Vivo launched the V7 smartphone in India today. The smartphone is a variant of the Vivo V7+ which made its debut a couple of months ago. In an ideal condition, premium version of a particular smartphone is launched either alongside the base model, or after it. However, in the case of the new V7 series, the premium model was launched first, followed by the V7, which differs only slightly when it comes to specifications. Priced at Rs 18,990, the Vivo V7 boasts display and selfie capabilities as its highlights. I played with the smartphone for a little while and based on the brief usage, here are my first impressions.
Light and neat design
By now we all are aware that after massive displays, the trend is of narrower bezels with 18:9 screen aspect ratio. While some smartphones aim to achieve the thinness while retaining the overall jumbo size, few brands aim to bring that experience without increasing the size of the phone. Vivo V7, too, offers a wide-screen experience without compromising on the pocketability. For someone like me who is used to a much-smaller iPhone 5S, the Vivo V7 comes across as easy for one-handed operation. What also helps it score in the aesthetics is that it is also light-weight.
The Vivo V7 features what the company calls a FullView Display. Now, this is not to be confused with a fully bezel-less display, as there are bezels on the sides but they are narrow enough to give you a wider display experience. The top and bottom bezels are also present but are narrower as compared to regular designs. The front is dominated by the 5.7-inch screen offering a 1440 X 720p resolution. In the limited time of usage, the screen adapted well to the environments and offered good color contrast. However, Honor 9i in similar price segment offers a full HD display, if the resolution is your focus area.
In addition to the decent display, other design elements include a camouflaged antenna on the top and bottom panel, which merges well with the Matte Black and Champagne Gold colors the phone is available in. The fingerprint sensor is located at the back and also doubles up as a camera shutter. ALSO READ: Vivo V7+ Review: Fighting the wide-screen fight
Some borrowed, but impressive features
Vivo V7 is being labeled as a lower-specced version of the V7+. However, there are some features which are being offered in flagship smartphones that are priced much higher. For instance, the V7 comes with a Face Access features, which is essentially the Face ID from iPhone X. The core job of the feature remains the same – using facial mapping technique to unlock the device. While I have not been able to test the feature in the limited time of use, I am hopeful it will deliver a seamless unlocking or authenticating process.
The camera on the Vivo V7 is its second USP, and also something which brings known features. There’s a 24-megapixel front camera with Moonlight flash that supports Portrait Bokeh (read Portrait Mode) for selfies. The Portrait Bokeh mode is available for the rear camera as well, thereby not restricting the V7 as a ‘selfie-centric’ phone only. At the rear, however, there is a 16-megapixel camera. In terms of output, in controlled settings, the Portrait Bokeh for selfies was impressive. As demonstrated by the company, the sensor indeed is able to capture the subject in true details and blurring out the background. The blur does not spill on the subject. Having said that, I will reserve my verdict until a detailed review.
When users moved to full-touchscreen displays, the struggle was to figure out how to go about navigating. For the longest time, virtual controllers on the lower bezels helped us. Now with 18:9 displays, the virtual controllers have been replaced with gestures. Vivo V7 has also been added with gesture support for easy navigation. Some known features are tap to wake and swipe up/down for shortcut. With FunTouch OS 3.2 layered above Android 7.1 Nougat, some features such as app clone and split screen add to the accessibility.
No change in hardware
At Rs 3,000 less, Vivo V7 gives you the same innards as its older cousin V7+. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC paired with 4GB of RAM with 32GB of internal storage, which is expandable up to 256GB via microSD card through a dedicated slot. V7+, on the other hand, includes 64GB default storage.
So if you do not fancy a phone with a slightly larger display (read 5.99-inch display) and are ready to happily expand internal storage, then Vivo V7 is a wiser choice. There is essentially no difference between the two models, except for the storage, display size, and the battery. Vivo V7 has a 3,000mAh battery while the V7+ includes a slightly thicker 3,225mAh battery.
Based on the limited first use of the Vivo V7, I can safely conclude that the display and camera on the phone, both of which are the selling points, promise quality output. While the smartphone does hop on the 18:9 display industry fad, it limits itself to a single sensor camera, while ensuring Bokeh effect is in place.
On the whole, the Rs 18,990-deal for a smartphone that aims to offer a wider screen experience along with subtle camera tricks up its sleeve sounds decent. However, whether the Vivo V7 stands the test of time and delivers a good camera and music experience the company is known for is yet to be seen. Stay tuned for a detailed review of the phone.