I haven’t reviewed a vivo phone for years, so I really have no idea how their phones performed. I had a lot of inquiries about the brand from friends and readers alike, but all I could give them is a shrug. After five long years, I was approached by vivo and offered me to review their newest phone – the vivo V23 5G. This got me very excited and told them to send me the review unit pronto!
VIVO V23 5G REVIEW SPECS:
|OS:||Android 12 with Funtouch OS 12|
|Processor:||2.5 GHz MediaTek MT6893 Dimensity 920 5G Octa-Core processor | Mali-G68 MC4|
|Display:||6.44" 1080x2400, 20:9 ratio FHD+ AMOLED Display with 90Hz refresh rate|
|Wireless Connections:||5G, Bluetooth 5.2, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC, A-GPS, GLONASS|
|Memory:||128GB/256 GB Internal Storage, 8/12 GB RAM|
|Connectors:||USB Type-C 2.0, OTG supported|
|Cameras:||64 Megapixels f/1.9 wide + 8 Megapixels f/2,2 ultra-wide + 2 Megapixels f/2,4 macro (Main Cameras); 50 Megapixels f/2.0, 8 Megapixels f/2.3 ultra-wide (Front)|
|SIM Card Slots:||2x Nano SIM Cards required|
From what I understand, vivo’s V-series caters to the middle-tiered smartphone market. I reviewed a lot of mid-range phones throughout the years, and I could say that the V-series’ box is a standout. Compared to other brands’ plain packaging designs, the V23 5G’s box looks sparkles with elegance.
Inside the box are the vivo V23 5G review unit, Type-C USB cable, Fast Charger Head, earphones, Silicon Case, SIM Card ejector and user manuals.
THE LOOKS AND FEEL
“WOW!” That was the first thing I said after removing the plastic cover off the vivo V23 5G. It looks too gorgeous and lightweight for a mid-range phone. If looks were the sole basis, the V23 5G could pass as a flagship phone.
Sandwiched between two glass panels is an specially-coated aluminum frame that adds a premium to a premium-looking phone. It’s 7.4mm thin, so this is probably the thinnest smartphone I’ve ever reviewed if my memory is correct. As seen in the picture above, the volume rocker and power button are placed on the right side of the V23 5G.
Found at the bottom are the SIM Card tray, Type-C USB port and speaker grille. The V23 5G can accommodate two Nano SIM Cards.
The back panel of the V23 5G is made of Flourite AG glass, which adds some sparkle to the shiny phone. What makes it even interesting is its changeable color. According to vivo, today’s youth want devices that can be customized to their tastes. After two years of development, it’s finally here and working! All you need to do is place the V23 5G under the sun and for 30 seconds. My Sunshine Gold review unit changed colors from light ice blue and pink orange finish to a blue-green gradient look. I was really amazed!
The camera module is a little bit wide, despite having only 3 cameras. Since the cameras are slightly recessed, I suggest being careful in placing the phone on a surface. It’s better to apply the silicon case, not only to protect the cameras but also to protect the phone as a whole.
The flat sides of the V23 5G may not feel comfortable for everyone to hold, but at least it’s not slippery. Again, I suggest using a case for a better grip.
THE SOUND AND DISPLAY
The size of the Vivo V23 5G’s screen is 6.44″ AMOLED display technology with Full HD+ resolution. The fingerprint scanner is on the screen and works well. I was so pleased to learn about having the AMOLED display, because I believe the 90Hz refresh rate will work better with OLED than IPS. Noticeable on the display is a notch at the center where the dual front cameras are found. I am not bothered by this so it’s fine with me. What matters is its vibrant display which makes it enjoyable to binge watching on video streaming apps.
Audio coming from the single-speaker grille underneath is loud enough even on outdoors. I played a YouTube Music track and Netflix and I got the other customers’ attention here at an al fresco cafe. Sadly, no 3.5mm headphone jack so the only option to use headphones is via bluetooth.
I initially had the impression that vivo uses Qualcomm Snapdragon processors for their mid-range phones. Instead, the vivo V23 5G review unit comes with a MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G. I’ve tested Dimensity SoCs before but this is my first time to handle a phone with 920 5G. Here are the benchmark results:
I compared the scores to the previous phones I reviewed with Dimensity 700 and Dimensity 810. The V23 5G’s Dimensity 920 5G’s processor is indeed superior as it beats the other two by a wide margin in Antutu and Geekbench. By the way, the configuration of my review unit is 256GB/12GB so the 128GB/8GB might produce different results. Personally, I’m contented with 8GB of memory, but why would I complain if my phone has 4GB more? Speaking of more memory, has a 4GB RAM extension just in case you need it for apps and games. Sadly, storage is not expandable.
Knowing that I have a good spec’d phone in my hands, we played a few games with the V23 5G. It played smoothly in Mobile Legends with Max frame rate and Ultra graphics. The same can be said with Call of Duty Mobile with High Graphic Quality and Very High frame rate. It performs decently with Genshin Impact with the highest settings, although when teleporting there is a slight lag when you land in the new area. There isn’t any lag in domains and spiral abyss, mostly the lag just comes from the overworld. The colors and the graphics are really good. Moreover the heat of the phone was not noticeable while I played.
The V23 5G runs on Android 12 with Funtouch OS 12 – vivo’s UI overlay. The functionalities of the OS were easy to learn and I found some of them to be useful especially for gaming. The Game sidebar lets me block calls and other notifications while in a middle of a game, as well as monitor and improve gaming performance of the phone.
vivo retained its triple camera system on the V23 5G, now composed of 64 Megapixels (wide), 8 Megapixels (ultra-wide) and 2 Megapixels (macro.) I enjoyed using the V23 5G’s cameras and took a lot of photos during the past few days. While I want to share my inputs about its cameras, I will reserve these for a dedicated camera review in a couple of weeks. For the meantime, here are some sample photos:
THE BATTERY LIFE
Battery capacity of the vivo V23 5G is rated at 4,200 mAh, smaller than the usual 5,000 mAh batteries we see in entry-level and mid-range phones. In my week’s usage, I averaged 12 hours of usage with around 20% left in the battery meter. I normally consume 40-50% in 6 hours on 5G. Being connected on Wifi consumes less battery power. The V23 5G comes with a 44W fast charger which takes at least over an hour to fully charge the phone.
I enjoyed using the vivo V23 5G and I’m willing to use it as my main phone. The main problem I see here, not only for me but for potential customers, is its SRP of P27,999. This is quite an expensive mid-ranger phone. It may look premium, but I feel the overall value is less than the price. However, if you dig the sparkling looks and use its cameras for content creation, then the V23 5G is certainly a good buy.
- Back panel has changeable color under sunlight
- Premium looks
- Excellent cameras
- Quite expensive for a mid-range phone
- Battery is smaller compared to other mid-range phones