iQOO 12 Review – Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Is Really Fascinating

 If you feel vivo's flagship device is expensive, iQOO is the best alternative because this brand is the "Poco" to vivo. Their latest device is the iQOO 12 which is the first smartphone with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip and which runs Android 14 straight out of the box.

I've been using this device for a few weeks now and it's true, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip is very impressive. In this article I will share my opinion and answer why you should have iQOO 12.

INFO Review – iQOO 11 5G With Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 As Fast As A Bullet


iQOO 12

6.78″ AMOLED 144Hz, 2800 x 1260 screen

HDR10+, 1400 nits

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor (4nm)

1x 3.3 GHz Cortex-X4 chip

5x 3.2 GHz Cortex-A720

2x 2.3 GHz Cortex-A520

Adreno 750 Graphics Chip


16GB Extended RAM (Virtual Memory)

Internal Storage 512 GB UFS 4.0

Primary Camera 50MP f/1.68, OIS (Wide Angle)

64MP f/2.57, OIS, 3x Optical Zoom (Periscope Telephoto)

50MP f/2.0 (Ultra Wide Angle)

Selfie Camera 16 MP f/2.5

5000 mAh battery

120W wired charging

SIM/Telephony Dual SIM nano / 5G


IR emitter Yes

No Audio Jack

Waterproof IP64

Scan System Under-screen fingerprint scanner


Selling Price RM3399



The screen of this device is 6.78-inch from an AMOLED panel with 144Hz refresh rate support, HDR10+ display, brightness reaches 1400 nits and uses an almost even bezel design. This is paired with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip still using a 4nm build instead of 3nm. The configuration of this chip is 1x 3.3 GHz Cortex-X4 + 5x 3.2 GHz Cortex-A720 + 2x 2.3 GHz Cortex-A520 and is matched with Adreno 750 GPU. iQOO 12 is also equipped with LPDDR5X memory of 16GB RAM and 512GB UFS 4.0 internal storage.

The rear panel of the device looks quite plain with a glossy white color that is quite smooth with the BMW logo and has a giant camera bump. At first glance, this bump looks like the Xiaomi 13 but every corner is more curved. The hump packs a 50MP sensor, OIS f/1.7 wide-angle + 64MP, OIS f/2.6 telephoto periscope 3x optical zoom + 50MP f/2.0 ultra-wide-angle and a 16MP selfie camera.

iQOO 12 uses a flat design on the screen and each side of the device. It uses an aluminum frame with a smooth finish. It's easy to operate with one hand, maybe a little slippery but no problem after a few days of use. The device is quite comfortable in the hand, but the horizontal situation when playing the speaker will be hindered. However, iQOO 12 brings many premium design elements that are sure to catch people's attention.

On top of the device there is an infrared sensor, a microphone hole then on the left side is a volume control button with a power button. There is nothing on the right side and below is the microphone hole, USB-C port and speaker grille. This Legend color is a little scratched easily if the frame hits the car key, so it is recommended to use a protective frame.


The 6.78-inch AMOLED 144Hz screen, with a resolution of 2800 x 1260 and supporting HDR10+ display is one of the best in the industry I've used. The screen is bright, vibrant colors, good brightness, very smooth and fast on every touch and the blacks are also true OLED blacks. Watching videos on Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube or even Disney+ provides a satisfying experience. Each application is capable of playing quality videos without any problems.

The downside to this screen for me is the lack of LTPO support. This means that using a screen with a high refresh rate will consume a lot of power so that battery life is affected. The use of auto mode helps a little but often the social media application becomes 60Hz. The additional chip, Supercomputing Chip Q1, is also among those that help make the iQOO 12 screen one of the best. If I have my own video of poor quality, play it on the VLC application for example - the device system can make my video look better than usual.


In China, the iQOO 12 Pro uses an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner – but on the iQOO 12 it's limited to an optical sensor only. Not the fastest I've tried but just helps give extra security for Google Wallet payments, access to WhatsApp or banking apps. There is also a facial scan system but the dark environment will make it inconsistent as there is no infrared scanner like Face ID on the iPhone.


Among the many vivo devices running Funtouch OS, the iQOO 12 is the best because it has absolutely no ads. The Hot Games and Hot Apps removed report was still missing on my device the first day of use but should be available in the first update after you purchase the device. But during these few weeks of use, I have received new software updates that make the experience of using this device even more interesting.

Funtouch OS 14 based on Android 14 is the operating system used on this device. It's very interesting to use with some settings similar to stock Android in Nothing OS 2.5. If before I complained that Funtouch OS does not have organized settings, this time it is different because it is neater and makes it easier for me to make various changes to the system.

While vivo tries to keep the stock Android elements, Funtouch OS 14 is clearly trying to remove the Google DNA from the design of this operating system. First is that Google Photos cannot use the Magic Eraser feature or some commands for Google Assistant are not friendly on this device compared to other Android 14 devices.

Virtual memory support of up to 16GB makes the total memory of this device reach 32GB which is very extreme. It does little to help device performance especially memory management for apps in the background. Funtouch OS 14 is an operating system that for me is easy to use because it tries to be stock Android but by removing many Google elements on this device it is a dangerous step that iQOO needs to be careful.

