Vivo is a phone brand known for providing phones with flagship specs at a cheaper price point. But what are the compromises Vivo had to make to achieve this? Are these phones worth the money? To help you decide whether a Vivo phone meets your needs, or has the risk of disappointing you, check out our comprehensive buyer’s guide below.

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Top Vivo Smartphones Price List 2021

Top 10 products Price Store
Vivo Y15 ₱ 6,790.00 Lazada
Vivo V15 Pro ₱ 2,199.00 Lazada
Vivo S1 ₱ 5,591.08 Lazada
Vivo Y91 ₱ 7,499.00 Lazada
Vivo V9 ₱ 14,990.00 Lazada
Vivo Y66 ₱ 3,869.00 Lazada
Vivo Y51 ₱ 2,133.00 Lazada
Vivo Y12 ₱ 6,000.00 Lazada
Vivo Y55 ₱ 2,399.00 Lazada
Vivo Y71 ₱ 3,590.00 Lazada
Most Popular
Vivo Y15

Cheapest at Lazada ₱ 6,790.00 ₱ 7,000.00 Go to Shop

Everything you need to know before buying a Vivo phone

Founded in 2009 as the communication arm of BBK Electronics, today Vivo is one of the most recognizable Chinese tech brands. Ranking in the top 10 phone manufacturers in the world since 2015, it is also one of the world’s top phone brands.

At some point, you may have considered getting a Vivo phone because of its affordable prices. However, the low price comes with some tradeoffs. To help you understand the brand we’ve created a comprehensive buyer’s guide structured around the following topics:

Why should I choose a Vivo phone?

There are three key reasons why you should consider a Vivo phone: Vivo has a wide selection of phones with options for any budget; Vivo provide affordable 5G models; whilst, Vivo has a great range of camera phones (boosted by their partnership with Zeiss Optics):

1. Great selection of phones and phone series

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One of the best things about Vivo is their large range of phones to choose from. Depending on your preferred specs and budget, you can choose from high-end flagship models to budget-tier phones.

Vivo organizes their phones into five different series targeting different customer segments:

  • X Series –The X series, considered as Vivo’s flagship models, are premium phones which tend to excel across all areas. The most notable models of in the X-series is the X60 line which came out of Vivo’s partnership with Zeiss Optics.
  • NEX Series – The NEX series brings innovative design and technology to the market. Among these iconic design choices is the signature pop-up camera on the Vivo Nex which has been adopted by other Android brands. Vivo has also pushed the boundaries of smartphone technology by creating the Nex Dual Display – the first smartphone with both front and back screens.
  • V Series – The V series is a mid-tier class set of phones catering to selfie-lovers and phone photography enthusiasts. Models like the V20 and V21 are well-known in the front-camera department for having the largest sensors (44MP) in any smartphone.
  • Y series – The Y series is Vivo’s line of budget smartphones. Being in the budget category, the Y series meets the basic smartphone specs needed for everyday use but are not exceptional in terms of performance and build.
  • iQOO Series – Produced as a former subsidiary of Vivo, the iQOO Series focuses on high-performance gaming phones. The series has the latest Snapdragon 888 or Mediatek Helios and Dimensity chipset and are paired with high-refresh screens and big batteries.

2. Affordable, 5G-capable phones

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A key reason why Vivo phones are so popular in the Philippines is their affordable price points for the mid / high end specification phones. In short, Vivo is all about delivering high-tier specs at reasonable prices.

Take for example a spec comparison between the latest 5G flagship phones from Vivo and Samsung.

Specs

Vivo X60 Pro

Samsung S21 5G

Release Date

March 2021

January 2021

Chipset

Qualcomm SM8250-AC Snapdragon 870 5G

Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G

RAM

12GB

8GB

Internal Storage

256GB

128GB / 256GB

Camera

Zeiss Optics Triple lens 48MP (wide) + 13MP (telephoto) + 13MP (ultra-wide)

Triple lens 12MP (wide) + 64MP (telephoto) + 12MP (Ultra-wide)

Battery

Li-Po 4200 mAh

Li-Ion 4000 mAh

Based on the specs, the Vivo X60 Pro is newer, larger battery, and more RAM compared to the Samsung S21. Although the chipset is not the best when benchmarked with the Samsung’s Snapdragon 888, the Snapdragon 870 of the Vivo X60 Pro comes close.

While both are priced as flagship models, the Vivo X60 Pro typically retails at 20 to 30% below the price of its Samsung competitor. If you don’t mind a little gap in performance, the Vivo X60 Pro is a great choice.

Besides flagship models, if you have a lower budget, Vivo also has mid-tier 5G options like the V21 and the iQOO 3. These models harness the latest generation of mobile technology to get high internet speeds at affordable prices.

