Vivo V9 review in Depth !!
Vivo recently launched their flagship smartphone the Vivo V9 with the Notch which is a modern trend of displays. This is the first Android smartphone available in India with a Notch and is touted for its 24-megapixel selfie camera and also for its 6.3 inches 19:9 accept ratio display. The smartphone comes with Android Oreo out of the box and is priced at Rs, 22990. So, How Good is the smartphone? Is it worth 23k price segment? Let’s see in the full detailed review of Vivo V9 below.
What’s inside the Box Vivo V9:
- Vivo V9 smartphone with pre-applied tempered glass.
- 2-pin charger (5V-2A)
- Micro USB cable
- Clear protective case
- SIM Ejector Tool
- Quick start guide and warranty details.
Quick Specifications of Vivo V9:
- 4 GB RAM | 64 GB ROM | Expandable Up to 256 GB
- 6.3-inch Full HD+ 19:9 Display
- 16MP + 5MP Dual Rear Camera
- 24MP Front Camera
- 3260 mAh Battery
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 Processor
Design and Build Quality:
The Vivo v9 has a decent build quality. The body is said to be made of Aluminum polycarbonate with a glossy finish and to be very frank it feels plastic and rear panel catches fingerprint very easily. But, the overall phone feels solid and pretty premium. On pressing the phone, there is no sound which might be heard on typical plastic phones.
On the rear side on the top left of the phone, there is a vertical dual camera setup sensor which is placed perfectly, and your finger can reach easily to the sensor to unlock the device. On the right side of there are the volume rockers and the power button. At the bottom of the phone, there is USB port, a single speaker, a microphone and the 3.5 mm jack. On the left side if the there is a sim card (plus SD card)slot. The slot is not a hybrid slot, but it supports two sims and a dedicated SD card (All three at once). So this is a Good Thing.
On the front there is a massive 6.3-inch Full HD+ display with a resolution of 2280 x 1080 pixels with the Vivo v9, Vivo has thankfully increased the pixels as on the previous Vivo v7 the resolution was only HD. The pixel density on the Vivo V9 is 400 PPI and it has 19:9 aspect ratio which makes 90% screen-to-body ratio, thanks to 1.75mm slim bezels. It is also protected by the Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
The screen of the Vivo v9 is just awesome, there is no comparison of v9 concerning display in its price segment. On the first impression of the phone, you will only utter a word WOW as we did. Yes, it is that Great.
The display is bright enough, the colors are vibrant and the viewing angles are also good enough, It also has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. In the direct sunlight, the display does a pretty good job and is clearly visible.
On the top of the display, there is almost no bezel, you will not feel it. On the bottom side there a little chin of the bezel( as compared to the top, but it is also quite thin). The smartphone doesn’t have the capacitive buttons and supports on-screen buttons along with the swipe gestures which we will discuss further in the software and UI section.
On the top center of the display, there is a Notch which is clearly inspired by the iPhoneX. The notch holds the 24-Megapixel selfie camera, proximity sensor, earpiece and notification led above the earpiece.
The Notch is quite smaller in size as compared to the iPhone X. And it actually looks good and we don’t have any problem with that. The Vivo v9 is quite optimized for the apps to support the Notch which we will discuss further in the software and UI part.
However there is no option to hide the notch directly in the smartphone, but if you want to hide the Notch then you can refer here: How to Hide the Notch on Any Android Smartphone.
The smartphone has a dual rear camera setup with 16- Megapixel as the primary sensor with f/2.0 aperture and a 5-Megapixel sensor as the secondary camera for depth sensing with a single LED flash. On the front, there is 24-Megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture and it is bad to see that there no dedicated front LED flash as the phone is being touted as a selfie-centric smartphone, However, you get a screen flash which works most of the time but is not as good as the dedicated one would be.Apart from the standard auto mode, it has a Professional mode (to adjust Exposure, ISO (50 to 3200), Shutter speed, White balance and Focus manually), Panorama, PPT mode, Time-lapse, Ultra HD (which captures high detailed photos by stitching several shots), Slow motion and AR Stickers.
There is also face beauty mode (to adjust skin tone, buffing, and whitening) for both the rear front cameras with live preview. It has portrait mode for both front and rear cameras that blur the background. Even though it has a single front camera, it uses AI to blur the background, which works most of the times, but sometimes it not worthy. Bokeh effect for the rear camera is done with the help of dual rear cameras and you can adjust the focus (from f/0.95 to f/16) even after capturing the image with the mode.
Image Quality back camera:
The images captured by the rear camera are good and the colors are a little bit on the cooler side. The details of the images in daylight are good but the phone’s dynamic range is not so perfect, that is the portion of the image with more light was overexposed but the part of the image with less light was ok. The HDR mode available when used increases the contrast and saturation. Images captured with flash were good and the flash is not overpowering even in closeup shots.
Check out some camera samples (Click the image to view the full-resolution sample). These samples include all the modes like portrait, Ultra HD, Ar sticker, HDR Etc.
Front Camera – Image Quality
The front camera as told earlier is a 24 megapixel that’s why it captures more details as compared with the back camera. The front camera is perfect for selfies, it has beauty modes and while capturing selfies we felt it has much white light overpowered which is ok, but sometimes face looks really beautified. The front camera also has a potrait mode and can capture the vides in 4k resolution at 30fps.
Software, UI, and Apps
Talking about the software of the phone, the interface of the looks just like that of an iOS device. The notification bar, the control center everything is just similar to that of Apple’s iOS. Although the phone is running on the Android 8.1 Oreo with funtouch skin applied on the top.