Other manufacturers have started using Google Phone and Google Messages apps, but vivo and iQOO still want to use their own versions. Funtouch OS 14 needs a little more update touch to ensure it appeals to many global users.


The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is a chip with a configuration of 1x 3.3 GHz Cortex-X4 + 5x 3.2 GHz Cortex-A720 + 2x 2.3 GHz Cortex-A520 paired with an Adreno 750 GPU. For memory, the unit I tested uses 16GB LPDDR5X RAM + 16GB Extended RAM (non-modifiable) and 512GB UFS 4.0 internal storage. After using this device for a few weeks, I got Monster Mode making this device a monster to run for the first time.

Over the course of several weeks of use, every game I tested was smooth and there were no lags during gaming sessions. Asphalt 9 is solid, Marvel Snap is great, Monopoly Go is satisfying and Silent Hill Ascension also provides the best experience. I also had time to test War Thunder Mobile which supports Ray Tracing graphics. The initial graphics quality of this device is really interesting but the gaming experience is a bit boring because it is slow. The heating problem does not occur because the device is only lukewarm.

For benchmark scores, I used AnTuTu 3D, Geekbench 6 and 3DMark only. Compared to the scores on devices using Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the iQOO 12 with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 has a very high score and is beyond my expectations. The iQOO 12 has performance close to the prototype we tested in Hawaii during the day. You can see the comparison below;

AnTuTu 3D

iQOO 12 – 2,075,821

iPhone 15 Pro Max – 1,523,961

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 – 1,488,776

Xiaomi 13T Pro – 1,431,444

Geekbench 6

iQOO 12 – 2181/6631

iPhone 15 Pro Max – 2873/7228

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 – 1991/5221

Xiaomi 13T Pro – 1284/3520

3DMark Wild Life Extreme

iQOO 12 – 30.22 FPS

iPhone 15 Pro Max – 22.1 FPS

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 – 23.03 FPS

Xiaomi 13T Pro – N/A

3DMark Solar Bay

iQOO 12 – 8528 / 32.43FPS

iPhone 15 Pro Max – 4943 / 18.8FPS

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 – 5628 / 21.4FPS

Xiaomi 13T Pro – N/A


As I expected, the quality of the Internet connection on the iQOO 12 is very good. WiFi is all stable and smooth even if I'm in the other room, 4G or 5G also receives a stable signal and is able to provide fast Internet access and good phone call quality. GPS for long trips like I drove from Kuala Lumpur to Johor also helps. Waze takes a little slower to lock in a location than Google Maps, but other than that everything is fine.


If our iQOO 11 review gave a camera score of 8/10, and in the first look article I said that this iQOO 12 has the potential to receive a score of 9/10, it turned out to be true. Day by day I use this device more and more I fall in love with the brand iQOO and vivo. It gives hope for the vivo X100 to have better photography capabilities.

A 50+64+50 Megapixel camera configuration with a 16 Megapixel selfie camera is a smart choice. Excellent photo results because it is able to preserve details well regardless of bright light or dark conditions. Colors are also quite striking with satisfactory HDR. The focus of the camera is the only thing that I feel is not consistent.

50MP ultra wide angle

50MP auto mode

Night mode

Auto mode

5x zoom

10x zoom, night

The 3x optical zoom of this device proves that an affordable flagship device can also be binoculars as this good zoom can also be enjoyed at 5x and 10x settings. The ultra-wide angle also has captivating colors and the device's versatile portrait mode.

Auto mode

Auto mode

10x zoom

Night mode

Portrait mode, night selfie


This smartphone also has a quality speaker. A balanced stereo system, the bass boom is quite terrible because it has a strong impact and the audio output becomes very lively. Listening to music will feel comfortable, playing the first game will be in an immersive world and watching videos will definitely keep you entertained.


I have tested two usage methods, one 144Hz + 2800 x 1260 and also FHD+ mode with auto refresh rate. The first provides endurance of around 5 hours SOT while the second one over 7 hours SOT with the same activity.

I who have been working in this industry for many years can clearly and quickly see the difference in the screen quality of this mod but for daily use it is actually acceptable and your tasks will still be completed due to very small changes. iQOO 12 can be charged from 0% to 100% in about 30 minutes only with 3 seconds after the power plug is turned on the device will stay on.


Slightly different from the overseas market iQOO 12 which comes with a white BMW frame, in Malaysia there is only;

1x iQOO 12 in Legend color.

1x USB-C to USB-C cable,

1x 120W Charger.

1x Silicone protective frame.

1x BMW Card.

1x SIM Pin.

1x Safety and warranty book set.


If you're still using a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 device (not 8+ Gen 1) and below, the iQOO 12 is a great upgrade device. Captivating screen, surprising performance, beautiful camera, premium design, good battery, increasingly user-friendly software – this device offers a complete package for a flagship device. The iQOO 12 is a new contender for the best flagship device worth owning and could be a tough competitor to OnePlus, Xiaomi and Poco. iQOO 12 is a device you should buy and try.


Beautiful screen, fast and great.

Amazing performance.

Great and satisfying camera.

Quality speakers.

Long lasting battery with super fast charging.


Funtouch OS 14 has lost a lot of "Google" elements.

Not the LTPO screen.

USB-C is still 2.0 not 3.2.

No IP68 protection.

Slightly slow fingerprint scanner.

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