Vivo V9 is now official and should be the first Android phone with a display notch to actually hit retail shelves in India. Asus did present its display-notch-phone first, but we are still clueless about India price and availability of the upcoming Zenfone models.(हिंदी में पढ़े)

Yes, the notch is the standout feature and one prime reason for all the attention V9 will get. At least, till the notch deluge gets to its peak. But that’s not all that the Vivo V9 is about. We have been living with the new Vivo flagship for a week now to know if this is a phone you should buy. Let’s discuss more in our detailed review.

Vivo V9 Price In India

The Vivo V9 costs 22,990 INR at the time of launch and will be available from April 2 onwards. You can avail several offers like one-time screen replacement, Bookmyshow voucher, Rs. 2000 exchage price, and no costs EMIs if you pre-book the phone on Amazon India. 

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What’s in the Vivo V9 Box?

  • Soft TPU Case
  • Charging Adapter (5V-2A)
  • micro USB (Type-A) cable
  • Earphones
  • Pre-installed screen protector

Also Read: 10 Best Phones with iPhone X Like Notch Display

Vivo V9 Review: Design and Build

  • 154.81 x 75.03 x 7.99mm; 150 grams
  • Glass-finish polycarbonate back.
  • 19:9 Full view Notch display

Vivo has always prioritized design for its phones. That’s also because it primarily focuses on selling its phones at offline retail outlets – And a good looking phone makes a solid first impression.

Irrespective of whether they find the notch ideal or not, most people will be impressed with the immersive look and feel of the Vivo V9. The phone evoked expected oohs and aahs when we showcased it to general consumers.

The front is mostly display with a minimal strip of bezel running along the bottom. You can also replace the navigation bar with iPhone X like gestures to complement the bezel-less experience. The glass-finish back panel folds to form side edges and it is nicely done (the material used is actually plastic). As is the case with glass-finish phones, you will have to endure smudges – but that’s only till you plant it in a case.

Thankfully, Vivo bundles a good one in the box, one that can also even out the dual camera bump. In spite of the 6.3-inch display panel, the phone is perfectly manageable. A small niggle we have is that Vivo is still using the regular micro USB port at the bottom.

  • Vivo V9 is stylish and looks impressive. No two ways about it. That’s if you are fine with Android ecosystem embracing the notch. We are guessing most people wouldn’t mind.
  • The front is mostly display underlined with a thin bezel strip at the bottom. The polycarbonate back has glass finish and adds to the overall appeal.
  • The glass finish back looks attractive and has the right curves to facilitate a firm grip. Despite the sheer display size, the phone is quite comfortable to wield.
  • All buttons and ports, and fingerprint sensor (Rear) are accessible. The phone is quite comfortable to manage.
  • The Face Unlock is extremely fast.
  • The SIM tray has a dedicated slot for MicroSD card. The Loudspeaker and audio jack are positioned on the bottom edge.
  • In India, it will be available in Pearl Black, Champagne Gold, and Sapphire Blue colors.

Vivo V9 Review: Display

  • 6.3-inch FHD Incell IPS LCD, Gorilla Glass 3
  • Eye protection mode, Auto brightness.

The Vivo V9 has a 6.3-inch Incell IPS LCD display. The FHD+ resolution panel has 19:9 aspect ratio. It’s basically an 18:9 panel with an added 1:9 layer for display notch.We are quite satisfied with the display quality. There is no option to manually toggle color temperature but the default settings seem fine. You still get an adjustable eye-protection mode.The notch is where the status bar is. Applications can’t be stretched all the way to the top engulfing the notch as is the case with iPhone X. Or in other words, the notch would rarely get in the way of doing things. The software has been tuned to match the color of the status bar with the application running for a more immersive feel.

The status bar or notch strip at the top and a navigation bar at the bottom don’t dissolve when you watch videos in landscape mode, thus reducing the effective video viewing area.

  • Vivo V9 has a good quality FHD+ IPS LCD panel protected by 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3.
  • Colors are vibrant and viewing angles are wide.
  • Outdoor visibility is good and auto-brightness control is supported.
  • Despite the notch, the status bar has room for all conventional indicators we need.
  • The notch doesn’t get in the way as apps don’t extend all the way to the top.

