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Vivo V7 Plus (V7+): Another Premium Phone For An Affordable Price

At first glance, the Vivo V7 Plus resembles an OPPO. That’s because both Vivo and OPPO are made by the third largest smartphone manufacturer (just behind Apple and Samsung) that you have probably not heard of: BKK Electronics.

The Vivo V7 Plus feels exceedingly premium with the matte black aluminium finish and the antenna bands that are both functional and adds to the aesthetics of the phone. The V7 Plus’s minimal front bezel creates an illusion of a larger display despite measuring at a whopping 155.9 x 75.8 x 7.7 mm – next to the iPhone X, the V7 Plus sports a larger screen and weighs lighter.

Notable Specifications and Features

1. Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 4GB RAM

The Snapdragon 450 4GB RAM may not be the top of the line in the market, but it certainly does a superb job of handling daily tasks. However, gaming tends to cause this phone to heat up considerably. Vivo makes up for that by building in a gaming mode to minimise unnecessary running processes and cuts interrupting calls.

Most surprisingly, the Snapdragon 450 can thread faster and multi-task better than the average Android phone: its threading capabilities are nearly twice that of the Snapdragon’s latest processor, the Snapdragon 845.

2. Face Identification Lock

This is undoubtedly one of the more surprising features when using this phone. It works most of the time and is indeed a reliable alternative to your typical fingerprint and pattern security mechanism.

3. Larger Battery Capacity Than Popular Phone Models

The Vivo V7 Plus packs a hefty 3225 mAh battery, which is, without a doubt, the most overlooked feature. Why? Even highly popular phones like the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the Apple iPhone X has a battery capacity of 3000mAh and 2716mAh respectively. With a battery with such capacity, you would not have to worry about having to charge your phone halfway through the day. Major plus point!

4. Special Software Features

The V7 Plus has some little clever features that makes your daily tasks and navigation feel simpler. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen brings up a pane similar to the Apple iPhone’s Control Center that allows ease of access to the phone’s gaming mode, mobile data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, recent apps, and even an eye protection feature for those who love using their phones in the dark. The V7 Plus also enables the user to assign apps to the phone’s buttons, allowing the user to open an app instantly – even when your phone is locked or asleep.

Design & Ergonomics

The premium matte finish of the V7 Plus’s body feels nice on the hands and reduces fingerprint marks. Even the placement of the fingerprint sensor shows care in the design process – it is placed in such a manner that it is convenient to move one’s index finger towards the fingerprint sensor from how you would normally hold your phone. The fingerprint sensor is also strategically placed away from the camera lens so that you would not smudge your camera lens accidentally while you are trying to unlock your phone.

One complaint that I have about the phone’s comfort-design aspect would be where the power and volume buttons are placed. I tend to experience some difficulty shifting my thumb down to use the power button without losing grip. I wished they could have placed the volume buttons on the left side of the phone while having the power buttons on the right side – where the volume buttons are placed currently – for better comfort. On the bright side, at least there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack!

Camera

The VIVO V7 Plus packs a 16 megapixels (MP) rear camera and a higher resolution of 24MP for its front-facing camera. The cameras do their job well both in good and bad lighting conditions, but the camera screen display lacks responsiveness and the smoothness in a darker setting.

An outdoor shot taken with the Vivo V7 Plus. Colours are natural looking.

As for selfie-takers, you’ll be happy to know the VIVO V7 Plus even has a beauty and portrait mode for the best selfies. What takes the cake is that the portrait mode works even without the need for dual-lens; instead, the VIVO V7 Plus uses its software to blur out the background and to identify the selfie-taker automatically.

Overall, the phone’s camera performs satisfactorily well and lives up to its boastful slogan “Perfect Shot” for the quality photographs it takes at the cost of its lacklustre camera screen display.

The Downsides

1. Lack of Waterproofing

Not an essential feature, but something definitely one would question solely because a majority of smartphone brands offer it. Some others like to wash their phones too, so they’d probably have to go back to the primitive microfibre cloth for the Vivo V7 Plus.

2. The LCD Screen

Come on Vivo, LCD screens in this day and age? It can never be emphasised enough that OLED panels are a mandatory feature that smartphone companies should be obliged to offer in their latest phones. Comparing with LCD panels, an OLED display functions without a backlight and thus can display deeper blacks. This, in turn, saves precious battery, not forgetting the superior image quality, high refresh rates, and extremely low response times the display is capable of. Put it simply, there are no reasons not to implement OLED panels in smartphones – unless it is a budget smartphone model.

Verdict

For the most part, the phone is absolutely solid when it comes to aesthetics and ergonomics. The selfie camera is definitely the highlight of the VIVO V7 Plus thanks to its portrait mode. Fortunately, the downsides are subjective because the lack of waterproofing and OLED panels may not mean much for some people. Furthermore, fixing those flaws would probably add another $200 on top of its price tag. At this price point with an infinity display and a 24MP selfie camera this powerful? Nothing comes close.

For more information on the Vivo V7 Plus, check out: https://www.vivo.com/sg/products/v7plus.

[penci_review]

Photos by Jin Keng of the DANAMIC Team. Visuals courtesy of Vivo Singapore.

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Lee Jin Keng

The name's Jinkeng but you can call me Jake! I love the fashion, know the technology and appreciate cinematography. I guess you can call me the 'jake' of all trades? Without the less flattering ending of the saying...

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