Vivo V27 Pro review: King of the selfies (2024)

The Vivo V25 Pro impressed us last year by offering great photographic performance at an accessible price point, and we were particularly wowed by the selfie camera on that model.

Now, its successor has arrived, and it seems that Vivo has doubled down on the selfie performance, boosting it to a whopping 50MP to match the main rear sensor.

That's not all that's on offer here, though, this is one of the first phones to feature MediaTek's Dimensity 8200 processor, which promises solid gaming performance and increased efficiency.

We've been using the phone over the last week or so, and here's how we found it.

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Vivo V27 Pro

The Vivo V27 Pro offers great performance and excellent photography at an affordable price point. If you take a lot of selfies, this is one that's definitely worth checking out, provided you can get your hands on one. It's only available in India, for now.

Pros

  • Excellent selfie camera with autofocus
  • Solid primary camera
  • Snappy performance
  • Good battery life
  • Great value

Cons

  • The single speaker is easily muffled
  • Macro and ultra-wide cameras are weak
  • Lots of bloatware
  • Only available in India at launch

Design

  • Dimensions: 164.1 x 74.8 x 7.36 mm
  • Weight: 182 grams
  • Colour options: Magic Blue and Noble Black
  • Fluorite AG Glass back

Just like the V25 Pro, our V27 Pro came in an eye-catching blue finish with an AG glass back. It has the same luxurious velvety feel as its predecessor, and it's very similar to the iQOO 11, too. It's on the slippery slide, so you'll have to be very careful using it without a case, but there's a basic transparent TPU case included in the box.

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This model has the same UV-reactive properties as last year's model, but Vivo didn't go as far as to ship a UV torch with our sample this time around. Instead, you'll notice that the shade of blue changes depending on the lighting, becoming a darker, almost lilac, colour in the sun.

It's a different shade of blue on the V27 Pro, and while it's not to our exact taste, plenty of people that saw us using it said that they liked the colour. So that's all down to personal preference. If you prefer, the phone will also be available in a black colourway, which we haven't seen in the flesh, but is said to produce some sparkling glitter-like effects.

The phone is very large, but it's exceptionally thin, and its curved edges make it feel slimmer still. This means that it feels great in the hand and isn't too cumbersome in your pocket. Vivo said that it's the brand's thinnest curved-edge phone to date, and we believe it.

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Elsewhere, there aren't too many surprises, there's a SIM tray, USB-C port and speaker grille on the base, along with a volume rocker and power button on the right. On the rear, there's a very small camera bump with three circular lenses and a ring-shaped LED flash.

Display and speakers

  • 6.78-inch 120Hz AMOLED display
  • 2400 x 1080 resolution
  • Curved edges
  • Single speaker

The display is pretty luxurious, and not too dissimilar to the pricey Vivo X90 Pro that we've been testing recently. Vivo hasn't said the exact brightness you can expect from this panel, but it looks to be on par with the X90 Pro's 1300-nit output.

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We haven't been shy about our love of flat displays, but the curved edges work well here, and give the device a premium look and feel. The 120Hz refresh rate means that swiping around the OS is wonderfully smooth, too.

When it comes to colour reproduction, you're given a fairly basic level of control, but it's still likely more than enough for the majority of users. You're able to choose between Standard, Pro and Bright presets, as well as adjust the colour temperature of each. Essentially the same options you'll find on other handsets running FunTouch OS.

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There's a single speaker on the Vivo V27 Pro and it seems to be largely unchanged from last year's model. It's loud and clear but it lacks low-end response, so it's unlikely to wow you, but it gets the job done. The positioning makes it quite easy to muffle, though, so you'll want to be mindful of how you hold the phone, particularly in landscape orientation.

Hardware and software

  • MediaTek Dimensity 8200
  • Up to 12GB RAM (extendable) and 256GB storage
  • 4600 mAh battery, 66W wired FlashCharge
  • Funtouch OS 13, based on Android 13

The Vivo V27 Pro is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 8200 and is the first phone that we've used with this chipset. Upon launch, MediaTek claimed big gains in gaming performance and efficiency and in our testing, this seems to hold true.

