India has seen a slew of premium 5G smartphones being launched in the country, of late. Among them have been a number of flagship offerings, which includes the iQOO 9T 5G. Launched in India earlier this month on August 2nd, the iQOO 9T (review) is a flagship smartphone that takes on the likes of the OnePlus 10T. The device comes with the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC, which is the latest top-tier mobile chip right now. Along with this, you get up to 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage, giving it flagship credentials.
Other key specifications of the smartphone include a 6.78-inch full HD+ AMOLED 120Hz display, and a triple rear camera setup with 50MP primary, 13MP ultra-wide and 12MP portrait units. To the front, it gets a 16MP selfie snapper. This is powered by a 4,700mAh battery, with 120W fast charging in tow. All of this will set you back by Rs 49,999 for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant, and Rs 54,999 for the 12GB RAM and 256GB storage variant.
Does this make for a good device to buy, then? Here’s your lowdown.
Four reasons to buy the iQOO 9T 5G
Great performance: Powered by the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC, and with 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB UFS 3.1 storage, the iQOO 9T 5G has all the credentials of a flagship smartphone. In our review, we found its performance to be absolutely top notch, and all the heat-related throttling issues of the previous generation Snapdragon 8 SoC are not there in this one, either. All of this makes the iQOO 9T rank among the very best smartphones in the country right now in terms of performance, one that will let you run intensive tasks as well for long hours. This also makes it a great phone for gaming, since it can withstand rendering high quality graphics and run at peak smoothness and with consistency, for long hours.
Good for daylight photos: The iQOO 9T 5G camera offers good dynamic range, which we found during our usage of the phone. This, coupled with fine rendering of details and efficient noise removal and exposure balance, makes it a great camera to use for general photography — during the day or in consistent lighting conditions. It also does away with additional macro lenses to offer a dedicated portrait camera that is of a higher resolution than what most other phone cameras provide, making the iQOO 9T 5G a great smartphone to use in terms of regular photography purposes. With great rendering of details and colours, this is a phone camera that you will love shooting photos with — and thanks to the fast image signal processor, daylight videos are equally good.
Well designed: The iQOO 9T 5G is very well designed, and its in-hand feel makes it among the best in its class. To begin with, the dual-texture rear finish looks classy in hand, and is finished well with a touch of great finesse — something that every flagship phone must carry. Furthermore, despite housing a hefty vapour chamber inside to aid with the cooling of the phone’s chip during strenuous performance requirements, the phone does not feel bulky (albeit its overall heft). Despite its size, the iQOO 9T has an ergonomic button arrangement, which helps its overall usage experience. All things considered, the iQOO 9T is one of the best designed flagship phones in the market right now, and is also finished with a premium, soft touch.
Excellent charging speed: If great performance, a reliable camera and premium in-hand feel hasn’t convinced you to buy the phone yet, the charging speed of the phone should. The iQOO 9T 5G comes with 120W fast charging speed, which in our usage experience, charged the phone from zero to full in just 25 minutes. This ensures that you can make the most of the phone’s performance credentials — without worrying about running out of charge if you use it at peak performance for too long. You can easily juice up the phone for brief periods — charge it for just 15 minutes to get half a day’s worth of general usage time. This could be super handy in case you forgot to charge your phone overnight, and it is at low battery just ahead of you leaving for work.
Three reasons to avoid the iQOO 9T 5G
Not the best for low light photos: However, not everything is all hunky dory about the iQOO 9T 5G smartphone. While the rear camera setup aboard the phone is great for daylight photos, the results are not quite as consistent when it comes to shooting photos or videos in low or tricky lighting conditions. Images clearly lose details when it comes to low light photos, even though noise levels are well managed. This also leads to the colours not being represented at their best or most accurate shades, making the iQOO 9T a smartphone whose night photography credentials are not among the best in the industry. If you like taking photos at night or after sunset, it is safe to say that this device is better to be skipped.
Lacks durability rating: Despite being a well designed flagship smartphone, the iQOO 9T 5G only comes with IP52 durability rating. In terms of the ingress protection scale, IP52 offers limited protection to dust and water — and exposure to either from a wide range of angles could end up damaging your phone. This could be a deterrent if you are looking to get your hands on a phone that is built to last. For reference, most phones nowadays come with either IPX4 or IP68 durability rating. While the former offers protection from dust and splashes from all directions, the IP68 rating is the peak of the pile, and is reserved for devices that can withstand accidental submerging. Sadly, the iQOO 9T comes with neither.
Bloatware-ridden software: Finally, the iQOO 9T comes with Vivo’s FunTouch OS interface laid over Android 12, which makes for one of the more prominent custom Android experiences. However, unfortunately, the FunTouch OS experience also comes with a fair bit of bloatware — something that no flagship phones should expose their users to. While you can uninstall most of the preinstalled apps, this still makes for a hindered experience that you wouldn’t want from your flagship class phone — even more so, considering that its industry competitors have better on offer. If you prioritise user experience and seamlessness of software, the bloatware issue could be a clear deterrent.