iQOO 11 Review: The Performance Beast

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iQOO 11 review summary:

Editor’s rating: 3.9/5

Design

Display

Performance

Battery

Camera

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Pros

  • Blazing-fast charging
  • Excellent display
  • Dependable performance
  • Good primary camera

Cons

  • No IP rating
  • No wireless charging
  • Secondary cameras could be better
  • Gets warms under stress

With several of its phones getting critical and commercial acclaim in the Indian market, iQOO had a very successful 2022. With the launch of the iQOO 11 series, the company now hopes to maintain that same momentum in 2023. The brand has left no stone unturned to load iQOO 11 with the best-performance hardware currently on the market. This strategy makes sense given that the target audience for iQOO as a brand is young power users.

It is India’s first phone that ships with Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 at heart. Moreover, iQOO decided to include an AMOLED E6 Display and a V2 chip which automatically makes it more intriguing. Launching such a power-packed phone early in the year with BMW Motorsport-inspired aesthetics should make head turns. But considering its ₹59,999 sticker price, should you really buy it? Let’s find out in our review.

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iQOO 11 Price and Availability

iQOO 11 is offered in two configurations. The base variant comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage and is priced at ₹59,999. A max-out version with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage is available for ₹64,999. It can be bought from the Amazon India website or app.

iQOO 11 Specs

SoftwareAndroid 13 FunTouchOS 13
Display6.78-inch LTPO04 E6AMOLED with 144z refresh rate
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC
RAM8GB, 16GB
Storage256GB
Rear cameras50MP+13MP+8MP
Front Camera16MP
Battery5000mAh
Charging120W
Size164.9 x 77.1 x 8.4 mm or 8.7 mm
Weight205 g or 208 g 
Connectivity5G, Bluetooth 5.2, dual-band WiFi 6

iQOO 11 Unboxing

The iQOO 11 retail box has sides that have been sliced diagonally. On top of the box are the iQOO 11 marking, BMW, and M Motorsport markings that remind you of iQOO’s partnership with BMW’s motorsport division. Inside the box, you will find the following contents:

  • iQOO 11 phone
  •  Wall charger
  •  Charging Cable
  •  Transparent case
  •  Type-C to 3.5 mm jack connector
  •  Documentation

iQOO 11 Review: Design

iQOO has differentiated its devices by partnering with BMW Motorsports over the last two years, and they continue to use that same motorsport-inspired design in the iQOO 11 series. The iQOO 11 Legend has a white finish with a BMW M livery at the back, and it looks perfect. The Legend trim features a tricolour strip with the shiny “Clous de Paris” pattern with blue, red, and black hues. iQOO claims they are similar to BMW M stripes, except the latter’s stripes are darker blue rather than black.

The iQOO 11 back panel is constructed using fiberglass, which is layered with vegan leather to give it the strength and rigidity necessary for a smartphone while the textured leather finish ensures that the back looks outright gorgeous. The big camera island compliments the design at the back. iQOO chose a metal housing for the island, and it has two enormous rings that surround the 50MP and 2x camera modules and a smaller circle that surrounds the 8MP wide-angle lens on the right. The colour of the camera island’s “chin,” as it were, complements the colour of the phone’s aluminium frame and goes well with the overall colour scheme.

Turn it over, and you’ll see a commanding big screen with an integrated selfie camera and ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. A phone that costs more than half a lakh rupees should have less bezel around the screen than this one. The typical bits are located in the usual places along the iQOO 11’s edge. The power button and the volume rocker on the right side offer satisfying tactile responses when pressed.

The main speakers, primary microphone, and USB-C port are placed at the device’s bottom edge. You will also spot The SIM card tray, which accepts only two SIM cards. Another microphone is located on the top, but there is more than that; you can also utilise the IR emitter to operate older, unconnected appliances. Build quality-wise; the phone feels solid in hand. The Aluminum frame gives an assuring feel which Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on top of the screen provides the confidence that it won’t get scratched that easily. There is no official IP rating, so I suggest you be mindful before answering calls in the rain.

iQOO 11 Review: Display 

The iQOO 11 has a 6.78-inch display and excellent specifications. With a 2K resolution (3200 x 1440), a 1 to 144Hz adaptive refresh rate, and 1440 Hz pulse-width modulation for flicker-free dimming, it makes a kickass read. The iQOO 11 is India’s first phone with the E6 LTPO AMOLED panel. It can touch 1800 nits of peak brightness and play HDR content. 

