Introduction

Vivo, the Chinese smartphone maker, has settled in Pakistan market with good hold. The important thing is that it’s not like any other new-company that just start building Android smartphones at lower budget or mid-range level. Vivo is innovating with its products instead. Two major elements that the company has been praised globally are, introducing world’s first in-display fingerprint scanning technology in its smartphones and a real full-view display with zero-bezels across the frame. The company featured a pop-up camera module instead of hosting it on top bezel of the display.

The company launched two phones in Pakistan earlier last month – the Vivo V11 Pro with in-display fingerprint scanning and a cheaper Vivo V11 with standard rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. Though, we have the latter model here, we’ll keep referring to the Pro model in this review where needed for comparison sake. You also might want to check our first impressions about Vivo V11 Pro published a couple of weeks ago.

Vivo V11, that comes in two colors – Starry Night and Nebula, though we have here is the Nebula variant in bright and shiny blue-purple color. It will cost you PKR 39,999 in Pakistan market, however you might have a couple of interesting features in the Pro model of this phone for only 10k more. But we’ll take care of that too in this review if those interesting features actually worth the additional price or you may stick to Vivo V11 standard model – or probably any other phone for the similar price. Let’s check that out.

Vivo V11 Feature Display

Vivo V11 has got the 128GB of internal storage along with 4GB of RAM and a competitive mid-range Helio P60 processor. Pro model has only a larger RAM and somewhat equally good Snapdragon processor. The phone also has fast charging support with 3315 mAh battery.

Vivo V11 – Features and Specifications

Announced September 2018
Software Android 8.1 Oreo
Funtouch OS 4.5
Dimension 155.97 x 75.63 x 8.1 mm
Weight 163.7 grams
Display 6.3-inch IPS LCD Display
2280×1080 Resolution.
19:9 Halo FullView Display
Pixel Density ~400ppi
84% screen-to-body ratio
Chipset MediaTek Helio P60 (MT6771)
CPU: 4x Cortex A73 2.0GHz + 4x Cortex A53 2.0GHz
GPU: Mali G72 MP3
Modem: X9 LTE (300Mbps/150Mbps)
Memory 4GB RAM
128GB Internal Storage
External Memory up to 256GB
Camera Rear: 16MP+5MP PDAF, f/2.0 aperture, LED flash
Front: 25MP fixed focus, f/2.0 aperture, screen flash
Video: 1080p/720p at 30fps
Battery 3315 mAh
Charging 5V-2A / 9V-2A (Fast Charging)
Network 4G/LTE, 3G, 2G
Connectivity Dual-SIM + dedicated MicroSD card
GPS, WiFi dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz, Hotspot, USB 2.0 (microUSB)
Bluetooth 4.2, GPS
Navigation GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
Sensors Gravity/Accelerometer, Proximity, Ambient Light, E-Compass, Magnetic,
Gyroscope sensor, Step Counter
Security Fingerprint (rear-mounted), Face-unlock
Price PKR 39,999/-

Vivo V11 Back Feature

Pros and Cons

  • Bright FullView display
  • Fast Charging
  • Fast fingerprint / face unlock
  • Nice rear camera
  • Large and bright selfie camera
  • Plastic build
  • Less friendly UI/UX
  • No USB Type-C

Unboxing Vivo V11

Vivo V11 comes in a simple white box with pop-out style. The retail box has pretty much everything you usually get with a new smartphone but it brings some more things such as a back cover and a screen protective film already applied on the phone. These two add-on accessories are now common to include with mid-range device and it’s a welcome thing indeed for many consumers.

Box Content

  • The device – Vivo V11
  • Earphones
  • Connectivity/Charging cable
  • Fast charger: 5V-2A / 9V-2A
  • SIM eject tool
  • User guide
  • Add-on silicon back cover
  • Add-on screen protective film (pre-applied)

Vivo V11 – Display with no notch but halo

We all know that Vivo and OPPO are the first smartphone makers which successfully built up a fullview display with absolutely no bezel across the screen – Vivo NEX and OPPO Find X. Sure the minimal chin is still present on all phones released yet but iPhone X and the latest iPhones. That’s because Apple has used expensive flexible OLED panels except the recent iPhone XR that has LCD panel but also has thicker bezels across to keep it distinct from the lot of Android.

