Barely two months have passed since the introduction of the Vivo U10, and the company has now expanded its pure online U series with the new Vivo U20. The two devices have a lot in common, and this move shows that Vivo wants to keep up with Xiaomi, Realme and other competitors. This phone is offered as the successor to the U10, but is a bit more expensive. With its large screen, high-capacity battery, and powerful processor, this new model could definitely bother the Sub-Rs. 15,000 market again. We were able to spend some time on this device before it was officially launched. Here are our first impressions.
This new Vivo U20 looks very similar to its sibling. The front is fairly bare and there is nothing to notice but a small water drop notch at the top of the screen for the 16 megapixel front camera. At 6.53 inches and 1080 x 2340 pixels, the display is larger and higher than that of the Vivo U10 (test), compared to 6.35 inches and 720 x 1544 pixels. It's not too difficult to handle, but it definitely needs to be stretched a bit to reach the top corners.
The display has narrow borders that correspond to the current styles. It is quite bright, but we found the colors a little boring and washed out in our short time with this device. Our full test will show how good it is for general use, as well as video and game viewing. A self-adhesive scratch protection is already installed in our device. Interestingly, Vivo highlights the Widevine L1 DRM certification for this phone, which enables HD video streaming.
Vivo seems to have moved away from gradients and patterns in this model. We have a relatively simple monotonous finish called Racing Black, which actually has a very deep gray-blue color when you look at it under the light. The other option that was launched is called Blaze Blue and appears lighter with a small blue-purple gradient. The material is plastic, but although it is shiny, it is not slippery. We weren't particularly interested in the gold border of the camera module and the gold Vivo logo in the lower left corner, but some people will like the splash of personality.
The design of the camera module is slightly different from that of the Vivo U10, but everything is in the same place. The fingerprint sensor on the back is also pretty much identical and within range. The Vivo U20 has three rear cameras – a 16 megapixel primary camera, an 8 megapixel wide-angle camera and a 2 megapixel macro camera.
The overall build quality and finish of the Vivo U20 are quite good. At 193 g it is a bit heavy and 8.89 mm thick. Only the ring around the camera module feels a little rough. The power and volume buttons are all on the right and feel decent too. The compartment on the top left has two slots for nano SIMs and a separate microSD card slot.
We are a little disappointed that there is a micro-USB port on the bottom and not a Type-C port, and we assume that Vivo's target group will now also see the company develop further. There is also a 3.5mm audio jack and a speaker on the bottom.
The U20 is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor and is marketed by Vivo as "AI Engine". There is a 5000 mAh battery that explains some of the mass and weight. You can choose between 4 GB with 64 GB of storage for Rs. 10,990 and 6 GB of RAM with the same 64 GB of storage for Rs. 11,990. Other specifications include dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 5 and GPS. You get an 18W charger in the box, and Vivo states that this phone can be charged quickly but has not set a standard.
With these specifications, Vivo brings a lot of performance at a low price. Competitor in the sub-Rs. 15,000 segments currently include the Redmi Note 8 Pro (review) and Realme 5s (first impressions), which means that the new Vivo U20 promises excellent value for money.
The Funtouch OS software from Vivo is certainly divisive. Standard Android fans will hate the customization options here, especially the quick settings panel, which, like older iPhones, has to be called from the bottom of the screen. Funtouch OS 9.2 runs on Android 9, so this may be fixed in the next major release. We were glad that the Android security patch from November 2019 was already running on our demo unit.
This version of Funtouch OS contains a system-wide dark mode. On the Jovi Smart Scene page to the left of the first home screen, widgets with information such as activity tracking, sports results and news are displayed. You can customize the UI with themes, but we're not fans of the Lockscreen Poster feature, which shows random images and potential ads on your lock screen. Several apps were preinstalled on our demo unit, including WhatsApp, Facebook, WPS Office, Dailyhunt, Gaana and Amazon Shopping.
If Vivo hopes to win Xiaomi and Realme, a lot depends on the camera quality, which we will evaluate in our detailed review shortly. We also test the battery life, display quality, general usability and of course the uncomplicated performance. Overall, the Vivo U20 seems to be very popular from our first impressions, especially among fans of the brand.