These were my thoughts as I took photos and videos using the vivo v23e. Although the smartphone has been around for months now, I’ve only discovered this hidden gem after vivo announced its price drop from Php 19,999 to only Php 17,999 – that’s Php 2,000 off and it’s already 5G-ready! Plus, it helps us take awesome selfies with its 44MP front camera.
The vivo v23e Sunshine Coast already looks dazzling in pink, blue, and violet hues but its beauty isn’t just an exterior thing. It also applies specs-wise, especially for people who love documenting their day using their smartphones. For a better appreciation, let’s get down to the details:
INSIDE THE BOX
Seeing the accessories that come with the smartphone, it seems that vivo has already anticipated what their consumers would be looking for. Aside from the usual smartphone, charger, USB cable, phone case, SIM eject tool, 3.5mm earphones, warranty card, and quick start guide, it also comes with an earphone jack adapter that we can use to connect a headset via USB Type-C. It’s also worth mentioning that the free jelly case has a cover for the Type-C port so you won’t need to worry about dust gathering inside your phone.
The box is even picture-perfect with its sparkly design! It’s the type that you wouldn’t want to throw away as it looks premium on its own.
DESIGN AND DISPLAY
Let’s start with its eye-catching design. The vivo v23e is the kind of smartphone that would look clean and premium all the time as it’s fingerprint-resistant due to the matte-like finish. It dons a color-changing design that still looks pretty even with a jelly case on. The Sunshine Coast variant, which we have, has a combination of blue, purple, and pink hues depending on the angle but it also comes in a Moonlight Shadow variant which looks formal yet stunning in black and blue.
Weighing only 172g, this 7.36mm-thick smartphone is really easy to carry, making it a treat for people who always have their smartphones glued onto their hands. Watching hour-long movies on the screen even with your hand raised won’t even strain you. I’ve tried!
Up next is the placement of its buttons and ports: The left side is clean, while the right side has both the volume rocker and the power button. On top is the secondary microphone, while at the bottom, you’ll only find the hybrid SIM card slot (with a dummy card inside), the primary microphone, a USB Type-C port, and the speaker grilles.
At the back, you’ll find the camera module on the upper left corner while a small vivo branding is printed on the lower left corner. The branding is almost unnoticeable due to the color-changing design, though! It adopts a Fluorite AG Coating which has a finer texture than regular AG glass.
In front, you’ll see an almost unnoticeable earpiece sitting within the top bezel, a dewdrop notch for the front camera, and fairly thin bezels – except for the bottom part which is slight thicker, and an In-Display Fingerprint sensor. It has a 6.44-inch AMOLED screen with Halo Fullview Display and an FHD+ resolution of 2400 x 1080. Colors come out crisp and clear, which makes it suitable for binge-watching our favorite series and movies.
The only letdown for me its 60Hz refresh rate which could’ve been higher, as well as the dewdrop notch (I personally prefer a punch-hole screen).
In case you didn’t know, Makati City has been named as the Selfie Capital of the World and Filipinos in general take a lot of selfies on their smartphones. With a 44MP front camera, I’m sure that anyone can add to those numbers real quick! The vivo v23e’s front camera can be used in Photo, Night, and Portrait modes, but I prefer using the Portrait feature as it has 10 different styles/filters to choose from, Beauty enhancements (including makeup and posture correction), Bokeh effects, and an automatic Selfie Fill Light when you’re in the dark.
Vlogging using the front cam is also very easy as it has a Steadiface feature to keep your face from getting blurred or shaky even as you walk while vlogging. However, you can only record videos in 720p or 1080p, and up to 60 fps only. It could’ve been better if there was a 4k setting but 1080p videos are the standard on social media anyway, so I’ll let it pass. If you want something fitting for the big screen, the vivo v23e also offers Movie Mode even via front cam. On top of all these, this mid-range smartphone can also change your appearance in videos by automatically enhancing your features (from facial structure down to skintone) based on how you customized it to look like! It can fool people, so use these features wisely!
On the other hand, the rear shooter is just as promising with a combination of 50MP main, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro cameras. I tried taking a photo inside a poorly-lit elevator (see second to the last photo above) and it turned out as if it was taken under bright lights even without Night Mode activated. Although the camera works really well under bright lights in capturing still and moving subjects, the Night Mode could still use some enhancements as some photos turn out too bright or too grainy. The output is usually decent for a mid-ranger, though!
