Let's start by saying that we are not fans of special editions like Barcelona, Cyberpunk, Armani, Prada, and whatnot. We do understand the appeal, and we fully support these made-for-fans options, but they are often too flashy for us, the average Joes. Well, that is not the case with the iQOO 9 Pro Legend.
Just look at this white iQOO 9 Pro, isn't it gorgeous?
The iQOO 9 Pro is one of the better-designed smartphones right now, with a distinct personality and unique looks. Sure, the build is your typical glass sandwich with a metal frame, and there are all sorts of trendy curves. But the back panel, its paint and the camera block are what make the iQOO 9 Pro stand out.
The iQOO 9 Pro is a symmetrical device with identical curves across the long sides, equally steep on both ends. The front panel is made of some sort of tempered glass (Panda Glass), and so is the back panel of the Legend option. The white anti-glare glass has a noticeable matte finish and a carbon-like texture, plus the signature BMW M stripes.
If you opt for the Dark Cruise (what?) version, the rear panel will be made of aramid fiber material that's developed by DuPont. The material is used for bullet-proofing, though you should not expect the phone to stop any bullets - it has just a thin sheet of that thing, not a vest.
No matter which option you choose, there will be an aluminum frame and chassis to hold everything together. The frame has a grippy matte finish, it's thin around the longer sides and thick and flat at the top and bottom.
The iQOO 9 Pro is IP52-rated for dust and light splash resistance. It is not completely dust-proof and is not fully splash-resistant, so submerging it is out of the question. But it should be fine under light rain and in moist places.
And now, let's take a close look at this iQOO 9 Pro.
The front is where you will spend most of the time as it is home to the 6.78-inch LTPO 2.0 AMOLED display by Samsung. It is of high resolution, high refresh rate, high touch sensing, and it supports up to 1 billion colors. There is a small perforation on the panel to make way for the 16MP camera.
While the screen may appear curved, that's an illusion. Only the glass has curves, while the AMOLED panel below is perfectly flat.
Above the screen, there is an almost invisible outlet for one of the speakers that also doubles and an earpiece. There is no obvious grille here, just a razor-thin, barely noticeable cutout. The phone offers a stereo speaker setup, and here is one of the two loudspeakers. The other one is at the bottom, of course.
Something that you cannot see, but you will use a lot, is the 3D ultrasonic fingerprint scanner that's mounted under the screen. It works brilliantly and is blazing-fast. Even better, you register your fingerprint with just one tap, no need to do it 10 or more times as with the optical sensors. You are going to love this experience, though you should know some third-party screen protectors may mess up its performance.
The back is made of similarly curved glass, but it's with a cool matte finish and a subtle carbon-like texture. The BMW Motorsport colors run from top to bottom, skipping only the camera glass.
And speaking about the camera, it has a noticeably large rectangular glass, but most of it is for aesthetic purposes only. The two 50MP cameras are at the far left, and so is the telephoto cam and the dual-LED flash. The rest is empty, but the iQOO 9 Pro does not wobble when left on a desk because it is evenly spread across the rear panel.
The camera glass is jutting out of the barely visible aluminum chassis. There are also two metal rings around the two high-resolution cameras. And while this makes for a three-step element, it is more stylish and fitting (rear less of an eye-sore) as on many other smartphones. And the lack of wobbling is much appreciated.
The frame is quite thin around the long sides. There is nothing on its left, while the right part accommodates the volume and the power/lock keys. The latter is painted in blue.
The top houses a microphone and the IR blaster.
The bottom has the USB-C port, the second speaker, the primary microphone and the dual-SIM tray.
The metal frame provides enough grip around the sides, and the matte rear glass doesn't get in the way either. The iQOO 9 Pro is far from a secure phone in hand though, especially if you are on a vacation and you are going to take a ton of photos, but iQOO has bundled one of the best cases you can get with this phone, so the grip issue is easily solvable.iQOO 9 Pro next to the vivo X70 Pro+
The iQOO 9 Pro is a beautiful smartphone, no two ways about it. We were surprised that we liked this white BMW version this much, as these are typically not our cup of tea. Smudges stick only to the display, as on any other phone, but those are rather easy to clean with a wipe or two with your shirt or your palm. Overall, the iQOO 9 Pro gets a very good mark for build, looks and design. It would have been an excellent one if the phone had proper ingress protection, but it is what it is.