Vivo IQOO 12 – Is this the Best Value Flagship Smartphone of 2023?

Vivo IQOO 12

Vivo IQOO 12 – Is this the Best Value Flagship Smartphone of 2023?  

Everyone loyal waits for their favorite premium brand to unveil their next flagship smartphone and savors everything they offer. Apple, Samsung, OnePlus, and Xiaomi have been late to the party as Vivo has unveiled their next flagship smartphone.

Vivo IQOO 12 – Price

  Vivo IQOO 12 Price

A literal powerhouse powered by Snapdragon Gen 3 processor at a launch price of $550, a deal too good to forget about, don’t you think? Let’s get down with our review and analyze one of the first smartphones to house this top-of-the-line processor manufactured by Vivo, a well-known brand in the market with some quality work in the past.


  Vivo IQOO 12 Unboxing

For BMW fans, unboxing the smartphone will be a treat as both the box and the smartphone’s design are inspired by BMW Motorsport. At launch, the phone was available in two colors: Black Alpha Edition and White Legend Edition. However, Flame Red was also later introduced for the smartphone. 

The pro version costs $150 more and has more specifications. In my opinion, the non-pro version is the value-for-money pack with every essential feature you would need for most things.

This phone includes all the goodies that flagship phones lack, so you don’t have to spend extra cash on those small things. A transparent silicon case comes with the phone for basic protection. A 120-watt GaN charger will light up your entire day within a matter of minutes, and you won’t have to worry about charging your phone again until you reach home after work.

Technical Specifications

Technical Specifications  

When you look at the specs on paper, they seem very promising and sound really nice for the price you are paying, and they are, but with a few minor hiccups that I will discuss later.

The smartphone hosts a large 50MP image-processing sensor for the primary camera, a 120-watt GaN wired charging, a Snapdragon Gen 3 processor, and a 6.78-inch vibrant LTPO AMOLED display. The phone runs Vivo’s FunTouch OS based on Android 14. 

The OS is supported by either 12 or 16 GB of LPDDR5X RAM, along with 256, 512, and 1024 GB of storage, providing plenty of room for apps, videos, and images. 

Performance and Camera Samples

  Performance and Camera Samples

IQOO 12’s sensor is the same as that of Xiaomi 14 Pro, a worthy competitor for both Sony and Samsung that produces stunning and beautiful pictures, albeit with a little oversaturation in some photos. 

    Vivo IQOO 12 Low Light Image

Both day and night-time shots are pleasantly satisfying and have amazing quality.

  Xiaomi 13 T Main Camera

With little to no post-processing, the photos look real and believable without being overly beautified or decorated to be visually appealing. There are plenty of modes, including a native 4k resolution at a speed of 24fps as well as 240fps slow-motion mode for capturing trendy shots. Bokeh mode is relatively good as it is AI-powered and supported by the processor for some really nice shots, but obviously not perfect.

The 50MP sensor has both optical image stabilization and Electronic Image Stabilization for video recording, and the two are really good at stabilizing shaky and wobbly shots.

  Xiaomi 13 T Lowlight Images

The periscope lens used for the 3x zoom is really something, and this 70-mm camera really packs a punch even for low-light photography. The ultra-wide sensor is a good addition shining in daylight but pales in comparison at night.

  Xiaomi 13 T Selfie

The front camera is the Achilles’ heel here and won’t satisfy those with an eye for crisp and beautiful shots. While it has no option for 4 K or 1080p video recording, it offers a nice and tidy HDR option for some great daytime shots.

Gaming and Performane

Gaming on Vivo IQOO 12Most young folks focus on gaming on a smartphone, which has become a trend in recent years. I can confidently say that this phone will handle everything that you throw at it with relative ease without stressing out a bit.

IQOO 12 has a large vapor chamber cooling with a big heat spreading plate based on a 4-zone cooling system at a size of 6010sq mm. It is also equipped with Q1, a custom intelligent display processor, to enhance gaming and multimedia experience. The larger-than-average speaker is capable of some nice bass and lower-end tone sounds yet doesn’t do anything unique to stand out in the competition.

Battery Endurance

  Solid Battery Endurance

The battery is phenomenal, and I can’t emphasize this enough other than by comparing it to the battery performance of my Samsung S23 and Pixel 8 Pro. It provides close to 30% more performance, with a 25-minute charge topping the battery to 100%. You also need to keep in mind that it has no wireless charging, which might be a handicap for some people.


Vivo’s propriety Flash-charge will only work with its original charger and cable, neglecting any and every other cable or charger you plug into the smartphone. The quick-charge lacks support for third-party cables, which I hope will change in the future.

The smartphone’s hardware is flawless in every other department that you can think of. My phone call experience with this phone is flawless, and I also tested out Vivo dialer’s call recording feature, which was a breeze to use. The proximity sensor has no problems working smoothly.

UI and Software Experience

Amazing UI IQOO 12 provides stable signal reception without any signal breaking, allowing a smooth and hassle-free experience. I should also mention that you are provided with a 2 nano SIM option as well.

The UI has some handy shortcuts for people like me who appreciate the tidbits included in the smartphone. You can launch the camera by double-pressing the volume down button, and by pressing and holding the volume down button, you will turn on the flashlight.

Although it comes with Play Store, Vivo’s V-Appstore comes pre-installed as well, and I am not satisfied with its constant annoying notifications, which prevent a smooth surfing experience. You will also get Vivo’s own AI assistant, Jovi Home, designed to help you get on with mundane and basic tasks. 

My favorite thing about the launcher is its custom dialer, which feels similar to my old OnePlus dialer. This one has a built-in voice recorder, which I really appreciate. You will also get three years of software support along with Android 14 out of the box.

Shortcomings & Conclusion

Nothing comes without trade-offs; true authenticity always carries its share of limitations. The same goes for IQOO 12, which has pros and cons, which I will list for your convenience.

  Vivo IQOO 12 Drawbacks

The front camera lacks 4k video resolution, no support for e-sim, wireless charging is missing from the phone, USB 2.0 instead of USB 3.0, which is relatively slow, and propriety fast charging lacks any support for 3rd party cables and chargers.

If you want a gaming phone, this is it for you, and I promise that it delivers a phenomenal performance thanks to the Snapdragon Gen 3 and VC cooling system. The primary camera is outstanding except for the front-facing one, but it is not the primary goal that this phone wants to achieve, and IQOO has never been one to promise a remarkable camera like Samsung and Google.

You get fast charging, precisely configured features, abundant functionality, and a battery that you can always rely on. I can’t suggest any other phone offering the same specifications for this price. If I wanted to describe Vivo IQOO 12, I would say it is a smartphone with an adventurous and ambitious take by Vivo to satisfy big players aiming high in graphical fidelity. 

I would be more than pleased if you scoured similar articles with the same authenticity and versatility to do justice to what is being reviewed without being biased one bit. You can also find my YouTube video here.

Vivo IQOO 12