Coming back to the Vivo V11, it doesn’t have the zero-bezel across but a little cutout on top of the display to host the front-facing camera. Vivo called it the Halo FullView display. Again, the chin is still present as there is the same IPS display panel which is most common among these smartphones.

Vivo V11 IPS LCD Display

Performance wise, the display is as bright as previously the company has shipped in its devices such as Vivo V9 but also comes with improvements. Though not as impressive as the Pro model comes with the AMOLED display.

Thanks to the full view displays trending recently this year with minimal bezels. Like it or not, it does make the phone compact to handle. A size that was used to be bulky with larger displays, does not seem bulky at all today.

You know that it’s the front camera that took the little U-shaped Halo on the display but if you look closely, Vivo has shifted the earpiece outside of the glass with a slight cut-down edge before it meets the body.

Vivo V11 Halo Display

However a 6.3-inch display still keeps the size that is not suitable for most hands. It definitely is a big screen which may not impress all but a big screen always is better for tech savvy or entertainment seekers. Do let us know in the comments below if you want a big display for any other reason.

Overall this IPS display is quite bright to deal with most situations including outdoors. However some heavy shadows under very bright sunlight impacts the viewing.

It’s Full HD+ resolution of 2280×1080 pixels across the panel with 19:9 aspect ratio. The pixel density of ~400ppi looks impressive 84% screen-to-body ratio.

Vivo V11 – Build and Design

Vivo V11 is built with plastic body on the back side and comes in two color options – Starry Night and Nebula, both are glossy finish. I actually loved the former color during the launch event, though here we got the Nebula color for review which is not that great frankly. If you are a girl, reading the review, you are likely to like this color. Still, I’d say, no matter you are a girl or a boy, if you are given an option to chose, you’d probably choose the Starry Night.

Vivo V11 Build Quality

The build quality is not bad, it’s packed well as sturdy. Plastic might not be translated to an impressive thing to many but it’s the most secure and reliable build material for phones yet. If it’s good quality plastic it’s the shield to absorb shock. Ever wondered why they mostly place a thin plastic layer between the front glass and the main body? Now you should know the answer that it’s there to absorb shocks from accidental drops.

It won’t be true to tell that in a price such as this, you’d get a plastic phone, because even cheaper phones now feature metal build. In fact the recently launched Nova 3i in exactly the same price, features a glass body and metal frame inside.

The front screen has 2.5D curved glass and the company has not mentioned anything about scratch resistance but after having it used for quite a while, it seems to be a scratch resistant. We’ll update after confirming if the phone actually features a Gorilla Glass.

Vivo V11 Hands-On Front

It’s worth noting here that the phone comes with a protective film pre-applied. You can leave it on or remove it as you prefer. The glass is less prone to fingerprint, however the the oily smudges may take longer to clean off.

Components and Ports

Front-facing camera and the earpiece, you have seen above the display, is 25-megapixel camera. Other common sensors are hidden behind the thin bezel besides the camera – light sensor on the left while the proximity sensor is on the right side. There is one more more important sensor on the right side – infrared sensor/illuminator, used for face unlocking. Believe me it’s real quick, as quick as a flagship.

The bottom chin is just plain without anything on it. The phone operates with on-screen navigation keys.

Power button and the volume buttons are on the right side of the phone, however everything else is on the bottom – the microUSB port, a loudspeaker and a 3.5mm audio jack along with a mouthpiece.

There is nothing on the top you could see but the user manual mentions of a secondary microphone for noise cancellation on top. SIM slot is on the left side of the phone. It’s a a dual-SIM phone, however the slot serves with a dedicated microSD card slot.

The micro USB connectivity still leaves me unimpressed. I know it’s a mid-range phone, but c’mon, just put it in while it can serve better before it’s another old solution. I’d like to mention that OPPO F9 and Nova 3i, in the same price, also offer micro USB connectivity. It’s another confusing element from Huawei as the P20 lite offered the USB Type-C port alos in the same price tag.

On the back you’ll be provided a dual-camera module on the top left corner with an LED flash below. It’s a 16-megapixel primary camera with a 5-megapixel secondary camera for depth mapping to simulate bokeh effect.

Vivo V11 - Back Side

The “vivo” branding is little above the midpoint. Then above the branding, there is the fingerprint scanner. The bottom portion of the panel prints “Designed by vivo”.

