2018 is the year of the notch. Apple has introduced this feature on the iPhone X and different Android manufacturers are now following this suit and one of them is the Vivo V9. But unlike Apple’s flagship smartphone, the Vivo V9 won’t cost you an arm and leg and this one packs a bigger display. Interested? Check out our review of the Vivo V9 below.

Design and Hardware

The Vivo V9 still rocks the same construction and build quality of the Vivo V7 and V7+. It has a plastic curved body which is really handy to the hand. It may not be the best feel for a smartphone but the smartphone is really light.

Despite having a 6.3-inch display, the smartphone feels like it’s a 5.5-inch smartphone thanks to its 19:9 display aspect ratio which made the smartphone narrower and also handier to the hand. The Vivo V9 still uses a fingerprint scanner at the back instead of an In-display fingerprint scanner which we have seen on the Vivo APEX. Maybe in the future, we will be able to see that feature on a V series smartphone in Vivo.

Speaking of the fingerprint scanner, the smartphone does have a fast fingerprint scanner however, I was disappointed with its face unlock which is hit-and-miss. Sometimes, the smartphone fails to unlock with face unlock most of the time, especially when in a low-light condition.

The Vivo V9 still uses a micro USB port for charging and also data transfer which is placed below the smartphone and then there’s the headphone jack along with it. There’s the triple sim card tray on the smartphone too which lets you use two sim cards and also a MicroSD card without sacrificing one of them.

Since the smartphone packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 Octa-Core Processor, the smartphone does have a good signal quality and I didn’t any too many problems with it for connectivity, however, there’s no 4G+ on this smartphone.

Display

The display of the smartphone is probably the biggest reason why we are interested in the Vivo V9. It has a 6.3-inch Full HD+ notched display with a 19:9 display aspect ratio. The smartphone does have a really good display and the colors were good however if you’re annoyed with the notch, we can’t do anything about it.

The viewing angles are pretty good and the colors of the smartphone’s display were just fine. Unlike the iPhone X, the Vivo V9 has a small chin below but don’t worry, the bezel is just too thin. You don’t have to worry about the notch too much as watching videos and checking out photos will be just fine and the notch won’t block the content.

Software

Let’s talk about the implementation of the notch on the Vivo V9. At first, I was really hesitant about the notch as it blocks some content on the display however on the Vivo V9, despite running on Android 8.1 Oreo, the smartphone’s notched display doesn’t really annoy me when browsing or navigating on the smartphone as it only blocks a portion of the notification bar.

Most of the applications will just run well on the smartphone despite the notched, however, I noticed that there are still some apps that aren’t fully utilizing the display as there are some apps and games that won’t do full screen and will just have black bars on the side on landscape mode. However, some apps need to be updated to be faster on the Vivo V9 as some of them are still lagging.

The Vivo V9 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with FunTouch OS. The UI on this smartphone is easy on the eye and the functions and features can be accessed by just swiping up from below. The home screen of the smartphone also serves as the app drawer of the Vivo V9 and navigating thru the smartphone is smooth and easy.

Performance

The Vivo V9 is running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor and 4GB of RAM. Well, the processor is more than a year old and we’ve seen that on previous Android smartphones before but until now, that processor is able to run most games and apps without hiccups.

I’ve played different games on the Vivo V9 including Asphalt 8 and it ran pretty well on the smartphone. I’ve also tried the hottest battle royale game on mobile today, PUBG Mobile, and yes, the game ran well and without problems. However, the games were not utilizing the full-screen display as it only appears with black bars on the sides. The games are also recommended to be set at low-medium settings in order to have playable frame rates.

The Vivo V9 got a high score at Antutu

Battery Life

The Vivo V9 got a 3260mAh of battery. Surprisingly, the battery life of the smartphone is quite well. If you’re a heavy user, there will be chances that you’ll be looking for a powerbank but for most of the time, I didn’t actually need a powerbank for a single work day. In PC Mark, I got work 2.0 battery life of 8 hours and 18 minutes. That’s pretty good if you ask me.

Camera

The Vivo V9 got a really good camera. There, I said it. The Vivo V9 has a 24-megapixel front camera and also a 16-megapixel + 5-megapixel rear camera that can do great portrait shots. The camera of the Vivo V9 is a big upgrade from the Vivo V7 and V7+ and I really got really great shots on this smartphone.

Most of the shots that I took were great and I was surprised that most of my selfies were really good whether there’s decent lighting or at lowlight. Check out the shots that I took using the Vivo V9.

I was really happy with the output of the shots that I took. The portrait shots were really good and yes, you can even adjust the blurriness of the photo when you’re about to take a photo. Whether you’re using the selfie camera of the rear camera of the Vivo V9, you won’t have any problem with it as this one is really good.

Verdict

The Vivo V9 is the best smartphone in the market that I’ve seen in Vivo. It has a full-screen display with a good implementation for the notch, a really good selfie and dual lens rear camera, and the latest Android 8.1 Oreo.

However, some people might be turned off with its notched display and also the Snapdragon 626 processor that is already a year old. But despite that, I still believe that the Vivo V9 is a really good smartphone for those who are looking for an Android smartphone with a sexy design, and for taking photos.

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