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Vivo V19 review: Finally, a promising V-series phone


Written by Sneha Saha
| New Delhi |

Updated: May 27, 2020 4:30:31 pm


Vivo V19, Vivo V19 launch, Vivo V19 specs, Vivo V19 price, Vivo V19 review Vivo V19 review: It is a much-upgraded version to the predecessor — Vivo V17. (Express photo: Sneha Saha)

What are the aspects one considers before purchasing a smartphone? Most consumers want their phone to look good, click great pictures, offer one full day of battery life easily and run all kinds of games smoothly. This is where the all-new Vivo V19 wants to ticks all the boxes.

On paper, the Vivo V19 may not look as promising — I thought the same when I first checked the specifications list — but it is when you start using the phone you experience the difference in user experience. Vivo has refined the latest version of the FunTouchOS 10.0 quite a bit and if you have been a Vivo phone user for a long time — you will know the difference and improvements that the version brings with it.

Specifications: 6.44-inch Super AMOLED display, Snapdragon 712 SoC, 48MP quad rear camera, 32MP dual selfie camera, 4500mAh battery, 33W fast charging support, Funtouch 10.0, Android 10, Glass on front and back, punch hole design

Price: Rs 27,999

What’s good?

I have used several Vivo phones over the past few years — starting from Z series to S series to V series and one issue I have had with almost all of them is the software. Previous versions of the FunTouchOS were mostly cluttered with innumerable third-party apps — too many features on one screen which often confuses the user. With the V19, Vivo has resolved this issue quite a bit.

For the Vivo V19, the company has finally optimised and refined its FuntouchOS. The latest version of the software brings major UI improvements — it is less cluttered, there’s dark mode, and the notification panel has finally shifted to the top from bottom. It has always been extremely inconvenient to have the notification tray at the bottom of the screen, the latest FunTouchOS solves this problem.

Vivo V19, Vivo V19 launch, Vivo V19 specs, Vivo V19 price, Vivo V19 review Vivo V19 review: The smartphone is priced at Rs 27,999 (Express photo: Sneha Saha)

Most Vivo V-series phones look good, but given they are usually priced high one always expects to get a premium design in return. Most of the past Vivo V-series devices — despite the expensive price tag — had a plastic back. With the V19, Vivo has finally shifted to glass.

Vivo has done a great job on the design front. The smartphone unlike its predecessor — Vivo V17 — looks classy, sleek, and worth the price of Rs 27,999. The last V-series phone that I loved was the V15 and now the V17 has finally managed to grab that place. The glass finish adds to the aesthetics.

The camera design looks pretty similar to the Galaxy S20 series though but I give it to Vivo for at least trying something new with this one instead of going by its old strategy of launching phones with almost the same design and a few tweaks here and there. The overall design of the V19 looks neat but some times registers fingerprint marks. So, use the phone with the case that comes with the box.

Vivo V19, Vivo V19 launch, Vivo V19 specs, Vivo V19 price, Vivo V19 review Vivo V19 review: The phone comes with glass design and looks stunning. (Express photo: Sneha Saha)

Besides the design, what makes the Vivo V19 slightly more appealing is its weight and the stunning display. Despite packing a massive 4500mah battery, Vivo V17 weighs so light that you can hardly feel the weight of the phone on your hand. This again is unlike the last few Vivo V-series phones. The device does feel pretty compact and is extremely easy to use with just one hand. The Super AMOLED display of the Vivo phone gets pretty bright in all lighting conditions. The viewing angles are also pretty good.

Now, let’s come to what the Vivo V series is mainly known for — its camera. Vivo’s V series smartphones have always been camera focused and the new V series isn’t any exception. It has four cameras at the back — first time in a V-series smartphone — and dual selfie shooters on the front that sit inside the punch hole — again for the first time.

Vivo V19, Vivo V19 laVivo V19, Vivo V19 launch, Vivo V19 specs, Vivo V19 price, Vivo V19 reviewunch, Vivo V19 specs, Vivo V19 price, Vivo V19 review Vivo V19 review: The phone includes 48MP quad rear cameras. (Express photo: Sneha Saha)

Some might say phones priced much lower offer 64MP quad-camera setup while Vivo V19 brings 48MP quad-camera setup. To be honest, before using the V19 — when I saw the specifications sheet — I also felt the same, but it is when I used the device for a few days that I noticed the difference.

