iQOO 11S Hands-on: Super-Resolution Super-Frame Concurrent, Higher Definition + Smooth “Genshin Impact” Experience

July 17, 2023

If we are to discuss the ultimate gaming experience in mobile phones, then the iQOO Digital series is undoubtedly an irresistible choice. Despite never being officially defined as a gaming phone, iQOO products have always been favored by esports players. So, what is the secret behind iQOO’s appeal? Perhaps we can find the answer in the recently unveiled iQOO 11S.

On July 4th, the brand-new iQOO 11S was officially released.

iQOO 11S

As an iteration of the iQOO 11, the “S” in iQOO 11S stands for “Super,” further enhancing its super performance and super gaming experience. It even earned the title of the “Official Gaming Device for the Hangzhou Asian Games Esports Event.” The company claims it can deliver an outstanding overall experience, particularly with the highly acclaimed game “Genshin Impact.”

In terms of gaming experience, iQOO 11S continues the highly praised features such as under-display dual-pressure sensing, dedicated display frame interpolation chip, and 200W Super FlashCharge. Moreover, it introduces an industry-exclusive 2K E6 144Hz full-sensing display and unveils the revolutionary Dual-Engine Super Vision technology. This technology enables simultaneous super-resolution and super-frame-rate processing, supporting both “super-resolution” and “super-frame-rate” functions in “Genshin Impact,” ultimately achieving the smoothest and clearest gaming experience.

Is it truly as marvelous as it sounds?

Without further ado, let us delve into the hands-on experience.

iQOO 11S

One: iQOO 11S Exterior Design

The iQOO 11S inherits the exterior design of the iQOO 11 while adding a new “Listening to Tides in the Qiantang River” color scheme, which carries a strong traditional Chinese aesthetic.

iQOO 11S

In terms of color composition, “Listening to Tides in the Qiantang River” primarily features a light blue tone with a hint of green, creating a vibrant yet subtly saturated visual effect. It also incorporates a touch of grayscale, lending it a neutral appeal. Just like its name, “Listening to Tides in the Qiantang River,” it boasts high recognizability. The delicate shade of aquamarine also perfectly complements the scorching summer season.

iQOO 11S

Regarding craftsmanship, the “Listening to Tides in the Qiantang River” edition employs second-generation organic silicone leather, which offers a delicate and soft touch without the pronounced plasticky feel found in some other leather-like phones.

In addition to the “Listening to Tides in the Qiantang River” color scheme, the iQOO 11S also continues the two existing family editions, namely the Racing Edition and Legendary Edition. The Racing Edition even features a crystalline AG glass process.

iQOO 11S

Detailed design

When it comes to detailed design, the changes in the iQOO 11S are not significant. The camera module, for instance, still showcases the iconic stepped design of the iQOO family. However, the module’s size has increased, nearly occupying one-third of the device’s rear surface.

Inside the module, three cameras are arranged in an L-shape configuration. Additionally, it features a VCS emblem (biomorphic spectrum).

The black strip below the module is not a camera but rather an anti-flicker light sensor. The metal frame also bears the inscription “ULTRA SENSING” and is meticulously crafted using CNC precision engraving techniques.

iQOO 11S

The metal middle frame undergoes a delicate matte treatment. The power and volume keys are located on the right side, while the top and bottom frames feature a completely flat design.

iQOO 11S

Screen design

Turning to the front, the iQOO 11S boasts a straight-screen design, which is highly appreciated by esports players.

iQOO 11S

Fortunately, the screen quality of the iQOO 11S is truly remarkable, as it continues to feature the industry-exclusive 2K E6 144Hz display.

Specifically, it offers a 6.78-inch 2K Ultra Clear display with the latest E6 luminescent material. The resolution stands at 3200 pixels vertically and 1440 pixels horizontally, achieving a PPI of 517.

iQOO 11S

This 2K E6 screen supports a refresh rate of up to 144Hz, and offers double the touch sampling rate. It also features a 1200Hz instant touch sampling rate and ten times the touch resolution.

In terms of eye protection, it supports a high-frequency PWM dimming of 1440Hz. It also supports DC dimming.

iQOO 11S

Regarding brightness, the E6 screen achieves even higher peak brightness, reaching up to 1800 nits. Furthermore, its manual maximum brightness is 600 nits, while the overall highest brightness (HBM) is 1100 nits.

iQOO 11S

Moreover, this screen is equipped with iQOO’s proprietary screen color calibration algorithm, with JNCD≈0.26 and DeltaE≈0.30. Both the default and professional modes ensure excellent color performance.

