Whether or not iPhone X is better than most Android phones, it’s sure that this device inspired a lot of smartphone companies with its design. This phone is one of the first to include that notorious notch which some hate and some love. Vivo V9 is a smartphone that took direct inspiration from iPhone X, introducing a design that’s almost identical. While we don’t blame Vivo for doing this, we are still concerned about this phone’s performance. Is it as fast as it looks? Well, that’s the question we’re going to answer in our Vivo V9 review.
Design and Build Quality
Vivo V9 is a beautiful phone at a first glance. It features a bezel-less design, which is modern and always nice to see. On the front of the phone, we have a huge IPS screen that covers the majority of the front side and a notch that’s located on the top. Inside the notch, we have an impressive front camera and a loudspeaker, which is a standard. Now, on the back of the phone, there is a dual camera, an LED flash, and a fingerprint sensor. The position of the fingerprint sensor is good, so I didn’t have any problem unlocking V9.
The one thing to notice here is the material of this phone. Of course, we are talking about aluminum and since this is a flagship-to-be phone, we have a glass cover. Unfortunately, the glass on the back is a fingerprint magnet, so you’ll have to wipe your phone after a heavy use. With its thickness of 7.9mm and slightly rounded back, Vivo V9 is a joy to behold and use, even with a single hand. While the build quality isn’t exceptional, it’s still pretty acceptable. I mean, it’s everything you expected from an aluminum phone.
Just when you look at Vivo V9’s display, you can already guess it’s something great. Unfortunately, we can’t have the luxury of OLED display here but we do have a great IPS panel that’s also welcome. Just when I thought that I can’t expect anything exceptional from Vivo, I raised my expectations a little bit as I saw the display. This gigantic 6.3-inch display packs a resolution of 1080×2280 pixels with a total of 400 ppi density. As much as it’s sharp and looks great, I would still like a bit higher resolution on this screen size.
Nonetheless, the IPS panel provides excellent viewing angles and the brightness isn’t bad at all! In fact, you can use Vivo V9 on a direct sunlight and still have a great experience. All in all, the balance of color accuracy, brightness, and the overall sharpness is still to be admired. The only thing that might tarnish your expectations is the lack of Gorilla Glass protection. In this case, I recommend buying an additional protection for your phone.
The camera in Vivo V9 is a joy to use. Its interface is simple and has a lot of features to play with. First, we have a dual 12 MP + 5 MP camera that’s a snappy shooter. Thanks to these two sensors, you can now achieve a high-quality bokeh effect on your photos. While the camera can successfully record 4K videos at 30 fps, we still find these videos not that great. On the other side, the photos look decent in the daylight. In the low-light conditions, Vivo V9 fails to impress us, which is a pity.
Here comes the star of the show and it’s Vivo’s front camera. This 24 MP giant is here to give you some great selfies for your Instagram profile. Since we have a very big sensor, your selfies will be given a new shininess and a quality that you can admire. The great thing about this camera is that the video recording is also great. Just be careful not to spam the Instagram Live feature, but you can use it for Skype calls instead!
When it comes to the performance, I can’t say I’m impressed. This is where Vivo V9 shows its weaknesses, despite having Android 8.0 installed out of the box. Vivo V0 comes with Snapdragon 626 chipset and Adreno 506 GPU. If you know a thing or two about smartphones, you know that Snapdragon 626 isn’t exactly the newest nor the greatest chipset on the planet. It’s pretty clear that Vivo used its great design to cover up these major flaws.
On the memory side, we have 4GB of RAM which should be enough for light multitasking, due to the processor limitations. When it comes to the sheer performance, Vivo V9 is solid but could be much better. The internal memory is also not that great since we have only 64GB. Fortunately, you can put a microSD card and expand it up to 256 GB. Finally, Vivo V9 is a good gaming phone that can push some high-end games at acceptable framerate. This is good news for those who like smartphone gaming.
Battery and Speaker
Vivo V9 sports a 3260 mAh Li-Ion battery under its unremovable hood. Under this hood, Vivo also packs a relatively-powerful hardware and a high-res display which should have an impact on this battery. Much to my surprise, Vivo V9 handles the load pretty well. I managed to watch YouTube videos, stream some music, and play games at a reasonable brightness and still managed to endure the whole day. However, there isn’t a fast charging feature.
The speaker in Vivo V9 isn’t anything exceptional. At least, I’m happy about its placing since it isn’t on the back of the phone where you can cover it up easily. Another great thing about the sound is 3.5mm port that you can use to plug your headphones. The sound department is good but not that great.
Vivo V9 is a phone that looks much better than it performs. Under the looks of iPhone X, hides a hardware that isn’t really close to the iPhone roots. With its mid-range hardware capabilities, Vivo V9 isn’t lightning-fast. However, if you prioritize design and camera over anything else, this might be the right phone for you. At least, you’ll have some cool photos for your Instagram account and spend around 300 bucks for this phone, which isn’t all that expensive.