Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks

Advertisement
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
  • The price of Vivo V25 Pro starts at ₹35,999.
  • The smartphone sports a 3D curved AMOLED display and color-changing fluorite glass design.
  • It is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 1300 SOC.
Advertisement
Vivo today launched the V25 Pro. The latest addition to their mid range line-up. The brand has retained the stand-out features from the V23 Pro, like color-changing design, 3D curved display, and a slim form factor. They have improved the camera performance with the 64MP primary camera supporting OIS and super night portrait. There is also a brand-new chipset and a bigger battery. So do these changes improve the user experience? And most importantly, does the camera performance live upto the claims? I tell you that in my in-depth review.

Price & Availability.
The Vivo V25 Pro is available in 2 variants. There is a base variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, priced at ₹35,999. Another variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is sold for ₹39,999. You can buy the Vivo V25 Pro from Flipkart, Vivo’s D2C website, and offline stores.

Design
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
Vivo V25 Pro sports a 3D curved glass design

Vivo V25 Pro has been pitched as one of the most premium-looking mid-rangers in the market today. After using it for four days, I can say that’s true. While the unboxing experience of the V25 Pro might have been a little underwhelming for me, the first look at the device changed my perspective. The curved glass sandwich design makes the device very easy to hold. Now, this is not a small phone by any means at 6.5-inches, yet Vivo has maintained its weight at a respectable 190 grams.

V25 Pro also scores well aesthetically. The variant with me is the sailing blue color which is a darker shade of sky blue, with a small Vivo branding on the bottom left. The color is subtle, and the minimalistic approach on the design front does look good. Here I would like to mention the color-changing AG glass on the back that Vivo is backing extensively. The pitch is simple: the glass reflects different colors under different lighting conditions. I have so far observed the color change only once under direct sunlight when it changed to a thick dark blue shade, which was not to my taste. This is purely subjective, though.

Advertisement

Another aspect that I noticed was that the color does not always change uniformly across the back but in patches instead. While this is a major USP for the device, according to Vivo, I can strongly advocate that the default colorway by itself is stellar. V25 Pro is also available in a Pure Black color, which looks even better.

The AG glass on the back is also textured which provides a better grip when you are holding the device. I don’t usually recommend this, but using the V25 Pro without a cover is a delight, and if you are not clumsy then you can skip it.

On the back you will also find a substantial camera bump, however, the treatment for this module is rather neat. It’s slimmer than what we are accustomed to, and the wobble is also minimal.

While the smartphone scores big on design and aesthetics, it doesn’t come with certain certifications that we look for in a device these days. For example, there is no official IP rating here, which means yes you definitely have to be careful with it around water. Another concern for me is no protection on the back. The AG glass so far has stood up well, but a major drop can be fatal. The front, fortunately is protected with an alternate to Gorilla Glass called Schott X ensation glass. An argument can be why we need an IP rating or that the end consumer might not even bother about it. But I feel just like in automobiles we now have airbags as standard at a certain price segment, and some basic parameters should be there in smartphones too. There are some exceptions in the segment most notably Nothing Phone(1) which comes with IP53 water resistant rating.

Moving on, the rest of the features are pretty basic. On the bottom, you will find the USB Type-C charging port. It is next to the SIM card slot that supports two nano SIM. There is also a speaker grill at the bottom. On the right, you will find the power button and volume rockers.

Display
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
Vivo V25 Pro features a 6.5-inch FHD+ AMOLED display

Advertisement
Vivo V25 Pro comes with a 6.5-inch FHD+ 3D curved AMOLED display with a resolution of 2376x1080p. And I have to say this is one of the prettiest displays I have seen on a mid-ranger lately. Initially, I found the colors to be a little saturated at the default settings, but after playing around with the color temperature for about two minutes, I found the perfect balance for my own liking. Since then, the curved panel has produced rich, bright colors which are crisp and correct to the source. The black levels are also top-notch and I am yet to notice any patches that would spoil my experience.

Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
The display supports 120Hz max refresh rate. The finger print sensor is slow.

The panel also supports HDR content on Netflix. I watched the first season of Stranger Things, and it was a delight. The clarity of the panel was good and I could see crisp details in the episode. With a peak brightness of 1300 nits this panel can get fairly bright, however, I won’t recommend keeping the device on auto brightness. As I have observed in other reviews, auto-brightness doesn’t work well with streaming apps.

The brightness also comes handy outdoors, and the display is readable unless the sun is directly overhead. The display also has an always-on feature, sohat is favorable.

Now, this is a punch-hole display, and with the curved treatment combined with minimal bezels, it gives you more than enough real estate. The display is responsive and so far I have not come across a situation where it has failed. The indisplay fingerprint scanner is on the slower side. It takes half a second to unlock the device, and you have to press your finger against the screen for it to unlock. Vivo had mention that this situation will be eased with an OTA update, and I would look forward to it. Also, this is something that a general consumer might not notice, and to be fair, it doesn’t really spoil your experience as such.

