Vivo is yet another Chinese OEM that is going after the infamous notch on the display that was popularized by Apple’s iPhone X. The first of its kind to launch in India’s Android smartphone market, the Vivo V9 brings a number of impressive specs and features that are meant to make a case for the phone in the highly competitive smartphone market.
In this post, we have put together all that you need to know regarding the Vivo V9 specs, features, release date, market availability, price and more.
Vivo V9 specs
The most prominent spec of the Vivo V9 is the massive 6.3-inch display screen with a 19:9 aspect ratio and iPhone X-style notch that the company says helped a lot in achieving the impressive 90% screen-to-body ratio. Also, the notch houses a massive 24MP selfie camera that should get many excited about the phone.
Other than that, there’s really nothing spectacular about the Vivo V9 (stock wallpapers here). Check out the full specs below:
- 6.3-inch 19:9 IPS LCD display with Full HD+ resolution (2280×1080 pixels), 2.5D curved glass front, 90% screen-to-body ratio
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor
- 4GB RAM and 64GB (expandable via microSD card up to 256GB)
- Dual 16MP (f/1.2 aperture) + 5MP main camera with PDAF, Bokeh effect, dual-tone LED flash
- 24MP front camera with AI Face Beauty, Gender Detection, AR Stickers, Face Beauty Video, Camera Filter, HDR
- 3260mAh non-removable battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo based on Funtouch OS 4.0
- Extras: Dual-SIM, 4G VoLTE, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, GPS, GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.2, microUSB port, 3.5mm audio port, rear-mounted scanner, Face Unlock, Portrait Mode, Ultra HDR mode, selfie lighting, etc.
Vivo V9 price and availability
Following its launch in the Philippines and Thailand, India makes it the third confirmed market for the Vivo V9, but we expect the phone to be sold in more Asian markets, especially where the company has sold the V series before.
So, in addition to the Philippines, Thailand, and India, the Vivo V9 should also be sold in markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Vietnam. In Thailand, the Vivo V9 was launched at THB 10,999 and in India, the same phone will set you back INR 22,990, which is approximately $350. Details of availability and pricing in other markets have yet to be confirmed, but they should be sooner than later.
5 things you need to know
Now that the Vivo V9 is here, the question is are you going to buy it, especially at what looks to be an over-ambitious price tag of INR 23,000? To answer this question, here’s a look at the 7 things you need to know about the Vivo V9.
The perfect iPhone X alternative so far
At the MWC 2018, Asus unveiled the ZenFone 5 and 5Z with a notched display. However, neither of these two is available for purchase in India. It’s not to say that the Asus pair is the only option for people in India who want a cheaper iPhone X-like phone, however, as it stands, the Vivo V9 is without a doubt the perfect alternative to the pricey Apple flagship.
After all, Android fans are always looking for cheap stuff and given the price of the iPhone X, it’s more than a welcome to have a similar experience at less than half the price. Speaking of experience, the Funtouch OS 4.0 that runs on top of Android 8.1 Oreo is, as always, very similar to Apple’s iOS, even going further to include the nifty swipe-based navigation system used on iPhone X.
It’s worth noting that the reign of the Vivo V9 as the perfect iPhone X alternative will soon be cut short by the much-hyped Huawei P20 family, more so the P20 Lite, which will soon be available for purchase in India at about the same price as the V9.
Near bezel-less screen
The word “bezel-less” has been on many occasions used inappropriately to mean having a full-screen display. So far, no company has achieved this feat, but the Vivo V9 is very close to this with its massive 6.3-inch 19:9 panel. You’ll hardly find any smartphone that beats the V9’s 90% screen-to-body ratio, something that is aided by the 2.5D curved glass on top alongside the notch.
For comparison purposes, the iPhone X and Galaxy S9 have a screen-to-body ratio of about 83% yet the pair are on many occasions referred to as bezel-less phones. If anything, the Vivo V9’s display screen should be one of the major selling points of the phone.
It has a 2016 processor
Despite all the goodness visible from the outside, the Vivo V9 comes with a mediocre processor, especially when price matters are also factored in. Based on the 2016 Snapdragon 626, the Vivo V9’s INR 23,000 price tag seems out of this world when you can grab the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro with a powerful Snapdragon 636 SoC, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage at just INR 13,999. Even better, you can easily find an older flagship phone based on the likes of Snapdragon 820 or 821 at a tad cheaper or maybe the same price.
In short, specs-wise, building a case for the Vivo V9 is simply not possible!
24MP selfie camera with AR stickers
The back camera of the Vivo V9 has a dual 16MP + 5MP setup, where the second lens is used for depth sensing and producing bokeh effects on photos, just like many other dual-lens smartphone cameras. However, we know that Vivo’s smartphones have been popularized by their quality selfie cameras and the V9 isn’t any different.
There’s a massive 24MP sensor on the front with an aperture of f/2.0 and a flurry of AI-based features that we can easily terms as gimmicky, at least until we go hands-on with the phone. The same unit also includes support for Portrait Mode as well as the iPhone X-style selfie lighting feature to improve the quality of photos in low-light conditions. Furthermore, the Vivo V9’s selfie camera comes with a collection of beauty enhancement features like Face Beauty, which the company says is able to detect your gender, age, skin tone and even the lighting conditions when you want to capture a selfie.
Besides AI, AR is also another buzzword in the smartphone industry and Vivo, being one of the companies that are pushing trendy smartphone features, isn’t staying behind on this one. Hence, the company has also included support for AR stickers to the selfie camera alongside AI-based features such as AI Face Access, which is just the company’s fancy name for Face Unlock.
Face Unlock is supported
Speaking of Face Unlock, this is another trending feature that is courtesy of the iPhone X (Face ID). The Vivo V9 has one of its own too and it’s called Face Unlock. To make it more accurate, the company is leveraging the power of AI through what it calls Face Access, but there’s more of these AI gimmicks.
For instance, the V9 also comes with a feature known as AI Face Attention, which is a pretty cool addition (if it works perfectly) that recognizes when you are staring at the display screen and in the process reduces the volume of notifications.
How fast the Face Unlock feature can only be determined in the real world, but the company says it’s very fast and that it’ll also support App Lock.
Android P is doubtful
Despite being one of the top names in the smartphone industry, Vivo, like many other Chinese vendors, has a poor track record in software updates. Given that the Vivo V9 isn’t one of the company’s top offerings, it’s possible that the current Android 8.1 Oreo is the best you’ll ever get on this phone.
In short and in the fairest terms, we can say Android P is a doubt for Vivo V9, but if we consult history, we can as well guarantee that there won’t be an Android P update for the V9.