While Vivo goes all out with its flagship X series, it’s the V series that demands a closer look considering the premium mid-range segment is strongly fought in the Indian smartphone market in recent times. There’s fierce competition and well-rounded, almost no-compromise devices.
Now, there’s the Vivo V27 Pro, a successor to the V25 Pro with upgrades all over, including the innards, a more refined lightweight design, and upping the ante on camera. But does it have enough to justify a starting price of ₹37,999? Let’s find out.
Since the last few releases, there are a couple of departments where Vivo absolutely shines.
The first is the design. A vivo phone mostly impresses at the first glance, and the V27 Pro is no different. With a curved display on the front and a frosted glass back blending into the aluminum chassis, it looks like a premium flagship smartphone.
The back panel changes color when exposed to sunlight, which might feel gimmicky, but is a nifty little party trick (also a neat demo for salespersons in offline channels). But the matte finish not only looks good, but also feels great in the hand and keeps fingerprints or smudges away. Also, with a 7.4mm slim profile and at 182 grams, it’s lightweight and comfortable to hold for extended periods of time. However, there’s still a bit of finger gymnastics needed to reach the power button and volume rocker on the right frame.
The camera housing this time around doesn’t sit flush with the chassis and hence, the device wobbles while lying flat on a table. A case, of course, will take care of that.
The Vivo V27 Pro is not significantly different from its predecessors, and that’s not a bad thing since it doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to the aesthetics.
The second thing is the camera, also the company’s primary pitch. The Vivo V27 Pro boasts of a 50-megapixel primary camera with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens. There’s also a 2-megapixel macro shooter that doesn’t merit a comment since it’s only there to fill up a cell in the specifications sheet.
But let’s come back to the main shooter, which clicks sharp photos with nice details. If you give it ideal light conditions, the V27 Pro shines. The colors and the dynamic range of photos are impressive. It’s not just because the smartphone packs a very good sensor (Sony IMX766V) but also Vivo’s software processing that can rank amongst the best in the industry. The V27 Pro also offers stellar portraits with fantastic edge detection and impressive background blur – and that’s great praise coming from a Google Pixel user like me. It’s that good.
In low-light conditions too, the colors and the details on the photos are pretty good. Although, while the sensor manages to capture a lot of light to illuminate the scene, it also blows up the lighting in some photos, which is not ideal.
There’s also a dedicated ring light dubbed as “aura lighting.” While Vivo markets it like a marquee feature, and it can be used to light darker conditions, it’s almost like a flashlight which isn’t what a great camera setup – that this phone actually has – needs.
Then there’s the display. The 6.78-inch Full HD+ AMOLED screen with a responsive 120Hz refresh rate looks gorgeous, and any layperson would find it like what’s available on flagship smartphones. The thin bezels accentuate the delightful display. The sharp display offers absolutely crisp and vivid colors that look good even from an angle. Outdoor visibility is impressive as well. The RGB balance is on the cooler side, but the color accuracy is ace. You can choose from three color profiles to pick your preferred balance between saturation and true-to-life colors.
The Vivo V27 Pro is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 8200 chip coupled with 8GB of RAM (there’s a 12GB variant as well) that’s powerful enough for most users. There’s a significant performance jump from its predecessor and could stake a claim as one of the most powerful mid-range devices in the market right now.
That said, the thermal management on the phone is messed up. If you’re stretching the phone anytime – which could just be running multiple apps in the background and gaming on the trot – it would heat up quite a bit, and then slow down to counter the same.
But that apart, the phone offers seamless multitasking experience and can take anything that’s thrown at it without any hiccups. In fact, the gaming experience on the V27 Pro too is as good as it gets on a smartphone in this segment, with no frame drops for a breezy gameplay.
The Vivo V27 Pro packs in a 4,600mAh battery, which can comfortably last for an entire day for most casual users. However, power users will need a quick recharge before they head out for an after-hours party. There’s 66W fast charging capability, and the bundled charger takes less than an hour to charge the device from zero to 100 percent.
The not so good
If it’s a Vivo smartphone, there’s always a “but Funtouch” mention. Vivo’s proprietary user interface (UI) layer is not the most-friendly user interface and – despite some improvements in recent times – hasn’t garnered any fans. The Vivo V27 Pro runs the latest Funtouch OS 13, which thankfully, is based on Android 13 with a custom UI implementation that is based on Android’s Material You theme engine. It’s good enough for most people, but Funtouch OS can definitely do with much less bloatware and better animations.
The biggest miss on the V27 Pro, and the only one that can be classified as a “con”, is the lack of stereo speakers on the phone. The single bottom-firing speaker sounds average at best, and, of course, there is no Dolby Atmos support either.
Should you buy it?
The Vivo V27 Pro is a neat upgrade from its predecessor that was launched last year. While it offers great aesthetics and nice camera upgrades, the biggest upgrade is in the performance department. Like always, there are a few things that could be better, but V27 Pro is a delightful phone overall. It looks quite stylish and punches above its weight when it comes to the camera.
At ₹37,999, it is a pretty good mid-range smartphone, a segment where it faces competition from the likes of the very capable OnePlus 11R and the very popular Samsung Galaxy A73. But because the Vivo V27 Pro does well in those few things which prompt purchase decisions and is available across online and offline channels, Vivo might have a winner on its hands.
Abhishek Baxi is a technology journalist and digital consultant