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Vivo V19 review: a good looking smartphone with powerful cameras

On: June 5, 2020

Vivo launched the Vivo V17 mid-range smartphone in December last year with a punch-hole display, quad-cameras, in-display fingerprint scanner and more as its highlights. Less than six months later, and Vivo has now launched the successor to the V17, the Vivo V19. While the new phone retains all the aforementioned highlights of its predecessor, it also brings in a few other upgrades. These include dual punch-hole selfie cameras, a more powerful processor, and faster charging.

Also read: Realme X2 Pro review: the real flagship killer

I received the smartphone from the brand for the purpose of this review, and have been using it for a couple of weeks now. While the Vivo V19 is a solid upgrade over its predecessors, does it have the firepower needed to take on the competition? Read my review to find out.

Design and display

I received the Mystic Silver colourway of the handset, which looks sleek and attractive, especially when the light hits the rear panel at an angle revealing a bluish hue. The back panel is protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 6, keeping nicks and scratches at bay. Vivo is also providing a high-quality transparent PET case with the smartphone, which I slapped on instantly because the rear panel does attract smudges, even on the light-coloured Silver variant. Vivo is also offering a Piano Black colour variant of the handset.

The rear panel features 3D curved glass, which along with the even weight distribution makes the Vivo V19 quite ergonomic. The phone is also lightweight despite being glass-clad, tipping the scales at 186.5gms. Vivo has significantly reduced the bezels around the display to offer a high screen-to-body ratio of 91.38 percent and a compact form factor that’s ideal for one-handed usage.

Speaking of the display, the Vivo V19 features a 6.44-inch full HD+ AMOLED panel. The screen features HDR10, DCI-P3 colour gamut and 800 nits peak brightness. The smartphone also offers screen colour adjustment, low brightness anti-flicker and eye-protection modes. During my stint with the smartphone, I found the brightness and legibility to be great on the display, and the text appears sharp as well. I had no issue reading the display outdoors either, with the brightness set on auto.

The screen also features Widevine L1 support, which means I could stream supported content on OTT platforms like Netflix and Prime Video in high resolution. My only gripe with the screen has to be the large dual punch-hole cutout in the top right corner with a silver outline around each camera sensor, which is quite noticeable if you use the system-wide dark mode and dark wallpaper.

Other elements of the smartphone include an in-display fingerprint scanner, which was pretty fast and accurate. The phone also has face unlock, which is equally fast. The bottom edge houses the 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C port and a speaker grille. The power button and volume rocker are located on the right, while the dual nano-SIM tray with a dedicated microSD card slot is on the left.

Cameras

The Vivo V19 features a quad-camera setup on the back panel and dual cameras on the front. The rectangular island on the back houses a 48-megapixel f/1.79 primary sensor, an 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide lens, a 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro lens and a 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor. The selfie camera module comprises a 32-megapixel f/2.08 primary camera backed by an 8-megapixel f/2.28 wide-angle lens.

The camera app gets the usual set of features like HDR, live filters, portrait mode, night mode, pro mode, slo-mo and more. There’s a ‘Lens’ button on the viewfinder, which lets users toggle between wide-angle, depth and macro cameras, which is super handy. Switching over to the selfie camera, you get two more options over the Lens toggle, including ‘Style’ and ‘Beauty’. The former is a set of three hipster Instagram-style filters for your selfies. The latter offers beauty modes for your face, while also guiding you through several ‘Postures’ to help you pose for a shot in different ways.

The primary camera captures images in the pixel-binned 12-megapixel mode by default, and if you wish to capture high-resolution 48-megapixel photos, you will have to select it via the ‘More’ option on the viewfinder. I found the pictures clicked in the standard 12MP mode to be vibrant with well-balanced exposure.

The pictures clicked in the 48MP mode offer more detail, but lack the vibrancy of the standard mode and appear dull. Notably, HDR support is also missing in this mode.

The low-light performance of the Vivo V19 is pretty impressive. Images captured in low light without night mode appear fuzzy and under-exposed, but turning on the night mode solves both these issues. With night mode turned on, you get sharper images with reduced noise and increased brightness.

As for the other cameras, there is no noticeable barrel distortion in wide-angle shots, and the bokeh mode is able to accurately detect edges most times. I liked the ability to adjust the amount of background blur after the pictures have been clicked.

The macro mode enabled me to click some stunning close-up shots of flowers on my terrace garden. The pictures do get a little fuzzy when zoomed in, but that’s to be expected given it’s a 2MP sensor.

