vivo V20 review

GSMArena team, 30 October 2020.

64MP main camera plus an ultra-wide

The handset uses a 64MP main sensor coupled with f/1.9 aperture. The sensor size is 1/1.72," and it has 0.8µm pixels. As you might have guessed, the sensor supports native 4-to-1 pixel binning, so stills come out in 16MP resolution.

vivo V20 review

On the other hand, the ultra-wide camera is less impressive with just 8MP resolution, f/2.2 aperture, 1/4.0" sensor size, and 1.12µm pixels. Its focal length is 16mm (in 35mm equivalent), which translates into a 120-degree field-of-view. Interestingly enough, this camera has autofocus. The third camera is just a 2MP depth sensor used for portrait shots.

On the front, we have a 44MP selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture and, more importantly, autofocus. This should ensure sharper selfies.

Camera menus

Despite having the newest Funtouch OS, the default camera's menu is still somewhat confusing. Sure, the main modes can be switched by swiping left and right, but in the main Photo mode, there's no separate toggle for the ultra-wide camera. Instead, you have just the 2x zoom toggle. To switch to the ultra-wide, you'd have to tap on the Lens icon in the viewfinder and then select it.

Camera app - vivo V20 review Camera app - vivo V20 review Camera app - vivo V20 review Camera app - vivo V20 review
Camera app

The additional settings don't offer anything out of the ordinary except that you can get help from the software to frame your portraits, and the AI scene recognition is turned off. Interestingly, the 1080p mode allows you to choose between 30 and 50fps. Choosing the 50fps options says that the software will adapt to the current scenario, whatever that means.

Additional camera settings - vivo V20 review Additional camera settings - vivo V20 review
Additional camera settings

Daylight samples

Main camera

The primary camera takes nice daylight photos. The contrast is good, and the Auto HDR seems pretty competent. Details like foliage look nice and natural. Straighter lines on the buildings have a fair share of sharpening but they look fine. Colors are nicely saturated, and there is hardly any noise unless you are looking from really close.

Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/2352s - vivo V20 review Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/2052s - vivo V20 review Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/2383s - vivo V20 review
Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1399s - vivo V20 review Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 68, 1/335s - vivo V20 review Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1679s - vivo V20 review
Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/2603s - vivo V20 review Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/953s - vivo V20 review Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/752s - vivo V20 review
Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 392, 1/100s - vivo V20 review Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 297, 1/50s - vivo V20 review Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 193, 1/100s - vivo V20 review
Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 58, 1/319s - vivo V20 review Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 1067, 1/33s - vivo V20 review
Main camera daylight samples

2x zoom

Since the 2x zoom mode is an upscaled to 16MP crop from the main camera, the flaws that can go under the radar in the normal mode become more apparent here. Sharpness and the level of detail is underwhelming. Otherwise, you can expect pretty much the same processing behavior as the non-zoomed main camera.

2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1402s - vivo V20 review 2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1276s - vivo V20 review 2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/2245s - vivo V20 review
2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/2454s - vivo V20 review 2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/190s - vivo V20 review 2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/2418s - vivo V20 review
2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1359s - vivo V20 review
2x zoom daylight samples

Ultra-wide camera

The ultra-wide camera's performance is rather disappointing even with good lighting. Images look soft with no fine detail, noise can be observed on homogeneous backgrounds, and color fringing towards the picture's edges are easily visible. The only sharp subjects are the ones really close to the camera. Notice how different the grass looks the further it gets from the camera. However, most of the issues above are pretty common for ultra-wide cameras in this segment.

Ultra-wide daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/708s - vivo V20 review Ultra-wide daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/833s - vivo V20 review Ultra-wide daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/629s - vivo V20 review
Ultra-wide daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/1316s - vivo V20 review Ultra-wide daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/2797s - vivo V20 review Ultra-wide daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/1281s - vivo V20 review
Ultra-wide daylight samples

On a more positive note, the dynamic range seems pretty wide enough and offers excellent highlights/shadows balance even when the sun is shining directly into the camera. The lens correction algorithm is also doing a good job.

Since the ultra-wide camera has autofocus, it allows you to shoot objects from up close creating that distinctive dramatic effect of an ultra-wide lens. We advise doing such shots under good lighting conditions because as we established, quality drops significantly under sub-optimal conditions.