The display also supports a peak refresh rate of 120 Hz and it does come with an adaptive refresh rate which here is dubbed smart switch. This switches the screen refresh rate between 60 and 120Hz according to the content you are looking at. The execution for this feature is a bit shaky, though. In some cases, while reading on websites and browsers, the refresh rate was not above 60Hz. This was most notable on web pages with video content on them. The problem ceased with web pages with minimal media files - like Wikipedia. The smart switch should be improving over time with updates, but for now, I would suggest you stick with the 120Hz setting. Yes, it might drain some extra juice from the battery, but the experience would be justified. I have gamed extensively on the V25 Pro, and the display has been a reliable comrade. Switching positions, interacting with my weapons everything can be done with ease.
Advertisement

I wish Vivo would have added a speaker set-up that complimented the display of this caliber. The V25 Pro comes with a single bottom-firing speaker setup. Now, this is a loud unit, but you might feel let down when you put it against the display. As there is an issue with most bottom-firing speakers, your palm ends up blocking it. I, against my will, had to connect my TWS buds with the device to enjoy my content especially feature films. Not giving a dual speaker set-up on the device was a big miss.

Software
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
Vivo V25 Pro runs on Android 12 with FunTouch OS skin

Vivo V25 Pro runs on Android 12 out of the box which is combined with Vivo’s own Funtouch OS 12 skin. This was my first interaction with the UI and the experience so far has been positive. Yes, there is some bloatware on the device with preloaded short-format content apps, all of which can be uninstalled. I don’t want to rant about this anymore considering virtually every brand is doing it with a few exceptions like Nothing Phone(1). Looking past that, the UI is surprisingly well put together with very minimal bugs that I have observed so far. Let’s start with what I like about it.

FunTouch OS has been around for a while and my assumption about it was in stark contrast to what it is. It is aesthetically pleasing and colorful, with the app icons popping out. I also liked the treatment for task bars, shelf, and calendar. It is very different from what other brands are offering. Reinforcing the USP of the Android universe, apply your skin and make wonders.

The OS also wins big in terms of customization. Yes, you get the usual dark and light mode here, but there is plenty more in store. From changing themes, app icon sizes, text sizes, and animation, the device does allow interacting with to the fullest

Advertisement
The widgets on offer are plenty, and with Android 12, the execution is top-notch. I generally avoid using widgets and shortcuts for emails or messaging apps, but with Fun Touch OS 12, I was encouraged to do so.

I am also a video producer hence, recording audio notes for Voice Overs is a big task in my profile. On the Funtouch OS, the audio recorder lets you record and edit your audio like a timeline. This is a niche feature but for someone like me, it truly came in handy saving me time.

There is also game space on the device, which improves the gaming experience. It has neat features like voice changer, screenshot shortcut, and performance modes.

So far, I have encountered just one bug that shows up after long intervals. This is with the Youtube app, with the app just crashes even after multiple attempts. After I clear out the rest of the background activity, this gets sorted out. This is nothing serious and I am hoping Vivo can fix it with OTA updates.

By the time we are publishing this article, Vivo is yet to confirm the situation of future software updates on this device. This will be updated once there is a response from the brand.

Advertisement
Performance
Vivo V25 Pro is powered by Mediatek Dimensity 1300 5G chipset, yes the same SoC we have lately seen on Nord 2T , a device I reviewed. The SoC on my review unit is paired with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. A point to note here is that this is LPDDR4 RAM, in line with most of the phones in this budget. An LPDDR5 configuration would have made a minute difference, especially for generic users.

Deep diving into performance now, let’s start by talking about performance-hungry tasks like gaming and shooting with the V25 Pro. The smartphone by itself provides plenty of power to deal with graphic incentive tasks, and it holds up pretty well for a respectable period.

I was gaming with the device over the previous weekend, switching between COD mobile and Genshin Impact. This was a one and half hour session with maxed-out graphics on both games. My observations are generally favorable for the device in terms of graphic output.

There were no lags or ugly frame drops that would spoil my experience. The device was super responsive and would connect with the parties and servers in a snap, so that’s another win. However, it was the heat management that was a bit of a letdown. The smartphone gets considerably hot with prolonged sessions of games and it would over time get difficult to hold it for a long time. The edges and glass back put together add to the warmth the back is throwing. Eventually, I had to keep it aside for about 5 minutes before jumping into another session.

This heating issue was not as prominent with the camera. Clearly, the graphic intensive tasks pushes the V25 Pro to the brink. To put things into perspective, I also ran a geek bench score for the device, and the results were nothing extraordinary. The single-core score was 843, while the multi-core score was 2554. This was higher than 2-year-old flagships but considerably lower than the likes of Poco F3 with a multi-core score of 3062. But again, the V25 Pro is not pitched like a gaming device.
Advertisement
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
Geek bench score for Vivo v25 Pro<br>


Moving on, the RAM management on the device is decent. The 12GB RAM on my variant can hold light apps like web browsers and social media apps like Instagram or Facebook for long. The phone holds up well halfway for heavier apps like COD mobile, eventually crashing. I tried the RAM expansion on board, which adds another 8GB from system storage. This improved the experience with heavy apps considerably. If you are into gaming, I suggest keeping the RAM extension on.

