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Tribune reviews: The Vivo V11 Pro gets a lot right

  • Published at 08:57 am November 17th, 2018

The V11 Pro gets a solid four out of five stars for what it promises and delivers for the price

2018 has been all about thinning smartphone bezels and notches making its way into the smartphone mid-range. However, another trend that seems to be making its way into the fray is the on-screen fingerprint sensor. Vivo was the first smartphone manufacturer to showcase this feature in smartphone even though they didn’t make the initial model anything more than a demo.

A few months later, they come with the V11 Pro, a BDT 35,000 smartphone that has an on-screen fingerprint reader. But for the average consumer, will that be the next smartphone to splash your cash on?

The display is a stunner

Other manufactures, including Apple and the Google’s Pixel line of phones could learn a thing or two from how to do the notch. The teardrop notch is something that doesn’t get in the way of apps and usability is much better then on some of the other flagships, even though this is a mid-ranger.

The 6.41 inch 1080p Super AMOLED screen is a bright one and contrast is excellent as expected, along with sunlight legibility. There is however a bit of a coldness in the colors and a blueish hue, so it’s better to calibrate the display via the built-in software.

The build is a mixed bag

For one, the V11 pro looks really nice, with a unique dual-tone gradient finish of black and either blue or purple at the bottom. But the build is not the sturdiest. The back is made of glass but the sides are made of plastic and does not feel premium, especially the power button, which has quite a bit of a wobble but because of the materials used, the phone is quite light at 156 grams.

The phone is also quite slippery and picks up fingerprints faster than you can say V11 Pro. It’s not easy to hold and operate so getting a cover for better grip and durability becomes almost mandatory.

Is the fingerprint scanner a gimmick?

The main talking and selling point has to be the on-display fingerprint sensor and while it has really cool animations and coupled with face unlock - using the IR sensor in front of the screen, makes a great security combo - it’s not the fastest and not the most consistent.

It takes a while to get used to and implementation of it could be better, but the novelty of such a unique and rare feature is still there and perhaps future firmware updates can make the response of the on-display fingerprint even better.

The camera was made for selfies

Selfie lovers will definitely be queueing up for a 25-megapixel front facing camera and numbers aside the photo quality is top-notch. There are some cool face emojis and portrait mode is also available in selfie-mode.

The back cameras are also very impressive, especially with daylight photos. There is plenty of detail and photography enthusiasts will definitely enjoy the quality. The low-light photos are not that great with noise and detail both taking a hit.

The V11 Pro initially lacked 4k recording but though a software update, that has been made available, though videos in 4k lack detail and quality so it’s definitely not meant for videographers.

The software is fast but lacks finesse

As is the case with most Chinese manufacturers, Xiaomi and Oppo included, Vivo has an OS – FunTouch v4.5 on top of Android Oreo 8.1 - that “borrow” quite a bit from iOS. There is no app drawer and a certain set of notifications come up if you swipe up from the bottom of the phone. However, the software is customizable with themes and fonts. But it lacks the finesse with icons and overall color themes that the iOS has.

Vivo has improved the software over time and the phone generally does multitasking well with the Snapdragon 660 chipset coupled with 6 gigs of RAM but it’s not that great for gaming and PUBG lovers might look for a more power chipset with better software optimization. For regular usage, it is excellent and the FunTouch UI is a very fast one when it comes to navigating and app switching.

Battery, ports and audio quality impress

The V11 Pro comes with a 3,400 mAh battery and charges from 0-45 % in about 30 minutes, even though it’s not as fast as Dash Charging on the One Plus 6. The battery life is excellent with over 6 hours of screen-on time and excellent stand-by times guaranteeing even heavy users will easily get past a day of usage.

The phone offers a 3.5 mm headphone jack, which a lot of manufacturers are ditching and has micro USB instead of USB Type-C, which might come as a disappointment for some, but it’s not a big issue. Call quality on the phone was also pretty good and the loudspeaker is better than most with ample loudness and crisp quality.

Audiophiles will also enjoy the V11 Pro as it produces some very commendable audio through headphones and headsets. It’s not top-of-the-line audio though for most mid-range phones, it’s better than average. There is also an FM radio available which is a feature many manufacturers are getting rid of in their flagships.

The competition is massive but the V11 Pro holds its own

You can get the Pocophone F1 for around the same price though Xiaomi’s phone doesn’t look as pleasant, doesn’t have as nice a display with an on-display fingerprint sensor and the software is very immature. But it does have a bigger battery and a more powerful chipset, so for gamers that would be the phone to get.

There is also the Oppo R17 which has very similar specs, including an on-display fingerprint sensor along with a slightly more powerful Snapdragon 670 processor. But that also costs a bit more than the Vivo.

In the end, the V11 Pro gets a solid four out of five stars for what it promises and delivers for the price. With future software updates and a price drop to under 30 thousand BDT over time (which is an expected occurrence with Chinese manufacturers), there is no doubt that this on-display fingerprint sensor carrying phone will become a bigger attraction than it already is.

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