Vivo V25 Pro review: A solid mid-ranger

0


(Pocket-lint) – With the Vivo 25 Pro, the brand continues its tradition of using colorful and eye-catching designs on its mid-range smartphones.

This phone looks good and has a unique trick up its sleeve, thanks to a UV-reactive, color-changing glass back.

However, in the hyper-competitive mid-range smartphone market, looks only get you so far. We wanted to know how the Vivo V25 Pro performs in the real world.

For the past few weeks, we’ve been driving the bold blue device on a daily basis, trying to expose all of its strengths and weaknesses.

Our quick take

For anyone looking for an affordable smartphone with a capable camera, the Vivo V25 Pro is worth a look, especially if you take a lot of selfies. The 32 MP front-facing camera is a highlight and is supported by some great software features.

Plus, it offers great battery life, a nice screen, and solid performance all around. The looks won’t be for everyone, but there’s a high standard of fit and finish, and even the unusual UV reactive party trick to show off.

However, there are some drawbacks. The amount of bloatware disappointed us, as did the presence of the substandard ultrawide and macro lenses. Depending on where you live, you may also have a hard time getting your hands on one.

The phone is also currently only available in India but will launch in more than 20 regions in Southeast Asia before the end of the year. Hopefully we’ll see it launch elsewhere as well.

In front of

  • Excellent primary and selfie cameras
  • Great photographic features
  • Unique look and feel
  • Solid battery life
  • Bright and vibrant 120Hz display
Against

  • No expandable storage or headphone jack
  • No wireless charging
  • Lots of bloatware
  • Terrible backup cameras

Design

  • Dimensions: 158.9 x 73.52 x 8.62mm
  • Weight: 190 grams
  • Finishes: Surfing Blue or Starlight Black
  • Back made of UV-reactive fluorite AG glass

POCKET-RIBBON VIDEO OF THE DAY

The Vivo V25 Pro has curved edges on the front and back, with a sleek design that fits well in your hand. The glass back has a beautiful matte finish that is soft to the touch and extremely resistant to fingerprints. The frame has a glossy high-gloss finish, in a matching blue color, but we were less enthusiastic about that. It doesn’t quite match the premium fit and finish found on the rest of the device.

Pocket ribbonVivo V25 Pro test photo 5

For those looking for a subtler device, it’s also available in black, but the black option lacks the V25 Pro’s colour-changing party trick. When exposed to UV light, the Surfing Blue color scheme shifts from light blue to dark blue. Our review sample shipped with a UV flashlight, which allowed us to draw patterns on the back panel. We also got a surf design template that we could use to decorate the phone.

After about 5 minutes, the pattern fades back to a uniform color, so the whole thing is kind of pointless. It’s the first phone we’ve seen with this unusual ability, though, and it certainly makes it stand out in a crowded market.

Pocket ribbonVivo V25 Pro test photo 14

In normal use, the phone will change color evenly in sunlight, but this isn’t something we particularly noticed. That said, the color always looks nice and received many compliments from friends during our testing.

This phone continues the trend of exaggerating the size of the rear cameras by putting large bezels around the lenses. Overall, though, the camera array looks very nice, with glossy blue accents to match and a glossy black surrounding panel.

Display and speakers

  • 6.56-inch 120Hz AMOLED screen
  • 2376×1080 resolution
  • 1300 nits peak brightness, HDR10+ certified
  • Single speaker

The screen was a highlight for us, with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate and an astonishing peak brightness of 1300 nits. Colors are vibrant and contrast is fantastic, HDR content in particular was impressive on screen.

Pocket ribbonVivo V25 Pro test photo 7

If you prefer a more natural look, you can choose between the confusingly named standard, professional and bright color profiles. Professional essentially equates to a flatter color profile, while clear saturates the colors even further. Each profile has the ability to adjust the color temperature, which was nice to see, and there’s also the option of blue light-reducing eye care modes.

It’s a curved edge display, which seems to have become a little less popular in recent years, but it certainly looks nice. However, as we’ve gotten used to flat screens, we find ourselves accidentally tapping things or swiping the edge depending on our grip.

