Vivo V20 Review-Reverting to the Older Formula


Vivo, as a brand has had a very successful run in the Indian market, with the brand having a stronghold in the offline market. It’s products have always been focused on the cameras (especially for selfies). The devices have also been very design focussed with them being slim and trim. Building upon the momentum of the Vivo V19, the Chinese maker of gorgeous phones is back. Vivo goes back to its roots with the Vivo V20 and if I dare say this is a step in the right direction. I might go as far as to say that this is one of the very few times when a Vivo phone has coloured my impression. 

What’s warped

  • When you pick up the Vivo V20 for the first time, there is a sense of weightlessness to the point that you feel that the device is not as big as it seems. At 7.38mm of thickness, it is one of the slimmest devices currently available in the price segment and that fact is clearly evident. Even wrapped inside its TPU case, the device does not feel thick at all. So, for those people who like things light and slim —  the Vivo V20 is going to impress a lot. 
  • The display is a 6.44-inch AMOLED panel, which is paired with a waterdrop notch to the top. The display also features an in-display fingerprint sensor, which is surprisingly quick to respond and very easy to use. Viewing any kind of content is a treat on this display and the brightness too is so good that you can view everything even in bright sunlight without cranking the display up to the maximum brightness. It will satisfy all kinds of content consumption needs. 
  • Upon viewing the device for the first time in the Sunset Melody hue, you might be mistaken to think that the device is a sort of chameleon of sorts because the colour seems to be a bit different at every single angle. Sometimes it appears completely blue, other times there is a pinkish-bluish mix. Basically, if you are a fan of interesting and vivid colours and hues, the Vivo V20’s Sunset Melody finish is made for you. If you think it looks a bit over the top, there are two other, subtle finishes available for folks who prefer minimalism. 
  • The performance of the Vivo V20 is impressive. The device handled Call of Duty and some other games like Among Us with ease. I tried editing a video on it as well, and there were no heating issues or throttling problems. So, for most users, the V20 performs adequately. For the light gamers amongst our readers, this device will handle all that you throw at it with ease, so that is a good feature.
  • The triple camera setup on the back is perhaps its biggest selling point. The shots that I took turned out to be good, with the images retaining proper details without ruining the colours. The device also takes pretty good selfies with a 44-megapixel sensor, which is the best of the bunch, at least in the segment. Wide-angle images too retained the color tones of the primary sensor without any major shifts in the colours or details. Another feature that was pretty good was the presence of some interesting filters for the night mode, which give a different look to your night mode images, which, when used properly results in some amazing shots. This phone can also shoot fairly decent 4K video at 30 frames per second.
  • The video shooting capabilities are also quite good, with the device being able to shoot videos with both the primary and the wide-angle sensor. The stability of the video is quite good, even though the device lacks a proper gimbal setup found on the more expensive X series devices, namely X50 Pro and Vivo X50. To put it briefly, taking videos, even in low-light is a treat when shooting with the Vivo V20.
  • Battery life on this device has been fairly surprising. After using it for two weeks as my primary device, I regularly managed  8+ hours of Screen-On-Time and, most of the time, these numbers were achieved after two days of usage and sometimes even more. Charging speeds are fast enough, with the device charging from 0-100% in around an hour with the 33W flash charger provided in the box.
  • The device, in terms of added benefits, retains the 3.5-mm headphone jack, which has a pretty decent output using the AMX One X earphones. Bluetooth connectivity has been pretty good, with me using the OnePlus Buds Z alongside it without facing any dropouts.

What’s Not

  • For the users who are more inclined towards the specifications sheet over the device, this device might not be as appealing, since it features a Snapdragon 720G chipset in a segment which features the Snapdragon 765G and, some options offering as much as the Snapdragon 855+ processor. However, as mentioned above, performance is more than adequate for the regular consumer.
  • The Vivo FunTouch user interface is not to my liking. In my two weeks of use, I found it to be quite buggy.  The system kept crashing a few times and the device entirely shut down twice, which is not a good thing to see on your new device which costs 25k rupees. This can be easily fixed via a software update, but, my experience has been spotty, to say the least. Vivo’s track record of Android updates is also not fantastic, though it is one of the first phones to be based on Android 11. 
  • The selfie camera needs a little bit of optimisation since the device has the issue of making my skin a bit too smooth and artificial for my liking, even with all the AI features off. This does not look pretty and it might not be appealing to some if not all.

Should You Buy It?

If you are in the market for a reliable, premium-feeling device that offers all that you could need at somewhat of an affordable rate, then yes, the Vivo V20 is the device for you and, as an added bonus, the cameras are amazing for the price. But, if you are spec driven and want the absolute best value for your buck, you do have better options available.