Highlights

  • Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 flagship chipset
  • 50MP triple rear camera setup with OIS
  • Starting price of ₹49,999

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iQOO 9T Review: the power of Snapdragon!

The iQOO 9T comes in hot with that new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, along with some pretty neat features to sweeten the deal

Key Specifications
Price : ₹ 49,999
Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset 120W fast charging 50MP GN5 camera sensor Liquid Cooling Vapor Chamber
Stereo speakers IR Blaster E5 AMOLED screen IP52 rating
Our Review
8.5 / 10
Performance9.5/10
Camera7/10
Display9/10
Battery9/10
Design8.5/10
Utility9/10
Software7/10
Pros
  • Excellent performance
  • Ultra-fast charging speeds
  • Competitive price point
Cons
  • Pre-installed apps
  • Camera consistency

Picture this. You’re in the market for a new flagship smartphone that costs under ₹60,000. You want a set of good cameras, excellent performance, and a design that turns heads. If that’s your dream scenario, then it’s time for me to tell you to wake up because this is my review of the iQOO 9T.

Performance

Let's start with performance, which is one of the biggest highlights of the iQoo 9T, mostly thanks to the new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset under the hood. It’s the latest and greatest from Qualcomm, and it seems that all the problems with the previous generation have been addressed on this new processor. I also had 12GB LPDDR5 RAM on this variant, but you can also get it with 8GB RAM.
In my short testing period with the iQoo 9T, I experienced no heating or throttling issues, whether I was taking loads of videos, playing graphic intensive titles like COD Mobile or Apex Legends, or just doing day-to-day multi-tasking.
It’s not all the chipset though, because the 9T also gets a large vapor chamber liquid cooling system to help with heat management on the device.
I ran the phone through some synthetic benchmarks, and here’s how the iQoo 9T performed:
In a single run of Geekbench, the 9T scored a single-core score of 1318 and a multi-core score of 4114. In the Geekbench compute test, it scored 6449.
In 3D Mark’s Wild Life test, the 9T maxed out, delivering stellar performance. Even in the longer Wild Life Stress Test, it scored 91.9% stability, which is very good for a chipset at this level.
Now, these were just preliminary results from a few popular benchmarking apps, but if you want to see an in-depth gaming performance test, let us know in the comments below.

Also watch: iQoo 9 SE Review: Best performance under ₹35,000?

Design & Utility

In terms of aesthetics, iQoo has always set itself apart, and with the 9T, it’s more of the same. I received the ‘Legend’ variant, which is made in partnership with BMW, so it gets this red, black and blue stripe down the white back. The camera section is housed in the giant black rectangle that gets a sort of carbon-fibre pattern and the branding for the V1+ chip.
The side rails are metal and finished in matte, and while this isn’t exactly a unibody design, iQoo has done a great job of making it look very premium. There’s also some nice attention to detail, like the blue power button that sits in a recess along with the volume rocker.
Despite being quite large, the 9T doesn’t feel extremely heavy in the hand, but it does have a nice weight to it. There’s a USB Type-C port at the bottom along with the SIM card tray and the stereo speakers which get adequately loud, but seemed to be tuned to offer more output from the bottom speaker rather than the earpiece.
You also get an Infrared blaster at the top of the phone to control compatible house-hold appliances which is a nice feature to see at this price point. The 9T is also IP 52 rated, which isn’t the best in terms of protection from water, but it is still good to see IP certification in a segment where many rivals exclude it.

Display

Now, the iQoo 9T gets a fantastic display, it’s a 6.78-inch E5 AMOLED panel, with a full-HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. Colour reproduction is fairly accurate, while still offering a vibrant experience while watching content. Speaking of content, not only is the display HDR 10+ compatible, it also gets HDR 10 – HEVC certification for Netflix, which is a big plus. Thanks to this, you get great contrast levels on HDR content, offering an enhanced viewing experience.
Another big plus is the almost uniform bezels—they'd be perfect if it wasn’t for a slightly bigger chin at the bottom. That being said, this display is a joy to use, and even though it doesn’t get LTPO technology to ramp down the 120Hz refresh rate, iQoo says the E5 AMOLED panel will consume 25% less battery than an E4 AMOLED panel.
The iQoo 9T also houses a fingerprint scanner inside the display that’s placed lower down and was both quick and consistent in unlocking the phone.

