iQOO 9T review: Monstrous performance but bloatware are spoilsport

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iQOO 9T review summary:

Editor’s rating: 3.8/5






Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


  • Amazing display
  • Latest flagship processor
  • Good daylight cameras
  • Excellent charging speeds


  • Bloatware
  • No variable refresh rate
  • No IP rating

iQOO, since the beginning of the year, has been doing wonders in the Indian smartphone industry. Firstly we got to see three iQOO 9 series devices – iQOO 9, iQOO 9 Pro, and iQOO 9 SE. Now, the company recently refreshed the series with the launch of the iQOO 9T which is a breathtaking flagship device. I got my hands on the BMW edition of the device which is also our very first experience with Qualcomm’s latest flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 plus.

Contradictory iQOO’s traditional pricing, the iQOO 9T has been priced slightly on the higher end perhaps a calculated move by the brand. Nonetheless, the phone is it is expected to attract a lot of customers as compared to the iQOO 9 Pro with a better processor and other updated specs. No doubt the cooling performance of the device is better than most of the alternatives available in the same price range.

As we all know that everything comes at a cost, I can say that the iQOO device has some limitations too. Here I’ll pen down the Pros and cons of the smartphones based on different aspects like design, display, performance, etc, after reviewing the unit for almost two weeks.

iQOO 9T Review: Unboxing

The iQOO 9T ships in a black-coloured sporty finish box. The box consists of:

  • iQOO 9T smartphone
  • USB Type-C to C charging cable
  • 120W power adapter
  • User manual

iQOO 9T pricing and availability

The 8GB RAM variant of iQOO 9T along with 128GB internal storage is available for a price of Rs 49,999 in the Indian market. On the other hand, the 12GB RAM variant of the smartphone with 256GB internal storage is available in the market for Rs 55,999. The device can be purchased from the Indian online shopping platform Amazon India. The handset is being shipped in two different colour editions – Legend and Alpha.


iQOO 9T Specs

SoftwareNothing OS based on Android 12
Display6.78-inch FHD+ AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate
SoCSnapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC
Rear Cameras50MP+12MP+13MP
Front Camera16MP
Weight206 grams
Connectivity5G SIM support, WiFi 802.11, Bluetooth 5.2, A-GPS, NFC, USB Type C 2.0

iQOO 9T review: Design

The first thing which grabs the attention of any user immediately after unboxing is the design of the handset. When it took out the smartphone and had a look at it, there was nothing amazing about the same. I got the Legend edition for review. The one-third area of the back has a glossy texture and consists of the camera module. The smartphone misses out on the flat edge fad that is going on these days. The back panel of the device has a curved design along with a metal chassis.

Since the time I got the see the initial iQOO phones, I hate how iQOO uses a lot of text on the rear panel like Fascination Meets Innovation. However, it can be said that the text was completely not required there as iQOO’s work speaks for the brand. The volume rockers and the power button of the smartphone are placed on the right spine. The bottom side of the device consists of a speaker grille, dual SIM slot, mic hole, and a USB Type-C port.

The best part about the iQOO 9T is that even after having a large screen, it still is quite handy and can be perfectly operated with one hand. The smartphone also has an IP52 certification for resistance to dust and water. On the front, the device has a vibrant display along with super slim bezels and a high screen-to-body ratio. There is a punch hole at the top middle of the smartphone for the placement of the front camera.

That is it from my side for the design of the smartphone. No doubt the company has tried its best to keep the device design clean by offering volume rockers and a power button on the same side. I find it pretty convenient while operating too. However, if you are looking for anything special in terms of design then you might get disappointed as the device has nothing like that.

iQOO 9T review: Display

iQOO 9T features a 6.78-inch OLED display that is completely captivating irrespective of the activity it is being used for. It is an E5 panel from Samsung that offers a refresh rate of 120Hz.

While testing, I had a very fast-paced experience, as there was no lag in terms of scrolling and other stuff. On the other hand, operating the smartphone under direct sunlight seems quite easy due to its high-quality display.

To skyrocket the gaming experience, the display comes with a dual monster touch that aids in identifying the four-finger input without any issues. A major highlight related to the display is that it has a decent colour output when it comes to producing pitch black and dark-toned colours. I watched a couple of episodes of Bungo Stray Dogs on Netflix, trust me when I say that you’ll get lost while watching your favourite anime and other stuff on the device.

iQOO 9T review: Performance

Starting with the basics, the smartphone works on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 flagship processor paired with 12GB LPDDR RAM and 256GB UFS 3.1 internal storage. On top of that, the smartphone also gets the Vivo V1+ SoC for better frame interpolation duties and image processing.

I installed Apex Legends Mobile and raised the bar by setting the best graphics quality and highest frame rate. I was not surprised by the ultimate response of the machine as the game ran smoothly on it.

