Technophile

Vivo V20: An absolute head-turner smartphone

Mala Bhargava | Updated on October 13, 2020 Published on October 13, 2020

Beautifully designed, slim, and sporting a good set of cameras at an affordable price

For many smartphone users, a handset is very much a personality expression. That often means having to buy something expensive because cheaper devices will invariably look plasticky and flashy. But the Vivo V20 has been designed to look spectacular. They call the colour variant we received for review ‘Sunset Melody’ and the name really fits. The back is truly like a sunset captured in glass.

The myriad colours of the sky at twilight really seem to sing softly as you look at them. The colours change as you move the phone around, but are still all the shades of the sky at dusk, from green to blue to orange to purple. The back is caressably smooth and your fingers leave no smudges on it because of a special anti fingerprint coating. If you are a somewhat careful person, you can get away with not using a case which would end up hiding the beauty of this phone. The other colours variants are ‘Midnight Jazz’ which moves from black to silver and ‘Moonlight Sonata’ which is blue.

Thin & light

The V20 is also very thin and light, the lightest in its category, says Vivo. It’s just 7.38mm thin and feels it. If it were a little smaller all around, it would be quite amazing, but the phone is actually on the large side with a screen that’s 6.44 inches across. That’s about average for these times and perhaps important for both consuming and creating content, but I happen to think a little bit of sacrifice in the size would have made for a nicer device.

Looking around to the edges you’ll find that they’re not one uniform colour but darken and lighten to go with the sunset theme. This is an interesting touch. The buttons etc are all regular, but you’ll notice that the 3.5mm headphone jack is very much present — one less thing to complain about.

The screen is an AMOLED 1080x2400 and looks very nice, extending the experience of a phone that looks so lovely on the back. The screen uses a water-drop notch instead of a small punch hole. Personally, I prefer the latter, but the notch is soon unnoticeable because it’s quite minimal. The screen is smooth and responsive. It’s really nice to see that all hints of lag and stutter can be totally banished in this category of phones.

Snapdragon 720G hums along with 8GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB of storage (expandable memory option available) and does very well with Android 11 out of the box. At this point the V20 is one of the few to have launched with this newest version of Android. On top of that is Vivo’s FunTouch OS 11 and on this phone, it’s quite nice, really. It’s neat and smooth and not overloaded with apps you don’t want.

Fast-charging battery

This category of phones now do rather well on the battery front — often better than flagships. The V20 supports 33w fast charging for its 4,000mAh battery.

Vivo reserves its V series of phones for their design and their camera, bringing something new each time. This time it’s slimness and exceptional design but there’s also a pretty good camera setup. In fact, Vivo means it to be used by vloggers. It has a 44MP front camera that guarantees focus, even when you bring the camera really up close to your face, even while moving around. They call it Eye Auto Focus.

The front camera also allows for 240fps slow motion video for an interesting special effect. You can also use Picture in Picture for video. The rear primary camera is a 64MP. It has a nice night mode with some artistic filters. There’s a 120-degree wide angle camera and a macro lens that lets you get really close up to the subject at 2.5cm distance. Overall, there are lots of camera features and effects to play with here.

The V20 is made in India, a fact being emphasised by Vivo. There’s a V20 SE coming soon with its own USPs.

Price: ₹24,990 for 8GB/128GB; ₹27,990 for 8GB/256GB

Pros: Beautiful design, good camera with innovative features, excellent pricing, very slim and light, vivid smooth screen, runs Android 11

Cons: Screen has a notch, though small

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Published on October 13, 2020
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