I asked Zen to not give me something entry-level and this is what I got. A phone with a chameleon-like iridescent back that punches in the mid-range category.
Let’s address the elephant in the room. The phone is officially called Sunshine Gold but the back has iridescent materials in them, so when light hits the back at a certain angle it draws your attention to the vibrant AF blue-green colors that also sparkles. Amazing party trick 10/10 people found it amazing.
The sides are completely flat with a tiny chamfer, just like the ever-iconic fruit phone 4 and 5. It sports a gold mirror polished coating that makes it an absolute joy to use, look at and prop up on a table without a stand. Easily my all-time top 5 side profiles. Great to hold, too.
The 90Hz display is great, has decent calibration out of the box, gets plenty dim, and is plenty bright indoors. It’s useable under the sun too, but it’s not Samsung flagship display level of brightness under the afternoon sun.
The phone has a grille up top which makes it look like it has dual front/bottom stereo speakers, but it’s unfortunately not stereo. Audio only plays from the bottom and it’s my least favorite thing about this phone. It already has amazing visuals but Vivo compromised here with the mono speakers. sad emoji.
MediaTek Dimensity 920 5G
No snapdragon. Is it good?
Kinda. It definitely has more horsepower for gaming than the sub RM1,000 phones but it doesn’t top antutu charts either. Genshin Impact definitely wont run at high with this, but you can actually play this on low with 60fps. Other casual games will run smoothly, so there is your reason to spend RM 2,000 over RM 1,000.
The battery is smaller than sub RM1,000 phones too, only packing a 4200 mAh battery but with a dynamic refresh rate option. Balanced, as all things should be. (pls stop nerfing batteries I don’t care if the phone is thicc we want big batteries.
Camera System time.
The V23 5G sports a pretty standard main + ultrawide duo these days. Maybe flagships should start packing high-quality telephoto cameras to take portraits for people from now on.
The 64MP main sensor is pretty okay here. The white balance is totally acceptable here, and much better than the past few phones I’ve reviewed. All good. The is room for improvement, better autoexposure and more saturation in processing would be nice. It looks a little bland and underexposed.
To my surprise, the white balance actually matches the main sensor. Usually, it has a completely different white balance but it’s a pretty good performance here., it matches the main sensor perfectly, down to the underexposure.
The 50MP front camera is great. as expected of Vivo who focuses on front camera quality so much. Details, skin tone and exposure is great. HDR leaves more to be desired if they want a better front camera. I wasn’t even pointing my back to the sky but the background is blown out.
Oh cool, they added an ultrawide font-facing camera. Nice to have, for large group selfies. It made me look like a tomato with the color science here though. So maybe some color science/post-processing and dynamic range improvements, please.
This is my first vivo phone, and I can totally see why they are so invested in front cameras.
Should you buy this?
A gorgeous design from the from to the back, with mid-range horsepower under the hood. Is it worth the RM 2,099? If you reaaaaaaaally dig the side profile and have no need for more gaming performance, this is great. If you don’t care so much for the design and want more power instead, maybe look towards the Vivo X60 for RM200 more and a lot more horsepower.