After that I tested a couple more games like the Call Of Duty Mobile and Asphalt 9, the performance was pretty amazing. However, one thing which I noticed while gaming for long hours was that the device got heated up after a period of 15 minutes. Now, I can’t say it was extremely heated up but still, the warmth was noticeable.

Nonetheless, there was no performance or lagging issues witnessed even after the smartphone was heated up. My suggestion in this scenario is that avoid gaming for long hours without using a case for the phone. Heating issues can be a major turn-off for the people who want to buy the device, especially for gaming.

Apart from that, my next test was based on the aspect of multitasking. I opened multiple applications heavy and light at the same time. There was not a single moment when I felt that the smartphone is unable to handle all that at the same time. Even when I increased the number of applications to almost 20 at a time.

Geekbench single-core1320
Geekbench multi-core4055
AnTuTu 91077307

While on one hand, the hardware of the device is mindblowing, on the other hand, I know why the iQOO 9 Pro is unable to dethrone the OnePlus despite making flagships. The reason behind it is the below-average UI of the brand.

After purchasing a smartphone for Rs 50,000, I’ll be in no mood to get disturbed by ads and spam-based notifications on a daily basis a dozen times. Furthermore, while watching videos, the notifications don’t arrive properly on the phone which can really test your patience every now and then.

Not to forget, you will also find a lot of bloatware in the smartphone which clearly destroys the flagship experience. As per my honest opinions here, a lot of work is still needed to be done on the UI of the iQOO phone if the brand ever wants to compete with the OnePlus’ Oxygen OS.

iQOO 9T review: Camera

The iQOO 9T flaunts a triple rear camera setup that consists of a 50MP Samsung ISOCELL GN5 primary shooter, a 13MP ultra wide-angle shooter that also works as the macro shooter, and a 12MP telephoto sensor that doubles up as a portrait shooter.

At the time of testing, The smartphone delivers some decent photographs at night with features like Extreme Night Vision, Pure-Night View, and XDR Photo. I tested the primary camera in the daylight by clicking photographs. The images it delivered had good sharpness and detail, although colours appear little boasted. The camera has good dynamic range as it manages to retain shadows even when there is a really bright subject in the image.

The 2X optical zoom of the smartphone makes sure that you get decent shots even when any object is placed at a distance. For example, in a photo of corn, you can clearly see the water droplets over the corn which is amazing.

The HDR mode of the smartphone does wonders in daylight situations. At the time of video recording, we made a video in 4K resolution that offered superb stabilization and good exposure.

As for the front camera, I can say that the brand has worked pretty much on that. The front camera of the device makes sure that the user gets the best selfie shots.

I even tried it in night light and still, it outperformed most of its competitors. One thing which I will say is that the photos clicked by the iQOO 9T have a natural appeal which puts a stamp on the fact that the device has a decent sensor system.

iQOO 9T review: Battery

No phone on this planet can be categorised as a decent one until and unless it has a remarkable battery backup. No, I am seriously not exaggerating and the iQOO 9T clearly justifies the same. The smartphone packs a 4700mAh battery that can go on for long hours even after extensive use.

At the time of my experience, the device gets completely charged in around 25 minutes with the 120W flash charging support. Though the time can range from 25 to 40 minutes depending on the stability of the power supply.

As for the drainage, I played Apex Legends Mobile for an hour on the smartphone and the phone lost around 14% to 17% battery. At the time of video streaming, the battery drain was something around 10% per hour.

After charging it completely, I used the device for calling, playing games, running social media applications, and other stuff. Still, the battery lasted for around 16 hours which is nice. If you are someone who uses the phone on a moderate basis then you can expect it to go on for a day without any issues.

Review verdict: Should you buy iQOO 9T or not?

Expert rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Here comes the big question, the answer to it is quite simple though. If you are looking for a device you can show all your gaming wrath to, then the iQOO 9T could be your first choice.

The heating issues could be annoying sometimes but you will never get any lagging or performance issues. Photography lovers can too go for the smartphone as the camera system of the device does justice to the price point.

However, the primary shooter’s performance can be a major turn-off as it even fails to deliver detailed photographs in daylight, forget about the low light captures.

Moreover, the bloatware and spammy applications can be a spoilsport for the people who want a flagship experience. Instead, you can go for the OnePlus 10T available at a similar price range and offers a clean UI along with a flagship level experience.

Reasons to buy

  • Amazing display
  • Latest flagship processor
  • Good daylight cameras
  • Excellent charging speeds

Reasons to not buy

  • Bloatware
  • No variable refresh rate
  • No IP rating
Nishit Raghuwanshi RudraNishit Raghuwanshi Rudra
A career journalist who spent three plus years playing around with smartphones, associated apps and more. As a hobby, Rudra enjoys researching mobile games. When he's not busy in the world of gadgets, he is busy with a paper and pen writing poems or engaging with his growing digital audience on the Hindi rap circuit.

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