You can tell Vivo takes its selfies way too seriously. A Vivo phone may not necessarily boast of top-tier specs all the time, but rest assured, it would come with a selfie camera with gobs of megapixels. Now picture quality isn’t always about whether a phone comes with a 12-megapixel camera or a 24-megapixel camera, but in the case of selfies, well, more resolution certainly helps the cause. At least in the case of Vivo phones, it does. Vivo’s past attempts – the V5, the V5 Plus and the V5S – may not have come off as the complete package but all of them, at least, had their selfies sorted. The V7+, launched in India on Thursday, is no different. Unlike the V5, the V5 Plus and the V5S, however, the V7+ has a couple of more tricks up its sleeve.
Vivo phones of yore have had a tendency to copy the iPhone and quite blatantly at that. The Vivo V5 Plus, for instance, looked ridiculously like the iPhone 7 especially from the behind. The visible camera hump, the single LED flash, the positioning of the antenna lines, everything screamed iPhone. Now technically, the V7+ is a successor to the V5 Plus, only it looks nothing like the iPhone. Vivo, for the first time in a long time, has tried to move away from being more than just another iPhone rip-off maker to making something more original.
The V7+ has a full-metal unibody design that’s quite premium to look and quite premium to the touch. It’s equally well-built as well. Vivo has used discreet antenna lines – much like the V5 Plus – that sit at the very extremes of the handset and the silvery polish up-top make them stand out from the crowd. The positioning and the polishing look really nice on the matte black variant. The V7+ will additionally be available in gold.
The fingerprint scanner, in the case of the V7+, lies on the rear. It’s somewhat square-shaped, which again, makes the phone stand out from the crowd that fancies a more rounded design. On the front, the V7+ employs curved 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3, that makes the phone quite durable as also enhances aesthetics.
The matte-finished back sort of eases into the sides via curves that, on a regular day, would make the phone slippery but because Vivo has sharpened the edges on the front, it sticks to the hand and stays there for good. The V7+ — that weighs 160 gram and measures 7.7mm in thickness – is a very ergonomic phone and yet it doesn’t compromise much on looks which makes it quite a well-rounded package at its price.The power button and the volume rocker lie on the right while a dedicated slot for two SIM cards and a micro-SD lies on the left. The bottom end, meanwhile, houses a 3.5mm audio jack and a micro-USB 2.0 port for charging and data syncing, alongside a mono speaker out.
The most striking aspect of the Vivo V7+ — as opposed to Vivo’s previous offerings – is its unique display. The V7+ is an edge-to-edge or bezel-less phone, which means much like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the LG V30, Vivo’s new phone has an unusually tall screen and an unusual aspect ratio of 18:9. Vivo calls it Full View: a concept that gives Vivo’s new phone a screen-to-body ratio of 84.4 per cent. The V7+ is a 6-inch phone, but because Vivo has shaved off much of the top and bottom bezels as well as the bezels on the sides, the phone occupies a smaller footprint. It feels smaller in the hands.
The concept of a bezel-less screen is fast becoming the new industry norm, it seems. The concept isn’t restricted to the top-tier flagship segment any more, even as companies like Micromax and LG have recently made it more mainstream, courtesy the Micromax Canvas Infinity and the LG Q6. The Vivo V7+ is notably the third phone — in India — belonging to the mid-level price segment to ship with a near bezel-less screen, meaning the phone is designed from grounds-up for multimedia consumption.
The screen resolution of the Vivo V7+ is, however, HD or 720p which is a little disappointing. The Micromax Canvas Infinity also comes with a similar 1440×720 pixels resolution but that phone costs just Rs 9,999. The LG Q6, meanwhile, comes with more pixels, more precisely 2160×1080 pixels resolution and costs Rs 14,990. The Vivo V7+ which costs more should have at least come with a 1080p screen.
There’s nothing visibly wrong with the V7+’ display, but, when you’re a 6-inch phone more pixels certainly help. Although the phone’s brightness levels are just about fine, and its colours are just about accurate, there’s only so much that a 720p screen resolution can do. And because the V7+ costs an upward of Rs 20,000 it becomes more difficult to justify the cost-cutting.
On the camera front, the V7+ comes with a 16-megapixel camera on the rear with f/2.0 aperture and a 24-megapixel camera on the front again with f/2.0 aperture.
