Here’s our review of the Vivo V19 smartphone
- Pros – Impressive design, Decent performance, Cameras are fantastic during the day, Face Unlock is quick, Solid battery life
- Cons – Price could have been slightly lower, Rear design doesn’t look unique, UI can be made lighter with a reduction in bloatware apps
Product Name:Vivo V19
Vivo V19 is the latest V-series smartphone that will be the company’s face for the next few months. The V-series has been a critical smartphone line-up in the country, and we can safely say that it has been holding the pole position for Vivo. The Vivo V19 launch comes approximately six months after the launch of the Vivo V17 Pro in India and follows the company’s strategy of refreshing the cycle every six months.
A recent Counterpoint report claimed that Vivo in Q1 2020 grew almost 40 per cent compared to the same time last year in terms of smartphone shipments. The company massively grew its market share in the first quarter of the year and held 17 per cent share and was ahead of Samsung that stands at 16 per cent. One of the points that the research firm stressed was that the company exited the quarter with low inventory which means Vivo has the edge over its competition in terms of insights for market planning and upcoming launches.
Well figures aside, Vivo has been doing well in the Indian market in the last five years. The company became the second top smartphone vendor in terms of shipments and had been holding that position quite well.
Talking about some of the highlights of the Vivo V19, the smartphone packs a massive 6.44-inch Full-HD+ display and is powered by Snapdragon 712 Mobile Platform coupled with 8GB of RAM. Vivo’s new V19 ships with Android 10 based FuntouchOS 10 out-of-the-box. On the camera front, there’s the impressive 48-megapixel primary sensor with f/1.79 aperture for the low-light photography. A 4500mAh battery backs the smartphone with 33W Vivo FlashCharge support. On paper, the Vivo V19 looks fully-loaded with specs that can put a smile on your face. But did the device made a mark in everyday use? Let’s find out in our review.
Vivo V19 Review: Design and display
Vivo’s V-series smartphones are some of the best-designed devices that the company manufactures, and V19 follows the suite. While we have to admit that the Vivo V17 Pro looked way more premium than the Vivo V19 and looking at the price similarity, we were slightly letdown. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a deal-breaker. Not at all. The Vivo V19 brings with it some of the design elements it borrows from the V17 Pro like the bold look of the rear.
One of the first things you will notice after holding the V19 in your hands is that there are now dual in-display selfie cameras at the front that replace the pop-up mechanism that V17 Pro came with. The rear panel of the V19 is stunning with a mirror-like design which was almost impossible for us to capture. Another important makeshift that we noticed is that the Vivo V19 has a new place for brand placement at the rear that somehow follows the design flow and doesn’t feel oddly placed.
The Vivo V19 feels like a solid device in hand and with curved edges fits perfectly in the palm. The glass design is elegant, and we have to commend Vivo for two exciting colour choices – Sleek Silver and Gleam Black. We got the Sleek Silver, and it is just amazing. The device is a head-turner, and every time we took out the device from our pocket, there were people around asking about what device is it. The incident does remind us that the design is still one of the most crucial aspects of a smartphone.
The rear camera placement, however, would remind us of many devices that are available in the market. For example – the Samsung Galaxy A-series smartphones come with similar camera placement. Coming to details, the sides come with cutouts that help in gripping the phone. A very rare design element and we haven’t seen many OEMs using this. Have to say that the Vivo’s design team was brilliant in implementing this. The right panel comes with power and volume rocker buttons that are placed towards the middle, which is good while using the phone with just one hand. The bottom panel includes 3.5mm audio jack as well as USB Type-C charging port. There’s also speaker cutout at the bottom panel which we noticed got blocked while playing games. The left panel includes a triple slot that fits dual-SIMs as well as a dedicated MicroSD card.
During our review, we had no problems using the Vivo V19 with just one hand, and we felt that the company made sure that it is easy to use while handled with one hand while designing. What do you get in the retail box of the V19? The company ships a transparent case, Type-C cable, standard documentation, SIM ejector tool, and 33W Vivo FlashCharge 2.0 fast charging adapter. There are also in-ear earphones in the retail box apart from the device. The Vivo V19 owners will see the brand new ‘Make in India’ logo on the retail box alongside the IPL branding as Vivo is the title sponsor this year as well. However, the tournament is yet to be played due to the ongoing coronavirus situation globally.
