The Kenyan market continues to be very appealing to many phone makers out there. vivo, which is based in China, is one of the latest entrants that want to make a name for itself in a space that continues to be very competitive as days pass by.
We have the vivo V19 in our hand for examination. The handheld was announced in April 2020, and in typical smartphone release style, the company teased it for a couple of weeks, mainly about its launch in Kenya.
The most significant feature about the V19 is the dual front-facing snapper: a 32 MP wide lens alongside another 8 MP wide-angle lens. These are attractive features that are not found in low- or upper mid-range devices (perhaps the first time Kenyans got to enjoy dual hole-punch selfie cams was back in the Samsung Galaxy S10+ days).
And vivo made sure it popularized the feature as loud as it could.
The device is here, and I love what it brings to the table.
Before we I give you my initial impressions, here is the device’s spec sheet:
vivo V19 Specifications and Price in Kenya
|Resolution||1080 x 2400 pixels (~409 ppi density)
20:9 aspect ratio, 800 nits brightness, HDR 10
|Platform||Operating System||Android 10; Funtouch 10|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 712|
|CPU||Octa-core (2x2.3 GHz Kryo 360 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver)|
|Internal||128GB/256GB UFS 2.1|
|Camera||Main||48 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/2.0", 0.8µm, PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/4.0", 1.12µm
2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
video: 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 30 and 60fps
|Front||32 MP, f/2.1, 23mm (wide), 1/2.8", 0.8µm
8 MP, f/2.3, 17mm (ultrawide)
video 1080p at 30fps
|Type||Li-Ion | 33W fast charging(0% -54% in 30 minutes)|
|Colors||Piano Black/Gleam Black, Mystic Silver/Sleek Silver|
|Features||indisplay fingerprint reader, USB Type C, Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE|
With that out of the way, the V19, for the most part, meets its KES 41000 price tag. Admittedly, that is a lot of money for a phone, and a buyer would want to know if the smartphone is going to serve his or her needs to their satisfaction.
The answer is a resounding yes. And here is why
- The cameras are excellent for the price. You can refer to the numbers in the spec sheet above. What does it miss for the price? Absolutely nothing. You have a total of 6 sensors that go a long way to ensure that you capture that perfect shot. Of course, many cameras imply that you have multiple focal lenses to play with, be it wide angle, or the beloved portrait shots. The same thing can be said for the selfie shooters – and that versatility is appealing to buyers who want a camera that does it all – for KES 41000. Are there some reservations? Yes, because there is nothing like a perfect phone camera. More about that in an incoming review.
- The display is very good. It is of the Super AMOLED kind, a feature we have often associated with Samsung devices. I love it because it gets very bright especially in direct sunlight, and colours pop out nicely. There is nothing to not love about this screen. Oh, it is also big enough, is immersive, save for the punched-in selfie snappers.
- The V19 is not too big, nor is it too small for media consumption.
- Its size ensures that there is enough room for a 4500 mAh cell that will last you all day long.
- The juicer charges ridiculously fast at 33W using a technology called vivo Flash Charge 2.0.
- The software filled to the brim with features. If there is a setting you want to adjust, vivo V19 has it. Don’t like the screen calibration? You can change that. Want rounded icons? You can do that. How about themes? They are here. Want an app drawer? You can set it up. How about system-wide dark mode that even forces a dark theme on unsupported apps – although it breaks some? (more of that in the full review)? You can do that. My point is that there are many features here to keep you busy for an entire evening, and the experience is not as boring as stock Android.
As mentioned, I have some reservations about the V19, but they are not deal-breakers. In fact, you wouldn’t even know they are there until that day you want to adjust something, and it hits you that the thing is not working as expected. Still, nothing vivo cannot fix with a software update (we got two updates in the first two days).
To this end, I love what the V19 brings to the table. It manages to wage a serious war against its competitors, and I feel like it has to because the KES 40K space or thereabouts has competent players.
Lastly, the unboxing experience has all the accessories you would want: a case, the 33W charging brick, a pair of okay-ish earphones, SIM ejection tool, and literature.
Does it deserve the KES 41000 asking price? Absolutely. But does it stumble too? Of course.