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Vivo V20 Pro Review: Better than the OnePlus Nord and the Google Pixel 4a?

Is the Vivo V20 Pro a pro-enough smartphone under Rs 30,000 for you to buy? Here is our Vivo V20 Pro review to help you find out.

December 21, 2020 / 08:04 AM IST

Vivo’s V-series of smartphones are primarily known for their front camera. However, with the changing time and demand from the consumer, the V-series has slowly shifted towards becoming an all-rounder device. The vanilla Vivo V20 (Review) offers a sleek design and a good camera performance under Rs 25,000. However, the device lacks firepower under the hood with a slightly-inferior Snapdragon 720 SoC. This is where the Vivo V20 Pro tries to fill in the void.

Vivo V20 Pro price in India is set at Rs 29,990. This makes it a contender for the best smartphone under Rs 30,000, going against the likes of OnePlus Nord (Review), Realme X3 SuperZoom (Review), Samsung Galaxy M51 (Review), Google Pixel 4a (Review), etc.

Is the Vivo V20 Pro a pro-enough smartphone under Rs 30,000 for you to buy? Here is our Vivo V20 Pro review to help you find out.

Vivo V20 Pro Review

Design and Display

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The Vivo V20 Pro is quite similar to the standard Vivo V20 when it comes to the design and display. It sports the same 6.44-inch Full HD+ AMOLED HDR10 display but instead of a waterdrop notch, the V20 Pro comes with a wider slightly-bigger bathtub notch. There is no 90Hz refresh rate though, which can be a deal-breaker for some, especially gamers. You should check our OnePlus Nord review or Realme X3 SuperZoom Review in case a high refresh rate screen is among your deciding factors while buying a smartphone.

Vivo V20 Pro 5

If not, the 60Hz AMOLED display will certainly not disappoint you. During our two-week usage period, we did not face any issues while using the device indoors or outdoors. The display is more than enough bright and also offers good viewing angles. The colours are vibrant too.

The wide notch is unlikely to bother you while streaming content or scrolling through the feed. What could bother though is the average sound quality of the single-speaker grille. We wish Vivo V20 Pro came with a stereo-speaker setup, just like most of the competition.

There is no 3.5mm headphone jack either - again, just like most of the competition. The standard V20, however, does come with an audio jack. When we asked Vivo why it decided to ditch the 3.5mm jack from the Pro model, this is what the company replied: In V20 Pro we had to give an additional front camera with a big sensor, hence the Notch Display. If there was an earphone jack along with this, the device would have been thicker. So, in order to maintain the sleekness of the device we had to compromise on the earphone jack.

Vivo V20 Pro 4

The Vivo V20 Pro offers an excellent in-hand feel with its combination of a sleek, lightweight form factor and a glass back. The device is just 7.39mm thin and weighs 170 grams. Just like the V20, the Pro sibling comes with an AG Matte Glass on the back. Our Sunset Melody colour, which is 7.49mm thick, throws different hues of blue, pink, purple, and orange when you look at it from different angles. Despite the flashy colour scheme, the device does an excellent job when it comes to keeping fingerprints at bay. If you want something subtle in a slim form factor, there is the Midnight Jazz colour option.

The rear panel isn’t as curved and we found it to be slippery. Therefore, it is best to use the transparent case that Vivo offers inside the box with the V20 Pro. The rear-camera module's design is heavily inspired by the Vivo X50 Pro (Review) and features three sensors. 

Vivo V20 Pro 14

The power and volume buttons are located on the right edge. At the bottom edge, there is the USB Type-C port sandwiched between the dual-SIM slot and the speaker grille.

Performance

If you are someone who plays games on their smartphone and wants a slim device, this is why you should pick the Vivo V20 Pro over the standard V20. The device comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, which is much more powerful while being efficient compared to the standard V20’s Snapdragon 720G.

We played a bunch of games, including Call of Duty Mobile and Asphalt 9. There wasn’t a hint of lag while playing these resource-hungry games or while performing basic day-to-day tasks. The device can also multitask quite easily as we did not come across any stuttering.

Vivo V20 Pro 6

Our device came with Android 10-based Funtouch OS 11 out of the box. Vivo promised an Android 11 within a week of the launch and did deliver. RAM Management on Funtouch OS 11, based on Android 11, is quite good, courtesy of 8GB LPDDR4x RAM. Apps opened from where we left them. Other than some Vivo and Google apps, there were some third-party apps like Among Us, Amazon, etc. Vivo has incorporated a few gestures and custom features on top of Android 11 features that Google offers.

