iQOO Z9 5G Review – High Power Low Price

Post-pandemic we saw an explosion of device holdings under the umbrella of Transsion starting to dominate the smartphone market in Southeast Asia. Tecno and Infinix devices have a reputation for cheap prices with satisfactory performance. But I feel like iQOO is a bit forgotten when it comes to the question of which device is affordable but performs well? The iQOO Z9 5G entered the Malaysian market a few weeks ago and I can tell you that it's a device with higher performance than the selling price.



iQOO Z9 5G

6.78″ AMOLED screen, 144Hz

1260 x 2800 pixels, HDR

Dragontrail Star 2 Plus

Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 processor

1 x 2.63 GHz Cortex-A715 chip

4 x 2.4 GHz Cortex-A715

3 x 1.8 GHz Cortex-A510

Adreno 720 Graphics Chip


Internal Load 256 UFS 2.2

Primary Camera 50 MP, f/1.8 (Wide Angle)

2 MP, f/2.4 (Ultra Wide)

16MP f/2.5 Selfie Camera

6000 mAh battery

80W wired charging

SIM/Telephony Dual Nano/5G


No Audio Jack

IP64 Waterproof

Scan System Under-screen fingerprint scanner


Sale Price RM1399 (8/256 GB)

RM1499 (12/256GB)


The 6.78″ AMOLED screen used has a high refresh rate of 144Hz. The screen runs smoothly with it detecting touch well. The displayed content looks alive with quite bright colors. However, the panel is not of the LTPO type with the software choosing when it will increase to 144Hz or drop to 60Hz. Even bezels make the device look balanced and also of a flat type.

The screen does not have any official standards for HDR but is capable of reaching a maximum brightness of 4500 nits. We were able to enjoy HDR10+ on YouTube and Prime Video but not on Netflix. I have no issues with this screen as the only downside is that there is no official Netflix HDR support. For a mid-range device, the Z9's screen is very satisfying.


The fingerprint scanner is located below the screen and it is of the optical type. Although it works fast, I am less fond of the location of the scanner which is quite far down. Therefore the finger should be placed further down to facilitate scanning. It would be great if Oppo's higher ranking biometric system was used on the Z9. Both devices are under the BBK umbrella, so if the sensor can be standardized it would be better. Face scanning is also fast for a mid-range device.


The iQOO 12 design is reused on the Z9, only with a slightly less premium finish. The large hump on the back is square with rounded corners. I think this design looks beautiful because the lens of the two rear cameras does not come out. Looks neater than the iPhone 15 design with the same camera configuration.

When placed on a table, the device cannot be placed flat. iQOO provides a transparent polycarbonate frame with every purchase. This can reduce the height of the bump to some extent and provide protection from shock if the device is dropped.

The back panel is made of a textured polycarbonate material and therefore makes it non-slip when held. Even without a frame the device does not feel easy to slip out of the hand. It also does not trap dirt easily. The sides of the device are boxy making it feel and look sturdy.

The power and volume buttons are placed on the right side and both are comfortable to use. At the top there is an infrared emitter and one of the stereo speakers that shoots forward. Finally below is the USB-C charging port, speaker grille and SIM tray.

Because the device is made of polycarbonate material, it feels light in the hand. Although the device looks premium, when in the hand it feels quite light which makes it not feel premium enough. If you are indeed looking for a light device, the Z9 weighs only 192 grams which falls into this category.

Another thing I like about the Z9 is that the body of the device passes the IP64 standard which allows it to avoid damage from splashes of water and a little dust. Don't be fooled by IP68 as the Z9 cannot be taken into a swimming pool.

Use and Software

In Malaysia Funtouch OS 14 is used with is based on Android 14. I have to admit that I don't like the Funtouch OS interface because it uses smaller icons and interface when compared to the normal Android interface. My increasingly short-sighted eyes make these small icons difficult for me to use. Salah is more comfortable with ColorOS and OxygenOS.

This operating system can be used smoothly and I have no issues with the given features. For example owners can customize the theme, device unlock animation, fingerprint scan icon and charging icon. It is rare that this feature is provided by other manufacturers. There are also current standard features such as Smart Sidebar and virtual RAM expansion.

