Vivo wants its latest V9 smartphone to get all the attention. The phone looks like Apple’s iPhone X, complete with an edge-to-edge display and a notch, but for a fraction of the price. Vivo V9’s price in India is just Rs 22,990. Vivo has even hired Bollywood’s most bankable actor Aamir Khan to convince you how cool the Vivo V9 looks when compared to other smartphones in the same price bracket. I had a chance to spend a little time with the Vivo V9 before its launch. Here are my first impressions of the smartphone.
Vivo V9 first impressions: Design and display
This is not the first time Vivo has blatantly copied a rival device, so we should not be surprised over why the V9 bears resemblance to the iPhone X. It has got a large edge-to-edge display with a notch at the top. Though its notch is smaller than that of the iPhone X, allowing for a more significant 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio and a bigger 6.3-inch screen size. Although the Vivo V9 has a Face Unlock feature, it is unclear why the company chose the ‘notch’ design given that no extra hardware has been packed here.
But there’s more to a notch. The V9 still looks like a Vivo smartphone at the end of the day. In fact, I found the device to be an extension of the V7, which debuted in the market last year. It’s an attractive looking device even, despite the use of platic on the back. And unlike the iPhone X, the Vivo V9 features a headphone jack and a fingerprint scanner.
Vivo V9 sports a 6.3-inch FHD+ display with a resolution of 2280 x 1080 pixels and a 19:9 aspect ratio. The phone’s screen looks good and is suitable for watching videos and viewing pictures. It’s also not very bright, especially outside. That’s one issue I have found during my time spent with the Vivo V9.
Vivo V9 first impressions: Performance, software, and battery
Vivo V9 is a mid-end smartphone, which is reflected in its price point. Under the hood, the phone is powered by a Snapdragon 626 processor with 4GB of RAM, and there is 64GB of storage space. A microSD card also available for memory expansion. The Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 626 should have enough power to handle their day-to-day tasks. We’ll test and report in full for our in-depth Vivo V9.
The 3260mAh battery should hopefully keep you going for a full day, however, I’m disappointed to see the lack of support for fast charging feature. So far the battery life has been good on my test unit.
I never liked Vivo’s custom FunTouch OS user experience; it’s heavily inspired by iOS. Like with other Vivo phones, the company has added a clunky overlay on of top Android 8.1 Oreo. It’s a mess, again. But for a change, Vivo has added a swipe-based navigation system that works well on a device like the V9.
Vivo V9 first impressions: Camera
Flip the Vivo V9 over and you’ll find a dual-lens camera that’s vertically stacked, just like the iPhone X. The first 16MP f/2.0 aperture lens that is backed up by a secondary 5MP lens with f/2.4 aperture. Images taken with the Vivo V9 turned out to be good in decent light conditions and the device certainly seems to take shots quickly.
Meanwhile, Vivo V9 is also capable of adding depth-of-field effects to your photos. This seemed a bit off during my limited time spent with the device. Up front is a 24MP camera with f/2.0 aperture lens, which captures very sharp selfies. Vivo says the front camera on the V9 uses artificial intelligence to make selfies much better.
Vivo V9: Final Thoughts
For an iPhone X clone, Vivo V9 doesn’t disappoint. It will appeal to those people who can’t afford Apple’s iPhone X and would rather settle for the V9 instead. If you think the screen notch is an attractive design choice (which I don’t think so) and you want a phone with a bigger display, the V9 should be a perfect for many people. Still as we know, this will not be the only iPhone X clone launching in India this month.