Vivo V17 Pro Review

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With the V-series of smartphones, Vivo has always tried to do something innovative, something unique to make them stand apart from its competitors.

Vivo was the first brand to implement a fingerprint sensor under the display of Vivo Apex. At this point, the technology was expensive to work with. But then, Vivo brought the technology to the mainstream smartphone market with Vivo V11 Pro under Rs.30,000. The same goes for the pop-up selfie camera, which they first introduced with the Vivo V15 Pro.

The Chinese smartphone manufacturer has done it again with the latest addition to the V-series lineup, the Vivo V17 Pro. Vivo has managed to put not three, not four, but six cameras in total in the V17 Pro and two of them are dedicated to the pop-up selfie module. This makes it the World’s first smartphone with a dual pop-up selfie camera. The phone also comes with a 6.44-inch Super AMOLED panel, a huge battery with fast charging support, and an in-display fingerprint scanner, all under Rs.30,000.

As great as it sounds, there are some things that make the Vivo V17 Pro slightly less exciting. At the same price point, you can get the Redmi K20 Pro. So can the V17 Pro compete K20 Pro? Let’s find out in this Vivo V17 Pro review.

What’s in the box?

The Vivo V17 Pro comes with a pair of earphones, an 18W fast charger, a USB Type-A to Type-C cable and a protective case. You also get some documentation including the user manual, warranty card and a SIM ejector tool in a box.

Design and Build Quality

  • Dimensions: 159.00 × 74.70 × 9.80 mm
  • Weight: 201.8g
  • Construction: Glass Build

The V-series smartphone lineup from Vivo has always been about premium looks, and the V17 Pro is no exception. It’s gorgeous enough to attract some attention. It comes in two colors: Midnight Ocean and Glacier Ice. The Midnight Ocean maintains a classy dark-blue tone, while the Glacier Ice is a mix of white and light blue.

Midnight Ocean & Glacier Ice

The curved edges on both sides of the textured glass back panel reflect light all over the place, also making the device easier to grip. The glass back panel seamlessly merges to the metallic frame of the device, without leaving sharp edges around. The rear quad-camera module is vertically aligned with chrome accent borders covering it. You will also find the Vivo-branding at the bottom of the back panel.

At the front, the 6.44-inch display dominates the entire surface. There is no camera cutouts or notches. The top and side bezels are small, with a noticeable chin at the bottom. Vivo calls it an Ultra FullView™ Display.

The power button and volume rockers are found on the right side of the device. We also find a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left side. At the top of the phone, there is a secondary microphone, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a pop-up selfie mechanism. It includes two cameras and an LED flash. At the bottom, we have the bottom-firing mono speaker, primary microphone, type-C USB charging port, and the SIM tray. The SIM tray has slots for two nano-SIM and a microSD slot for storage expansion. There’s also an in-display fingerprint scanner. It is fast, reliable and successfully unlocks the device almost every time.

Vivo V17 Pro side, top, and bottom view

Coming to the build quality, Vivo V17 Pro is literally a glass and metal sandwich. The Quad camera array on the back and the generous 4100 mAh battery is the reason why it feels bulky and heavy in hands. At almost 202 grams and 9.8 mm thickness, Vivo V17 Pro is built like a tank. The back of the device is protected by Gorilla Glass 6, while the front is protected under Schott Xensation UP. There is a plastic lip around the edges of the display, which helps to absorb some of the impacts when dropped. The phone doesn’t come with an IP rating, so try to keep it away from water.

Overall the Vivo V17 Pro offers a premium design while maintaining solid build quality.

Display

  • 6.44-inch sAMOLED Panel
  • FHD+ Resolution (2400×1080)
  • 20:9 Wide Aspect Ratio
  • 91.65% screen-to-body ratio
  • 100% DCI-P3 Color Gamut
Vivo V17 Pro Display

The Vivo V17 Pro boasts a 6.44-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2400×1080 pixels, stretched to a 20:9 aspect ratio. The display reaches a maximum brightness of 600 nits, which is visible under direct sunlight and enough for outdoor use. The AMOLED panel produces deep blacks and punchy colors, with 100% DCI-P3 WCG coverage. The viewing angles are also great on this display.

The device is Widevine L1 compatible, and it is a delight to watch high-resolution content from Netflix and Amazon Prime on this display. The bezel-less design is also great for gaming.

Performance and Battery Life

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 (11nm LPP)
  • CPU: Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Kryo 460 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 460 Silver)  
  • GPU: Adreno 612
  • RAM+ROM: 8GB+128GB
  • Battery: 4100 mAh with Dual-Engine Fast Charging (9V 2A) 

While the V17 Pro offers a premium design and great viewing experience, the same can’t be said for the performance. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor coupled with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. This is the same processor that powered the Vivo V15 Pro. At the same price segment, the Redmi K20 Pro offers the flagship Snapdragon 855 processor. Even the Vivo Z1 Pro and the Z1X come with a Snapdragon 712 while costing less.

In GeekBench 4 benchmark, the device managed to score 512 and 1658 points in the single-core and multi-core test respectively. In the Antutu benchmark, the Vivo V17 Pro scored 177871 points. It’s a pretty respectable score but doesn’t match the Snapdragon 712 on the Vivo Z1X or Redmi K20 Pro’s flagship Snapdragon 855 chipset. 

On paper, the Snapdragon 675 is a pair of two powerful Kryo 460 Gold cores and six low-powered Kryo 460 Silver cores. When it comes to real-world performance, the chipset manages to easily handle day-to-day tasks. Switching between applications, web browsing with multiple tabs opened, navigating through the UI always felt smooth.