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It's not a flagship chip, so you won't see it at the top of any benchmark charts, but for the average user, this chipset is more than capable enough for some great gaming experiences. We were able to play Genshin Impact in 60fps at high settings with no noticeable slowdowns and without the phone heating up significantly at all.

You can actually max out the settings completely if you don't mind some slight stuttering when the action heats up. It's really impressive performance for such an affordable handset.

The battery life was also excellent throughout our testing period, easily seeing us through an average day with juice left to spare. When it's time to charge, there's a 66W wall adapter in the box, but there's no wireless charging on this model.

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Interestingly, we found that only the included charger would fast charge the V27 Pro, and the rest of our charging equipment took its sweet time. So, if you pick one of these phones up, you'll likely want to keep the included charger handy.

The Vivo V27 Pro runs FunTouch OS 13, based on Android 13. We've spent a lot of time with this operating system lately, so there weren't any surprises in store. The skin doesn't stray too far from stock android and includes some genuinely useful features, which you can learn about here.

As usual, though, FunTouch OS comes loaded up with a bunch of proprietary apps and bloatware, which we're never happy to see. It's easy to forget after you've spent a little while cleaning these apps up, but it's a hassle we could do without.

Cameras

  • 50MP OIS main (Sony IMX766V)
  • 8MP ultra-wide
  • 2MP super macro
  • 50MP selfie camera with autofocus

As we mentioned earlier, one of the highlights of this device is its exceptional selfie camera. This was true of the Vivo V25 Pro, too, but this year the resolution has been bumped up to match the main rear camera.

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The thing that makes this camera so good is the fact that it has proper autofocus, and this is something that's still missing on the majority of premium flagship phones. Typically, a selfie camera will have a fixed focus, and the phone will use software to sharpen the image if you're not in the sweet spot of the focal range. The benefits of having an image that's properly focused are immediately apparent in the results.

The high-resolution front-facing camera also allows you to shoot video at up to 4K 60fps with EIS, so it could be a handy tool if you like to create vlog-style content without carrying around a heavy mirrorless camera.

Around the back, we have the 50MP Sony IMX766V as our primary camera, and that's the camera that we stuck to for the majority of our snaps. The 8MP wide and 2MP macro aren't quite up to standard and are best avoided where possible.

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The main camera, despite being lower resolution than last year's, did not disappoint. It's capable of capturing excellent detail and Vivo's image processing brings out some lovely vibrant and lifelike colours.

It struggles a little in low-light situations, but night mode does a respectable job, so long as you have a static subject.

All of the cameras benefit from Vivo's excellent imaging tools, just as we have found with the last few Vivo handsets that we've tested. Portrait mode cutouts are easily on par with the big-name brands, there's a multitude of beautification options and boatloads of filters and effects that you can apply after the fact.

Verdict

With an MSRP of around $459 the Vivo V27 Pro is a lot of phone for the money. We found it really easy to live with, and there were many moments where we could mistake it for a top-tier flagship.

The only areas that give away this phone's budget-friendly price point are the weaker auxiliary cameras, the mono speaker and the pre-installed bloatware. Although the latter is present on the pricey Vivo X90 Pro, too.

This means that the Vivo V27 Pro is an easy phone to recommend, especially if you take a lot of selfies, as the front-facing camera is one of the best that you'll find on any tier of device.

The bigger problem comes in the form of availability. The V27 Pro is only available in India at launch, and it doesn't sound like Vivo has plans to launch it elsewhere. So there's a big chance that you won't be able to get your hands on one.

There's a non-pro V27 on the way, too, which shares many of the camera features and should get a wider release - but it has a weaker processor, so might not be the choice for keen gamers. However, if it's mainly the cameras that you're keen on, you might want to wait and see if that launches in your region.

Vivo V27 Pro review: King of the selfies (2024)
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