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Vivo V20 Pro review: a stylish phone with ample horsepower

On: December 19, 2020

Vivo launched its Snapdragon 720G-powered Vivo V20 and the Snapdragon 662-backed Vivo V20 SE in India earlier. More recently, the brand expanded the V20 series with the launch of the top-of-the-line V20 Pro. The Vivo V20 Pro 5G is being touted as the slimmest smartphone by the company and comes as a major upgrade over its siblings.

Also read: Vivo V20 Pro 5G vs OnePlus Nord vs Google Pixel 4A: price in India, specifications and features compared

The latest launch falls in the affordable-premium smartphone category and brings features like 5G connectivity and dual selfie cameras to the table. The V20 Pro is one of those unique smartphones which look incredibly stylish and also pack ample horsepower. I have been using the handset for a week now and here’s my detailed review of the Vivo V20 Pro.

Design and display

Highlights

  • 158.82 x 74.20 x 7.49 mm, 170g
  • 6.44-inch AMOLED, FHD+, 20:9 aspect ratio

Right off the bat, at just 7.49mm and 170g, the Vivo V20 Pro is one of the thinnest and lightest smartphones I have held in my hands. In fact, the Midnight Jazz colour variant measures just 7.38mm and is touted to be the slimmest smartphone in the category. I received the Sunset Melody variant, which is slightly thicker but it’s a small trade-off compared to how stunning the smartphone looks.

The AG Matte Glass design on the back of my Sunset Melody variant has aurora-hues iridescent finish, which is eye-catching. The rear panel is also protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which should keep scuffs at bay. While the back panel does pick up smudges, those are easy to wipe off. The camera bump on the back is also rather flat and the phone doesn’t wobble much when placed on a flat surface.

The thin frame of the Vivo V20 Pro means that the smartphone misses out on the 3.5mm audio jack. However, Vivo has included a Type-C to 3.5mm dongle in the packaging. The buttons and ports placement are pretty standard on the handset.

The Vivo V20 Pro might raise a few eyebrows when it comes to the display thanks to the standard 60Hz panel and a wide display notch. However, the 6.44-inch, 20:9 AMOLED screen with FHD+ resolution on the Vivo V20 Pro is pretty good. The display offers vibrant colours, excellent viewing angles, deeper blacks, and good brightness levels. The screen was perfectly legible even when I was testing out its cameras in the harsh sunlight.

There’s support for Widevine L1 certification, which means the display can play high-resolution content on Netflix, Hotstar, and Prime Video. I have been enjoying Christmas movies on Netflix and the content looks stunning, to say the least. After a while, the notch doesn’t even intrude much as you get used to it. While I did feel the pinch of a slower refresh rate, but if you are coming from an older device, you won’t notice any difference. There’s an in-display fingerprint scanner, which was pretty fast and accurate in my experience.

Cameras

Highlights

  • Rear: 64-megapixel primary lens, 8-megapixel wide-angle, 2-megapixel mono
  • Front: 44-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel wide-angle lens

The Vivo V20 Pro has a triple camera setup on the back featuring the 64MP Samsung ISOCELL GW1 primary lens, which is backed by an 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP mono sensor. In the front, the smartphone has a dual selfie camera setup with the best-in-class 44-megapixel primary selfie camera accompanied by an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens.

The primary 64-megapixel camera clicks impressive pictures in the daylight with accurate colour reproduction. However, I did notice images with vivid objects getting a bit of saturation boost. The camera retains a good amount of details and also handles dynamic range pretty well.

The ultra-wide sensor, on the other hand, does capture more of the landscape but has fewer details with warping on the edges. The ultra-wide sensor also doubles up as the macro lens to take close-up shots. The sensor captures detailed and vivid macro shots.

At night, Vivo V20 Pro’s AI-scene recognition kicks in and exposes the image, but sometimes the pictures look tad-bit overexposed when there’s a light source in the frame. The dedicated night mode keeps the exposure in check and clicks a well-balanced shot with low noise and good details.

The highlight of the Vivo V20 Pro is the 44-megapixel selfie camera on the front, which is the best-in-class. The main camera is aided by an 8MP ultra-wide lens with a 105-degree field of view. Vivo has included the Eye AutoFocus technology, which tracks eyes rather than the face to keep the subject in focus. The selfies were impressive, just as I expected, with natural skin tones and accurate edge-detection in portrait mode.

On the video front, the Vivo V20 Pro can shoot 4K video at 60fps and 720p slow-mo @ 240 fps. There’re also slow-motion and time-lapse modes for video recording.

Performance, software and battery

Highlights

  • Android 11 with FunTouch OS
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
  • 8GB + 128GB
  • 4,000mAh battery, 33W fast charging

The Vivo V20 Pro is a Snapdragon 765G-powered smartphone with 5G capabilities. The processor is backed by 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The storage on the Vivo V20 Pro is not expandable, which is a bummer. In my stint with the smartphone, it handled my heavy multitasking and daily usage pretty well.

As for gaming, I tried played Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty: Mobile on the V20 Pro during my time and the Snapdragon 765G didn’t break a sweat. I didn’t experience any sort of lag or frame drop during my casual gaming experience. In our PUBG Mobile gaming test, the smartphone allowed up to HDR graphics settings and Ultra frame rate, which is impressive. The battery level dropped by around 15 percent and the phone did warm up a little, but that’s to be expected.

The Vivo V20 Pro is among the first smartphones to ship with Android 11 out of the box, which is impressive. The phone runs the latest FunTouch OS 11, which is more along the lines of stock Android. Gone is the iOS-like interface and instead, the phone features material-design navigation buttons, stock notification panel, and simplified settings. Vivo has also reduced the amount of bloatware but the infamous Hot Apps and Hot Games folders are still present.

As for the battery, Vivo had to cut corners to make Vivo V20 Pro the slimmest smartphone in its category. The handset features a 4,000mAh battery, which is average by today’s standard. With my usage, which includes heavy social media browsing, YouTube videos and constantly buzzing WhatsApp and Telegram groups, the Vivo V20 Pro did see me through a day. The 33W fast charger provided with the handset juices it up fully in an hour.

Bottomline

With Vivo V20 Pro, the brand has presented us with an option that looks incredibly stylish, has a sleek design, 5G connectivity and a best-in-class selfie camera. At Rs 29,990, the Vivo V20 Pro comes across as an all-round package, barring minor niggles like the 60Hz refresh rate and average battery life.

The closest competition is the OnePlus Nord with its top-end variant with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage also priced at Rs 29,999. You get the same Snapdragon 765G chipset but a 90Hz display and much cleaner Oxygen OS. The Nord does miss out when it comes to cameras and design though.

Pricebaba’s rating: 8 / 10

What works:

  • Stunning design
  • Good performance
  • Powerful selfie camera
  • Fast charging

What doesn’t:

  • 60Hz display
  • Average battery life
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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.