Pocket ribbonVivo V25 Pro test photo 8

There is a single speaker on the device, at the bottom right. It’s loud enough and has plenty of clarity, but there’s not much bass response to speak of. You lose any stereo image, which isn’t ideal if you’re watching Netflix in bed, and it’s also pretty easy to mute with your thumb if you’re holding the phone in landscape orientation.

Hardware and software

  • MediaTek Dimension 1300
  • 12 GB LPDDR4X memory and 256 GB UFS 3.1 storage
  • 4830mAh battery with 66W Flash Charge
  • Funtouch OS 12 (based on Android 12)

The Vivo V25 Pro runs Funtouch OS 12, which is built on top of Android 12. It’s a decent skin for the most part and comes with some useful features like game optimization and battery management tools. However, we were disappointed with the amount of bloatware that came pre-installed, and the notifications suggesting we try several popular apps in Vivo’s app store were particularly annoying.

Pocket ribbonVivo V25 Pro test photo 15

It’s not the end of the world, you can easily clear most of the clutter and install your favorite apps, but it certainly detracts from the experience. It’s a pretty quick reminder that you’re using a mid-range budget oriented device rather than a flagship, elsewhere the phone manages to hide the fact quite convincingly.

Day-to-day performance was fantastic, and for content consumption, social media, and productivity tasks, we weren’t lacking in more horsepower. The battery life also impressed us, and we often found ourselves going to bed with 40 per cent or more left in the tank.

Pocket ribbonVivo V25 Pro test photo 2

When it’s time to charge, you can do that fairly quickly with the included 66W fast charger. Just half an hour on the charger will give you about seventy percent battery capacity, which is about what you need for an average day. It’s not up there with speed demons like the Realme GT Neo 3T, but it’s plenty fast enough for most people.

The humble MediaTek Dimensity 1300 won’t top any benchmark charts, but the Vivo V25 Pro can handle a bit of gaming without a hitch. This is aided by the game assistant overlay which provides quick access to a variety of useful features such as overclocking, blocking notifications and locking your screen brightness.

Cameras

  • 32 MP f/2.5 selfie camera with Eye AF
  • 64MP f/1.9 primary with OIS and PDAF
  • 8MP f/2.2 super wide-angle lens
  • 2MP f/2.4 macro

The photographic performance is a major focus for the Vivo V25 Pro, as evidenced by the words “professional photography” printed on the top of the phone. Fortunately, these claims have some basis and this device offers some of the most impressive photographic chops we’ve seen at this price point.

Best Smartphone 2022: We test, review and rank the best mobile phones money can buy

Pocket ribbonVivo V25 Pro test photo 3

In saying this, we’re ignoring the assist cameras, which appear to be the same ones we’ve seen on several mid-rangers and gaming phones from Realme, OnePlus and Nubia. The ever-present 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro are just a way to add to the number of cameras and don’t match the quality of the main snappers. However, we’re happy to report that both the selfie camera and the primary camera are much more impressive.

The primary shooter has reliable phase-detection autofocus, optical image stabilization and a generous 64MP resolution. The resulting images are sharp, with natural colors and excellent dynamic range. Night mode works well, extracting details from extremely dimly lit areas and portrait mode cutouts are quite reliable. Vivo doesn’t overdo it with the bokeh effect either, and you can dial it back to get a pretty realistic look. Not that you’ll always need it, especially in close-ups the main camera can produce real depth of field thanks to its f/1.9 aperture.

The selfie camera is fantastic too, with a 32MP resolution and eye-detection autofocus that ensures you’re always pin-sharp. This is complemented by the phone’s extremely robust camera app, which offers a host of filters and effects for your photos. You can do anything from adding a nice, simple color grading to turning yourself into a comic book cover. It’s a lot of fun and a valuable tool for getting the most out of your images at the same time.

When it comes to video, performance is also strong. At up to 4K 30 fps, the primary camera has excellent stabilization and finds focus extremely quickly. Unfortunately, switching to 4K 60fps means you lose stabilization and will probably need a gimbal or a tripod. The video mode handles low light well, thanks to Vivo’s Super Night Video mode, which applies noise reduction and brightening to your clips.

To conclude

If you’re looking for an affordable smartphone with a great camera, the Vivo V25 Pro is definitely worth a look. Unfortunately, it’s not available in most regions yet, but we hope it gets a wider release.

Written by Luke Baker. Edited by Verity Burns.

You might also like