We’ve seen a fair share of Android smartphones that go above and beyond with the paint job. It’s usually very tacky, and at times when it’s not, it’s socially acceptable. The V23 Pro is very tacky, at least for my taste so either you will find it a bit excessive as well or you might just forget about it and enjoy everything else that is great about the Vivo V23 Pro.
Vivo V23 Pro review
Shine on you crazy smartphone
(8GB+128GB) | ?43,990 for 12GB+256GB
Design: It’s light
Let’s start with the obvious. The Vivo V23 Pro has a colour changing Fluorite AG rear glass. In simple terms, the backside of the Vivo changes colour when exposed to UV light. It’s got a golden finish which shifts to turquoise blue when exposed to light. It’s a neat little party trick but the excitement is often short-lived. You can grab a UV light and a stencil and imprint any shape onto the back of the phone. Although that will gradually disappear like your enthusiasm around the Flourite AG glass.
The rear glass also has a familiar smooth coating. I am not sure how to best describe it but it’s slippery at best. So if you’re not careful, the curved glass can be found kissing the pavement. Kudos to Vivo for making this hella light. Even the previous V Series smartphones were extremely lightweight and thin. The V23 Pro is no exception.
Display: All for notch
The V23 pro seems like the only Android smartphone that is going back to the notch and it’s for good reason. There’s a really capable selfie camera inside that thing but we’ll get to that in a bit. For better or worse, the notch is here and for someone who’s been using an iPhone as a primary smartphone, this is not a big deal for me. Although we’ve had a fair share of complaints around Stuff HQ as to why the notch needs to go. If you hate the notch, the Vivo won’t convince you otherwise.
The display is great. It’s got deep and rich colours. Quite typical of what we’ve come to expect from mid-range smartphones. Although, honestly, the V23 Pro feels like a no-nonsense smartphone. The quality of the 6.56in FHD+ display is great for casual smartphone users. It is a bit on the cooler side but that’s alright. It’s not too alarming.
Performance: No dragon
The 90Hz refresh rate is also not the highest but it’s enough to make the UI and your smartphone experience feel buttery smooth. The MediaTek Dimensity 1200 is also quite fast and responsive for everyday tasks. It’s a bit shy on heavy editing suites like Adobe Rush but that’s a proper niche. If you’re dancing on Instagram, the Vivo V23 Pro won’t hinder your edits nor will you feel the battery drain as quickly.
There’s a bundled 44W fast charger to juice up the 4300mAh battery as quickly as possible so you can keep taking selfies and weirdly, get some digital cosmetic surgery in as well.
Camera: All about the shutter
Vivo cameras usually are downright fantastic with their features and the freedom to tinker with the camera settings to your liking. This one takes a backseat though. The front selfie camera is phenomenal. It’s one of the best selfie cameras around the price and it comes with a dual front camera flash. The flash is nicely tucked in between the black borders around the display so it’s really hard to find without the flash turned on.
The way the selfie camera handles exposure and skin colour are phenomenal. I quite like how I look in the selfies even though sometimes you can tinker with every whisker on your face to rival the most attractive Abercrombie models. All the face tweaking features aside, a simple selfie photo from the front camera has enough detail and polish to actually look better than the rear camera at times. The details, texture, exposure control and heck, even the bokeh effect is handled extremely well.
Sadly the rear camera with all its macro and hundred something givings cannot capture everything as well. There’s very little exposure control and the Vivo simply turns any regular sky into a blue painting of sorts.
The less said about the macro camera the better. It’s merely a spec sheet checklist at this point and to be honest, we don’t really expect the macro camera to surprise us at this budget. Having an average read camera is more disappointing. We expected better from Vivo because the X70 Pro+ is Stuff’s best smartphone of the year from last year and that has one of the best cameras in the market.
The Vivo V23 Pro doesn’t have the fancy tech or the fastest processor but it’s the lightest and the slimmest smartphone around. You don’t be wrestling with the weight and it’s pretty fast and capable when you really don’t need much horsepower from your smartphone.
Basic tasks are handled well and it doesn’t chew up the battery quickly as well. You can get to the plug often if you spend all your time on Instagram and TikTok but the 44W fast charger is handy. Gaming and other intensive tasks are decent, although we’d recommend the OnePlus 9RT if you really want to faster for the same price.
The Vivo V23 Pro is a decent smartphone with colour shifting party trick that