The Vivo V19 is the latest mid-range release that follows Vivo’s longstanding “make the same, but better” mantra. Everything implemented in the V19 feels like it’s designed to make people turn away from pricier flagship devices.
For instance, the Android 10 device by Vivo has both in-display fingerprint sensor and camera-based facial recognition capabilities, with an option to combine both inputs for a secure unlock method at a personal level. It brings dual front cameras to satisfy folks who love selfies, while also packing an AI quad-camera configuration on the rear. It also has a whopping 4,500mAh and 33W proprietary fast-charging technology. The V19 even has a microSD card slot and a 3.5mm audio jack - features that have always given mid-range phones a slight edge over flagship counterparts. At a sticker price of just $599, is the Vivo V19 the 2020 mid-range smartphone we’ve all been waiting for?
Frankly, it’s quite challenging to tell apart the Vivo V19 from Huawei’s P40 series smartphones. The make is similar, down to the choice of the metal rim holding the plastic rear and display panel together. The rear camera housing adopts the same rectangular shape found on the P40 too. While the V19 is not original in design, it still offers a flagship-looking device at a mid-tier price point, so that’s a plus point in favour of Vivo.
On the Vivo V19 is a 6.44-inch Super AMOLED display rated at Full HD+ resolution (2,400 x 1,080 pixels), working out to a pixel density of almost 409ppi. Super AMOLED panels on phones are generally comfortable for viewing, with its signature vibrant colourisation and warm colour temperatures.
The V19’s single-firing loudspeaker is located next to the USB Type-C port at the bottom. It has a bass-heavy sound profile with a slight bloat in the middle-range frequencies. The speaker packs an impressive maximum volume, but it trades that volume for clarity.
Vivo V19 uses Android 10 cloaked under its proprietary interface - Funtouch OS 10. The interface feels similar to Huawei’s EMUI, such as its youthful appearance and generous use of neutral colours in its palette. Its Settings app arranges information clearly and cleanly, and it uses a comfortable, legible system font. Day-to-day use feels smooth and natural which is a great plus point for any midrange device given that they usually do not come with high-end processors.
Where the V19 adds the extra touch is the near-flawless incorporation of its unlocking functions. The in-display fingerprint sensor has a 100% hit-rate, and we haven’t gotten it to unlock for non-registered fingers. V19’s facial recognition technology works seamlessly when called upon. While there’s an option for users to combine both fingerprint and facial unlocking for added personal security, we preferred using them separately for a wider variety of unlocking alternatives.
The V19, like any other mid-range phone, isn’t perfect. What it lacks is NFC connectivity, which is increasingly essential for cashless payments or wireless pairing of devices.
With portable photography via phones being a vital part of any smartphone, the V19 offers imaging quality and flexibility with its AI-powered quad rear camera configuration, helmed by a 48MP main camera alongside wide-angle, macro, and bokeh secondary lenses. Contrast handling of the V19’s main camera compromises some details and colour accuracy. That said, it still offers good noise and brightness regulation. We don’t think the V19’s cameras are about to beat any of the top-end phones. Still, it certainly delivers above-average quality in its primary camera and macro camera.
Vivo’s V19 smartphone meets the requirements to be a good mid-range device for 2020. It has respectable performance, a pretty display, functional cameras, and compatibility with expandable storage and 3.5mm audio. Where it excels further is its insanely long battery uptime, the additional fast-charging capabilities, and smooth user experience. If there’s one thing we need to pick on, it would be the lack of NFC. Fortunately, there are various cashless payment methods locally that don’t use NFC (such as QR codes) so it depends on your needs. For us, the Vivo V19 will be the 2020 midrange, $600 phone to defeat in Singapore for a while.
AT A GLANCE
Qualcomm Snapdragon 712
6.44-inch, 2,400 x 1,080 pixels, Super
32MP main camera, f/1.79 8MP wide-angle, f/2.2 2MP bokeh, f/2.4 2MP macro, f/2.4
128GB (expandable via MicroSD up to 1TB)