Hey guys, first of all I apologize for a brief hiatus. I had to take some time off for 2 months but now I feel reenergized and it’s great to be back making videos. What I have here is the Vivo V11 with the fingerprint sensor built into the screen. I know this tech has been out for some time but Vivo has kindly loaned me this phone for an honest review. This is the first time I’m using such a phone on a daily basis so let’s talk about it.
Design and Build Quality
The back resembles glass and has this 3D effect that looks amazing. I really like the blue and purple combination that they chose to recreate the nebula effect in the galaxy. The back also curves seamlessly to the sides that feel comfortable in the hands, without any sharp corners. I usually use it naked, and the back does attract fingerprints and smudges. But it’s good to know that they provide a free TPU case in the box.
As for front, you’ll notice that there isn’t any top bezel except for a small one around the front camera. It’s much better looking than the ones with notches and more items can be displayed. But one thing I noticed is the bottom bezel is pretty thick compared to none at the top. I, for one prefer the bezel all around to be equal in size as it looks more pleasing.
The In-Display fingerprint has quite a few benefits. It does not spoil the look of the phone if it’s placed at the back and its part of the display on the front without losing screen estate. Initially the sensor doesn’t seem accurate, but after clarification with Vivo that registering need to be directly on the sensor, it works great now. Registering need some getting used to since there isn’t a physical hardware feeling.
Unlocking speeds are pretty quick and the icon will need to appear before the sensor can read. Although it seem slow at times, I’m sure it’s the UI that’s loading slower so hopefully it can be improved with updates. If you wish, there is also face recognition that you can use together with the fingerprint sensor.
All buttons are pretty tactile and as the screen is a little big to navigate one handed, there is a feature to reduce the display size.
Hardware and Display
With a 6.41 inch Super AMOLED display, you can expect vibrant colors and deep blacks on the Vivo V11. Colors really look great when watching videos or looking at pictures, and you can change the color temperature in the settings as well. If you tend to use the phone often, use the blue light to reduce eye fatigue.
By default the screen doesn’t turn on when alerts arrive, but this can be switched on in the settings. Another way to check your alerts is the Always On display; it shows you the time and alerts from 4 apps. It would be way more useful to show alerts from all apps and the icon cannot be pressed to open up apps. As for resolution, the Vivo V11 has a 1080×2340 display good for 402 PPI. It’s pretty sharp in general but for such a screen size, a Quad HD resolution would be great.
Some apps like games will have black bars at the front camera. If the app you are using has that, you can turn on third party display ratio to fully utilize the area at the front camera. Just remember that some of the display will be blocked by the actual hardware.
Included is an earphone with a standard headphone jack. The headphone port is getting rare nowadays so it’s pretty nice to see the Vivo V11 supporting it. Together with the DeepField sound and equalizer, surprisingly it sounded pretty decent for a free product. The single speaker is located on the right side of the charging port. It’s pretty loud but easily muffled when using in landscape mode.
As for hardware, there are 2 microphones; one at the top and other at the bottom. Phone call clarity is good; both sides can hear each other clearly. The Vivo V11 supports dual 4G and you can choose the default SIM for data and calls or messages. Network speeds are pretty fast and it supports WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac.
The Vivo V11 has 2 configurations, 64GB/128GB storage (For Singapore, only 128GB is available) and both with 6GB of RAM. The set that I’m using is the bigger model and storage is plenty for me. If somehow you need the extra storage, it supports micro SD card and also USB OTG which you need to turn it on to use it.
Software and Performance
Powering the Vivo V11 is the Snapdragon 660AIE (AI-Enabled to support many AI-features) and Adreno 512. Gaming performance is good and day to day usage is a breeze. There was little to no overheating when gaming for longer duration. Benchmarks on Antutu scored 126591 and on GeekBench, 1444 single core and 5348 multicore.
With the 6GB of RAM onboard, multitasking pose no problems as well. UI is fluid, apps load fast and I didn’t need to manually clear apps away.
It’s running Android 8.1 with FunTouch OS 4.5 on top. The UI has been tweaked to their version but all in all it’s not difficult to maneuver if you had experience with Android. There are a couple of things that I feel that can be improved software wise like the menu. It feels a little clunky and a little hard to find the settings that I’m looking for. Little bugs like the WiFi text, and also the menu wordings can be more standardized as well.
