Vivo U10 is the first smartphone in Vivo’s new online exclusive U-series. The company offers better value for money deals for its online-only Z-series phones and the new U-series is no different. While other manufacturers like Oppo and Xiaomi introduced sub-brands like Realme and Redmi to capture market share, Vivo powered its online exclusive devices to compete in the budget and mid-range segment.
The Vivo U10 costs Rs 8,990 and packs features like a 13MP triple rear camera setup, 5,000mAh battery with fast charging support, and Snapdragon 665 processor. These specifications under this price are pretty good but its the actual performance of the device that matters. Here is our review of the Vivo U10.
Vivo U10 price: Rs 8,990, Rs 9,990, and Rs 10,990 for 3/32GB, 3/64GB, and 4/64GB storage models
Vivo U10 specifications: 6.35-inch HD+ IPS display | Snapdragon 665 processor | 13MP+8MP+2MP triple rear cameras | 8MP front camera | 3GB/4GB RAM | 32GB/64GB ROM | 5,000mAh battery | 18W fast charging | Android 9 Pie
Vivo U10 review: Design and display
Right off the bat, the Vivo U10 looks like a mid-range smartphone priced around Rs 15,000. I had people guessing its price and no one come close to even Rs 10,000. Its design of Vivo U10 is nothing less than a premium smartphone. The phone sports a 2.5D curved glass at the back and a dew-drop notched screen at the front.
The back panel sports a triple rear camera setup aligned to the top-left corner in a vertical line followed by an LED flash. The rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is aligned to the centre and the Vivo branding is placed horizontally at the bottom.
The phone comes in Electric Blue and Thunder Black colour options. I had the blue variant and it sports a toned-down gradient scheme with aqua blue and violet colours complimented by a nice vignette effect. The lateral lines underneath the glass produce a shiny effect when light reflects off the surface.
On the front, the Vivo U10 sports a 6.35-inch screen with a water-drop notch on top. The device looks the same as any other notched-device we have seen this year. Personally, I like the U-shaped notch better and maybe Vivo could have implemented the same in the U10 to distinguish its new U-series from the rest of its lineup. Being an IPS LCD screen, the screen doesn’t produce deep blacks but it still manages to produce vibrant colours. The viewing angles are also quite good.
Design-wise Vivo U10 looks good but there are a few things that could have been better. The front bezels are small but the chin is little big for comfort. Also, the device feels a bit heavy though Vivo has done a good job managing the weight distribution of U10. Since the back is a fingerprint magnet, it is better to put the phone in the back case that comes in-the-box.
Vivo U10 review: Camera performance
Vivo U10 sports a triple rear camera setup where the primary lens is a 13MP sensor clubbed with an 8MP ultrawide sensor and a 2MP depth sensor.
The rear camera is capable of clicking vibrant pictures on a sunny day with proper colour reproduction. The details captured in the pictures are quite good for a phone priced under Rs 10,000. The camera also has good dynamic range and the exposures are also not bad.
The camera interface is nice and almost all the options are just a tap away. You can switch to Bokeh mode and ultrawide shot right from the main camera screen. You can also adjust the blur levels before taking a shot. While the edge detection is quite good, the overall quality of a picture deteriorates when clicking in bokeh mode.
The ultrawide angle shot doesn’t retain the same level of details and vibrancy as the primary lens but the dynamic range and exposures are almost the same as the main sensor.
The 8MP selfie camera is not good. The pictures turn out washed out and blurry no matter how still you keep your hands. In low light conditions, the details are botched up even more.
The performance of the primary lens is also not good under low light but the pictures are decent enough. However, the ultrawide lens doesn’t work as desirable under low light situation. The shadow regions have too much noise and the details captured are even lesser. But for a phone priced this low, you simply cannot expect anything better.
Vivo U10 review: Performance, UI, and gaming
The Vivo U10 is powered by the Snapdragon 665 processor paired with Adreno 610 GPU. I had the 4GB RAM variant and it did not let me down in terms of performs. The phone handles day-to-day tasks quite easily and doesn’t stutter when pushed to the extreme with multiple Chrome tabs and apps opened in the background. The phone can handle a flood of notification and doesn’t struggle to switch between background apps.
The performance of the device is not comparable to the other Vivo devices like the Vivo Z1X, but being a budget device, I could not ask for more. The Vivo U10 runs Android 9 Pie with the company’s own Zen UI skin on top. The interface is exactly like the one we’ve seen on the recent Vivo devices and the U10 also comes with the Dark mode but since the phone does not sport an OLED panel, it was not anything to get excited about. Also, since the UI forces a dark theme over the third-party apps, the experience is not as good as it should be.
Coming to gaming, the Vivo U10 handles games like Warrior Legends and Subway Surfer well and it can also run graphics-heavy games. The PUBG Mobile runs at Medium settings by default and you can set the graphics to Smooth to play at High frame rates.
At the Medium settings, the game stutters a lot and the frame drops are frequent. However, in the Smooth settings, the game is playable as the stutters stop and frame drops become minimal. But don’t expect an experience like the one you see on a mid-range device powered by the Snapdragon 710.
Vivo U10 review: Battery, charging speed, and more
Vivo U10 sports a 5,000mAh battery and it is enough to get you on for more than one-and-a-half-day with above moderate usage that includes browsing social media, playing music and videos, reading news, and few sessions of PUBG Mobile. Since the phone supports 18W Dual-Engine fast charging, Vivo U10 takes around 2 hours to get to the full battery mark from 10 per cent.
The rear-mounted fingerprint sensor on the Vivo U10 is very fast and works fine without any misses. Also, the face-unlock feels as fast as the fingerprint scanner. Even under low-light conditions, the Vivo U10 can unlock the phone in less than a second.
The earpiece volume of the Vivo U10 is pretty good and you will not face any difficulty taking a call outdoors. The speaker is loud but it lacks depth, however, it is expected given the price of the phone.
Vivo U10 review: Verdict
Performance, cameras, and battery life are the three parameters that matter the most for a budget smartphone and the Vivo U10 does good on all three of them. The design of the phone is an added bonus and for Rs 8,990, the Vivo U10 should not have a problem competing with Redmi and Realme phones in the budget segment.