vivo V20 Pro 5G hands-on review

GSMArena Team, 11 January 2021.

Design and ergonomics

As we already pointed out, the handset feels a lot like the non-Pro variant as it features an almost identical design. But despite having the same display size, the Pro is a couple of millimeters shorter. That that doesn't translate into easier one-handed use, though.

vivo V20 Pro 5G hands-on review

The bezels aren't the thinnest ones around but aren't too distracting as well. What we found to be a bit off was the choice to go for a notch. And it has nothing to do with which type of cutout we prefer - the punch-hole or the notch. It's about the looks and how the notch makes us feel in 2021. Almost all of the new smartphones come out with a punch hole for the front-facing camera.

The new punch-hole trend makes the notch appear outdated and, in turn, its use here makes the phone look older than it actually is. Still, the notch itself is minimal and doesn't eat away too much of the screen even though it houses two sensors.

vivo V20 Pro 5G hands-on review

The back uses the same AG Matte Glass as the vanilla V20. It feels extra nice and maybe adds to the grip. We received the Midnight Jazz color, which changes colors when the light hits it at the right angle.

The best part is that the fingerprints and smudges don't stick as easily on the back. Or at least they are hard to spot in most lighting conditions. This doesn't seem to apply to the shiny frame, which makes smudges visible.

vivo V20 Pro 5G hands-on review

We would also like to point out that the camera module is looking really nice onece again. It doesn't protrude as much (still causes the phone to wobble on a flat surface, though), and it stands out from the crowd.

vivo V20 Pro 5G hands-on review

The main advantage of the V20 has been inherited by the Pro as well, and that's the slim profile and lightweight body. The latter makes the phone feel super comfortable to use for long periods when watching movies or playing games, while the slim profile makes it look like a fashion statement. You don't see a 7.4mm thick, 170g heavy devices every day.

vivo V20 Pro 5G hands-on review

Sadly, the ergonomics of the device aren't stellar. The completely flat back makes the phone a bit uncomfortable to hold, and the slim design makes the frame digs deep into your palm.

vivo V20 Pro 5G hands-on review

The sides are curved, and although it's made of plastic, it doesn't feel cheap. It's glossy and blends perfectly with the back color. Unlike the phone's vanilla version, this one doesn't have a 3.5mm audio jack at the bottom, but vivo has kindly provided a dongle. The power button and the volume rocker are on the right side and provide pleasant and clicky feedback.

vivo V20 Pro 5G hands-on review

Hardware overview

There are only a couple of key differences between the V20 Pro and the V20. The most notable one is, of course, the chipset. The Pro employs a more powerful Snapdragon 765G SoC supporting 5G connectivity while the standard V20 settles for a Snapdragon 720G.

The second big difference is the absence of a microSD card slot and the audio jack's exclusion on the V20 Pro.

We don't see why vivo would do that given that both phones have almost the same dimensions and the same screen diagonal. You do get an extra ultrawide selfie cam on the Pro, though, but more on that later.

vivo V20 Pro 5G hands-on review

Speaking of displays, the V20 Pro 5G is built around a 6.44-inch AMOLED panel supporting HDR10 content and offering a tall, 1080 x 2400px resolution.

We haven't tested the display in-depth, but it appears to be sufficiently bright outdoors, and we doubt it will score any differently than the V20, which peaked at 620 nits in auto mode.

The only thing missing here is a high-refresh-rate given that even midrangers boast 90Hz nowadays. Beneath the panel hides an optical fingerprint reader, which seems to be pretty fast for the short time we've used it. Misreadings are rare too.

To our surprise, the Pro is offered only in the standard 8GB/128GB variant with no option to bump up the storage to 256GB like the proper V20.

The camera setup is identical to the one offered by the V20. At least on the back, that is. You have a 64MP main camera with f/1.9 aperture at your disposal aided by an 8MP, f/2.2 unit with 120-degree FoV and a 2MP sensor for depth information.

The notch on the front has the already known 44MP main sensor with f/2.0 aperture and a secondary 8MP ultrawide with f/2.3. It's an excellent addition to the specs sheet if you often do group selfies.

vivo V20 Pro 5G hands-on review

A 4,000 mAh battery is in charge of keeping the lights on. This capacity can be considered a bit low by today's standards, but when we tested the V20, the results were more than satisfactory.

When it comes to fast charging, the phone uses a 33W charger supplied in the retail box. A quick test reveals that it can reach 65% in 35 minutes as opposed to the 30 minutes charge time vivo claims.

It's interesting to note that the standard V20 hit the 65% mark in 30 minutes, so the difference could be due to either thermal throttling or the chipsets. In any case, even if the 33W charging isn't the fastest one around, it does a pretty good job since it's paired with a 4,000 mAh unit.

Performance

To see if everything is in check, we ran the usual benchmark tests, and we found the Snapdragon 765G to be running as it should be showing 10 to 20% higher performance on average than the Snapdragon 720G, which is running the vivo V20.

Subjectively, the SoC seems to be enough to run vivo's new OS based on Android 11 smoothly with no hiccups or slow-downs.

GeekBench 5 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    2009
  • OnePlus Nord
    1953
  • Realme 7 5G
    1794
  • vivo V20 Pro 5G
    1768
  • vivo V20
    1686
  • Google Pixel 4a
    1626

GeekBench 5 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    661
  • vivo V20 Pro 5G
    611
  • OnePlus Nord
    610
  • Realme 7 5G
    598
  • vivo V20
    554
  • Google Pixel 4a
    553

AnTuTu 8

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    318882
  • Realme 7 5G
    318535
  • vivo V20 Pro 5G
    314978
  • OnePlus Nord
    312794
  • vivo V20
    276006
  • Google Pixel 4a
    268714

GFX Car Chase ES 3.1 (offscreen 1080p)

Higher is better

  • vivo V20 Pro 5G
    21
  • OnePlus Nord
    21
  • Realme 7 5G
    20
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    19
  • vivo V20
    18
  • Google Pixel 4a
    17

GFX Car Chase ES 3.1 (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus Nord
    19
  • vivo V20 Pro 5G
    18
  • Realme 7 5G
    17
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite
    16
  • Google Pixel 4a
    16
  • vivo V20
    15

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Nope

  • Thyaga

V20 pro-Processor Snapdragon 760 is good Network 5g with 8gb is good. This option you won't get much in mobile mid range in 30k. Anyone is missing. Hanging solution put antivirus , it will not hang much. Im not sure about flickering

She's gorgeous