Vivo V9 Review – Notch Pe Dance

Vivo V9 Box contents

  • V9 Smartphone
  • Transparent soft back case
  • Power adapter
  • Earphone
  • USB cable
  • Pin
  • Documents

Vivo V9 Design, Build Quality

  • 6.3-inch IPS LCD display
  • 1080 x 2280 pixels resolution
  • 2.5D Curved glass
  • 154.8 x 75.1 x 7.9 mm
  • 1.75 mm narrow bezels
  • 150 grams
  • Poly-carbonate body
  • Colors: Pearl Black, Champagne Gold and Sapphire Blue
It’s not just the notch or the tall design but Vivo V9 has got a complete makeover. The rear is a compelling invitation to check out this Smartphone. Its super glossy and looks totally different from the previous generation V7. That extra glossiness does come with a compromise, it is super fingerprint magnet. The sides are smooth and the edges gently curved, it gives a good feel when you hold it. The rear has the 16-megapixel camera, LED flash, fingerprint sensor and the Vivo branding. The bottom is bustling with speaker grille, microUSB port, microphone and a 3.5mm audio jack. The top is devoid of any ports. It’s high time USB type-C finds place, hopefully at least the next iteration in the V series would hopefully get it but for now, its microUSB. The right side has the volume and power button, while the left side houses the ejectable pin tray. Vivo V9 is a dual-SIM 4G VoLTE phone that can also accommodate a microSD card. Overall, I have no complaints on Vivo V9 design but yes, a metal casing would have been a more contemporary clothing. Inspite of that, the phone looks premium no second opinion about it.

Vivo V9 Display

  • 6.3 inches IPS LCD display
  • 1080 x 2280 pixels
  • 400 ppi density
  • 18:9 aspect ratio
The tech community is divided over the notch effect, with almost the majority cringing about it. I have a different opinion though, yes the iPhone took it mainstream with the iPhone X but let’s not forget it was the Essential phone that introduced it. The notch is here for a reason and is here to stay for a while till another workaround is found like what Vivo demonstrated with Vivo Apex in the recent World Mobile Congress. When we love edge-less display a compromise has to be made. Either we can go bold like Mi Mix series by moving the selfie to the bottom (which I cringe about) or live with a notch for time being, I would prefer the notch than having to handle the front camera in an awkward bottom space.

Vivo V9 Software – The FunTouch UI

The V9 runs on Android Oreo out of the box with Vivo’s own FunTouch UI layered upon. If you are a first time Vivo user, you would find the interface quiet unlike the typical Android experience. The control center is accessed by swiping from bottom up similar to iPhone. It takes a bit of time to get used to. The UI offers tons of experience and you can check the video I have done on the top Vivo V9 features which list everything you should know. To quickly recap the Vivo V9 features, you can:
  • Navigation keys can be replaced with navigation gestures
  • Indulge on DND mode while playing with the game mode
  • enable Motorbike mode while driving
  • record incoming calls
  • enable live beauty mode for whatsapp or messenger video calls
  • check the notifications by waving your hand above the display
  • take three fingerscreenshot and more.
For more exhaustive list of features, watch the video below.

Vivo V9 Fingerprint Sensor

The fingerprint sensor is placed at the rear and it works very accurately and is quiet fast too. The V9 also supports app lock and you can secure and unlock the apps with your enrolled finger.

Vivo V9 Face Recognition

V9 also supports face recognition. While it may not be as fast as the fingerprint sensor it does work fairly well. Additionally, it also supports app lock, so the secured apps can be unlocked with your face, which is pretty neat add-on. The UI also offers a raise to wake screen option which makes face recognition work better without having to press the power button to wake up the screen, so lift the phone, the screen wakes up, look at it and it unlocks, cool trick here!

Vivo V9 Hardware and Performance

  • Qualcomm MSM8953-Pro Snapdragon 626
  • Octa-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A53
  • 4GB RAM
  • Adreno 506
  • 64GB storage / expandable
  • 4G VoLTE
  • Adreno 506 battery
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation,gyroscope, proximity, magnetic
If you are wondering what are the other phones that use SD 626, there is Moto Z2 Play, Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro and 10.or G from Amazon’s Tenor brand. Of all these phones, of course V9 has got the contemporary looks. But looks apart, how does this hardware perform? Let’s dig it out. I been using the Vivo V9 for over 2 weeks now and this is based out of that experience. For normal usage, the V9 works like charm. The call quality is good and the speaker quality is good too while playing games which I did a lot thanks to the PUBG mobile. The Snapdragon 626 is a decently agile chip to handle even the heavy games, though for a keen gamer there will be slight frame rate drops while playing Asphalt 8 and Nova 3 but the bottom line, all these games are playable and you won’t find the phone huff puffing. Even hours of gaming does not heat up the device at any alarming rate even at this summer, which is a good news. About the software optimisation and memory management, its a mixed bag. The phone does some aggressive background app management, so much that if the truecaller is idle for a while, it shuts it off that next time when a call comes. hence making the app ineffective. Vivo could relax it up with a software update and probably they would be doing it. Battery is yet another decent performer of V9, I was initially sceptical about the 3200 mAh battery considering the phone has a larger display area and a fullHD+ resolution, but in my use which can be rated as a medium usage, the phone battery lasted for close to 18 hours, which I think is a decent life.

Vivo V9 Camera

  • 24-megapixel (Front camera)
  • 16MP+5MP (Rear camera)
As usual the focus is on the selfie camera, the Vivo (along with Oppo) with their high pitched marketing made selfie capability an important factor when buying a camera. Nothing much has changed in the megapixel count compared to the previous generation V7 and it retains the same 24-megapixel at the front. This time though there is a portrait mode both for the front and rear. The selfies are much better though and I would rate the pictures take with the front camera higher than the rear camera. I liked the portrait mode in selfies and they were decently good in the edges. The bokeh at the rear is decent, though at times its hit or miss, with frayed edges appearing in some pictures, though at most time it did work decently well. The rear camera pictures are more natural with realistic color reproduction. A bit of meddling with the saturation and contrast would have made it more vibrant or lively. If you like natural reproduction, what you see is what you get here. The dynamic range could have been better, even the HDR doesn’t boost the levels much. The videos can be taken up to 4K, which is pretty good. The video quality is good enough too though it lacks image stabilisation. As usual there is face beauty modes with 6 levels for those who love a smooth makeover on their face. Apart from this the camera app offers professional mode, ultraHD mode, Doc scanner, Slo-mo and time lapse. To add fun elements, there is AR stickers built-in so you don’t need third party apps for the little crazier pictures.

Vivo V9 to buy or not?

What works for V9:
  • Impressive display
  • Good design with glossy back
  • Face recognition works good and Face app lock is a bonus
  • Decent battery life
  • Impressive audio output
  • Better selfies
  • Modern overall look and feel
  • Dedicated microSD card
  • 4K video
What doesn’t work for V9:
  • Easy to gather smudges at the rear
  • RAM management could be better optimized

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