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Best looking phone? Vivo V23 5G

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

In today's article we will cover some awesome and a couple not so awesome things about this blue phone. Yes it is blue and it isn't at the same time, but more on that later on. This is Vivo V23 5G, the midrange phone that has a strong iPhone vibe about it. Let’s check it out!

The first awesome feature is dual-selfie camera. This includes a more standard selfie as well as an ultrawide. While the main shooter is higher quality, they both deliver pretty good results with one exception.

This is where the first not so awesome feature or lack of it comes in. Both front cameras don’t have optical image stabilisation, which is kind of strange considering its predecessor had it in there.

And while we are on the subject of selfies, the second awesome feature is bicolour front flash or as Vivo calls it Dual-Tone Spotlight. I always try to avoid using any kind of flash on the phone, but we can’t have a portable photo studio with us at all times so it’s better to have something than nothing. This implementation of it actually delivers pretty good results, especially considering the mess of a picture without it.

Moving to the next pleasant feature - this phone has dual SIM and both can be 5G cards. It is a pretty niche feature to have as for example in Singapore even getting a single 5G line is still rather expensive and having two just doesn't make sense, but hey the option is there.

Next one is Android 12 with Vivo’s own Funtouch OS, it looks good and feels responsive. What stood out to me is utilisation of security and privacy features that Android 12 comes with. Like the little green dot at the top of the screen indicating when the camera is being used. Also surprisingly there is not that much bloat and most things like the Netflix app can be removed.

If you were to use Netflix or YouTube you would instantly notice that this phone only has a downward firing speaker and it is not great (check out the video above at 1:51). It gets loud but does not have much depth. One large issue is accidentally covering it as I've done several times already while testing, especially when playing games so expect to use headphones. A way around this could be the headphones provided in the box with a dongle since there is no headphone jack.

By the way - there is no formal waterproof rating on this phone, I am not sure if this is because they just didn't want to spend money certifying it or it actually has no seals so make sure to keep it safe.

On the other hand I am very glad that higher refresh rate screens are becoming the norm and this phone gets it too - while it is only 90Hz it does add to the overall smoothness. There is an option to select a smart switch which will go from 60 to 90, but personally I prefer keeping it set to 90.

And last and probably my favourite feature is the colour changing back. This particular phone by default is in this Sunshine Gold colour and generally looks very slick, in some ways resembling an iPhone. I really like the glass finish as it is fingerprint resistant and feels pleasant in your hand, but the main thing is the magic that it delivers. When exposed to ultraviolet light the back of the phone gradually changes to this turquoise blue colour which looks pretty cool, at first it is visible only at an angle, then changes fully.

I wish my current flagship phone had this coating!

And here is a bonus piece - I can’t believe this can be called a feature, but hey this is the world we live in. This Vivo V23 comes with a charger included in the box. Yay Vivo! I personally prefer wireless charging which is absent from this phone. This is of course to maintain the mid range pricing. Given the choice which would you choose - charging brick or ability to charge wirelessly? Let us know in the comments below.

To quickly summarise: this is a very good looking phone with some nice features as well as some compromises. It has a strong performing selfie camera as well as a magical back that makes it look really premium. I look forward to seeing what they do with this lineup in the future.


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