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Vivo V20 SE review: An option for the mid-range segment

The Vivo V20 SE is the second device to come after the V20 and just like other manufacturers in the smartphone industry – the V20 SE is being touted as a more affordable variant. Having a more affordable variant is not a new topic here as Samsung has done it with the S10e, S10 Lite, Note 10 Lite and more recently the S20 FE. Apple also has iPhone SE and iPhone XR. Almost every major manufacturer has a device that is a slightly lower version of the high or standard specification variant. Let’s review Vivo V20 SE with Newyearzz!

Vivo V20 SE review: An option for the mid-range segment


The V20 SE has a glossy back panel and a slim bezel-less front display that almost feels premium. The phone is thin, light and has a 6.44-inch AMOLED display from its sibling, the V20. The bezels are thin and have a tall and narrow feel. The edges of the smartphone have rounded corners, and while the frame is made from polycarb plastic – not cheap at all. The frame and display points feel solid, and Vivo hasn’t bitten any corners on the SE. The power and volume buttons are also plastic tape – but they feel tight and won’t shift when pressed.

Vivo V20 SE review: An option for the mid-range segment
Vivo V20 SE review: An option for the mid-range segment

The left side of the frame is nothing – the SIM tray is at the top and a Type-C port at the bottom, flanked by a 3.5mm headphone jack, speaker and microphone.

The back is glossy and has a lot of fingerprints on it – so the panel is recommended with the lid. Also, if you are someone used to dropping your phone on a table and such things then you should use a case for protection.
The V20 SE has a 6.44 inch AMOLED display with an embedded fingerprint sensor. The screen has good viewing angles and since it’s AMOLED – you can take advantage of the deep blacks. Thanks to that screen you can enjoy a good experience when watching videos or movies.

Software and performance

These are the things about the V20 SE – the phone uses an old Snapdragon 665 chipset paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The larger number means that multitasking is smooth. There are no major lag or performance issues when using the V20 SE for calls, texts, videos, music, or just plain internet and social browsing.

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The fingerprint sensor and facial recognition work well, but during the times of web browsing and heavy app open, the user interface feels a bit sluggish. Of course, it’s not that noticeable much.

The device has been tested on 2 Real Racing and PUBG Mobile games. While Real Racing does very well as it is an offline game PUBG doesn’t have the versatility. During gaming, the V20 SE will experience a small to medium battery drop and heat level.

The V20 SE gets Android 10 out of the box, despite promises being made about Android 11 coming soon. The V20 SE also runs FunTouch OS 11 with the added extension software. Actually no, the pre-installed apps Facebook, Flipkart, PhonePe, Spotify and Snapchat are the top-rated apps in this day and age so calling it bloatware wouldn’t be fair.

Vivo V20 SE review: An option for the mid-range segment
Vivo V20 SE review: An option for the mid-range segment

The user interface is customizable and also comes with a highly rated always on display mode. It also has an Ultra game mode that automatically mutes calls and messages while you’re gaming.

Review Camera of Vivo V20 SE

The V20 SE features a 3-camera setup at the rear, headed by a 48-megapixel primary sensor and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide that also doubles as a macro sensor and a 2-megapixel depth-control sensor.

The camera UI is easy to use and AI will work as soon as you start shooting and also based on the scene, lighting conditions, and the subject as well. The V20 SE also features AI Image Matting that allows us to change the sky and add motion effects so we can impress 20 followers on social media.

Vivo V20 SE review: An option for the mid-range segment
Vivo V20 SE review: An option for the mid-range segment

The V20 SE manages to capture clear and very detailed images in daylight with color balance and white balance – in most cases. The AI sometimes went into sleep mode because we clicked on some photos with the white balance point completely turned off and the image looked washed out white. There is a bit of distortion in bright images, and photos taken in the full 48-megapixel mode don’t perform as well as 12-megapixel with pixel-binning.

Macro images are fine with sharp details around the edges, although we recommend it for social media purposes only. The ultra-wide sensor also doubles up for macro photography – good resolution with good enough scene detection.

Low light is where the V20 SE’s Achilles Heel is located. The images show low noise on the positive side – but there is also a smooth effect with distinct colors on the pixel array. Activating Night Mode doesn’t help much – boosting the brightness with slightly finer detail, and it takes a few seconds to capture an image.

Battery performance

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The V20 SE has a 4100mAh battery with a 33W fast charger in the box. The phone can be used normally within a day including: calls, texting, listening to music, watching videos and browsing social networks. With 33W fast charger, you can fully charge in a blink of an eye and keep using your phone.

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