The always-on fingerprint sensor on the back is even faster that brings up the home screen within milliseconds. I always appreciated Huawei’s fingerprint sensors, well Vivo also seems to be doing impressive things. Face Unlocking is more than impressive in this mid-range smartphone. It offers infrared based real-faster face unlocking which is really commendable in this price range.

Vivo V11 Review IR Face Unlock

Over all design is quite similar to to Vivo V9. The device weighs much lighter than it looks – thanks to plastic build, which has its pros as well. Handling of the phone is acceptable while buttons on the right hand are perfectly placed unlike V9’s

Vivo V11 – Software and User Interface

The Vivo V11 comes with Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box along with Funtouch OS 4.5 on top of that. The good thing is that Vivo is actively shipping updates and patches to the phone. At the time of writing the phone is running Android 8.1 build with September security patch. Funtouch OS on the other hand is skipping some prominent features from Android Oreo – such as notification dots, smart text selection. Some of those features are present, like picture in picture mode.

Vivo V11 Review Software UI

Like previous iterations, Funtouch 4.5 keeps its resemblance with iOS. The user interface on Vivo V11 gives you an iOS feel in most scenarios throughout the navigation of the system. The very first glimpse of such a similarity between the two is when you have to swipe upwards from the bottom edge to pull up a control center with a row of frequent apps icons, the brightness and media volume controller, and the quick switches/toggles. The same way, notifications are brought down from the top edge. You may feel uncomfortable with it at first but yout get used to it.

There is no app drawer and the home screen is not really customizable. You can just change wallpaper or add widgets. The shortcut switches can be rearranged right from the control center.

As the notch has been shrunk down to a halo, the content area around it gets more room. It shows system status icons such as battery, reminder, 2G/3G/4G, WiFi, Bluetooth etc on the right side. The left side shows network connectivity signals or time with the notification app icons. However, unlike Huawei, the Vivo’s software does not offer to the notch/halo with a darker status bar.

While previously the default Google App screen was not available on other Vivo smartphones, V11 comes with its own “Smart launcher” that offers card management on the most left home screen that works somewhat like Google App. You can enable shortcuts, Jovi Smart Scene, Weather, and To-do-list, to appear on the most left home screen.

Jovi is an AI assistant in Vivo smartphones that previously used to provide smart camera features and game mode. V11 comes with another option of Smart scene that lets you classify different scenarios that you can enable or disable for inclusion as card into smart launcher on home screen.

To turn it on/off you can go to Settings > lock screen, home screen, and wallpaper > Home screen settings > Smart launcher.

Game Mode allows you have an enhanced in-game user experience. It will prevent incoming calls or any other alert if you have set it to. A slide gesture is always present in-game that will allow you to change behaviour of the mode without leaving the game.

Vivo V11 offers splitscreen that can be activated with three-finger gesture. However the feature only supports a limited set of apps. Once activated from a compatible app, it shifts the app in one half and the other half lists the icons of other compatible apps only.

Floating icons are also supported when you are in full-screen mode such as watching a video or playing a game. Any app that supports notifications and is compatible with split screen, its icon will appear and float on to the video playback or game play.

When enabled for a certain app, Picture in Picture will automatically activate when you minimize a compatible app that is showing some continuous content – such as a video playback or GPS navigation. It can be turned on/off from Settings > More settings > Permission management > Picture In Picture

In addition to standard Android navigation, Vivo V11 offers gesture based navigation too. Those gestures are exactly we have seen in iPhone X but the good thing is that it’s flawless. It’s easy to understand and keep in mind just like shown in the screens below.

Vivo V11 also has gesture recognition that allows you to open apps by drawing letters when the screen is off. There are a bunch of other smart helping features – Smart Motion. Air operation uses the proximity sensor and allows you to bring up screen glance by waving wave your hand over the display. If screen lock is not password protected, it will unlock the screen if you wave over the lit screen. There is double-tap to wake and turn off the display, raise to wake, and Smart keep bright to keep the display on when you are looking at it.

There are also some more interesting gestures such as Smart low volume – it keeps the volume of incoming call alerts, messages, alarms, or timers, when you are facing the phone. Smrt remind prompts you with missed calls and unread message notifications when you pick up your phone. Smart call is even interesting that when you are in a contact detail, call details, or message thread, you can put the phone closer to your ear to initiate a call. Likewise, it supports smart answer, or smart switch that toggles between hands-free and loud speaker.

