Vivo V19 first impressions: A jack of all trades that could have been priced better

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Updated: May 14, 2020 7:35 PM

The Vivo V19 won’t necessarily blow your mind with unbelievably high-end specs at ridiculously rock-bottom prices, but that's aright.

VIVO V19This is the first time a Vivo phone feels so complete. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

Vivo V19 has officially been launched in India and having used the phone for a while now, I can say this, Vivo phones, especially its V-series phones, are finally starting to come of age. The Vivo V19 won’t necessarily blow your mind with unbelievably high-end specs at ridiculously rock-bottom prices, like competing products from Xiaomi, Realme et al, but I am happy to report, this is the first time a Vivo phone feels complete in almost every sense of the word. The Vivo V19 feels like a phone that’s confident to do its own thing rather than trying to copy x, y, or z tricks from others, like Apple for instance, and that’s what sets it apart from any other Vivo phone from the past. That said, if you already own a Vivo V17, you should probably hold on to it, for some more — the Vivo V19 isn’t really meant for you.

Vivo V19 first look: Spec-check

Let’s start with the specs. The Vivo V19 has a near all-glass flashy gradient design with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 6 protection. On the front, it has a 6.44-inch 1080p+ or FHD+ Super AMOLED display with an in-screen fingerprint scanner for biometric authentication. The Vivo V19 display is certified to support HDR 10 content from Netflix and Amazon Prime. Under the hood, the phone packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor paired with up to 8GB RAM and up to 256GB storage which is also expandable via a dedicated micro-SD card/triple slot. The dual-SIM phone runs Android 10-based Funtouch OS 10 software. In terms of optics, the Vivo V19 has a quad camera setup on the rear, with a 48MP main, 8MP ultra wide-angle and two 2MP camera, one for macros and another for portrait photography. On the front, the Vivo V19 has two cameras, a 32MP wide and another 2MP ultra wide-angle, embedded inside a dual punch hole cutout. The phone is further backed by a 4,500mAh battery with 33W fast charging support via USB Type-C.

VIVO V19The Vivo V19 is a very familiar phone. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

Vivo V19 first look: Price, competition

Vivo has launched the Vivo V19 in two configurations, 8GB/128GB for Rs 27,990 and 8GB/256GB for Rs 31,990. At its price, the Vivo V19 will compete with phones like the Realme X2 Pro, Redmi K20 Pro, Asus 6Z, Samsung Galaxy A71, as well as Vivo’s own Vivo V17 Pro. Clearly, the Vivo V19 has a lot of competition, some that’s clearly more powerful and feature packed in comparison, but as I said earlier, Vivo’s new phone offers a complete package that’s surely worth a look, despite its few shortcomings.

Vivo V19 first impressions

The Vivo V19 tries to play the “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” card when it comes to all-round design. The Vivo V19 is a very familiar phone, with a mix of Vivo and also Samsung thrown in. The biggest change comes in the form of build materials. Unlike the Vivo V17, the Vivo V19 is a near all-glass phone. That’s the first — and most important — area where Vivo is stepping up its game. Remember, this is the same company “notorious” for using plastic on some of its “premium” offerings, so launching a mid-tier phone with a glass body is a big deal. And it’s not just any glass, Vivo is also using Corning’s latest and greatest Corning Gorilla Glass 6 here, so again, something to look forward to for potential buyers.

vivo v19Vivo has launched the Vivo V19 in India at a starting price of Rs 27,990. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

It’s a well thought out phone too, the Vivo V17. Vivo’s choice of colours — Mystic Silver and Piano Black — looks modern and sophisticated and not tacky like some of the other phones in its price category, while its subtle curves and respectable dimensions (8.5mm, 186g) ensure it’s pleasant to handle and operate though your mileage may vary depending on the size of your hands — the 6.44-inch Vivo V19 isn’t supposed to be a small phone, you know. It feels well balanced, that’s all that really matters. The rectangular camera module on the back does stick out quite a bit though, so that’s something you’ll have to get used to. Vivo is bundling a clear plastic case in the box, just in case.

vivo v19Vivo has launched the Vivo V19 in two configurations. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

The Vivo V19 has a Super AMOLED display with a 1080p+ resolution. Colours are nice and punchy, and brightness levels are quite good which means you won’t have much trouble when you’re out and about during India’s summers — though you shouldn’t do that, unless absolutely necessary amid the ongoing pandemic crisis. The display of the Vivo V19 is also capable of showing HDR 10 content which is a nice thing to have to sort of realize the potential of AMOLED. In extension, the Vivo V19 also has an optical in-screen fingerprint scanner that’s fast and accurate, no problems there.

Core hardware is where the Vivo V19 looks a little out of place, amid the Xiaomis and Realmes. On one end, there’s a phone like the Realme X2 Pro that packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor, the Vivo V19 has to make do with a relatively less powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor. Vivo’s phone does have gobs of RAM (8GB) and storage(256GB), but let’s get serious, do you really expect your phone to compete with such phones with THAT, Vivo? In isolation, the Vivo V19 isn’t slow or any less powerful of a phone, but, we can’t really judge a phone in isolation now, can we?

vivo v19The Vivo V19 is a jack of all trades. (Photo credit: Saurabh Singh/Financial Express)

At the same time, not everybody is looking for raw power. Many are looking for experience. How does the phone perform in day to day usage? It’s nice if it can play PUBG without breaking much sweat too. The Vivo V19 will make a lot of sense for those users. This is because, much like any other Vivo phone, the Vivo V19 software is well optimised with the available hardware, at least for the most part. And I really like that Funtouch OS 10-based on Android 10 inside the Vivo V19 feels like a much more cohesive affair rather than being just another iOS rip-off. That’s not to say that it is perfect though. There’s still a lot of unnecessary features and bloat that needs a spring cleaning, but at least, there’s some intent now, which looks promising. I will have more to say about the Vivo V19 performance, cameras, and battery stats in my full review that’s coming really soon.

For now, it’s safe to say that the Vivo V19 is a jack of all trades and even though it doesn’t really have a killer feature, it seems like a step in the right direction. Though, I can’t help but point out, Vivo could have priced it better. Stay tuned for more.

Also Read Vivo V19 launched in India with 48MP quad cameras, 8GB RAM and 33W fast charging; everything to know

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