The dimensions of the iQOO 11S are 164.86×77.07×8.72mm, with a weight of 207.5g (Listening to Tides in the Qiantang River edition). Overall, it offers a comfortable grip, thanks in part to the leather-like craftsmanship. Holding it in hand provides a strong sense of damping, making it ideal for a “bare” feel.

iQOO 11S

Two: iQOO 11S Performance Benchmark

In terms of core specifications, the iQOO 11S largely maintains the same setup as the iQOO 11, including the Snapdragon 8 Gen2 processor, LPDDR5X RAM, and UFS 4.0 storage. However, there are some notable changes—fast charging has been upgraded to 200W. Additionally, the battery capacity has been reduced to 4700mAh (equivalent to the iQOO 11 Pro). At the same time, the dedicated GPU chip has been replaced with the “iQOO Super Graphics Chip.”

Furthermore, the storage options have also been upgraded. It offers four versions: 12GB+256GB, 16GB+256GB, 16GB+512GB, and 16GB+1TB.

The version tested by Gizcoupon was the top-tier 16GB+1TB configuration.

iQOO 11S

In terms of other configurations, the iQOO 11S includes features such as full-featured NFC, stereo dual speakers, and symmetrical dual X-axis linear motors.

Let’s dive into the benchmark scores.

iQOO 11S

As shown in the above image, the iQOO 11S achieves an astonishing score of over 1.66 million points in the Antutu V10 benchmark, currently securing the highest score in the Gizcoupon benchmark database.

In the Geekbench 5 benchmark, the iQOO 11S achieves a respectable single-core score of 1447 and a multi-core score of 4801. Here is the specific ranking:

iQOO 11S

In storage performance testing, the 16GB+1TB version of the iQOO 11S achieves a read speed of 3461MB/s and a write speed of 3210MB/s in Androbench. It also scores over 140,000 points in the Antutu storage test.

iQOO 11S

Focusing on GPU performance in the 3DMark benchmark, specifically the Wild Life project, the iQOO 11S achieves a score of 13660, with an average frame rate of 81.80. In 20 consecutive rounds of the 3DMark Wild Life test, the iQOO 11S exhibits a stability of 76.3%.

Judging from the 3DMark benchmark results, the iQOO 11S’s performance exhibits a truly “bold” nature.

iQOO 11S

iQOO 11S charging speed

Regarding charging, the official statement claims that the iQOO 11S can reach 50% charge in less than 5 minutes in Super Flash mode.

Gizcoupon also conducted a simple test.

Under the default “Fast Mode,” enabling the “Super Flash Mode” and charging from 1% battery while the screen is off, it takes approximately 13 minutes to reach a full charge.

The 200W fast charging speed is visibly rapid, so fast that it can even be described in seconds.

During the charging process, the iQOO 11S initially reaches a peak power of over 170W.

It then fluctuates between 130W and 90W. Even when the battery level exceeds 50%, the power remains above 70W, providing high energy throughout the process.

The iQOO 11S’s 200W charger is not as large as one might imagine. It weighs around 149g, and the charging cable can handle up to 10A, exhibiting stronger overcurrent capabilities.

iQOO 11S

This 200W gallium nitride mini charger features a USB-C port design. It also supports 65W PD and PPS, enabling charging for digital devices such as laptops and gaming consoles that support these protocols.

Previously, there were criticisms about the compatibility of fast charging among different brands. However, the iQOO 11S takes the lead in supporting the UFCS fast-charging fusion protocol. Even non-iQOO fast chargers can provide fast charging to the iQOO 11S at up to 33W power.

Three: iQOO 11S Gaming Experience

Now, let’s focus on the key aspect of the gaming experience and test the gaming performance of the iQOO 11S.

Gizcoupon chose to test the highest graphics settings in the game “Genshin Impact.”

As usual, the iQOO 11S was set to Monster mode, running “Genshin Impact” at the highest graphics settings for 30 minutes. The graphics settings were set to the highest, with dynamic blur disabled. The gameplay consisted of exploring the open world, engaging in combat, and spending approximately half of the time in combat scenarios.

As shown in the graph, during the 30-minute gameplay of “Genshin Impact,” the iQOO 11S achieved an impressive average frame rate of 59.75fps without any frame drops. This performance is quite remarkable and showcases the iQOO 11S’s gaming capabilities.

