While Xiaomi continues to lead the Indian smartphone market, competitors like Samsung, Realme and others continue to launch devices every month. If we talk about Vivo, the company has been pushing devices in its Y-series, U-series and the V-series as well. After the Vivo V17 Pro with dual pop-up cameras, the Vivo V17 is the latest offering.
Available for Rs 22,990, the smartphone is only available in one storage variant – 8GB RAM with 128GB storage. For the price, you get a 48-megapixel quad-camera setup, a 32-megapixel front camera with hole-punch cutout, and a 4,500mAh battery. Vivo also claims that the hole-punch is the smallest compared to other devices like the Galaxy S10, the Note 10 and others that come with such cutout. But do the features and overall performance justify its price tag? Check out our Vivo V17 review.
Vivo V17 specifications, features
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC|
|OS||Android 9 Pie with FunTouch OS|
|Display||Super AMOLED-6.44-inch FHD+|
|Internal Memory||8GB RAM with 128GB storage|
|Rear Camera||Quad – 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP|
Vivo V17: Design and build
The smartphone looks and feels stunning, and it is also very lightweight, thanks to the plastic frame. The front is dominated by a 6.44-inch FHD+ AMOLED display which offers good color reproduction and viewing angles are good too. And as it is an AMOLED panel, you also get an in-display fingerprint scanner for biometric authentication.
The highlight of the V17 is the hole-punch cutout that houses the selfie camera. It sits on the top-right corner, and isn’t intrusive in any way. Whether it is watching videos or movies, or playing games like PUBG Mobile, I barely noticed the hole-punch cutout.
The back is made from plastic and has a laminated finish that looks and feels like glass. But the problem is, it is prone to scratches. Unlike most phones in its segment, the V17 does not come with a gradient finish. But even the plain color looks good. Moving on, the other highlight of the smartphone is its L-shaped quad-camera module on the top left.
The rest of the back is clean, except for the Vivo branding on the bottom left, and camera aperture number just below the module. Moving to buttons and ports, the volume rocker and power button is on the right, whereas the dual-SIM card and microSD slot lot is on the left. The 3.5mm audio jack and USB Type-C port are at the bottom.
Before we move to the core performance, let’s talk about the camera first. The quad-camera setup includes a 48-megapixel main shooter offering wide f/1.8 aperture and phase detection autofocus. It is paired with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel dedicated macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies and video calling, you get a 32-megapixel snapper. The specifications sound interesting, but what about the quality?
The primary 48-megapixel camera takes good photos in day-light conditions. By default, it takes photos in 12-megapixel resolution (4-1 pixel binning). The default photos are about 5MB in size. Photos look good with enough details. But as you zoom in and crop, the smudging is clearly visible. If you want full resolution photos, you have to switch to 48-megapixel mode manually. Each high-res photo is about 17-20MB in size. One other thing you will notice, the AI mode works with standard more, making the photos look punchy. But with 48-megapixel mode, the photo appears to be quite natural as there is no artificial boost with AI.
Zooming the same photo in high-res, things are a little better. As you can see in the below-zoomed photos, both don’t retain details, and graininess is visible in the sky. The 12-megapixel photo isn’t too sharp, whereas the 48-megapixel one is slightly better.
There is a dedicated night mode too, and it does a fantastic job for a device in this price range. As you can see in the below example, the night mode photo has more details, compared to the blurry one with default mode.
Ultra wide, macro and depth sensors
Moving on, you have an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens. It does a good job in daylight. But as the sun sets, the quality falls down. Also, between the primary and ultra-wide cameras, you’ll notice that the exposure and color levels aren’t constant most of the times.
Then, you have a dedicated depth sensor for portrait shots. The app lets you adjust the aperture between f/0.95 – f/16. But it does not do a good job in determining the background and foreground. In the below example, take a look at the cheeks, and you will see the edge detection hasn’t worked as expected. After a couple of shots, I was able to get a decent photo, but you’ll have to check this every time after clicking a photo. I believe this can be fixed with software updates.
Next is a 2-megapixel super macro lens. It does a good job, letting you get close to the subject. I clicked a couple of photos, and as you can see below, it is not a bad pic, just that autofocusing could have helped in getting a slightly better photo. Despite being a windy day, the Vivo V17 still managed to click a good photo, which is commendable.
Lastly, we come to selfies. The 32-megapixel snapper is a good one that clicks photos with enough details. Even the AI portrait mode is good, and it does a good job with edge and background detection. There are different portrait lighting effects too, and it is fun to use them.
Coming to performance, the Vivo V17 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC. It would have been better if Vivo had gone with Snapdragon 7XX series. But nevertheless, the Snapdragon 675 is not a bad chipset. And with 8GB RAM onboard, you get smooth performance without any lag or stuttering. Multitasking between apps is easy too.
I played PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile (COD), which defaulted at high settings. I could win a few COD games, and was also able to get a chicken dinner in PUBG. While I didn’t notice any lag or framing, the phone did get quite warm after playing continuously for about 30 minutes. It does not affect the gameplay, but I would just stop for a few minutes to let it cool down.
To keep things ticking, there is a 4,500mAh battery with 18W fast charger included in the box. Vivo is calling it dual engine fast charging, but in my test, it took 60 minutes to charge up to 60 percent. Full charging took around an hour and 50 minutes. I was expecting much lesser time. On full charge, the smartphone lasts a day and a half with regular usage. And with heavy usage like gaming, you can still get one-day worth usage.
On the software side, you get Android 9 Pie with Funtouch OS skin on top. It runs on November 2019 Android security patch, which is not bad. The skin is much improved than before. You get features like dark mode, jovi assistant, motorbike mode, and more. But the problem with pre-loaded apps still remain. Paytm, Zomato, Webnove, Helo, Dailyhunt, Opera, Flipkart, Amazon Shopping, PhonePe, Gaana, WPS Office, all come pre-installed. Thankfully, you can remove them if you don’t want them. Otherwise, I don’t have any major complaints.
Should you buy the Vivo V17?
Let me cut right to the chase. The Vivo V17 looks and feels good, offers a decent set of cameras, and performance is good. But at Rs 22,990, the Vivo V17 feels a little overpriced, making it hard to recommend. If the pricing was under Rs 18,000, it would have still been worth considering.
At Rs 19,000, you can get the Realme X2 with a better Snapdragon 730G SoC, and 64-megapixel quad cameras. In fact, paying Rs 2,000 more, you can get the Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro with a flagship Snapdragon 855 SoC, 4,000mAh battery with fast charging, triple cameras at the back and a pop-up selfie snapper.