Ultra-wide camera daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 256, 1/50s - vivo V20 review Ultra-wide camera daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 215, 1/50s - vivo V20 review Ultra-wide camera daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 335, 1/50s - vivo V20 review
Ultra-wide camera daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 217, 1/100s - vivo V20 review Ultra-wide camera daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 234, 1/100s - vivo V20 review
Ultra-wide camera daylight samples

Low-light samples

Main camera

The low-light samples look surprisingly good offering wide dynamic range, a good amount of fine detail, although still being a bit on the soft side. The noise suppression algorithm acts up in some dark parts of the image, smearing the detail. Zoom in on the dark facade of the building in the second scene. In return, you get mostly noise-free images, however.

Low-light main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 1517, 1/24s - vivo V20 review Low-light main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 4891, 1/15s - vivo V20 review Low-light main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 3316, 1/14s - vivo V20 review
Low-light main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 1817, 1/33s - vivo V20 review Low-light main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 4263, 1/14s - vivo V20 review Low-light main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 2272, 1/17s - vivo V20 review
Low-light main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 5011, 1/11s - vivo V20 review Low-light main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 1713, 1/33s - vivo V20 review
Low-light main camera samples

The light sources look well-processed most of the time, suggesting that there's some competent HDR working in the background. Colors are accurate, contrast is good, and the color temperature is on point.

Night mode

The changes that the dedicated Night mode introduces are relatively subtle. Looking more closely, you'd notice that it clears up the image from fine grain while preserving the detail. There are some strange artifacts in the sky when the Night mode brightens up the image. As a result, the shadows are a bit brighter - barely noticeable, to be honest. The clipped highlights are gone with the Night mode, too.

Night mode main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 9665, 1/17s - vivo V20 review Night mode main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 2226, 1/25s - vivo V20 review Night mode main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 4956, 1/17s - vivo V20 review
Night mode main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 2067, 1/33s - vivo V20 review Night mode main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 5094, 1/13s - vivo V20 review Night mode main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 4146, 1/20s - vivo V20 review
Night mode main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 4658, 1/14s - vivo V20 review Night mode main camera samples - f/1.9, ISO 1968, 1/33s - vivo V20 review
Night mode main camera samples

Strangely, there's no additional sharpening after the Night mode's stacking, which is a missed opportunity in our opinion. These shots can definitely benefit from a pinch of sharpening. That's why we think that if you like to look at your albums on the TV or a large PC monitor, the Night mode does make sense. But if the images are going to be used mostly for social media, then skipping the wait time of the Night mode makes sense. It takes a couple of seconds to take the shot and then another few seconds to process the photo.

There are some additional color filters to the Night mode, which is a fairly new thing. Vivo is probably the only OEM doing that. The results are pretty cool. With the right lighting and subjects, you can produce some cyberpunk-inspired and Gotham City-like looking snaps.

Night mode filters - f/1.9, ISO 4584, 1/14s - vivo V20 review Night mode filters - f/1.9, ISO 4587, 1/14s - vivo V20 review
Night mode filters - f/1.9, ISO 4582, 1/14s - vivo V20 review Night mode filters - f/1.9, ISO 4590, 1/14s - vivo V20 review
Night mode filters

Ultra-wide camera

The performance of the ultra-wide camera isn't particularly impressive during the day, so our expectations at night weren't high, to begin with. They are soft, lack detail, highlights are blown, and the images look as if they are out of focus most of the time. The noise suppression algorithm is doing overtime and smears most of the fine detail on the buildings.

Low-light ultra-wide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 807, 1/15s - vivo V20 review Low-light ultra-wide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 2795, 1/15s - vivo V20 review Low-light ultra-wide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 1096, 1/14s - vivo V20 review
Low-light ultra-wide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 1146, 1/14s - vivo V20 review Low-light ultra-wide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 1389, 1/14s - vivo V20 review
Low-light ultra-wide camera samples

Turning the Night mode on will greatly improve the overall quality by balancing the highlights and light sources, brightening up the shadows, adding a little bit of sharpening, and introducing a lot more detail. If you are using the low-light, ultra-wide photos for social media, the Night mode may sometimes make the photos usable. Just don't expect miracles.

Night mode ultra-wide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 1186, 1/11s - vivo V20 review Night mode ultra-wide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 586, 1/17s - vivo V20 review Night mode ultra-wide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 598, 1/14s - vivo V20 review
Night mode ultra-wide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 624, 1/14s - vivo V20 review Night mode ultra-wide camera samples - f/2.2, ISO 624, 1/14s - vivo V20 review
Night mode ultra-wide camera samples

Macro samples

Since the phone doesn't have a dedicated macro camera, we would skip this section. However, we took a few shots as an example of how manufacturers might approach macro photography without incorporating low-quality macro cams.

