Vivo V7 Review: Fighting For Mid-range Supremacy

Vivo V7 Review: Fighting For Mid-range Supremacy

Does the V7 have a better chance against the mid-range phones launched recently?

The mid-range space has been a bitter battleground for international brands this year. It’s one of the most competitive markets for phones right now, which each brand looking to grab a chunk of the highly competitive 10K to 20K price bracket. While Vivo’s V7+ was an alright phone for the price, it got undercut price and specs-wise by the offerings of its competitors which offered a more competitive specs to price ratio.

With the holidays fast approaching, Vivo has launched a new device that they hope would give their rivals a better challenge. The V7 has roughly the same specs as the bigger V7+ at more aggressive and competitive price point which the Chinese company hopes will lure the selfie faithful back into the fold.

Vivo V7 Specs

  • 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 506 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 5.7-inch HD+ IPS LCD display; 1440×720 resolution
  • 32GB of expandable storage (up to 256GB via MicroSD card)
  • 4G, LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • 16-megapixel rear camera, f/2.0 aperture, LED Flash
  • 24-megapixel front camera, f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, LED Flash
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Android 7.1 Nougat with FunTouch OS 3.2
  • 3000mAh battery

Design: It’s scaled down V7+

It’s not surprising that the V7 looks almost identical to the V7+: they are part of the same family after all. You’re still looking a unibody poly-carbonate design that’s been treated to look and feel like metal. A plastic body isn’t such a bad thing, especially how Vivo did it with the V7, but with their competitors offering a full metal design at the same price point, it might be a sore spot for people looking to purchase the V7.

Just like the bigger V7+, the V7 sports an 18:9 aspect ratio, allowing it to have a rather large 5.7-inch display while being smaller than a typical 5.5-inch phone. It’s handier as well, which makes the device easier to use for people with smaller hands one-handed. No need to fight with the phone when it comes to one-handed use.

The rear of the phone holds the 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 rear aperture and LED flash, along with the fingerprint scanner. The right side of the phone holds the power button and volume rocker. The bottom of the device holds the microUSB port (still no USB Type-C here), speaker grille and 3.5mm jack.

Display: HD+ display is decent, though higher pixel density should have been implemented

Just like the bigger V7+, the V7 has an 18:9 aspect ratio display allowing the phone to have a slightly bigger panel on paper compared to other phones with the same overall size. The side bezels are as thick as the V7+, and there’s still a noticeable top and bottom bezel, though they’re quite thinner than phones that don’t have the unique aspect ratio.

If you didn’t like the lack of pixel density of the display of the V7+, you’re not going to like the V7 at all. Because of the HD+ resolution, pixel density is quite low, compared to its competitors. On the bright side, the display itself looks good, with vibrant colors thanks to its IPS panel. You’re getting more real-estate when you’re swiping through websites and apps that have been optimized for the aspect ratio.

Hardware: Virtually identical to its bigger brother

As far as hardware goes, the V7 is almost identical to the V7+. You’re looking at a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor with 4GB of RAM. Storage has been toned down on the smaller V7, coming in at just 32GB, though you can always just put in a separate SD card to give it more capacity.

How does the V7+ fare in everyday use? It’s pretty fast, despite the negative stigma attached to the Snapdragon 450 chipset. Like we said in another article, the Snapdragon 450 is basically an underclocked Snapdragon 625, with the same Adreno 503 GPU. That means it’s able to run most Android games without any issues, though if you start playing games on the highest setting, you’ll start to experience a little bit of stutter.

Software: Inspired by Apple

The V7 sports familiar software from the Chinese company: Android 7 Nougat, overlaid with their FunTouch UI. It’s not difficult to see the inspiration for the UI, especially when it comes to the interface and how you interact with it (swiping up from the bottom shows the setting for the phone), but you’ll get used to it over time.

Camera: Identical performance to the V7+

The V7 has the same camera layout as the V7+: 16-megapixel rear camera with f/2.0 rear aperture plus a 24-megapixel front camera, f/2.0 aperture lens. It’s not surprising that the V7 has roughly the same camera performance as its more expensive brother.

Images taken are good enough for the price, though the phone falters a bit with low-light shots. Selfies, are for the most part, clear and crisp, which is not surprising, given the focus of Vivo’s phones on delivering good selfies.

Battery: Will easily last you for the whole day

Just like with the V7+, the battery life for the V7 is pretty good. Snapdragon 450 is not a power-hungry chipset, and the phone’s capable of running for the entire day with moderate use with a single charge. No fast charging here though, but you’ll be safely back at home before the power bar goes critical.

Verdict: A better mid-range challenger

With their V7+ not flying off the shelves, Vivo needed another mid-range phone to compete with the offerings of their rivals in the mid-range space this coming holidays. The V7 might be a slightly downgraded version of the bigger phone, but make no mistake, it should’ve been the phone that the company came out with first before their competitors launched their own devices.

Priced at just Php 14,990, it goes head-to-head with other excellent mid-range phones in the market like Huawei’s Nova 2i and OPPO’s F5. The V7 is certainly a pretty solid offering at its price point but did they release the V7 too late? We’ll have to see sales numbers to be sure.

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