Coming to the battery performance, the Vivo V25 Pro packs in a 4830 mAh battery, which supports 66W flash charge with the bundled power brick. This cell is not very big with the numbers, and on a heavy day full of gaming and watching movies, I was getting a screen on time of upto 6 hours. Do note here that this is with a 120Hz refresh rate and non stop usage. In layman’s terms, this means with heavy usage, you would have to put it up on charge at least once in the middle of the day. While a light user can stretch it for an entire day easily. Charging times are fairly decent; the phone goes from 0-100% in about 50 minutes with an active internet connection. Yes, it’s not crazy fast when you pitch it against the likes of OnePlus Nord 2T with 80W SuperVooc charging or Oppo Reno 8 Pro, but it holds up well.
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
On a heavy day of usage average SOT was 6 hours


Camera

This is the section where Vivo V25 Pro is in its element. We get a triple rear camera on the V25 Pro with the primary camera being a 64MP sensor with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). Then there is an 8MP ultra-wide sensor and a 2MP macro sensor.
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
64MP primary camera with OIS clicks crisp images
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
Dynamic range in images is satisfactory with minimal noise.
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
The color tones are in-line with the source on the V25 Pro's camera
Vivo in their briefing mentioned repeatedly how rather than going for more megapixels they have sought to increase the pixel size instead. The results are stunning. Speaking first in favorable lighting conditions the images were crisp and retained warm color tones, but not so far off from the source. There was minimal saturation with the camera sensor maintaining consistency across images.
Advertisement
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
HDR performance on the camera is also on point.
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
Night mode comes in handy for in door lighting.
The 64MP OIS may not be as effective for videos, but the assistance it provides in videos is commendable. I have clicked multiple images of fast-moving objects on the road with the V25 Pro, and the results seem like I stopped time in that frame. This performance is ahead of the previous phone I tested- the OnePlus 10T.
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
Super-night mode enhances the images significantly
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
The camera struggles to maintain bokeh in low lighting conditions
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
Outdoor images in night come out saturated while retaining details

But this is not even its strongest suit. OIS super night portrait is Vivo’s big pitch for the V25 Pro. The OIS algorithm enables the phone to click clear portraits in low light. This claim is met halfway. But that 50% is no short of surprise. I clicked multiple images in pitch-dark conditions with the V25 Pro, and the camera app would show me in real time how the images are going to look once clicked and processed. Yes, the images in some conditions can take upto 11 seconds to process but the results would be bright frames, in contrast to the pitch dark in the room. This is without the dual LED flash in action and strictly AI at play. The edge detection, however in night mode was off.

The portraits under natural lighting conditions are a sight to behold, and you can even adjust the bokeh effect in the photos app. The edge detection is top notch. I did notice the images getting warmer tones with HDR turned on, this was mostly with reds in the frame.
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
Maximised bokeh effect showing crisp edge detection
The ultra-wide camera while giving you more room changes the color tone of the frame considerably. This is visible with the camera samples below.

The 2MP macro camera is the weak link in this camera module. It retains decent colors, but the details are usually off-put. Still, if you maintain patience, you can click some decent shots.
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
Super Macro mode struggles to deliver detailed shots

Video performance raises the bar back again. The camera can record 4K videos at 30 and 60 fps. The hybrid image stabilization on the camera does make its presence felt with fast-moving changes in camera angles. The jitters were minimal, and the lens would focus quickly. The audio quality is also quite good.
Advertisement
Vivo’s commitment to making this a camera-centric smartphone is justified. The device gets a dedicated vlog mode, which lets you play around with both front and back cameras at the same time. Other features like live photos, and AI enhancements are all add ons which majority of the consumers will like.
Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
eye autofocus in the selfie camera works with glasses as well

Vivo V25 Pro Review - A camera champ with minor stumbling blocks
AI night selfie enhances the images but misses out on details
The selfie camera is a 32MP shooter with eye autofocus. I have clicked multiple selfies with and without my glasses with the V25 Pro. And so far, the results have been decent. It considerably mellows down the skin tone and makes the skin look paler. This is without any AIR filter turned on. However, the results gradually get better once you use AI enhancements and in post-processing it does its magic.

Verdict
Vivo V25 Pro has a very clear consumer base to whom I can recommend this device. It is for buyers who have cameras as their top priority, and this is undisputedly the V25 Pro’s strongest suite. The design of this smartphone comes a close second for its overall appeal. Buyers who seek more reliable performance from their devices in terms of gaming and the battery should consider other options in the market like the OnePlus Nord 2T and Nothing Phone(1). And if you can stretch your budget, then the OnePlus10T is also a valuable choice.





Advertisement


{{}}