Vivo has launched many smartphones this year and by the end of the year, the company has literally launched way too many phones under different price brackets. vivo launched the all-new vivo V17 in India, which the company launched first in Philipines. That variant had a slightly different design with a diamond-shaped camera module at rear, whereas the Indian variant comes with a rectangular camera module. The phone is priced at Rs. 22,990 so obviously, it’s not a budget phone in any way, but is the price tag justified? Let’s find out.
Design & Display
The vivo V17 looks quite beautiful. There are two color variants- Glacier Ice White and Midnight Black. While the Midnight Black seems to be a somewhat common color scheme, the Glacier Ice White stands out in the crowd of smartphones due to a very cool looking vertical gradient finish. The phone features a 6.44-inch full HD+ Super AMOLED display. And obviously, the colors look punchy, viewing angles are great and the deep blacks look amazing on the phone.
At the top right corner of the display, there is the camera hole which is quite small. The vivo V17 comes with an in-display fingerprint scanner. The bezels around the display are quite minimal and the punch hole for the camera is also quite small overall. This punch-hole is the smallest in the world any phone has till now. All the buttons are positioned on the right edge while the SIM tray is on the left side. You can use two Nano-SIM cards, along with a microSD card.
At the back, there is the quad-camera setup, placed in a rectangular camera module with a metallic ring which protrudes out a bit and sometimes the phone is bumpy when placed on a table or any flat surface. The camera module houses four cameras, where three are placed in a vertical position while the fourth one is placed on the right side forming an L shape. Above the fourth lens, there is an LED flash. The bottom of the phone houses the 3.5mm headphone jack and the speaker grill, along with a USB-C port for charging and data transfer.
Overall, the vivo V17 looks quite good and with all the latest forms of implementation of the front-facing camera, fingerprint scanner, right at the front within the display, Vivo has managed to make the phone look very clean.
The vivo V17 has a quad-camera setup on the back which consists of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The camera UI is quite good – Simple but with toggles the most used features like flash, HDR, filters, aspect ratio, and the camera settings on top. A button in the camera UI for camera settings is something new here and it’s a well-thought implementation in my opinion.
At the bottom, there are the options to switch between ultra-wide camera, bokeh and super macro. Beyond that, outside the viewfinder, there are those classic scrollable camera modes and there are quite a few of them like – Night, Portrait, Photo, Video, along with an option opens up more modes like Panorama, Live Photo, Slo-mo, Time-Lapse, Pro, AR Stickers, Jovi AI and Doc mode. Below that there is an image preview button on the left, shutter key at the middle and the toggle for changing between the front and rear camera on the right side.
These are all the details about the camera app and the features. Now, in terms of real-life performance, the 48-megapixel primary sensor takes 12-megapixel shots by default. The camera focuses real quick and in broad daylight, the vivo V17 took nice shots full of details, with natural-looking colors. The dynamic range is decent and the HDR helped quite a lot while taking shots in a brightly lit environment. Night mode takes impressive low-light shots. Sometimes the camera also suggests using a particular mode as per the scenario.
Toggling to the wide-angle camera is fast and smooth. It took some good shots, but the colors seemed to be a bit undersaturated. In terms of portrait shots, the phone performed really well, thanks to the dedicated depth sensor. The bokeh effect is quite nice and you also get to adjust the blur level while taking a shot. In terms of edge detection, the phone seemed to do a good job. The Macro lens is something that isn’t really useful I would say – Not great, not terrible. It manages to take good shots of tiny objects in well-lit conditions.
On the front, there is a 32-megapixel camera for selfies and video calling. The front-facing camera actually performed consistently, irrespective of lighting conditions. Another cool thing is that you get to use the Night Mode even while using the front-facing camera. The vivo V17 can record at 4K using the rear camera and in full HD using the front-facing camera.
Just like the vivo U20, this phone is also powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 64-bit octa-core processor built which has got two Cortex A76-based Kryo 460 CPUs clocked at 2GHz and other six Cortex A55 Kryo 460 CPUs, clocked at 1.7GHz. It comes with Adreno 612 GPU and 8GB LPDDR4x RAM. After trying out the Vivo V17 for a week, I had quite a bit of an idea about how this one will perform and well, it performed really well. Day to day tasks like browsing, using social media apps and texting, watching videos and switching between too many open apps never caused an issue.
In terms of gaming also, the phone performed really well, I primarily played PUBG Mobile where the graphics were set to High by default and the phone handled it well. In terms of general performance as well there were no issues.
In terms of software, the vivo V17 runs the Funtouch OS 9.2 based on Android 9 Pie. It is packed with features though and some bloatware too i.e. many apps are pre-installed on the phone but the good thing is that they can be uninstalled. There is a Motorbike mode which rejects all incoming calls when you are riding and sends an SMS automatically to callers.
The Ultra Game mode has lots of features like off-screen Autoplay which lets a game run even with the display switched off. There are options to mute and block notifications, and auto-answer calls. You can also configure it to reject calls automatically.
FunTouch OS 9.2 is quite improved. There are navigation gestures by vivo which I am a fan of works great but ultimately I feel comfortable more with the navigation button. There are many features packed into the software like Smart Wake, Smart Turn On/Off for the display, One-handed Mode, App clone and a lot of other features.
There is the Game Cube, which is quite handy while gaming. There is Flashlight Notifications Option that blinks for incoming calls, messages and event alerts.
There are also the usual features like App Clone, App Lock with encryption, Multi-turbo, Smart-split and many more.
The vivo V17 packs a large 4500mAh battery and the phone easily lasted for a day and a half. I primarily used the phone for taking a lot of phone calls, texting, navigating and browsing social media with some video streaming during free time.
The phone supports 18W fast charging and as per my observation, the phone takes just around an hour to get charged from 0-70%, which should be enough for one full day of usage. It takes a bit above an hour to get fully charged. Most of the time I got screen-on-time of 6-7 hours and 2-3 days of standby time which is very impressive.
The vivo V17 is a really good looking phone with a Super AMOLED display, a very promising camera, and a great battery life. While I understand that the pricing part is on a higher side, one has to look at the tech it offers like the world smallest punch in the display for the camera, you won’t even notice that it’s there. The in-display fingerprint is among the fastest in vivo Devices, the OS is well optimized for a long battery backup. The device looks way better compared to other brands with the same price and the display is too good for streaming videos and viewing other multimedia content.