Vivo V20 SE 2023 Review: Still Looks and feels great but lacks in performance
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Despite the 2020 trends in the abandonment of everything superfluous in smartphone boxes, Vivo nevertheless put to the device not only a charger and a USB-A – USB-C cable, but also a silicone case with 3.5 mm headphones. Even if these are small things, they are still pleasant for the buyer.
Vivo V20 SE is offered in two colors: soft blue and black. The first option came to us. The smartphone is completely made of plastic and it is worth admitting that for this money you can find options with a more premium glass case. However, I note that the back panel has a pleasant matte finish. It shimmers beautifully under different lighting conditions and is not as eager to collect fingerprints as glossy options.
The camera block looks pretty neat and sticks out a little from the body. The power button and volume rocker are on the right side, the slot for a microSD memory card and two SIM cards is on the top, and the USB-C port, speaker and 3.5 mm audio jack are on the bottom.
In general, the Vivo V20 SE looks pretty, and it fits comfortably in the hand. This is achieved through slightly rounded edges and a relatively low weight (171 grams). However, the size of the display still does not allow you to comfortably use the smartphone with one hand.
Vivo V20 SE Display
The Vivo V20 SE has a 6.44-inch AMOLED display. It is not quite symmetrical in relation to the front panel, which is why the bottom bezel is noticeably larger than the rest. The screen has a resolution of 2400 × 1080 pixels, the refresh rate is 60 Hz.
By the standards of the class, a good matrix is installed here with a sufficient margin of brightness and pleasant color rendering. In the settings, you can activate the Eye Protection function, which will change the color temperature of the screen at night. In addition, a choice of color profiles is available and it is possible to tell applications how they should mask the teardrop notch.
Face and fingerprint scan
In place of the aforementioned waterdrop notch is a 16MP front-facing camera. Apart from its main task, it can also be used to unlock a smartphone. Of course, in the case of Vivo V20 SE, this method is far from the most reliable, but it works quite smartly, even in low light conditions.
A fingerprint scanner is built into the display. In principle, there are no particular complaints about it. It usually works quickly, but sometimes it may not recognize the finger the first time.
Performance and software
But here there is already something to blame Vivo for. For example, in choosing a chip and / or optimizing software for a particular model. Vivo V20 SE received a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor with Adreno 610 graphics. 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of built-in memory. There are Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC modules. It looks good on paper, but in reality I would like more performance.
This is not to say that the smartphone slows down or there are constantly microlags, but opening applications, switching between windows, downloading content, all this does not happen as quickly as we would like. And in games, the situation is predictable: you can run heavy projects, but you have to set low graphics settings for an acceptable gameplay. In synthetic tests, the Vivo V20 SE also showed nothing outstanding, and in the stress test the CPU started throttling noticeably after about 6 minutes under load. Among the competitors there are smartphones with the Snapdragon 700 series, and with more interesting MediaTek chips, so if you are looking for a device for gaming, I would pay attention to other devices.
The Vivo V20 SE is running Android 10 and Funtouch OS 11. The latter is more reminiscent of stock Android, which, for me, is a plus. At the same time, there are a number of additional add-ons that may be useful to users.
But this situation also has a reverse side of the coin. Far from being the most productive chip, Full HD + display with a frequency of 60 Hz and a 4100 mAh battery together give about 1.5-2 days of autonomy. Even with very active use, the Vivo V20 SE should survive until the evening. Well, if you need to urgently charge the device, 33 W wired charging will come to the rescue. The smartphone replenishes energy quickly, which is definitely a plus. In the PCMark test, the device showed a result of 7 hours and 8 minutes.
Camera and sound
Well, for dessert, let’s talk about the Vivo V20 SE camera. There are no surprises here, however. Of the three camera modules, in fact, only the main 48-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f / 1.8 is of interest, because the two remaining here for beauty are two-megapixel macro and depth sensors.
As for the quality of shooting, the situation is quite typical for Chinese manufacturers in this segment. Good lighting – good photos are obtained with a minimum of artifacts and without critical loss of detail. As soon as the shooting conditions deteriorate, blurring, distortions appear, and questions may appear about the color rendition. A smartphone is clearly not for a mobile photographer, ordinary, average level of shooting.
In Vivo V20 SE, only one speaker at the bottom is responsible for sound reproduction. The volume reserve is enough so as not to miss a call or listen to music while you are going on business. You should not count on low frequencies, but it reproduces music, in general, normally.
Despite the good appearance and autonomy of the Vivo V20 SE, the smartphone still has a number of compromises. For myself, I singled out performance as the main disadvantage, yet for such a price you expect a more optimized device. Moreover, there are many competitors and, at least on paper, they offer more interesting characteristics. However, the price cut could make the Vivo V20 SE a more attractive purchase.