The phone has several features for one-handed usage when entering lock screen pin or pattern, keyboard and also has mini screen gestures. Smart split lets you handle two apps easily at the same time. Smart motion has smart wake option which lets you launch an app using gestures and several other features such as Smart call, Smart answer, Smart switch, Smart mute and wave to hands-free. App clone feature lets you clone an app to use them with two separate accounts. This feature is available only in selected apps.
Also, a New Motorbike mode like Samsung devices is also present which can auto reject calls, auto-reply your SMS while you are driving so you are not disturbed while riding.
The smartphone has 4GB of RAM out of which 3.56GB of RAM is usable and around 1.85GB of RAM is free when default apps are running in the background and Out of 64GB internal storage about 49.2GB is free out of the box.
Apart from the typical utility and Google apps, the phone comes with Flipkart, Amazon Prime Video, UC Browser, Amazon, NewsPoint, WhatsApp, Facebook and WPS Office apps pre-loaded which can be uninstalled manually.
Here are a few software and UI ScreenShots:
Fingerprint Sensor and Face Unlock
The fingerprint sensor is present on the rear side and the finger can be easily reached there. The fingerprint sensor is too quick in unlocking the device, as you place your finger it unlocks and it works 9 out of 10 times. Up to five fingers can be added so you can unlock your phone with any finger you want, also it gives freedom to add someone else finger if you want. The fingerprint can also be added to authorize Google Play purchases.
The face Unlock is also present to unlock the device and is quick, but not as fast as flagship devices like onePlus 5t and at the same is less secure as compared to the fingerprint sensor. And I was surprised to see that the face unlock even works in dark( yes in the extreme dark) and that too without the screen flash but from the light of the screen itself, I don’t know how, but it worked for me. Thumps up for this to Vivo.
The smartphone has only a single speaker at the bottom and the sound is quite loud at full volume, but the lower level of volume it can’t be heard even at the 50 percent volume it too low, but at 100 percent it is quite loud. Although the sound was loud the quality of the sound is not good, the bass seems to less, however, this is a personal choice.
The sound quality through the earphones is good but have the same scenario as the main speaker, the sound has sharpness but the bass is on the lower side. The Smartphone doesn’t have any equalizer or Dolby atoms which can enhance the sound quality.
Connectivity and Calling
The Vivo v9 supports 4G on both the sim cards with support for 4G VoLTE for Reliance Jio and Airtel, but only single sim is usable at a time with 4G. Other connectivity features include WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GHz + 5GHz), Bluetooth 4.2 and GPS which all worked fine in our testing. USB OTG (on-the-go) support is also present, but the option for this have to be enabled in the settings before using it.
The network connectivity was good enough even in low network regions we didn’t face any issues. The call quality and the loudness through the earpiece was nice and we didn’t face any call drops in average network regions.
Performance and Game Play.
The smartphone is powered by the Snapdragon 626 processor which is a 64-bit Soc and has eight ARM Cortex A53 cores each clocked at 2.2GHz. The smartphones Support Adreno 506 GPU which handles the graphics of the phone very well. We have tested tons of big as well small games like Asphalt 8, PUBG mobile, Nova 3, Modern Combat 5, Bomb Suad, Mini Militia, etc and all the games were running smoothly even on the high settings without any major lag and the phone doesn’t get hot even after hours of gaming, it did get slightly warm which is ok and should not be an issue.
The smartphone with its 4GB of RAM is quite capable of handling multitasking very smoothly. Although the RAM provided is DDR3 which could have been the DDR4x which adds lot more quality to it. Check out some Antutu benchmark scores below.
The smartphone is housed with a 3260 mAh battery and it doesn’t support fast charging although the processor it has – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 supports Quick charge 2.0. But the phone charges quite fast with the 5V-2A charger provided in the box.
The 3260 mAh battery easily lasts for a day with normal usage and even can last more than a day for some of the users. Thanks to the Snapdragon 626 which is a battery efficient processor.
Time it took to charge
Considering that the smartphone doesn’t support fast charging it charge a percent in a minute that is for us it took around 50 minutes to charge from 0 to 50% and around 2 hours and 10 minutes from 0 to 100%. We got almost a day usage while playing a few Games for few hours, clicking a few pictures and a receiving a few calls on the 4G network.
We cannot show the graphs of the battery life or the hours of the screen on time as the vivo in its custom skin the funtouch OS has not provided any such option. But it not that battery on the vivo v9 is bad. As almost all smartphone available today last’s a day, the vivo v9 will also not disappoint you in terms of battery life considering that it also has a massive 6.3-inch display.
To get the extra few hours of juice there are two options available
- Low power mode: you can enable the low power mode and use your all apps of the smartphone to get few hours extra hours of battery.
- Super Saver: This mode is the extreme power saver mode which you should use only when a few percents of the battery is left as you cannot use the apps in the mode. Only important apps like Dialer, message, contact, clock are available and yes it is actually a good mode and gives the hours of extra battery life depending on the percent of your battery.
The battery mAh on the smartphone could have been increased as there are phones available which have larger up to 4000 mAh battery and are stronger than Vivo v9. But considering the display size, slim body and the battery backup of the smartphone will not disappoint you.
Final Verdict: Should you Buy it ?.
Overall, the Vivo V9 is a decent smartphone with a Massive FullView 19:9 display in a compact body, runs Android 8.1 (Oreo) and has good front and decent rear cameras. The phone also has dedicated SIM and microSD card slots, but Vivo could have gone with a better Snapdragon SoC and a metal body and type C port to compete with other phones in the range to justify the price tag of Rs. 22,990.
The phone is available from Amazon.in, Flipkart as well as offline retailers across India. To summarize, here are the pros and cons of the smartphone.
- Massive 6.3-inch screen in a compact body
- Good front camera
- Good battery life
- Dedicated SIM and microSD slots
- Doesn’t have a metal body.
- Priced slightly on the higher side.
- No fast charging