I’ve been testing Vivo V series phones since the release of the V5, which came out in early 2017 and was dubbed the “perfect selfie phone”. Since then, the Shenzhen-based audio maker has pumped out the V every six months or so, which combined with its tendency to skip the double-digits, has now spawned the V25 in just half a decade. Unlike previous V phones, which have always felt like a low-end mid-range phone in terms of design, the Vivo V25 Pro looks more like a flagship phone. To the untrained eye, they may not be able to tell the difference between this $450 phone and Samsung’s $1,000 premium phone.
The Vivo V25 Pro is a sleek and curvy device, with a 6.5-inch curved OLED display and a refresh rate of 120Hz. The panel doesn’t get as bright as a phone’s main screen, and the refresh rate can’t dynamically drop to 1 Hz to conserve battery power as the new iPhones do, but that extra boom is hardly of interest to the average consumer. For most people, they look at this screen and see that it has thin bezels and vivid colors, and to them, it will look as good as any screen of a $1,200 phone.
The back is made of glass and has this coating material that changes colors when UV light hits it. This allows you to cast patterns on the back of the phone if you wish, but it will only last about five minutes before returning to the natural color. A little extraneous in my opinion and serves no real benefit other than a neat party trick.
The frame is plastic, but it’s so thin your hands won’t feel much plastic, so for the most part, this is a great phone that feels like it should be more expensive than the $450 price tag.
However, this price has been converted above from India prices, because as of press time, this phone is only sold in India, although it should eventually make its way to Southeast Asian markets like Malaysia and Thailand the way Vivo V phones do. other.
The Vivo V25 Pro runs on Mediatek Dimensity 1300, a mid-level silicone that’s well suited for regular smartphone tasks, but will show its limitations for professional users who export 4K videos or play graphic-intensive games for long sessions.
As for optics, the V25 Pro has four cameras, but only the primary rear camera and front cameras are worth talking about. The 64MP main camera takes sharp photos, and thanks to Vivo’s excellent computational photography in recent years, it can produce excellent HDR photos. Selfie cameras have always been a priority for Vivo devices, and the 32MP front camera produces excellent selfies. The other cameras – 8 MP ultra-wide and 2 MP – depth sensor – are average and below par even in this price range.
Android 12 is the software here, and while Vivo’s software wrapper is good, it lacks some of the customization options that rival Chinese brands offer, such as the ability to run apps in resizable windows. Also, Android 13 is here, and I’m not sure this phone will get the update anytime soon. This is a step back from the Vivo V20 two years ago, when it was one of the first phones to launch with Android 11, ahead of many other brands.
A solid mid-ranger, but perhaps Vivo is pumping too much
The Vivo V25 Pro is a good phone at this price point. Getting a great screen, main cameras, good selfie cameras, and a powerful processor at $450 seems like a good deal to me. But Vivo is pumping out V phones at such a rapid pace that it’s hard to find any meaningful innovation or improvements over the Vivo V23 released earlier this year.
Vivo is doing some exciting things at its highest level, and flagship. I think the Vivo X80 Pro is still the best camera phone out there. But the mid-range V Series is starting to feel a bit of a cookie cutter.
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with the V25 Pro, but how can I be excited about this when the Vivo V27 is just around the corner?