Vivo V19 Review: Best premium midrange phone of 2020?

Vivo V19 Review

Vivo’s V-series is all about innovation at a mid-range price tag. The V11 Pro brought an in-display fingerprint scanner in a midrange price segment, and the V15 Pro had the pop-up selfie camera. This year’s Vivo V19 brings quad cameras and dual punch-hole display. However, there are some things that I like about it, and a some things that I wish Vivo improved in the next iteration of V-series. Without further ado, let’s get into this review of the Vivo V19.

Vivo V19 Specifications:

  • Body: 6.28 x 2.95 x 0.33 inches; 186.5 gm
  • Display: 6.44-inches E3 Super AMOLED panel; 409PPI; HDR10
  • Resolution: FHD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels); 20:9 aspect ratio
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 712; 10nm Mobile Platform
  • CPU: Octa-core (2×2.3 GHz Kryo 360 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver)
  • GPU: Adreno 616
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB (expandable)
  • Software & UI: Funtouch OS 10 on top of Android 10
  • Rear Camera: Quad-camera;
    – 48MP, f/1.8 primary shooter
    – 8MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide lens
    – 2MP, f/2.4 macro lens
    – 2MP, f/2.4 depth sensor
    – Dual-LED flash
  • Front Camera: Dual-camera;
    – 32MP, f/2.1 lens primary
    – 8MP, f/2.3 ultra-wide lens
  • Security: In-display Fingerprint Scanner (optical)
  • Audio: 3.5mm headphone jack, Bottom-firing speaker
  • Connectivity: Dual Nano-SIM, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS/AGPS/GLONASS/BDS, USB Type-C
  • Battery: 4500mAh with 33W Vivo FlashCharge 2.0
  • Colors: Gleam Black, Sleek Silver
  • Price in Nepal: Rs. 49,999 (8/128GB)

Vivo V19 Review:

Design

  • Glass front, glass back, and plastic frame

Vivo V19 - Design [1]

The design of Vivo phones doesn’t usually disappoint and this one shares the same story. It’s a glass back that looks nice and has a good grip as well. The feeling on the hands is satisfying too. However, it has a plastic frame surrounding it which might bring about some durability issues in the long run. However, during my use, there has been no issue.

Additionally, the buttons have a plasticky feel to it and don’t give that satisfactory feedback. Moreover, the camera bump at the back is a pretty large one that might get scratched if not taken care of, so be sure to slap in a good phone case. You get one inside the box too which might work for a few months. Mine is working pretty well till now.

Vivo Y20 Ad

Overall, there is nothing much to go on about the design. There is nothing great about it yet it’s not bad either. So, I am pretty content with it.

Display

  • 6.44-inch E3 Super AMOLED panel
  • 1200 nits brightness (max); HDR10

What can certainly be labeled good on this device is its display. It is a 6.44-inch AMOLED panel with excellent quality. And the best thing about it is that it can get really really bright. Being an AMOLED display, it has the Always-on Display and dark mode too. About the latter, Vivo does not make the entire theme dark. It’s partially dark only unlike what Samsung does.

Vivo V19 - Display [1]

Keeping the nitpicking aside, you really get a good quality panel in the V19 and anyone who requires a good display experience, will certainly like V19’s display. One thing, however, is that the dual punch holes are kind of weird looking and slightly bigger as well. And because it’s on the right side making the notifications push towards the left, it kind of makes me have an OCD. But again, to each their own I guess.

While we are talking about the display, let’s talk about its in-display fingerprint sensor too. It is really fast, accurate, and only when your hands get wet, it fails to recognize your print. Otherwise, I’ve no complaints about it.

Performance

  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoC (10nm)
  • 8GB RAM with either 128 or 256GB of expandable internal storage

Alright, let’s move to the performance side of things. It features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 712, which is used on phones half the price. So performance-wise, the V19 seems utterly overpriced, especially considering that its competitors have much better chipset offerings.

Vivo V19 - Display [2]

However talking about real-life performance, SD 712 is still a decent chipset. Hence, when doing normal tasks like browsing the internet, using WhatsApp, and the likes, you won’t feel a hint of lag in it. Similarly, multitasking is not a problem either, all thanks to the onboard 8GB RAM

Gaming

Gaming performance, however, has exceeded my expectations because Vivo has optimized the popular games like PUBG and COD to run well. The highest you can go in PUBG is HD graphics and High frame rates and up to ultra-frame rates when you set the graphics to smooth or balanced. I got a decent 40fps lag-free experience in smooth graphics and ultra-frame rate on the Vivo V19.

However, with the superior Adreno 618 GPU of the SD 730, you will definitely notice better graphics quality on the A71 or the Mi Note 10 Lite, as compared to Vivo V19.

Vivo V19 - Gaming

In my review time with the Vivo V19, I also found the dedicated ultra-game mode to be useful, which made for an immersive gaming experience. Additionally, there’s also a feature in the game mode that helps you train to distinguish which side the footsteps are approaching or which side gunshots are being fired from, etc. So, if you are a PUBG player, you might like what Vivo is offering here.

Similarly, other games like COD run considerably well too. The Vivo V19 can go upto “Very High” settings and run equally well.

Overall, I like what Vivo has done with the game mode and optimization in certain games in order to match the competition. But I cannot help but think that this optimization would have been so much better if the company had opted for a slightly better chipset (SD 730G or SD765G). That would have given Vivo such an edge in performance.

