The iQOO 9T's camera setup is a bit different from the 9 Pro and the vanilla 9. It features a 50MP Samsung GN5 sensor but skips the gimbal OIS and instead uses a regular optical image stabilization. The sensor itself is decently big - 1/1.57", the pixel size is 1.0µm, and it's paired with an f/1.9 lens.
The telephoto camera, which is also marketed as a "professional portrait camera", has a 12MP sensor paired with a wide f/2.0 aperture and focal length equivalent of 47mm, which in turn means 2x optical zoom. Unfortunately, we weren't able to confirm other specs and the make of the telephoto camera.
The ultrawide unit is also fairly mysterious, but given its similarities with the ultrawide used for the iQOO 9, one would assume the maker reused it. If true, we should be dealing with Samsung's 13MP ISOCELL (S5K)3L6, 1/3.0", 1.12µm sensor with an f/2.2 lens capable of a 120-degree field of view. The ultrawide also has autofocus and can do close-ups 3-4 cm away from the subject for crisp macro shots.
The selfie is likely the same 16MP Samsung S5K3P9 1/3.1" shooter with f/2.45 aperture.
No major changes were made to the default Funtouch camera app since the vivo X70 series. There's a straightforward zoom selector with a planet (fisheye), 0.6x, 1x and 2x shortcuts.
Accessing the Super Macro mode is done from the flower icon next to the hamburger menu, but it has an auto-on option that kicks in when you get very close to a subject.
The main modes are arranged in carousel formation, and you can switch between them by swiping. 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 three 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.
The main camera produces nice 12.5MP photos with plenty of detail and good sharpness overall. However, that last bit may vary. In some of the photos, the foliage may look smeared, and some elements on the buildings look softer than they should, but for the most part, it's fine. Dynamic range is wide, but the software can sometimes go for a brighter exposure, and it's particularly noticeable on white buildings, cars or other subjects.
Noise is virtually non-existent, and contrast is great. Color reproduction isn't accurate, but it's definitely likable. Pretty much all colors look oversaturated, which is desirable by many users, so iQOO went for a more appealing rendition.
Taking the phone inside doesn't reflect sharpness, noise and dynamic range all that much. It seems that the main camera is perfectly capable of handling more challenging lighting conditions. We did notice, however, that general color reproduction is more conservative inside.
The 50MP mode delivers considerably softer photos, albeit with more detail. Noise also starts to creep in while overexposure is a frequent sighting resulting in clipped highlights.
2x telephoto camera
The telephoto camera delivers impressive shots, even indoors. The overall rendition is quite similar to the main camera's but without the overexposure. We can even go as far as saying that the telephoto camera outperforms the main camera in terms of detail and sharpness. With one small caveat, though - there's obviously some artificial sharpening going on in the background - just notice the sharpening halos on the leaves or the foliage on the ground.
Those halos can often be seen only upon closer inspection, and they are not enough to ruin the samples overall. In fact, we like this processing a bit more than the one we observed on the iQOO 9 Pro. The wider aperture could be part of the reason. This is easily one of the good 2x telephoto cameras in this price bracket.
The ultrawide camera is a mixed bag. On the one hand, we have nice colors, a wide dynamic range, high contrast and а fair amount of detail. Sharpness, on the other hand, needs improving, and fine detail is smudged away. We also noticed some soft patches appearing in some scenes. And we are not talking about edges softness, mind you.
Nevertheless, the iQOO 9T offers good ultrawide photography compared to all 8MP solutions in the same bracket. A big bonus is the autofocus support, which makes it ideal for dramatic, sharp close-up shots. It's still hard to beat the likes of Realme GT2 Pro or the Pixel 6, though.
Speaking of autofocus, the ultrawide shooter takes on the images are detailed, with good contrast, and juicy colors, and the autofocus makes it much easier to focus even on a slightly moving subject.
The main camera produces some impressive low-light photos, even without resorting to the full-fledged Night mode. There's definitely some HDR and image stacking going on in the background, and the software often prompted us to wait for a second or so as we took the samples in the default Photo mode.
Anyway, the samples below are bright enough, maybe even brighter in the shadows than we would have liked, quite sharp, with lots of fine detail, well-developed highlights and light sources, excellent contrast, virtually no noise and juicy colors. Quite honestly, there's nothing bad to say about those samples. They look great.
