iQOO 11 5G Review: An efficient performer kickstarting the year
Does the iQOO 11 5G has it all to be a good flagship smartphone? Let's find out.
- iQOO 11 5G is India's first smartphone with Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.
- iQOO 11 5G features a good primary camera.
- iQOO 11 5G has an all-day battery and quick charging support.
Pros: Crisp and smooth display, Good primary camera, fast and efficient chipset, good battery, Android 13.
Cons: Ordinary supporting cameras, lacks true Slow-mo, no IP rating and wireless charging.
Earlier this month, iQOO launched the flagship iQOO 11 5G in India. The smartphone succeeds the iQOO 9T, which was released back in August 2022 with Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset - the best available by Qualcomm back then.
The new iQOO 11 5G brings the best chip available right now in the market - Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and stacks itself in the premium segment.
While as advertised and as intended, the device appears to be a solid offering considering its specs, it's interesting to see how the phone fares in day-to-day usage.
Does the claimed 'world's fastest smartphone' tag holds up or is it just another specced-out phone propelled early to make it to the headlines? Let's find out in this full review.
I've been using the iQOO 11 5G as my primary phone for more than 25 days and I have got a lot to say here, but first let's see the price and specs of the phone.
iQOO 11 5G price and specifications
|iQOO 11 5G
|Price and variants
|Rs 59,999(8GB/256GB), Rs 64,999(16GB/256GB)
|Amazon, iQOO India website
|6.78-inch punch-hole AMOLED display
|LTPO 3.0, Up to 144Hz RR, 1200Hz instant and 300Hz TSR, 2K (1400 x 3200 pixels), 1800 nits peak
|Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
|In-display FPS, facial unlock
|Rear - triple cameras, Front - single camera
|50MP Samsung GN5 (OIS), 8MP Ultra wide, 13MP telephoto (2x optical zoom), 16MP ISOCELL 3P9 selfie snapper
|8k at 30fps, 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps | Front - 1080p at 30fs
|4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (TSMC), Adreno740 GPU, Vivo V2 chipset
|RAM and storage
|8GB/16GB LPDDR5X, 256GB UFS 4.0
|Battery and charging
|5,000mAh + 120W wired, no wireless, no reverse wireless
|Android 13 OS, FuntouchOS 13
|Promised 3 years software, 4 years security updates
|No IP rating
|Accelerometer, Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, E-compass, Gyroscope, Infrared, fingerprint
|Network and connectivity
|SA 5G - N1, N3, N5, N8, N28, N40, N41, N77, N78 | NSA 5G - N28, N1, N3, N40, N41, N77, N78 4G | Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3
Design and Display
Regardless of whichever color you buy, the iQOO 11 5G is a head-turner. While the front design is modern featuring a center-punch-hole style display with narrow bezels, the rear is what catches all the attention.
That's majorly because of the rear camera island on the phone. The camera island on the back is chunky, and the lens placement, along with all the brandings, followed by its matte yet shiny color - all of that adds up to its design.
The Alpha color of the phone has a Glass back, while the Legend shade has Silicon leather-like finish. Interestingly, the phone comes with a transparent case that keeps it protected without hiding its beauty. Without the case, it's a bit slippery but not too greasy to slide out of your hand.
Moving to the sides, the phone has a power button and a volume rocker on the right side. On the left spine, there's nothing but a metal frame - which by the way, is the framing of the entire phone.
On the bottom, the device features a primary speaker, a USB Type-C port, and a SIM card tray that can hold two nano SIMs. There's an IR blaster on the top and a secondary speaker near the earpiece.
The iQOO 11 5G sports a 6.78-inch punch-hole (E6) AMOLED panel with a crisp 2K resolution of 1440 x 3200 pixels. The display also doubles up as an in-display fingerprint scanner that's fast and responsive. It has an LTPO 3.0 technology that lets the screen refresh from as low as 1Hz to 144Hz, depending on the content played on the screen.
However, there's a catch with this 144Hz display that iQOO markets. In my testing, the device was able to go a maximum of up to 120Hz in the UI and in supported apps. After some digging, I got to know that the display will refresh at 144Hz only in the Genshin Impact game that too with the help of game frame interpolation.
When reached out to iQOO, the company said that it's still testing different games with the V2 chip to make full use of 144Hz in other games.
Apart from this, the screen is pretty good and tough as well, since it has Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection. And by the way, it has Widevine L1 certification, which means you can play Netflix videos in the highest quality and also in HDR at 1800 nits of peak brightness.
Before getting into the key ingredient of the phone - the chipset, let's have a look at the camera. As for the camera specs, it has a triple camera system on the back with a 50MP main lens, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, and a 13MP telephoto & portrait camera.
The 50MP primary camera, which is a Samsung GN5 sensor, shines in the day as well as in night light. The sensor is able to capture great photos. In the 50MP mode, the details captured come out to be eye-pleasing. The night mode is a good addition, which probably takes the help of the dedicated V2 imaging chip to offer great end results.
Moving to the ultra-wide camera, the images captured weren't up to the mark. The telephoto lens is average but does the job. It brings 2x optical zoom and 20x digital zoom, but it would have been great if the brand had offered better optical zoom support. The Portrait mode on the phone offered good edge detection for human subjects, while producing satisfactory results for non-living objects.
The camera app on the phone has different modes - Supermoon, Long Exposure, and Dual View, to name a few.
As for the front camera, the selfies taken from the phone are decent enough, but nothing extraordinary.
Surprisingly, capturing videos on the phone with the main camera was a great experience. The device can shoot 8K videos at up to 30fps, but without image stabilization.
