The Vivo V20 SE is the latest addition to the Vivo’s V-series and is listed as the most affordable version of the Vivo V20, launched last month. With the V20, the Vivo is focused on design and cameras, and you can see the same approach with the Vivo V20 SE as well. However, to point to a lower price point, the V20 SE has found a cost-effective exercise that has led to the acquisition of low-resolution camera sensors and a different processor, among other things. Is the Vivo V20 SE still important, or has the Vivo gone too far? Let’s find out.
Design of Vivo V20 SE
Vivo says the focus was on the design of the Vivo V20 SE, and that is evident. The smartphone is small and the weight is easily controlled. The Vivo comes with a 6.44-inch AMOLED display like the Vivo V20 (Review), with a dewdrop note at the top and narrow edges. You get a full HD + resolution with a 20: 9-factor ratio, which means the display is longer and smaller.
The sides of the smartphone are round, making it easy to hold. The V20 SE frame is made of plastic and all buttons are on the right-hand side. I found the power and volume buttons to be easily accessible. And they had a clickable response, so I didn’t think a second to press a button.
The left side of the V20 SE is empty, as the Vivo has placed the SIM tray on top. You get two Nano-SIM spaces and a dedicated MicroSD card space that makes storage expansion possible. The top and bottom of the V20 SE are flat. There is a USB Type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, speaker, and microphone at the bottom.
Switching the phone revealed a triple camera setup for the V20 SE. The camera module sits in the top left corner and is slightly raised. Vivo offers two color options, Aquamarine Green and Gravity Black. I had the last of these reviews and found a shiny finish on the back tend to take fingerprints and smudges. I have used the case provided to avoid wiping the smartphone too often. The Vivo also features a 33W FlashCharge charger in the box, which should boost the 4,100mAh battery faster.
Details of the Vivo V20 SE
While Vivo calls this Special Edition (SE) the details are waterproof compared to the Vivo V20. Enabling the V20 SE is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC, paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There is a single V20 SE configuration on sale in India, and it costs Rs. 20,990. While you get decent amounts of RAM and storage, the processor is less powerful when you consider the price. You will find the same processor directly on less expensive smartphones like the Realme Narzo 20A and Nokia 5.3 (Review).
The V20 SE plays a 6.44-inch AMOLED display with an internal fingerprint scanner like the Vivo V20. The display has good viewing angles and is bright enough when we are outside. You also get the option to change the color and temperature profile of the panel.
Unlike the Vivo V20, the V20 SE does not run Android 11 in the box — you get Android 10 instead. It still has a newer FunTouch OS 11 UI, and Vivo promises to release a software update to Android 11 soon. My unit was using an Android security patch for Android, which just happened. The UI looks very much like what you get in the V20 and there is some bloatware installed earlier. I found Facebook, Flipkart, PhonePe, Snapchat, and Spotify on my device. Vivo also has its own unique V-Appstore for the Google Play Store. There is also a Themes app, which lets you customize the UI up to fonts.
The V20 SE allows you to customize and charge photos. You can take advantage of the AMOLED panel and enable the display mode always on. There is an Ultra game mode that lets you mute incoming calls and notifications while playing games, similar to what I’ve seen on Vivo Smartphones that I’ve tasted in the past.
Performance of Vivo V20 SE
The V20 SE is able to deliver acceptable performance without any problems. While using the smartphone, I didn’t see sleep, and doing most of the work was a breeze thanks to 8GB of RAM. A fingerprint scanner and face recognition quickly unlock the Vivo V20 SE. Normal usage was good enough, but the slow processor seems to increase app loading times.
I ran a few tests to see where the Vivo V20 SE stood. On AnTuTu, the V20 SE holds 1,84,085, which is less than competitors at the same price level who can control themselves, for example, the Poco X3 (Review), which received 2,80,030. The V20 SE scored 6,364 in PCMark Work 2.0 and managed 315 and 1,389 points respectively in Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core tests. In a benchmark test of GFXBench’s T-Rex and Car Chase scenes, the V20 SE handled 32fps and 6.2fps.
The performance was very low while playing heavy titles such as Call of Duty: Mobile. I’ve seen more loading times than usual, and the game has run with graphics quality and frame rate set in Medium automatically. After playing the game for 20 minutes, I noticed a 6 percent decrease in battery level. The Vivo V20 SE had no problems playing unusual games like Among Us.
The battery life on the V20 SE is decent, and the phone has continued for a day and a half without me rushing to charge. In our HD video loop test, the V20 SE lasted 14 hours and 31 minutes almost identical to that of the Vivo V20. Charging is faster with a 33W charger integrated into the box. The device reaches 52 percent in 30 minutes and about 96 percent per hour.