HomeReviewsiQOO Neo 9 Pro Review: OnePlus 12R Becomes Casualty

iQOO Neo 9 Pro Review: OnePlus 12R Becomes Casualty

The iQOO Neo 9 Pro is the brand’s latest mid-ranger and here we are with a detailed review of the same.

iQOO Neo 7 Pro, launched around eight months back, was one of the most value-for-money devices of 2023 and even scored first in the top 3 Vivo & iQOO devices of last year in our report card. iQOO has followed up on that handset with the Neo 9 Pro, priced at Rs 35,999. Does it offer the same value that Neo 7 Pro had to offer, or does it fall short of expectations this time? We have an answer for you that you can find by the end of our iQOO Neo 9 Pro Review.

iQOO Neo 9 Pro: Fiery Looks

Neo 9 pro review

The iQOO Neo 9 Pro has two colour options: black is the subtle one, while the ‘Fiery Red’ gives you the head-turner design. iQOO sent us the latter for review, and as we said in the first impression of the iQoo Neo 9 Pro, the design of the Neo 9 Pro is one of the best we have seen from the brand in recent times. The dual-tone leather finish with a stitching effect accounts for a premium feel in the hand, slightly disrupted by the plastic frame.

Cost-cutting seems to be the reason behind using a plastic frame that doesn’t match the premium vibe. However, the buttons are tactile enough, while the are also strong. The sound from the stereo speaker setup is majorly treble-driven with little to no bass but is adequately loud.

iqoo neo 9 pro impression

As the device is on the narrower side, it feels comfortable in the hand and due to the plastic frame, iQOO was able to keep the device lightweight as well. You can also reach either of the sides with one hand. There’s also an IR blaster up top, which works as it should. Overall, the iQOO Neo 9 Pro does compromise a little in build quality with a plastic frame but makes up for it with a pleasant in-hand feel and premium leather finish on the back.

In terms of competition, the OnePlus 12R is the brand’s only major competitor in this segment. If we compare the price of both, OnePlus gets you a glass and aluminium design for a higher price tag. However, if we were to compare both, we would pick the iQOO Neo 9 Pro due to the distinctive look of the device.

iQOO Neo 9 Pro: Impressive Display

The iQOO Neo 9 Pro gets you a 6.78-inch LTPO AMOLED Display with a 1.5K (1260 x 2800 pixels) resolution, HDR10 support, 2160Hz PWM dimming and up to 1400 nits brightness and up to a 144Hz refresh rate. iQOO also provides you with an option to change the of the display within the device settings and keep it to full-HD+ for a better battery backup.

Neo 9 pro display review

As for the quality of the panel, we are happy to report that iQOO didn’t do any cost-cutting in this segment. During the review of the iQOO Neo 9 Pro, it was a treat to watch content on the display, not just because of the vivid colour reproduction and ample brightness but also because it supports MEMC technology, which works in apps like YouTube, Prime Video, and Netflix.

Due to this, the shows were upscaled to 60 frames per second, making them look even better. However, the MEMC tech doesn’t work perfectly, as I could easily notice the frames often dropping, which sometimes served as a distraction. The viewing angles were impressive, too, and not to forget, the slim bezels added to the aesthetic appeal as well.

The OnePlus 12R gets you a similar spec panel, but it’s curved and offers a lower 120Hz refresh rate. Curved versus flat panels is a debate we are saving for another day, but considering the price, we think iQOO did a better job again.

iQOO Neo 9 Pro: Performance Always On Steroids

Performance is an aspect iQOO is proud of the most with its devices, and Neo 9 Pro is no exception. The iQOO Neo 9 Pro always seemed to be on steroids during our review, and that was expected as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is doing all the heavy lifting. The same powered last year’s flagships from top brands like Samsung, and we have nothing to complain about Neo 9 Pro’s performance.

With up to 12GB LPDDR5x and 256GB 4.0 storage, paired with a processor that can handle anything you throw at it, there’s no chance that iQOO Neo 9 Pro would ever break a sweat even during the heaviest of workloads. RAM management was exceptional, while the gaming performance of the handset was top-notch, coupled with gaming-specific features like 4D game vibration, notification blocking, E-sports mode, Game frame interpolation, Game super-resolution and more.

Call of Duty: Mobile could run at the maximum graphics and frame rate possible without a single stutter. The screen responsiveness was also relatively high during times when there was a lot of on-screen action involved. The heating was well under control, and the iQOO Neo 9 Pro never got too hot during our review while doing tasks such as gaming.

