vivo V23 Pro review

GSMArena Team, 19 January 2022.

90Hz, HDR10+ AMOLED panel

Aside from the color-changing back panel, the aggressively-curved display is probably the most striking feature of the vivo V23 Pro. The AMOLED panel in use here is decent, though not exactly spectacular. It has a perfectly-sharp 1080 x 2376-pixel resolution, which works out to around 398 ppi.

vivo v23 Pro review

We measured 463 nits of maximum brightness on the slider - decent but far from amazing. The V23 Pro does have a light meter that offers precise readings and automatic brightness. The latter works great and can boost the maximum brightness to 798 nits. That's a lot better and makes the V23 Pro perfectly usable outdoors.

Display test 100% brightness
Black,cd/m2 White,cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Google Pixel 6 (Max Auto) 0 846
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G (Max Auto) 0 846
Samsung Galaxy A32 (Max Auto) 0 814
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G (Max Auto) 0 800
vivo V23 Pro (Max Auto) 0 798
Xiaomi Mi 11T (Max Auto) 0 798
Samsung Galaxy A52 (Max Auto) 0 794
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G (Max Auto) 0 787
Honor 50 (Max Auto) 0 748
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro (Max Auto) 0 725
Poco F3 (Max Auto) 0 716
Realme GT Neo2 (Max Auto) 0 659
Realme 8 (Max Auto) 0 657
Realme GT Master (Max Auto) 0 634
OnePlus Nord 2 5G (Max Auto) 0 633
Poco M3 Pro 5G (Max Auto) 0.366 536 1464:1
Poco X3 Pro (Max Auto) 0.4 534 1335:1
Honor 50 0 525
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G 0 514
Poco F3 0 511
Poco M4 Pro 5G (Max Auto) 0.33 510 1545:1
Xiaomi Mi 11T 0 498
Realme GT Neo2 0 498
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G (Max Auto) 0.338 497 1470:1
Google Pixel 6 0 477
Xiaomi Redmi 10 (Max Auto) 0.4 477 1193:1
vivo V23 Pro 0 463
Poco X3 Pro 0.327 458 1401:1
Realme 8 0 458
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro 0 457
OnePlus Nord 2 5G 0 438
Realme GT Master 0 437
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G 0.286 426 1490:1
Poco M3 Pro 5G 0.28 413 1475:1
Poco M4 Pro 5G 0.264 410 1553:1
Xiaomi Redmi 10 0 396 1494:1
Samsung Galaxy A32 0 393
Samsung Galaxy A52 0 386
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G 0 383
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G 0 378

Color accuracy is also decent on the V23 Pro, but not amazing. You get a choice between a total of three color modes - standard, bright and professional. Both Standard and Bright target the DPI-P3 color space. Neither manages to hit deltaE value anywhere near what we would consider color-accurate. Bright mode boosts the primary channels a bit to convey the feeling of a brighter display since that's one way the human eye works. Professional mode targets sRGB instead and is a bit better in terms of accuracy, but still not quite color-accurate. Generally speaking, all of the color modes tend to lean on the colder side with a slight blue tint. You can correct for that by sliding the included color temperature slider a bit to the right, like on the screenshot, but don't expect any major improvement in color accuracy.

Color modes - vivo v23 Pro review
Color modes

On a more positive note, the V23 Pro has HDR capabilities. Its panel offers HDR10 and HDR10+ support, as well as HLG. Only Dolby Vision is missing. Plus, we are happy to report that the V23 Pro has the highest possible Widevine L1 DRM certification, which means that services like Netflix can offer HD and higher streaming resolution. In this particular case, 1080p, since that is enough to saturate the native resolution of the display.

HDR support - vivo v23 Pro review Widevine - vivo v23 Pro review Netflix playback support - vivo v23 Pro review HDR on YouTube - vivo v23 Pro review
HDR support • Widevine • Netflix playback support • HDR on YouTube

As of writing this review, the Netflix app refused to serve HDR content, which is probably a whitelisting issue. YouTube was perfectly happy to give us HDR, though.

High refresh rate handling

The vivo V23 Pro has a 90Hz refresh rate. You get a few options, one of which is to just fix the refresh rate at a static 90Hz or a static 60Hz, and vivo has also included an automatic switching option. Unfortunately, it doesn't work well at all.

Refresh rate options - vivo v23 Pro review
Refresh rate options

Scrolling through the vivo UI and its menus actually works just fine. The phone goes up to 90Hz when you interact with it and then back down to 60Hz after a few seconds of inactivity. That's pretty good when it comes to battery saving.

Automatic refresh rate switching works great in the UI - vivo v23 Pro review Automatic refresh rate switching works great in the UI - vivo v23 Pro review Automatic refresh rate switching works great in the UI - vivo v23 Pro review
Automatic refresh rate switching works great in the UI

Unfortunately, the auto-refresh rate falls apart once you start launching apps. There just seems to be no rhyme or reason for the switching. Both Chrome and the default vivo browser chose to work at 60Hz and never went up to 90Hz on their own. That was the case for most other apps we tried.

Apps working at 60Hz - vivo v23 Pro review Apps working at 60Hz - vivo v23 Pro review Apps working at 60Hz - vivo v23 Pro review Apps working at 60Hz - vivo v23 Pro review Apps working at 60Hz - vivo v23 Pro review
Apps working at 60Hz - vivo v23 Pro review Apps working at 60Hz - vivo v23 Pro review Apps working at 60Hz - vivo v23 Pro review Apps working at 60Hz - vivo v23 Pro review
Apps working at 60Hz

Very few apps we tried actually managed to start at 90Hz in automatic refresh rate mode. Once again, without any obvious logic behind which apps.