We were pretty pleased with the overall display. Both indoors and outdoors, legibility is excellent. On the 2K display, everything looks crisp and sharp. iQOO has added three refresh rate settings – Smart Switch, Standard, and High. The Smart Switch and High modes both work more or less the same. Both toggle between 1, 24, 30, 60, and 120 refresh rates. You will hardly get to see it touch 144Hz; in my case, I only saw it running on full 144Hz while playing Genshien Impact and running benchmark tests. 

Coming to color fidelity, the default “Standard” setting isn’t the most accurate one we have seen at this price point. It leans towards colder tones and casts a reddish tint which makes skin tones appear reddish than they really are.

The left phone is iQOO 11, which has a reddish tint on Barack Obama’s face. The phone is in standard mode.

You can switch to Pro mode to get better colour accuracy so that skin tone appears much closer to the original subject. As far as FHD streaming is concerned, it can do that across platforms thanks to the presence of Widevine L1 certification. We could only do HDR streaming on Youtube, though. It also doesn’t support Dolby Vision HDR.

iQOO 11 Review: Performance and Software

For the second consecutive year, iQOO has outfoxed every other brand to become the first manufacturer to launch a phone with Qualcomm’s latest and greatest chipset. iQOO 11 is driven by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Qualcomm’s new quad-cluster architecture with cores arranged in a 1+2+2+3 layout, with an aim to deliver considerably better performance and efficiency. The Cortex X3 core, which operates at 3.2GHz, handles the heavy work. It is supported by three Cortex A510 cores, each of which ticking at 2.0GHz, as well as two medium-sized pairs of Cortex A715 and Cortex A710 cores, each of which operates at 2.8GHz. The new Adreno 740 architecture is in charge of graphics which gets assistance from the V2 co-processor, which kicks in to handle motion interpolation during gaming and assist ISP during low-light photography. That’s not all; the iQOO 11 packs faster memories, i.e., up to 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 256GB of UFS 4.0 storage. Taken together, this makes a compelling setup that can handle anything you can throw at it.

First, we ran a benchmark test to check how fast the new UFS 4.0 storage is. The benchmark result numbers reflect almost twice better Sequential Read and Sequential Write speeds than UFS 3.1 storage. Random Read and Random Write speeds were up by a little over 1.5X.

We also ran our standard set of benchmark tests, and the iQOO 11 really outshines every other Android phone in the market. On Geekbench 5, its single core score was 1475, while the multicore score we noted was 4888. A score of 1272572 was recorded on the Antutu V9.5 test.

As are as real-world performance is concerned, the iQOO 11 is a beast of a phone that handles everything without breaking a sweat. There’s hardly any bootup time for apps as they load instantly. Resource-intensive apps load up in a jiffy. The model I have has 16GB of RAM, which offers rapid performance and handles background apps well. I have counted more than 18 apps running in the background during my usage, including games. Yes, read that right. There’s also a RAM boost option, which reserves part of your storage to act as RAM. It’s not the same as physical RAM, so don’t expect it to make much of a difference.

Coming to the iQOO 11, it has gaming capabilities, and the phone really shines. It didn’t flinch while I played graphic-intensive games like COD Mobile, Apex Legend, Genshin Impact, and others. I’m referring to graphics set to the highest, with the best possible frame rates selected. The experience is made even more immersive by the 144Hz refresh rate on the screen and the SOC.

The Game Center on iQOO 11 offers CPU and GPU booster called the Monster Mode, a 4D vibration option that uses the two X-axis motors to ensure good tactical feedback. A Game Frame Interpolation option uses a V2 chip to interpolate a 60fps game to 90fps. iQOO’s V2 chip does that by removing 15 frames and doubling the remaining 45 frames to achieve 90fps gaming. I played COD at 90fps, which, on other devices, I only get to play at 60fps.

