17 Nov

Vivo V9 Pro review: Good looks, great performer but a bit steep price

first_imgIt has been a great year for Vivo. The company launched the V11 Pro recently and there’s no doubt that it’s one of the best phones at a price of around Rs 25,000. The V11 Pro (review) is a looker, offers smooth performance and long-lasting battery life, clicks good pictures and comes with in-display fingerprint sensor, something that until now was seen only in pricey phones. Now, Vivo is hoping to repeat the success with the V9 Pro, a phone that is even more affordable with a price tag of Rs 17,990.The V11 Pro is available in India at a price of Rs 25,990. Soon after V11 Pro, Vivo launched two other smartphones in India, the V11 and the V9 Pro. The V11 is the toned down version of the Pro and is priced slightly cheaper at Rs 22,990. The V9 Pro, on the other hand, is the spiritual successor of the V9 (review), which was launched early this year. The V9 Pro comes in only one variant with 6GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage, which can be expanded by up to 256GB microSD card. The V9 Pro is now available in India during the Amazon Great Indian sale at an introductory price of Rs 17,990.After using the V9 Pro for around a week, I believe it’s a phone that most people will like. The first thing that might attract most users is its design. The V9 Pro looks stunning and is incredibly light even with a 3260mAh big battery inside it. Although the lightweight of the phone is probably because of the plastic used for the back cover.advertisementOverall, if you want a phone that you can call sexy, and the one that offers great performance and clicks decent pictures, V9 Pro is perfect is almost every manner possible. But despite all the goodness inside it, I wish the V9 Pro was priced slightly lower, around Rs 15,000. Then it would have given a tougher fight to its competitors like the Xiaomi Mi A2 (review) and the Realme 2 Pro (review) that are available at a starting price of Rs 16,999 and Rs 13,990 in India.Looks great, bright displayVivo is making some good looking smartphones of late. Like the V11 Pro for instance, which I believe is one of the best looking phones for its price. The V9 Pro is no exception and looks equally stunning. There are a lot of good-looking phones available under Rs 20,000 in the market right now, like the Nokia 6.1 Plus (review), the Realme 2 Pro, and the Xiaomi Mi A2. Vivo joins the bandwagon with the V9 Pro. The good looks of the phone are largely because of its near bezel-less design and the screen with an iPhone X style notch on top which also houses the selfie camera, earpiece, and sensors. The V9 Pro comes with a 6.3-inch FHD+ display with 19:9 aspect ratio and 90 per cent screen to body ratio. The big screen of the V9 Pro offers great multimedia experience to users. For instance, if you’re a movie buff or a gamer V9 Pro will please you. The notch on the top adds up to the design of the phone as it reduces the bezels on the sides, giving it a premium touch. Sadly, if you don’t like the notch there’s no way that you can get rid of it. Overall, the V9 Pro is a compact phone, has good build quality, and also fits well in hand.From the front, the V9 Pro looks great. But the back panel is something where I feel Vivo could have worked a little more. I had the same complaints from the V11 Pro. From distance, the back cover of the V9 Pro seems glassy because of its liquid metal or molten glass finish, but it’s actually made of plastic which feels cheap. The golden accent around the dual camera module and the rear mounted fingerprint sensor goes well with the black colour of the phone and adds to the overall design of the phone. The only turn off is that the shiny finish registers smudges and oily fingerprints on the back cover within minutes. It is recommended to use the V9 Pro with the bundled rubber cover.Photos6 Photos +SEE MORE A good display is a key requirement for many. The V9 Pro comes with a great display that shows real and vibrant colours. Vivo says it is using the FullView Display 2.0 technology in the phone, but jargons and marketing talk aside there is no denying that the V9 sports a very nice screen, The display of the V9 Pro is bright enough to be used under the direct sunlight or inside a room with the brightness level around 40 to 50 per cent. The V9 Pro also comes with auto brightness which automatically adjusts the brightness level depending on the ambient light.advertisementGood performanceIf you’re looking for a phone under Rs 20,000, that looks good and is also fast, V9 Pro fits the bill. In this price range, there is the Poco F1 of course, which comes with Snapdragon 845 and is the fastest phone you can get for around Rs 20,000 in the market right now, but that phone is an outlier. If you don’t need the Snapdragon 845, the Vivo V9 Pro would do well enough for you.While using the phone I found that most of the time the V9 Pro is buttery smooth. Switching between apps, scrolling through Facebook or Twitter news feed, or playing graphics-heavy games like Asphalt 8, Vivo V9 Pro don’t show any visible lag or stutter in any of the scenarios. Run Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and several other apps together and the V9 Pro still runs smoothly. In my seven days of using the phone the V9 Pro didn’t slow down or lag at any point in time.Overall, the V9 Pro is a compact phone, has good build quality, and also fits well in handThe V9 Pro comes with the same