3. Superb camera and partnership with Zeiss Optics

What also sets Vivo apart from other smartphones is its focus on camera phones. The brand’s X and V series are known for their exceptional camera performance. Most noteworthy, models like the V17, V19, V20 as well as the X50, X51, and X60 have been praised for their iPhone-killer cameras.

These phones incorporate a built-in gimbal (a device that rotates in 3 axes to promote image stabilization). The gimbal acts as an effective alternative to software OIS or optical image stabilization. It eliminates the natural movement of your hand when taking a snapshot or video. While it is not on action camera level stabilization, the gimbal greatly improves the smoothness of the captured image.

The gimbal also benefits how the phone takes photos in low-light conditions. It allows your phone to take multiple long exposure shots with minimum movement. The image processing system then stitches the captured images together to get magnificent low-light results that can exceed its contemporaries (like the Oneplus 8T or the Samsung S21 Ultra).

Best Smartphone cameras of 2021 – XDA-developers.com

The latest game-changer for Vivo camera technologies, which has come out of their partnership with Zeiss optics, is the Vivo X60 series. For those that don’t know, Zeiss is one of the pioneers in the area camera and cinematography lenses (with their lenses use in meteorology, microscopy, spectroscopy, and medical technology). Vivo and Zeiss have co-engineered a phenomenal camera system on the X60 series with the X60 Pro Plus outperforming its contemporaries like the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra and Samsung S21, especially on low-light conditions.

Why should I avoid a Vivo phone?

Vivo’s main selling point has always been their cost-effective phones, most notably their budget Y series. However, these lower cost models suffers from the same drawbacks as other Android phones in this tier. These issues include less durable build quality and fewer software updates. Other flaws also include the FunTouch OS (Vivo’s own Android skin) which is filled with unnecessary bloatware and ads.

If you are contemplating about getting a low-cost Vivo phone, here are a couple of things you should expect:

1. Lower cost Vivo phones will likely have a shorter lifespan

The problem with cheap Vivo phones (and budget Android phones in general) is their relatively short life span. This is due to compromises in build materials (including the use of plastic, recycling chassis) and the use of older technology (eg use of chipsets from 2-3 years ago).

The use of older technology can result in the lower-end Vivo phones being unable to keep up with the software updates. As apps develop they tend to need more and more RAM to process. Whilst adequate for today’s apps, within a few years an affordable phone with 2GB RAM is likely to struggle to cope (with the user experiencing lags when loading or switching between apps).

2. Budget Vivo phones get fewer software updates

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Another problem you will likely experience with a budget-tier Vivo phone will be fewer software updates.

Updates are important because it helps keep your phone’s security up-to-date, improves your user experience and addresses bugs discovered in the current OS version. Apps also need a minimum operating system to launch. Without updates, you would not be able to enjoy the newest features or download specific apps.

Budget phones are not guaranteed to get the latest Android version. If you are lucky enough to receive updates, it would be way behind what the flagship and mid-tier models would have.

So why won’t lower-spec phones get the same updates as flagships? There are two reasons:

  1. The hardware might not be built to handle the update or would struggle to.
  2. Vivo’s focus is on the latest phone since older phones would eventually be phased out

If you are particular about software and OS updates, a cheap Vivo phone may not be for you.

3. FunTouch OS has Unwanted Ads and Bloatware

While the OS itself previously received negative reviews in the past for being clunky and an “iOS copy”, this has improved greatly with the latest FunTouch OS 11 update. FunTouch OS 11 introduced new personalization options, added an “Ultra game mode”, and overall, improved the UI.

A key drawback that affects all Vivo phones --including flagship models – however, is unwanted ads and bloatware in the FunTouch Operating System (OS).

  • The phone’s browser, powered by Taboola news is filled with promoted content disguised as news. This is also noticeable on the phone’s AI assistant -- called Jovi Home -- where it advertises widgets that are not even customized. Furthermore, FunTouch OS keeps giving you push notifications about installing apps when you are setting up your phone for the first time or are uninstalling apps.
  • There is also a large amount of bloatware on the FunTouch OS. Bloatware refers to extra apps or software which is not used or needed. Bloatware can take up space in your phone’s internal memory or even run in the background which can weigh down processing power.

Fortunately, with the Vivo phones it is possible to resolve these issues by uninstalling unwanted apps. The first step is changing your default browser to Google Chrome and using Google Voice Assistant instead of Jovi Home. As for bloatware, you will need to uninstall apps that are not used frequently. Turning off notifications on your phone should help prevent the OS from sending unwanted app notifications.

Which Vivo phones would we recommend?

To help you look for the right Vivo phone, we have carefully reviewed each model’s specs and expert’s testimonials to create a list of best Vivo phones today:

Best Vivo Flagship Overall: Vivo X51 5G

At first impression, the Vivo X51 is a good-looking phone with a stylish curved glass and metal build. It features a 6.56” AMOLED screen with 1080 x 2736 resolution. While it is not exactly ultra-high definition, the phone still displays crisp and vivid images. It also has a curved screen on the side which reminds me of the Samsung screens.

