Review of the smartphone vivo V20 SE: the youngest son / Smartphones

Review of the smartphone vivo V20 SE: the youngest son / Smartphones


⇣ Contents

Versions Lite, mini, SE and the like are not surprising – simplified versions of flagships and even mid-range smartphones are found everywhere. As a rule, they have almost nothing in common with the older model, except for the name – this is just a marketing ploy. The situation with vivo V20 and vivo V20 SE is somewhat different – these are smartphones very similar in appearance and in their key advantages (thin and convenient gadgets with OLED screens of the same diagonal), which are divorced in different price categories due to hardware platforms (Snapdragon 720G in the older, Snapdragon 665 for the younger) and cameras.

Interestingly, in terms of a number of characteristics, the V20 SE inherits last year’s V17 model, which was very successful in combining characteristics – it has the same hardware platform, the same amount of memory (both non-volatile and operational), the same main camera. We can assume that this particular version – given the closer price at the start (20,000 rubles) – has hit potential and is aimed at competing with the current market leaders (Redmi Note9, realme 6 Pro).

⇡ #Specifications

vivo V20 SE vivo V20 vivo V17 Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro realme 6 Pro
Display 6.44 inches, AMOLED,
2400 × 1080 pixels, 409 ppi, capacitive multitouch
6.44 inches, AMOLED,
2400 × 1080 pixels, 409 ppi, capacitive multitouch
6.38 inches, Super AMOLED, 1080 × 2340 (19.5: 9), 404 ppi; capacitive multitouch 6.67 inches, IPS, 2400 × 1080 pixels, 395 ppi; capacitive, multitouch 6.6 inches, IPS, 1080 × 2400, 399 ppi; capacitive multitouch
Safety glass No information No information No information Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Corning Gorilla Glass 5
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 665: eight cores (4 × Kryo 260 Gold @ 2.0 GHz and 4 × Kryo 260 Silver @ 1.8 GHz) Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G: eight cores (2 × Kryo 465 Gold @ 2.3 GHz and 6 × Kryo 465 Silver @ 1.8 GHz) Qualcomm Snapdragon 665: eight cores (2 × Kryo 460 Gold, 2.2 GHz and 6 × Kryo 460 Silver, 1.8 GHz) Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G: eight cores (2 × Kryo 465 Gold @ 2.3 GHz and 6 × Kryo 465 Silver @ 1.8 GHz) Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G: eight cores (2 × Kryo 465 Gold @ 2.3 GHz and 6 × Kryo 465 Silver @ 1.8 GHz)
Graphics controller Adreno 610 Adreno 618 Adreno 610 Adreno 618 Adreno 618
RAM 8 GB 8 GB 8 GB 6 GB 8 GB
Flash memory 128 GB 128 GB 128 GB 64/128 GB 128 GB
Memory card support Yes (separate slot for microSD) Yes (separate slot for microSD) Yes (hybrid microSD slot / second nano-SIM) Yes (separate slot for microSD) Yes (separate slot for microSD)
Connectors USB Type-C, 3.5mm USB Type-C, 3.5mm USB Type-C, 3.5mm USB Type-C, 3.5mm USB Type-C, 3.5mm
SIM card Dual nano-SIM Dual nano-SIM Dual nano-SIM Dual nano-SIM Dual nano-SIM
Cellular 2G GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM / GPRS / EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM / GPRS / EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Cellular 3G HSDPA 850/900/2100 MHz HSDPA 850/900/2100 MHz HSDPA 800/850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz HSDPA 850/900/1700/1900/2100 HSDPA 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz
4G cellular LTE: bands unknown LTE: bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 39, 40, 41 LTE Cat. 6 (600/150 Mbit / s), ranges 1, 3, 5, 28, 38, 40, 41 LTE bands 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41 LTE Cat. 6 (300/150 Mbps), ranges 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41
Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac 802.11a / b / g / n / ac 802.11a / b / g / n / ac, 2.4 / 5 GHz 802.11a / b / g / n / ac; 2.4 / 5 GHz 802.11a / b / g / n / ac; 2.4 / 5 GHz
Bluetooth 5.0 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.1
NFC there is there is there is there is there is
Navigation GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BDS GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, NavIC
Sensors Illumination, proximity, accelerometer / gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass) Illumination, proximity, accelerometer / gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass) Illumination, proximity, accelerometer / gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass) Illumination, proximity, accelerometer / gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass) Illumination, proximity, accelerometer / gyroscope, magnetometer (digital compass)
The fingerprint scanner Yes, on the screen Yes, on the screen Yes, built into the screen Yes (on the side key) Yes, on the side key
Main camera Triple module, 48 + 2 + 2 MP, ƒ / 1.8 + ƒ / 2.4 + ƒ / 2.4, phase detection autofocus with main module, dual-LED flash Triple module, 64 + 8 + 2 MP, ƒ / 1.9 + ƒ / 2.2 + ƒ / 2.4, phase detection autofocus with main and wide-angle modules, dual-LED flash Quadruple module: 48 MP, ƒ / 1.8 + 8 MP, ƒ / 2.2 + 2 MP, ƒ / 2.4 + 2 MP, ƒ / 2.4, phase detection autofocus, LED flash Quadruple module: 64 + 8 + 5 + 2 MP, ƒ / 1.9 + ƒ / 2.2 + ƒ / 2.4 + ƒ / 2.4, phase detection autofocus, single LED flash Quadruple module, 64 + 12 + 8 + 2 Mp, ƒ / 1.8 + ƒ / 2.5 + ƒ / 2.3 + ƒ / 2.4, phase detection autofocus in the main and telephoto modules, LED flash
Front-camera 16 MP, ƒ / 2.0, no autofocus, no flash 44 MP, ƒ / 2.0, with autofocus, no flash 32 MP, ƒ / 2.0, no autofocus, no flash 16 MP, ƒ / 2.5, without autofocus, with flash Double module: 16 + 8 MP, ƒ / 2.1 + ƒ / 2.2, no autofocus, no flash
Food Removable battery: 15.58 Wh (4100 mAh, 3.8 V) Removable battery: 15.2 Wh (4000 mAh, 3.8 V) Non-removable battery: 17.1 Wh (4500 mAh, 3.8 V) Removable battery: 19.08 Wh (5020 mAh, 3.8 V) Removable battery: 16.34 Wh (4300 mAh, 3.8 V)
The size 161 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm 161.3 x 74.2 x 7.4 mm 159.3 x 75.2 x 8.7 mm 165.8 x 76.7 x 8.8 mm 163.8 x 75.8 x 8.9 mm
Weight 171 gram 171 gram 187 grams 209 g 202 grams
Hull protection No No No Splash protection Splash protection
operating system Android 11, shell Funtouch OS 11 Android 11, shell Funtouch OS 11 Android 9.0 Pie, Funtouch 9.2 shell Android 10 shell MIUI Android 9.0 Pie, realme UI shell
Actual price 19,990 rubles 26,990 rubles 16 990 rubles 18,000 rubles for the 6/64 GB version, 20,700 rubles for the 6/128 GB version 21 700 rubles