However, gaming performance is a little disappointing. The Adreno 612 on the S675 chipset can handle heavy games such as Asphalt 9, Modern Combat, PUBG Mobile, Fortnite at low-medium settings, but the occasional frame drops and lag makes the gaming experience unpleasant. This could have been avoided if Vivo at least used a 700-series Snapdragon chipset on the V17 Pro.

Talking about the battery, the Vivo V17 Pro offers an exceptional battery life. With a 4100mAh battery capacity, it lasts all day long. The V17 Pro can deliver 5-6 hours of screen-on-time without breaking a sweat. The included 18W charger with the Type-C cable takes approximately 1.5 hours to charge the smartphone from zero to a hundred percent.

Camera

The camera is one of the key areas where Vivo V17 Pro exceeded our expectations. Let’s see what Vivo has to offer in the camera department:

Rear Camera

  1. Primary: 48MP, f/1.8, Sony IMX583
  2. Telephoto: 13MP, f/2.5, 2X optical zoom
  3. Wide-angle: 8MP, f/2.2, 120º FOV + 2.5cm (1”) macro
  4. Depth sensor: 2MP, f/2.4
Vivo V17 Pro Quad-camera setup

On the Vivo V17 Pro, the rear quad-camera array comprises of a 48MP Sony IMX583 sensor, a 13MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom, an 8MP wide-angle lens, and a 2MP depth sensor.

Starting with the primary 48MP sensor, it surprised us with detailed, sharp and natural-looking images in daylight. The colors are vibrant and the dynamic range is excellent. You also get the option to shoot in full 48MP resolution if you need more details in photos. The low-light performance is respectable. At night the images came out noise-free and detailed but often lacked colors.

The 13MP telephoto lens also produced great results in daylight, with 2x optical zoom working as intended. The same goes for the 8MP wide-angle lens, which is capable of taking distortion-free images with a 120-degree FOV. The 2MP depth sensor is used for taking portrait shots. 

The video quality maxes out at 2160p 30 FPS, but there’s no optical video stabilization. EIS is limited to 1080p 30 FPS.

Front Camera

  1. Primary: 32MP, f/2.0
  2. Wide-angle: 8MP, 105º FOV
Vivo V17 Pro dual pop-up selfie camera

The motorized pop-up housing has a dual-camera setup with LED flash for taking selfies. Just like the primary rear camera, the primary front camera captured detailed and vibrant photos in daylight. But at night, selfies had a noticeable amount of noise and the colors were washed out.

You can also switch to the wide-angle lens for taking groupies. Pictures come out a little soft when using the wide-angle lens, but it is manageable. The video quality maxes out at 1080p 30 FPS for the front camera.

The motorized pop-up housing is a bit slower than usual, considering its length and size. It works fine for taking selfies. Unfortunately, Vivo decided not to include the Face Unlock feature with the V17 Pro. 

Extra Camera Features

Apart from this, there are some useful camera features in the camera app. The AI scene detection automatically detects the subject and does some enhancing according to it. The Super Macro mode allows you to go as close as 2.5 cm to your subject, resulting in some incredible macro shots. You can also use the Macro mode for video capturing. You can use Night mode to improve low-light photography on the V17 Pro. Panorama, Live photos, Time Lapse, and Slow-motion video mode is also available.

Audio

The audio output from the single bottom-firing speaker on the V17 Pro is pretty clear, but the loudness could have been equalized. And we are glad that Vivo decided to keep the 3.5mm headphone jack on this device. It did well in our testing, producing loud and clear audio. The earpiece is tucked at the top of the motorized pop-up mechanism, and it passes sound through the earpiece grill above the display.

Software

Just like any other latest Vivo smartphone in the market, the Vivo V17 Pro is shipped with Vivo’s FunTouch OS 9 skin on top of Android 9.0 Pie. FunTouch OS 9 brings some brand new features such as a system-wide dark mode, Android 10-like gesture navigation, Ultra Power Saving Mode, game booster and more.

While it’s a major step-up from the earlier versions of FunTouch OS, FunTouch OS 9 is still a cluttered mess. It lacks the minimal and fresh design of Google’s stock Android OS. The features and settings in the camera app aren’t properly sorted, and the same goes for the Settings menu. To Vivo’s credit, they have done some heavy optimizations to the software for battery life gains. But the aggressive memory management keeps closing random apps in the background, which results in missing app notifications. The user interface lacks consistency and the amount of pre-installed bloatware on the V17 Pro is just unacceptable. Vivo definitely needs to do some homework on their software experience.

 

Verdict

The Vivo V17 Pro (8GB+128GB) is priced at Rs.29,990 in India. While Vivo is offering premium design, good display, and excellent cameras, the asking price is difficult to justify. The underpowered chipset makes the situation more complicated. You can grab a Redmi K20 Pro (6GB+128GB) at Rs.27,999, which comes with a full-screen AMOLED display, Snapdragon 855 Processor, a triple camera setup with a pop-up selfie camera, and premium aesthetics. Or, you can spend less and buy the Realme XT (8GB+128GB) at Rs.18,999. If the Vivo V17 Pro was priced around Rs.23,000, it could have been one of the best smartphones available in the price segment.

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77%
Overpriced

Vivo V17 Pro

While Vivo is offering premium design, good display, and excellent cameras with the Vivo V17 Pro, the asking price for it is difficult to justify.

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  • Design
  • Display
  • Camera
  • Performance
  • Software
  • Battery

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