Apps working at 90Hz - vivo v23 Pro review Apps working at 90Hz - vivo v23 Pro review Apps working at 90Hz - vivo v23 Pro review
Apps working at 90Hz

We also tried a few games which we know, for a fact, can run above 60fps and make use of a higher refresh rate. Unfortunately, not a single one of these actually managed to trigger 90Hz mode. A fact that was only made sadder by vivo's otherwise stellar automatic game recognition when it comes to triggering its gaming optimizations. Also, Dead Trigger 2 started up quite promisingly at 90Hz but then dropped down to 60Hz after the opening cinematic. Talk about adding insult to injury.

Games refusing to trigger 90Hz mode on their own - vivo v23 Pro review Games refusing to trigger 90Hz mode on their own - vivo v23 Pro review Games refusing to trigger 90Hz mode on their own - vivo v23 Pro review
Games refusing to trigger 90Hz mode on their own

At least there is a silver lining here - vivo's decision to specifically add a strict 60Hz mode and a strict 90Hz one. At least as far as gaming goes, you can just go in and flip over to 90Hz. Most of the games we tried did, in fact, feel smoother while running at a fixed 90Hz, which suggests that they were making proper use of the mode and getting frame rates above 60fps.

vivo v23 Pro review

Here's hoping vivo's automatic refresh rate switching mode eventually gets fixed.

Battery life

The vivo V23 Pro has a 4,300 mAh battery at its disposal. It's far from the biggest around, and vivo clearly had to sacrifice some capacity for the sake of thickness. Even so, that's a respectable capacity for the phone's 7.4mm profile and 171-gram weight.

Better still, the V23 Pro managed to make surprisingly good use out of that capacity, scoring a very respectable 110 hours of total endurance rating.

vivo v23 Pro review

The Dimensity 1200 is a pretty efficient chipset overall. The V23 Pro's standby endurance could have been a bit better, but we have no complaints other than that. Both on-screen endurance numbers are also quite high.

Our battery tests were automated thanks to SmartViser, using its viSerDevice app. The endurance rating denotes how long the battery charge will last you if you use the device for an hour of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. More details can be found here.

Video test carried out in 60Hz refresh rate mode. Web browsing test done at the display's highest refresh rate whenever possible. Refer to the respective reviews for specifics. To adjust the endurance rating formula to match your own usage patterns check out our all-time battery test results chart where you can also find all phones we've tested.

Charging speed

Vivo has equipped its V23 Pro with the same, rather excellent 44W FlashCharge tech as found on the flagship X70 line. Just 30 minutes on the charger get you from dead all the way up to 65% battery, and a full charge from zero takes just shy of an hour.

vivo v23 Pro review

Those are really impressive numbers, even on the comparatively smaller 4,300 mAh battery.

30min charging test (from 0%)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi 11T Pro
    100%
  • Realme GT Master
    100%
  • Oppo Reno6 5G
    100%
  • OnePlus Nord 2
    98%
  • Realme GT Neo2
    97%
  • Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G (Snapdragon)
    91%
  • Realme 8 Pro
    88%
  • Xiaomi 11T
    86%
  • vivo X60 Pro+
    84%
  • vivo X70 Pro+
    80%
  • Poco F3
    67%
  • vivo V23 Pro
    65%
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    65%
  • vivo X70 Pro
    64%
  • Realme 8
    56%
  • Samsung Galaxy A72
    54%
  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    54%
  • Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
    53%
  • Samsung Galaxy M52 5G (25W)
    50%
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
    50%
  • Poco X3 Pro
    50%
  • Google Pixel 6 (65W)
    48%
  • Google Pixel 6 (18W)
    41%
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G
    33%
  • Samsung Galaxy M52 5G (15W)
    30%
  • Realme 8i
    30%
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    23%

Time to full charge (from 0%)

Lower is better

  • Xiaomi 11T Pro
    0:21h
  • Oppo Reno6 5G
    0:29h
  • Realme GT Master
    0:30h
  • OnePlus Nord 2
    0:31h
  • Realme GT Neo2
    0:32h
  • Realme 8 Pro
    0:38h
  • Oppo Reno6 Pro 5G (Snapdragon)
    0:39h
  • Xiaomi 11T
    0:41h
  • vivo X60 Pro+
    0:42h
  • vivo X70 Pro+
    0:48h
  • Poco F3
    0:56h
  • vivo V23 Pro
    0:57h
  • vivo X70 Pro
    1:00h
  • Poco M4 Pro 5G
    1:07h
  • Poco X3 Pro
    1:08h
  • Realme 8
    1:09h
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
    1:13h
  • Samsung Galaxy A72
    1:15h
  • Samsung Galaxy M52 5G (25W)
    1:19h
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
    1:21h
  • Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G
    1:28h
  • Samsung Galaxy M52 5G (15W)
    1:48h
  • Google Pixel 6 (65W)
    1:50h
  • Google Pixel 6 (18W)
    1:53h
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G
    2:00h
  • Realme 8i
    2:21h
  • Samsung Galaxy A22 5G
    2:29h

Speaker test

The vivo V23 Pro has a single bottom-firing speaker at its disposal. That's a bit of a letdown seeing how you can get some pretty good stereo speaker setup in other phones for this price. The speaker on the V23 Pro is decent but quite unimpressive.

It managed to earn an Average loudness score in our testing with an overall quite clean and tight frequency response curve. At least it has that going for it. We didn't find any loudspeaker equalizers to play around with.

Use the Playback controls to listen to the phone sample recordings (best use headphones). We measure the average loudness of the speakers in LUFS. A lower absolute value means a louder sound. A look at the frequency response chart will tell you how far off the ideal "0db" flat line is the reproduction of the bass, treble, and mid frequencies. You can add more phones to compare how they differ. The scores and ratings are not comparable with our older loudspeaker test. Learn more about how we test here.

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