The popularity of big screen has led phone makers to think of new ways to keep the size of their smartphones down. Reducing the size of front bezels is what most of them are turning too these days. Chinese phonemaker Vivo is following in the footsteps of Samsung, LG and Micromax with a smartphone with very thin bezels. It is called the Vivo V7+ and is available through both offline and online channels at Rs21,990.

Vivo V7 Plus comes in champagne gold and matte black colours.
Vivo V7 Plus comes in champagne gold and matte black colours.

Design: premium design, light form factor

The bezel-less front panel gives the V7+ a unique personality. The upper and lower bezels look thin, while the sideways bezels look even thinner. The phone has a screen-to-body ratio of 84.4%.

Despite the thin bezel, Vivo has managed to accommodate a 24-megapixel front camera with LED flash. The base looks a bit cluttered with the speaker, micro USB and 3.5mm jack packed in together.

The phone has a metal exterior which wraps around the side panel too. The edges are nicely rounded so they can snuggle comfortably in the palm. Overall, it grips well and doesn’t tend to slip out easily, which is good for users with clumsy hands.

It comes in champagne gold and matte black colours. The fingerprint sensor is placed at the back. It is fast and accurate to use.

Despite the presence of a big screen, the phone doesn’t feel big and looks as big as a 5.5-inch screen phone. It stands 155.8 mm tall, 75.7mm wide and weighs just 165g. In comparison the Mi Max 2, which offers a 6.4-inch screen, weighs 211g and is 174mm tall and 88mm wide. The Moto Z Play is 156mm tall, 76mm wide and weighs 165g, but offers a 5.5-inch screen. The V7+ is a lot easier to manage with one-hand compared to Mi Max 2.

Vivo V7 Plus main attraction is the massive All Vision 5.9-inch screen.
Vivo V7 Plus main attraction is the massive All Vision 5.9-inch screen.

Display: Big screen, low resolution

The smartphone’s main attraction is the massive All Vision 5.9-inch screen. It has a resolution of 1,440x720p, pixel density of 320ppi and aspect ratio of 18:9. Apps which support the aspect ratio automatically adjust to it and fill the entire screen to provide a more immersive experience than screens with 16:9 aspect ratio.

The screen resolution is a bit of a letdown. At this price and given the screen size we were expecting at least 2160x1,080p.

The screen was able to reproduce colours and contrast very well, though. It has an Eye-protection mode which changes the colour tone to reduce stress on eyes.

The Mi Max 2 offers a bigger 6.4-inch screen with resolution of 1,920x1,080p and pixel density of 342ppi, while the Moto Z Play offers a brighter 5.5-inch AMOLED screen with resolution of 1,920x1,080p and pixel density of 403ppi. If you are looking for brighter and sharper screen, the Moto smartphone is a better bet.

Vivo V7 Plus is clearly inspired by iOS and the default theme has similar icons. I
Vivo V7 Plus is clearly inspired by iOS and the default theme has similar icons. I

Software: Custom UI with unique elements

Like most Chinese phonemakers, Vivo likes to add its own custom UI called FunTouch OS. The V7+ runs Android 7.1.2 and uses the same interface. It is clearly inspired by iOS and the default theme has similar icons. It also has a separate control centre which includes quick settings panel and recent apps.

Navigation keys are integrated with the software but one can remove them completely and use gestures instead. Sliding upwards from the left side of the bottom of the screen serves as the back key, sliding upward from the middle of the bottom of the screen works as the home button and sliding upwards from right side of the bottom of the screen opens the control centre. It is quite easy to use once you get the hang of it.

The Mi Max 2 also runs Android 7.1 with MIUI, which offers more features and customisation options. The Moto Z play runs Android 7.1 with plain Android and is likely to get Android 8.1 update too.

Performance: Smooth but not as powerful as rivals

The Vivo smartphone is driven by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 450 octa-core processor paired with 4GB RAM and offers 64GB storage which is expandable to 256 GB via microSD card. It is a capable processor and was able to see through most tasks and light games such as PES 2017 without any sluggishness or signs of heating up on the back.

However, if you need more firepower, the Moto Z Play and the Mi Max 2 have more to offer. Both run on a superior Snapdragon 625 octa-core chipset and offer 64GB internal storage with the option to add more via microSD cards.

The V7+ packs in a 3,200mAh battery which can eke out a day’s backup on a single charge at most. In comparison, the Mi Max 2 has a much bigger 5,300mAh battery which lasts about two days comfortably.

Vivo V7 Plus belongs to a rare breed of smartphones which have more powerful front camera than rear cameras.
Vivo V7 Plus belongs to a rare breed of smartphones which have more powerful front camera than rear cameras.

Camera: Impresses in all conditions

The Vivo V7+ belongs to a rare breed of smartphones which have more powerful front camera than rear cameras.

The 24-megapixel front camera can capture impressive and wide-angle selfies if the light is good. In good light, the images look a bit noisy but with the front-facing flash you can take care of the noise with the images looking undersaturated. The 16-megapixel primary camera impressed us with its all-round ability. Even in low light, it was able to muster a good amount of detail, while colours looked accurate. Daytime shots look at par with the Mi Max 2’s 12-megapixel snapper.

Verdict

The Vivo V7+ has the style quotient and the features to draw the attention of the audience, but it misses out on some basics. At the current price, there are smartphones which offer more value for money such as the Mi Max 2 (Rs16,999) and the Moto Z Play (Rs19,999) . The former offers a bigger screen, more battery life, better hardware and more dynamic interface. The latter offers the flexibility of mods to enhance the camera performance, runs clean Android, has a superior display and is driven by a more superior processor.

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