Although the iQOO 9T has a design on its own, it's closer to the 9 Pro than to the 9. About two-thirds of the back is covered in frosted glass, which is a bit grippier than your usual soft-touch matte finish, while the area around the camera island remains glossy. You can see the carbon fiber-inspired pattern under the right lighting conditions.
On the other hand, the camera island doesn't extend along the width of the phone and is much smaller now. The camera arrangement inside is identical to the 9 Pro.
Once again, there's a version with the BMW M Motorsport-inspired paint job with the famous three stripes - that's the Legend variant. We have the Alpha option, though, which is all black.
When it comes to ergonomics, the first thing we noticed is that the handset feels quite balanced in hand. The curvatures on the back are comfortable but form a bit of an annoying ridge with the middle frame. It's nice to see the camera bump trimmed as it doesn't stick out as much.
Speaking of the middle frame, it's made of aluminum, and it features a matte finish. The power button and the volume rocker are both placed on the right side and are comfortably positioned and spaced apart. The power button has a patterned finish, so you can recognize it more easily. The bottom holds the USB-C connector, the SIM card tray and the loudspeaker grille.
Sadly, the iQOO 9T is yet another phone with its fingerprint reader placed too close to the bottom edge of the screen. It's a bit uncomfortable to reach when holding the phone securely in your hand. In short, it requires some finger gymnastics.
Going around the front, we see a centered punch-hole selfie camera and razor-thin bezels, including the top and the bottom. We don't like that there's absolutely no curvature to the front glass sheet as it forms a sharp ridge with the side frame and ultimately makes the phone feel cheap.
Finally, the iQOO 9T offers IP52 certification, which is basically protection against small sprinkles and maybe rain.
For a phone asking about INR 50,000, the build quality is nice but could have been a tad better. And we don't mean the materials used - we are happy to see Gorilla Glass 5 on the front, but putting things together is just as important. The sub-optimal fingerprint reader position and the small ridges around the front and back keep us from giving the phone an excellent score in this regard.