The cameras of the Vivo V19 have been very well optimised to capture as much detail as possible in almost all lighting conditions. With the very few times I stepped out of the home due to the lockdown I tried clicking as many photos as possible and shooting videos with the Vivo V19. In daylight the Vivo V19 manages to capture stunning pictures with great details. The colours — except in pictures clicked under bright sun as they look washed out — also appear to be pretty crisp. The phone lets users click portrait shots from both the front and back panel and in both situations it manages to click sharp selfies with the background properly blurred out. There are several filters available in the camera app itself so you will not need to download a third-party photo editing app to edit your pictures before uploading on your Instagram. The phone manages to click great selfies with the primary lens — in fact, it is one of the best selfie smartphones you can find in the price point.

Vivo V19, Vivo V19 launch, Vivo V19 specs, Vivo V19 price, Vivo V19 review Vivo V19 review: Selfie with no filter (Express photo: Sneha Saha)
Vivo V19, Vivo V19 launch, Vivo V19 specs, Vivo V19 price, Vivo V19 review Vivo V19 review: Macro shot (Express photo: Sneha Saha)
Vivo V19, Vivo V19 launch, Vivo V19 specs, Vivo V19 price, Vivo V19 review Vivo V19 review: Captured with primary main rear camera (Express photo: Sneha Saha)
Vivo V19, Vivo V19 launch, Vivo V19 specs, Vivo V19 price, Vivo V19 review Vivo V19 review: Captured with primary main rear camera (Express photo: Sneha Saha)
Vivo V19, Vivo V19 launch, Vivo V19 specs, Vivo V19 price, Vivo V19 review Vivo V19 review: Captured with primary main rear camera (Express photo: Sneha Saha)
Vivo V19, Vivo V19 launch, Vivo V19 specs, Vivo V19 price, Vivo V19 review Vivo V19 review: Ultra-wide shot (Express photo: Sneha Saha)
Vivo V19, Vivo V19 launch, Vivo V19 specs, Vivo V19 price, Vivo V19 review Vivo V19 review: Captured with primary main rear camera (Express photo: Sneha Saha)
Vivo V19, Vivo V19 launch, Vivo V19 specs, Vivo V19 price, Vivo V19 review Vivo V19 review: Ultra-wide selfie (Express photo: Sneha Saha)

The phone also manages to capture ultra-wide shots and selfies. The ultra-wide pictures look well-detailed even when zoomed in, the colours also look pretty accurate. The macro and low-light are areas I feel the Vivo V19 could have been better optimised given the price of the phone. In both situations the pictures often get blurred. I’m a fan of clicking macro shots and the phone disappointed me a bit.

Another area that matters a lot to a consumer is battery life. Vivo V19 nails it in this department. The massive 4500mAh battery lasts one full day of usage very easily despite depending on the phone for all the day-to-day work. The icing on the cake is the 33W fast charging support that charges the phone completely in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

What’s not so good?

Since the launch of the device it has been criticised for using an old chipset given the price it comes at. The V19 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor — which we have seen on the cheaper Vivo Z1. Given Indian consumers check specifications sheet first before buying a smartphone this is one area where most might back off and consider buying some other phone that offers better chipsets at a much cheaper price.

Vivo V19, Vivo V19 launch, Vivo V19 specs, Vivo V19 price, Vivo V19 review Vivo V19 review: The phone comes with dual punch hole camera design. (Express photo: Sneha Saha)

Despite the old processor, at no point did I feel the phone lagged or slowed down. That’s how well the software has been optimised on the V19. I used the phone as my primary device and given all of us are at home we use phones more than ever before. I did all my work on the V19 — from taking calls to sending emails to browsing social media and the internet, playing games, watching Panchayat on Amazon Prime Video and so on. Despite multiple apps running in the background the Vivo V19 never slowed down. So, in real life usage I don’t think one will have a problem with the phone’s performance at any point.

Who should buy?

If you are a diehard Vivo fan, the V19 is a great option to consider given the number of improvements it has brought in compared to the predecessor. The phone is sleek, captures stunning pictures in most situations — macro and lowlight could have been better — and offers one full day of battery life. However, given the price of the phone, I wish Vivo at least opted for the Snapdragon 730 processor if not the 800 series. If your budget is low and preferences are high such as flagship-level processor, 64MP quad rear camera and more there are other options available in the market from Realme, Redmi, and Samsung.

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Updated: May 27, 2020 — 11:06 am

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