iQOO Z9x Review: A Bang for the Buck Smartphone


Are you looking for a budget smartphone sitting in the sub-Rs 15,000 price range? The recent iQOO Z9x 5G is quite a contender and offers attractions like a 120Hz high refresh rate, a massive 6,000mAh battery, and a super sleek design. The phone is quite capable in the budget price category, which has evolved gracefully but faces stiff competition from the Samsung Galaxy M15 and the Moto G64. How does it fare against these phones, and can it become the true daily driver in the affordable category? Let’s find out in my review.

iQOO Z9x

Starts at Rs 12,999

Design & Build






Battery Life


Camera Quality


UI Experience




Day To Day Usage


Value for Money


What Is Good?

  • A good design with a premium feel
  • Long-lasting and reliable battery life
  • Impressive overall performance
  • Good value for money

What Is Bad?

  • Loads of bloatware
  • Lack of an AMOLED display

iQOO Z9x Review: Pricing and Availability in India

The iQOO Z9x is available in India in three RAM and Storage variants. The phone is available on Amazon, and the prices are as below.

Variants Pricing
4GB RAM + 128GB Storage Rs 12.999
6GB RAM + 128GB Storage Rs 14,499
8GB RAM + 128GB Storage Rs 15,999

iQOO Z9x Review: Design and Build Quality

The iQOO Z9x is a budget offering but has a ‘rich’ personality. The Tornado Green colour has a textured back panel, which shows up from various angles. The texture feels quite soft and luxurious. So much so, that the back can be mistaken for glass, although, it is made of polycarbonate.

iQOO Z9x review back panel

The phone is also quite lightweight, which makes carrying it easier. The iQOO Z9x is easily one of the lightest phones with a 6,000mAh battery packed inside. It’s good to see how iQOO has maintained the good looks even in this segment.

If you still prefer a wired earphone, the Z9x’s 3.5mm headphone jack might bring a smile to your face. The phone is also IP64-rated, so, you can rest assured around water splashes and dust. However, I would still recommend keeping the phone away from water bodies.

iQOO Z9x 3.5mm audio jack

Design Specifications
Weight 199 grams
Thickness 7.99mm
Ports and button placement Bottom: USB-C port, speaker grille, primary microphone, 3.5mm audio jack

Right: power button, volume rocker

Left: SIM card slot

iQOO Z9x Review: Display and Audio

The display spans 6.72 inches, an apt screen size, especially for longer usage. The LCD panel is bright and makes the content streaming quite enjoyable. I watched lots of YouTube videos and binge-watched Bridgerton’s latest season on the phone. The colours are quite vibrant and visibility is good from different angles. However, compared to an AMOLED display, this one lacks deeper blacks. Since brands have produced phones with an AMOLED display in this price range (like the Galaxy M15), I wish iQOO also incorporated one. That said, the 120Hz refresh rate is quite smooth.

iqoo z9x review display

Display Specifications
Size 6.72-inch
Type LCD
Resolution 2408×1080 pixels
Refresh rate 120Hz
HBM Claimed – 1000 nits
Other features TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification

The iQOO Z9x offers a dual stereo speaker setup, that produces a solid sound output; it’s loud, crisp, and clear.

iQOO Z9x Review: Cameras

The photography bit is handled by a 50-megapixel main camera and a 2-megapixel macro lens. The primary camera clicks good images, which are detailed and reproduce good colours (although, slightly saturated) in daylight. Even the evening shots are acceptable, though, some grains will creep in. The night mode will help you here and make the scene brighter. The portrait mode does a fair enough job with good edge detection. However, the portrait mode smoothens the skin texture while the standard mode appears more natural. The selfies also have a filter, an output more acceptable for social media.

There are inbuilt filters too and the one that caught my eye was the makeup filter, which will save you the hassle of a 5-step makeup routine and help you post Instagram-worthy stories. The 2-megapixel macro camera is fine but doesn’t bring out the best results and feels like it’s just there to fill in an ultra-wide camera’s spot. The video recording was also good but the lack of OIS support does translate to slightly shaky videos.

Cameras Specifications
Primary camera 50-megapixel, f/1.8
Secondary camera 2-megapixel macro lens, f/2.4
Selfie camera 8-megapixel, f/2.05
Video recording capabilities Up to 4K at 30fps
Other features Night mode, Portrait mode, slow-motion, Live videos

iQOO Z9x Review: Performance and Software

This is the area where the iQOO Z9x excels. The Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset, even though, a little old, performs quite well and handles routine usage easily. This same processor can be found in the Vivo T3x, the rather expensive Vivo V30e, the Realme 12 Pro, and more.

Social media apps and video streaming are smooth. While being stutter-free during casual gaming, the phone has been a reliable performer while playing Call of Duty: Mobile and BGMI. It did get a little warm after half an hour’s gameplay but not to any concerning levels. It has also done a good job in Geekbench and AnTuTu benchmarks. You can check out its comparison with its competitors below.

iQOO Z9x
Moto G64
AnTuTu Overall benchmark score analysis
Moto G64
iQOO Z9x
Geekbench single-core benchmark score analysis
iQOO Z9x
Moto G64
Geekbench multi-core benchmark score analysis
Hardware Specifications
Processor Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 SoC
RAM Up to 8GB
Storage 128GB
Software version FunTouchOS 14 based on Android 14
Connectivity details Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1

The smartphone runs FunTouchOS 14 based on Android 14 and while the experience has been smooth, the presence of bloatware is concerning and annoying. Besides that, everything else was good. I liked the floating app bar (on the upper right side), which allowed me to multitask, especially while watching videos. The nano music player was another nifty feature to streamline the music streaming, although, it requires internet connectivity.

iQOO Z9x review apps

iQOO Z9x Review: Battery and Charging

Given the iQOO Z9x’s form factor, the 6,000mAh battery in it is a bit of a shocker. The battery can last you more than a day with an average screen time of about 2-3 hours and if you are a mediocre user like me, it can last a bit more than that.

If you are looking for the PCMark battery test numbers, you won’t find them as of now. I tried running this test twice but was interrupted due to an unknown error at around 32 per cent battery. I’ll put the phone through this test again and update this article if it manages to complete the test.

While the 44W charger can be considered fast, the massive battery does take a fair bit of time to charge fully. It takes about an hour and a half to fully charge from the dead.

iQOO Z9x Review: Verdict

The iQOO Z9x is a refreshing offering in the budget category. The phone not only looks good on paper but performs well in the real world.

iQOO Z9x review cameras

At a starting price of Ra 12,999, the iQOO Z9x offers good value for money and can be your daily driver if you are on a strict budget. Even if you go for the top-tier 8GB+128GB option, you still won’t be spending a lot. This can be especially great when you want an iQOO Z9-like experience on a budget. Moreover, this can also be a great secondary phone if you are looking for one.

That said, the lack of an AMOLED panel and annoying bloatware apps, can be a dealbreaker for some. If these concern you, the Galaxy M55 can be a good option as it offers an AMOLED display and a relatively neat One UI experience. The Moto G64 is also another option if you want an OIS-supported rear camera and more RAM or storage.