Like other iQOO phones, this one also boots up using vivo’s FunTouch OS. It runs on Funtouch OS 13 interface, which has an Android 13 core. The UI is feature rich as you get features such as a screen recorder, one-handed mode, phone clone, Google Discover page, Easy touch, screenshot toolkit, split screen, etc., baked into the software. You also get a lot of customisation here, but the categorisation settings could use some work. But, as is typical of iQOO, there is still bloatware. It still astounds us to see junk apps that can’t be easily disabled in a smartphone worth nearly 60,000, but most of it can be easily uninstalled. In terms of software updates, iQOO 11 will get two platform updates which means you could get updates till Android 15. Overall, the Funtouch 13 gets a lot of the fundamentals right; just a little polishing is needed.

iQOO 11 Review: Camera

For the camera front, iQOO has chosen to be conservative and has used the same primary rear and front cameras as the iQOO 9T. The iQOO 11 sports a 50MP Samsung GN5 primary main camera with 1.0um pixels and OIS. There are two more cameras at the back – a 13MP lens with 2x optical zoom and an 8MP wide-angle lens. 

The camera interface has remained unchanged. All shooting modes are organised in a grid, and the three lenses are easily accessible via dedicated toggles. You also get toggles for HDR, flash, beautify effects, and a natural colour mode that adjusts colour balance based on scene recognition.

The primary rear camera produces vibrant images in daylight situations. Outdoor photos have a wide dynamic range, good colour accuracy, and are not overly saturated. The camera also takes excellent low-light shots, with good colour rendering and highlight management. In scenes with varying brightness levels, the iQOO 11 can produce images with accurate colours and excellent detail.

The color tone will change when you switch to the 13MP Samsung 3LP telephoto sensor. In bright sunlight, the telephoto camera captures good 2X zoom images with sharp details. However, the amount of noise increases significantly, and colours appear less natural in low lighting or under the influence of artificial lighting.

Similarly, the ultrawide sensor produces undersaturated colours and lacklustre details. I wish iQOO had upgraded to a better ultrawide sensor here, as this is the weakest link among the three.

The 16MP selfie camera takes nice selfies, but the details are not as sharp as they should be for a 16MP camera. Aside from that, the colours are vibrant, the skin tones are realistic, and the dynamic range is excellent. Selfie photographs blur is better than rear camera portraits, creating a more natural effect.

iQOO 11 Review: Battery life

The phone has a 5000mAh battery with 120W fast charging support. During our tests, the phone provided approximately 5.5 hours of screen-on time. We can play for more than four hours if we do excessive gaming on the device. The phone comes with a 120W fast charger that charges the battery to 50% capacity in 8 minutes. The phone takes about 19 minutes to charge completely. Just a 5-minute charge will easily provide an evening’s worth of use.

 Verdict: Should you buy iQOO 11?

The iQOO 11 has all of the characteristics of a great phone. It has got the fundamentals right with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, LPDDR 5X memory, and UFS 4.0 storage. A 144Hz Adaptive AMOLED screen and a V2 chip amplify your gaming experience. The 50MP camera captures excellent images in all lighting conditions. 

On the downside, the secondary cameras are not in the same league as the primary rear camera. The phone also lacks proper ingress protection, and the default colour calibration of the screen isn’t that great, which we hope iQOO will fix with a software update. All in all, the iQOO 11 is a remarkably efficient package and can be considered for buying.

Reasons to buy

  • Blazing-fast charging
  • Excellent display
  • Dependable performance
  • Good primary camera

Reasons to not buy

  • No IP rating
  • No wireless charging
  • Secondary cameras could be better
  • Gets warms under stress

Deepak RajawatDeepak Rajawat
Experienced technology journalist with over 7-years of experience. Before embracing online journalism, he has worked with several legacy publications including print editions at Hindustan Times and The Statesman. He also has a keen interest in Sports, which he used to cover with equal enthusiasm in his early career.

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Sathish Mechy
Anonymous
1 year ago

Great stuff 👌

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