Resorting to Night mode doesn't drastically change the scenery, but you do have to wait for more than a second or two. There's little to no difference between the standard shots and those taken with the Night mode. Only after some pixel-peeping were we able to find a small difference in overall clarity and sharpness. It seems that the Night mode adds a little bit of artificial sharpness and boosts fine detail, mostly in the shadows. It does make the images slightly more appealing, but you won't be missing out if you decide to opt for the standard Photo mode.
2x telephoto samples
We were surprised to see the software opting for the actual telephoto camera instead of cropping from the main sensor in low-light conditions. Still, the results aren't amazing, and even the Night mode isn't enough to fix the general softness and loss of fine detail. Noise is easier to spot on the non-Night mode shots, though.
Then again, the dynamic range is wide, contrast is good, color reproduction is on point, and you can see the noise only if you look close enough. So for causal social media posting, the 2x telephoto camera does a good job after dusk. Just don't expect anything resembling the main camera's quality at night.
Ultrawide camera samples
While we are on the fence regarding the telephoto's nighttime performance, we are straight up disappointed by the ultrawide's ability to shoot low-light scenes. Samples are generally soft, noisy and lack fine detail even in well-lit areas. The Night mode doesn't seem to be helping at all - we couldn't find any substantial differences between the default photos and the Night mode ones. The good news is that contrast is good, colors are punchy, and the dynamic range is decently wide.
And here are photos of our usual posters taken with the iQOO 9T. You can see how it stacks up against the competition.
Portraits taken with the main camera are great. You can expect a natural skin tone that won't make your subject's skin too pale or flat. The rest of the colors are juicy and pleasant, too. Sharpness and fine detail are solid throughout all lighting conditions, and fine detail suffers just a little in low light. The dynamic range is on point as the subject is always well-exposed without clipping the background. The edge detection is quite accurate too, and can be fooled only by relatively long and messy hair.
The telephoto camera, which is marketed as a "professional portrait camera", is really good at taking bokeh photos as well. In fact, even more challenging lighting conditions weren't enough to trip the telephoto. You can expect mostly the same rendition as the main camera but with higher contrast and more saturated colors, which can oftentimes miss the subject's natural skin tone. We've also noticed a bit of over-sharpening, which in turn brings out skin imperfections and facial hair with sharpening halos.
Selfies are solid! They may appear a bit grainy at times, especially in the background and shadows, but we are quite impressed with the overall sharpness, detail, natural color reproduction and the competent HDR algorithm that keeps the subject's face always well-exposed. Of course, with a drop in brightness, sharpness deteriorates, and noise can be seen more easily, but that's to be expected.
The iQOO 9T can do up to 2160p videos at 60fps, although the hardware is perfectly capable of capturing 4320p footage as well. But the company has decided to leave the 8K video recording for its Pro model. And despite not having a gimbal stabilization, the software allows for gimbal-like electronic stabilization that caps at 1080p@60fps in order to emulate action camera-like recording.
Let's start with the standard 4K footage taken with the main camera. It seems to be sharp enough with plenty of fine detail, excellent dynamic range, a rather accurate color reproduction and good contrast. Our only minor complaint would be regarding the exposure - the footage seems a bit too bright, and some white buildings and cars look clipped.
The ultrawide camera, on the other hand, is capped at 1080p, and we can't recommend shooting with it. Even for 1080p footage, it looks too soft, lacks adequate contrast and colors are washed out. The dynamic range doesn't seem to be on the main camera's level, either.
The 2x zoom video recording is just a crop from the main camera, so don't expect good results. The overall rendition is the same, but as one would expect, it's way softer after the crop.
We've tested the main camera's stabilization in the default 4K mode and in the advanced stabilization mode, and to our surprise, the standard EIS that works in 2160p looks better. And you get the benefit of shooting in higher resolution too. The advanced stabilization mode trims the field of view and produces unnatural sway from left to right, which wasn't present in the 4K footage. Our general recommendation is to stick with the standard 4K stabilization - it's great on its own.
The nighttime video recording capabilities of the iQOO 9T aren't great. The video is noticeably noisy, rather soft, with blown-out highlights and light sources, and there's this strange pink-ish tinge that's bugging us.
The dedicated video Night mode is capped at 1080p, which makes the video even softer, but at least there's less noise and a little bit more contrast. Still, it's not flagship-level by any means.
Finally, here is the iQOO 9T in our video tool so you can make your own comparisons.