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Vivo V20 SE Review

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The Vivo V20 SE is the cheapest variant in the company’s latest midrange phone line.

It shares a couple of key attributes that the Vivo V20 and V20 Pro have, but with a toned-down set of features to keep the price down. It was even discounted a few weeks ago to make it more affordable. But the question is, is it worth your time and money? We find out in our Vivo V20 SE review.

Vivo V20 SE Specs

  • Android 10, Funtouch OS 11
  • Dual SIM, Dual standby
  • 6.44-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, ~408ppi
  • 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 610 GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
  • 32-megapixel, f/2.0 front camera
  • 48-megapixel (f/1.8) + 8-megapixel (ultra-wide/macro) + 2-megapixel (depth sensor) rear cameras
  • In-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
  • 4G LTE
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • FM Radio
  • GPS, BDS, GALILEO, GLONASS
  • USB Type-C
  • Dimensions: 161.00 x 74.08 x 7.83mm
  • Weight: 171g
  • Colors: Gravity Black, Oxygen Blue
  • 4,100mAh non-removable battery, 33W fast charging

Design and Build Quality

Instead of copying the V20 and V20 Pro design, the Vivo V20 SE looks a lot like the Vivo X50. It has a vertical glass that houses all three cameras, with a clean paint job reflecting to light. The one we have here is the Oxygen Blue color, while a Gravity Black option is also available.

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But what we really liked about this device is how thin and light it is. Like other Vivo smartphones, this thing feels really nice and comfortable to hold — which is surprisingly rare on smartphones today. It’s only 7.83mm thick and weighs 171g, while most phones average at around 8.5mm and 180g, respectively.

The back panel has a matte glass finish, making it less prone to fingerprint marks. Holding it together is a solid metal chassis.

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To keep the back panel clean, the Vivo V20 SE has an in-display fingerprint scanner instead of a rear-mounted one.

But for some reason, Vivo went back to notches instead of moving forward with punch-holes for the V20 series. On the upside, the teardrop notch is tiny, so it’s less distracting.

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Taking a tour, we have the SIM tray on the left that can house two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card. While on the other side there are the volume controls and lock/power button. The physical keys feel solid and tactile enough.

At the bottom, there’s the USB Type-C, single loudspeaker, headphone jack, and the primary microphone.

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It may not have the most imaginative design, but the Vivo V20 SE’s lightweight and compact build makes it really nice to carry around.

Display and Sound Quality

The Vivo V20 SE boasts a 6.44-inch FHD AMOLED display, with a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution. Just like most AMOLED screens, we love its deep contrast and vibrant colors. Although, the lack of a 90Hz or 120Hz high refresh rate is a huge bummer.

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As for audio, the bottom loudspeaker outputs decent volume and clarity, but we were expecting it to be louder. Having a stereo speaker setup would be nice, too.

On the upside, it does come with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a pair of earphones in the box, which we rarely see on smartphones today.

Hardware and Performance

Powering the Vivo V20 SE is a 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 octa-core processor with 128GB of expandable storage. We doubt it can fully utilize the included 8GB of RAM, but it’s there.

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Call of Duty Mobile, League of Legends Wild Rift on Vivo V20 SE

Multitasking, basic tasks, and gaming were fine on this device. Games like Call of Duty Mobile and League of Legends Wild Rift ran at medium to high settings. Albeit, we wish Vivo went with a more powerful chipset.

Vivo V20 SE Benchmark scores

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Software and User Interface

Much like most 2020 Vivo phones, the Vivo V20 SE runs on Android 11-based Funtouch OS 11. Since it’s a new device, it may receive the latest OriginOS update from Vivo, which will replace Funtouch. But as of writing, it’s yet to be added to the OS’ official update schedule.

Bottom line, the interface is a big improvement over the previous versions. It’s now much cleaner and straightforward. When compared to other interfaces in the market, it still feels a little bloated. You can check the screenshots below.

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Lock Screen | Home Screen
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Biometrics and Security
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Drop-down Menu | Jovi Home
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Ultra Game Mode | Vivo App Store
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Customization Settings
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Camera App | Keyboard

Camera Quality

It may be the cheapest model, but the Vivo V20 SE has an equally interesting set of cameras than its bigger brothers. All the cameras are pretty straightforward and actually usable, no extra nonsense.

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This one features a 48-megapixel main shooter, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide that can be used for macro shots, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. We also have a sharp 32-megapixel selfie camera on the front.

The rear cameras take images with great detail and slightly saturated colors in good lighting scenarios. The highlights can get overexposed at times, so make sure you know how to use that exposure slider before taking a shot.

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48-megapixel main camera
48-megapixel main camera
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48-megapixel main camera

But just like most phones, the ultra-wide camera on this thing doesn’t capture the sharpest images, but still worth sharing online.

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8-megapixel ultra-wide
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8-megapixel ultra-wide as macro

Meanwhile, the 32-megapixel selfie camera takes unsurprisingly sharp images. The skin tones are fine, but then again, the highlights tends to get overexposed at times.

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32-megapixel selfie camera

Battery

The Vivo V20 SE features a 4,100mAh battery. Not the biggest, but it is enough to give an entire day of juice for light to moderate use. Although, heavy gamers may have to reach for the charger before the day ends.

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Speaking of which, the V20 SE features a whopping 33W fast charger, which is said to provide 0% to 60% in only 30 minutes. Those claims didn’t exactly meet our testing, but it’s still relatively fast that you wouldn’t notice how long it is.

Verdict

The Vivo V20 SE is an okay device for the price, especially now that it’s Php2,000 cheaper than its original price. It offers a clean and sleek design, has a vibrant AMOLED screen, decent cameras, and fast charging.

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However, having a Snapdragon 665 CPU on a midrange phone is a big turn off to most people. Also, I wish they just made the device a bit thicker to accommodate a larger battery.

Still, if you’re one of those people who wants a sleek phone that’s comfortable carry around, then you might want to check this device.

Vivo V20 SE pricing and availability in the Philippines

The Vivo V20 SE launched in the Philippines back in October with an official price of Php15,999. A couple of months later, they dropped the price by Php2,000, making it now available for only Php13,999.

You can get it on tons of Vivo stores both online and offline.

Pros

  • Clean and sleek design
  • Vibrant AMOLED display
  • Fast charging
  • Decent cameras

Cons

  • Poor processor chose
  • Battery could be bigger

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