Android phonemakers are trying to minimize the bezels but can’t completely get rid of them yet as they still need some space for the front camera. Apple iPhone X’s notch has become the latest inspiration for them. Vivo’s V9 is the latest Android smartphone to adopt the notch like design. It is available through offline stores at Rs22,990.

Here is what we think of this new big screen smartphone in the mid-segment.

■ The iPhone X like notch on the front gives the V9 a distinct look but only when the screen is switched on. The rest of the time, you won’t even realize there is a notch if the screen is not lit up. It also offers a higher screen to body ratio of 90% and wider than usual aspect ratio of 19:9. Most thin bezel smartphones have an aspect ratio of 18:9.

The space around the notch shows time, signal strength and battery status. But during video playback the space around the notch also serves as part of the main screen.

Due to the curved back design, matte finish and light form factor (150g), the V9 feels more reassuring in the hand than the Honor V10.
Due to the curved back design, matte finish and light form factor (150g), the V9 feels more reassuring in the hand than the Honor V10.

■ The back panel is a run of the mill affair and has a similar full-metal design we saw in the Honor V 10 too. However due to the curved back design, matte finish and light form factor (150g), the V9 feels more reassuring in the hand than the Honor V10 which tips the scales at 172g.

■ The Vivo V9 comes in Gold and Black colours, while the Honor V10 comes in Navy Blue and Midnight Black.

■ There is a fingerprint sensor on the back, or you can use the front facing camera to recognize your face and unlock the phone. Both options work smoothly.

■ The Vivo smartphone offers a separate slot for microSD card, allowing users to access the dual SIM slots and the microSD slot simultaneously.

The Vivo V9 offers even bigger 6.3-inch screen with resolution of 2,246x1,090p.
The Vivo V9 offers even bigger 6.3-inch screen with resolution of 2,246x1,090p.

■ Most new big screen smartphones now offer 6-inch screen. The Vivo V9 offers even bigger 6.3-inch screen with resolution of 2,246x1,090p. The bigger screen means more legroom for reading, typing and gaming. It is bright looking screen and doesn’t appear inferior in terms of colour reproduction or sharpness in comparison to the 6-inch screen of the Honor V10.

■ The V9 runs Android 8.1 (Oreo) out of the box. Vivo has overlaid the interface with its proprietary UI called FunTouchOS. It is a well designed interface with plenty of handy features such as the game mode which allows users to reply to messages without closing games, while the motorbike mode auto rejects incoming calls when user is driving. Users can also rearrange the position of navigation keys.

The Vivo V9 runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 octa-core processor with 4GB RAM.
The Vivo V9 runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 octa-core processor with 4GB RAM.

■ The Vivo V9 runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 octa-core processor with 4GB RAM. It is powerful enough for most day to day tasks. Apps and games load quickly even we had 8 to 10 apps running in background. Games such as Asphalt Xtreme and Shadow Fight 3 ran without any discernible signs of frame drops. The Honor V10 is driven by an even more powerful Kirin 970 octa-core processor with 6GB RAM.

■ When it comes to battery performance, the V9’s 3,260mAh battery was able to squeeze out a full day’s backup on modest use. The Honor V10’s 3,750mAh battery can muster slightly more.

■ The dual camera setup on the back includes a 16-megapixel sensor for capturing detail and a 5-megapixel camera to capture portrait shots with adjustable depth of field. When it comes to reproducing detail in landscape shots, its camera is better than many of the similarly priced rivals but not in the same league as the Honor V10. Colours look accurate and stand out well.

■ The 24-megapixel snapper on the front is a treat for social media buffs and can capture wide and crisp looking shots even in indoor conditions. Vivo V9 has almost everything we were expecting from a smartphone at this price point. The big screen, light form factor, dedicated micro SD card slot are some of the bonuses that gives it an edge over the more expensive Honor V10.

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