Vivo V20 SE review
Vivo V20 SE is the latest addition to Vivo’s V series, and it positions itself as a more affordable version of the Vivo V20, which was launched last month. With the V20, Vivo focused on design and cameras, and you can see a similar approach with the Vivo V20 SE as well. However, to target a lower price tag, the V20 SE has undergone a cost-cutting exercise that resulted in lower resolution camera sensors and a different processor, among other things. So is the Vivo V20 SE still special, or has Vivo gone too far? Let’s find out.
Vivo V20 SE Design
Vivo claims that the focus was on the design of the Vivo V20 SE, and that is evident. The smartphone is slim and the weight is easily manageable. Vivo has opted for a 6.44-inch AMOLED screen just like in the Vivo V20 , with a dewdrop-shaped notch at the top and fine surrounding edges. You get Full HD + resolution with a 20: 9 aspect ratio, which means the screen is tall and narrow.
The sides of the smartphone are rounded, which makes it comfortable to hold. The frame of the V20 SE is made of plastic and all the buttons are on the right. I found the power and volume buttons easy to reach. They also had a click response, so I didn’t have to guess at the press of a button.
The left side of the V20 SE is bare, like Alive you have placed the SIM tray on top. You get two Nano-SIM slots along with a dedicated microSD card slot that makes storage expansion possible. The top and bottom of the V20 SE are flat. There is a USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a speaker, and a microphone at the bottom.
Rotating the phone reveals the V20 SE’s triple camera setup. The camera module is in the upper left corner and is slightly raised. Vivo offers two color options, Aquamarine Green and Gravity Black. I had the latter for this review, and found the glossy finish on the back to be prone to fingerprints and smudges. I used the supplied case to avoid cleaning the smartphone frequently. Vivo also includes a 33W FlashCharge charger in the box, which should recharge the 4,100mAh battery quickly.
Vivo V20 SE Specifications
While Vivo calls this a Special Edition (SE), the specs are watered down compared to the Vivo V20. Powering the V20 SE is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC, paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There is only one configuration of the V20 SE for sale in India and it is priced at Rs. 20,990. While you do get decent amounts of RAM and storage, the processor isn’t very powerful considering the price. You will find the exact same processor in much more affordable smartphones, such as the Realme Narzo 20A and the Nokia 5.3.
The V20 SE has a 6.44-inch AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint scanner like the Vivo V20. The screen has good viewing angles and becomes bright enough when outdoors. You also have the option to modify the panel’s color profile and temperature.
Unlike the Vivo V20, the V20 SE does not work Android 11 out of the box – you get Android 10 instead. It still has the new FunTouch OS 11 UI on top, and Vivo promises to roll out a software update for Android 11 soon. My unit was running the September Android security patch, which is fairly recent. The user interface looks a lot like what you get on the V20 and there is some bloatware pre-installed. I found Facebook, Flipkart, PhonePe, Snapchat, and Spotify on my device. Vivo also has its own V-Appstore, which is an alternative to the Google Play Store. There is also a Themes app, which allows you to customize the user interface down to the fonts.
The V20 SE allows you to customize the loading and unlocking animations. You can also take advantage of the AMOLED panel and enable an always-on display mode. There is an Ultra game mode that allows you to mute incoming calls and notifications while gaming, similar to what I have seen on Vivo smartphones that I have tested in the past.
Vivo V20 SE performance
The V20 SE is capable of delivering acceptable performance without any issues. While using the smartphone, I did not notice lag and multitasking was a breeze thanks to the 8GB of RAM. The in-display fingerprint scanner and facial recognition were quick to unlock the Vivo V20 SE. Casual use was good enough, but the slow processor seems to increase application load times.
I ran some benchmark tests to see where the Vivo V20 SE stands. In AnTuTu, the V20 SE achieved 1.84.085, which is lower than what competitors at the same price level can handle, for example. Little X3 which obtained 2.80.030. The V20 SE scored 6,364 in PCMark Work 2.0 and achieved 315 and 1,389 points respectively in Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core tests. In the graphics benchmark test on GFXBench’s T-Rex and Car Chase scenes, the V20 SE achieved 32 fps and 6.2 fps.
Performance was noticeably lower when playing heavy titles like Call of Duty: Mobile. I noticed longer load times than usual and the game ran with the graphics quality and frame rate set to Medium by default. After playing the game for 20 minutes, I noticed a six percent drop in battery level. The Vivo V20 SE had no trouble running casual games like Among Us.
The V20 SE’s battery life is decent, and the phone kept going for a day and a half without me running for a charger. In our HD video loop test, the V20 SE continued for 14 hours and 31 minutes, which is roughly the same as what the Vivo V20 accomplished. Charging was quick with the 33W charger included in the box. The device hit 52 percent in 30 minutes and roughly 96 percent in an hour.
Vivo V20 SE Cameras
The Vivo V20 SE includes a triple camera setup on the back consisting of a 48 megapixel main camera, an 8 megapixel ultra-wide camera that is also capable of macro photography, and a 2 megapixel “bokeh camera”. The camera app feels similar and is very easy to use. AI is enabled by default and the phone is quick to determine what it is aiming for. He also suggested different shooting modes and cameras depending on the scene. Vivo has added an AI Image Matting feature in the album app that allows you to edit photos to change the sky, add a motion effect, or even remove objects.
In daylight, the Vivo V20 SE managed decent shots with good detail on objects even at a distance. When shooting outdoors in bright conditions, the V20 SE quickly enables HDR. The switch to the ultra-wide camera offers a wider field of view, but at the cost of detail. Objects at a distance were not as sharp as they appeared in photos taken with the main camera. There was also a visible distortion at the edges. You can take photos at the full 48-megapixel resolution, but the level of detail is not as good as shots taken at the default 12-megapixel resolution.
The close-ups turned out very well and the phone managed to capture sharp images. It also adds a soft depth effect to the background. Portrait shots with steady subjects turned out well, with good edge detection. The V20 SE uses its ultra-wide camera for macro shots and allows you to get very close to a subject. I like this approach as you get good functionality without the need for another sensor and the shots are higher resolution.
The camera’s performance in low light is average overall. The V20 SE managed to keep noise under control, but the photos seemed softened and objects at a distance had a watercolor effect. Enabling night mode resulted in slightly brighter images with better details, but it took around 3-4 seconds to process each shot.
The V20 SE managed good selfies in both daylight and low light. You can take portraits with the selfie camera and the V20 SE automatically erases the background. Beautification is enabled by default, which smoothes the output. In low light, you can use a screen flash, which Vivo calls Aura Screen Light, and this helps capture brighter images.
Video recording maxes out at 4K for the main camera and 1080p for the selfie. Images shot at 1080p in daylight stabilized, but not those shot at 4K. In low light there was a slight glow in the 1080p footage, while the 4K footage did not stabilize.
the Vivo V20 SE It should have been called the V20 Lite, considering that the Vivo has softened the specs quite a bit to target a lower price. Like the Vivo V20, this phone focuses on design and cameras, so if you are looking for decent camera performance around Rs. 20,000 price points, the Vivo V20 SE can offer you just that. On the other hand, if you are looking for a complete smartphone, the V20 SE is not your best option. It has a weaker processor, which is evident when playing heavy games. In this case, the Realme 7 Pro and the Poco X3 would be suitable alternatives.
Image Source : Gadgets 360