Vivo V19 comes with a large 6.44-inch Full-HD+ (1080×2400 pixels) Super AMOLED display and also boasts off 2.5D curved glass. The display on the V19 is lifted from the rear panel with the help of a black-coloured border which gives the device a dual colour character – front featuring a black border housing the screen while the rear has a mirror finish. The screen on the V19 is bright and reproduces punchy colours. We streamed a few shows on the V19, and it looked nice. The 6.44-inch display is even great for gaming as you have more real estate. Overall, the Vivo V19 display is a good one that outshines the display we saw on the V17 Pro.
Vivo V19 Review: Performance
The Vivo V19 is a very capable device when it comes to handling multitasking daily. From streaming shows to gaming to multitasking, and more – the Vivo V19 is an all-rounder.
We had a great time playing heavy-graphic games on the Vivo V19 including titles like Need for Speed, Call of Duty: Mobile, Asphalt 9: Legends, and PUBG Mobile. For gaming enthusiasts, the Vivo V19 comes with Multi-Turbo 3.0 feature that optimises touch control for faster and more sensitive interaction. There’s also an Ultra Game Mode for pro-gamers that comes with features like fast screen capture, game vibrations, and screen recording.
We liked that Vivo hasn’t kept the V19 limited to a camera-focused smartphone and has added features like Ultra Game Mode for making it an overall device be it for any task. Vivo has also claimed that the V19 comes with a liquid cooling system that uses a copper tube beneath which keeps the heat in check. We did play for a couple of hours on the V19 but didn’t notice the phone heating up too much.
The Vivo V19 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 Mobile Platform which might sound odd to some considering that the Snapdragon 700-series phones are priced in the range of Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 in India. The V19 gets 8GB of RAM and comes in two storage models – 128GB and 256GB. We got the later one for our review.
We, however, have to point out that the V19 does miss out on the FM Radio app, which means you will have to rely on music streaming apps while on the move.
The Vivo V19 comes with both in-display fingerprint scanner and face unlock features. We, however, loved the face unlock more as it was quicker and spot-on every time we tried to unlock the device. Vivo was one of the first brands to opt for in-display fingerprint scanners, and we have to admit that we have seen some amazingly fast scanners from the company in the past. The V19 is not quite there and needs improvements.
The V19 can latch on to cellular networks even in locations where other phones struggle and it’s a big advantage over rivals. The Wi-Fi works well as well as other standard connectivity options, including the 3.5mm audio jack. We loved the earphones that ship with the V19. The call quality was nice, and we had long calls on the V19 and never faced call drops due to the phone’s incapability. Overall, a nice option for those who love to be on long calls.
In our standard benchmark tests, the Vivo V19 did well for the chipset it packs. In 3D Mark, it scored 2180 in Sling Shot Extreme – Open GL ES 3.1 and 2031 in Slight Shot Extreme Vulkan. In Geekbench 5, the V19 scored 419 in single-core test while 1561 in the multi-core test.
The Vivo V19 runs on FuntouchOS 10 based on Android 10, and we didn’t find much of an upgrade when compared to FuntouchOS 9.1 that we saw on the Vivo V17 Pro. There are some minor tweaks here and there including some new animations and more but nothing fresh. The Quick Settings panel now works as regular Android devices which means swipe down from the top of the screen unlike before.
As always, there’s no app drawer, and you can have apps on the home screen. Users can tap and hold the page to rearrange the page order or choose to include wallpaper, widgets, slide animation, and other home screen settings.
When you swipe right on the home screen, you get a brand new Shortcuts page that has Vivo’s Jovi Smart Scene option. Users can customise this page to highlight news, posts from social media, and more.
One of the issues that we have been continuously writing in our reviews for Vivo devices has been bloatware, and V19 is no different, unfortunately. What this means is users get tons of preloaded apps on the phone out-of-the-box.
Vivo V19 Review: Cameras
There are no guesses needed for saying that Vivo again is pushing the V19 as a smartphone with a superior camera sensor at this price. What you get at the front are dual selfie cameras featuring a 32-megapixel primary sensor and an 8-megapixel super wide-angle camera. Starting with the selfie camera performance, the V19 clearly is a delight for people who love to use the front camera for recording videos or clicking selfies for social media posts.
Both the cameras are decent even when we tried a few samples in low-light conditions. While the 32-megapixel primary sensor tries to capture enough details in selfies, the 8-megapixel super-wide-angle lens is best for group selfies. We, however, have to point out that the beauty mode (including Style mode) and other enhancement modes make selfies look artificial at times. Unfortunately, there’s no way to turn off these modes in the camera app for now.
