Vivo V20 review: Dressed to kill!
Vivo V20 review: If design was the only criteria to buy a smartphone, the Vivo V20 would have beaten competition hands down, at least in 2020. So, what does the Vivo V20 offer in other departments? Does it justify its price tag of Rs 24,999? Let’s find out in our review of Vivo V20.
Vivo V20 review: If design was the only criteria to buy a smartphone, the Vivo V20 would have beaten competition hands down, at least in 2020. It’s by far the most gorgeous smartphone to have launched in India this year and will have you in awe within seconds. What makes the Vivo V20 different from others is also the fact that it focuses on elements that have either been forgotten by other manufacturers or have taken backseat in quest for making smartphone a complete device.
One of them is thickness. Experiments like pop-up camera modules and bigger batteries have resulted in really thick smartphones in last few years. V20 stands out with 7.38mm thickness and is claimed to be the slimmest smartphone of 2020 in the country. Sadly, looks are the only thing customers consider while buying a smartphone. So, what does the Vivo V20 offer in other departments? Does it justify its price tag of Rs 24,999? Let’s find out in our review of Vivo V20.
Vivo V20 review: Designed to Stand Out
It is difficult to add anything to what has already been said about Vivo V20’s design in the opening para. This is a smartphone designed to stand out. If the V20 was an employee, it would be the one who wears the most glamorous clothes to workplace, has a glowing face and each hair strand styled using the most potent hair spray. The smartphone also draws its charm from a beautifully crafted back panel which is available in three majestic colours - Midnight Jazz, Moonlight Sonata, and Sunset Melody.
We had the Sunset Melody variant for review purposes which appears to be blue at the first look but has shades of pink, purple, and orange as well. The back panel almost changes colour when light falls on it from different directions. It is made out of glass and has a matte finish which helps keep fingerprints off the device.
Vivo has used a plastic frame around the smartphone which houses power and volume buttons on the right, SIM tray on the left and microphone on top. At the bottom, you get a Type-C USB charging port, speaker grill and 3.5mm headphone jack. It’s incredible how Vivo has managed to fit the headphone jack while keeping the phone so sleek. Also, the V20 weighs just 171 grams which is impressive too.
Now, this is a smartphone that you would want to flaunt as much as you can. The problem is that the back panel is very slippery which makes the phone prone to frequent falls. So, you have no option but to use a protective case which takes some charm away.
Vivo V20 review: Display that Complements
The display used by Vivo on the V20 really complements the looks of this smartphone. You get a 6.44-inch AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and full-HD+ resolution. It has thin borders and a dewdrop notch on the top. The latter comes as a surprise because the V19 had a hole-punch display which resulted in a better screen-to-body ratio. The V20 also comes with an in-display fingerprint scanner just like with the older models.
I find this screen size very good. It is big enough for most tasks but also ensures that the phone doesn’t come across as a mini-tablet. But, if you prefer bigger displays, then the Samsung Galaxy M51 could be an option. Otherwise, the V20’s screen is bright, colourful and sharp.
The only thing to consider here is that the V20 still runs on 60Hz refresh rate. In the same segment, you have OnePlus Nord and Realme X3 that have 90Hz and 120Hz displays, respectively. The difference between a 60Hz and a 90Hz display may not be noticeable in daily usage but does come into play while gaming.
Vivo V20 review: Back to Basics with Cameras
Vivo has been building its smartphones on powerful camera capabilities. This year’s Vivo X50 pro was hailed as one of the best for lowlight photography by many. Even with the Vivo V19, the smartphone maker had offered six cameras in total – four at the back and two for selfies. But, with the Vivo V20 it has gone back to the basics, focusing more on output than numbers.
The Vivo V20 features a triple rear camera module which includes a 64-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.89 lens, an 8-megapixel secondary multi-function sensor with an f/2.2 which can be used for both ultra-wide and macro shots, and a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor with an f/2.4 lens. The camera app is very neat and offers modes like Photo, Portrait, Night, Video, etc.
In daylight, the V20 performed exceptionally well. It captured great details, while not adding unwanted saturation and warmth to the images. The dynamic range was also really good. I was really impressed with the Portrait shots as well where you the subject was in clear focus and adequate amount of blur was added to the background.
It’s the Night shots that left me slightly disappointed. Having heard great things about what Vivo had managed to achieve with the X50 Pro – a smartphone that I didn’t get to use – I had high expectations from the V20 too. However, the smartphone struggles in lowlight and Night, failing to reduce the noise. The images clicked Night lacked sharpness and details.
On the front, the Vivo V20 is equipped with a 44MP front camera that includes an f/2.0 autofocus lens on top. The front camera does its own magic and manages to deliver some impressive selfies. It has good edge detection and colour reproduction.
The front camera is capable of recording 4K as well as slow-mo videos. But, the feature that stands out here is the Dual Video mode which allows you to shoot from the front and rear camera at the same time. This can be really handy in some situations.
Vivo V20 review: Average Performance
Performance is not the biggest strength of the Vivo V20. It comes with a modest Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G SoC assisted by 8GB of RAM. This is not the most powerful processors in this segment, let aside the market. The OnePlus Nord is powered by Snapdragon 765G chipset while the Realme X3 draws its power from an even more powerful Snapdragon 855+ SoC. In fact, even the Google Pixel 4a uses a better Snapdragon 732G chipset.
Don’t get me wrong. The Snapdragon 720G is not a bad processor at all. It is more than enough to handle your daily tasks like streaming video content, attending video calls or exchanging emails. It can even run games with any issues. The challenge is to run the heavy-gaming titles on high graphic presets. That’s where you can find better smartphones in the market.
There are two storage variants available in the market the base variant with 128GB of storage priced at Rss 24,990, and the higher one with 256GB of storage which costs Rs 27,990.
The Vivo V20 was the smartphone to run Android 11 out of the box in India. It runs company’s custom FunTouch OS 11 on top of Google's operating system. The current UI is a lot better and user-friendly than what I saw on the first Vivo smartphone I reviewed. So, the company is certainly taking the feedback and improving things on that front.
Vivo V20 review: Good Battery Life
Vivo has packed in a 4,000mAh battery which is small compared to the one in the Vivo V19. It’s understandable as a smaller battery helps Vivo keep the handset sleek. Also, 4000 mAh battery should be enough for anyone who is conscious about the charge left. It is more than capable of getting you through a busy day at work. You also get a 33W FlashCharge charger bundled in the box for quick charging.
Vivo V20 review: Final Verdict
At this point, let me rephrase my opening statement – If looks were the only criteria to buy a smartphone, the Vivo V20 would be a clear winner. However, the segment it is positioned in, is witnessing more competition than ever. A number of smartphones including OnePlus Nord, Samsung Galaxy M51, Realme X3 and Google Pixel 4a are competing for the ‘Best smartphone under Rs 30,000’ title.
Then, there are others from last year like Redmi K20 Pro and OnePlus 7 which remain attractive buys even now. Most of these smartphones focus heavily on performance resulting to bulkier bodies (Pixel 4a being an exception). Meanwhile, the Vivo V20 is more suited for those in search for a distinguished design language and good camera performance.
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