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Vivo is a relatively young Chinese brand that began its international expansion first the Thai market in 2014. It has since entered other markets including Russia and Pakistan. It had attracted eyes at CES 2018 with its under-glass fingerprint sensor, paving the way for truly bezel-less phones. With the Vivo V7 plus, the company demonstrates its ability to compete in the international arena, pit against large-scale brands worldwide.

What is truly impressive are the outstanding marketing efforts under Vivo’s belt, such as a sponsorship deal with FIFA to become the official smartphone brand of the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, and a deal with Marvel Studios to appear in Captain America: Civil War as both Captain America and Iron Man’s phones. There has to be something so good about Vivo’s phones that they are worth the marketing dollars, right?

Key Specs

Display

5.99-inch

Processor

1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor

Front Camera

24-megapixel

Resolution

720 x 1440 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.1*

Storage

64GB

Rear Camera

16-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3225mAh

*My test unit runs Android 7.12

 Design

The unit I received was in matte black – ordinary, but still classy. If you like a little more bling, you can also get this in gold. The phone has relatively small bezels all around (2.15mm to be exact), feels pretty sturdy, is easy to grip and is lightweight enough at 160g.

One feature that stood out to me was the fingerprint sensor located on the back of the phone. I felt that it was definitely very well-placed and makes for easy unlocking of the phone with my forefinger.

Display

With an 18:9 FullView display, 84.4% screen-to-body ratio, and a game mode that prevents incoming calls and messages from interrupting your gaming, Vivo V7+ is well-positioned to be a phone well-suited to gamers and frequent video-watchers.

However, with a resolution of 1,440 x 720, the Vivo V7+’s screen resolution is clearly less sharp than other similarly positioned phones, which regularly come with 1,920 x 1,080 displays today. The colours are not very vibrant, but I’ll say that if you’re not too adamant about watching your Facebook videos in highly saturated colours, this phone should be sufficient for normal usage.

 Performance

I ran the phone through AnTuTu Benchmark, which is a performance test application that compares your device to other similar phone models.

As seen from the benchmark results, the Vivo V7+’s overall performance is not stellar, but it is definitely decent in comparison to its (albeit older) Android peers.

Generally, I would say that the phone is well-tuned, fast to react, and easy to use. I had no issues using it – no lags, random shutdowns or whatsoever.

I do have a few gripes with the face recognition feature though. It fails to recognize my face quite often, even though I’m pretty sure that I look the same. I end up having to use the fingerprint sensor or manually typing my password instead. Despite the hiccups, I still think that face recognition is a pretty cool option to have on the phone.

 Camera

Yes, you read the specs right – this phone is equipped with a 24-megapixel FRONT camera, and a 16-megapixel rear camera! It even comes with a Portrait mode, HR, and a beauty mode. You can think of beauty mode as a Meituxiuxiu add-in that is equipped with options like skin buffing, whitening, and skin tone. The Vivo V7+ definitely positions itself as a phone optimized for taking selfies with features as unique as these, so I put its selfie-taking capabilities to the test.

You would think that a 24 MP camera should emphasize all your flaws, but it somehow made my skin look better than it should! You can definitely see the beauty mode at work here – it smoothened my skin (to the extent that I have no eye bags and am this close to not having a nose). There is also a difference in lighting even though I took both photos on the same day at the same spot, and didn’t make any other adjustments to my settings.

Aside from the amazing front camera that made all my selfies look 10 times better than they should, I tested the rear camera as well.

I would say the colours in Normal mode are not exactly great, with the white balance looking a wee bit off. However, the photos taken do look crisp (no pun intended).

The camera also offers a few other shooting modes, such as HD and Professional. The 64MP Ultra HD functionality merges four frames into one, which promises to create ‘astonishingly detailed images’. They’re not wrong – I think the photo taken in the HD mode is indeed the best out of all three. Professional mode allows a little more tweaking of settings like ISO, if you’re all about the precision.

Battery

A battery capacity of 3225mAh is pretty good – in fact, it is much better than all the iPhones on the market. It’s not the largest phone battery capacity to date, but I’m always happy to use a phone that doesn’t require me to keep charging after a few hours of Internet usage (who wouldn’t be?)

To understand what this figure means, 3225mAh roughly translates to about 111 hours in standby, and 14 hours of web browsing (Kimovil). While I didn’t put the phone on standby for as long as 111 hours, I did try to test how long I could go without charging the phone for, with minimal scrolling of social media and checking of emails. The answer was about 3 days – and it wasn’t even a flat 0% by the end of that time period!

Summary

The Good The Bad
  • Fantastic front and rear cameras
  • Good battery life
  • Screen resolution and display not the best
  • Face recognition not sensitive enough

Overall, the Vivo V7+ is not a perfect phone, but it definitely is the perfect phone for any selfie-lover. I would say that the Vivo V7+ is definitely good for everyday usage, and even better for taking photographs on your travels, and at social events.

Vivian Yeong
A potato that indulges in shooting street photographs, watching K-dramas, and of course, eating potatoes.

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