Camera-forward is the philosophy of many flagships and mid-rangers smartphones now. And why not, given that we’re all increasingly obsessed with what we do, how we look, and more importantly what others are up to in this age of socially-mandated voyeurism? The brand new vivo V27 Pro is the latest to promise capturing life’s moments - both mundane and special and here’s how it delivers.
I love a lightweight smartphone and vivo V27 Pro is definitely one. It weighs about 182 grams, which by itself might not be the lightest flagship around. However, when married to a lean form factor with a brushed matte finish rear panel, the smartphone feels compact and offers a steady grip.
The display is 6.78-inch across with an AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2400x1080 pixels, which as expected offers vibrant visuals. The screen has a 120Hz refresh rate, like many other smartphones today, ensuring smooth scrolling across websites, apps and games.
I binge-watched the dark comedy Beef, starring Ali Wong and Steven Yeun, where an incident of road rage slowly consumes the protagonists. The muted, moody cinematography is rendered brilliantly, with speakers that are loud and clear even at a high volume.
Under the hood, the vivo V27 Pro is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 8200 octa-core processor - a fairly capable SoC launched in December 2022, which offers powerful performance and improved power efficiency. This unit I reviewed has 8GB RAM and 128 GB storage. Although you can go with a better capacity variant that offers 12 GB RAM and up to 256 GB internal storage. This configuration works well - I used it for everyday multitasking across Microsoft Outlook, Zoom, YouTube, Instagram, and Spotify reviewing a few video edits, and playing games. The phone rarely ever heated up and did not experience any lag or stuttering while running multiple apps simultaneously.
I was pleased with the overall battery life on vivo V27 Pro. The device packs in a 4,600mAh battery providing a day of half of usage. The device supports fast charging, with a 66W charger included in the box. It takes the smartphone an hour to reach full charge.
The device supports dual SIM dual standby mode, with two nano SIM slots available. It’s equipped to support 5G mobile network bands and Wi-Fi 5.1GHz.
The device runs on Funtouch OS 13, which is based on Android 13. The phone does come with a fair bit of bloatware that I needed to spend 2-3 minutes uninstalling from the get-go. The device also comes with pre-installed proprietary apps such as Vivo Cloud, Vivo Share, Vivo Browser and GameSpace which can’t be uninstalled. The UI itself is vastly customisable, with new features that include auto-updating the colour theme on app interfaces based on the wallpaper I’ve chosen. It also now lets users hide their photos and videos and grants access to only certain apps of their choice.
Vivo has always been camera-forward with its smartphones and the vivo V27 Pro is no different. The device features a triple camera setup - a 50MP Sony IMX766V primary camera, an 8MP wide-angle camera, and a 2MP macro camera. The photographs I took outdoors on this device are vibrant and detailed. The details of stills suffer a fair bit when I take pictures zoomed in beyond 4x-5x. Other features in the app include night mode - which performs reasonably well; portrait mode which does its job of distinguishing the background and foreground very pleasingly. The device also has a 50MP front-facing camera, which does an accurate job of capturing skin texture and complexion, given that you remember to turn beauty mode off.
The vivo V27 Pro, for me, is one of the rare devices that takes you by surprise with how little room they leave for complaint. A well-designed body with a little party trick up its sleeve, great battery life, impressive performance, and a decent camera make the phone fairly desirable. The only aspects that I’m not a fan of are the pre-installed apps that occupy unnecessary storage space and the underwhelming zoom capabilities.