The iQOO 11 has a standard triple camera setup on its back that includes a big-sensor main camera, a short 2x telephoto and a modest ultrawide. Had it not been for the change of the UW, the 11's imaging configuration would have been identical to that of the 10/9T, selfie camera included.
The main camera of the iQOO 11 is based on the Samsung GN5 - a Tetrapixel sensor with a 1/1.57" optical format (1/1.56" according to some), 50MP nominal resolution and 1.0µm pixel pitch. In front of it sits a 6-element stabilized lens with a 23mm equivalent focal length and an f/1.9 aperture (iQOO insists it's f/1.88).
The telephoto camera uses the Samsung 3L6 sensor (13MP, 1/3", 1.12µm) placed behind a 50mm-equivalent lens with an f/2.46 aperture. iQOO calls it a Telephoto & Portrait camera.
The ultrawide has been downgraded from the 13MP unit on the 10/9T and now relies on an 8MP sensor from OmniVision (the iQOO reports it as OV08D10). It's got a 1/4" optical format and a 1.12µm pixel size. The lens has an f/2.2 aperture and a reported equivalent focal length of 16mm and its focus is fixed.
For selfies, it's the Samsung 3P9 that's in charge, and it's the 3P9SP variant with the Tetrapixel color filter array (there's also an SX version with a regular RGB filter). The fixed-focus lens has a 27mm equivalent focal length and an f/2.45 aperture.
The camera app remains unchanged from what we last saw on the 9T, and it's the same as on the vivo X80 series too. A straightforward zoom selector gives you direct access to each of the three cameras.
The main modes are arranged in a carousel formation, and you can switch between them by swiping or tapping on one of the visible modes. The More tab lists the rest of the modes, and from there, you can also customize the modes you have available in the viewfinder.
The Pro mode gives you all the freedom to adjust the autofocus, white balance, shutter speed, ISO and exposure. You can do so on all four cameras too. There's helpful information explaining all of the options above in case you are just getting into photography. Shooting in RAW is also an option. A bracketing mode is available - that one we don't see often, but focus peaking or zebras for overexposure are missing.
Daylight photos from the iQOO 11's main camera are really good, and no dull fall weather can take away from that. Dynamic range is excellent, and the auto white balance didn't give us any grounds to doubt it. Color saturation is just right - these are certainly not lifeless, but definitely more reserved than what we got out of the iQOO 9T. Mind you, that's with the Natural color toggle enabled, as is the default setting.
Sharpness and detail are mostly great as well, though there were scenes that were inexplicably rendered softer than we'd like.
Turning off the Natural color results in a substantial boost in saturation, giving you notably bluer skies and lush greens.
Somewhat surprisingly, the full-res mode maintains that same color rendition - you'd think that at the nominal resolution, you'd be getting less expressive images, but it's the exact opposite. When it comes to detail, there's the usual marginal improvement alongside a similarly expected increase in noise.
The telephoto camera delivers solid 2x zoom output. Images are sharp and have well-controlled noise out in broad daylight. Colors aren't the best match for the main camera's reproduction - white balance can be a little off indoors, and saturation is higher, closer to the 'non'-Natural color take, even though these were captured with the toggle switched on. Dynamic range remains a strong suit.
The ultrawide's colors are a bit more muted than what the main camera captures, but not enough to be labeled dull. Sharpness is okay - with the expectations from the unassuming 8MP sensor set accordingly, these are decent midrange-grade photos but far from being able to challenge a proper high-end ultrawide. Once again, dynamic range is respectable.
One of the main use cases for the in-house V2 chip is image signal processing for low-light photos and video, and regardless of what the science is behind the marketing speak, the iQOO 11's low-light photos are excellent.
There's some level of auto Night mode processing in the default Photo mode, and on the main camera, it takes just a passing moment - it feels like under a second. The results are well-exposed images with nicely developed tonal extremes. Mixed light sources were no issue for the auto white balance, and colors are accurate, with no loss of saturation. Detail is very good, with traces of softness only notable in the darker areas. The reasonable amounts of noise are nothing the 11 should be ashamed of either.
If you deliberately go into Night mode, you can expect largely similar performance. Capture times are almost always a second (as per the onscreen prompt that you don't get in Photo mode), so hardly a drag. The resulting images have only the subtlest of differences, but they're there - increased sharpness and less noise in the lower end of the brightness spectrum.
The telephoto doesn't mind shooting at night - in our experience, there were no instances where the 2x zoom level was outsourced to the main camera, not in Photo mode and not in Night mode. In either mode, the images have very good sharpness and detail, particularly for what is relatively unpretentious hardware. Dynamic range and colors are also hard to fault, with the exception of a green cast that shows up in the Night mode versions of some scenes.
The ultrawide is struggling to keep up, especially when it comes to detail and sharpness - shadows can be downright mushy. Look from further away, though, and the exposure and dynamic range aren't half bad, even in Photo mode. Night mode improves things further, with the tonal extremes in contrastier scenes getting even better development. The somewhat muted Photo mode colors get a boost in Night mode, too.
