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Review: Vivo V7+ Energetic Blue

The Breakdown

8.1
A good phone, with a lot of buts!
Design
8.5
Display
7.0
Performance
7.5
Software
8.0
Camera
8.5
Battery
9.0
Pros
Great Battery Life, Trendy Design and Excellent Audio Output
Cons
Low Range Chipset and a 720P Display for the Price are meh!

The V7+ is the elder brother of the Vivo V7, amidst a crowded budget-smartphone market the phone tries to set itself apart by betting on ‘a great’ camera and music experience. Along with an 18:9 display and sleek metal build does it succeed? Let’s find out!

The phenomenon of selfies has braved all odds and proved critics that it was never a fad. Something about capturing yourself and immortalizing everyday life in your smart brick has made good front cameras almost indispensable in the smartphone game. Let’s see how Vivo is trying to step the game up with the V7+.

Design:

The design language of the phone is neat but nothing that you’ve never seen before. The back of the phone houses the 16MP primary camera and the lightning-fast fingerprint scanner. Even the antenna lines are pushed to the edges to make a clean back. The right side flanks the power button and the volume rocker whereas the left side houses the triple card slot (2 nano sims & microSD support upto 128GB).

The V7+ is feel good phone and it’s a pleasure to have it in the hand.

The colour we got to review was the Energetic Blue and your liking towards it could perfectly be summarized by how you like Vivo’s Brand Ambassador, Ranveer Singh. Just like Ranveer, the colour’s vibrant and gets a lot of attention but after a point it might seem a bit too loud. Either ways, it’s different and I can’t say I didn’t like it. The phone’s profile is really slim and if you add the metal build to it, the phone feels really good in the hand. But this also makes it slippery. It slipped down my table when I got a call on vibration mode. To prevent just this Vivo has thoughtfully included a silicon case in the box.

Display:

Out of the box, the first major change you’d notice is on the front; that display! True to the trend off-late the V7 also graces a 5.99 inch 18:9 bezel-less display. Viewing angles are good and sunlight legibility is also pretty decent. But what’s a bummer is that it’s a 720p display only. Even the Redmi Note 4 that’s almost half-priced has a 1080p panel! Although the phone misses one-hand usability, it’s pretty manageable than its previous iterations. All-in-all the display leaves a lot to be desired. After all what’s the point of more real estate if the quality just isn’t there.

Performance:

The V7+ houses a Snapdragon 450. While it’s definitely not a powerhouse, day-to-day tasks run perfectly fine on the phone. I even tried gaming with Asphalt 8 on the phone, and apart from a few dropped frames the game was really playable. Along with the octa-core processor the phones also has 4GB of RAM. But a constant problem that I faced was that RAM management was pretty aggressive. The phone couldn’t keep more than 4-5 applications in memory at once. After a little bit of digging in settings I figured out how to manually enable applications to stay open in the background. But this definitely took a toll on the battery life.

Software:

Funtouch OS is a heavily iOS-inspired Android skin.

Now let’s talk about the representative of any mobile phone experience, its software. Funtouch OS can be best described as an iOS ‘inspired’ Android experience. From the blurring of the screen in the notification panel to swiping up from the bottom for the ‘control centre’ everything is eerily similar to iOS features and functions. What’s a blatant ripoff is the notification bar that has phone reception, time and icons in the same layout like found on the iPhone. Personally, I am not a huge of phone of this skin over Android as I’m a Vanilla Android fanatic. But this doesn’t mean that the software is nothing good. It runs pretty smooth on the given hardware and has a lot of customizability options to truly make the phone yours. Even the software features like motion gestures, off-screen gestures, app clone and game mode are pretty handy at times. Also worth mentioning is that the phone is running on Android Nougat 7.1.2 out-of-the-box like most budget phones in the market.

Surprisingly, for budget audiophiles, the phone also has a dedicated Hi-Fi audio chip which delivers some punchy audio through wired earphones. But again, this experience is only limited to the in-built music application.

Cameras:

As every mystery piece that has ever been written, I’ve saved the most-awaited part for the end; the cameras. The Vivo V7+ is apparently about all those cameras The front of the V7+ graces a 24MP shooter that is touted to be one of the best in the game by the company. Is it? Not really. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great camera when the lighting’s good and really gets some good selfies, especially with the Portrait mode.  But for a 24MP sensor, it really doesn’t take impressively detailed photos. The front flash definitely helps illuminate shots at night, but noise is these pictures is inherent.

Comparatively, the back snapper does a comparatively better job. Colour reproduction and dynamic range were above average and the photos looked pretty decent too. But again, it’s nothing exceptional and is far from setting benchmarks in the mid-range market. Videos taken from the phone suffer terribly due to lack of any stabilization. The only win in terms of video would be the mic quality as it’s capable of picking up a range of sounds without blowing either of them out of proportion. So all-in-all, these cameras work just fine and don’t suffer from any major flaws. But if Vivo really wants to be true to its tag, the next generations really have to strive in areas apart from beauty modes and filters.

Battery:

Endurance is where most phones take a hit. But the Vivo V7 will definitely not turn you into a wall-hugger as the battery easily lasts throughout a hectic day. The battery backup was good enough for me to be carefree about not switching off GPS or data while not in use and happily share data through hotspot. But what’s a bummer again is the time that this phone takes to get back to 100. For a phone that’s launched in 2017, the V7 can be considered pretty orthodox as it doesn’t include USB Type-C and support fast-charging. Making the phone reach a 100% took so long that I’d have to leave the phone charging overnight, as I’d crash before it made any significant progress. To put an estimate, I’d say it takes a pain-staking 4 hours (at least) to fully replenish itself.

Vivo V7+ is a great phone overall, although with a lot of buts.

Conclusion:

So where does this leave us with the phone? V7+ is a good performer overall although with a lot of buts. The cameras are great but not the best in the range, the battery life is great but charging takes ages, the edge-to-edge display looks great but the display quality is below average. Apart from these buts it’s be wrong on my behalf to say that it wasn’t enjoyable to use the phone. The sleek body, premium feel, some nifty software tricks, the audio output and of course, this sexy head turning colour, definitely try to cover lost grounds and enrich the experience.

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