In terms of temperature control, the highest temperature recorded during the 30-minute “Genshin Impact” session was around 41°C, which is within normal limits. Based on the basic gaming test of “Genshin Impact,” there is no doubt about the gaming prowess of the iQOO 11S.

Now, let’s explore some optimizations and enhancements in detail on the iQOO 11S.

Frame Rate Perception Technology

Firstly, there is the addition of the “Frame Rate Perception Technology.” This technology reduces frame drops and stuttering in heavy load scenarios while controlling the CPU frequency in low load scenarios, resulting in power savings.

This can be observed through the core graph.

As shown in the graph, in “Genshin Impact” during a light load scenario (standing still or walking in place), the cores of the Snapdragon 8 Gen2 processor remain relatively “quiet” with all eight cores running at around 0.9GHz, exerting minimal power. However, when entering combat scenes or swiftly moving through the game, the core frequencies increase significantly, exhibiting more dynamic fluctuations and providing the necessary power to ensure a stable gaming experience.

This is made possible by the new “iQOO Super Graphics Chip.” Additionally, the iQOO 11S in “Genshin Impact” also achieves simultaneous super-resolution and super-frame-rate processing.

Users familiar with frame interpolation know that frame interpolation and super-resolution functions often conflict and can only be activated individually. However, the iQOO 11S achieves “concurrency” by allowing both super-resolution and frame interpolation to be enabled simultaneously.

With frame interpolation enabled, the GPU rendering on the iQOO 11S reaches 48 frames. Through the 3x frame interpolation of the “Super Graphics Chip,” the final result is a game effect with a frame rate of 144. This means that even in games like “Genshin Impact,” with a maximum frame rate of 60, users can enjoy a high-frame-rate experience comparable to native 144Hz.

Super-resolution function

Similar to frame interpolation, the super-resolution function also brings a noticeable improvement in visual experience.

Building upon the three times frame interpolation, the iQOO 11S can also activate the “super-resolution” function simultaneously. With super-resolution enabled, the iQOO 11S delivers a gaming experience that surpasses the native image quality.

Through real-life comparisons, we can see that enabling super-resolution results in a significantly sharper image. For example, the edges of in-game characters’ hats and hair appear more three-dimensional and sharp, with enhanced detail. This demonstrates that the “Super Resolution” feature does enhance the visual quality to a certain extent.

Under-display dual-pressure sensing feature

The iQOO 11S continues to feature under-display dual-pressure sensing, a feature that many users are familiar with.

With two X-axis linear motors built into the upper and lower parts of the device, the screen supports pressure-sensitive input on both the left and right sides. This essentially provides four additional input options. For example, in some FPS games, players can use a single finger to control movement and aiming by touch and pressure, eliminating the need for separate buttons.

The under-display dual-pressure sensing has received high praise in previous reviews.

Compared to the shoulder key design found in some gaming phones, under-display dual-pressure sensing offers a more favorable learning curve, gaming experience, and efficiency.

With just one finger, it is possible to perform two actions simultaneously. For example, in the game “Call of Duty,” players can map the left area of the screen as the aim button, allowing them to aim and shoot with a slight press of the screen while running.

If you, like me, are an avid enthusiast of games such as “Call of Duty Mobile,” then I highly and strongly recommend trying out the iQOO 11S. Once you experience it, you won’t want to go back.

Additionally, thanks to the inclusion of the two linear motors, the iQOO 11S offers a more immersive and delicate gaming haptic feedback experience. This includes three-dimensional vibration effects for hero skills in various popular mobile games such as “Arena of Valor,” “League of Legends: Wild Rift,” and “Naruto.”

Body Posture Manipulation

Furthermore, the iQOO 11S also supports Body Posture Manipulation. It allows users to map different body postures to various actions for multi-dimensional control.

This is an additional icing on the cake, although it is unfortunate that it cannot be used simultaneously with the under-display dual-pressure sensing.

Additionally, the iQOO 11S supports features such as mobile ray tracing in the game “Aurora Legend.” It has also added new scene special effects such as the Adventurer’s Association and Guild Residence and water reflection effects.

Four: iQOO 11S Image Experience

In terms of imaging, the iQOO 11S is equipped with a triple camera setup, including:

Main Camera: 54 million pixels, Sony-customized VCS IMX866 sensor, f/1.88 aperture, 23mm focal length, 1/1.49″ sensor size (50 million pixels, 1/1.56″ practical area), 1.0µm pixel size, AF, OIS, 6P lens.

