Vivo’s V-series has consistently aimed at captivating camera enthusiasts and those seeking a robust package in the sub $500 (Rs 40,000) price range. The recent addition to this lineup, the Vivo V29 Pro, boasts MediaTek’s Dimensity 8200 SoC and promises an impressive low-light portrait photography experience. Priced starting at Rs. 39,999, this flagship phone raises questions about its overall worth. In this detailed review, we explore whether the Vivo V29 Pro lives up to expectations.
Vivo V29 Pro Review: Price in India
The Vivo V29 Pro offers two variants in India: the 12GB RAM and 256GB storage variant in Himalayan Blue priced at Rs. 42,999, and the 8GB RAM with 256GB storage option in Space Black at Rs. 39,999.
Vivo V29 Pro Design
Retaining the glass sandwich design of its predecessor, the Vivo V27 Pro, the V29 Pro impresses with a shiny finish and an eye-catching Himalayan Blue color variant. The camera module sees a slight redesign, housing two lenses and the aura-light flash in a row. The overall build is premium, though the phone’s slim profile and glossy finish make it prone to fingerprints. Weighing just 188g, it feels delicate yet justified in its pricing.
The camera module now shares the same finish as the rest of the rear panel. I particularly enjoyed the Himalayan Blue color variant, which shimmers under light and is pleasing to the eye. However, due to its glossy finish, the smartphone attracts many fingerprints, so you may want to invest in a case to keep it clean. The device features a metal chassis with a shiny finish that houses the power button and volume controls on the right side, while the bottom edge has a USB 2.0 Type-C port, dual SIM card slot, and a speaker grille.
The model does not specify whether the smartphone features Corning’s Gorilla Glass protection. The Vivo V29 Pro is a large phone with a 6.78-inch curved display, which can be difficult to handle at times. One-handed use may not be comfortable with this device, and the buttons can be prone to accidental presses.
With a thickness of only 7.5mm, the smartphone feels very sleek and lightweight, weighing in at just 188g. Unfortunately, it does not have an official rating for water and dust resistance, which is a disappointment. Despite this, the overall appearance and feel of the smartphone exude a sense of premium quality, making it seem like a worthy investment.
Vivo V29 Pro Display
Featuring a 6.78-inch curved AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 1,260 x 2,800 pixels, the Vivo V29 Pro’s screen offers vibrant colors, sharpness, and impressive viewing angles. The HDR10 certification enhances the viewing experience, and the thin bezels contribute to an immersive display. The phone intelligently supports a ‘Smart Switch’ refresh rate to optimize battery life based on user habits.
Colors don’t bleed along the edges like they do on most curved screen phones. The bezels on this smartphone are extremely thin, making them nearly invisible while watching content on the display. Its outdoor performance is also satisfactory, with no noticeable decrease in brightness levels in direct sunlight.
This smartphone supports a 120Hz refresh rate, and offers three options – 60Hz, Smart Switch (which automatically adjusts the refresh rate based on usage patterns to conserve battery life), and 120Hz. The user experience with 120Hz is generally positive across various tasks such as browsing the internet, navigating through menus, and using apps. The Smart Switch feature works well for everyday use cases and helps to optimize battery life.
Vivo V29 Pro Review: Camera
The Vivo V29 Pro’s camera system is one of its strongest features. It boasts a triple-lens rear camera setup, comprising a 50-megapixel primary camera with f/1.88 aperture and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), a 12-megapixel portrait camera with 2x optical zoom and f/1.98 aperture, and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with f/2.2 aperture.
In daylight, the primary camera takes high-quality photos with ample detail and dynamic range. However, the images tend to be slightly over-sharpened, which may not appeal to everyone’s taste. To capture full 50-megapixel resolution photos, you’ll need to manually select the “High Res” option within the camera interface. The bokeh produced by the portrait camera is pleasing, and it handles close-ups well.
The ultra-wide-angle camera is a mixed bag. While it captures decent photos in daylight, the 8-megapixel resolution sometimes results in soft images. Additionally, the processor’s attempts to sharpen the images can produce unsatisfactory results. Nevertheless, it maintains good sharpness across the frame, and the colors are generally accurate. However, there is notable distortion around the edges.
Low-light performance is respectable. The primary camera takes good photos in dim environments, with adequate details and saturation. The portrait camera works well in low light, producing beautiful bokeh effects and pleasing colors. Although the ultra-wide-angle camera struggles in low light, it still manages to capture usable photos if you can hold the camera steady long enough.
Vivo has highlighted its Aura-light flash, which does a fair job of separating subjects from the background. However, it’s not perfect, and I found myself with underexposed shots more often than not. The smartphone can record videos up to 4K 60fps without stabilization, but video quality drops when selecting stabilization options. The videos look good overall but are somewhat over-sharpened. Nighttime videos come out softer than expected.
The front-facing camera uses a 50-megapixel sensor with autofocus. It captures detailed selfies in both daylight and low light, but the default settings prioritize portrait mode, which can be frustrating. The front camera can record videos up to 4K 60fps that look good in daylight but lack details in low light.
Vivo V29 Pro Review: Battery and Charging
The Vivo V29 Pro boasts a 4600mAh battery, which is impressive given its slim design. The smartphone handles daily tasks efficiently, including playing music at 50% volume via TWS for several hours, browsing the web, streaming videos online, gaming, and using productivity apps with the 120Hz refresh rate enabled at around 50% display brightness throughout the day. In our battery loop test, the Vivo V29 Pro lasted an impressive 17 hours and 15 minutes.
The smartphone comes with an 80W adapter included in the retail packaging, which is a bonus considering many smartphones no longer include one. The device charges quickly with the bundled charger, reaching 66% in just 30 minutes and fully charging in under an hour. Notably, the smartphone didn’t overheat during rapid charging.
Vivo V29 Pro Review: Performance
The Vivo V29 Pro is powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 8200 5G SoC, a capable processor for handling graphics-intensive tasks. Our benchmark tests showed promising results, with scores of 9,19,960 on AnTuTu v.10.1.0 and 1,213 single-core and 3,931 multi-core for Geekbench 6.
During our testing, we played several graphically demanding games, including Call of Duty: Mobile, and didn’t observe significant frame drops or lag. The gaming sessions were smooth, and we could play with high graphical settings enabled. Real Racing 3 also ran seamlessly, with no animation lag throughout my entire session. Although the smartphone got slightly warm after each session, it wasn’t a major concern.
The Vivo V29 Pro runs on Funtouch 13, based on Android 13, and comes with numerous pre-installed apps. However, these can be easily uninstalled, which is a welcome feature. Overall, the smartphone provides a responsive user experience, feeling premium and lag-free.
Vivo V29 Pro Review: Verdict
The Vivo V29 Pro is a cost-effective smartphone with a starting price of approximately $500 USD that offers a wide range of high-end features, including an exceptional display, an impressive camera system, premium build quality, and fast charging capabilities. It delivers nearly all the luxury features consumers expect in this price bracket. The smartphone feels premium in hand, and the Himalayan Blue color variant stands out. The price is reasonable, especially for the 12GB RAM model. However, the smartphone falls short regarding average ultra-wide-angle camera performance, and it lacks an official IP rating. If those aspects matter more to you, consider the Google Pixel 7a, which boasts better ultra-wide-angle camera performance, IP67 dust and water resistance, and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, albeit at a slightly higher price point of around $630 USD.