You are likely to get an all-day battery life if you are a moderate user. We managed to get between five to six hours of screen-on time. Our use case mainly included streaming video content, attending video calls, scrolling through social media feeds, listening to music, and playing some games. Vivo has bundled a 33W fast charger with the V20 Pro, which took a few minutes above an hour to charge the device from zero to 100 percent.

Vivo V20 Pro 7

To unlock the device, there is an in-display fingerprint scanner and face unlock. The fingerprint scanner, although accurate, takes a second more than typical in-display fingerprint scanners to unlock the device. Face unlock is quick as usual. However, during these testing times when masks cover our face, it is best to use the more-secure fingerprint scanner.

Camera

As we mentioned above, the Vivo V-series’s USP is its camera unit, particularly the front camera. With the V20 Pro, you get two front cameras - a 44MP wide, and an 8MP ultrawide lens. At the back, there is a 64MP Samsung sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide camera that doubles up as a macro lens, and a 2MP monochrome sensor.

The camera app is quite user-friendly. You get various modes like Photo, Portrait, Night, Video, etc above the shutter, whereas the HDR mode, flash, and camera settings are above the viewfinder. There is a tiny button on the bottom-right corner of the viewfinder for the ultra-wide, bokeh, and macro mode.

The rear camera does a good job of clicking sharp, detailed images. It does keep a check on contrast and over-saturation. There were instances where the camera software bumped up the contrast, resulting in a dull image. This was just a couple of times though. The other times, we managed to get good quality images on the V20 Pro. Highlights are not overblown and there is enough detail in the shadows too. The dynamic range too is quite excellent. In low light, the camera struggles to deal with removing noise. There is Night mode to deal with this, which offers better details by bumping up the exposure while not overblowing the highlights.

The 8MP ultrawide camera doubles up as a macro lens, something that should be the case with all smartphones, at least in the price range. Ultrawide images are quite usable and are at par with the main camera when it comes to colour temperature. However, there is a noticeable loss of detail and distortion around the edges. The implementation of using the ultra-wide sensor as a macro lens results in better, detailed close-up shots compared to those 2MP sensors.

The 44MP front camera clicks detailed, sharp selfies. Turn off the beauty mode and you get colour-accurate skin tone with minimum smoothening. Edge detection too is accurate in most situations but there were a couple of instances when the software blurred the ear and hair in tricky lighting situations. There is also an 8MP ultrawide front camera which does a decent job. Although it offers good details and manages to get the skin tone right, the dynamic range is not as good. We were, however, quite satisfied with the performance of the V20 Pro’s overall camera performance. We wouldn’t mind including it as a contender for the best smartphone cameras under Rs 30,000. Click on the Flickr slideshow below to check photos clicked on the Vivo V20 Pro.

Vivo V20 Pro

Verdict

Coming to the main question - Is the Vivo V20 Pro the smartphone for you?

We were quite happy with the Vivo V20 Pro’s overall performance. The device packs solid hardware for the price. While the competition offers the same, the V20 Pro has an edge with its sleek, lightweight design. The smartphone is definitely going to grab some eyeballs with its Sunset Melody design.

Vivo V20 Pro 15

This time around, Vivo has not compromised on the performance bit either. With a Snapdragon 765G chip, the Vivo V20 Pro is neck and neck to the OnePlus Nord, which is among the most popular smartphones in the segment. Add the camera performance and the V20 Pro has an edge. However, the Nord comes with a 90Hz refresh rate display. 

Opinions over Android skin preferences can vary and although the V20 Pro comes with a much-better Funtouch OS 11 based on Android 11, we feel there is room for improvement. Oxygen OS offers a cleaner UI but the OnePlus Nord (Review), at the time of this review, runs on Android 10. If you prefer stock Android, there is Google Pixel 4a (Review). The budget Google smartphone also has an excellent camera performance and a headphone jack but comes with a slightly inferior performance unit.

Vivo's V-series smartphones in the past often compromised one or two aspects- mostly in the performance department. The Vivo V20 Pro offers a much complete experience. It not only covers up for the vanilla V20 but also one-ups the competition in some cases. A good quality AMOLED display, an excellent camera system, a powerful performance unit, all wrapped inside a slim, elegantly-designed body makes the Vivo V20 Pro a strong contender for the best smartphone under Rs 30,000. 
Pranav Hegde
first published: Dec 20, 2020 06:48 pm

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