iQOO unveiled the iQOO 9 and iQOO 9 Pro in January in China and introduced the pair in India in February, which was joined by an SE model - a first in iQOO's number series. We have already reviewed the Pro version, and our review of the vanilla model is underway. However, we've also got the iQOO 9 SE at our HQ for testing. But before we put the iQOO 9 SE through its paces, let's see what the most affordable smartphone in the iQOO 9 series offers.
The iQOO 9 SE packs a 6.62" 120Hz FullHD+ AMOLED screen protected by Panda Glass. It is HDR10+ certified and has 1,200 nits of peak brightness. The display also has a 300Hz touch sampling rate and 1,000Hz instant touch sampling rate with a punch hole in the center for the 16MP selfie shooter and a fingerprint scanner underneath for biometric authentication. The fingerprint reader is not as impressive as the ultrasonic solution we have on the iQOO 9 Pro, but it's still fast enough to offer a hassle-free unlocking experience.
The rear panel of the iQOO 9 SE sports a rectangular island housing flash and three cameras - 48MP primary (with OIS), 13MP ultrawide, and 2MP monochrome unit. Our iQOO 9 SE comes in the cool Sunset Sierra color, but there's also a Space Fusion color option for those who want something stealthy.
The smartphone's back cover is prone to smudges, and they are easily visible on our Sunset Sierra version at certain angles. The same can be said for the mirror-like plate extending below the camera module, which is glossier than the rest of the panel.
On the inside, the iQOO 9 SE has the Snapdragon 888 SoC joined by the Intelligent Display Chip we have on the more expensive iQOO 9 and iQOO 9 Pro. The iQOO 9 SE runs Android 12-based FuntouchOS 12 out of the box and has two memory options - 8GB/128GB and 12GB/256GB.
The iQOO 9 SE also comes with NFC, stereo speakers, USB-C, 4D Game Vibration, IP52 rating, vapor chamber liquid cooling, and a 4,500 mAh battery, which is charged slower at 66W instead of 120W like the vanilla and Pro variants.
iQOO says the bundled 66W adapter can fill the cell from flat to 50% in 14 minutes and 100% in 39 minutes. Whether or not that's true is something we'll find out in our detailed review where we'll also test the rest of iQOO 9 SE's features, so stay tuned!