Telephoto Portrait Lens: 13 million pixels, Samsung 3L6 sensor, f/2.46 aperture, 50mm focal length, 1/3″ sensor size, 1.12µm pixel size, AF, 5P lens.

Ultra-wide-angle Lens: 8 million pixels, OV08 sensor, f/2.2 aperture, 16mm focal length, 1/4″ sensor size, 1.12µm pixel size.

This triple-camera setup is quite familiar for smartphones from the same manufacturer. However, as the iQOO 11S is more focused on performance, it doesn’t excel in the imaging department. The main camera is the same as the X90 series, with the addition of optical image stabilization (OIS).

However, based on sample photos, the iQOO 11S’s imaging performance is decent but not outstanding. While the specifications are good, there is nothing particularly remarkable (since it is not positioned as a camera-centric phone). It performs adequately for its price range, which can be considered “good enough.”

Sample Photos:

Five: System Experience

The iQOO 11S is equipped with OriginOS 3, based on Android 13. It also features upgrades such as Super Window Multitasking, Privacy Watermark, Visual Perception 2.0, In-place Resurrection Mechanism, and Unfair Scheduling Mechanism.

The latter three functions are related to providing a smooth system experience. For example, Visual Perception 2.0 uses software algorithms to simulate motion blur, compensating for the lack of smoothness and coherence in animations. The In-place Resurrection Mechanism allows apps to quickly return to their previous state before being “killed.” The Unfair Scheduling Mechanism ensures that foreground processes have sufficient computing power and that background processes do not interfere with or block foreground processes.

Super Window Multitasking introduces interaction upgrades. It includes features such as a game horizontal window, a three-app simultaneous display, a pure video window, and a global sidebar window.

For example, the screen supports two apps in split-screen mode with an additional small window app:

The game horizontal window allows games to run in a floating small window format without interrupting progress:

Regarding security and privacy, the iQOO 11S also introduces the “Smart Privacy Mosaic” feature. This feature was mentioned in the vivo X90s review.

Photos containing personal privacy information can have sensitive information blurred out using “Smart Privacy” when sharing images. This includes blurring out names, addresses, ID numbers, phone numbers, etc., in various types of documents. It can even add a full-image watermark to restrict the use of the image and prevent misuse by others.

“Video Super-Resolution and Frame Boost” function

The iQOO 11S also features a “Video Super-Resolution and Frame Boost” function. According to official descriptions, it is based on the Super Graphics Chip. It uses display compensation technology similar to flagship TVs to enhance the visual experience of mainstream 30fps SD video content, providing users with clear and smooth visuals.

According to official descriptions, “Video Super-Resolution and Frame Boost” currently covers the majority of video content on popular platforms such as Bilibili, Youku, and Tencent Video.

Based on my experience, there is a slight improvement in video quality for some low-resolution content. However, the triggering conditions for this feature are somewhat unclear, as it is not always activated. Overall, it is a modest enhancement, and if you want high-definition content, a proper membership subscription is still necessary.

In conclusion:

To answer the initial question posed at the beginning of the article: Why does iQOO attract a large number of esports players and become the official device for the Hangzhou Asian Games esports events, despite not positioning itself as an esports phone?

iQOO 11S

The answer is simple: It’s not just about focusing on specifications, performance, and benchmark scores. It’s about providing differentiated features and experiences alongside the ultimate performance. For example, the “Super Resolution and Frame Boost” supported by “Genshin Impact” ensures higher frame rates and surpasses native image quality. These differentiated features make gaming more enjoyable. The under-display dual-pressure sensing, allowing two fingers to control four virtual buttons, enhances the landscape gaming experience.

In simple terms, a truly player-centric phone needs to deliver both outstanding performance and a “superb gaming” experience. Clearly, the iQOO 11S achieves this.

In summary, the iQOO 11S is a straight-screen flagship machine that is highly suitable for gamers. Its key strengths lie in its ultimate performance and excellent esports experience. Other aspects of the iQOO 11S provide a relatively balanced expected imaging performance and no apparent weaknesses. Therefore, if you are a performance enthusiast, an esports player, a “Genshin Impact” fan, or someone looking for a product with great value and an overall balanced experience, the iQOO 11S is a great choice.

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