It can shoot 4K videos at 60fps with Image Stabilization, which is a modest version of actual OIS. In 1080p resolution at 60fps, it can shoot fully stabilized videos with Ultra Stabilization (actual OIS).
With all these modes, I preferred shooting videos in 4K at 60fps since it has just enough stabilization and crisp video quality. Just like photos, there's a night mode for video as well, which helps in brightening the video by a slight margin. However, it brings unnecessary grain to the footage.
As for the video on the front camera, it can shoot a max of up to 1080p videos at 30fps. Again, the quality of the selfie videos is average.
One feature that the iQOO 11 5G lacks is support for good slow-motion videos. The device can shoot a maximum of 1080p videos at 240fps, which is just basic. Other devices for half the price, like the Redmi Note 12 Pro+, can shoot 960fps slow-motion videos at 720p.
When it comes to performance, currently, there's no other device in India that comes close to the iQOO 11 5G. That's because of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset that the device boards.
It is the best and latest of Qualcomm, and fortunately, it offers efficiency which was lacking in previous-gen processors. It also has the latest LPDDR5X RAM and UFS 4.0 internal storage.
To start off, the smartphone lets you do every performance-oriented task with a breeze. Whether it be gaming, photo and video editing, or shooting long hours of videos - the phone can take it all.
What's great is the phone isn't a heater when doing any of the aforementioned tasks. Even while charging, it just gets slightly warm, which is expected with the kind of fast charging it supports.
We'll get to the charging and battery later in this article, but for now, let's focus on power. Speaking of power, here are some of the benchmarks of the device.
As you'd expect, in each test the smartphone stood up like a beast among other devices. It achieved 1270000+ points on AnTuTu, while getting passed the 3500 figure on the Wild Life Extreme test.
On Geekbench v5, it managed to score 1,469 points in the single-core department and 4,580 points in the multi-core department.
The smartphone has great thermals, that's probably due to the unibody vapor chamber inside the device. Unfortunately, it doesn't have game triggers like some gaming phones out on the market. But it does come with the Ultra Gaming mode that has several features such as 4D game vibration support, frame-rate priority, and more.
Battery and fast charging
Coming to the battery, the phone houses a 5,000mAh cell and supports 120W fast charging support. Compared to the predecessor, the battery size has increased, while keeping the 120W charging speed intact.
I was easily able to get a day's battery on the phone with moderate to heavy usage, about five to six hours of screen-on-time.
Most of my usage involved clicking photos, shooting videos, browsing social media, and a bit of video watching. Somedays, I played games on the phone, while using WhatsApp and other social media apps extensively, and still managed to get a day of battery.
If your usage is anything like mine, you are easily up with a full day of usage. Do note that, the battery life I got was with the refresh rate and resolution set to 144Hz and 2K.
If you use the Smart Switch feature or use 1080p resolution, which I do not recommend though, you can easily get one and a half days of battery.
As for charging, it takes around 25-26 minutes to fully charge. So if you wake up with a 20 percent battery, it will be full even before you get ready for work. Interestingly, it appears to have overcharge protection since the phone didn't heat up even when the phone was plugged in for several minutes after reaching 100 percent.
While the wired fast charging via the USB Type-C port works well, I'd be happy to see some sort of wireless charging for the price it comes. It is worth noting that the Type-C port on the phone has USB 2.0 standard, which is a bit slower and an area where iQOO seems to have done cost-cutting.
iQOO 11 5G boots on Android 13 out of the box and has FuntouchOS 13 on top. iQOO has promised to offer up to three Android updates and four security updates to the phone, which is a great deal since you'd be getting updates till Android 16.
One thing I must say is that the FuntouchOS has improved a lot. The user experience feels closer to stock in some cases. However, there's plenty of bloatware as well, which thankfully, can be uninstalled.
The phone also has Hot Apps and Hot Games suggestion folders, which can be disabled and removed from the home screen and app library.
Also, for each proprietary app you open, you have to agree to two user agreements. But thanks to Android 13, you can select which apps can track your location and other details. Also, it brings features like individual app languages allowing you to set a select language for select apps.
Overall, the UI is fast and fluid, but with some caveats.
Connectivity and extras
iQOO 11 5G has everything that's required, from multiple 5G bands to having an IR blaster to control home products.
The calls sounded clear to me and to the person on the other side, the device was quick to connect to Wi-Fi, and I was able to quickly pair my Bluetooth headphones without any issues.
The iQOO 11 5G lacks an official IP rating, which must have been given in a phone priced in the premium segment. It also misses out on a 3.5mm headphone jack, but it comes with a Type-C to 3.5mm converter in the box allowing you to use your old headphones.
Conclusion and Verdict
When iQOO was planning to launch the iQOO 11 5G, the brand was seemingly clear about its release timeline as it's currently the only phone with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC in India, which makes it the fastest and the best performance-centric device available.
Having said that, iQOO 11 5G not only offers a great performance but also a good main camera for clicking photos and shooting videos in day and night time. It has great thermals, an all-day battery, and also packs convenient features such as quick charging and an IR blaster.
What it misses? A good ultra-wide lens, better slow-motion video support, IP rating, and wireless charging. Although iQOO's own software skin has its own flaws, since it's paired with Android 13, there's more to praise than to complain about.
At the price of under Rs 60,000, iQOO 11 5G is a good choice for those looking to seek ultimate performance, a premium design, and decent cameras. But if you can't look past the things that the phone misses, wait for more phones to launch next month.Get latest Tech and Auto news from Techlusive on our WhatsApp Channel, Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram and YouTube.
Author Name | Pranav Sawant