Two days ago, Vivo revealed a new gaming-focused flagship phone for the Chinese market called the iQQO. On paper, it looks like a 2019-era version of the now-typical Chinese gaming phone, but Vivo did manage to pack in some decidedly top-tier hardware like a Snapdragon 855, in-display fingerprint sensor, and high-end camera sensor for a such a low ~$450 starting price. Best of all, it may end up coming to other markets.
Typically we skip covering China-only phones unless there's something especially interesting about the device, and in this case, Engadget was told that Vivo plans on bringing the phone outside the country eventually. Odds are that won't include the US, but you never know.
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855|
|Screen||6.41" 1080p-equivalent (2340×1080) AMOLED|
|Battery||4,000mAh w/ 44W fast-charging|
|Software||"Funtouch" OS 9 (Android 9 Pie)|
|Cameras||12MP f/1.8 Sony IMX363, 13MP f/2.4 120-degree super-wide angle, 2MP f/2.4 parallax "portrait mode" camera.|
|Misc||Dual SIM, facial recognition, in-display fingerprint sensor, pressure-sensitive shoulder buttons in body.|
|Dimensions||157.69 x 75.2 x 8.51mm, 196g|
|Price||2998-4298 yuan, (~$447-640 at the time of writing)|
The phone/new sub-brand name, iQOO, is supposed to be an initialism for the phrase "I Quest On and On," likely meant to highlight the phone's gaming focus, though the meaning is more than a little lost.
Basic specs are what we've come to expect from a 2019 flagship. You get Qualcomm's latest, highest-end Snapdragon 855 chipset, a skin based on Android 9 Pie, and options which include 6-12GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB storage. The 1080p-equivalent AMOLED display snags a 91.7% screen to body ratio via a water/teardrop-style notch. the phone also has an in-display fingerprint reader, though it isn't clear if it's an optical or ultrasonic system being used.
The phone has a few specific tricks up its sleeve, ostensibly aiming to improve game-related performance, like five different "turbo" modes promising a variety of enhancements and a vapor-chamber liquid cooling system. For fans of landscape gaming, there are two pressure-sensitive buttons embedded into the frame that can act as triggers while in landscape. There's also a monstrous 44 Watt fast-charging system that claims the phone can be charged to 50% in a mere 15 minutes, and up to full in just 45.
The iQOO's primary camera is also using a Sony IMX363 sensor — the same one found in the Pixel 3 and Pocophone F1. While there's a lot more to camera ability than just hardware, that's a good foundation, and its results could surprise us.
The phone will be available in at least two colors: Blue and Orange/Red. Pre-orders appear to be up on Vivo's site in four different storage and memory configurations for those that are interested.