Vivo V20 first impressions: A shiny, sleek smartphone aimed at selfie lovers

The Vivo V20 enters a highly competitive market that has already given the crown to the OnePlus Nord. The question is, is it enough to dethrone it?


The one thing that Vivo's V series is known for is its risk-taking design and camera experiments. No, no don't hold your breath; we are not seeing the dual pop-up selfie camera kind of experiment again (thankfully!). Surprisingly, the Vivo V20 is not much of an experiment at all. And I say this in a good way. The new smartphone is definitely a head-turner that intends to get attention from selfie lovers. I got to use the phone for a couple of days, and here is what I think about the newly-launched Vivo V20.

Image: Tech2/Priya Singh

Image: Tech2/Priya Singh

Shiny, smooth but slippery

With the oil slick-style pinkish/blue gradient design, Vivo V20 is definitely a conversation starter. It shows a dazzling gradient of colours when seen from different angles. It isn’t too loud but chances are people will notice that shiny thing in your hand before they notice your face. And if you categorize this as unnecessary attention, you can choose from ‘Midnight Back’ and ‘Moonlight Sonata’ colour variants. The smartphone uses a matte glass finish, so it is still just shy of blingy. It will, however, easily showcase how greasy your hands are. It’s still a fingerprint magnet. I took comfort in the fact that these smudges are easy to clean and are not as pronounced as they could have been on a regular glass finish.

Image: Tech2/Priya Singh

Image: Tech2/Priya Singh

Moving on, the smartphone is just 7.4 mm thick and just 171 gm in weight. Very handy indeed! Sadly, even though all factors seem to be in the favour of the phone, I have to say that it is not perfect. It is extremely slippery. Since it is sleek and matte-smooth, it can easily slip through fingers. You can use the transparent silicone case that comes bundled with the phone, but I think that takes away from the design. I plan to take my chances and use the phone without the case.

The Vivo V20 features a rectangular camera module that houses a 64 MP triple camera setup. It protrudes a little, but thankfully does not make the phone wobble much when laid flat.

Image: Tech2/Priya Singh

Image: Tech2/Priya Singh

Coming to the front, one thing that I am disappointed about is the waterdrop notch. I mean, why would you go back to this old design? I loved the punch hole display in Vivo V17. Wasn't Vivo the one that introduced the pop-up selfie camera concept to avoid an interrupted display? I’m very curious about why they chose a waterdrop notch this time.

The 6.44-inch AMOLED display offers beautiful colours. It is surrounded by thin bezels, giving it a premium look. On the left edge, you get a volume button and a textured power button, and both are conveniently placed. On the bottom edge, you see a single speaker grille, Type-C charging port and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

A middling display

The 6.44-inch AMOLED display shows bright and beautiful colours, but that water drop display design is off-putting. If you love to binge watch, my advice will be to use the earphones that come with the phone, because the phone doesn't get loud. At least not enough to watch a movie. I enjoyed watching Gilmore Girls on the phone. With a 1,080 x 2,400 pixel resolution, it was a treat to eyes.

Image: Tech2/Priya Singh

Image: Tech2/Priya Singh

The Vivo V20 has a good display, but rivals like the OnePlus Nord and Galaxy M31s are already offering super AMOLED displays with a punch hole design. So no, the handset certainly doesn't standout here.

The cameras

The Vivo V20 comes with a triple rear camera setup that houses a 64 MP primary sensor, 8 MP ultra-wide-angle and a 5 MP monochrome camera. Daylight images were bright, and showed good detail. I was impressed by the low-light photography, as it managed to capture sharp detail and the colour accuracy was also good. Just to be clear, this is not my final verdict, and I would like to spend more time testing this phone to draw a definitive conclusion.

Click here to see the camera samples:

Vivo V20 first impressions
The highlight of the phone is its 44 MP selfie camera that comes with eye autofocus. To be honest, it did soften the skin a little, but thankfully it did not look unnatural. Details were good but I am still a bit apprehensive about the subject separation; it softened my hair in a few portrait shots.

Here are a few selfies clicked on Vivo V20:

IMG_20201012_143643

Performance and battery

The Vivo V20 is powered by the new Snapdragon 720G chipset, just like the Poco M2 Pro. The smartphone also offers 8 GB RAM and up to 256 GB storage, expandable up to 1 TB via microSD card. Impressive, and something that the Nord and Galaxy M51 are not offering!

The phone runs on the Android 11-based Funtouch OS 11. In my brief experience, I did not notice any lag and switching between apps was quick. Unfortunately, it still comes with bloatware, common to Vivo phones.

My initial impression is that the in-display fingerprint sensor lags a bit. However, it did not frustrate, at least not yet. I will fill you in about this in my detailed review. The smartphone offers a 4,000 mAh battery, which might seem just about adequate, but the 33W fast charge makes up for it somewhat.

As for pricing, the 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage variant is priced at Rs 24,990 and the 8 GB RAM + 256 GB storage variant is priced at Rs 27,990. It will be available for purchase on 20 October.

Image: Tech2/Priya Singh

Image: Tech2/Priya Singh

For now, the Vivo V20 seems like a gorgeous phone that is a mixed bag when it comes to specs. It will compete against the Galaxy M51, OnePlus Nord and Redmi K20 Pro.

I can't wait to test this phone and compare it with others in the market. Stay tuned for the detailed review.


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