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Vivo V20 review: Back to the roots, literally

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Written by Anuj Bhatia
| New Delhi |

October 18, 2020 11:10:01 am


Vivo V20, Vivo V20 sale date, Vivo V20 specs, Vivo V20 features, Vivo V20 price in India, Vivo V20 vs Samsung Galaxy M51At 7.38mm thick, the V20 is one of the slimmest smartphones you can find in this price segment. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

In a hyperactive smartphone market like India, it is not easy to stand out from the competition unless you give consumers the right features they want to use in a phone. And if a phone falls in the mid-range segment, the bigger challenge is maintaining a balance between price and performance. With its latest V20, Vivo has tried to put together a well-balanced smartphone that meets the needs of average consumers. But here’s the question: How different is the Vivo V20 experience and who should buy this? I tested the V20 for a week to find out whether Vivo’s newest mid-range smartphone is worth your money and time.

Vivo V20 price in India: Rs 24,990

Vivo V20 review: Design and build

For the price, I think the Vivo V20 does look premium, with aluminum sides and a glass back. At 7.38mm thick, the V20 is one of the slimmest smartphones you can find in this price segment. The 6.44-inch V20 is not as small as the Pixel 4a, but it’s nowhere close to the size of the iPhone 11 Pro. I found the V20 easy to hold and use with one hand.

Like newer phones of today, Vivo V20 follows the near edge-to-edge look, though it comes with a waterdrop-style notch that feels a bit dated in comparison to the punch-hole camera cutout. Flip the phone over and you will see a frosted glass back. My review unit had this sunset melody colour variant which makes the phone a bit more interesting. The rectangular camera module in the top left corner houses three lenses. I was glad to see that there is a 3.5mm headphone jack on the V20, though it lacks waterproofing and wireless charging. But you won’t miss these features, anyway.

Vivo V20, Vivo V20 sale date, Vivo V20 specs, Vivo V20 features, Vivo V20 price in India, Vivo V20 vs Samsung Galaxy M51 My review unit had this sunset melody colour variant which makes the phone a bit more interesting. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Vivo V20 review: Display and speakers

The V20 has a large 6.44-inch AMOLED display that touts a Full HD+ resolution and is HDR 10 compliant. The size of the display is right, but now there are many phones available in the mid-range segment that offer a bigger display. The Galaxy M51, for example, has a 6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED display.

I personally have no issues with the V20’s display. The colours are punchy and the screen also gets plenty bright to read texts and web pages outdoors, though I found the 6.44-inch display a bit reflective. The screen, however, doesn’t support a 90Hz refresh rate as the OnePlus Nord.

The V20 has a mono speaker as opposed to stereo speakers, but they get loud and they sound above average. The phone uses an in-display fingerprint scanner which thankfully didn’t disappoint. It’s fast and unlocks the phone quickly.

Vivo V20, Vivo V20 sale date, Vivo V20 specs, Vivo V20 features, Vivo V20 price in India, Vivo V20 vs Samsung Galaxy M51 The V20 is one of the first new phones to launch with Android 11 out of the box. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Vivo V20 review: Performance and battery

The V20 is a mid-range phone at heart, and it shows. It has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 720G processor paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB expandable storage. Although the chipset isn’t as powerful as the Snapdragon 765G, it’s still fast. But I did witness minor lags when opening web pages or when running graphics-intensive games. In day-to-day use, I have had no problems with the phone.

I was happy with the battery life on the V20. The 4000mAh battery lasted a full day when connecting the phone to Wi-Fi (Since I am working from home I have turned off 4G on the phone). That was when I primarily used the phone for watching YouTube videos, browsing the internet, playing games, listening to music on Spotify, and checking emails. I think the battery should last a bit longer under normal use. The phone also ships with a 33W charger that fills the battery from zero to 100 per cent in less than an hour.

Another highlight of the V20 is its software. It is one of the first new phones to launch with Android 11 out of the box. The best part is that Vivo has overhauled the user interface with minimal preloaded apps from Vivo and third-party developers.

Specifications

Display: 6.44-inch FHD+ AMOLED, HDR10 compliant

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G

Storage/RAM: 8GB RAM, 128GB/256GB storage, microSD support (up to 1TB)

Software: Funtouch OS based on Android 11

Battery: 4000mAh, 33W fast charging support

Camera: Triple rear-cameras (64MP+8MP+2MP), 44MP Eye Autofocus selfie camera

Colour options: Sunset Melody, Midnight Jazz

Vivo V20, Vivo V20 sale date, Vivo V20 specs, Vivo V20 features, Vivo V20 price in India, Vivo V20 vs Samsung Galaxy M51 In daylight, you get a surprisingly natural shot, with nice colours and good contrast. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Vivo V20 review: Camera

The V20 has three cameras on the back. The setup consists of a 64 MP main sensor, an 8MP 120-degree wide-angle camera, a 2MP monochrome sensor. Then there is a camera on the front: a 44MP “Eye Autofocus” selfie shooter.

