Let’s just address the elephant in the room, the Vivo V9 has a design that is very obviously inspired by the iPhone X. The bezel-less display at the front with a notch at the top, the alignment of dual camera module at the back, user interface (FunTouch OS) and gestures totally inspired by the Kanye West of smartphones, the iPhone X.
The Mighty Notch
The notch on Vivo V9 just sits at the top and houses a 24-megapixel selfie camera, earpiece, notification LED, and other sensors. The display on Vivo V9 is tall, and yet fits in a 5.5-inch-like form factor. Vivo has managed to cram in a 6.3-inch display with a 19:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1080×2280 pixels. The “ears” on either side of the notch are used to show system status icons.
And let’s just accept it, every big Android release this year will likely have that same notch. And it is unlikely that the notch is going away anytime sooner. I personally was never fond of the notch and when I saw the graphics renders, I totally hated it. The notch on the iPhone X is quite wide and it definitely hinders the viewing experience, but the notch on Vivo V9 is perfectly balanced and you won’t even notice it after a few hours of use. Let’s just put it this way, I’m using the iPhone X for about 3 months now and I still can’t get over the notch and I notice it every day but in case of Vivo V9 the notch does not hinder the viewing experience as the notch is not as wise as found on the iPhone X.
Honestly, the notch doesn’t really get in my way unless I’m watching fullscreen videos, which makes up maybe less than 10% of my phone usage.
The Doppelganger Brothers
At first glance, or I can say at every glance the VIVO V9 shares a lot of its design constraints from the iPhone X. Well, it’s not the exact replica of the iPhone X, it’s just the notch cutout at the front and the alignment of the rear camera module. Besides that, the device inherits a lot of its design from its predecessor, the Vivo V7 being touted as the iPhone X clone is a much-refined package. The device feels subtle to hold and reminds me of how tiny and cluttered the display of iPhone X is and I wish what if my iPhone X is of same dimensions as of Vivo V9.
With a DXOMark score of 87, the iPhone X tries to justify the price range of INR 89000 or roughly $1400, but with a week spent with Vivo V9 and taking it down the streets of New Delhi and Mumbai, I can surely say that the dual camera setup on the V9 is no joke. The colors are accurate, dynamic range is slightly above average, and the camera focuses relatively fast. Of course, the camera of the V9 cannot be compared with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S9, Pixel 2 or other top end flagship device and it would not be fair to compare it with these flagship devices. But considering the price of INR 22990 the Vivo V9 captures some great looking shots.
The highlight feature of the device is its 24MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture which when compared to the iPhone X ‘s 7MP camera looks better on paper. And it turns out the selfies from the Vivo V9 are no less than the iPhone X. The company claimed that the device uses artificial intelligence to automatically detect the gender, age, skin tone, texture and the lighting condition of the environment to automatically adjust the settings of the camera which makes the selfies on the Vivo V9 turn out to be better as compared to the X.
iOS OS 4.0
The Vivo V9 sports FunTouch OS, which is almost a replica of Apple’s iOS but not entirely. Vivo’s Android skin, dubbed as FunTouch OS is heavily inspired by iOS. First things first, there is no app drawer just like the iOS and all apps are placed at the home. The new Funtouch OS 4.0 includes a ‘Memories’ feature that comes built into the Gallery app which just like Google Photos searches photos by text and the system will use image recognition to tag photos automatically. There’s also a ‘Game Mode’ to stop notifications while you are gaming, a full screen ‘Navigation gestures 2.0’ to mimic the gesture-based system from iPhone X, a ‘Global search’ across the system and ‘EasyShare’s 5G ultra-fast transmission’.
I personally really liked the gesture navigation buttons that replace the traditional three button Android set-up. And No not this time, Vivo hasn’t inherited this from Apple, as this similar feature was introduced in Vivo V7 last year. All of these swiping around work great though and makes navigation on the V9 feel more futuristic and I fell this should be the way all Android phones should implement navigation buttons and even if Apple could implement this to the new iPhone next year. Just Saying!
Cheap at Twice the Price
The Vivo V9 is available at INR 22990 and the iPhone X is available at INR 89000 which is almost 4 times the price of V9, and no doubt iPhone X is a better device in terms of everything be is Hardware, software, but is surely not a value for money device. The X is meant for Apple enthusiasts and die-hard Apple fanboys, and the price at which iPhone X is retailing in India is definitely out of reach for most of the consumers looking for a great value for money device. While on the other hand, Vivo V9 has almost all design constraints inherited from the X, with visually similar looking software as the X but with some added features such as gesture support, AI, face recognition features and goodness of Android 8.1.0 over it. The V9 if not better has a premium build quality and a nicer camera than comparable similar devices belonging to same price bracket. So if you were really astonished by the iPhone X and you really craved for that device even once but you didn’t want to have a big hole in your pocket then in our opinion the Vivo V9 comes closest to being an iPhone X with its own identity intact and at one fourth the price of X.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.