If you’re bored stiff with the way your phone looks and are seeking to upgrade in any case, consider Vivo’s V23 Pro, freshly launched with a simpler sibling, the V23. The V series is one in which Vivo focuses strongly on design and does so without compromising particularly on other parameters. The phones are meant for the young and the restless, so it tries to give decent specs, a good set of cameras and a stylish design.

About two years ago, the V20 series brought in a beautiful looking smooth-backed set of phones resplendent with a sunset gradient on the back. Those phones have been biscuit thin. The V23 Pro takes that design to the next level.

Shifting shades: The back of the Vivo V23 Pro, when you take it out of the box, is an iridescent green gold (unless you pick up the black variant). It’s a matte and textured-smooth silky back that shows no finger smudges and always looks really clean.

There’s a big camera square and a subtle Vivo logo — and all else is just that green gold that shifts colour slightly as it catches light. But the real trick is when you feed it a bit of ultra violet rays, freely available with the sun, of course. Exposed to UV for a few minutes, the back glass will transition from gold to blue like dawn breaking.

The interesting thing is that if you cover any part of the back of the Vivo V23 Pro, that portion will stay gold, with the result that you end up with a sort of imprinted pattern on the blue. The most handy thing to use is, of course, your hand. Hold it there for some minutes and move it away and your hand-print will remain on the phone. You can get quite creative with this, if you have nothing much else to do.

I found playing about with the colour of the phone a nice pastime for a while. When you take the phone out of the UV light — basically go back indoors — the colour will gradually go back to green-gold.

One interesting point however; if you’ve been determinedly blocking part of the light, the imprint may not totally go away for quite a while. In fact, to even out the colour again, you’ll need to expose the phone to the sun without blocking any part and leave it to get back to its natural state. The change and un-change is not instant. Also, there’s no range of colours to change across. It’s just from gold to blue.

The V23 Pro is the first phone in India to come with this colour changing tech with its special fluorite AG glass.


Thin and light: There’s a case in the box with this phone but you don’t have to use it, although it may be safer so that any drops are softened.

It’s a very thin and light phone — it weighs 171 g and Vivo says it is India’s thinnest — and that advantage, in my opinion, is something most other devices just don’t come with, making it stressful and painful to hold a phone through most of a day as more and more tasks shift to it. The V23 Pro is flat-framed in aerospace aluminium and yet has what Vivo calls a 3D curved display which ends up looking rather stylish and good. It comes in are Stardust Black and Sunshine Gold colours.

Eye-Autofocus cameras: But here’s a shocker. Its lovely 6.56 inch FullHD AMOLED screen actually has a notch. Not a tear-drop, not a punch-hole, but a full-on old style notch. Now, there’s a reason for that.

Vivo felt that they needed to put in strong cameras because that’s another thing young people are keen on. The notch is needed to house the dual selfie cameras which are 50MP and 8MP. Vivo says the 50MP is India’s first “Eye Autofocus” which means you can shoot a selfie from anywhere and still get a clear image.

Did I find the selfies I took any more pleasing than usual? I’m afraid not. The camera has a warm or cool light for selfies, which I thought was over active. The 108MP main rear camera is decent and has an 8MP wide angle and a 2MP macro to support it. The camera app is feature-rich and full of modes and customisations for the selfie or phone-photo enthusiast to play with.

The V23 works on the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 with two configurations: 8GB/128GB and 12GB/256GB. It’s a 5G phone. The battery is a 4,300 mAh with pretty good staying power and 44w charging in any case. The charger comes in the box.

The V23 Pro a well-designed attractive all-rounder smartphone. It’s meant to support gaming in keeping with what youngsters want. The display is a 90Hz one, which you can drop to 60Hz to save power. It’s running on Android 12 with Vivo’s FunTouch 12. It’s thankfully not swamped by unwanted apps but there are a few like Moj etc that you may want to get rid of. Performance feels lag-free and smooth but perhaps not as snappy as I expected.

The 8GB/128GB configuration is priced at ₹38,990 and the 12GB/256GB one at ₹43,990.