Once you're done with the real-world samples, head over to our Photo compare tool to see how the iQOO 11 stacks up against the competition.
Portrait mode on the iQOO 11 works at two magnifications - 1x and 2x, each handled by the respective camera. The pros of each are well known - the tele wins for perspective and shooting distance, and the main camera should be better in more demanding light.
Generally speaking, we'd definitely prefer the telephoto for portraits on the iQOO 11. The 50mm equivalent focal length places you a comfortable distance from your subject, and from there, facial proportions have a more natural and appealing look.
Subject detection is mostly very good though the suggested blur level (a simulated f/2.0 aperture as per the viewfinder) is more than a little excessive indoors where your eyes know to expect less separation between subject and background, plus it more readily reveals flaws in the detection. Outdoors, with more distant backgrounds, the effect is a lot more convincing.
Dial down the bokeh strength, and add to that the per-pixel quality, which ranges from excellent to surprisingly good enough depending on light, and the telephoto is a very capable portrait camera - no wonder that iQOO calls it that, then.
Now, the main camera still has an edge in absolute quality, and you'll appreciate that indoors or in other dim conditions. It's also the obvious choice if you want to place your subject in the context of their surroundings, but if you get too close to them, you'll get distorted facial proportions.
The 16MP selfie camera supposedly uses a Tetrapixel sensor, meaning that images at nominal resolution will tend to look upscaled and not too pixel-sharp. That's indeed the case in most situations. However, in the first and fifth samples below, they're looking rather decently detailed - the way an actual 16MP shot would be. A look at the EXIF data on these two reveals a 'hw-remosaic:true' tag, as opposed to the 'false' value on the other ones - a curious observation, and perhaps a setting that we'd like to be able to pick for ourselves.
The scenes where you'll be getting the extra sharpness are usually ones with balanced lighting, while more contrasty ones will land you the more heavily processed and less detailed other variety.
Other than that, colors are vivid, skin tones are lifelike, and dynamic range is very good.
Selfie portraits go easier on the blur than rear camera portraits, and it makes for a more natural look. Subject detection is competent as well.
The iQOO 11 records video up to 8K30 with its main camera, another feature previously limited to the Pro model. The options max out at 1080p at 30fps with the ultrawide and telephoto (natively, that is - 4K30 and 4K60 are technically available at 2x zoom, but they come from the main camera). As usual, you get to pick between the more widely compatible h.264 codec and the more efficient h.265. Audio is always recorded in stereo at 128kbps.
8K30 footage out of the main camera (100Mbps) is alright. It offers some improvement in resolved detail over the 4K resolution - you can almost read the sign and distinguish the roof texture on the building in the center of the frame, which you couldn't in the 4K capture. Still, we wouldn't exactly recommend shooting in 8K because of the needlessly large files, heavier processing requirements and overall questionable benefits.
The 2x zoom level looks mushy when viewed from up close, but it maintains the overall look of the 1x footage (it's the same camera, after all), and if you step back, you'll be okay with the footage. Of course, it's no good for critical work (if we're to assume that native FoV capture is). There's no difference between 30fps and 60fps here either.
4K30 and 4K60 clips differ noticeably in more than one way. The 30fps mode comes with a slight crop (that's with stabilization disabled), more conservative colors and not quite as good sharpness. The 60fps mode nets you a crisper image and livelier color rendition, plus no crop. We're not saying that 4K30 is bad - it's good enough - it's just that 4K60 is better.
The 2x zoom level presents its own peculiarities. 1080p30 comes from the real telephoto camera, and it's alright, albeit a bit underexposed. 1080p60 is sourced from the main camera and is brighter and sharper per pixel, but it's a tad wider than the 30fps footage. 4K30, meanwhile, also coming from the main camera, is somewhere in between the other two in terms of coverage, but has a distinctly upscaled look.
There are no shenanigans on the ultrawide end, and it gets you decent 1080p30 clips.
None of the three cameras enjoys video recording in the dark. The main one still retains good detail and a reasonably wide dynamic range and keeps its color saturation. The ultrawide doesn't completely fall apart either, but its footage is pretty noisy, and there are odd sticky effects from the stabilization.
Both these cameras auto-switched to 24fps for these clips to gather more light per frame, a setting that's on by default and we forgot to switch off, which is probably why the videos look better than anticipated.
At 2x zoom, your options look similarly bad whether it's 4K30 from the main camera or 1080p30 from the telephoto - perhaps the main camera's rendition is marginally less bad, but neither one is really usable.
Stabilization works great on the main camera at 4K30. Walking shake is ironed out nicely, pans are smooth, and stationary capture is rock solid. The ultrawide is a similarly capable performer in this respect, albeit at its maximum 1080p30.
Here's a glimpse of how the iQOO 11 compares to rivals in our Video compare tool. Head over there for the complete picture.