vivo iQOO 12 Review: Why shouldn’t you buy it?

The vivo iQOO 12, introduced on November 7, 2023, and available since November 14, redefines the boundaries of cutting-edge technology within a sleek and sophisticated design. As a flagship device in the iQOO series, renowned for its performance-centric approach, the iQOO 12 excels with high-end specifications, an exceptional camera setup, and an elegant build. This review delves into the distinctive features that elevate the iQOO 12 as a standout contender in the fiercely competitive smartphone market.

Design and Display

The iQOO 12 boasts a premium design with a glass front and back seamlessly connected by a metal frame. With dimensions of 163.2 x 75.9 x 8.1 mm (or 8.4 mm) and weighing 198.5 g (or 203.7 g), the device strikes a balance between a substantial feel and user comfort. The glass back not only adds to the aesthetics but also contributes to the device’s IP64 dustproof and water splashproof rating.

The 6.78-inch AMOLED display is a visual delight, offering a 144Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support. The resolution of 1260 x 2800 pixels results in a pixel density of around 453 ppi, ensuring crisp and vibrant visuals. The display’s peak brightness of 3000 nits makes it easily viewable even in bright outdoor conditions.

Performance and Software

Under the hood, the iQOO 12 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, featuring an octa-core CPU configuration. With a mix of high-performance Cortex-X4 and power-efficient Cortex-A720 and Cortex-A520 cores, the device delivers a responsive and lag-free experience. The Adreno 750 GPU handles graphics-intensive tasks with ease.

Running on Android 14 with Funtouch OS 14 for international variants and OriginOS 4 for the Chinese market, the software provides a feature-rich and customizable user experience.

Memory and Storage

The iQOO 12 comes in generous memory configurations, offering 256GB of internal storage with 12GB of RAM, or a massive 512GB storage with 16GB of RAM. The use of UFS 4.0 ensures swift app launches and efficient multitasking.

Camera System

The camera setup on the iQOO 12 is a photography enthusiast’s dream. The triple-camera array on the back comprises a 50 MP wide lens, a 64 MP periscope telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, and a 50 MP ultrawide lens with a 119˚ field of view. Whether capturing detailed landscapes or zooming in on distant subjects, the iQOO 12 excels in diverse scenarios. The camera supports 8K video recording at 30fps and various slow-motion options.

On the front, a 16 MP wide selfie camera ensures sharp and vibrant self-portraits.

Connectivity and Features

The iQOO 12 covers a wide range of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6/7, Bluetooth 5.4, NFC, and an Infrared port. The inclusion of stereo speakers and the absence of a 3.5mm headphone jack are notable design choices. The device supports USB Type-C 2.0 for charging and data transfer.

Battery and Charging

A substantial 5000 mAh non-removable battery powers the iQOO 12, providing ample endurance for a full day of use. The device supports blazing-fast 120W wired charging, ensuring minimal downtime.

Additional Features and Pricing

The iQOO 12 is available in three distinctive colors: Black, Red, and White with BMW M branding, adding a touch of flair to the device. Priced at approximately 520 EUR, the iQOO 12 positions itself as a premium offering in the market.

Performance Benchmarks

  • AnTuTu: 1574344 (v9), 2107464 (v10)
  • GeekBench: 5857 (v5), 6953 (v6)
  • GFXBench: 102fps (ES 3.1 onscreen)

Pros of the vivo iQOO 12

  • High-Performance Chipset: Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, the iQOO 12 offers top-tier performance, making it suitable for demanding tasks and gaming.
  • Impressive Display: The 6.78-inch AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ support, and a peak brightness of 3000 nits delivers a stunning and immersive visual experience.
  • Premium Design: The combination of a glass front and back with a metal frame gives the device a premium and elegant feel. The IP64 rating adds durability with dustproof and water splashproof features.
  • Versatile Camera System: The triple-camera setup, including a high-resolution main sensor, a periscope telephoto lens, and an ultrawide lens, provides versatility for photography and videography.
  • Ample Storage and RAM: Generous memory configurations of 256GB/12GB RAM and 512GB/16GB RAM, coupled with UFS 4.0, ensure ample storage and swift multitasking.
  • Large Battery with Fast Charging: The 5000 mAh battery and 120W wired charging support contribute to extended usage and quick charging times.
  • Stereo Speakers: The inclusion of stereo speakers enhances the audio experience, providing immersive sound.
  • Latest Android Version: Running on Android 14 with Funtouch OS 14 (for international variants) or OriginOS 4 (for the Chinese market), users can benefit from the latest Android features and optimizations.
  • Distinctive Colors: The availability of distinctive colors, including Black, Red, and White with BMW M branding, offers users a choice to express their style preferences.

Cons of the vivo iQOO 12

  • No 3.5mm Headphone Jack: The absence of a 3.5mm headphone jack might inconvenience users who prefer wired audio peripherals.
  • High Price: Priced at approximately 520 EUR, the iQOO 12 positions itself as a premium offering, which might be a limiting factor for budget-conscious consumers.
  • Limited Availability of Certain Features: Some features mentioned in the review, such as IP64 rating and BMW M branding, might be limited to specific variants or markets, so global availability should be considered.


The vivo iQOO 12 stands as a testament to the brand’s commitment to delivering high-performance smartphones with a focus on design and innovation. From its stunning display and powerful camera system to its top-tier performance and rapid charging capabilities, the iQOO 12 is a device that caters to users seeking a premium smartphone experience. With a careful balance of style and substance, the iQOO 12 is a formidable contender in the flagship smartphone arena.

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