Vivo V9 – Hands On & First Impressions
In the realm of top-notch (hah!) smartphones, Vivo decided to drop their best effort on an iPhone X clone.
In case you didn’t know, Vivo comes under the umbrella of BBK Electronics along with its sister companies: OPPO and OnePlus.
Vivo V9 screams “affordable” iPhone X at almost every possible aspect of a smartphone.
Display? Notch ✓
UI? iOS Clone ✓
Camera Placement? Ditto ✓
Rear Panel Finish? Glossy ✓
On the front, it has a huge 6.3″ FHD+ display in a 19:9 aspect ratio which is surprisingly very manageable. It matches the footprint of the HTC U11, which houses a traditional 5.5″ 16:9 display.
Although the Vivo V9 has a notch, it doesn’t house the sophisticated Face ID tech behind it. What it does is an earpiece and a 24MP selfie camera which supports Face Unlock and produces some really crisp images. Unlike the iPhone X, it has a tiny bit of bottom bezel (chin) despite having the notch.
On the sides, it has a volume rocker accompanied by the power button and a “Triple Card Slot” (Dual SIM + Micro SD).
Things get interesting on the back, where it has a polycarbonate body with a gloss finish (Pearl Black) which mimics glass and a matte finish (Champagne Gold) with faux antennae lines which mimics metal. There’s also a Sapphire Blue colourway but Vivo decided to not launch it in India. Maybe safekeeping it for a limited edition run at a later date? Only time will tell.
On the back, you get a dual camera setup comprising of a 16MP primary camera and a 5MP secondary camera which aids in Bokeh-licious shots. Talking about which, the edge detection for the Bokeh mode is very soft and overlaps foreground subject with the background.
Since the device is made up of polycarbonate, it’s deceptively lightweight. Hence, the overall build of the device doesn’t impart confidence or feel premium.
At the bottom, the classic Micro-USB port and our long lost friend audio jack make a return. While Type-C is the future, the inclusion of a micro-USB port would’ve been overseen if it was priced anywhere close to the competitively priced devices by Xiaomi.
Talking about the internals, Vivo V9 is powered by yesteryear’s Snapdragon 626 coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Although it’s not a bad SoC, Xiaomi is providing Snapdragon 636 at almost half the price.
Did I mention about Funtouch OS 4.0? It’s unapologetically a clone of iOS running on iPhone X. No app drawer, accessing quick settings panel from the bottom (à la Control Center), camera app UI, Settings page, swipe gesture based navigation system…..the list just goes on.
But wait, there is a silver lining. Vivo V9 runs on Android Oreo 8.1 with full Treble support. Although I’m not feeling confident this device will even get updated to Android P, at least you get the latest and greatest of Android right out of the box.
In case you forgot, here’s a quick look at the specs:
Display: 6.3″ FHD+, 19:9 Aspect Ratio, 90% Screen to Body Ratio
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 626
Camera (Rear): 16MP + 5MP
Camera (Front): 24MP
Battery: 3260 mAh
The only aspect of Vivo V9 which doesn’t blatantly copy the iPhone X is its price. Priced at Rs. 22,990, it’ll be available from 2nd April ownwards and for those who can’t wait, pre-booking starts from 23rd March. It’ll be available across all offline stores in India and e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm Mall & Vivo’s own E-store.
Would you consider buying Vivo V9 or opt for some other device? Do let us know in the comments!