May 23, 2024
iQOO 12

With the release of the iQOO 12 5G in India, a potentially dull moment for smartphones has been ignited—and for all the right reasons. Being the first smartphone in the nation to come equipped with the state-of-the-art Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC, the device is noteworthy. In addition, the iQOO 12 offers numerous enhancements over the iQOO 11 (review) in a number of areas, such as software, cameras, display, cooling system, and more.

In India, the iQOO 12 is available for purchase for Rs 52,999. Is it a worthwhile purchase considering the cost? In this review, let’s investigate.

Rating: 8.5 / 10

Verdict

The quickest Android smartphone on the market right now is the iQOO 12. It also receives high accolades for its outstanding viewing quality, powerful speakers, amazing cameras, long battery life, and lightning-fast charging. However, the software still needs work, even with its recent improvements, and wireless charging is not supported.

Design and display

The iQOO 12 design has been updated to look more upscale and aesthetically pleasant. When you hold the device, that is the sensation it provides. A firm grip is offered by the lustrous aluminum frame and glass back panel. I have to confess that a matte finish would have helped reduce smudges, fingerprints, and slippage on the frame. However, at least on the white version I was sent for evaluation, the rear panel is still reasonably tidy.

In reference to the rear panel, one can observe a discernible camera platform that somewhat projects from the surface. But because the glass is integrated into the elevated base so well, it doesn’t rub against your index finger awkwardly when you hold the tablet.

We also like that the phone has an IP64 water and dust resistant rating. Regarding input/output, the phone has a USB Type-C connector on the bottom for data transfer and charging. The phone has an optical fingerprint reader that quickly unlocks the gadget. For improved accessibility, though, I wish it were a little higher on the screen.

The audio quality of the iQOO 12 further enhances the watching experience. The phone has stereo speakers that produce clear sound even at full volume, even though they may not support Dolby Atmos.

Performance and software

The iQOO 12 is powered by the most advanced Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC from Qualcomm. The SoC, which was unveiled at Qualcomm’s summit in November 2023, offers a host of enhancements over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in a number of areas, including gaming, audio, and camera features.

Returning to the iQOO 12 performance, it is unquestionably better than the iQOO 11 model. Under no conditions will you find it stuttering or slowing down, and its benchmark scores reflect this. With its AnTuTu score of 20,73,660, the iQOO 12 beat all other smartphones available in the nation to date. Its Geekbench single-core and multi-core scores, which are 2,223 and 6,799, respectively, are also very remarkable.

The phone did experience some heat during the benchmark tests, and as a result, after running 50 threads for 30 minutes, its performance in the CPU Throttle test decreased by 20%. It still outperforms the iQOO 11 in the CPU Throttle test, though.

When it comes to software, the iQOO 12 comes pre-installed with the most recent FunTouchOS 14, which is based on Android 14. With several little improvements over the previous iteration, the new skin appears to be an iterative improvement. Bloatware and ad notifications have decreased in number.  All things considered, iQOO seems to be moving in the right path by reducing program clutter and improving the user interface.

Additionally, the business guarantees four years of security upgrades for the gadget and three years of significant OS updates. Even though it sounds praiseworthy, it isn’t quite as good as some other flagship products.

Cameras

iQOO wants its most recent flagship to be recognized for its cameras in addition to its performance. Consequently, the iQOO 12 boasts flagship-caliber cameras, including a 64MP telephoto lens with 3x optical and 10x lossless zoom, and a 50MP primary sensor that is supplemented by a 50MP ultra-wide sensor.  Additionally, the dynamic range and contrast ratio function superbly. Photography lovers, however, might not be fond of the cameras’ propensity to overprocess photos, which can cause shadows to be stifled.

Equally impressive is the iQOO 12’s lowlight photography, which captures rich details with surprisingly low noise levels and well-balanced colors. With a little smoothing to remove noise, the three cameras’ automated detection of the amount of light available allows them to instantly switch to night mode, which produces brighter images.

The primary and 3x telephoto lens produced crisp portrait shots that nicely isolate the person from the surrounding scenery. The bokeh effect also appears quite natural. The phone uses a 16MP front-facing camera for video calls and selfies, which produces somewhat enhanced images with nice facial details.

Battery and charging speeds

With a 5,000mAh battery that is the same as last year’s model, the iQOO 12 now has a better screen and CPU. As such, the smartphone offers a decent amount of battery backup. I used the phone for about a day and a half between charges, which includes an hour of BGMI, streaming, surfing, and scrolling around social media. The phone came back with a 14 hours and 14 minute score on the PC Mark battery test.

The iQOO 12 has you covered in terms of charging. Because the phone has a 120W fast-charging capability, you can charge it completely from 0% to 100% in just 27 minutes—even if you plug it in at the last minute. To your surprise, the box includes the charger.

Final verdict

Without a doubt, the iQOO 12 exceeds my expectations. Having tried the iQOO 11 prior to writing this review, the phone seems like a worthy improvement. The iQOO 12 has a sleeker, more expensive-looking appearance, and its brighter, dynamic refresh rate display offers better pictures. Although the phone’s cameras may not yet have Pixel-level quality, it is still quite a capable device. In a range of lighting situations, all cameras are able to produce visually appealing photographs. Both the battery life and the charging speed are remarkable, as the phone can be quickly recharged.

Even though I would have loved the smartphone to have less or no bloatware, I do appreciate the efforts made to lessen clutter and adverts. The phone’s performance is one of its main USPs, and these software improvements help to improve it. For now, among other reasons, the iQOO 12 has to be your first choice for best-in-class performance.

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