While this was all the good stuff, there’s some sub-par stuff, too, and you probably know what we are referring to. The software has always been iQOO and Vivo’s weaker link, pulling down an otherwise excellent handset.

To some extent, that happens with the Neo 9 Pro, too, thanks to some bugs, such as where the lock screen kept prompting me to swipe right even though the lock screen poster feature was turned off. Some animations fly here and there despite going to their origin when closing or opening an app. Moreover, for the first time, I experienced a network-related bug while reviewing an iQOO device where the Neo 9 Pro wouldn’t receive any calls or messages out of nowhere. To solve this, I had to turn on and turn off post which the messages began coming in.

Otherwise, the connectivity performance, including and Bluetooth, remained optimum. Regarding connectivity, Neo 9 Pro doesn’t offer NFC, which shouldn’t be a deal breaker, but it would be a welcome addition if it had been there. Customisation options remain the usual FunTouch OS, such as various animation styles, monet theming system, number of Always-on display styles and much more.

If we talk of the OnePlus 12R, it does offer inferior UFS 3.1 storage but has an in terms of software, which is much more polished than FunTouch OS. Aside from that, the Neo 9 Pro puts up a tough fight with the 12R.

iQOO Neo 9 Pro: A Battery Champ Too

The iQOO Neo 9 Pro packs a 5160mAh battery with 120W fast wired charging, and during our review of the device, the battery backup was outstanding. It can quickly run for two days on a single charge if used moderately, such as some amount of chatting, calling, using social media apps, browsing the internet, etc.

Neo 9 pro battery Review

Even if you put it under some load, the Neo 9 Pro still doesn’t hesitate. It can still go on for more than a day. I was consistently able to get around 7 hours of screen-on time and slightly more, which is extraordinary. During heavy use, this could drop down to 6.5 or maybe even 6 hours, but the overall usage time always remained above 24 hours, and I could never kill it in a day.

With the included 120W charger, the iQOO Neo 9 Pro took about slightly less than 30 minutes to charge from zero to 100 percent.

The OnePlus 12R does have a slight advantage here as it gets a bigger 5500mAh battery but with slightly slower 100W fast charging.

iQOO Neo 9 Pro: Cameras That Don’t Disappoint

The iQOO Neo 9 Pro has a no-sense camera setup, which doesn’t include any unnecessary macro or depth sensors, but only a 50MP Sony IMX920 primary sensor and an 8MP ultra-wide angle sensor. On the front, there’s a 16MP sensor for selfies and video chats.

neo 9 pro cameras

We already have a detailed camera review of the iQOO Neo 9 Pro live, but just to give you a gist of it, the handset doesn’t disappoint in this aspect too. In most of the lighting conditions, we were able to get a satisfactory shot that had an ample amount of details and without any noise of any sort.

The dynamic range is very impressive and the colours are handled naturally. Under low lighting, there always used to be some noise when shooting with iQOO cameras, but that has also changed this time around.

Even with selfies, the skin tones were accurate with good colours. However, the sharpness and the overall detailing could have been slightly higher than the current levels. Also, the edge detection of the bokeh effect is in a hit-or-miss situation in portrait selfies.

iQOO Neo 9 Pro

iQOO Neo 9 Pro
  • ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 2
  • RAM (GB)8, 12
  • Storage128, 256
  • Display6.78-inch, 2800 x 1260 pixels
  • Front Camera16MP
  • Primary Camera50MP + 8MP
  • Battery5160mAh
  • Operating SystemAndroid 14


Design & Build Quality
Software & Performance
Battery Backup


The iQOO Neo 9 Pro gives OnePlus 12R a run for its money. It not only serves as a true competitor to the OnePlus 12R, but is also a smartphone that is tough to beat in its segment by any other brand. If you are looking for a smartphone that costs below Rs 40,000, there’s no better option than iQOO Neo 9 Pro, at present.

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The iQOO Neo 9 Pro gives OnePlus 12R a run for its money. It not only serves as a true competitor to the OnePlus 12R, but is also a smartphone that is tough to beat in its segment by any other brand. If you are looking for a smartphone that costs below Rs 40,000, there’s no better option than iQOO Neo 9 Pro, at present.iQOO Neo 9 Pro Review: OnePlus 12R Becomes Casualty