Vivo V23 5G Review: Jack of all trades
Consumers are simply spoilt for choice when it comes to mid-range smartphones today. Every major brand seems to be vying for a slice of the same, but ever-growing pie. While most manufacturers have the gone in the direction of affordable performance, some have tried to woo buyers in different ways. Notable among these is Vivo, for its focus on camera hardware in its phones. The Vivo V23 might be the non-pro model in the V23 series, but it does pack a compelling set of cameras.
The cameras might be the headline feature, but the Vivo V23 does excel in other departments as well. The review unit that we received had the Stardust Black colourway with 12 gigs of RAM and 256 gigs of storage. While it might not have the colour-changing allure of the Sunshine Gold, this dark, glittery finish has its own charms. Glittery it is, but not in a shouty, blingy manner. Instead, it is more like the glow from the stars in the night sky. To add to that, it feels great to the touch and the best of all – no fingerprint smudges. The squared-off edges do make it easy to hold even though the phone does have a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution.
Using the fingerprint scanner or face recognition to unlock (we found both fast and reliable), you would be greeted with a display that gets very bright and is easy to use outdoors while on the move. However, it isn’t the best when it comes to colour accuracy. It also maxes out at 90Hz, unlike 120Hz on a fair number of phones these days. There is a bathtub notch that houses the two (Yes, two!) selfie cameras with two LED lights. There is a 50-megapixel main selfie camera with autofocus and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide doing duty on the front. On the back, the camera module features an 8-megapixel ultrawide, a 64-megapixel main camera and a 2-megapixel super macro.
Powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 920, the Vivo V23 makes light work of everyday tasks. It does heat up a little though when used for some heavy-duty gaming. But for most users, performance shouldn’t be a concern especially with the 12GB variant.
Both the 50MP selfie camera as well as the 64MP main sensor produce images with very good sharpness and enough detail. In fact, the Vivo V23 series might offer the best selfie cameras in the segment. Colours aren’t exactly the most accurate, but for the most part that will be something most people wouldn’t even notice or mind too much. Both the 8MP shooters deliver acceptable results, but there is a discernible loss in sharpness. That said, they are better than most of the competition. It has to be pointed out that the V23 supports 4K recording with both the front and rear main cameras.
The 4200mAh battery on the V23 did a good job of getting us through the day. It isn’t by any account the best in the segment, but together with the 44W fast charging solution, battery life or charging shouldn’t be a concern for anybody.
While the FuntouchOS still has a number of unwanted popups and bloatware, the overall software experience is fairly good. Add to that a very good camera setup, clever design and good performance. Vivo clearly has a winner on its hands.