vivo V20 SE – information about the filling according to the CPU-Z application

Design, ergonomics, software and display

Both vivo V20 and vivo V20 SE are made according to the same patterns. These are thin smartphones with a front panel, on which the front camera is housed in a somewhat old-fashioned “drop” cutout, and the frames around the display are not large, but not minimal – the screen occupies 83.9% of the front panel area.

The key features of both V20s are their slim design, which allows you to use a smartphone with a large (6.44-inch) screen with relative comfort. This gadget, of course, cannot be called small, but it is really more convenient to hold it in your hand than all the main competitors. The beveled edges of the backrest, as well as the frosted glass with which it is covered, also help. The smartphone almost does not slip, which is why it is not necessary to use the case (which is included in the kit).

vivo V20 SE, front panel: front camera in the

vivo V20 SE, front panel: front camera in the “droplet” cutout and earpiece under the top edge

vivo V20 SE, rear panel: in the corner - a unit with three cameras and dual LED flash

vivo V20 SE, rear panel: in the corner – a unit with three cameras and dual LED flash

The smartphone is presented in two color variations: black and, as in our case, light blue. The vivo V20 SE looks very nice – thanks to both the matte back panel and the edges made of painted “metal” plastic and the same “metal” frame of the camera block.

vivo V20 SE, the left side is free of functional elements

vivo V20 SE, the left side is free of functional elements

vivo V20 SE, right side: power / lock and volume keys

vivo V20 SE, right side: power / lock and volume keys

The camera unit itself is exactly what distinguishes the SE-version from the usual one. It is designed as a more traditional, vertically oriented rectangle with three equally sized lenses. In addition, the SE version is slightly thicker (7.8 mm versus 7.4), but to be honest, this is not particularly felt, especially since the weight of smartphones is identical – 171 grams.

vivo V20 SE, top side: slot for SIM-cards and memory cards, microphone

vivo V20 SE, top side: slot for SIM-cards and memory cards, microphone

vivo V20 SE, bottom: mini-jack (3.5 mm), microphone, USB Type-C port and main speaker

vivo V20 SE, bottom side: mini-jack (3.5 mm), microphone, USB Type-C port and main speaker

The set of functional elements is full: there is a mini-jack, two hardware keys on the right side, and a pair of microphones. The loudspeaker is monaural, located on the bottom edge.

