vivo V23 Pro review

GSMArena Team, 19 January 2022.

Introduction

We're only a few days into 2022, and vivo is already on a roll with its announcements. January 5, in particular, saw both the unveiling of the vivo V23 5G and V23 Pro, as well the eagerly-anticipated iQOO 9 and iQOO 9 Pro. Seeing how they are an exciting flagship duo, the latter two naturally soaked up most of the spotlight. However, the two new additions to the V23 family are just as interesting, if not even more so, as solid mid-rangers with slick designs and a few particular tricks to make them stand out.

While we do plan on putting both phones through our in-depth review process, we're kicking things off with the V23 Pro, which according to our statistics, seems to be the more interesting handset of the two. It is a little bigger than its sibling, packs a more powerful Dimensity 1200 5G chipset and a higher-resolution main camera. Other than that, specs-wise, the V23 Pro and V23 are actually surprisingly similar.

vivo V23 Pro specs at a glance:

  • Body: 159.5x73.3x7.4mm, 171g; Glass front (Schott Xensation α), glass back.
  • Display: 6.56" AMOLED, 90Hz, HDR10+, 1080x2376px resolution, 19.8:9 aspect ratio, 398ppi.
  • Chipset: MediaTek MT6893 Dimensity 1200 5G (6 nm): Octa-core (1x3.0 GHz Cortex-A78 & 3x2.6 GHz Cortex-A78 & 4x2.0 GHz Cortex-A55); Mali-G77 MC9.
  • Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM.
  • OS/Software: Android 12, Funtouch 12.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 108 MP, f/1.9, 26mm, 1/1.52", 0.7µm PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 120-degree, 16mm, 1/4.0", 1.12µm; Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4.
  • Front camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/2.0, AF; Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.3, 105-degree.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS; Front camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 4300mAh; Fast charging 44W, 1-63% in 30 min (advertised).
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); Color changing back panel when exposed to sunlight.

In fact, oddly enough, the two devices seem to have some major differences, particularly in design, while also somehow managing to be quite similar to one another and pretty distinct from most other phones out there. Vivo deserves plenty of praise for that achievement alone.

Both the V23 Pro and V23 share a similar silhouette, including a recognizable camera island, despite the fact that the V23 Pro has a larger and quite curved AMOLED display that also necessitates thinner and curvier sides, while the vanilla V23 is rocking a much wider and bigger, nearly flat middle frame with a flat display.

vivo v23 Pro review Left: vivo V23 * Right: vivo V23 Pro

Then there is the extra "flair" that is also shared between the V23 Pro and V23 and sets them apart in a crowd. It is actually twofold. First, there is the signature Sunshine Gold color variant. It features a special UV-reactive dye that noticeably changes color when exposed to sunlight or any other UV light. It ties together the overall elegant design vivo has going on and literally provides some unique flair. On the other hand, both the V23 Pro and V23 are clearly geared towards videography, particularly selfie vlogging. Both have the same dual selfie setup, featuring a high-resolution 50MP camera with autofocus and 4K video capture, as well as an 8MP ultrawide and two dedicated LED selfie lights.

Put the two together, and you get nothing short of a unique and distinct 2022 mid-ranger. In fact, vivo somehow managed to craft two "flavors" of essentially the same formula without taking away from either phone in any obvious way. Impressive stuff. Let's dive into the V23 Pro first to see if it all works as well as it looks on paper.

Unboxing and accessories

The vivo V23 Pro comes in a thick and solid two-piece cardboard box. Vivo clearly didn't skimp on the packaging, nor the accessories. Not only does the box offer great protection, complete with a solid plastic cradle for the phone on the inside, but it also looks eye-catching with a dark blue aesthetic and a bit of a sparkling coating on top.

vivo v23 Pro review

Inside the box, you get one of vivo's 44W FlashCharge adapters and a USB Type-A to Type-C cable. Beyond that, you also get a full accessory package, including a plastic, transparent TPU case and a pair of nice, white, corded vivo earbuds with an inline microphone and button and a 3.5mm jack essentially. The keen-eyed among you might notice there is no 3.5mm jack on the V23 Pro. For that very reason, vivo has also thrown in a Type-C to 3.5mm audio dongle in the box.

Reader comments

  • Eliz

Is vivo23 waterproof?

  • Anonymous

Well, the Essential PH-1 was the first to utilize a notched display, 4 months before Apple releases the iPhone X

  • Anonymous

I see, thank you mate.