Vivo is a household name in India, which has delivered some great phones over the years. The pandemic is not about to slow down that pace as the company launched its newest member to the V-series - the V20. Priced at Rs 24,990, Vivo V20 comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage and double the storage to 256GB at Rs 27,990.
Vivo V20 makes a strong case under Rs 25,000 even though it faces a stiff challenge from rivals OnePlus Nord, Samsung Galaxy M51 or even Google Pixel 4a. But Vivo is playing its strengths to gain an advantage over its rivals, which is the design.
Vivo V20's design is the biggest USP of the phone. It comes in Midnight Jazz and Sunset Melody, which is grey and multi-colour gradient. If you can choose between bling and subtlety, the rest of the phone is easier to describe. Let's get to that.
Vivo V20 is one of the stylish phones you'll see out there. By using some smart changes, Vivo has managed to shave off a few millimetres that make a huge difference in the overall design. Vivo V20 measures just 7.38mm. To give you some perspective, OnePlus 8T is 8.4mm, iPhone 11 is 8.3mm and Samsung Galaxy S20 is 7.9mm. Hope this should give you some clarity.
The sleekness paired with squared sides gives a compact grip. But that sleekness came at a cost, the cost of a protruding camera module, which is inspired by Vivo X50 Pro design. While the gradient finish looks appealing, the grey colour is something we found quite compelling and classy. There's a subtle gradient shifting from dark to light grey depending on how the light falls on the back glass surface. Yes, glass - so you might need to be little careful or simply put on that free silicone case. Even without a case, the matte surface keeps fingerprints at bay. Except for the subtle Vivo branding and not-so-subtle camera module, the rear design is plain and elegant.
The finer details are worth mentioning. For instance, there's a textured side button helping us locate the button. The volume controls are easily reachable too. For those who miss the 3.5mm jack, Vivo V20 has got you covered. Finally, there's a USB Type-C port for charging and a speaker grille right next to it. The colour coordination reaching till the chassis gives a uniform look. As we said, the details are worth a look.
If we have to rate Vivo V20 based on its looks, it gets full marks.
Vivo has opted for a waterdrop-style notched display in favour of a punch-hole design. Besides it being an ageing design, you won't really miss the punch-hole camera. The 6.44-inch display takes most of the panel space, leaving little room for the side bezels. But they are not completely invisible as in the case of OnePlus Nord.
The AMOLED panel with HDR 10 support is good enough to deliver best video output for your binge-watching needs. The display is bright enough to be readable under direct sunlight. But a major drawback is the 60Hz panel instead of a 90Hz one as found on the Nord. The higher refresh rate makes a lot of difference in the user experience, which we surely felt in the V20, but if you haven't used a 90Hz or 120Hz panel, you won't notice any difference. There are no hard complaints here besides that.
Vivo V20 is powered by Snapdragon 720G processor, which is not the latest and the most powerful one out there. But from what we have learned in the last couple days, Vivo V20 can handle day-to-day tasks - minus those intense gaming sessions.
We used the V20 as a primary device and it handled most of our tasks with ease. No major lags or performance issues were noticed while we went about our day streaming videos, binge-watching TV shows, listening to music, browsing social media and the internet at large, taking calls, and constantly messaging with work and personal groups. But there was one annoying issue while taking photos as it takes several seconds to preview the image captured.
Also, it is while scrolling through the feeds of social media we noticed what difference a 90Hz panel really makes, something we felt the V20 is missing out on. The phone, however, handles multi-tasking with ease, putting those 8 gigs worth RAM into perfect use.
But Vivo traditionally packs a lot of bloatware, we often didn't come to use most of it. But the ample storage gave us the freedom to dump all the unnecessary apps into a folder, push it to a corner and get some actual apps to use from Play Store. But the FunTouchOS 11 based on Android 11, as a whole, is quite easy to get accustomed to. Useful gestures, the level of customisations and the sweetness of Android 11 make the UI useful, to say the least.
Vivo V20 is not the best performing smartphone out there, and power-hungry users are better off looking elsewhere - in the Nord direction if you ask us.
To balance out what's missing in performance, Vivo V20 makes up with cameras. The 44MP selfie shooter is quite capable, which produces satisfying results. We are not a fan of artificial beautification, so we chose to turn it off and the results matched our expectations. The Eye Autofocus feature is really helpful in bringing out your eyes, quite literally though.
The rear camera setup has a 64MP primary sensor, 8MP wide-angle lens that also works for macro shots, and a 2MP mono sensor. Outdoor shots using the primary lens capture great details with accurate colours. The wide-angle has some edge-correction issues and loses out on the dynamic range as it relies on 8MP alone. The night mode comes in handy to capture dim-lit areas, worked best in really dark scenes to produce a grainy picture. The output was unnaturally bright, but if that's your requirement, it would serve well. The night mode works on wide-angle as well, which naturally drains some level of quality.
Vivo V20 captures really great macro shots, after all, it's called Super Macro Mode. You can access it from the tiny lens icon on the viewfinder to switch between wide-angle, macro and bokeh. The outcome is quite impressive.
The portrait shots are good with accurate edge detection and the adjustable blur effect. The edge detection can be a tricky trait in some cases, especially in low-light. The various filters and portrait light effects let you play around with your portraits as shown below.
As for videos, you can shoot up to 4K on both sides. There is also a dual view feature for you to explore some new direction.
Below are a few samples shot from Vivo V20:
Vivo V20 packs a 4,000mAh battery. You cannot tell that by the phone's sleekness, but it's true. The V20 is not a power-hungry phone, so it lasts long. We got over 6 hours of screen-on-time and a full day worth of use on a single charge. The 33W fast charging support is just the added bonus, which takes a little over an hour to fully charge the phone from 0. But if you have the habit of charging phones before reaching 30 percent, you'll be good with just 30 minutes to spare.
Vivo V20 is a sound product. It's gorgeous to look at and in-hand feel is excellent. The battery and its fast-charging are worthy of competition. The performance is a bit lax, but if you're not into high-GPU gaming, you won't feel the need to look elsewhere. The cameras also produce decent output overall, making the V20 worth your investment if you're held on a tight budget.
The OnePlus Nord and Samsung Galaxy M51 (REVIEW) come very close to V20 for a few extra bucks if performance is something you care. Of the three, the Vivo V20 still is a better-looking phone.