The fingerprint scanner is located under the screen – an optical sensor is used. The questions are the same as in the case of the V20 – for my taste, it is too close to the bottom edge of the gadget, which has to be slightly intercepted in the hand, which can be quite dangerous. It is better to hold the device when unlocking with the other hand. At the same time, the sensor works quickly and almost flawlessly, but does not respond to touches with a wet or dirty finger. If you wish, you can also install a face recognition system using the front camera without a depth or IR sensor – the method is not the most reliable, it is better not to use it unnecessarily.

Software vivo V20 SE is built on the basis of Android 11 with the shell Funtouch OS 11. I talked about this bundle in detail in the review of vivo V20, I give a link.

I will also limit myself to a link when talking about the display. The SE version uses the same screen as the older V20: AMOLED, 6.44 inches, 2400 × 1080 pixels (density – 409 ppi). There is a PWM protection mode at low brightness, and the display is fine-tuned. In general, it is the display – along with the ease of use – that can become the main factor that can lead to the choice of vivo V20 SE over Redmi Note 9 Pro, Xiaomi POCO X3 NFC or realme 6 Pro.

In terms of sound, the situation is the same – there is a mini-jack with a decent sound path, the main standards for high-quality data transmission via Bluetooth (aptX, LDAC) are supported, although the module itself is version 5.0, not 5.1, as in the V20. A monaural speaker is pretty standard.

⇡ #Hardware and performance

If the screen of the vivo V20 SE is completely in order – and the situation is the same as that of the more expensive V20, then the hardware platform it received is much more budgetary. Here comes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, which we previously saw in the vivo V17, moto G8, and Nokia 5.3.

The main part of the Snapdragon 665 consists of eight Kryo 260 cores with a frequency of up to 2.0 GHz, an Adreno 610 graphics subsystem with Vulkan 1.1 support, a Spectra 165 image processor and a Hexagon 686 signal processor. The technological process is 11 nm.

As a result, in terms of performance, vivo V20 SE is noticeably inferior to direct competitors – in games this will manifest itself in a reduced frame rate in popular projects and the inability to run the most demanding titles. At the same time, basic applications work fine – there are no noticeable slowdowns, and the camera interface generally opens in a little over a second. Since no one positions the vivo V20 SE as a gaming gadget, the performance is acceptable.

But if we nevertheless consider it from this point of view, then the problems will be very noticeable. Even the game mode with the ability to turn off notifications and maximize the concentration of available resources on a priority task will not help much. The point is not only in the insufficient power of the platform, but also in the accompanying throttling. In the CPU Throttling Test benchmark, the vivo V20 SE showed a frankly weak result – the limiting frequency dropped to 55% of the maximum. Average performance is acceptable – 108 GIPS, but the dynamics are sad.

The memory of the vivo V20 SE is in full order – 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of flash, and with the ability to expand the volume using a memory card, for which a separate slot is used.

⇡ #Communication and wireless communications

The vivo V20 SE has two slots for operator cards of the nano-SIM standard. Both work with 4G networks, but neither the maximum available data speed nor the supported bands have yet been named.

vivo V20 SE, slot for two nano-SIM and one microSD memory card

vivo V20 SE, slot for two nano-SIM and one microSD memory card

There are all the necessary wireless modules for a modern smartphone, except for the IrDA: Bluetooth 5.0, NFC (with Google Pay support), dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11 a / b / g / n / ac). The navigation module interacts with GPS (A-GPS) and GLONASS and BeiDou systems.

⇡ #Camera

The vivo V20 SE has the same number of cameras as the V20, but it’s a completely different set. The wide-angle camera is gone (a so-called depth sensor in its place) and the main camera has a 48MP sensor instead of a 64MP one. The third chamber is a macromodule.

At the same time, the main camera is quite good in itself – this is the current Quad Bayer with a resolution of 48 megapixels (the size of an individual pixel has not changed – 0.8 microns). It works with a lens with an equivalent focal length of 27 mm and aperture f/ 1.8, with phase detection autofocus. The other two modules received two-megapixel sensors and aperture lenses f/ 1.8.

Accordingly, the owner of the vivo V20 SE has a minimum of possibilities for choosing the focal length – you can switch between the standard viewing angle and 2x zoom. Not optical, but “hybrid”, which uses crop from a frame made with the use of all 48 million subpixels of the Quad Bayer matrix (while the V20 SE camera takes pictures with a resolution of 12 megapixels). I note that the loss in quality when shooting with a zoom in good lighting conditions is minimal. The difference only appears when shooting at night or twilight conditions. Without zoom, the main camera allows you to achieve good results even in low light – the V20 SE falls short only with a small amount of light: for a low-noise and detailed shot, the resources of the camera, devoid of an optical stabilizer, are not enough.

