Vivo V7 Review


Vivo launched the V7 smartphone soon after the launch of  V7+ that we had reviewed recently. It has a FullView 18:9 display, but in a smaller size compared to the V7, is powered by Snapdragon 450 and has the same 24-megapixel front camera. How good is the smartphone? Let us find out in the complete review.

Box contents

  • Vivo V7 smartphone in Matte Black color
  • Headset with microphone
  • 2-pin charger (5V-2A)
  • Clear protective case
  • SIM ejector tool
  • User manual and warranty information

Display, Hardware and Design

The phone has a 5.7-inch 2.5D curved glass display with a resolution of 1440 by 720 pixels and a pixel density of about 282 PPI. It has a 18:9 aspect ratio and a screen-to-body ratio of 83.6% since it has minimal bezels, so it is good for media consumption, and you also get an option to stretch the content on the screen when watching videos on apps such as YouTube to fit the 18:9 display. The screen is not sharp compared to a 1080p screen so some might find the content dull. It also has Corning Gorilla Glass 4 protection.

There is a Full Screen mode in the display settings also lets you run apps in the Full Screen mode to display more content. It works pretty good in apps like Instagram, but Vivo says that some third-party apps may not run well in full screen scale or the content may not be spread across the screen due to adaptation reasons. In that case you have to turn off the feature for that particular app. It also has Eye Protection option, which is the night display option that automatically reduces blue light which may impact sleep.

It has a 24-megapixel camera on the front along with an LED flash to capture selfies in poor lighting conditions. It has the usual set of proximity and ambient light sensors along with a notification LED. It also has gyroscope and magnetic sensors otherwise known as magnetometer for VR headsets.

Even though the phone has a small chin below the screen, it uses on-screen buttons. You can also hide these keys to turn on the virtual navigation keys that enables “Sliding Gesture” mode to access menu, home and back buttons just by sliding from bottom to top from the corresponding area of the navigation key at the bottom to access them. You can also change the order of the menu and back keys, and there is also an option to change the icon pattern and also the color of the navigation bar.

Coming to the button placements, on the right side you find the volume rockers and the power button. There is an option to enable SOS Call that lets you press the power button three times to call 112 emergency number. On the left side, there is a SIM slot. On the top, there is a secondary microphone. The 3.5mm audio jack, primary microphone, micro USB slot and the loudspeaker grill are crammed on the bottom.

Similar to the V7+, this has a dedicated dual nano SIM and a microSD slots, arranged in a single tray.

On the back, there is a 16-megapixel camera with LED flash. There is a fingerprint sensor below the camera module and a vivo branding below it. Thanks to the smaller body, the fingerprint sensor is easy to access. The phone measures 149.3 x 72.8 x 7.9mm, almost same as a phone with a 5.2-inch screen and weighs just 139 grams.

Even though the phone has a unibody design, it only has a metal frame with a plastic body, still the build quality decent. It has a 3000mAh built-in battery. Smooth finish on the back might be slippery, but the bundled clear protective case comes in handy.

Camera

Coming to the camera, the phone has a 16-megapixel rear camera with single LED flash, f/2.0 aperture, OmniVision OV16880 sensor and has PDAF for quick focus along with a 24-megapixel front-facing camera with LED flash and f/2.0 aperture, same as the V7+.

Apart from the standard auto mode, it has Professional mode (to adjust Exposure, ISO (100 to 3200), Shutter speed, White balance and Focus manually, PPT mode, Time-lapse, Ultra HD (Capture 63MP images by stitching several shots) and Slow motion. There is also Live photo mode and face beauty mode (to adjust skin tone, buffing and whitening) for both the rear front cameras with live preview. Even though it has single camera on both front and back, it has portrait mode that blurs backgrounds using software, which is not perfect.

Coming to the image quality. Daylight shots and macro shots were good. HDR shots were better with improved contrast and saturation. Low-light shots had noise and the phone automatically switches to low-light mode if there is poor lighting. Images with flash were good and the flash is not overpowering even in closeup shots. The front-facing camera is one of the best in the range for capturing selfies that also blurs the background. It is also good for video chats. Flash light for the front camera is useful in poor lighting conditions.

Check out some camera samples below (Click the image to view the full resolution sample).

HDR OFF
HDR ON

Front Camera
Front camera portrait

It can record videos at maximum 1080p resolution at 30fps, but the slow motion is recorded only at 480p resolution. Video quality is decent and could have been better. Thanks to the secondary microphone, audio is crisp.

Software, UI and Apps

It runs on Android 7.1.2 (Nougat) with Funtouch OS 3.2 on top and it recently got Android security patch for December 2017. The company did not confirm Android Oreo update for the phone. The skin is similar to other skins from Chinese OEMs. The quick settings menu comes up from the bottom part of the screen.