The native apps and their settings have no direct link, so you could navigate to the settings of a certain application right from within that app. You have put down the app, go to phone’s settings, choose the app and review the settings.

Another bad thing is that options in settings are cluttered enough to make you lost finding something, that too without a search bar on top of the settings. However, to search for something you can go to home screen, perform a swipe-down gesture on the screen to reveal a search box – now thankfully, it’s the global search that looks for the term from the whole system, whether it’s an app, a contact, a text message or a settings element.

Vivo V11 – Performance and Battery Life

The Vivo V11 is powered by the MediaTek Helio P60 system-on-chip. It packs an octa-core ARM CPU with configuration of four cores of Cortex-A73 and four cores of Cortex-A53 – all clocked at 2.0GHz. The Mali-G72 MP3 GPU is all well for the package to run smoothly. The V11 also packs 4 gigs of RAM which also should help keep the tasks roam free and fare.

Vivo V11 Review Gaming

Vivo V11 didn’t disappoint us with its performance at all. It didn’t lag in pretty heavy tasks, multitasking. The transitions were smooth and gesture input was never delayed in response. Day to day primary usage is not objectionable. Calling, texting, surfing internet, social media apps, GPS navigation, video playback, web browsing etc, everything is commendable.

If you are wondering about the numbers then here are some popular benchmark scores of Vivo V11. It is somewhat equally performer with Huawei Nova 3i. However OPPO F9 doesn’t seem to be quite competitive with it even though it has the same chipset as V11. Even interesting thing is that the V11 Pro, which you might suppose to be better, performed mostly at lower pace in benchmark tests.

Note: Just ignore the Nova 3 in following scores as it’s outside the price range as well it carries the high-end flagship processor. Also note that the devices labeled with (*) are showing the scores from third parties. We’ll update them in their respective reviews when we do it ourselves. So for now you can just consider them for comparison.

AnTuTu

You must take in mind that OPPO F9 and Vivo V11, both are powered with the same Helio P60 processor. V11 follows behind OPPO F9 with only a few hundreds. Nova 3i, however, is powered by company’s Kirin 710 chipset and leads the three. You really need to consider the V11 Pro here as it follows V11 with a big margin.

Vivo V11 AnTuTu Score
AnTuTu Score – Vivo V11 vs Huawei Nova 3i, OPPO F9, Vivo V11 Pro

Geekbench

Vivo V11 gained a little higher score than OPPO F9 in Geekbench single-core test. On the other hand, in multi-core test, V11 even performed better than both OPPO F9 and Nova 3i. V11 Pro which is supposed to do better than the V11, is still behind all of them.

Vivo V11 Geekbench Single Score
Geekbench Single-core – Vivo V11 vs Huawei Nova 3i, OPPO F9, Vivo V11 Pro
Vivo V11 Geekbench Multi Score
Geekbench Multi-core – Vivo V11 vs Huawei Nova 3i, OPPO F9, Vivo V11 Pro

GFX Manhattan 3.1 (on-screen)

Here you go with V11 Pro performing better in graphics tests than the V11. Nova 3i is still ahead of them, however V11’s Mali G72 GPU seems to be hesitating against the Adreno 512 in V11 Pro.

Vivo V11 GFX Manhattan Score
GFX Manhattan 3.1 (on-screen) – Vivo V11 vs Huawei Nova 3i, OPPO F9, Vivo V11 Pro

3D Mark Slingshot Extreme (Open GL)

In another graphics test, V11 couldn’t cross its Pro model however both performed better than Nova 3i.

Vivo V11 3D Mark Benchmark Score

Battery

We spent a considerable time with Vivo V11 as a primary device with both SIM cards active. Battery timing has a positive point as it runs great all day with all kind of tasks.

Vivo V11 packs a 3315 mAh battery which should be enough for many with day to day tasks. It also supports fast-charging with bundled 9V – 2A (18W) charger.

Excessive camera usage may consume battery faster but it’s still competitive. V11 also managed using GPS navigation which has mostly been an unimpressive thing with most devices. Gaming on the other hand may take your battery juice more than usual.