Left – a picture taken in standard definition, on the right – with a resolution of 48 megapixels

If desired, you can enable the use of all subpixels and independently – this is done in a special mode “AI 48 MP”. An example of a picture is above.

At night, a special mode of combining several frames together with subsequent processing with the participation of neural networks helps. It is available only when shooting with a standard angle of view, works quite efficiently and does not sin with excessive emphasis on contour sharpness.

In portrait mode, there is a software blurring of the background, which works well even with the aperture “open” to the maximum – here the V20 SE is in no way inferior to the V20. Even more, it is a little superior, since for some reason a 2x zoom is available in the younger version, which, albeit at the cost of a small loss in quality (it is still a hybrid, not optical), allows you to reduce to a minimum spatial distortion when shooting portraits … Traditionally for vivo, a set of additional settings is impressive: you can apply various filters (by the way, very interesting for portraits), there is a beautifier with a record number of settings and even a special built-in system of templates – “poses” – the outlines appear on the screen in which you place the model or several models and get a guaranteed result. But the bokeh effects are no longer available here – probably due to the limitations of a not very powerful hardware platform.

The vivo V20 SE, unlike the V20, has a dedicated macro camera. This is a module typical for inexpensive smartphones – two megapixels, the focus is fixed at the minimum distance (about 4 cm). The photos will not be of the highest quality, but you can capture the stamen bugs for Instagram.

Software bokeh can be used not only for portraits, but you need to be prepared for various artifacts like the one above – when the smartphone does not understand where the main subject is and where the background is, and merges them together.

The camera app hasn’t changed from what we saw in the Funtouch 10 – both the general logic and the set of parameters are not questionable. But the tab, which contains the artificial bokeh mode and the macro mode, is still puzzling – the wide angle literally asks for a “carousel” to the other two standard focal lengths.

The smartphone can shoot video in 4K, Full HD or 720p at up to 30 frames per second. Stabilization is available at Full HD resolution and below, and it is not very effective. There is no enhanced stabilization, as well as the possibility of simultaneous shooting on the front and rear cameras. The picture itself does not have a wide dynamic range. But switching between two focal lengths is available – standard and 2x zoom. In general, the V20 SE demonstrates a level slightly below average in video shooting.

The front camera is standard – 16 MP, / 2.0, no autofocus, no flash. There is a portrait mode with adjustable software bokeh and a beautifier, and the optics are fast enough to give a good picture both outdoors in natural light and indoors.

⇡ #Autonomous work

При заметном проигрыше старшему брату в производительности и в уровне камер vivo V20 SE получил преимущество в автономности, пусть и небольшое. Его в любом случае дает менее прожорливая платформа, к этому добавляется и аккумулятор большей емкости — 15,58 Вт·ч (4100 мА·ч, 3,8 В). В сочетании с OLED-дисплеем, для которого уместно использовать темную тему и можно спокойно устанавливать отображение часов и уведомлений на заблокированном экране, это позволяет рассчитывать более чем на сутки автономной работы. В идеале лучше не забывать ставить смартфон на ночную зарядку, но даже если это вылетело из головы, восполнить пробел можно с утра дома или даже уже на работе — заряда должно хватить и на это.

В нашем тесте с воспроизведением Full HD-видео на максимальной яркости, с включенным Wi-Fi и автообновлением, смартфон продержался более 16 часов — результат выдающийся.

Для зарядки используется актуальный порт USB Type-C (USB 2.0), поддерживается быстрая зарядка, которая как раз замечательно поможет, если нужно по-быстрому зарядить смартфон с утра — комплектный адаптер обладает мощностью 33 Вт. На полный цикл зарядки уходит примерно час, а на 62 %, к примеру, смартфон зарядится за полчаса. Беспроводную зарядку vivo V20 SE не поддерживает.

⇡#Conclusion

Новый vivo V20 SE при максимальном внешнем сходстве со старшей версией, V20, обладает немного другими ключевыми достоинствами: производительность и камеры не относятся к сильным сторонам гаджета, их место занимают еще улучшенная автономность и уже более уникальный по отношению к конкурентам AMOLED-экран. Добавлю, что удобство в использовании благодаря удачно организованному тонкому корпусу с матовой спинкой никуда не делось. Из ярких недостатков выделю повышенную подверженность троттлингу и посредственные способности в съемке видео.

Достоинства:

  • Android 11;
  • прекрасно настроенный AMOLED-экран;
  • отличная автономность и очень быстрая зарядка;
  • есть мини-джек и выделенный слот для карты памяти;
  • тонкий корпус и задняя панель, прикрытая матовым стеклом.

Недостатки:

  • лицевая панель с вырезом;
  • посредственные способности в съемке видео;
  • средняя производительность и сильная подверженность троттлингу;
  • нет влагозащиты;
  • в тыльной камере нет ни оптического зума, ни широкоугольного режима.


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