The iQoo 7 Legend is still a good premium smartphone that offers a high-quality camera experience and great performance, as pointed out in my review. Its only drawback is its below-average battery life, even though charging is quite fast. Now, iQoo has just announced three new smartphones as a part of its premium 9 series. There’s the new iQoo 9 SE, the iQoo 9, and the iQoo 9 Pro. The 9 SE is the successor to the iQoo 7, while the iQoo 9 succeeds the iQoo 7 Legend.
The iQoo 9 Pro is the new flagship in the series and it has several new upgrades over the iQoo 7 Legend. Its battery has grown in capacity, but more importantly, its cameras have taken a big leap forward in terms of hardware. I got my hands on this smartphone and here are my first impressions.
The iQoo 9 Pro is the most expensive offering in the new 9 series. It is available in two variants: 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for Rs. 64,990, and 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for Rs. 69,990. Compared to the iQoo 7 Legend, which was only available in one finish, the iQoo 9 Pro is available in the Legend finish (white, blue and red) and a new Dark Cruise option that has a black carbon fibre texture.
IQoo has continued its partnership with BMW Motorsport, which has lent its racing-inspired ‘Legend’ finish to the iQoo 9 Pro and iQoo 9, similar to the design of the iQoo 7 Legend. There are some minor tweaks, for instance the overall texture of the back panel appears a bit different thanks to a polished strip running through the otherwise matte back panel. The camera module on the 9 Pro literally takes up one third of the back panel but protrudes only slightly. The box contents include a high-quality TPU case which has the same Legend finish with the BMW Motorsport-inspired stripes. There’s an infrared emitter at the top and a USB Type-C port at the bottom, but no 3.5mm headphone jack.
The iQoo 9 Pro has a 6.78-inch curved-edge AMOLED display with a 1,440×3,200 pixel (2K) resolution. It is an LTPO panel with an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz, along with a 300Hz touch sampling rate.
The iQoo 9 Pro debuts the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC in India. It is manufactured using a 4nm fabrication process and has a maximum CPU clock speed of 3.0GHz. iQoo claims that it offers several performance improvements over the Snapdragon 888 SoC, which was used by many popular premium smartphones last year. iQoo has also included what it calls an Independent Display Chip (IDC) that it claims offers several benefits when it comes to gaming and imaging. Communications standards include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, and the usual satellite navigation systems. There is also dual-5G standby and the phone supports fourteen 5G bands.
Compared to the iQoo 7 Legend, the cameras have gotten the biggest upgrade. The iQoo 9 Pro has a 50-megapixel primary camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS) and gimbal stabilisation, similar to the Vivo X70 Pro+ (Review). There’s also a 50-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a 150 degree field of view and autofocus, and a 16-megapixel telephoto camera with 2.5X optical zoom and OIS. Selfies are handled by a 16-megapixel front camera.
The iQoo 9 Pro has a 4,700mAh battery which is an upgrade over the iQoo 7 Legend’s 4,000mAh capacity. Wired charging speed has been bumped up to 120W, and this phone also allows 50W wireless charging with the company’s own dock that you’ll have to buy separately. The smartphone runs Funtouch OS 12 which is based on Android 12.
The iQoo 9 Pro certainly seems to have checked all the boxes when it comes to hardware for a premium smartphone in early 2022. From the looks of it, this is also potentially a capable gaming smartphone. In fact, iQoo has even launched a new gaming accessory called the iQoo Gamepad that adds physical buttons for gamers. So how well does it perform in the real world, and is the iQoo 9 Pro worth buying now or should you wait to see what the competition comes up with? Stay tuned for our detailed review, which should be out soon on Gadgets360.com.