Reviewed: Vivo V9

Vivo has zoomed its way to the top in less than its two years in the Philippines with its value propositions that appeal not only to the local market but internationally as well. And with their newest mid-range offering, the V9, Vivo is setting their sights on bigger things.

Design: 4/5

This generation has seen the most beautiful phones and the V9 is one of them. Crossing over the 6-inch mark, the phone is slightly on the large side, but you could easily tell at first glance that the V9 is well-designed. I’d even go far as saying it’s the most gorgeous phone Vivo has put out to date. It has a polished body that’s curved in the right places for excellent handling. Buttons, slots, and ports are in their usual places, while its dual rear cameras sit upright left of its back. The fingerprint scanner occupies the rear’s center and below it is an etched Vivo logo.

Hardware: 4/5

This Vivo phone is not only gorgeous, it is also one of the best spec’d devices in the mid-range market today. It is a bullish device with a Snapdragon 626 SoC, 4 GB RAM, and A.I. integration. Not only does it look great in paper, it also surprises in use. It is snappy, even with several apps running in the background. The good thing about this phone is that it proactively reduces memory usage as you close apps, keeping your phone optimized and processes fast.

Another thing that’s fast on this device is its fingerprint scanner. Placing a registered index finger over it unlocks the phone faster than the blink of an eye—not an exaggeration. Face unlock is quite a nifty feature as well. It would, however, require pushing the power/lock button before it starts scanning and fails to recognize the face when on the table facing up and you looking down. But its ability to recognize my face even with glasses on was nice, though.

And as with other Vivo flagships, the stars of this device are its cameras. There’s a 24 MP shooter up front with a f2.0 aperture, which allows in light as much as it could to make your photos bright and clear even when in situations with extremely varied lighting.
It does favor brightness over sharpness, so photos come out a bit lacking in detail. Meanwhile, its dual rear camera system features a 16 MP main shooter and a secondary 5 MP camera used to sense the depth of field. The output of the cameras are unsurprisingly crisp. Shooting was also made easy thanks to A.I. integration which identifies the scene and duly adjusts, you wouldn’t honestly need to use the flash. In some occasions, images could use subtle tweaks to make colors pop. This isn’t much of a concern though. Plus, the V9 comes with AR stickers built-in which are unexpectedly fun to play around with.

User Experience: 4/5

Among the highlights of the phone is its FHD+ display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. Bezels are almost non-existent, while a tiny notch above the screen holds the receiver and its 24 MP selfie camera. Navigating the V9’s vivid and generous screen real estate was a real treat. Though, I’ve had a few issues with several apps due to its fairly new aspect ratio, updates that came in straightforwardly fixed these errors.

The V9 runs on the latest Android 8 Oreo but is overlaid with Vivo’s own UI. There is some bloatware that ships with the device and I wish there was a way to get rid of them, but some people may find them useful. To each his own.

And it is also worth mentioning that the phone has a game mode. This feature blocks notifications, rejects calls, and other stuff that may distract you from your game. I found this really useful while playing intense FPS PUBG Mobile and I bet other mobile gamers would appreciate it, too.

Value: 4/5

The V9 is tagged at an applause worthy price of PHP 17,990, which in our books is true value for money. A capable processor, generous RAM, and gorgeous display make the Vivo V9 worthy of its flagship status and your hard-earned buck.

Bottomline:

Believe Stephen Curry when he says “perfect shot, perfect Vivo.”

Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE May 2018 Issue.

Reviewed by Mia Carisse Barrientos

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