Coming to the dual selfie camera setup on the front, the primary 32MP sensor captures stunning daylight selfies with accurate colour reproduction. The wide-angle lens does exactly what it’s designed to do, but images captured with this camera lack detail. The front camera setup also offers a dedicated portrait mode on the viewfinder but I was surprised to see it didn’t blur the background as intended. Instead, you have to turn on bokeh mode from the Lens icon for the blur effect.

Performance, software and battery

The Vivo V19 is powered by a 10nm, 2.3GHz Snapdragon 712 chipset, which is now 1.5 years old. That being said, the Vivo V19 performed smoothly and multi-tasked without any hiccups during my usage, thanks to the 8GB RAM onboard. Vivo is offering the V19 with a choice of 128GB and 256GB storage, and I received the latter which offers around 240GB out of the box.

As for the gaming performance, the V19 boots PUBG Mobile in HD + HDR settings by default and didn’t break a sweat even after an hour of gameplay. Other games like Forza Street and Asphalt 9 run on the Vivo V19 smoothly as well. There’s a Multi-Turbo feature in the smartphone, which helps the device to load even the heaviest of games faster and as a result, the smartphone, on the whole, feels faster. There are also an Ultra Game Mode and Game Assistant, which makes the gaming experience enjoyable with improved in-game sounds, 4D vibration, and more. You will have to go to Settings and add your installed games to the Ultra Game Mode to take advantage of this.

In the software department, the Vivo V19 boots the Android 10-based Funtouch OS 10 out of the box. The interface doesn’t offer an app drawer by default, but in this version of FunTouch you can manually enable an app drawer from settings. The V19 comes with several pre-installed apps like DailyHunt, Amazon, Flipkart, UC Browser, Helo and more. There are also two folders called Hot Games and Hot Apps, which are basically promotions for apps and games. On the bright side, you get features like Digital Wellbeing, Motorbike mode and Dynamic Effects (custom animation for the fingerprint scanner, face unlock and more).

At the core of the Vivo V19 is a 4,500mAh battery, with support for 33W Vivo FlashCharge 2.0 fast charging support. The battery lasted me a whole day with heavy WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube usage, and moderate gaming in between. On days when I didn’t get time to game and watch videos on YouTube, the battery managed to push till noon the next day.

The competition

The Vivo V19 has been priced at Rs 27,999, and at this price goes up against the Redmi K20 Pro (review), Realme X2 Pro (review) and Samsung Galaxy A51.

The Redmi K20 Pro features triple cameras, but comes with a more useful 8MP telephoto lens and higher resolution 13MP ultra-wide lens. The phone also comes with a pop-up selfie camera, albeit with a single 20MP sensor. The feather in the hat of the K20 Pro is the Snapdragon 855 SoC, which is a flagship processor. The smartphone offers slightly slower 27W fast charging, but that’s not a deal breaker. Prices of the hanset start at Rs 26,999 for 6GB model, and go up to Rs 29,999 for the 8GB variant.

Coming to the Realme X2 Pro, the smartphone retails at Rs 29,999 for the 6GB + 64GB variant and Rs 31,999 for the 8GB + 128GB model. The latter is more expensive than the Vivo V19, but you get a flagship-grade Snapdragon 855+ chipset, a 64-megapixel quad-camera setup and 50W SuperVOOC Flash Charge instead.

Lastly, the Galaxy A51 is equipped with a slightly underpowered Samsung Exynos 9611 chipset, 15W fast charging and misses out on the secondary depth sensor in the front. However, you do get 48-megapixel quad cameras, a 32-megapixel punch-hole selfie camera and a Super AMOLED display. The 8GB + 128GB variant of this phone is priced the same as the Vivo V19 at Rs 27,999.

Bottomline

It’s now evident that while the Vivo V19 is a capable smartphone for day-to-day usage, it has been priced on the higher side, and as such, competes with more powerful smartphones in the market. So, should you buy the Vivo V19? If an attractive design, powerful selfie cameras and good battery life are priorities for you, the answer is yes. However, if you are looking for a more performance-oriented handset, the aforementioned Realme and Xiaomi offerings might be a better fit.

Pricebaba’s rating: 8 / 10

What works:

  • Stylish, ergonomic design
  • Vibrant display
  • Good cameras
  • Fast charging

What doesn’t:

  • Dated processor
  • Bloated software
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Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman is obsessed with all things tech. His hobbies include reading on his Kindle and clicking random pictures on his phone. His secret superpowers happen to be mixing great cocktails and lip reading. In his spare time, you are likely to find him cleaning his aquascape, researching new species of aquatic fishes and planning which aquatic plants to buy next.