I’ve personally owned one other Vivo phone (I don’t remember the name as it’s a budget phone that I bought as a backup) and it’s a pretty decent sub-$200 smartphone. For the Vivo V19, I wanted to see for myself if it’s a good smartphone for the price.

That’s why I wanted to review the Vivo V19, instead of regular smartphone enthusiast, Siti Hajar, who did the Vivo V17 Pro review.

So…does the Vivo V19 pass muster?

Read on and find out.

What is the Vivo V19?

The Vivo V19 is a mainstream 6.44” smartphone released by Vivo. It’s 159.64 × 75.04 × 8.5mm, and weighs a measly 186.5g and costs SG$599.

The smartphone features a 2400 x 1080 Super AMOLED display (61hz refresh rate) with HDR support, a Snapdragon 712 processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage (with microSD card support) and a 4500mah battery (with fast charging).

It comes with Android 10 pre-installed, has an audio jack and uses USB-C for charging. The audio jack’s unfortunately placed at the bottom of the phone, which is a pain in the ass if you like carrying it in your hand. Wires will undoubted get tangled with your arm as you move around.

The phone also packs dual cameras up front (32MP main camera, with an 8MP super wide-angle camera) and a quad camera (48MP main camera, 2MP Bokeh camera, 8MP super wide angle camera and a 2MP macro camera) setup for the back.

Buttons for the phone are all arrayed vertically on the upper right of the device. Two are for volume, while the bottom is to turn off the display/put the phone in lock. Depending on your preference, this may or may not be a complete turn off. The buttons themselves are responsive, with nominal pressure needed to push them in.

To get the complete list of specs, hit up Vivo’s website.

How it performs.

For a mainstream phone, the Vivo V19 more than looks the part. Its sleek design reminds me of Samsung’s Galaxy S20 and Note 10 series. The display’s Full HD+ resolution is sharp, with vibrant colors that makes browsing (whether it’s the web or Instagram/Facebook) easy on the eyes.

The phone uses Vivo’s Funtouch OS, which runs off a customized version of Android 10. Its fast, with minimal bloat, which makes for a great experience. It’s also visually similar to iOS in some aspects which will endear it to those who prefer Apple’s looks.

The Vivo V19’s also responsive enough that even with multiple browser tabs open in Chrome, the phone still responds instantly. Over the past week of usage, I’ve never had the phone slow down once and I’ve tried!

I opened multiple apps (Facebook, Whatsapp, Fallout Shelter, Marvel Puzzle Quest and tons more) to run in the background while I went to Youtube via Chrome. Videos played without stutter and typing in for searches was without lag. It’s a great performance for a mid-tier phone.

Of course, indicative of its mid-tier status, it won’t outperform the flagships from other companies; it simply doesn’t have the hardware for that.

Take a look at its PCmark and 3Dmark scores.

3Dmark

3Dmark

They’re not mind-blowing but considering its specs, they’re pretty solid for a mid-tier offering. The scores all show that for a mainstream phone, the Vivo V19 offers decent performance for a decent price.

It doesn’t punch above its weight class, but then it’s not supposed to as it’s a phone geared more for the everyday user (and the camera enthusiast). One thing to note; if you’re upgrading to the Vivo V19 from a Vivo V17 Pro, it’ll definitely be an improvement.

Still, I had to test games running on it. I downloaded Call of Duty Mobile, one of the fastest FPS on mobile. It ran without any hitches and touch controls were responsive throughout. From that, it’s probably safe to say that the Vivo V19 should be able to play games from the foreseeable future.

It might not run the most demanding ones with great performance, but it should be decent.

How are the cameras?

Camera performance is perhaps where the Vivo V19 holds its own.

With its wide array of cameras, shots are easy to take and customize. Selfies come out crisp and clear and shots with the back camera producing great quality images as well though there is a bit of an issue with the colors.

These images are all taken with the default settings, with no adjustment done beforehand.

The gold from the box isn’t replicated quite right and the Constructicons are a brighter shade of green. It’s nothing that color correction software won’t able to fix though.

I particularly love the bokeh function, though I wish that it allow for more advanced customization. Currently, it only allows you to adjust how wide the bokeh effect is around your target. Perhaps something like Photoshop’s selection tool would work better, allowing you to highlight the subject and then apply the filter to everything else.

Battery performance is pretty good though. With its 4500mah battery, the phone manages to deliver a long lasting performance. I clocked our review unit at just under 25 hours (50% brightness, WiFi enabled) via PCmark’s Battery Test. Of course, your performance will likely vary depending on your settings and the app you run, but for general usage, expect similar numbers.

The Bottom Line.

For a mid-range phone, the Vivo V19 is a great choice if you don’t want to break the bank. It features decent performance, a great battery life and awesome cameras. On top of that, it also looks sweet.

Its performance may be mid-range but that’s to be expected for its asking price. Besides, it offers a clear improvement over Vivo V17 Pro, which is pretty impressive already.

TLDR:

Good value for a mainstream, mid-tier phone.

The Good.

  • Nice display.
  • Decent performance.
  • Good looks.
  • Great cameras.

The Bad.

  • Gaming performance a bit weak.
  • Buttons on the right might irk some users.
  • Audio jack is at the bottom of the phone.

Sal's been in the industry since the early 2000s. He's written for a ton of gaming and tech publications including Playworks, Hardwarezone, HWM and GameAxis. Recently, Sal served as a juror for the Indie Game Awards at Taipei Game Show 2020. A geek and hardcore gamer, Sal will play everything, on any platform.

Sal's been in the industry since the early 2000s. He's written for a ton of gaming and tech publications including Playworks, Hardwarezone, HWM and GameAxis. Recently, Sal served as a juror for the Indie Game Awards at Taipei Game Show 2020. A geek and hardcore gamer, Sal will play everything, on any platform.