Review: vivo V19 smartphone

It’s all about the camerawork in vivo’s latest budget smartphone

Review: vivo V19 smartphone

Arguably, the most sought-after feature in a smartphone is its cameras. As who doesn’t like to take a quick snap of something they love, the perfect dish being served or letting everyone know they’re enjoying a day at the pool?

Enter the latest vivo V19 smartphone, kitted out with a dual 32MP main camera and an 8MP super wide-angle camera, and of course a rear quad camera setup with a 48MP main camera, 8MP super wide-angle camera, 2MP macro camera and a 2MP bokeh camera.

At Dhs1,499 what else does vivo’s 2020 edition to its V-series muster up? Check out the below to find out. And, for more things gaming and tech in the UAE, click here.

Performance – Getting by

One of the biggest eyebrow raisers is the processor – the Qualcomm Snapdragon 712. Why? First, because it was used in the vivo V17, and second, it’s now nowhere close to being the fastest processor on the market.

In fact, you’ll find some of the best budget smartphones of 2020 even sport a Snapdragon 855 or equivalent. So, why does vivo use the same processor as its last flagship V17 as it does with the latest V19? It’s a headscratcher – most likely to put more focus into its cameras so it can mono-e-mono with the much pricier Samsung S20 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro. And, for a lot of customers looking for a brand-new phone, that’s all they need.

Regardless, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 did only come out in early 2019, so expect it to run apps smoothly and allow multi-tasking with ease without any hiccups. Well, for now anyway. While our experience with vivo V19 has been unhindered with technical stalling, the rate of updates on Android systems mean V19’s processor could soon be out of date down the line. Only time will tell.

In the meantime, we’ve been enjoying near-instant unlocking the phone to the home screen with its very responsive fingerprint sensor (always on screen), easy-to-navigate OS (thanks to the Funtouch OS on top of the Android 10, along with major tweaks from previous phones) and going in-and-out of apps without any stutters.

For the gamers, we played PUBG and the phone automatically defaults to high frame rate and HD settings. Gameplay was completely smooth, although does consume a tad bit of battery life for sessions of up to 20 minutes. Same can be said for Call of Duty Mobile. It has FPS stability to thank for that, and it has an Ultra Game Mode option for those looking to record their gameplay. For its more affordable price, it’s exciting to have this kind of performance.

Speaking of battery life, the 4,500mAh battery it features does the job. Upon using normally from day-to-day, we got nearly a day and a half out of it without charging. It doesn't take long to charge either – with 30 minutes giving a good 50 percent charge.

Camera – Snap the way you want

The functionality of V19’s cameras is the true selling point. There’s a bounty of modes to choose from, including the bokeh camera to level out blurriness for a soft out-of-focus shot, the macro camera offering up-close shots in detail and of course, the selfie mode. With so many options, some aren’t all going to click (no pun intended). This mainly concerns the macro camera at the rear, as these pictures are usually come out blurry, and don’t register that crisp image its other cameras do.

Despite that, it’s very adaptable. Night shots and low-light mode aren't the highest quality snaps, but unlike many smartphones around the same price, there was a clear image to see, and that’s a definite plus. Along with this, the 48MP camera has good zoom, although does drop a few details.

The front camera also supports a wide-angle selfie of up to 105 degrees, giving us plenty to work with at each angle – only helped by the AI quickly detecting what should be in focus in the frame. With the camera also comes great video quality, and even has features including AI video filters, an AI video editor and AI image matting. Videos shot looked sharp for both front and rear main cameras, with the former topping out at 1080p with smooth, stabilised motion.

Style and Design - Improved series

Out of all vivo’s devices, the V19 definitely looks the slickest, with a simple three-button design, along with its USB Type-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom. It even comes with an applied protective film, which is always handy. This is the first in the V-series where it replaces the plastic back with a glass front, too. Al the more giving it that classier finish.

However, it is very prone smudges, both front and back, and it's quite edgy when holding it. Couple that along with its tall frame and it’s a tad inconvenient when using it with one hand, especially for reaching the top of the screen.

As for its screen, it certainly pops. It features a sleek 6.44-inch AMOLED FHD+ Ultra O screen, which can display crisp colours in images, videos and game-apps. It’s long, giving that cinematic look when watching videos or Netflix shows, too.

The Bottom Line

So, are you all about that camera life or fancy a relatively affordable budget phone with great performance for gaming? The vivo V19 is a good contender, but don’t expect it to go up against the biggest flagship phones on the market. That being said, you’re getting a good phone for those expert pictures for many to admire. And priced currently at Dhs1,499, you won’t be disappointed.

For more updates on gaming and beyond, look no further than right here 

Key facts:

Qualcomm Snapdragon 712
128GB Storage
AMOLED Ultra O Screen 6.44-inch FHD+
Fingerprint sensor/facial biometric recognition
Front dual camera: 32MP + 8MP
Rear quad camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP macro camera + 2MP bokeh camera
Funtouch 10.0
Android 10

Time Out receives products on loan for review. Time Out's product reviews are not influenced by external sources.

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