Vivo, for the first time in a long time, has tried to move away from being more than just another iPhone rip-off maker to making something more original
The star of the show, of course, is the whopping 24-megapixel front camera that also comes with a soft-fill flash for low light situations.
Now, I have been using the V7+ for a couple of days now and as far as first impressions are concerned, well, the phone doesn’t disappoint (much) as far as taking selfies is concerned. It is capable of taking some really crisp and detailed selfies in ideal lighting conditions which means when you’re out and about in warm, sunny environment. So much so that those conscious about their black spots, acne or whatever would want to use the Face Beauty shooting mode on-board that (kind of, sort of) softens the details somewhat.
Everything isn’t hunky dory though. Indoor shots under artificial lighting see substantial loss in detail, and also, there is some noise associated with these photos. Shutter speed is good, but, there’s room for improvement. You would wish it was (a little more) faster during motion photography.
The rear camera, meanwhile, is quite a capable performer especially in good light. Even indoor shots taken with the phone – under artificial lighting – are quite passable on most occasions.
Both the front as well as the rear cameras onboard the V7+ are capable of shooting 1080p videos, as well as something called Live Photo. If you’re wondering where you’ve heard this before, well, Live Photos have been a dedicated feature on the iPhone, starting with the iPhone 6S. Basically, it’s the camera recording some footage before and after you’ve clicked a photo. So, your clicked photos will save as mini recordings. In the case of the iPhone, Live Photos are taken via a dedicated toggle up-top in the camera app and you can interact with them using Apple’s 3D Force Touch technology. It’s pretty much the same deal with the V7+ as well, only Vivo has been able to implement its usage without requiring additional hardware, it seems.
In terms of core hardware, the Vivo V7+ is powered by a 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor clubbed with Adreno 506GPU and 4 gigs of RAM. It comes with 64GB of internal storage which is further expandable by up to 256GB via a dedicated micro-SD card slot.
The V7+ is an edge-to-edge or bezel-less phone, which means much like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and the LG V30, Vivo’s new phone has an unusually tall screen and an unusual aspect ratio of 18:9
The Snapdragon 450 may be considered as a poor-man’s Snapdragon 625. Both the processors are based on the power-efficient 14nm finfet process and share the same GPU. The Snapdragon 450 notably offers up to 25 per cent increase in computing power as compared to its predecessor Snapdragon 435. The Adreno 506 GPU, meanwhile, delivers a 25 per cent increase in graphics performance over the Snapdragon 435. Emphasis is on improved thermal efficiency and longer battery life. The Vivo V7+, in fact, belongs to the first wave of phones to ship with the Snapdragon 450 processor, so we’re yet to test its full potential: something that we reserve for our full review.
The dual-SIM Vivo V7+ runs Android 7.1.2-based Funtouch OS 3.2. Vivo may not have ripped-off the iPhone this time round, but, its software still screams iOS from every nook and corner. The icons, the control centre, the wallpapers, everything screams iOS. Although the V7+ looks more like an iPhone than an Android phone on the inside, Vivo has done a great job at optimizing the software with the available hardware. That’s good stuff. During my brief time with the V7+, the phone showed no visible signs of lag or stutter. The phone had almost no trouble dealing with tasks, both basic and hard-grinding, and multi-tasking was also fairly respectable.
Elsewhere, the V7+ supports 4G LTE and USB OTG connectivity but there’s no NFC. The phone is backed by a 3,225mAh battery but fast charging isn’t supported.
Vivo has launched the V7+ in India at a price of Rs 21,990. Unlike Vivo’s previous phones, the V7+ is a more rounded package in almost every sense of the word. It’s not just about the selfies this time. The V7+ may not have a breathtaking display or a power-house processor under the hood, or even fast charging, but, it still manages to tick most of the boxes.
For someone who’s into Vivo phones, and their sort of spectacular selfie cameras, the V7+ is an instant buy. It comes with a futuristic 18:9 screen, a power efficient processor, a dedicated slot for two SIMs and a micro-SD, latest Android software and a well-endowed battery. It still comes with lots of megapixels in the front camera department, and also its rear-facing camera seems to have a lot of potential. Watch this space for our full review of the Vivo V7+ in the days to come.