I’ve been testing Vivo’s V-series phones since the V5 launched in early 2017, which it calls “the perfect selfie phone.” Since then, the Shenzhen-based phone maker has launched a V phone every six months or so, and coupled with its tendency to skip the even numbers, it has now launched the V25 in just five years. Unlike previous V phones that always felt like low-end phones in construction, the Vivo V25 Pro looks and feels closer to a flagship phone. For the untrained eye, they might not be able to tell the difference between this $450 phone and a $1,000 premium Samsung phone.
The Vivo V25 Pro is a sleek device with a curved 6.5-inch OLED display with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. The panels aren’t as bright as flagship phone screens, and the refresh rate can’t be dynamically dropped to 1Hz like the new iPhones to save battery power, but these extra booms are of little concern to the average consumer. To most people who look at this screen and see that it has thin bezels and vibrant colors, it looks as good as any $1,200 phone screen to them.
The back is made of glass and has this coating material that changes color when UV light hits it. This allows you to create patterns on the back of the phone if you want, but they only last about five minutes before returning to normal color. Kind of gimmicky in my opinion, with no practical use other than a neat party trick.
The frame is plastic, but it’s so thin that your hands don’t actually feel much plastic, so for the most part, it’s a good-feeling phone that feels like it should cost more than $450.
However, the above prices are converted from Indian pricing as the phone is only available in India as of press time, although it should eventually make its way to Southeast Asian markets like Malaysia and Thailand like other Vivo V phones.
The Vivo V25 Pro runs on the Mediatek Dimensity 1300, a mid-range chip that’s great for common smartphone tasks, but shows its limitations for power users exporting 4K video or playing graphics-intensive games for extended periods of time .
Optically, the V25 Pro has four cameras, but only the main rear camera and the front selfie camera are worth mentioning. The 64MP main camera shoots sharp pictures, thanks to vivo’s excellent computational photography in recent years, it can take excellent HDR pictures. Selfie cameras have always been a priority for Vivo devices, and the 32MP front-facing shooter produces great selfies. Even in this price range, the other cameras (8MP ultrawide and 2MP depth sensor) are mediocre and subpar.
Android 12 is the software here, and while Vivo’s software skin is nice, it lacks some of the customization options that rival the Chinese brand, such as the ability to launch apps in resizable windows. Also, with Android 13 coming soon, I don’t believe the phone will get an update anytime soon. That’s a step back from the Vivo V20 from a few years ago, when it was one of the first phones to ship with Android 11, before many other brands.
A solid mid-range, but maybe Vivo pumped out too much of these
The Vivo V25 Pro is a decent phone at this price point. Getting a great screen, good main and selfie cameras, and a solid processor for $450 sounds like a good deal to me. But Vivo is rolling out the V phone so quickly that it’s hard to find any meaningful innovation or improvement over the Vivo V23 released earlier this year.
Vivo has done some exciting things at its highest flagship level. I think the Vivo X80 Pro is still the best camera phone. But its mid-range V-Series is starting to feel a bit cookie-cutter.
To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with the V25 Pro, but when the Vivo V27 is just around the corner, how can I get excited about it?