iQoo 12 First Impressions: Mature Design Meets Flagship Specifications

iQoo 12 was launched by the company in India today and is the company’s latest flagship phone to debut in the country. The Chinese smartphone maker beat Xiaomi, OnePlus, and other OEMs to launch the first smartphone with Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in India — it is also paired with the company’s in-house Q1 coprocessor. This smartphone will compete with upcoming flagship phones such as the OnePlus 12 and Xiaomi 14 that are both expected to launch in India in the coming weeks.

The company has launched its latest flagship handset in Alpha and Legend colourways. The former is black with an AG Glass rear panel, while the Legend — this is the model we received for review — is white with a white coloured porcelain enamel glass material. Unlike its predecessor — the iQoo 11 5G — this flagship handset does not have the elongated BMW Motorsport-inspired racing stripes across the rear panel.

iqoo 12 rear panel iqoo 12

iQoo 12 is available in Alpha and Legend (pictured) colourways

 

The iQoo 12 has flat metallic edges that are smooth with a slightly curved rear panel that is easy to hold. It has a flat 6.78-inch LTPO AMOLED display with very slim bezels on all four edges and iQoo says the display has a peak brightness of 1,400 nits (3,000 nits in high brightness mode) — you can see the contents of the screen clearly even in bright sunlight.

This is a phone with a large display, and it’s challenging to reach for the top of the screen with one hand — I have fairly large hands. There’s a built-in feature that scales down the display output to the lower corner which helps a little, but you will find yourself using the phone with both hands on a regular basis.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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On the rear panel, iQoo has equipped the handset with a triple rear camera setup that is housed in a squircle-shaped camera island that the company says is inspired by a submarine porthole. The glass on the camera module protrudes slightly, the metal edge has small ridges. When you place the phone on a flat surface, it is mostly stable, even though the camera island is aligned to one side.

This year, the iQoo 12 comes with some notable upgrades over its predecessor, the iQoo 11 5G. The handset is equipped with a 1/1.3-inch OmniVision OV50H sensor. It also has a 50-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a 120-degree field-of-view; along with a 64-megapixel periscope telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, 100x hybrid zoom.

The company has equipped the iQoo 12 with the 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip that is paired with up to 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM and up to 256GB of inbuilt storage. The phone is equipped with a 5,000mAh battery and ships with a charger in the box.

iqoo 12 rear iqoo 12

iQoo 12 is equipped with a 50-megapixel triple rear camera setup

 

The handset comes with a transparent TPU cover in the box, which appears to provide adequate protection with raised edges, including the screen and cameras. It also comes with a large charging brick and a USB Type-C to Type-C cable that can charge the phone at 120W. You have to toggle a setting to allow the phone to charge at 120W, and it gets a little warm when you’re performing a full charge.

In the time that I’ve spent with the iQoo 12 so far, the phone feels easy to use while packing a lot of high-end specifications. The handset will face competition from many flagship smartphone makers in the coming weeks and its relatively lower price point is likely to help the company offer better value for the specifications on offer. iQoo has touted the performance of the smartphone’s processor and its battery efficiency, and we will put these claims to the test in our full review which will be out on Gadgets 360 soon.


Is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 the best foldable phone you can buy in India right now? We discuss the company’s new clamshell-style foldable handset on the latest episode of Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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