Camera

  • Quad-cameras at the back
  • (48MP primary, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, 2MP depth)
  • Dual front camera (32MP primary, 8MP ultrawide)

Okay, let’s get to the camera performance of the device. There’s a quad-camera at the back that comprises of a 48MP primary camera, the 8MP ultra-wide lens, a 2MP depth, and a 2MP macro lens. At the front, there is a 32MP primary and an 8MP secondary ultra-wide-angle lens.

Normal Images

About the performance of the primary back camera, I would say it’s really good, actually as good as the Galaxy A71. What’s different in the pictures among the two is the color tone as Vivo seems to have a yellow tone in its images.

Also, many times, it tends to saturate the images a little bit more, but most of the time you get good results. Take the example of some of these samples I shot.

They have a good dynamic range, pleasing colors, and ample details, all of which work together to give us nice pictures.

Wideangle Images

Ultra-wide-angle images are satisfactory too. They are almost on par with the A71 except for the slightly better colors and a wider field of view on the A71.

 

Portrait Images

Even portraits from the V19 are nice. The subject focus is adequate on it just like the A71. It’s just that the A71 manages to maintain colors in the background a little better. But Vivo is very close to the competition too.

Plus what you get in Vivo are various lighting effects that you can apply to make your portraits look even better. I even put up a picture on my Instagram account a few days ago using the monochrome background effect.

I think it looked really cool. Likewise, if you are someone who likes to edit their pictures a lot, there are various inbuilt filters and effects too.

Selfie Images

Even selfies from the V19 are good-looking but I found them to be beautified by a little, even in the normal mode. And despite your skin looking a bit smoothened, the selfies look pleasing nonetheless.

However, the Galaxy A71 selfies do a better task in maintaining the background exposure. Whereas as you can see, the V19 seems to solely focus on the subject only.

The quality of the V19 selfie is on par with the A71 though. You get a lot of filters and sticker options too if you are into that kind of stuff.

Nighttime Images

Vivo V19 also has a dedicated night mode. It does brighten up the images, but the process generates a lot of grains.

Similarly, light flares also get a little overblown when using Night Mode. However, at the end of the day, it’s a pretty decent implementation I’d say.

Videos

For videos, you get the options to shoot up to 4k 30fps. However, the 4k videos as well as the 1080P 60fps are not stable. Hence, the EIS works only in 1080P 30fps videos. The colors and details look good on all the resolutions though. You also have something called an ultra-steady mode that stabilizes your videos a little, but that option is only there in the 1080p 30 fps option.

Overall, the cameras on the V19 have good performance. However, given the price, it would have been so much better, if the company had given a Telephoto lens and Optical image stabilization instead of the macro lens here, as the macro lens hardly performs well.

Camera UI

On a different note, one complaint I have with Vivo is that the camera UI is a bit messed up here. For someone who is not used to this interface, it can get a bit difficult to operate. For instance, you have to click on the lens option to shoot wide-angle images and if you want to get back to the normal mode, you have to cross it which I feel is a bit more complicated. Similarly, there are two options for clicking portrait images which could be made simpler.

And it’s not just the camera UI, the overall interface of Funtouch OS is not perfect. For example, you have to drag down the taskbar twice to get to settings and as mentioned earlier dark mode is not “fully dark”.

Vivo V19 - UI

But, Vivo has finally listened to complaints and put the quick toggle menu on the top. And the company’s digital assistant Jovi has been refined too. I really like the Smart Scene feature of it which gives you some of your health and usage stats like reminders to drink water or information on how much time you continuously use your phone, etc.

In the future, I hope Vivo focuses on the usability aspect of its UI more and optimizes better for its users to get a seamless experience.

Battery & Audio

  • 4500mAh with 33W Vivo FlashCharge 2.0
  • 3.5mm headphone jack, single bottom-firing speaker

Okay, now let’s get to its battery-life. It’s got a huge 4,500 mAh battery that is very enduring.

During my review period, the Vivo V19 gave me more than a day’s backup on medium usage. This consisted of some gaming, a lot of social media, and making calls and chatting. So, I would rate the battery life with 8.5/10 points, which I consider to be good.

Charging is pretty fast here too. The phone comes with a 33- watt charger in the box that gets the battery full in slightly over one hour which is impressive. And the phone has a good standby time too with the Always-on Display on. The A71 on the other hand, or even my primary phone, the S20 does not give me such good standby time. So, I must say that Vivo has done a good job here.

Speaker Performance

I also like the speakers on the V19. It has a very balanced audio output.

Conclusion 

Discounting the performance, the Vivo V19 is a decent mid-range smartphone. It has excellent cameras and there are fun things to play around with its camera. It has a bright & vibrant E3 AMOLED panel so content consumption’s excellent too.

You also get a 33W fast charger inside the box and the phone’s battery endurance is pretty good too. However, the Snapdragon 712 just doesn’t belong in a phone of this price. Likewise, Vivo’s Funtouch OS needs a lot more polishing.

  • Watch our video review of the Vivo V19!

Vivo V19 Review: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Vibrant AMOLED display with a fast optical fingerprint scanner
  • Optimized gaming performance with some nifty features
  • Great cameras alongside a few fun feature like AR stickers
  • Decent battery life and 33W fast charging

Cons:

  • Chipset selection should’ve been a lot better
  • Funtouch OS is still a little drag to get around
  • A telephoto zoom lens instead of macro would have been great
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Build
7.5
Display
8
Performance
7
Back Camera
8.5
Front Camera
8.5
Software & UI
7
Battery
8.5
Value for Money
7