Vivo V9 Review- Initail Impressions
The Vivo V9 is making headlines thanks to its thin screen bezel and the notch that sits right at the top. While the device looks pretty interesting, does it have the hardware to justify its Rs. 22,990 price tag? We put it to the test.
Vivo V9 design:-
Looking at the tall and narrow display on the Vivo V9, you might assume that its aspect ratio is 18:9 like many others. However, power it on, and the notch at the top is revealed. The notch is a lot smaller (in width) than the one on the iPhone X, and houses an earpiece, a selfie camera, and the proximity and ambient light sensors. It also houses a tiny notification light in the centre, just above the earpiece.
The notch is enveloped by the display on either side, which allows Vivo to claim that the screen measures 6.3 inches. The screen-to-body ratio is also said to be 90 percent. Pick the phone up and you will notice that it is quite light, weighing just 150g, primarily thanks to the use of plastic in its construction.
Vivo has placed the power and the volume buttons on the right, while the SIM tray sits on the left. The Vivo V9 has a Micro-USB port at the bottom along with the loudspeaker, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microphone. The top is completely blank. Considering the price of the V9, we would have preferred a USB Type-C port, which is now quite common even on lower-priced phones such as the Xiomi A1.
Turn the phone around and you will see that it has two cameras positioned vertically, along with a single LED flash. The dual-camera module protrudes slightly but has a metal rim around it which keeps the lenses from getting scratched. Towards the centre of the phone’s rear is a fingerprint reader, and a Vivo logo below it. We found that the fingerprint reader was placed a little to high for our liking. Other than that, the phone is comfortable to use, thanks to its rounded corners which don’t dig into your palms when holding it.
Vivo V9 specifications, software, and features:-
While the Vivo V9 looks like a high-end smartphone, the internals powering it are modest. Vivo has gone with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 SoC which is an octa-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz. The phone has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. It is a dual-SIM device and has two Nano-SIM slots. Storage on the phone is expandable upto 256GB thanks to the dedicated microSD card slot.
The Vivo V9 sports a 6.3-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 1080×2280 pixels with a 9:19 aspect ratio. It has decent viewing angles but we found that our unit’s display had a reddish tinge. Sadly this phone doesn’t have options to tweak the display output, and as a result, you will have to settle with what you see.
There is no mention of any type of toughened glass, but Vivo does ship a pre-applied screen protector with the V9. In terms of connectivity, there is support for Bluetooth 4.2, dual-band WiFi, GPS, USB-OTG, and FM Radio. There is support for 4G and VoLTE, but only one SIM can access a 4G network at a time, while the other is restricted to 3G connectivity.
Vivo V9 performance, cameras, and battery life:-
The Vivo V9 runs without any lag or stutter. The UI isn’t very heavy, and with 4GB of RAM, the phone can handle multitasking easily. We put the V9 through our tests where it managed 90,565 in Antutu while scoring 930 and 4546 in Geekbench 4’s single- and multi-core tests respectively. Graphics performance is decent and the phone managed 21fps in GFXBench T-Rex and 6.1fps in GFXBench Manhattan 3.1.
Vivo’s Face Unlock feature worked decently in well-lit conditions. However, in low light, the device would fail to recognise a face and ask for the PIN to unlock. Using the fingerprint sensor was quicker in such situations.
Not many apps are optimised for the V9’s 19:9 aspect ratio. As a result, we found that the Vivo V9 runs apps letterboxed at either 18:9 or 16:9 based on what the app supports.
The 3260mAh battery offers average battery life and we found that the phone needed to be plugged in by late evening. Our usage included Whatsapp, watching a couple of videos on Youtube, and playing PUBG Mobile as well as Space Frontier. If your usage is less demanding, then you might be able to stretch it until the end of the day. You can also enable power saving modes to help you sail through. In our HD video loop test, the Vivo V9 could only manage 8 hours and 49 minutes of continuous playback which is a lot lower than average.
The dual camera module on the Vivo V9 consists of a 16-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. Vivo hasn’t made significant changes to the camera app compared to its previous phones but has added AR stickers to keep up with the times. The Vivo V9 has an AI-powered beautify mode which Vivo claims can detect age, gender, texture, skin tone, and lighting conditions, and use that information to enhance the output. This functionality is also available for video calls when using WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and a few other apps.
The default photo includes toggles for portrait mode and live photo mode. You can switch to panorama mode or a professional mode that lets you control the exposure, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, and autofocus. Vivo has also added a shot refocus feature that lets you shift focus after taking a shot.
Photos taken with the Vivo V9 were a mixed bag. We found that the phone could deliver decent output in good light but the quality would suffer when conditions weren’t favourable. In daylight, the V9 was quick to focus and got the exposure right most of the time. However, the output was slightly grainy and landscape shots lacked detail. Macros turned out better as the phone could distinguish between the subject and the background. Low light is where the camera quality dropped. It took longer to lock focus and save images, resulting in blurry shots on a few occasions. If a scene has decent lighting, you might be able to get a clear image, but in low light, the Vivo V9 camera fails to capture details accurately.