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iQOO 9 SE: A new performance starts at Rs 33,990 with 128GB storage option

iQOO 9 SE price in India starts at Rs 33,990 for the base 8GB + 128GB storage option. With some offers and discounts, the price drops to Rs 30,990.

iQOO 9 SE: A new performance starts at Rs 33,990 with 128GB storage option
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iQOO 9 SE: A new performance starts at Rs 33,990 with 128GB storage option

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iQOO 9 SE price in India starts at Rs 33,990 for the base 8GB + 128GB storage option. With some offers and discounts, the price drops to Rs 30,990.

The phone comes with a Snapdragon 888 SoC. Although it is last year's flagship SoC, the chip has enough grunt in it to handle intensive tasks. There's also a 120Hz AMOLED display and a 4500 mAh battery with 66W fast charging support. So, should you buy this over the likes of the Xiaomi 11T Pro, OnePlus 9RT and the likes? After using the smartphone for more than a week, here's our iQOO 9 SE review.

iQOO 9 SE Review

iQOO 9 SE focuses on offering some top-notch tech under the hood that especially helps gamers make most of the high refresh rate support. The phone has a 120Hz AMOLED display with a dedicated Intelligent Display Chip. The chip, using the frame rate interpolation technique, increases the frame rate of support games. Currently, BGMI supports frame rate interpolation up to 90fps on the iQOO 9 SE. More on the gaming bit in the performance section of our iQOO 9 SE review.

The screen is flat and offers rich colours due to the AMOLED panel. While the 6.62-inch flat screen helps avoid accidental touch, the bezels are slightly thick for a 2022 smartphone. It does not make a lot of difference though while you are watching content on Netflix as some of the areas around the video is already blacked out. iQOO is offering dual speakers on the iQOO 9 SE. Overall, the speakers are loud but the output from the earpiece is slightly lower than the primary outlet at the bottom edge.

In terms of design, the iQOO 9 SE has a glass sandwich design with a plastic frame. While the matte finish on our Space Fusion black colour looks rich and classy, the glossy plastic frame takes away some of the premium-ness. Unfortunately, there is no 3.5mm headphone jack but you do get a USB Type-C to 3.5mm headphone jack converter in the box. The power and volume buttons are clicky and easy to reach as well.

The rear panel curves into the frame to offer a better grip and in-hand feel. iQOO did not reveal the weight of the phone but based on the overall in-hand feel, we expect it to be about 190-195 grams.

Performance and software

iQOO 9 SE targets those who want the most from the smartphone when it comes to performance. There is a Snapdragon 888 SoC under the hood, which is infamous for its heating issues. Surprisingly, iQOO has managed to keep the temperature under check here. There is a vapour cooling system under the hood that helps the device stay cool while you are playing games or performing some heavy tasks.

iQOO 9 SE

I played BGMI on this device with HDR graphics and Extreme frame rate settings every day for at least an hour. During my iQOO 9 SE review period, the phone did not show any signs of lag or stutter. Despite running BGMI at such high graphics settings for long hours, the phone only got slightly warm to the touch, which is normal.

The phone comes with a Monster mode that essentially provides max performance from the chipset on offer. You also get features like 4D Game Vibration that offers better haptic performance while playing games.

The 4500 mAh battery can last a day provided you don't play a lot of games. On days when I only scrolled through social media or watched YouTube videos, the phone gave me a screen-on time (SoT) of about 6 hours. Even if you do play, expect about 5 hours of SoT from the 4500 mAh battery. iQOO has packed a 66W fast charger in the box, which refuels the battery in about 35-40 minutes. It is not as crazy fast as the iQOO 9 Pro (Review), which comes with 120W fast charging support but that phone costs nearly double the iQOO 9 SE.

iQOO 9 SE

Software-wise, iQOO 9 SE comes with Funtouch OS 12 based on Android 12. Points to iQOO for providing the latest software update as we have seen many other brands launching their premium devices with Android 11 out of the box. Funtouch OS 12 comes with multiple features that let users customise the overall interface, right from changing icons to animations. There are some third-party apps that come pre-installed. In case you do not want these, simply long-press and uninstall the app. iQOO has promised two years of software support on the 9 SE.

Camera

The iQOO 9 SE camera module is a lot more subtle compared to its more premium siblings. The rectangular-shaped module houses a triple-camera array with a 48MP main camera with OIS, a 13MP ultrawide camera with a 120-degree field of view and a 2MP monochrome sensor.

For selfies, the iQOO 9 SE has a 32MP front camera. iQOO and Vivo smartphones, especially in the premium segment click the best selfies. The same is the case with the iQOO 9 SE. You get good colours and the bokeh also looks natural. A hat tip though: Make sure you adjust the bokeh once in the camera app before clicking an image. With beauty mode turned off, you can achieve close to natural colours and skin tone in selfies clicked on the iQOO 9 SE.

There are phones like the Xiaomi 11T Pro (Review), which comes with a 5000 mAh battery and 120W fast charging support. That phone also has a competitive camera setup but costs about Rs 40,000 in India. The iQOO 9 SE, while costing about Rs 6,000 less, offers great value with its hardware and software combination.

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