Vivo V20 SE Review: Excellent Look!

Vivo V20 SE Review: We all know Vivo’s V-series of smartphones cater to the premium mid-range segment with a special specialise in design and cameras. The Vivo V20 that we reviewed a short time back was indeed a fantastic smartphone. Vivo then followed it up with the V20 Pro that bears slightly better specs. But ultimately, the 2 were quite similar so I skipped stepping into the V20 Pro. Yet, here is our full review of the Vivo V20 SE, after using it for about 2 months.

Vivo V20 SE Specifications:

Body:6.34 x 2.92 x 0.31 inches, 171 gm
Display:6.44-inches AMOLED panel, 409PPI
Resolution:FHD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels), 20:9 aspect ratio
Chipset:Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 (11nm Mobile Platform)
CPUOcta-core (4×2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver)
GPUAdreno 610
RAM8GB
Storage:128GB (expandable via a dedicated microSD slot)
Software & UIFuntouch OS 11 on top of Android 10
Rear Camera Triple-camera;

  • 48MP primary lens with f/1.8 aperture & PDAF
  • 8MP Ultra-wide-angle lens with f/2.2 aperture
  • 2MP depth sensor with f/2.4 aperture
  • LED flash
Front Camera:32MP, f/2.0 lens
Security:Under-display (optical)
Audio3.5mm headphone jack, loudspeaker
ConnectivityDual-SIM (Nano), WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS / AGPS / Glonass / Galileo / BDS, USB Type-C
Sensors:Accelerometer, Gyro, Proximity, Compass
Battery4100mAh with 33W FlashCharge
ColorsGravity Black, Oxygen Blue
Price in Nepal: 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM = Rs. 37,134
Price in India:8GB RAM + 128GB ROM = INR. 20,990

Vivo V20 SE Review:

Design & Build

  • Glass front, plastic back, plastic frame
  • Slim and lightweight build quality

Starting with the planning , needless to say , Vivo phones seldom fail to impress us with the way they appear and feel on the hand. And why would this one be an exception?

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It looks good, feels premium, and most significantly is well-built. Having said that, given a choice, i might choose V20’s design any day over this because the V20 simply looks stunning. Yet, the V20 SE is not any slouch either!

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This matte finish doesn’t attract smudges in the least which has been an excellent relief. and since of its lightweight build, using it even for long hours isn’t uncomfortable either. Its ergonomic design does come at a price of a comparatively smaller battery capacity, but I’ll get into that in only a couple of minutes.

Display

  • 6.44-inch FHD+ 60Hz AMOLED screen
  • In-display fingerprint scanner

Moving on to the front, you get a well-known 6.44-inches AMOLED screen like on the V20 and V20 Pro which i’m quite happy about.

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And a bit like the opposite two phones, Vivo V20 SE’s screen refreshes at 60hz also . this might come as a disappointment to several , but I for one don’t mind the tradeoff because this AMOLED screen is basically good. It delivers deeper blacks, vibrant colors, and therefore the brightness is sufficient too.

Because of its AMOLED heritage, you furthermore may get an in-display fingerprint sensor. together would expect, this one too is fast and gets an accurate reading in an instant—except when your hands are wet or greasy.

At the highest of the display, there’s a U-shaped notch housing the 32MP selfie camera. the sole complaint I even have with this screen is that the phone has slightly pronounced bezels, especially at rock bottom . Barring that, V20 SE’s display is one among the simplest things about this phone.

Performance

  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC (11nm)
  • 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage (expandable)

However, I wish I could say an equivalent about its Snapdragon 665-powered performance because it’s the one aspect that creates me wish for more regarding this phone, especially considering its price.

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With my casual usage, I desire this phone has evolved to become slower with every passing day. as an example , it takes almost 3 seconds to launch an app from the notifications, while heavy multitasking also leads the phone to be quite sluggish. Similarly, app opening is additionally not a swift affair on the V20 SE.

Maybe that’s due to my usage pattern because I even have tons of apps installed and that i am quite an important user. So, my experience with the phone has been a touch unsettling.

Gaming

Even gaming for that matter isn’t a joyful ride. Games like PUBG Mobile is exhausted with stutters in Medium frame rates and Balanced graphics. Therefore, I always had to lower the graphics to urge a relatively smoother gameplay. Yes, Vivo has its built-in game boost options, but even that fails to enhance the gaming performance by a clear margin.

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All in all, I even have to admit, i’m not proud of the phone’s performance, especially once you think about what proportion the corporate is posing for the phone. Although Vivo has listened to the feedbacks of its customers and revamped the design , feel, and optimized its UI, when it boils right down to the core performance, the V20 SE remains not up to the mark.

