The options of getting a 5G smartphone in Kenya are now growing with the launch of the vivo V23 5G last month.

I’ve been using the phone for the past two weeks and vivo V23 5G is bound to impress you both from the inside and the outside, literally.

Design

vivo V23 5G comes with a flourite AG glass back protected by Chott Xensation Up for the front and back, You get a matte finish at the back with sparkles that shimmer under the sun. The back has a soft, velvety back panel – it’s very comfortable to hold and virtually fingerprint-resistant.


vivo V23 5G

I loved the ultra-slim aluminium frame and the rounded corners for a comfortable grip. The Vivo V23 5G is incredibly light, especially considering that it has glass surfaces.

The physical volume and power buttons on the right side have a tactile feel to them.

On the bottom, there is a speaker grille, a USB Type-C charging port, and a SIM card slot.

Let’s talk about the phone’s head turner  – the colour changing back.

Uv light or sunlight triggers chemical changes in the back that change the hues from warm to cool. You can get creative and cover some parts to get cool effects like this one. 

The panel will have a stunning blue-green gradient that will gradually fade away from the light source.

It’s worth noting that this colour changing effect only applies to the sunshine gold version.

The stardust version also has a matte finish at the back with a glittery design.

Coming to the front is a 6.44″ AMOLED screen with a 90hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support.

The display itself looks good, with vibrant colours, good viewing angles, and deep blacks. Watching videos, browsing images and playing games is going to be a pleasure.  It gets quite bright outdoors and very contrasting, there are no problems with readability when you’re out and about.

The bottom facing speaker gets pretty loud too and will serve your multimedia needs really well.

The 90hz refresh rate makes the user experience smooth, fast and responsive. 

We also have a very responsive in-display fingerprint sensor. Its location is very convenient for easy and fast unlocking.

Performance

Vivo has crammed some powerful hardware in the vivo V23 5G’s sleek body.

Going under the hood, you’ll find the MediaTek dimensity 920 processor coupled with Mali G68 GPU and 8GB of RAM and 256GB of RAM. You are also getting dual 5G support as this phone is 5G powered.

vivo V23 5G runs FunTouch OS 12 based on Android 12.

Besides Android 12 features, FunTouch OS 12 ships with a new UI design and a refreshing look and feel that offers a clean visual experience plus small widgets that fit more on the homescreen. There’s a nano music player that sits on the home screen and offers quick access to your local or Spotify playlist. It’s easy and quite useful and I am sure Vivo users will like it.

We have support for extendable RAM which lets you expand RAM up to 4GB by using some part of the storage to extend RAM virtually.

Another handy feature is the ultra game mode that automatically manages CPU/GPU, RAM, and network performance while also optimizing the touch response. In addition, the feature automatically adjusts the performance based on the temperature of the device. The Game Assistant feature allows you to toggle notifications for incoming calls on or off too.

Under heavy use, there is practically no throttling or hesitation so it’s going to be a pleasure to use the Vivo V23 5G. Multitasking will be a breeze as the processor and the RAM combination is quite sufficient and some more.

Doing your usual tasks during the day will be pretty smooth whether you’re a heavy user or mixed user or a light user and this includes streaming music, replying to emails, binge-watching your favourite tv shows or series, browsing the web, scrolling your social media feeds and gaming.

Speaking of gaming, I got to try out light and graphic intense games ranging from Alto’s Odyssey, Ninja Arashi, Asphalt to PUBG Mobile, Genshin Impact and call of Duty Mobile.

Most of these games ran with maximum graphic settings and high frame rates.

The 5G Situation

5G in the country is still in its infancy and we couldn’t get a 5G connection on the phone. Safaricom has yet to roll out its 5G – they’re still in the testing phase and manufacturers like vivo are waiting for the public rollout later this year.

As soon as that happens, vivo and MediaTek will update the phone to access 5G.

Battery Life Performance

Keeping the lights on is a 4200mAh battery that supports up to 44W fast charging.  You can go from 1 – 62% in 31 minutes.

Battery life was ranging from 7 hours and 8 hours and I was happy with vivo V23 5G’s uptime.

On most days, I was ending the day with between 30% and 25% battery life that allowed me to go on late-night Insta browsing and internet rabbit holes before calling it a night.

And the fast charging comes in handy in the morning. You can juice it up as you prepare yourself and it’ll be full by the time you are out of the door.

Photography

Last but not least, how does it fare in the photography department.

The camera island is also very impressive with its edging and vertically positioned lenses. We have a triple camera setup at the back that consists of a 64MP main sensor, an 8MP ultrawide with a 120-degree field of view and a 2MP macro sensor.

Vivo V23 5G Main Cameras
Vivo V23 5G Main Cameras

In the selfie department, we have two dual front-facing cameras that include a 50MP wide and 8MP ultrawide housed in the notch. The ultrawide comes in handy when taking group selfies.

That’s not all. You get dual led lights what Vivo calls Dual-Tone Spotlight flash for lowlight selfies and you can change the colour temperature right from the camera app from warm, default to cool.

Modes to play around with include double exposure, pro, high-res, time-lapse, slo-mo, dual view and live photo

So far pictures come out with really good detail and colour saturation. Indoor shots are decent too. 

The selfie cameras on the vivo V23 5G are among the best you’ll find on any phone today

Not only in good light, shots taken in lowlight turn out pretty well – I was amazed at how far smartphone cameras have and as Vivo continues to push its camera-centric V lineup.

Photos came out with little noise. There’s a decent amount of detail and colour.

The Vivo V23 supports up to 4K 30fps video recording for both the selfie cameras and main cameras – that’s pretty cool, especially for vlogging. You can also shoot at 1080p at 30fps.

Read our full camera performance assessment below.

vivo V23 5G Camera Performance Review

vivo has been at the helm in terms of industry-leading camera performance and the vivo V23 5G encompasses that and more. We also get style and performance that you should expect from a mid-ranger.

Conclusion

vivo V23 5G offers a premium, elegant design, stunning AMOLED display, an excellent set of cameras fit for social media posting, top-notch software, a powerful chipset that won’t make you feel like you’re sacrificing any processing power for everyday tasks, all-day battery life and fast charging.

Pricing and Availability


vivo V23 5G is now on sale from Ksh 59,999 available at Vivo’s retail stores countrywide and partner e-commerce sites.

vivo has also partnered up with Lipa Later to offer financing plans.


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