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VIVO V17 Pro Review: Is It Worth Your Money?


Vivo V17 Pro review: Vivo finally announced their official entry into the Kenyan in November 2019. This official entry was marked by the launch of the industry’s First Dual Pop Up Camera Phone, the Vivo V17 Pro into the market.

At the launch event, Vivo said it was committed to the Kenyan market and looks forward to making the most of its innovation and ingenuity to deliver user experiences that Kenyan consumers love. The company also noted that it is actively investing in offline retail stores as a touch-point in Kenya to enable customers to have the first-hand experience with Vivo smartphones. What this basically means is that customers will now be able to get Vivo smartphones, including the V17 Pro which we will be reviewing in this article from offline shops across the country. 

The company has already opened a new customer service centre in Nairobi CBD and plans to open new centres in Mombasa and Eldoret in the next six months. This, it says this is to enable the continuous supply of its quality products and services. Even with all this, will Vivo manage to beat the ever-competitive Kenyan smartphone market dominated by brands like Infinix, Tecno, Huawei, Samsung, OPPO among others? Well, Vivo has a really good chance because of how it has positioned itself when it comes to innovation. The company is a global smartphone brand, has more than 200 million users around the world and has been ranked among the top 10 largest smartphone brands in the world. 

You will agree with me that what Vivo innovates quickly becomes the industry standard, creating products that are not only stylish but also embody ground-breaking technologies. This is what the Kenyan consumer always wants. 

We got our hands on the Vivo V17 Pro review unit thanks to the good people at the new Vivo Kenya offices. We already did the unboxing video for you which you can check below.  

The Vivo V17 Pro Design 

The V17 Pro is a really unique offering, remember we mentioned Vivo and innovation earlier. It features two pop-up selfie cameras and four more at the back.  The device is well built and has a really premium look, despite the all-polycarbonate build.

It comes with a 6.44-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display which is quite bright, has good colour saturation,  text looks sharp and offers some good viewing angles as well.  It also features a Corning Gorilla Glass 6 for protection. 

The entire design looks gorgeous, especially the Silk White colour finish that we got for this review. The device sports a nearly all-screen front with no notch, this is good. I won’t talk more about my dislike for notches. It also features relatively slim bezels all around, including the chin. 

The Vivo V17 Pro comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor which works well and fast. Vivo also made is possible for you to customise the on-screen fingerprint icon and unlock animations. There’s an also a face recognition too, should your fingerprint sensor fail you which we hope it won’t. 

The volume and power buttons are all on the right. On the left side, there’s an extra smart button which interestingly can be configured to launch Google Assistant or Vivo’s Jovi image assistant. This can be done with a short, long or even double press. 

At the bottom is where you have a tray for two Nano-SIM cards, a USB Type-C port and a speaker. We are not getting a microSD card slot. 

At the top, you have a headphone jack and the pop-up selfie camera. How Vivo managed to place or create space the headphone jack here even with the wide cutout for the pop-up camera module I don’t know.

At the back, there are four cameras aligned vertically at the centre. The phone’s cameras look really good and do not protrude much, so you don’t need to worry about them being damaged. 

Well, we love the overall design although the phone is a little chunky and heavy but still quite manageable. Vivo did a pretty good job here. 

Vivo V17 Pro Specs, Performance and Battery Life

The Vivo V17 Pro is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 SoC and comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Well, this  SoC is capable of handling apps and games although its a little weak for the price. Vivo should have considered a more powerful processor with this phone but still, the performance isn’t slow. Browsing the web, switching between apps, messaging the V17 Pro performs quite well. 

For the software, we are getting Funtouch OS 9.1, which is based on Android 9 Pie. Vivo has not said anything on when we should be getting an Android 10 update on the Vivo V17 Pro. Also, it was our first time using a Vivo smartphone so Funtouch OS really took us some time before we got used to it. Navigating through Vivo’s menus was still confusing, of course, this is something we will get used to as we keep interacting with Vivo devices. 

The quick settings on the Vivo V17 Pro are all on a pull-our menu that Vivo is calling ‘’Control Center’’. You will have to swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen to pull it up. I really found it hard adjusting to this. 

As we mentioned the overall performance is pretty good. Funtouch OS runs smoothly without any issues on the Vivo V17 Pro.  I also need to mention that when using the app on landscape mode on the Vivo V17 Pro, you will only be able to access the toggles by swiping inwards from the right edge of the skin instead of the bottom. 

Battery

When it comes to the battery, the Vivo V17 Pro comes with a  4100mAh battery which does a pretty good job. The battery managed to last us more than a day on moderate usage. Even with heavy apps, we were still able to manage a full day worth of usage without worrying about running out of juice.  The phone supports fast charging and takes you roughly two hours to fully charge the battery from 0 to 100%.  

Vivo V17 Pro Cameras

As far as the cameras are concerned, the Vivo V17 Pro packs some really good hardware and is one of the things we really enjoyed while using the phone. Remember this is a camera phone so Vivo had to make sure we’re getting the best.

The key highlight of this phone is the front shooters. Vivo is giving us the first Dual Pop Up Camera Phone. We’re getting a 32-megapixel primary camera with an f/2.0 aperture alongside an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with an f/2.2 aperture.  I also need to mention that the Vivo V17 Pro also allows you to use Night Mode with the selfie camera, a camera feature I really find impressive. 

Selfies taken are really incredible, especially in daylight. They are sharp, detailed and really sharp. See sample selfie shots below (Click to expand image) 

At the back, we have quad-camera lenses with an 8MP Super Wide-angle camera lens, a 48MP Sony IMX582 primary lens, a 2MP bokeh lens and lastly a 13MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom.  The camera UI has various modes including Photo, video, portrait, night, among others. 

The main camera captures some great photos as well, especially in daylight and are very sharp. Although when you zoom into some shots you will notice some noise. I loved the Zoom lens, it does a decent job when there’s is enough lighting. The 2x telephoto camera also produces excellent photos under the same conditions, same for the 13MP ultra-wide sensor. The V17 Pro also has a Night mode.

Check sample photos below in different modes. We have more photos on our official TechTrendsKE Instagram page. 

Vivo V17 Pro Review Conclusion, Price and Availability

We love the Vivo V17 Pro, it’s a good camera phone especially for selfie lovers. The dual front cameras offer some great features that should make taking selfies so much fun. 

The phone also does a good job when it comes to performance. The screen is vibrant, good interface and a pretty good and premium build as well as the battery life. Funtouch OS runs smoothly and as we mentioned if you’re using it for the first time it might take you time before you actually get used to it. 

The phone is available for Ksh.40,999 which I think is a bit on the higher side.  As Vivo said during the official launch, it is actively investing in offline retail stores to give consumers a first-hand experience with their smartphones. This basically means you should be able to get this device and all other Vivo devices in these shops across the country. 

Have anything to add to our Vivo V17 Pro review? Leave us a comment in the comments section below. In the meantime, follow us on TelegramTwitterFacebook or subscribe to our weekly newsletter to ensure you don’t miss out on any future updates.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I write about tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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