vivo V20 Review: The Proper Upgrade

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vivo V20 unit (94)Personally, I thought that the previous couple of generations for vivo’s mid-range v-series were more of incremental upgrades. In fact, I’ve always voiced out my concern about the repeated use of the same SoC.

For their recent release though, the brand seems to have gone back to the drawing board, and at one glance, the new V20 series is already looking to be the “proper” upgrade that we deserve. A new design, a significant jump in hardware, and much more.

The question is, did they deliver? let’s take a look at the middle-man of the pack, the vivo V20, and find out.

Design and Build Quality

vivo V20 unit (63)I’ll keep it short and simple. The vivo V20 is one of the most beautiful looking devices I’ve seen in 2020 (Good job vivo!), and that’s when I thought the V19 Neo looked pretty good. This one takes aesthetics to another level.

vivo V20 unit (70)Without a case, one-handed operation is workable, but the back feels a bit too slippery for comfort.

vivo V20 unit (5)vivo V20 sports a 6.44-inch AMOLED display, which means you get very punchy colors that breathes liveliness to any content you’re viewing. Those who prefer high refresh rates may opt for another device, but if you prefer a more vivid and lively display, this does the job.

vivo V20 unit (30)The back panel shows a mix of orange and blue colors depending on the viewing angle, just like a beautiful sunset. The gradient even extends to the sides.

vivo V20 unit (41)The rear camera module does protrude, but only minimally. You’ll be able to tell that a lot of thought went through the design – the contrasting colors of the top and bottom sections of the camera module.

vivo V20 unit (38)The device uses a USB-C port and retains the headphone jack at the bottom, along with a speaker grille and microphone.


vivo V20 unit (89)I’ve expressed my frustration with the previous generations using the same SoC over and over again, but it’s good to know that vivo finally managed to “move on.” The Snapdragon 720G is a very welcome upgrade for the vivo V20. You also get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

Sure, it’s not the most recent mid-range chip out there. But since it’s been around for quite a while, games have probably received a ton of optimizations for this chip.

vivo V20 unit (76)As for gaming on the vivo V20, you’ll be able to play Mobile Legends with HFR mode on without any issues, and as for Genshin impact, I’d say medium setting is the sweet spot, but you should also be fine with a higher setting.

For Call of Duty Mobile, you can opt to go for High Quality + Max FPS, or if you want Very High Quality, you’ll have to settle for Very High FPS as well.

vivo V20 unit (79)If you’re a fan of Black Desert Mobile, you’ll be able to play the game in Quality preset with no major issues.


vivo V20 Camera (32)vivo V20 Camera (20)vivo V20 Camera (21)vivo V20 Camera (33)

vivo V20 Camera (17)

vivo V20 Camera (34)

vivo V20 Camera (35)

The vivo V20 offers a diverse set of cameras that allow it to adapt to any scenario. As far as quality is concerned, photos exhibit good amounts of detail and ample sharpness. The depth of field effect it generates is also convincing and refined.

vivo V20 Camera (3)vivo V20 Camera (4)vivo V20 Camera (7)It’s also great for selfies. The level of detail and texture is superb, exposure is also well controlled, and edge-detection is decent (some occasional misses). You’ll be able to choose from numerous styles or filters that add flair to your photos.

vivo V20 Camera (39)


vivo V20 Camera (40)


The wide-angle lens does a good job of capturing more in the frame, at the cost of details. The macro lens works well but falls apart when there’s less than ideal lighting.


vivo V20 unit (90)vivo V20 runs Funtouch OS 11 on top of Android 11. The company has done away with its big icons and has shifted into a more minimalistic approach in aesthetics, which actually looks better, at least for me.

Performance? the UI runs exceptionally smooth and snappy. No lags, stutters, or anything of the like when navigating through menus and home screens.

vivo V20 unit (84)Customization? there’s a lot of options for that. You’ll be able to set the animation when the charging cable is connected, for the fingerprint scanner, when the display goes on/off, and many more. There’s even an always-on display.

You’ll also be able to adjust the color temperature for the display, plus an option to choose from a number of presets.

vivo V20 unit (78)Of course, you still get the familiar features like Ultra Game Mode, but with added goodies like 4D game vibration, which only applies to certain games, and even picture-in-picture in-game, which lets you multitask without having to leave the game your playing.

You also get the entire suite of security options – traditional methods, fingerprint, and face unlock.


vivo V20 unit (88)Using PCMark’s Work 2.0 battery benchmark which simulates basic video editing and data manipulation, the vivo V20 scored a stellar 15 hours and 31 minutes of estimated uptime. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on numerous factors.

vivo V20 unit (73)Charging the device won’t take you long either. Using the supplied charger, Zero to full took slightly past an hour.


The vivo V20 is certainly worth its PhP19,999 price tag. You get a device that looks and feels premium in every aspect. The new design not only is an eye-candy but is also a breath of fresh air in a sea of almost similar-looking devices.

The upgrade to the SoC is very welcome, and the performance it delivers is certainly up to par with what you’d expect from a device of this caliber. Its cameras are also nothing short of impressive.

vivo V20 also offers great longevity, charges fast, and the new UI is much better than the previous iterations.

On the other side, the speaker is definitely one of its weakest points, as the sound becomes noticeably distorted at high volume, and those who are used to high-refresh rates will most likely be disappointed.

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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