iQoo Z9x First Impressions


The iQoo Z9x was first announced in China in April, 2024. The device was launched alongside the premium iQoo Z9 Turbo and the budget iQoo Z9 and was meant to be a starter 5G smartphone for the masses. Prior to this, the Chinese smartphone brand had already launched the iQoo Z9 in India which was a proper budget smartphone priced from Rs. 19,999. As convoluted as this Indian-China launch timeline sounds, iQoo has finally brought its Z9x model to the country. I’ve been using it for a few days and here are my first impressions.

The phone is priced from Rs. 12,999 in India. There are several variants to choose from and this is what lets iQoo price this phone (which seems well specced for a budget smartphone) so low. Thankfully, all the variants offer the same 128GB of storage. The base model which is priced at Rs. 12,999 comes with 4GB of RAM, while the mid-tier offering with 6GB RAM is priced at Rs. 14,499. The top-of-the-line variant offers 8GB of RAM for Rs. 15,999.

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The iQoo Z9x only has one user accessible rear camera

 

The phone’s design does not really stand out in the Storm Grey colourway we received. Its frame and rear panel are made out of plastic, with a display screen made from glass. It has flat sides and a flat rear panel which felt very similar to the Redmi 13C 5G I recently reviewed but was launched late last year. The camera module’s design seems to be a mix of the iQoo Neo 9 Pro and the premium iQoo 12. The bezels on the 6.72-inch full-HD+ LCD display are quite thin and the panel is flat. The display offers a 120Hz refresh rate and also offers 240Hz touch sampling rate which should come of use while playing games.

What stands out apart from its design is its IP-rating. iQoo claims the phone offers an IP64 rating for dust and water resistance, which is impressive for a budget smartphone. The phone also offers dual stereo speakers which should make gaming and video streaming sound immersive.

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The iQoo Z9x has a 6.72-inch full-HD+ LCD display with 240Hz touch sampling rate

 

The phone primarily offers one user accessible camera. That would be the 50-megapixel primary camera which is accompanied by a 2-megapixel depth sensor, which is used for its Portrait mode. Selfie duties are handled by a humble 8-megapixel camera.

The iQoo Z9x is powered by iQoo’s Funtouch OS 14 which is based on Android 14. While it worked smoothly out of the box, it does come with several preinstalled third-party apps. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 SoC with a maximum clock speed of 2.2GHz but is a bit dated as it was launched in 2022. However, it should be sufficient for basic 5G starter phone requirements.

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The iQoo Z9x has a plastic frame and rear panel

 

The device is powered by a 6,000mAh battery but unlike most smartphones at this price point, we are glad to see 44W wired charging. The charger also comes in the box.

The iQoo Z9x surely seems to raise the bar when it comes to checking the boxes on a budget 5G smartphone. However, as we have seen with every budget 5G smartphone in the past, the focus has always been on offering a smooth 5G experience while ignoring camera performance and software optimisation. Has iQoo changed the game by cooking up something better? Stay tuned to our detailed review to find out.


Is the iQoo Neo 7 Pro the best smartphone you can buy under Rs. 40,000 in India? We discuss the company’s recently launched handset and what it has to offer on the latest episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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