Vivo launched smartphones onto the market at a rapid pace in the second half of this year. With a recent launch, the Vivo U20, the price-performance ratio has been significantly improved. Surprisingly, Vivo has launched another smartphone, this time in the V series, the Vivo V17. You can see this new smartphone as a cheaper version of the Vivo V17 Pro. The dual pop-up selfie camera module is missing and a hole design is used instead. Can it justify its Rs. 22,990 Price in a market full of affordable devices, including some from Vivo's own? We check to find out.
Vivo V17 design
The Vivo V17 looks great, especially in the Glacier Ice color we had for this test. We think it's good that Vivo has managed to keep the bezel narrow and the camera opening small. There is also a compact quad camera module on the back, which does not take up much space. We saw a similar finish on the Realme XT (Review) called Lunar White. If you don't like white phones, you can choose the Midnight Ocean color instead.
We think it's good that the Vivo V17 has super slim bezels on the top and sides of the screen. Vivo has chosen a hole design for this smartphone. The 6.44-inch Super AMOLED display offers a Full HD + resolution and good viewing angles. The colors are also punchy. Just like the Samsung Galaxy S10 (Review), the camera hole is in the top right corner and is quite small. You won't really see the selfie camera looking through the display very often. Yes, it cuts content when watching videos and games, but it wasn't big enough to bother us. This phone also has a built-in fingerprint scanner.
The V17 is not too bulky and weighs only 176 g. That's nice when you consider that it's in a 4,500 mAh battery. Vivo also offers a USB Type-C port, which I hope will also affect the company's affordable smartphones. The USB Type-C connector is flanked by the 3.5 mm audio jack, the microphone and the speaker. At the top is a second microphone for video recording.
Vivo has used a plastic frame for this device, and the back also feels plastic. All buttons are on the right and are fairly easy to reach. The SIM compartment is located on the left and has two nano-SIM slots and a dedicated microSD card slot.
On the back of the Vivo V17 is a quad camera setup, which is housed in a rectangular camera module. This module protrudes slightly, causing the device to wiggle on a flat surface. We weren't worried about the camera lenses being scratched because the module has a metal rim. The back easily picks up fingerprints and stains, but in our experience, the color of the glacial ice has masked this quite well. Vivo comes with a transparent case, a pair of in-ear headphones and an 18W quick charger.
Vivo V17 specifications and software
The Vivo V17 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC, which is surprising and disappointing. Vivo recently used the same processor to power the Vivo U20, which is priced at Rs. 10,990 – less than half as much as the V17. Vivo could at least have driven the Snapdragon 730, which Redmi K20 is currently equipped with.
Like the V17 Pro, the V17 is only delivered in one configuration. It has 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, although you have the option to expand the storage using a microSD card. In terms of connectivity, it has Bluetooth 5, dual-band WiFi, USB OTG support, and four GPS satellite navigation systems. The phone is also certified for Widevine L1 DRM, which allows you to stream content in HD and higher resolution with video streaming apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
In terms of software, the V17 Funtouch OS 9.2 runs on Android 9 Pie. The user interface is very different from standard Android and can take some time to get used to. There is no app drawer and all app icons are directly available on the home screens. A lot of bloatware is preinstalled on this smartphone, and some of them, including Helo and Dailyhunt, have showered us with notifications.
Vivo has separated the quick changes from the notifications, and you'll need to swipe up from the bottom of the screen to get to them. We found this annoying as every other Android smartphone has the quick toggle in the notification shade that you swipe down to see. Aside from this particularity, we found that the overall user interface is similar to that of the Vivo U20 (test) and V17 Pro (test) that we recently tested. You can find more information about the software functions of in this test of the Vivo V17.