Vivo V11 – Camera

Vivo V11 features three cameras – two on the back and one on the front. The dual rear cameras feature a 16MP primary sensor with a 5MP secondary sensor for depth mapping. The primary camera has an f/2.0 aperture lens while the dedicated camera for depth mapping helps producing bokeh effect.

Vivo V11 Review Camera

The camera user interface is mostly the same as we saw previously in Vivo V9. Vivo has managed it in pretty good way. The camera opens up with the viewfinder set at still photos mode, dubbed as “Take Photo”. You can slide to left or right as the modes to switch modes between “Videos”, “AR Stickers” or “AI Face Beauty”, “Panorama”, “Professional”, and “Doc”.

“Take Photo” supported features are stacked on top of the viewfinder – Flash, HDR, Bokeh/Aperture mode, Live photo, and then Settings. However, Beauty mode is added as a separate mode while it could have been added to the “Take Photo” mode as a feature like bokeh, live photo. Likewise, each mode brings its supported features on top of the viewfinder or anywhere along the frame.

Vivo’s beauty mode offers not only a very-common buffing in many smartphones, it also offers skin toning, whitening, face thinning/reshaping, jaw shaping, eyes enlarging/spanning, nose lifting/thinning, and mouth shaping. That’s pretty much everything you may want to play with.

Like many smartphones, Vivo V11 also features AI scene recognition. There is not a specific list of how many or which scenes may be recognized, it certainly can recognize “night”, “portrait”, “flowers”, “food”, and “sunset”.

Camera Performance

With respect to still camera shots, Vivo V11 is good to lock target exposure. The camera can capture good detail in well lit conditions while delivers the natural colors in most situations. However in little low light conditions, the detail was not that good.

Vivo V11 - Camera Sample

High contrast scenes were impressively managed by the camera. Noise level on the other hand were also commendable in both bright and low-light, while some it is somewhat visible in dark parts of the frame.

Vivo V11 - Camera Sample
Vivo V11 rear camera – High-contrast shot

Vivo V11 was not good with flash like most cameras with LED flash units. It is inconsistent with exposure and the white balanced is out of order. As expectedly, zoom shots lacked the the detail.

In bokeh mode, Vivo V11 isolates the subject impressively, however some tough conditions wiring, grill, and such other subjects with close proximity to each other may confuse the camera as the space between those closer subjects might be missed as a background.

Front-facing camera

25-megapixel high-resolution camera on the front is good. Specially for those who love to take selfies with the beautification-on. That’s because Vivo’s software seemed better than others. It’s little aggressive but I believe who love taking selfies, they will go aggressive with it. I never liked those face shaping features in camera but there might be some. I hardly use front camera for anything but reviews.

Quality and performance wise, the front camera also struggles in low-light conditions. Thanks to the screen flash that could help with an improved selfie quality.

Video Recording

If you have used Vivo V9, you would be not so excited to hear that V11 does not feature 4K video recording. You can record only 1080p at maximum.

Video quality at 1080p is not bad but due to no video stabilization, you are not gonna like videos from V11. Unfortunately, that’s the case with Nova 3i too.

Conclusion

Vivo V11 is a competitive smartphone in this price range. The plastic build may keep you from this phone but it’s not a deal breaker. The display is good, performance and battery life is appreciable – not to mention the fast charging. Camera is moderately good at most aspects including the bokeh mode.

The price tag of PKR 40,000/- gives you a good range of options such as OPPO F9 or Nova 3i, but eventually it all depends on individual’s preference. Vivo V11 is well balanced smartphone in this price range if you don’t care about its plastic build. If V11 had USB Type-C connectivity, it would be taunting both Nova 3i and OPPO F9.

General performance of Vivo V11 is also comparable to the ones in the price range. 4GB RAM and 128GB storage is what matches the Nova 3i. OPPO F9 is less likely to impress with half the storage capacity. After that we have done Nova 3i review previously, I can tell, Vivo V11 just stands side by side with almost same numbers, however on different elements.

Vivo V11 Review
Build & Design 7.5
Display & Touch Screen 7.5
Software / OS 7
System Performance 7
Battery Performance 8
Camera Primary/Secondary 8
Summary
Vivo V11 performs well with MediaTek Helio P60 chipset. 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage is a mind blowing thing in its price range.
7.5
Best Value
User Rating 0 Be the first one !
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