Shunning the ‘Pro’ moniker as per tradition, Vivo’s feistiest hasn’t skimped on a lot and will set you back ₹22,999 for the 8GB/128GB model.
It’s a fresh new design for Vivo, although one we’ve seen many others turn to. With the new camera module shoved to the side and space cleared, the back now looks neat and clean. Does all that nip and tuck translate to what Vivo is widely known for – value.
Vivo V17 Design
It breaks the quintessential image that most of the smart slabs from the eastern coast have formed and looks a notch above the previous devices from Vivo. The front of the new V17 features the world’s tiniest pin-hole camera and helps the seamless look, although it does have borders, which are minimal and disappear after a bit of use. We got the Midnight Black variant, but according to us, the Glacier White wins it in the looks department.
It sits perfectly well in the hand thanks to the curved back design and even the translucent case that comes gratis with the unit is improved.
Vivo V17 Display and Performance
The new V17 gets a 6.44in FHD+ E3 S-Amoled display. While it’s pretty regular stuff, it manages some amount of pop while keeping it plenty natural. You also get the option to tinker around with the temperature settings, tuning it to a colder or a warmer tone, and the ‘Bright Mode’ really helps while shooting outdoors under harsh lighting. You also get ‘Low Brightness anti-flicker’ that helps reduce fatigue.
Under that display rests the Snapdragon 675 backed by what seems to be paltry 8GBs of RAM. However, it proves enough if you keep your open apps in check and don’t go overboard with what you throw at it. But the really impressive bit we liked about the V17 is its ability to snap and process pictures in a jiffy – just like a hummingbird flaps its wings.
Gaming on the V17 is also pretty fun and it manages to run regular games like PUBG and Asphalt at medium settings without any real glitches or lag issues showing up. Yes, gaming does cause the phone to heat up, but it’s not much of an issue; however, it is quite a draw on battery life.
Vivo V17 Camera
The relevant elephant in the room is the swelt 48MP monstrosity at the back. 48MP+8MP+2MP+2MP – it’s a beast and like the V17 Pro, does wonders with the pictures it manages. We were invited to a pre-launch event at Gateway to test out the camera prowess and the V17 doesn’t disappoint.
The AI is quick to detect the scene and set up the cam for you and recognises a lot more now and much quicker as well. Enabling HDR really brings out the colours and the AI does a fair job of not overdoing it, unlike some of the more affordable competitors. Ultra-wide portraits are amazing to experiment with and make for some interesting shots. You also get wide-angle correction and the AI is pretty much on top of it every time.
The Pro mode is what you will use if you’re serious about your snaps, and you get a lot of flexibility here in terms of a low f2.2 value. This enables you to capture some impressive night shots including a few light trail images that are sure to set your Insta on fire. The night photography prowess of the V17 is up there and it isn’t joking around. You get incredible detail and contrast and the V17’s impressive night mode isn’t a slow loris either, taking just a second more than the regular modes to capture all that light.
Portraits are impressive as well and there’s Vivo’s entire suite of beauty effects that can really give you some reconstructive surgery. There’s also a guide on postures (including one for couple selfies); however, we've seen these on previous Vivos. Macro is where we felt the V17 could buck up just a tad; as compared directly, the V17 Pro handles details better in these situations. The front 32MP selfie cam is an absolute addictive bit of beauty and will slowly turn you into a selfie obsessed narcissistic freak, especially when clicking a few shots in the Night Mode.
Vivo V17 Software and battery
The V17 runs the Funtouch OS 9.2 (based on Android 9). Funtouch isn’t the most clean and seamless though when compared to Samsung’s excellence or the Pixel’s cleanliness. The UI feels a bit too convoluted, although it offers a host of extras such as the ‘Motorbike Mode’ and Parental Safety Controls on the device itself. You get a tonne of customisation options including selecting specific animations for certain tasks. Funtouch doesn’t feel laggy or anything of the sort but gets intuitive after some use. The 4500mAh battery is a winner and with quick charging on board, you really don’t need to worry about battery life as it will easily outlast the day and then some.
Vivo V17 Verdict
If there’s 22k you want to put on a phone and your priority is an exceptional camera that’s versatile and does low light like no other in the same price band, you definitely need to give the Vivo V17 a long hard thought. There are other camera-specific options in the market, like the Moto range, but Vivo just stepped up in a big way by offering top-notch level of camera prowess at this price.