Out of 4GB RAM, 3.58GB of RAM is usable, out of which 2.17GB of RAM is free when default apps are running in the background. Out of 32GB of storage, about 21.8GB is free out of the box. The phone has several features for on-handed usage when entering lockscreen pin or pattern, keyboard and also has mini screen gestures. Smart split lets you handle two apps easily at the same time.

Smart motion has smart wake option lets you launch an app using gestures and several other features such as Smart call, Smart answer, Smart switch, Smart mute and wave to hands free. App clone feature lets you clone an app to use them with two separate accounts. This feature is available only in select apps.

Apart from the usual set of utility apps and Google apps, the phone comes with Facebook, WhatsApp, WPS Office, UC Browser, Amazon, Saavn, UC News and Flipkart apps pre-loaded. These apps can be uninstalled manually.

Fingerprint Sensor and Face Unlock

The fingerprint sensor is present on the back and is easy to access. It is quick to unlock the phone most of the times as soon as you place your finger on the sensor. It unlocks the phone even when the screen is off, so you don’t need to unlock the phone for the fingerprint recognition to work. You can add up to 5 fingerprints and you can also use your fingerprint to authorize Google Play purchases.

It also has support for Face unlock, which is quick to unlock the phone, but you need to press the power button or double tap to wake the screen to wake the phone for it to recognize your face. There is also lock screen interface recognition that uses face recognition to lock the screen and password interface to unlock the phone. There is also quick recognition option for faster unlock that will be even faster says the company and disabling it may reduce the possibility of unlocking the phone via photos and videos. It also warns that facial recognition is less secure compared to other methods such as PIN, Pattern and fingerprint.

Music Player and FM Radio

i Music is the default music player for playback. It has FM Radio with FM recording. It can play 1080p Full HD videos smoothly. The speaker is present on the bottom part of the phone and is quite loud even in noisy environment. Audio doesn’t get muffled when the phone is placed on a flat surface since it is on the bottom. Thanks to the dedicated AK4376A Hi-Fi audio chip, audio quality is good.

Connectivity, Calling and Messaging

It has 4G connectivity with support for 4G VoLTE for Reliance Jio. Both the SIM slots have 4G support, but you can use 4G on only one SIM at a time. Other connectivity features include, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2 and GPS. It also has USB OTG (on-the-go) support, but you have to enable OTG option in the settings before using it.

Since this is a dual SIM phone you get option to call or send SMS from either SIMs. It comes with Touchpal as the default keyboard. We did not face any call drops or any other issues.

Performance and Benchmarks

It is powered by an Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 14nm 64-bit Mobile Platform that has eight ARM Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.8GHz per core. The performance is good without any lags. We tested several games, which were smooth and graphics is also good, thanks to the Adreno 506 GPU. 4GB of RAM is more than enough for multitasking by running several apps in the background. We did not face any heating issues when gaming or using 4G. Check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.

Battery life

The phone packs a 3000mAh battery, slightly smaller than the 3225mAh battery on the V7+, but it lasts for more than a day on a single charge with average use and the whole day with heavy use.  It warns when an app is consuming more battery so you can close it. You can enable low power mode or super power-saving modes to extend the battery life.

It achieved a One Charge Rating of 15 hours and 25 minutes in our battery test, mainly due to talk time, but this is better than the V7+ and is pretty good for a phone with a 3000mAh battery and a 5.7-inch screen. Since it doesn’t have support for fast charging, it takes about 47 minutes to charge from 0 to 50% and about 1 hour and 47 minutes to charge from 0 to 100%. We will bring you the complete set of battery life test results soon.

Conclusion

Overall, the Vivo V7 is decent mid-range smartphone with a FullView 18:9 display in a compact body, good selfie camera and battery life. The phone has dedicated SIM and microSD card slots and the Snapdragon 450 is good enough to power its HD+ screen, but a Snapdragon 625 / 630 and a Full HD+ screen would have been better for the phone in this price range to compete with mid-range Honor phones and the Xiaomi Mi A1.

It is available exclusively from Flipkart and Amazon.in online as well as offline stores for Rs. 16,990, slightly cheaper than the launch price of Rs. 18,990. To summarize, here are the pros and cons of the smartphone.

Pros

  • 5.7-inch screen in a compact body
  • Good performance
  • Dedicated SIM and microSD slots
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Low resolution display
  • Priced slightly on the higher side

Images by Siraj


Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He is currently using the Motorola Moto G4 Plus. You can follow him on Twitter @ssrivatsan and on Google+