The V20 uses its ultra-wide shooter for macro shots, which means that the focusing distance isn't as close as needed for a super macro photo. Nonetheless, we appreciate the autofocus bit on the ultra-wide snapper.

If used for close-up, the main sensor has its benefits, too. It can capture a lot more light, it has higher resolution, and offers autofocus. All of these components are crucial for a nice macro shot. Even if you crop a little further after taking a photo, you will get a really good close-up shot. There's obviously some additional sharpening when shooting in this mode, but it makes the pictures look better.

Macro samples - f/2.2, ISO 474, 1/33s - vivo V20 review Macro samples - f/2.2, ISO 707, 1/33s - vivo V20 review
Macro samples - f/2.2, ISO 252, 1/100s - vivo V20 review Macro sample by the main cam - f/1.9, ISO 231, 1/50s - vivo V20 review
Macro samples (the last one is by the primary camera)

Here's how the vivo V20 camera image quality stacks compared the rest of the phones we've used in our test studio shots.

Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool
vivo V20 vs OnePlus Nord and the Realme X3 SuperZoom in our Photo compare tool

Portraits

Portrait shots are sufficiently detailed and sharp with natural-looking skin tone despite the colors being a bit boosted. Grain and softness start to creep in sub-optimal lighting, but the subject's face is always well-exposed. The dynamic range is also pretty good.

Believe it or not, the fourth scene in this series was quite dimly lit, so you might notice the drop in sharpness and the slightly different exposure. The subject's face remained a priority for the exposure metering.

Portrait samp.les - f/2.0, ISO 228, 1/120s - vivo V20 review Portrait samp.les - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/798s - vivo V20 review
Portrait samp.les - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/798s - vivo V20 review Portrait samp.les - f/2.0, ISO 688, 1/40s - vivo V20 review
Portrait samp.les

The edge detection is convincing and makes mistakes only with complex background and foreground. Take a closer look at the plant in the fourth photo.

Selfies

The selfie camera is advertised as 44MP, but the actual images come out with 40MP resolution. Regardless, they look rather sharp with plenty of detail. Colors look natural too. Unfortunately, the overall image quality deteriorates fast as the light drops.

Selfie samples - f/2.0, ISO 148, 1/60s - vivo V20 review Selfie samples - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/483s - vivo V20 review
Selfie samples - f/2.0, ISO 179, 1/60s - vivo V20 review Selfie samples - f/2.0, ISO 273, 1/30s - vivo V20 review
Selfie samples

The edge detection is once again doing a good job, and the selfie portraits are quite convincing.

Portrait selfie samples - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/284s - vivo V20 review Portrait selfie samples - f/2.0, ISO 173, 1/60s - vivo V20 review Portrait selfie samples - f/2.0, ISO 269, 1/30s - vivo V20 review
Portrait selfie samples

Video

The vivo V20 is capable of 4K recording at 30 frames per second, but the ultra-wide camera can only do 1080p videos. An additional Ultra Steady mode mimics an action cam's stabilization, but this mode is locked to 1080p@50fps.

Let's see the 2160p footage first. It seems to be a pretty good one too. Sharpness is pretty much what you'd expect at this price range. The detail is okay, the contrast is good, and there's no noise in sight. Dynamic range is also pretty wide. What we liked the most, however, is the accurate and natural-looking color reproduction.

Switching over to the ultra-wide camera will limit your video recording resolution to 1080p. And even for a Full HD video, it seems a bit too soft. Fine detail is smeared, dynamic range isn't as wide as on the main camera. Highlights look even more blown while black cars and other black subjects look way too black.

And as for the Ultra Steady mode, it uses the main sensor and crops out of the center to stabilize the image. The result is excellent despite the extreme cropping.

Here's a Full HD video with just the standard EIS so you can see the difference.

When you are done with the real-world scenarios, it's time for some pixel-peeping to see how the video quality compares to some of vivo V20's rivals.

Video Compare Tool Video Compare Tool Video Compare Tool
2160p: vivo V20 vs OnePlus Nord and the Realme X3 SuperZoom in our Video compare tool

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

The review about the camera isn't complete, especially the selfies part where vivo claim about eye tracking, also about dual tone flash in low light? And confusing about their marketing of ultrawide camera as multimode and 3rd sensor is Mono cam

  • Ak

Only the camera is good . Fun touch is worst app .vivo need to improve quality it's no worth of 25000.00 rs so please don't buy

  • Ak

Waste of money