Vivo’s V23 Pro that was launched earlier this year certainly looked the part. It was a slim and stylish smartphone that looked premium, but offered only mid-range performance. Her party trick was a unique color-changing back panel that changes from gold to blue when exposed to UV light. It was the only smartphone in its segment to offer a curved edge display which added to its style quotient. But this attention to design came at the expense of average battery life and camera performance.
With the new V25 Pro, Vivo seems to be applying the same logic as the V23 Pro, but this time it feels a bit more practical. The phone is plumped up (with a bigger battery) and offers an improved processor, a sensitive camera, and a curved-edge display to keep it still in line with its predecessor. At a glance, Vivo seems to have done just fine to justify the asking price.
However, the competition has changed drastically since February this year, with smartphones like the Nothing Phone 1 (Review) entering the segment that offers clean Android software, a unique take on design, wireless charging, IP rating and a good low-light camera. Performance So how does the Vivo V25 Pro stack up? I have been using the phone for a while and here are my first impressions.
The Vivo V25 Pro is available in two variants in India. The base variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage is priced at Rs. 35,999, and a second with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage is priced at Rs. 39,999. There are two finishes to choose from, Pure Black and Sailing Blue.
As mentioned earlier, the phone has plumped up and is no longer as slim as the V23 Pro but more in line with OnePlus’ Nord 2T 5G ( review ). It’s also heavier which is largely due to its increased battery capacity as the phone’s frame is still made of polycarbonate with a shiny chrome-like finish. The rear panel is made of color-changing anti-glare glass, which looks really good at rejecting fingerprints. One thing to note is that only the sailing blue finish is capable of changing color. Also the color changing bit isn’t as dramatic as last year’s V23 Pro as the color only changes from a lighter shade of blue to a darker shade when exposed to UV light.
The top and bottom edges of the phone are noticeably thicker than the previous model and reminded me of the Vivo X80 Pro ( review ), which features similar design features with a flat window on the top edge. The rear camera layout doesn’t protrude too much (as the phone itself has grown in thickness) and looks much more mainstream than the V23 Pro’s all-metal module which stands out.
One detail that looks a little dated on the V23 Pro is the medium-sized display notch that houses the two selfie cameras. Vivo has now bumped that number up to one and squeezed it into a hole-punch cavity that looks much cleaner and less distracting. The 6.56-inch curved-edge display has thin bezels all around. It is an AMOLED panel that supports up to 120Hz refresh rate and 300Hz touch sampling rate. That’s a step up from the V23 Pro’s 90Hz panel and should come in handy when playing games.
The Vivo V25 Pro gets the MediaTek Dimensity 1300 SoC which is also available in the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G. This SoC performed well in our tests and I am expecting similar performance in the Vivo V25 Pro. The battery capacity has been increased from 4,300mAh (in the V23 Pro) to 4,830mAh which is nice to have as the V23 Pro is losing battery life with daily use. Another thing that has improved is the charging, which is 66W up from the previous 44W.
As for software, the phone runs on Vivo’s Funtouch OS 12 which is based on Android 12. During my initial use I noticed a lot of pre-installed third-party apps but I also noticed some software changes in the Settings app with the addition of Vivo’s Ultra. A game mode that adds some gamer-friendly software features.
The Vivo V25 Pro’s cameras have also received some decent improvements. The former 108-megapixel primary camera has been downgraded in terms of resolution to a 64-megapixel unit, but it gets optical image stabilization (OIS), which should in theory improve its low-light performance. The 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and 2-megapixel macro camera remain the same. The 50-megapixel selfie camera on the V23 Pro has been downgraded to the 32-megapixel camera on the V25 Pro, but thankfully retains autofocus.
Despite the higher-than-expected sticker price, Vivo’s latest V series smartphone certainly seems to pack a punch. Be it design, processor, cameras or battery capacity and charging speed, there are decent hardware upgrades sprinkled throughout. However, these are qualitative improvements and things that will start with premium smartphones.
Compare these upgrades to other mid-range phones like the Realme 9 Pro+ 5G (Review) and the more recent Nothing Phone 1 (Review) and it’s easy to tell that the value factor (at least for now) is still not as strong. Add-on features. The V25 Pro doesn’t get an IP rating or stereo speakers, and the Dimensity 1300 SoC will compete with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 870 SoC and above in premium smartphones like the Xiaomi 11T Pro 5G (Review) and the iQoo Neo 6 (Review), both priced under Rs. is 40,000 and offers solid raw performance for gaming and very good low-light cameras.
There’s also the OnePlus 10R Endurance Edition ( review ), with its MediaTek Dimensity 8100 SoC and 150W charging, which recently received a permanent price cut and is now priced at Rs. 39,999.
The Vivo V25 Pro still offers subtle improvements and it remains to be seen whether these improvements make a meaningful difference, especially in the camera and battery life department, and in terms of overall value. Stay tuned for our detailed review, which will be available on Gadgets 360 soon.