The UI, as mentioned earlier is far refined now. i prefer the very fact that Vivo has chosen to use Google’s version of system apps like phone, messages, notes, etc. and in contrast to previous generation Vivo’s Android skin, you don’t get tons of bloatware or ads shooting up here too—something we suffer daily from Xiaomi or Realme’s budget and mid-range phones.

Cameras

  • Triple cameras at the back
  • (48MP primary, 8MP ultrawide/macro, 2MP depth)
  • 32MP selfie camera inside the teardrop notch

Okay, if not for the performance, I had high hopes from Vivo V20 SE’s cameras.

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In the process of creating this review, I compared the cameras on the Vivo V20 SE with those on the quality V20. Both phones have a triple camera setup at the rear . You get a 48MP primary sensor as against the 64MP lens on the V20 or the V20 Pro. Still, i used to be hoping that it wouldn’t make a difference within the core picture quality.

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Normal Images

However, comparing photos side by side, you’ll see the image quality of the V20 to be far better .

V20 SE’s photos have slightly inferior colors, details, and dynamic range. the photographs also suffer from this unusual pinkish tint making the pictures look less appealing.

Wideangle Images

Similarly, wide-angle images also look far better from the V20 in terms of colours and dynamic range while the inferiority of V20 SE is clear initially sight.

Also, for a few strange reason, the first images look darker than the wide-angle images from the V20 SE.

Portrait Images

About the portrait shots, the V20 does a rather better job here also , but the SE isn’t that bad either.

The color scheme on the topic looks a tad bit better on the V20, but the background and blur level are almost identical on both phones. So no major complaints here.

Selfie Images

Videography

Getting to the videos, well, the V20 SE is not any match for the V20 because the max it can go is 30 fps in both 4k and 1080p.

The 4k videos look miserably shaky as Vivo provides no sort of stabilization here. 1080p videos are better stabilized, but the colours and detail levels are strictly average. Likewise, you’ll shoot videos from the selfie camera at 1080p 30 fps only. the topic looks good in videos although it struggles to take care of good colors and exposure within the background. And sadly, you don’t get the eye-autofocus here like its elder sibling!

Like always, i’m once more getting to complain about the UI of Vivo’s native camera app.

It causes you to do tons of diligence , unnecessarily. as an example , turning off beauty mode may be a very extensive process. Don’t even get me started on clicking portrait images! Apparently, getting to the portrait option isn’t enough if one wants to click said photos. Rather, one has got to click on the bokeh option too!

I don’t know why the corporate decided to feature to the complexity, but I do hope Vivo brings refinement in its camera UI as they did with its software.

Battery

  • 4100mAh battery with 33W FlashCharge

Getting to the battery-life now, as i discussed earlier, it’s a comparatively smaller 4100 mAh battery. I say “relatively smaller” because although it’s a sizeable unit, lately we are wont to seeing 5000 or 6000 or maybe 7000mAh batteries at this price range. Talking of endurance, well, surprisingly, it doesn’t disappoint.

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Vivo is relatively aggressive with its battery optimization, so even with the 4100mAh cell, you’ll expect its battery to last a full day, which in fact is feasible only with normal to medium usage! On days I used this phone aggressively, I had to charge it within the evenings. On the opposite hand, filling up the battery on the V20 SE is incredibly fast. With its 33-watt fast charging support, the phone goes from 0 to 100% in only 57 minutes.

Audio

  • Single bottom-firing speaker, 3.5mm jack

Moving on, the speakers here are only moderately loud. Although this single firing speaker doesn’t get distorted in loud volumes, its quality is nothing to write down home about. And throughout my usage, I haven’t had any complaints from anyone regarding the decision quality, so that’s great.

Conclusion

Okay, like always, i’m getting to be totally honest with you guys. With the V20, Vivo’s effort to form its V-series actually worthwhile was beyond belief. But, disappointingly, the V20 SE is once more , a step backward, especially watching the performance aspect of this phone. Snapdragon 665 now not belongs to a phone that costs the maximum amount because the V20 SE and Vivo should’ve known better.

Besides that, the corporate should have most definitely optimized the cameras for better results too. Yet, its cameras are only capable of delivering a mean performance. So, the maximum amount as i prefer its design and display, I simply cannot recommend the V20 SE for its selling price . Rather, i might advise you to feature a touch more and obtain the V20 instead or choose other smartphones at an identical price, like the Realme 7 Pro or the Samsung Galaxy M51.

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