Right on the heels of the sleek, experimental Nex 3, Vivo has announced a new phone at the mid-to-high end of the market. The V17 Pro will serve as the company’s headline device in many of its regions, or for people who aren’t ready to give up volume buttons just yet.
The V17 Pro has the same Snapdragon 675 processor as the V15 Pro, which was released earlier this year, but otherwise basically everything is all-new. It has 8GB of RAM as standard, the battery has been increased to 4,100mAh, and the build is a noticeably bulkier at 9.8mm thick.
Part of that bulk can be accounted for by the battery, but the new pop-up selfie camera module probably also has something to do with it. The V17 Pro has two selfie cameras, including a 32-megapixel main sensor and an 8-megapixel ultrawide, and both are housed in a rectangular module that rises from behind the screen. The motorized module also includes an earpiece and an LED that can provide fill lighting.
The pop-up cameras let Vivo deliver a display without large bezels or a notch, and the panel in the V17 Pro is great. It’s a 6.44-inch 1080p OLED with 100-percent DCI-P3 coverage and a 20:9 aspect ratio, which is a little taller (or wider in landscape) than most phones around. The difference isn’t huge, but it is noticeable and allows for a larger screen that still doesn’t feel too wide across. As you can expect from Vivo, there’s also an in-display fingerprint sensor.
On the back of the phone there’s a quad-camera array that includes a 48-megapixel main camera, a 13-megapixel 2x telephoto camera, an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera that Vivo also touts for its macro capabilities, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.
It’s a capable setup, but I’m not in love with the physical arrangement here — the rectangular camera bump is situated in the middle, with a raised chrome edge that you can feel whenever you’re holding the phone. I’d rather Vivo had kept the cameras in the top corner, or managed to eliminate the bump altogether as stablemate Oppo has done with the Reno lineup. This is a pretty thick phone for a bump to be an issue.
The V17 Pro does still make room for a headphone jack, and notably is Vivo’s first V-series phone to make the switch to USB-C. The V15 Pro’s Micro USB port felt pretty anachronistic on an otherwise impressive device, so this is a welcome change.
Overall the V17 Pro is looking solid, but at 29,990 rupees ($422) in India, it could be a hard sell to many beyond hardcore selfie fans and notch haters. The choice of processor is a little surprising — the Snapdragon 675 does punch above its weight, but there are Snapdragon 855 phones like Xiaomi’s Redmi K20 Pro that cost less than this.
Then again, they don’t have six cameras. The V17 Pro will be available soon, starting in India.