The brand Vivo as a smartphone manufacturer might not be that familiar with Kenyans especially having just recently set camp in Kenya, but in the tech world, they are not newbies. Being the company of firsts, they have innovation in their DNA. The Company has been the first to introduce lots of new and exciting features on their smartphones that get adopted and go mainstream, such as the pop-up selfie camera first ever on the V15 Pro. We’ve had the Vivo V17 Pro for a while now and as first impressions matter, the phone delivered.
Inside the box you get a pair of earphones, a Type-C cable, an 18W fast charging power brick, screen protector, a plastic back case, paperwork and a sim ejector tool.
The Vivo V17 Pro is visually appealing, especially the Silk option. Our unit is the Satin Black with a Gorilla Glass 6 back glass panel that adds to the overall aesthetics of the phone where the 4 cameras and Led flash are neatly aligned vertically at the back.
Speaking of the display, the Vivo V17 Pro sports a 6.44 Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2400×1080 pixels and comes with an aspect ratio of 20:9 and screen-to-body of 91.65 %. The front of the phone is almost bezel-less with slim sides and smaller chin – a design the Vivo V15 Pro introduced before other smartphone manufacturers copied it.
This all-screen feature is made possible by the hidden selfie camera that features two cameras and an LED flash.
The power button and volume rockers on the right, and a dedicated google assistant button on the left. A type c port at the bottom next to the slot where you put your dual nano-sim cards and a speaker grill. There’s no slot for microSD card but the 128GB onboard storage should be enough.
The top holds the camera module which also houses the earpiece and next to it is the headphone jack. Sound from the earpiece is channelled through the cutout in the phone’s front panel and is pretty clear.
That screen is a visual treat. It gets pretty bright in all lighting conditions – from indoors at 40% to maximum when you’re outdoors. Also, you get an always-on display which comes in handy for checking notifications. Viewing angles are excellent because of the SUPER AMOLED panel. It will be a delightful experience scrolling through the web, binge-watching videos or playing graphics-heavy games.
The Vivo V17 Pro spots 48MP main camera, 13MP telephoto lens, 8MP wide-angle lens and 2MP depth sensor for portrait shots. The dual selfie setup includes 32MP primary camera and an 8MP super wide-angle lens. In good lighting, the Vivo V17 Pro captures some great shots. You get amazing details, almost original colours and pretty good dynamic range. The ultra-wide shots are delightful while and macro shots are average. Low light shots on the other hand, hats off Vivo. The night mode on the Vivo V17 Pro takes decent pictures but some come without colour and detail. So it’s a hit or miss on that line.
Portraits are excellent and background separation was top notch. The telephoto lens will need lots of light and will turn out great although you’ll notice noise in them.
Selfies shot by the Vivo have accurate facial features – they’ll be softened but their quality is retained. When it comes to low light selfies, Vivo V17 Pro struggles with performance. The Night mode when taking selfies comes in handy to enhance them. For group selfies, the Vivo V17 Pro uses its second 8MP camera for taking ultra-wide selfies.
As we’ve seen with all previous devices that have touted 48mp and what not, due to the combining of 4 pixels to make one, we note that you can just stick to 12MP option. The 48MP won’t produce any better pictures.
For videos, the Vivo V17 Pro can shoot 4k at 60fps with sharp detail. Full HD videos are good too but you get cropped view. Also shooting videos with the ultrawide, you get lot of detail but lose on colour – expect a warmer tone.
Here are some samples:
More samples in our full review.
The Vivo V17 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 675 processor, 8GB of RAM and 128 GB of onboard storage and you get excellent performance whether be it multitasking, you can switch up to 9 apps without refreshing and games play very well including high graphics games such as PUBG. The back could get hot after long gameplay but it’s a trait of the processor.
Generally, the Vivo V17 Pro is capable and lag-free also no-hiccup gaming experience so far.
The Funtouch OS 9 that is Vivo’s custom OS is cluttered with many bloatware apps and their gesture navigation is tricky so stick to the normal navigation buttons. You can avoid this by downloading a custom launcher that fits your preference.
But there are nice additions with the system user interface like the system-wide dark mode that brings a dark mode to apps that don’t have it at least for Android Pie phones – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp have a dark mode. Other interesting features include the Ultra Game mode, scrolling screenshots and one-handed mode
The battery life is great as you get a 4100mAh and comes with an 18W fast charger so you could use for the whole day and when you need to juice it up, it gets charged up quickly. You can get 0 to 40% in 30 minutes. It’s a bummer Vivo didn’t include the Vivo super flash charging on this one.
So should you buy the Vivo V17 Pro?
Yes. If you’re into photography, the six cameras offer the versatile performance you can rely on. The software, however, needs polishing. The design is good as you get a premium feel and is also comfortable to use with one hand despite it being relatively heavy.
The back is glossy and thus a fingerprint magnet and you’ll have to use the cover case provided.
You’ll love the system-wide dark mode that comes with Funtouch if you are into dark mode, the great performance for both day to day use and gaming, excellent screen and battery life for its price that is starting at Ksh 40,999 in their official retail stores countrywide.
Stay tuned for our full review coming out in a few days.