A key feature of the display is its customizable refresh rate. From auto to 60hz, to 90hz. 90hz refresh rate is great for gaming but we recommend using 60hz for normal use to conserve battery.

In terms of performance, the Vivo X51 is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset and 8GB RAM. Although not the latest Qualcomm chipset, it does well in real-world scenarios and is not far off from its latest chipset successors in terms of performance.

For battery capacity and charging, the X51 5G is so-so. It lasts the whole day and can fast-charge at 65% in 30 minutes with the 33W charging brick. Unlike other flagship models, the Vivo X51 has no wireless charging.

Vivo X51 5G Specs

Release Date

October 2020

Screen

6.56” AMOLED (1080 x 2376)

Main camera

Quad-lens 48MP (wide) + 8MP (periscope telephoto) + 13MP (telephoto) + 8MP (ultra wide)

Front camera

Single-lens 32MP

Chipset

Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

Internal Storage

256GB

RAM

8GB

Built-in OS

Android 10, Funtouch 10.0

Battery Capacity

4315mAh

Best Vivo Camera Phone: Vivo X60 Pro

Like many phones on the X series, the X60 Pro is designed to look like a flagship phone. It has a glass front and back, as well as a large camera bump to accommodate the camera hardware. The X60 Pro’s screen is the same as the X51 with an improved 120hz refresh rate.

As for performance, the X60 Pro has a Snapdragon 870G and 12GB RAM. While not exactly the highest tier, it gets the job done and is able to handle high-spec games in real-world scenarios. If you want a phone with the latest Snapdragon 888, we recommend moving up with the X60 Pro+.

Where the Vivo X60 Pro truly shines is its camera setup. It is the first phone produced in partnership with Zeiss. It boasts Zeiss optics with a triple-lens 48MP+13MP+13MP set up. Like the X51 5G, it also features Gimbal Stabilization albeit an improved 2.0 version. Put simply, it sits top of our list of best camera phones of the year.

This model has a 4,200mAh battery capacity and is supported with 33W fast charging.

Vivo X60 Pro Specs

Release Date

April 2021

Screen

6.56” AMOLED (1080 x 2376)

Main camera

Triple-lens 48MP (wide) + 13MP (telephoto) + 13MP Ultra-wide

Front camera

Single-lens 32MP

Chipset

Qualcomm Snapdragon 870G

Internal Storage

256GB

RAM

12GB

Built-in OS

FunTouch 11

Battery Capacity

4,200mAh

Best mid-range: Vivo Y70

Building on the success of the X series, the Y70 looks like a flagship phone. At 6.44” it has a glass front, reflective plastic two-tone back and frame. The phone’s great build is good for an affordably priced phone.

In terms of screen, it has an AMOLED panel with 1080 x 2400 resolution. The screen provides a 60hz refresh rate. Whilst acceptable, we would have loved it to offer 90hz like the Oneplus Nord N10 and Realme 7.

As for performance and battery, the brand performs within the same range as other mid-tier phones. It is equipped with an older Snapdragon 665 chip from 2019 but compensates with 8GB RAM. This setup still allows you to run high-spec apps smoothly. As for the battery, the Vivo Y70 has a 4,100mAh capacity and is supported by 33W fast-charging.

The Y70 is known for its camera and its triple-lens system with 48MP (wide) + 2MP (macro) + 2MP (depth) sensors. As expected, this phone performs well and captures images with a good amount of detail, especially in low-light conditions. For selfies, the phone has a “super night selfie” that turns your screen into a ring light. Besides impressive sensors, the phone also features AI scene detection that automatically adjusts your camera settings based on what it captures.

Vivo Y70 Specs

Release Date

October 2020

Screen

6.44” AMOLED (1080 x 2400)

Main camera

Triple lens 48MP (wide) + 2MP (macro) + 2MP (depth)

Front camera

Single-lens 16MP

Chipset

Qualcomm Snapdragon 665

Internal Storage

128GB

RAM

8GB

Built-in OS

FunTouch 11

Battery Capacity

4,100mAh

Best mid-range gaming phone: Vivo iQOO 3 5G

The iQOO 3 5G glass back and front with aluminum frame makes this phone feel like a flagship. It has a 6.44” Super AMOLED screen, enhancing your viewing and gaming experience. This is a gaming phone that features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865G with 6GB, 8GB, and 12GB RAM variants. While it may not be a Snapdragon 888 but it is definitely a top-tier chipset for the price.

Another reason why this is a great mid-tier gaming phone is the battery. It has a 4,400mAh battery which allows you to go a day and a half with a recharge (depending on usage). Even if you find yourself running out of battery, the phone also comes with a 55W “SuperFlash Charge” charger which can charge your phone to 78% in 30 minutes.

