is plugged into the 120W charger. It additionally helps as much as 50W wi-fi charging, offered you utilize the proprietary wi-fi charger which iQoo sells individually.

iQoo 9 Pro cameras

The iQoo 9 Pro has three rear-facing cameras. There’s a 50-megapixel major digicam with sensor and optical stabilisation for gimbal-level smoothness, a 50-megapixel ultra-wide-angle digicam with autofocus, and a 16-megapixel telephoto digicam with OIS and PDAF. Selfie duties are dealt with by a 16-megapixel front-facing digicam. The digicam interface is just like what we have seen on different Funtouch OS-powered telephones, with customisable digicam modes and vital controls accessible underneath a hamburger icon within the prime left nook.

iQoo 9 Pro daylight digicam samples. Top to backside: Ultra-wide-angle digicam, major digicam, telephoto digicam (faucet to see full measurement)

 

Photos shot in daylight got here out sharp and clear and with good dynamic vary. There was loads of element and depth within the pictures captured by the iQoo 9 Pro, irrespective of which digicam I selected. The pixel-binned 12-megapixel pictures taken with the ultra-wide-angle digicam appeared a bit cropped (because of software program distortion correction), however you’ll be able to faucet on the globe icon within the viewfinder to see the total 150-degree discipline of view with a fisheye impact, which ought to make for some attention-grabbing Instagram-worthy pictures. The 2.5X telephoto digicam captured some sharp-looking pictures, however this trusted the quantity of accessible gentle on every topic or scene. Shadows in pictures seemed tender with much less element, however capturing topics or objects underneath good lighting delivered actually good outcomes that seemed sharp and packed in loads of element.

iQoo 9 Pro macro digicam samples. Top: Primary digicam, backside: Macro digicam (faucet to see full measurement)

 

The selfie digicam managed some sharp and clear pictures with good dynamic vary and element. However, Portrait mode had some points with edge detection in difficult scenes with foliage or bushes within the background and this resulted in a halo-like impact across the topic. Since the iQoo 9 Pro’s ultra-wide-angle digicam options autofocus, it is usually used as a macro digicam that may shoot topics with spectacular element as shut as 3cm away. It is certainly one of many few usable macro cameras on this phase.

iQoo 9 Pro low-light digicam samples. Top: Primary digicam (Night mode), backside: Ultra-wide-angle digicam (Night mode) (faucet to see full measurement)

 

Low-light digicam efficiency was additionally fairly good. The 5-axis gimbal stabilisation for the first digicam is the star of the present right here and iQoo has even included a toggle within the viewfinder to indicate off how the gimbal strikes and compensates for handshake. The digicam by default captures pictures with an extended (one second or extra) publicity when capturing in low gentle. Photos shot in ‘Auto’ mode additionally got here out fairly properly and packed in loads of element. Firing up Night mode added extra dynamic vary and introduced out much more element with some added sharpness. Photos taken with the ultra-wide-angle digicam have been additionally fairly usable, however the Night mode pictures from this sensor got here out a bit tender because of the lack of OIS. Selfies taken in low gentle additionally got here out a bit tender in comparison with daylight pictures, however showcased the identical halo impact when utilizing the Portrait mode even at evening.

Video high quality in daylight was fairly good. Footage taken with the first digicam appeared rock regular but in addition maintained good high quality, it doesn’t matter what the body charge or decision. Videos shot with the ultra-wide-angle digicam have been additionally usable, however I observed loads of noise in darker areas and purple fringing in brighter areas. The digital stabilisation brought about any motion of the digicam to seem a bit robotic, which was an issue after I wished to pan the digicam round. In low gentle, video high quality took a slight hit, however stabilisation was nonetheless fairly good. However, movies captured in any respect resolutions had a hazy or dreamy impact.

Verdict

The iQoo 9 Pro fixes the iQoo 7 Legend’s essential downside – poor battery life – and provides lots extra options, which justifies its larger value. My greatest gripe is the shortage of an IP68 ranking, which is usually present in smartphones on this phase. Software is up-to-date and gaming efficiency isn’t an issue. Still digicam efficiency is sweet and the identical goes for video recording, though low-light movies may have been higher. The 120W charging velocity is the icing on the cake and there is additionally wi-fi charging.

At a beginning value of Rs. 64,990, the iQoo 9 Pro competes immediately with the OnePlus 9 Pro (Review). When in contrast aspect by aspect, it is clear that the iQoo 9 Pro gives higher options with the most recent Qualcomm silicon, quicker charging, and a gimbal-stabilised major digicam. What the iQoo 9 lacks is an official IP ranking which stands out as a sore level. There’s additionally the just lately introduced Samsung Galaxy S22 which begins at Rs. 72,999. The Apple iPhone 12 (Review) can be nonetheless a stable premium smartphone, regardless that it is a yr previous.

Overall, it is easy to suggest the iQoo 9 Pro as there’s little direct competitors in the intervening time. However, the OnePlus 10 Pro is anticipated to launch in direction of the top of March in India, and this can make issues much more attention-grabbing . If you are not in any rush, it would make sense to attend a bit and see what the competitors has to supply.


For particulars of the most recent Nokia, Samsung, Lenovo, and different product launches from the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, go to our MWC 2022 hub.



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