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Vivo V20 Quick Review: Pros, Cons And The X-Factor
Vivo has added yet another mid-range smartphone to its widely popular V-series lineup. The new Vivo V20 is a selfie-centric smartphone featuring a massive 44MP front-facing shooter with an 'Eye-Focus' tracking system, similar to what dedicated cameras offer for better auto-focusing while shooting videos. The new smartphone heavily focuses on the design and also flaunts a high-resolution rear camera setup offering a 64MP+8MP+2MP configuration.
The V20 has been launched in two variants- 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM at Rs. 27,990 and 8GB + 256GB ROM at Rs. 27,990. At this price-point, the new Vivo smartphone will fight the likes of some widely popular handsets in the Indian market. The list includes some very well-received devices such as the OnePlus Nord, Redmi K20 Pro, Galaxy M51, and the recently launched Google Pixel 4a to some extent. While we are yet to compare the Vivo V20 with the aforementioned devices in detail, we bring you the first impressions of the handset which highlights its 'Pros, Cons and the X-Factor'.
The X-Factor- 44MP Selfie Camera With Eye-Autofocus Tracking
The 44MP selfie shooter is definitely the X-Factor of the new Vivo device. The V20 houses a massive 44MP f/2.0 front-facing camera with ‘Eye-Autofocus' mode to maintain pin-sharp focus on the user's face by continuously tracking the eye movement. We tried the feature to capture some selfies and videos and found it to be quite effective. Both videos and images come out crisp as the 44MP selfie shooter manages to keep the user's face in focus with both short-range (15cm) and long-range shooting. The high-resolution Samsung-made sensor seems to be tuned very well as images/videos show natural colors and do not look post corrected.
The V20 also allows you to shoot 4K selfie videos, 240fps slow-motion videos, and capture both front and rear scenes with ‘Dual-View Video' mode. The 44MP selfie camera isn't OIS-enabled but Vivo offers a software-backed ‘Steadiface Selfie' video mode to help you record jitter-free selfie videos. Additionally, the smartphone also offers all sorts of software features (Filters, Beauty modes, Multi-Style Portraits, etc.) to help you make the most out of a high-resolution selfie camera.
Overall, the Vivo V20 seems like a good choice for content creators who mostly shoot videos from the front cameras of their smartphones.
Stunning Design That Doesn't Miss Out On Basics
Not everyone is looking for the best-in-class chipset or a higher refresh rate panel. Some users simply want a good looking device that serves all basic tasks without any major performance issues. The new V20 is designed for such users. Available in three color options- Midnight Jazz, Moonlight Sonata, and Sunset Melody, the V20 is a better-looking device than most of the sub-30K handsets. It is also very lightweight and sleek. The phone weighs 172 grams and has a thickness of 7.48mm. Interestingly, the Midnight Jazz and Moonlight Sonata color variants are 10mm thinner and weigh 171g.
It seems the Sunset melody shade, which looks stunning, is the reason behind the extra thickness and weight due to variations in the design process; however, it shouldn't bother you much as the increase in dimensions is just minuscule. The gradient finish shows all sorts of colors (blue, purple, orange, pink, etc.) as light hits the surface at different angles.
The back panel of the device is essentially an anti-glare matte glass layer which feels good to hold and attracts fewer smudges than devices with extremely glossy surfaces. The phone has a Type-C port at the bottom along with a 3.5mm headphone jack, a mono speaker unit, and a microphone. The right side has volume rockers and the power button while the SIM card tray with a dedicated microSD housing is positioned on the left side.
Feature-Rich Rear Camera Setup
The V20 also houses a feature-rich rear camera. The camera module boasts a 64MP f/1.89 primary camera (Samsung sensor), an 8MP wide-angle (120-degree) camera, and a 2MP mono camera which helps the 3-lens camera hardware to achieve bokeh and black & white film effects. Similar to the front camera, the rear optics also seemed to be tuned very well as images and videos show natural colors and crisp details. We noted some inconsistencies in the portrait mode which could use some fine tuning. Also, the low-resolution wide-angle shots aren't very impressive. The phone does capture good macros though.
You also get a wide range of software features including Portrait light effect, Daylight filters, and interesting Night mode filters such as Cyberpunk, Black & Gold, Blue Ice, and Green Orange to give images a cinematic touch.
Android 11 Out-Of-The-Box
The V20 comes running Android 11 out-of-the-box. The latest Android flavor means you get a new version of Vivo's in-house OS- FunTouch OS 11. The new UI feels less cluttered than its previous version and seems more intuitive and user-friendly. The icons have been redesigned, the notification panel with quick settings is more accessible and the phone boots up with usable pre-loaded apps such as Vivo's in-house Music app, Themes, Vivo Cloud, Gallery, Notes, and Weather. Some unwanted apps include Hot Apps, Hot Games, iManager, and Vivo's in-house App store.
As far as the performance is concerned, the gestures lacked smoothness and the phone isn't the most responsive in its price-bracket. If you want a better software experience in somewhat similar price-point, the OnePlus Nord is a good alternative.
Dated 60Hz Refresh Rate Display
If you fancy a modern 90Hz/120Hz refresh rate screen, look further as the V20 is still stuck with the dated refresh rate panel. The smartphone flaunts a 6.44-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen which comes with a tall 20:9 aspect ratio and supports HDR10. It's a decent screen but we have tested better OLED panels at this price-point. For instance, the Redmi K20 Pro and the OnePlus Nord offer a better overall display experience than the Vivo V20. The V20's AMOLED screen seemed a little dull for outdoor usage and lacks the responsiveness of a higher refresh rate panel.
Competition Offers Faster Processors
The V20 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G SoC which is aided by ample 8GB RAM for multitasking. The SD720G is a decent CPU to address most of the tasks; however, it falls short of performance when you compare it with the SD765G (OnePlus Nord) and the SD855 (Redmi K20 Pro). If you are in the market for a no-compromise performance, the V20 isn't the ideal device for you. If you are not an avid gamer and mostly use your device for basic day-to-day tasks, the V20 will not disappoint you.
Not A Battery Beast
The battery size takes a hit due to the sleek form-factor. The V20 draws power from a modest 4,000 mAh battery cell which barely lasts a day even with moderate usage. You start streaming videos and play games on a stretch, and you would need a charger before the day ends. The phone ships with a 33W fast-charger in the box, which is some relief as it can refuel the battery from flat to 100% in less than an hour.
The V20 is strictly for consumers who prefer good looks and selfie camera performance over beastly specs. It's a well-rounded mid-range device for content creators that spend most of their time shooting videos/images from their phone's selfie camera. If you do not fall in that category, the market offers better alternatives in the form of the OnePlus Nord, Samsung Galaxy M51, Redmi K20 Pro, and the Realme X3 SuperZoom. You can also consider the Google Pixel 4a for an unparalleled software user-experience and an impressive rear camera performance.