Vivo is back trying to imitate Apple with the Vivo V9

The Vivo V9 (opens in new tab) has hit the Indian markets after being launched in Thailand and the Philippines just yesterday. It’s the budget version of the iPhone X with the defining notch (opens in new tab) to accommodate various sensors and its 24MP front camera.

Another camera that boasts of being tailored to take selfies is the Oppo F7 (opens in new tab), which is in line to be launched on Monday. It’s also similar in to the Vivo V9 in the sense that it also sports an iPhone X-type notch. 

Vivo V9 price

Pre-orders for the Vivo V9 started at 3PM on Flipkart as well as Amazon and the they will officially go on sale from 2 April, both online and offline. 

Vivo’s new flagship device has been launched in India at the price point of Rs 22,990 and there’s only one variant in the market, with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The smartphone is available in three different colors, namely, Champagne Gold, Pearl Black and Sapphire Blue. 

Vivo V9 specs and features

The Vivo V9 is a dual-sim device that runs on FunTouch OS 4.0 layered on top of Android 8.1 Oreo (opens in new tab). Since the phone isn’t Stock Android, it will be pretty slow to get security and UI updates, which is unfortunate.

It is equipped with a 6.3-inch (opens in new tab) FHD+ screen with the aspect ratio of 19:9. The phone has a 90% screen-to-body ratio with 1.85mm bezels on top, 1.75mm on the side and 5.99mm along the bottom. That means the screen is a full 76% taller on top as compared to the previous generation’s FullView display.

There are already rumours (opens in new tab) of Apple coming out with the iPhone XI (opens in new tab) with a 6.5-inch screen later later this year. 

Vivo V9 scre

Vivo V9 scre

The phone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 626 chipset paired with 4GB of DDR3 RAM. The Redmi Note 5 Pro (opens in new tab), at Rs 13,999 and Rs 15,999 for its 4GB and 6GB RAM variants respectively, offers the superior Snapdragon 636 (opens in new tab) chipset. The former runs on 8 ARM Cortex cores, whereas the latter runs on 8 of the more advanced Kryo cores that give much better performance. 

Though its inbuilt storage should be plenty at 64GB, users will still have the option of expanding it upto 256GB using a microSD card in line with the phone’s hybrid dual-SIM configuration. 

Vivo V9

Vivo V9

It doesn’t lag in the optics department either with a rear dual camera setup that has a primary 16MP sensor and secondly 5MP sensor, of f/2.0 and f/2.4 apertures, respectively. It looks, more or less, like the Vivo V7 Plus in terms of its back panel with a centered fingerprint sensor and the corner camera placement.

Depending on the size size of its sensors, a 16MP primary camera may or may not perform well. Ideally, a 12MP camera strikes the balance between high resolution and sensor size, which is why most phones stick to those specs. 

And, as usual, Vivo keeps its selfie game tight with a 24MP front camera coupled with f/2.0 aperture. Credit where credit is due.

To maximise usability, the camera app comes integrated with an ‘Ultra HD’ mode as well as a ‘Portrait’ lighting effect and the Bokeh effect. For selfies exclusively, Vivo has an AI-based Face Beautify app that works for images as well as video calling. 

Vivo V9 camera

Vivo V9 camera

In terms of security, Vivo V9 features Face Access 2.0 that uses face recognition to unlock the phone and has a fingerprint sensor at the back.

The smartphone comes equipped with the usual connectivity options of 4G VoLTE, dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and Bluetooth v4.2. Thankfully, the Vivo V9 retains the 3.5mm headphone jack so using your favorite pair of cans shouldn’t be an issue. 

If there’s anything to complain about, then it’s the fact that the phone doesn’t support fast charging considering that it’s powered by a 3260mAh battery and has MicroUSB charging port. Also, the plastic body of the phone is a little underwhelming. Albeit, since the phone only weighs 150g, it’s pretty light.

Vivo V9 back panel

Vivo V9 back panel

Wrap up

For a phone that looks an awful lot like the iPhone X (opens in new tab) but comes at a budget price point, it may not be a bad option for some. Aside from the notch, Vivo’s own FunTouch OS has many similarities to iOS (opens in new tab) and even the camera is vertically stocked. 

Despite Vivo’s efforts to make the Vivo V9 look cool by partnering with Aamir Khan, the V9 is only like the iPhone X in terms of its ‘look’ but has a long way to go in terms of performance. 

The coming days will tell whether or not people will notice that there are better options in the 20,000 price range (opens in new tab) that offer better specs than the Vivo V9 in every respect except for the selfie camera. 

Prabhjote Gill is the Senior Journalist at Business Insider India. She covering everything space, tech and defence at Business Insider India. She is also in-charge of allocating stories to junior writers.