Pros

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor
  • Capable triple rear cameras
  • Fast 120W wired charging
  • Competitively priced

Cons

  • No wireless charging
  • Form factor can be a bit wide
  • Limited availability

Last month we evaluated the OnePlus 10T and found it to be a solid Android smartphone with a reasonable $649 price. The iQOO 9T was recently released for smartphone customers in India for ₹49,999.00 (approx USD$625), about the same price as the 10T. While I had limited connectivity and couldn’t fully test its cellular performance, I was able to spend a few weeks with the Alpha black model. iQOO also offers one in the Legend color that has BMW Motorsport striping on the back.

The iQOO 9T is one of the few phones sporting the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, superfast LPDDR5 RAM, and 120W FlashCharge. 

These are primarily flagship specifications for a price hundreds less than most flagships. It is a big phone, but feels great in the hand with a metal frame and frosted rear glass panel.

Also: eSIM vs SIM: What’s the difference?

I’ve been using the 12/256GB model of the phone with my T-Mobile SIM card. LTE is well supported on five bands by T-Mobile with the n41 band providing 5G connectivity. It worked well enough for me to carry out communications and also was perfectly fine on Wi-Fi.

Specifications

Processor Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 Mobile Platform
Display 6.78-inch, 2,400×1,080-pixel resolution
Operating system Android 12 with Funtouch OS 12
RAM 8/12GB options
Storage 128/256GB options
Cameras 50MP main, 13MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto. 16MP front-facing camera.
Connectivity 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, NFC, FM radio
Sensors Accelerometer, In-Display Fingerprint Sensor, Electronic Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity Sensor, Infrared
Battery 4,700-mAh non-removable with 120W wired fast-charging
Dimensions 165 x 77 x 8 mm and 206 grams
Color Alpha Black and Legend White

Hardware

Looking at the specifications, the iQOO 9T has nearly all flagship specifications and is a lovely piece of gear. The RAM is even Enhanced LPDDR5 with Enhanced UFS 3.1 on the internal storage, so the phone is a screamer and it never lagged or got held back by anything I threw at it.

The display supports a refresh rate of up to 120Hz with a smart-switch option that automatically adjusts the refresh rate based on application usage and system power consumption. It has a peak brightness of 1,500 nits with HDR 10 Plus certification and looks fantastic. The front-facing camera is centered in a hole-punch design at the top of the display.

Also: iPhone 14 Pro makes the notch come alive, finally

iQOO 9T balanced on its box on a pebbled surface.

The iQOO 9T is available in black or white with BMW Motorsport striping.

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The hardware of the iQOO 9T is fantastic, with a rock-solid feel and elegant design. The phone is a bit wide and large, but that also means that media content plays well on the phone’s gorgeous AMOLED display. It certainly helps that the stereo speakers also sound great.  

Speaking of media and entertainment, gamers will appreciate the V1 Plus chip that increases the frame rate and optimizes colors. The latest generation of under-display fingerprint sensors is present, and in my testing, it worked flawlessly. I used it in combination with the face unlock feature with a speedy and consistent response.

IQOO 9T from the side

The volume and power buttons are on the right side

Matthew Miller/ZDNET

The phone has a mic and IR port on the top, and a speaker, USB-C, mic, and SIM card tray along the bottom. The power and volume buttons are on the right side.

Also: OnePlus 10T review: Speed is the name of the game, but is it enough?

On the back of the iQOO 9T we find three camera lenses and a flashlight. The top left camera is the primary 50MP GN5 camera with dual pixel technology and OIS. The 13MP ultrawide camera is positioned below it while the 12MP portrait camera is off to the right of the 13MP camera lens.

The flat, rectangular camera section of the IQOO 9T