Vivo V17 performance and battery life
After experiencing the Snapdragon 675 SoC on the Vivo U20 recently, we had a good idea of what to expect from the Vivo V17. This processor is able to deliver a smooth, user-friendly Android experience with no lag or stutter. Thanks to the 8 GB of RAM that this phone contains, we can easily run multiple apps at the same time. The built-in fingerprint scanner was quick and we were able to unlock the phone quickly with it. There's also face recognition, which allows you to quickly scan your face and unlock your smartphone with the tiny pinhole camera.
We ran our usual benchmarks and got the expected results from the Vivo V17. In AnTuTu, the value of 225,668 points was higher than that of the Vivo U20, probably thanks to the additional memory that this phone packs. The V17 scored 507 and 1637 points in Geekbench 5's single-core and multi-core tests, respectively. For graphics benchmarks, the device achieved 41 fps and 15 fps in GFXBench's T-Rex and GFXBench Manhattan tests, respectively.
PUBG Mobile had the default setting "High" and ran without problems. After playing the game for 20 minutes, we found that the device felt warm in an air-conditioned room. When you play outdoors, the device can get hot, as we found in the Samsung Galaxy M40 (test) and Redmi Note 7 Pro (test), both of which are powered by the same processor.
The Vivo V17 is housed in a 4,500 mAh battery and took a day and a half. We used WhatsApp and Google Maps, performed benchmarks and took camera samples. In our HD video loop test, the smartphone was able to continue working for 16 hours and 44 minutes. Vivo comes with an 18 W charger that can be used to charge the smartphone quickly. It managed to get the V17 up to 70 percent in an hour, and it took a little over an hour and a half to fully charge it.
Vivo V17 cameras
The Vivo V17 has a quad camera configuration consisting 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 app is unchanged compared to other current Vivo smartphones. You get a pro mode with which you can fully control the different cameras. There is also a night mode that, according to Vivo, helps the V17 take good pictures in low light.
The 48-megapixel primary sensor takes 12-megapixel pictures as standard. We noticed that focus and exposure can be adjusted quickly and that HDR is automatically used for bright scenes. In daylight, the Vivo V17 took decent pictures and got lots of details. However, we noticed a grainy issue in the shade. We also found that the dynamic range is just about acceptable. The wide-angle camera is activated with a switch in the camera app. We noticed that the color tone drops slightly when taking pictures with the wide-angle camera. Photos also had distortions towards the edges.
At close-ups, it turned out that the smartphone quickly locked the focus, although we had to tap the display at times so that it focused on what we wanted. The camera has a bokeh mode that you need to activate for bokeh shots. This makes the depth sensor work. The V17 achieved a good separation between test subjects and background in our tests. It also allows us to adjust the level of blur before taking a photo. There is also a portrait mode, which mainly offers many beautification options before you take a picture.
With the macro camera of the V17 you can get very close to a subject to capture fine details. We managed to focus on tiny objects, but we believe that the novelty of a macro camera will soon wane for most people.
In poor lighting conditions, the smartphone was able to take good pictures with many details, but when zooming in, a fine grain was visible. When we activated the night mode, we got brighter pictures with better details even in the shadows.
Selfies went well both during the day and at night. With the V17, you can also take a selfie in night mode, resulting in a brighter picture with better details.
The maximum video recording is 4K for the primary camera and 1080p for the selfie shooter. The footage recorded during the day was well stabilized when recording at 1080p, but 4K videos were not. We noticed that the stabilization is not particularly good in low light conditions, which leads to a very clear shimmer effect on the output. Videos recorded with the selfie shooter were not stabilized. We also found that the audio recorded with these videos sounded very quiet.
The Vivo V17 is located under the Vivo V17 Pro and replaces the dual selfie popup module with a small hole in the display. Vivo chose an excellent AMOLED panel with good viewing angles and the hole doesn't distract. The V17 also offers adequate battery life and quick charging.
As with the Vivo V17 Pro, the choice of processor is questionable with the Vivo U20. 10,990. At Rs. 22,990, the V17 is too expensive for what it offers. At that price, the Redmi K20 (Review) seems to be a far better deal with a more powerful processor and an overall better experience.