Beauty modes aside, the V19 has a competent selfie shooter that can capture nice skin tones with accurate white balance. The shots we captured had excellent colour rendering in various lighting conditions. The image detailing is also better, in our opinion, though, we did feel that if AI effects could have been turned off, then the results would have been better. There are portrait and night modes for the front camera. It’s always nice to have a decent selfie camera as now we are connecting to other people more and more through video calls thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
As the name suggests, the portrait mode blurs the background and takes decent bokeh shots. We, however, felt that the subject estimation could be improved as we noticed that the edges of the subject when using portrait mode also got blur effect. We expect Vivo to improve such minor issues with timely software issues. The company also claims ultra-stable selfie video on the V19 which could come in handy for the generation that loves TikTok and Snapchat. There’s also selfie soft light band that we liked during our review. Our favourite feature has to be aura screen light that enhances low-light selfies.
Vivo V19 camera samples
The V19 not packs decent sensors at the front but also packs a punch when talking about the rear setup that includes – a 48-megapixel primary sensor alongside an 8-megapixel super wide-angle camera, 2-megapixel macro sensor, and 2-megapixel bokeh sensor. The quad-camera setup seems adequate on paper but how well do they perform. Let’s get into details.
The Vivo V19’s biggest strength is its detail preservation in different light conditions. Since the company is running ads for low-light shots, we wanted to start with it. The V19 captures nice details in low-light, and switching to Night mode helps it further. We tried capturing a few low-light shots where street lights or building lights lit the subject, and the results were decent. The level of details was impressive, and the camera can keep a check on the level of noise which turned out to be another strength of the V19. We tried a majority of our shots without using flash for filling the scene with unnatural light, and the shots turned out well with a better dynamic range than some of the phones available at this price point like the Redmi K20 Pro.
Coming to regular daylight shots on the rear cameras, the V19 impressed us with sample shots. It produces some vivid and well-saturated colours while the skin tones are accurate mostly. The 8-megapixel super wide-angle camera left us impressed with the detailing and clicked better shots than what we expected initially. The 2-megapixel macro sensor is a delight for macro shot lovers, and users can click subjects at a close distance of 4 centimetres. It worked well for us for most of the close-up shots.
Overall, the Vivo V19 cameras are comparable one to some of the more expensive smartphones available in the market right now. Its strength is daylight shots while it requires some improvements in low-light shots. It clicks excellent details, and colour accuracy isn’t a problem. The selfie cameras are again decent ones and will impress you with the results.
Vivo V19 Review: Battery
The Vivo V19 packs a massive 4500mAh battery that comes with 33W Vivo FlashCharge 2.0 fast charging support. The company claims that the battery can charge up to 54 per cent in 30 minutes which is impressive for a battery of this size.
During our review, we noticed that the V19 could fully charge in roughly 60 minutes, reaching from zero to 100 per cent in this period. On a single charge, the V19 lasted for over a day with heavy usage that included gaming, streaming videos, listening to music, and even for clicking photos. We recorded a screen time for roughly 7 hours on V19 and still had around 15 per cent battery.
We also liked the new addition from Vivo, where V19 now displays the real-time charging stats on the screen when plugged for charging, something we first saw on the IQOO 3. The feature is a very helpful one, especially when you have to rush for something and can charge it for only a few minutes. During our review, we recorded V19 reaching 40 per cent charge in 20-25 minutes which was not bad. Overall, the V19 has a solid battery performance, and we can recommend it to power users.
Vivo V19 Review Rating
Vivo V19 Review: Verdict
The Vivo V19 price in India starts at Rs 27,990 and goes up to Rs 31,990 for the top-end model. What makes things slightly hard for the V19 is the fact that there are phones with Snapdragon 700-series processor available at lesser price points.
Talking about the strengths, the Vivo V19’s biggest highlights are its daylight camera performance, display, selfie shooter, and battery life. The processor isn’t class-leading though it won’t disappoint during multitasking. The UI may turn out to be a deal-breaker for some users who hate bloatware. In terms of design, V19 is a fantastic device for single-hand use.
Vivo just completed five years in India and is now the second-biggest smartphone manufacturer, as per recent market research reports. What this means is that you will find more and more service centres around India and the brand presence will make you confident. Vivo has given us some fantastic value for money devices in the past, and this one is very close to that, though, not right there.
If looking for alternatives, then Redmi K20 Pro (Review) and Realme X2 Pro are some of the options. You can also go for the IQOO 3, which is available at its lowest price point in India and packs the Snapdragon 865 chipset that powers a majority of 2020 Android flagships.