If you know me (which I’m sure that you don’t) then you’ll find that I have a special hatred in my heart for Oppo and Vivo. In my books, a phone aimed at the budget market should behave like one and not get its hopes up too high. Oppo and Vivo have a nasty habit of overestimating their devices and pricing them at a budget that makes no sense whatsoever. They mainly target camera enthusiasts by which I do mean selfie fanatics that couldn’t care less about what the rest of the device is composed off. They are not new in the Indian shores and have a mixed reaction in terms of device appreciation but they are here nonetheless and still going. I can’t help wonder when they will just leave our markets.
The thing that bugs me the most about them is the fact that they try to compete in a price segment that is dominated by the likes of Xiaomi and Huawei. Both of them have a strong grasp on the value oriented market and offer far superior specifications than what you would find in a competing Vivo or Oppo. Case in point is the Vivo V7 Plus, a device that shouldn’t exist and you shouldn’t buy one unless of course, you had no second choice. So let’s see why I said, what I said.
Design and Display:
I’ll start off by giving off a few good things about the device in terms of the design because it might get messy later on. The Vivo V7 Plus has the new 18:9 form factor that is increasingly becoming popular. The device has a nice metal finish at the rear along with a glass front. There is a fingerprint sensor at the rear which is square in shape and the overall bezels are really thin. The antenna lines are well pronounced at the top and bottom of the device and the device is encased in Champagne Gold and Matte Black. The rest of the device is a pretty standard affair.
The screen however is one big eyesore. It has a 5.99 inch IPS-LCD display with a resolution of 720×1440, which gives it a very bad pixel density of just 269. Not only is the display just unacceptable for the price, it also looks pretty bad when trying to see closely. There is noticeable pixilation everywhere, and the text too doesn’t appear as sharp. For something that costs close to Rs.20,00 this is a major disappointment.
The Vivo V7 Plus uses a Snapdragon 450 which is one of the newer CPU’s from Qualcomm. But the 450 is a very low end SoC by any standards. For an apples to apples comparison, the yet to be launched Xiaomi Redmi 5 will feature this CPU at a price point of Rs.7000. It also has 4GB of RAM which is keeping in line with most of its competitors at this price bracket.
Price criticisms aside, the 450 performs admirably well for day to day tasks but that’s about it. It isn’t particularly power hungry because the 8 A53 cores in the SD 450 that are clocked at 1.8GHz don’t seem to strain the battery all that much. Kudos to Qualcomm for this chip. Also it is built on the new 14mn process which is incredibly power efficient. Do note that I’m praising the chip, not Vivo’s choice to slap it into a device priced so explicably high.
The Vivo V7 runs on Android 7.1.2 with Nougat with Vivo’s custom UI that’s dubbed as Funtouch V3.2. You’ll be surprised by how much Vivo has worked to keep the UI feeling like Apple’s iOS. There is a strong resemblance of iOS in every part of the UI right from the icons to the system menus. Speaking of menu’s, the dropdown menu from the top doesn’t have the usual system toggles but rather like iOS, you have to swipe from the bottom and boy does it look like a direct replica of iOS. There are lots of customisation options available like themes, gestures and so on. Vivo also has a face ID scanner like Apple but come on, it’ll never be as advanced or as secure as Apple’s FACE ID.
Camera and Storage:
On to its selling point, the camera! Well it’s good but not the best in its price range. That credit goes to the Mi Note 3 that has a camera score rivalling the Google Pixel 2 and the iPhone 8. Even more so, the slightly lower priced Huawei Honor 9i one of the best shooters for stills in this price segment. That leaves the Vivo V7 in a tricky position because while it certainly has a capable camera, it gets trampled by two devices that are priced slightly lower and higher than it. That being said, the cameras aren’t bad and the front 24MP camera with the f/2.0 aperture does a good job of giving a nice bokeh effect to the selfie portraits. The rear camera too isn’t particularly bad but produces some soft images. The colours are well resolved though and feel nice and warm.
Storage wise, the V7 Plus has 64GB of on-board storage which can be further expanded to 128GB via an SD card in the dedicated SD card slot.
Battery and Connectivity:
The Vivo v7 plus is powered by a 3220mAh battery which frankly is a bit undersized for a device of this proportions. Nonetheless, a low end CPU with a battery friendly screen probably means that you’ll get some decent juice out of it.
Connectivity wise, it has Wi-Fi b/g/n with DLNA and Wi-Fi direct support. There’s Bluetooth 4.2, GPS and Micro USB 2.0.
My biggest gripe with the Vivo V7 plus is its pricing. The Vivo V7 Plus price in India is around Rs.19,999 -21,000 which is just insane. Had it been priced around Rs.10,000 or Rs.12,00 it would’ve made for a compelling option against the likes of Huawei and Xiaomi, but since it doesn’t, there’s no reason to give it the benefit of the doubt. Also, despite its camera prowess, it cannot record 1080p videos at 60 fps while the likes of Xiaomi Mi A1 can record at 4K at a much cheaper price. Overall, it is a relatively good device with a terrible price. For more information, you can visit 91mobiles.com.