In daylight, you get a surprisingly natural shot, with nice colours, good contrast, and a well-balanced exposure. But I struggled to get sharp images using the same 64MP camera indoors. The other two cameras are okay – not too great, not too bad. Due to the lack of the depth-sensing camera, I got lousy portrait shots. Given the choice, I would choose the depth-sensing camera over the mono lens any day. Low-light performance is acceptable but nothing amazing as such.

Check out some of the pictures  I clicked using the Vivo V20.

Vivo V20, Vivo V20 sale date, Vivo V20 specs, Vivo V20 features, Vivo V20 price in India, Vivo V20 vs Samsung Galaxy M51 (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Vivo V20, Vivo V20 sale date, Vivo V20 specs, Vivo V20 features, Vivo V20 price in India, Vivo V20 vs Samsung Galaxy M51 (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Vivo V20, Vivo V20 sale date, Vivo V20 specs, Vivo V20 features, Vivo V20 price in India, Vivo V20 vs Samsung Galaxy M51 (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Vivo V20, Vivo V20 sale date, Vivo V20 specs, Vivo V20 features, Vivo V20 price in India, Vivo V20 vs Samsung Galaxy M51 (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Perhaps the headline feature of the V20 is its 44MP camera with an Eye Autofocus technique that you will only find in DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. It’s a hit and miss feature, and I honestly don’t think the Eye Autofocus technology makes a huge difference to average consumers other than Vloggers. Otherwise, the front-facing camera is capable of capturing terrific detail in good lighting. It can also do slow-motion selfies as well as record selfie videos in 4K.

Vivo V20 review: Should you buy it?

The Vivo V20 is an impressive mid-range smartphone, but it’s not perfect. The problem with the V20 is that Vivo has played it safe and there is not much dramatically different from its predecessors. That’s not a bad thing necessarily, given the high level of competition in the mid-range segment, Vivo V20 does not fully shine. With smartphones like the Galaxy M51 and Pixel 4a priced under Rs 30,000, Vivo needs to think differently to counter the stiff competition.

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Tech chief executives to defend key law in front of U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday- Technology News, Firstpost

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 Tech chief executives to defend key law in front of U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday

By David Shepardson and Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chief executives of Twitter Inc, Facebook and Alphabet Inc will tell U.S. lawmakers at a hearing on Wednesday that a federal law protecting internet companies is crucial to free expression on the internet, according to written testimonies from the companies seen by Reuters.

Section 230, a provision of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, shields technology companies from liability for user-generated content and allows them to remove lawful but objectionable posts. It has come under heavy criticism from President Donald Trump and both Democratic and Republican lawmakers who have been concerned about Big Tech’s content-moderation decisions.

Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey will tell the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday that eroding the foundation of Section 230 “could collapse how we communicate on the Internet, leaving only a small number of giant and well-funded technology companies.”

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg warned that tech companies were likely to censor more to avoid legal risks if Section 230 is repealed.

“Without Section 230, platforms could potentially be held liable for everything people say,” he said.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Nandita Bose; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.



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Hats off to the UK for smartphone unlocking laws, and more tech news today

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Your tech news digest, by way of the DGiT Daily tech newsletter, for Tuesday, 27 October 2020

1. UK bans locked phones, hooray!

The UK has announced a ban on the sale of network-locked phones, finally ending one of the vices that carriers try and use to keep you loyal to them.

  • The BBC reported that while it typically costs about £10 to get a locked smartphone unlocked, studies showed that’s not the full story, with half of all those who try to do so experience difficulties:
  • “These [difficulities] can include facing a long wait to receive the code needed to trigger the process, as well as then finding that the code does not work.”
  • “We know that lots of people can be put off from switching because their handset is locked. So we’re banning mobile companies from selling locked phones, which will save people time, money and effort — and help them unlock better deals,” Ofcom connectivity director Selina Chadha was quoted as saying on the regulator’s website.

Finally: 

  • This is a welcome change, with most reactions saying finally, this is long overdue, and so on.
  • While some carriers in the UK were already keeping phones unlocked, the likes of giants including Vodafone and BT were not, and will now need to comply by December, 2021. Which isn’t soon enough really, but at least it will come into place.
  • The whole practice was a great scheme for carriers but really made little sense in any other business model in the world, where consumers pay for devices they can only use while paying a certain company. Telecommunications is unique, and carriers will always wield power when they can get away with it.