You’ll also notice a very minimal distortion when using the wide angle (0.6), so I don’t usually use it when taking photos of sceneries. Zoom also works well up to 4x, but the noise tends to increase more as you reach 10x zoom.
Other camera features include High Resolution, Panorama, Live Photo, Slo-mo, Time-lapse, Pro, AR Stickers, Documents, Double Exposure, Dual View Video, HDR, super wide angle video recording, and AI Extreme Night Video Shooting.
These are all really fun features so we’ll do another camera-centric blog next week to see if it can keep up with our weekend trips from day to night!
STORAGE AND PERFORMANCE
With a MediaTek Dimensity 810 processor that complements 5G connectivity, the vivo v23e is compatible with both 5G networks – SA and NSA. Having a dual-mode 5G CPU makes it more power efficient and gives it a better internet connection. It also delivers a really smooth performance when it comes to doing day-to-day tasks and even gaming. It’s backed by 8GB RAM + 128GB storage with an Extended RAM 2.0 feature that gives the vivo v23e an advantage compared with other competitors within the price range. I’ve tried running different social media and productivity apps together while having a YouTube video open in the background and didn’t experience lags or hiccups in switching from app to app.
The vivo v23e comes with Android 11 and the latest VIVO Funtouch OS 12 with 5 new small widgets – Nano Music Player, Weather Widget, Album Widget, Sticker Widget, and Faster Clean-up Widget. This allows users to access information quickly while maintaining the organized look of their home screen.
The beauty of this smartphone is that even though it’s really a good option for vlogging and mobile photography, it’s still capable of being a productivity and multitasking partner for a multi-faceted lifestyle. Aside from browsing the web, updating social media apps, accessing files, and watching videos, the vivo v23e can also run games with no lags (or at least none that I’ve noticed). It’s supported by an Ultra Game Mode which you can enable for minimal to no interruption. There’s Esports Mode for the hardcore gamers who want zero disturbance except for low battery warnings, optimized control, optimized display settings, and even adaptive frame rates and temperature. There’s also an Autoplay feature that helps conserve battery by turning off the screen while you’re farming in-game. The Game Sidebar is also easily accessible by swiping sideways during gameplay. Pokemon Unite, Call of Duty, and Viber Games all work well on this device.
Watching videos has been a breeze since Day 1, but the only downside for me is getting audio from the bottom part of the vivo v23e. It’s not that noticeable when watching videos in portrait mode but going landscape means the audio will only be coming on the left/right side. This is a letdown when playing games that require you to listen very well to the audio direction. Although this can be addressed by using the earphones that come with the box, it could have been better if vivo added a speaker on the top part like what other brands are doing.
4,050mAh battery may not sound much for a user who’s bombarded with smartphones that pack 5,000mAh and above but it’s actually a decent battery for a smartphone with the specs mentioned above. Paired with a 44W FlashCharge, it can easily reach 69% from 1% in just 30 minutes as vivo has previously advertised. A full charge, on the other hand, would take more or less an hour. That’s actually good for a mid-range smartphone!
|Display||6.44-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) AMOLED Halo Fullview Display With In-Display Fingerprint Sensor|
|Dimensions||160.87 x 74.28 x 7.32 mm|
|CPU||MediaTek Dimensity 810 SoC, 2.4Ghz|
|Memory||8GB RAM w/ Extended 4GB RAM|
|Storage||128GB (expandable up to 1TB)|
|Rear Camera||AI Triple-Rear Cameras: 50MP main, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro|
|Front Camera||44MP AF front camera|
|Connectivity||Dual-SIM Dual-Mode 5G, 4G LTE WiFi Bluetooth 5.2 GPS, A-GPS|
|Battery||4,050mAh battery w/ 44W FlashCharge|
|OS||Funtouch OS 12|
|Colors||Moonlight Shadow, Sunshine Coast|
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The vivo v23E 5G (8GB+128GB) in Moonlight Shadow or Sunshine Coast is still available in vivo Stores and their partner e-commerce stores nationwide for only Php 17,999. For store links, you may click any of the links below:
Overall, this checks majority of our main must-haves in a smartphone — decent cameras, a stylish design that reflects our personality, big storage, fast charging, light weight, and complete accessories out of the box. The slight inconveniences that I’ve experienced can easily be addressed so I would give this a thumbs up!