hardware setup that is inside the V11 Pro. The phone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 AIE processor with Adreno 512 GPU and AI Engine, paired with 6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. If you need more storage space, there’s also support for the microSD card of up to 256GB. Another good bit is even during extended gaming sessions or benchmarking the phone doesn’t heat up much.As far as benchmarks are concerned, interestingly the V9 Pro scores higher than the V11 Pro. In the Geekbench 4 benchmark test, the V9 Pro scores 1437 points in single core and 5368 in multi core. The V11 Pro scored 1437 points in single core and 5270 in multi core in Geekbench 4. Just like in the V11 Pro, the software running the V9 Pro has elements directly copied from iPhone, such as no app drawer and bottom placed notification shade. The camera app is also a copy of the iPhone camera app. The V9 Pro runs Vivo’s FunTouch OS 4.0 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo and for now, there’s no word if the phone will get Android 9 Pie update or not. Vivo’s FunTouch OS comes with virtual assistant called Jovi Smart Scene, which reminds users about all the important day-to-day updates like weather forecast, asks them to turn on the alarm for workday, and more. There’s also a game mode which helps users have an uninterrupted gaming experience.The V9 Pro also comes pre-loaded with several Google apps like the Google Lens, Google Duo, and other third party apps like NewsPoint, UC Browser, Amazon Shopping app, PhonePe, iMusic, among others. So, if you want a phone that runs a clean version of Android, Vivo V9 Pro may not fulfil your requirement. For a phone with stock Android interface under Rs 20,000 you can go for Nokia Android One phones like the Nokia 6.1 Plus and the Xiaomi Mi A2.advertisementClicks good, detailed picturesThe V9 Pro comes with a dual-camera setup on the back panel and single on the front. On the rear panel, the V9 Pro includes a 13MP primary camera and 2MP secondary sensor paired for the AI Bokeh and AI HDR mode. Right below the camera set up, there’s the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor which is pretty fast and unlock the phone in blink of an eye. There’s also face unlock support, and the feature is extremely quick at opening the phone. The face unlock works well in low-light as well as in good light when you are outdoors.IMAGE SAMPLESThe Vivo V9 Pro can click extremely good pictures in good lightning with great amount of details. Colours also look spot on albeit a little oversaturated especially the reds and greens. Overall, the primary camera of the V9 Pro is one of the best you can get at this price segment. It clicks great pictures in daylight, and fairly decent ones in low light. Not that one would expect a Pixel like camera for Rs 20,000 anyway. Compared to the other similar price segment phones, the V9 Pro is a notch above as far as the camera is concerned.Like the typical Vivo camera app, the camera of the V9 Pro too process some images to make the textures smooth and remove details. This may look some shots, particular photos of people, artificial. I also feel the bokehs clicked with the phone could have been better. Almost all the bokeh shots capture good amount of details and colours, but the edges aren’t too distinct or well defined. Just like any other Vivo phone, the V9 Pro also adds extra layers of filters to beautify selfies and remove blemishes. If you’re someone who uses apps like BeautyPlus to add filters to selfies, you’ll love the V9 Pro. The smartphone comes with a 16MP selfie shooter paired with several modes likes group selfie, professional, AI stickers, selfie lighting, among others.Battery lasts a dayThe battery life is good thanks to a pretty efficient processor and some battery optimisation features through FuntouchOS. The V9 Pro can last one full day easily on a single charge. The smartphone comes with a 3260mAh battery, but sadly it doesn’t support fast charging like the V11 or the V11 Pro do. It takes nearly two hours to charge the device from zero to 100 per cent.Overall, the primary camera of the V9 Pro is one of the best you can get at this price segment. It clicks great pictures in daylight, and fairly decent ones in low light.Overall, the Vivo V9 Pro offers a good day-long battery on heavy usage, which involves media streaming, some gaming, and basic day-to-day tasks. Lighter usage will get you through a day and a half with ease.Should you buy the V9 Pro?The competition is tough in this segment. There are phones like the Xiaomi Mi A2, the Nokia 6.1 Plus, the Realme 2 Pro, and then there’s the Poco F1 which is the only phone under Rs 20,000 to come with Snapdragon 845.It’s a crowded market, but I feel there is space for the V9 Pro in it. It is fast, has a good display and camera that are above average. And it looks good, despite its plastic body. That said, I wish the price of the V9 Pro was slightly on the lower side, say around Rs 15,000. That would have made it a better deal, particularly considering that phones like the Nokia 6.1 Plus and the Mi A2 rock Android One software that is better than the custom software in this phone. The V9 Pro is available in India in two colours – black and blue for Rs 17,990.Vivo V9 Pro review8/10ProsBright displayGreat performanceClicks good pictures in daylightConsNo fast chargingCluttered softwarePlastic glossy backlast_img

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