Elsewhere?

  • In Europe, this is generally the case already, and in Singapore, for example, locked phones are banned.
  • In Australia phones are generally unlocked too, except in some cases with prepaid phones where phones are often affordable but made cheaper through locks.
  • In South Africa, major carrier Vodacom started adding locks as recently as a year ago, reversing previous unlocked phones.
  • And of course, there’s the US, where locked phones are much more common. Some devices may only be compatible with specific networks too. For example, some phones like the OnePlus 7T require a specific Verizon variant as the standard unlocked model doesn’t work on Verizon. Which is strange!
  • Verizon, for example, keeps a lock for 60 days after purchase before then unlocking. And it’s completely legal to unlock a phone, which leads to guides like ‘How to unlock a Verizon phone’ being popular, for Verizon’s pre-paid devices.
  • Otherwise, unlocking a phone locked to AT&T on a contract may require that you’ve paid out a 24-month plan already and jumping through various hoops.
  • It may be that moves like this commendable one from the UK regulator heaps pressure on other countries, too.

2. The OnePlus Nord N10 and N100 were announced yesterday with the leaks right on the money. They’re more affordable or budget phones with headphone jacks, and with microSD card slots for the first time for OnePlus phones. We don’t know pricing yet but it’s going to be in a battle with the likes of the Google Pixel 4a and iPhone SE for the N10 (Android Authority). And wait, wasn’t every OnePlus phone supposed to have a high refresh rate screen? (Android Authority).


3. Samsung Galaxy S30 Ultra specs leak: An S20 Ultra with a new coat? Oh, and don’t expect a charger or earphones in the Galaxy S30’s box (Android Authority).


4. Fairphone 3 Plus review: Sustainability comes with compromises (The Verge).


5. Facebook is the latest to jump into mobile cloud gaming. I had a look, the games on offer are …extremely Facebook. Plus, digs at Apple’s iOS policies (Android Authority).


6. Microsoft adds mouse and trackpad support to Office apps on iPad (Engadget).


7. iPhone 12 drop test confirms the new screen helps durability, to an extent (Engadget).


8. Roku Ultra 2020 review: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, which makes it a tough sell over the Roku Streaming Stick Plus which is half the cost (CNET).


9. AMD agrees to buy Xilinx for $35 billion in stock, which may open up 5G and automotive electronics as Xilinx invented the FGPA (NY Times)


10. “Sometimes I think of how cakes are a miracle.” (Twitter)


11. Moon holds more water in more places than ever thought — but don’t overdo it. “To be clear, this is not puddles of water,” stressed lead researcher Casey Honniball (AP).


The DGiT Daily delivers a daily email that keeps you ahead of the curve for all tech news, opinions, and links to what’s going down in the planet’s most important field. You get all the context and insight you need, and all with a touch of fun. Plus! Rotating daily fun for each day of the week, like Wednesday Weirdness. Join in!



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Apple to charge more for apps in India and five other countries

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By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |

October 27, 2020 11:43:30 am


apple app store price hike, app store price hike india, app store prices revision, apple app store controversy, apple app store tax, app store tax on developersApple App Store prices set to be increased in six countries (File Photo)

Apple announced on Monday that it will charge more apps in India, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa in the next few days. This change will apply to in-app purchases as well and the developer will receive updated price tier charts informing them about the change in prices of their apps. Specifically for India, there will be an increase of two per cent in addition to the goods and services tax of 18 per cent which is already in place. On the other hand, in Indonesia foreign developers will have to bear the burden of an additional 10 per cent tax.

“When taxes or foreign exchange rates change, we sometimes need to update prices on the App Store,” the Cupertino-giant said in the announcement posted on its developer website.

There is no confirmation whether the increase in prices will be applicable or not for other services like Apple Music, Apple TV+ and iCloud. On the other hand, this increase will apply on auto-renewable subscriptions as well. Also, it is yet to be clarified as to when the App Store users will be able to see these changes.

The statement further mentioned, “You can download the updated price tier charts now. Once these changes go into effect, the Pricing and Availability section of My Apps will be updated, and your proceeds will be adjusted accordingly and calculated based on the tax-exclusive price. You can change the price of your apps and in-app purchases (including auto-renewable subscriptions) at any time in App Store Connect. If you offer subscriptions, you can choose to preserve prices for existing subscribers.”

ALSO READ | Fortnite controversies timeline: All the news about the world’s most popular video game

In the near future, the prices of Albania and Iceland as per the other markets with value-added tax selling in US dollars. However, this is not the first instance where Apple has made changes in App store prices for specific countries. The prices were revised in Japan last year. Also, the last time India prices were revised was in the first quarter of 2017.

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