Also watch: iQOO NEO 6 Review: New mid-range champ?

Cameras

Let’s move on to cameras because the iQoo 9T has a pretty interesting setup that isn’t often seen at this price point. It gets a 50MP Samsung GN5 primary sensor with optical image stabilisation, along with a 13MP Ultra-wide camera and a 12MP sensor dedicated to portrait images.
Pictures taken with that primary sensor in well-lit outdoor situations are fairly decent, with a good amount of vibrancy and sharpness. HDR is strong, but well-controlled, and it never looks overdone.
The 13MP ultrawide also offers pretty great pictures with not a lot of distortion, but there is quite a bit of difference in colour reproduction compared to the main sensor.
Get close-enough to a subject and the 9T will automatically turn on the super macro mode using that ultrawide sensor, and honestly, it produced some pretty detailed, close-up shots.
The 12MP sensor offers good results when it comes to portrait images, and can even be used to extend the camera's reach digitally to 20x. Edge detection is pretty good, skin tones and colour accuracy also come out well, and overall, I like this camera setup.
However, being an iQoo device, there are some quirks. For instance, some portrait images taken in mixed lighting conditions create this weird whitish effect on the subject’s face.
Then, there’s the issue of no OIS on the 2x sensor. Now, normally, this wouldn’t be a huge issue, most smartphone makers just substitute it with EIS, but iQoo has done something different.
Let’s say you’re using the 2x sensor and the camera detects a subject. If at this point you shake your hands a bit too much, the iQoo 9T will immediately switch over to the main sensor and crop in. It’s not a big issue, in my opinion, but it does feel a bit odd that there’s no way of accurately knowing whether an image is being taken using the dedicated 2x sensor or the primary sensor zoomed in.
Anyway, let’s move on to night photography, where the iQoo 9T performs fairly well. Low-light images taken with the dedicated Night Mode retain a good amount of colour, pictures come out looking sharp, and there’s barely any grain or noise.
In terms of video, the 9T’s V1+ chip comes handy, because there’s excellent colour reproduction, details are clear, and since there’s support for 4K 60fps, videos come out looking quite smooth. However, the auto-exposure works quite aggressively, and can end up blowing out highlights in well-lit situations.

Battery & Software

Battery life on this phone did not disappoint me at all, because its 4,700mAh unit lasted me a full-days usage, even with the 120Hz refresh rate turned on. If you bump it down, you can probably get it to last longer, but honestly, you won’t need to, because of the 9T’s party trick. It gets a 120W fast charging adapter in the box, that takes the phone from flat to full in around 20 minutes, which is close to being as good as it gets. Also worth mentioning is the charging cable, which is quite a bit longer than most bundled charging cables I’ve seen, but it does tend to plug out of the adapter quite easily if it gets caught in anything.
Anyway, let’s now move on to the software experience on the iQoo 9T, which does seem to be getting better year on year. Funtouch OS with Android 12 is quite slick to use on this phone, but it does get a fair bit of bloatware, including some which can’t be deleted or disabled. Still, you get iQoo's ultra-game mode here that enhances the mobile gaming experience and lets you monitor various parameters at any given point of time.

Also watch: iQOO 9 Pro Review: Killer Flagship!

Verdict

Good cameras, excellent performance, and a design that turns heads. The iQoo 9T delivers on all fronts, and its extra features make it even more compelling. At a starting price of ₹49,999, this might just be the best phone in the segment, and if you’re looking for outright power, nothing else comes close.

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