Also Read: Asus Zenfone 5 First Impression: Notching Up What Matters

Vivo V9 Review: Camera

  • Rear: 16MP, F/2.0 aperture + 5MP, F/2.4 Aperture
  • Front: 24MP, F/2.0 aperture
  • AR stickers, studio lighting, Live photos, Slo-motion videos, 4K Video recording

The Vivo V9 gets a handful of new camera tricks. There are two cameras on the rear and the extra shooter is used for depth sensing. In the portrait mode, you can adjust the aperture thus determining the extent of background blur and the size of focus circle in the foreground. It takes some getting used to but we managed to capture some fairly good portrait shots when once we got the hang of it.The professional mode is also something you will find handy. In good lighting, the images are sharp and vibrant. In low light, the camera takes an extra second to focus. There is room for improvement.

Portrait mode
Indoors, low light
broad daylight
Colors are accurate in low light, but details are sketchy

The 24MP selfie camera is relatively more impressive and fun. The V9 can capture detailed selfies even in indoor lighting. You can also have some fun with AR stickers which work similar to Samsung’s Social camera. Vivo has also included selfie lighting effects (similar to portrait lighting) that you can add while editing selfies.

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  • The rear camera can capture sharp and vibrant images in proper lighting. Colors are well balanced
  • Rear camera performance deteriorates in low and indoor light. Camera struggles to focus.
  • The camea includes numerous shooting modes, including live pictures and an effective professional mode.
  • The portrait mode requires you to put in some efforts before you get desirable results.
  • The selfie camera quality is pretty good and the software is quite efficient.
  • AR stickers and portrait lighting are fun too.

Vivo V9 Review: Performance and Software

  • 2.2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 626
  • 4GB RAM; 64GB storage. Separate card slot.
  • Android 8.1 Oreo-based Funtouch OS 4.0

The Vivo V9 is powered by Snapdragon 626 octa-core chipset. This is a last year SoC, but it’s still quite dependable. Besides, with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage on board, there is enough performance assurance for most people.

The day-to-day usage felt as snappy as the Redmi Note 5 Pro, but gaming performance felt smoother with Snapdragon 636. Like most other affordable phones, HD content streaming isn’t supported by apps like Netflix.

The software running on the V9 is based on the latest Android 8.1 Oreo. Compared to 8.0 Oreo, the latest Android version includes some small changes battery level indicator for Bluetooth devices and Picture-in-picture mode for Netflix.

The Funtouch OS skin on top is a little too inspired by iOS. The software is quite feature rich and intuitive. A simple drag down gesture will take you to a comprehensive device search. There are a few pre-loaded third-party apps on the phone but you can delete them.

  • Day-to-day performance is very smooth. High-end games run well too.
  • Out of 64GB storage, around 52GB is free at user end. The dedicated card slot accepts up to 256GB of microSD storage
  • The Funtouch 4.0 OS on top is feature rich and intuitive.
  • The software has been tuned to accommodate the display notch.
  • 4G VoLTE is supported on both SIM cards. We didn’t face any connectivity issue.
  • The fingerprint sensor is fast and responsive.

Vivo V9 Review: Battery and Audio

  • 3620mAh; no fast charging
  • Mono speaker

The Vivo V9 comes with 3260mAh battery. With moderate usage, we are getting more than one-day mileage consistently. The software aggressively kills background apps that consume more than their fair share of power, but you can whitelist apps that you wish to keep running. Fast charging isn’t supported.

This year, Vivo hasn’t included HiFi audio on its phone. The Audio output quality is still quite decent. The loudspeaker is fairly loud and audio via headphones has reasonable quality too.

  • Thanks to the power efficient hardware and software, battery backup is very good. The phone comfortably lasts for one-day of moderate to heavy use.
  • Fast charging isn’t supported though.
  • You can whitelist apps that you need to keep running in the background irrespective of power consumption.
  • This generation, Vivo hasn’t included HiFi audio, but the audio output is pretty good nonetheless.

Vivo V9 Review: Verdict, Pros and Cons

The biggest advantage of Vivo V9 is its design. The phone feels awesome in hands and should be able to enchant buyers who gawk at it in offline stores. This also gives it a lead over its arch-rival Redmi Note 5 Pro which has the required hardware muscle but doesn’t feel as interesting when held in hand.

The V9 has a good quality display, is a dependable performer, flaunts a reasonable set of cameras, has the latest Android 8.1 Oreo-based software, and has most of the basics covered.

As expected, the Vivo V9 is expensive compared to other online alternatives with similar hardware, but this is an offline phone and marketing costs also factor in.

If you are a moderate user with a penchant for selfies and someone who prioritizes design, the Vivo V9 is worth considering.

Pros

  • Excellent design
  • Great display
  • Exciting selfie camera
  • Dedicated microSD card slot

Cons

  • No fast charging
  • Price not competitive

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