Good performance, 5G capabilities, a big battery, Super AMOLED screen, when paired with an attractive price point is the reason why we think the iQOO 3 5G as one of the best mid-tier gaming phones in the market today.

iQOO 3 5G Specs

Release Date

March 2020

Screen

6.44” Super AMOLED (1080 x 2400)

Main camera

Quad-lens 48MP (wide) + 13MP (telephoto) + 13MP (ultrawide) + 2MP (depth)

Front camera

Single lens 16MP

Chipset

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G

Internal Storage

128GB / 256GB

RAM

6GB / 8GB / 12GB

Built-in OS

iQOO UI 10

Battery Capacity

4400mAh

Best budget phone overall: Vivo Y20s

In terms of design, the Vivo Y20s features a glass front and plastic back with an aluminum frame. The glossy plastic back adds to its modern aesthetic. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack which is always a plus on any phone. As for the screen, the Vivo Y20s has a 6.51” IPS LCD panel with a 720 x 1600 resolution. For a budget phone, the HD display is still decent. The triple-lens 13MP + 2MP + 2MP camera system is good (although not mind-blowing).

For a budget phone, the Vivo Y20s has its limitations in performance. First off, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 is a low-end chipset. You can experience lag and opening apps may take longer than expected. You may be able to compensate for the performance by choosing the 6GB or 8GB variant.

Where the Vivo Y20s is exceptional is with its battery. It has a 5,000mAh battery which can keep your phone going for up to two days in a single charge (depending on usage). Since the Vivo Y20s only has a microUSB port -- instead of the standard type C -- there is no fast charging on this phone. A clear drawback if you find yourself always on the move.

Vivo Y20s Specs

Release Date

October 2020

Screen

6.51” IPS LCD (720 x 1600)

Main camera

Triple-lens 13MP (wide) + 2MP (macro) + 2MP (depth)

Front camera

Single-lens 8MP

Chipset

Qualcomm Snapdragon 460

Internal Storage

128GB

RAM

4GB / 6GB / 8GB

Built-in OS

FunTouch 10.5, upgradable to FunTouch 11

Battery Capacity

5000mAh

Vivo Y12s – Affordable phone with modern specs

The Vivo Y12s is a modern-looking phone. It features a glass front with a teardrop front camera and a metallic plastic back with aluminum frame. The Vivo Y12s has a 6.51” screen with an IPS LCD panel. The screen performs ok with a 720 x 1600 resolution. It has a decent camera with a dual-lens system with 13MP + 2MP sensors. However, don’t expect it to be mind-blown by it.

Under the hood, the Y12s has a MediaTek Helio P35 which is optimized for gaming. As such, it can handle decent games such as Call of Duty Mobile and PUBG. Although this phone has a gaming chipset, it may encounter occasional lags when running multiple high-spec games and programs. If you want this phone to be faster, we recommend getting the 4GB variant.

Where this phone excels is in the battery life. It has a 5000mAh battery capacity which can last you up to two days (depending on usage). However, it does have a microUSB port which is not compatible with fast charging. If this phone had a type-C port, then it would have been a perfect budget phone.

Vivo Y12s Specs

Release Date

November 2020

Screen

6.51” IPS LCD (720 x 1600)

Main camera

Dual-lens 13MP (wide) + 2MP (depth)

Front camera

Single-lens 8MP

Chipset

MediaTek Helio P35

Internal Storage

32GB / 128GB

RAM

3GB / 4GB

Built-in OS

FunTouch 11

Battery Capacity

5000mAh

In conclusion

Vivo is a great phone brand if you are looking for reasonably-priced models. It provides you with a selection of models from different categories depending on your needs and budget. Where it excels most is creating exceptional camera phones that can compete with iPhones and Samsung flagship phones. Vivo also gives you affordable 5G options so you make the most out of your internet connection.

Vivo’s main selling point is their budget category, and like with all the smartphones in this tier, it comes with compromises. These cons include a shorter lifespan and fewer software updates due to old chips. Another drawback that affects all Vivo phones is their excessive ads and bloatware.

If you are in the market for a new phone, we recommend getting mid-tier and flagship from Vivo if you have the extra money. Choose a cheap phone only as a secondary unit or for basic functions only. Thankfully, Vivo has a lot of options for different categories to choose from.

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Marjorie Mae Mendoza

iPrice Tech Writer

Marjorie (MJ) is iPrice Tech Writer in Residence. Always on the hunt for the inside scope on the newest smartphones, computers, and electronic devices, MJ provides a no-holds-barred analysis on what’s hot (and what’s not) in the latest tech releases. In her free time, MJ enjoys first-person video games and digital illustrations.
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