There is no app drawer, and you can tap and hold to add widgets and arrange icons. You can also customize by changing wallpaper and themes.
Swiping left is the Smart Launcher; these are cards that show various things like Shortcuts and Jovi Smart Scene. Talking about Jovi, its Vivo’s AI engine that learns and its integrated into the OS. It learns of user habits and optimizes system resources for optimal performance. It also uses AI Scene Identification to accurately identify the current scene the camera is pointing at, and also AI Face Beauty for the selfies.
Even when playing games, there is the game mode that enhances the experience with useful settings. Calls answered can remain in the background, block floating previews, and also picture in picture. But it only supports certain chat apps.
Swiping down reveals the notification shade and swiping up opens the control panel. Here you can arrange icons and control the volume and brightness. The Vivo V11 also supports gestures in place of keys for the extra screen area.
For privacy, you can enable app lock so that it requires authentication to open the app to prevent unwanted access. For storage, File Safebox is the place to store private files that also requires authentication.
In Smart Motion like the name suggests, you can use a variety of actions for easier access like drawing on the screen to launch apps. You can also turn on Raise to Wake and Double Click to wake the display. Message Screen Splitting shows certain apps as floating icons for supported apps and Manual Screen Splitting for multitasking for some supported apps.
App Clone duplicates the app and you can log in 2 different accounts for the same app in one phone. And Smart Click customizes the volume down button to do certain actions or open any app when the screen is off.
A few other useful functions are Easy Touch floating button; recent apps blur background and also the Integrated Google Lens in the camera.
Packed in the Vivo V11 is a modest 3400 mAh battery. But don’t belittle its size; battery life was pretty good and more than enough to last through the day. During this period I try to use more than I usually would, my screen on time is around 4-5 hours on average. Using it about 10-12 hours until it is plugged back into the charger; I would have around 25 – 40% battery left. It will definitely be enough for average users.
It supports fast charging with the supplied charger and the time for it to charge to full is pretty decent. When battery life is low, there is a Low Power mode that will squeeze more juice out of it. Or if it’s really critical, Super Power-Saving Mode will save the day.
The Vivo V11 has a dual camera 12MP + 5MP setup on the back and a 25MP camera on the front. There are a couple of modes like Professional, Panorama, AI Face Beauty and AR Stickers. Most of the settings can be found in the gear icon but commonly used ones like HDR and Live Photo.
Focusing speeds are very quick for both Auto and Manual; in day and night times. Likewise shutter speeds are also fast for HDR for both day and night scenarios.
Photo quality is pretty good, sharp and clear with good color. Even for HDR, it does make the photos a lot brighter. As for night shots, its acceptable. But some noise can be seen, especially in HDR mode. The AI scene identification is pretty accurate for the most part and personally I prefer choosing Auto for most settings since it works best for me.
Both macro and portrait shots also work very well too, and you can change the aperture for portrait mode. As for Professional mode, it has a pretty comprehensive set of settings you can change. One thing I like is the ISO value will constantly update if it’s set to auto.
As for selfies, the 25MP camera takes really nice shots. The AI Selfie beauty does the job of making you look better, but sometimes by default it does overdo my skin tone a little. But all these settings like the size of your mouth, eyes etc can be tweaked.
For video recording, there isn’t any OIS so videos might be a little shaky. It supports recording up to 4K resolution on the back camera and 1080p on the front camera.
The Vivo V11 has quirks that are pretty good I should say, especially the In-Display fingerprint sensor. It’s a great step towards innovation and will definitely get better in future iterations. Currently I feel FunTouch OS feels a little clunky and doesn’t have a seamless design element. I’m pretty sure it can be polished and fine-tuned much more.
Other than that the design on the back of the phone looks great, battery life is long and performance is powerful. The Vivo V11 will make a great day to day phone and will be even better in future software updates.
In Singapore, The Vivo V11 retails for $599 without contract and is available through telcos M1 Limited (M1), and StarHub, and authorised dealers including Best Denki, Challenger, and Gain City.