What I find a little strange is that Funtouch OS 14 offers a virtual RAM feature that cannot be resized. By default 12GB is enabled with no option for a smaller size. Users however are given the option to turn it off because if storage is important. Speaking of storage, there is no micro SD card support. With only 256GB storage available in Malaysia, the options are limited.

Bench mark

The Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 is a 4nm chip with a configuration of 1×2.63 GHz Cortex-A715, 4×2.4 GHz Cortex-A715 and 3×1.8 GHz Cortex-A510. This makes it one of the most powerful mid-range chips on the market right now. I compared iQOO Z9 with Infinix GT 20 Pro (Mediatek Dimensity 8200 Ultimate), Poco X6 Pro (Mediatek Dimensity 8300 Ultra ) and Samsung Galaxy A55 (Exynos 1480).

Geekbench 6

iQOO Z9 5G – 1107/3099

Infinix GT 20 Pro – 1244/3516

Poco X6 Pro – 1311/4033

Samsung Galaxy A55 – 1120/3338

Antutu 3D

iQOO Z9 5G – 822,720

Infinix GT 20 Pro – 933,015

Poco X6 Pro – 1,199,162

Samsung Galaxy A55 – 686,987

3D Mark Wildlife Extreme

iQOO Z9 5G – 1493

Infinix GT 20 Pro – 1736

Poco X6 Pro – 2,053

Samsung Galaxy A55 – 1049

The benchmark scores recorded are comparable to the other three chips. Based on my use over a week, the chip is powerful enough to run typical applications of web browsing, social media, video streaming and more.

Performance to run first depends on the application you want to play. Games like PUBG, COD Mobile and Asphalt 9 can be run without issues at medium-high settings with satisfactory frame rates. But when playing Genshin Impact and COD Warzone Mobile the performance starts to suffer because both of these first require flagship processors like Snadpragon 8 Gen 3.

Telephony and GPS

5G and WiFi network quality is satisfactory. In fact, one of the strengths of this device is that the cellular network is still reachable even when I'm in the elevator. On other devices tested usually cellular access will drop out momentarily. The GPS performance is satisfactory with the location being tracked after a few seconds of opening the Waze and Google Maps applications.


The camera capabilities are quite limited because it is only equipped with a wide-angle and macro lens on the back. The absence of an ultra-wide-angle lens on the 2024 device is something we consider a shortcoming. The quality of the pictures taken is satisfactory for a device in this category. Images look bright but a little less sharp because the 50MP sensor is not equipped with an OIS system.

Performance in relatively dark situations is also still satisfactory. As can be seen in the picture of the arcade that we took below, the light source looks clear but has no glare issues. We feel the bokeh effect looks too fake.


With a battery with a capacity of 6000mAh, it is a large capacity that also supports 80W fast charging. In moderate use I still have around 20% battery after over 20 hours of use. SOT on average is between 7-8 hours again in moderate use. When the battery runs out, the device can be recharged in around 40 minutes which is very fast for a large battery capacity. The device however only supports wired charging.


A pair of stereo speakers is included with the top speaker firing forward and the bottom speaker firing to the sides. As a result, the audio quality is less balanced. Audio performance on the Z9 is just average. At medium settings the speaker can still project audio clearly and only starts to crack at high settings. There is no Dolby Atmos system instead only Super Audio system is given. Through it automatic settings can be used or manually select settings for music, movies or video games.

In the box

Here's what's included in the box.

1x iQOO Z9 5G

1x Transparent frame

1x USB-A to USB-C charging cable.

1x Charger 3 pin 80W

1x SIM Pin.

1x Guidebook.


I categorize the iQOO Z9 5G as a device that doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles and gives you what you want in an affordable smartphone. The chip's good performance for common and basic applications is also supported by a fairly durable battery that can be charged in a very short period of time. The design may not be very sexy but it is still comfortable to use. The software is smooth without any major issues.

The only drawback lies in the camera system which is too basic. Only one wide-angle lens with no telephoto or ultra-wide-angle lenses. If the ability of photography is not important to you, iQOO Z9 5G is very worthwhile because it is sold at a price starting at RM1399.


Bright, fast 144Hz flat screen.

The performance of the chip is very good for various applications.

IP64 waterproof

The battery life of the site with very fast charging.


The camera is just a wide angle on the back without OIS.

The plastic design is not very attractive.

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form