Vivo’s V-series targets camera enthusiasts and people looking for a solid package in sub-Rs. 40,000 price segment. The brand launched its successor to the Vivo V27 Pro, Vivo V29 Pro, sometime back in India with MediaTek’s Dimensity 8200 SoC. It is said to have a camera system that the brand claims is great at low-light portrait photography. But is the all-new Vivo V29 Pro good enough for its Rs. 39,999 starting price, and does the new flagship from Vivo deliver? Let’s find out in this detailed Vivo V29 Pro review.
Vivo V29 Pro Review: Price in India
I’ve been using the top-end variant for the Vivo V29 Pro with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage in the Himalayan Blue colour option, priced at Rs. 42,999. The Vivo V29 Pro has another 8GB of RAM with 256GB of storage, priced at Rs. 39,999 in India. It can be bought in another Space Black colour option.
Vivo V29 Pro Review: Design
Most things have stayed the same on the outside since the Vivo V27 Pro here. The smartphone still comes in a glass sandwich design with a glossy finish with the Vivo branding at the bottom and sports the rectangular camera module raised a little from the glass back panel. You see some changes on the camera module itself; instead of the three camera lenses placed in a row, we now have two camera lenses and the aura-light flash in a row with the primary flash and a camera lens on the right.
The camera module now uses the same finish as the rest of the back panel. I particularly liked the Himalayan Blue colour variant quite a lot; it shimmers when placed under light, which is pleasing to the eyes. But you will need a case to carry it as the glossy finished smartphone catches many fingerprints. The smartphone sports a metal chassis with a glossy finish with the power key and the volume buttons on the right, and at the bottom, it gets the USB 2.0 Type-C port, dual-sim slot and a speaker grille.
The brand does not mention whether the smartphone gets Corning’s Gorilla Glass protection. Vivo V29 Pro is a large phone with a 6.78-inch curved display, which is difficult to hold sometimes. One-hand use is not very comfortable with the device. The buttons of this smartphone are pretty responsive and sometimes make them prone to accidental presses as well.
At 7.5mm, this is a very slim smartphone that feels very delicate to use without a case. It weighs just 188g, which puts it on the lighter side. The smartphone does not come with an official rating for water and dust resistance, which is a bummer. Overall, the look and feel of this smartphone is quite premium, and I felt like I was using a smartphone that justified its price.
Vivo V29 Pro Review: Display
Vivo V29 Pro uses a 6.78-inch curved AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz and a resolution of 1,260 x 2,800 pixels. It is pretty impressive with the colours that it produces. I watched a couple of Marvel movies, and the experience was quite good. Sharpness was on point, and the viewing angles were also good despite this being a curved display.
Colours did not bleed on the edges like you would notice on most curved display phones. The bezels on this smartphone are very thin; you barely see them while watching anything on the display. This smartphone performs pretty well in outdoor conditions as well. There is no word on its official peak brightness levels, but I did not feel like the smartphone fell short on brightness in direct sunlight either.
The display is HDR10 certified, and the HDR videos look crisp and have plenty of dynamic range when viewed on this display.
The smartphone supports a 120Hz refresh rate, and you can choose between the standard 60Hz refresh rate or the ‘Smart Switch’ refresh rate that selects the appropriate refresh rate by learning your usage to preserve the battery. It works fine for most day-to-day tasks like scrolling through the internet, UI, apps, etc., and the user experience with 120Hz is pretty good across the board.
Vivo V29 Pro Review: Camera
This is one of the strong suits of this smartphone. Vivo V29 Pro sports a triple-rear camera setup with a 50-megapixel primary camera with f/1.88 and OIS, a 12-megapixel portrait camera with 2x optical zoom and f/1.98 and an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera with f/2.2.
The primary camera performs very well in daylight, clicking images with plenty of details. The photos are not over-processed and have just the right amount of dynamic range in them; I did find them to be a little oversharpened for my taste. To click full-resolution 50-megapixel images, you will have to dig deep into the camera UI and select the high-res option, which restricts you from clicking those quite a bit. Bokeh straight out of the camera is quite pleasing and focuses on the close-up subjects pretty well.
The portrait camera performs well in daylight; it does not over-sharpen like the primary camera and maintains the colour scheme. 2x optical zoom helps you take shots that are a little difficult for the primary camera, and it still manages to take pretty detailed images. Portrait mode images out of this one are quite good; they are processed quite a bit, and you will notice the colour shift instantly. But the result sometimes looks better than the primary camera. I shot multiple human portraits with this one, and I was impressed by the background effect and subject isolation. It keeps the original skin tone intact and recognises the edges pretty well.
The ultrawide camera on the Vivo V29 Pro is a mixed bag; the 8-megapixel resolution sometimes produces very soft images, and the processor tries to sharpen those, which produces a worse-looking image. It works well in daylight, maintains good sharpness levels across the frame, and has good colours. But the distortion on the edges is noticeable.
The smartphone performs well in low light. I recently took some really good shots at an event with the primary camera. It tends to ramp up the saturation levels, but the pictures have good details. You will sometimes find yourself with flat-looking images, but mostly, the nighttime shots clicked with the primary camera will look great. The portrait camera works just fine in low light; in portrait mode, the bokeh looks excellent, and the colours are pleasing to the eyes, too. They’re not true-to-life but do not look cartoony as you might expect. It does not hunt for focus at night, either. The ultrawide camera lacks quite a bit in low light; you will see a lot of grains in your shots if they’re clicked in less-than-ideal situations. If you need great-looking ultrawide shots, you should be able to hold the camera still for quite some time and shoot at longer shutter speeds.
Vivo has emphasised its Aura-light flash quite a bit and does a decent job at separating the subject from the background, but it isn’t perfect. I found myself with shots that were not lit enough most of the time. But it is a good addition for whenever you do not want to use the main flash and need a different-looking portrait.
The smartphone can record videos at up to 4K 60fps without any stabilisation. Video capturing resolution drops as you select one of the stabilisation levels. The videos look good in general but are a little over-sharpened. Videos at night come out softer than usual.
For selfies, the smartphone uses a 50-megapixel camera with autofocus. It clicks images with good details in daylight and nighttime shots. But the default setting where the smartphone thinks I need to click a portrait with the front camera each time I open the selfie camera is annoying. The front camera can shoot 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 sports a 4600mAh battery, which is impressive considering how slim this smartphone is. The smartphone does a pretty good job of handling day-to-day tasks like playing music at 50 percent volume through TWS for a couple of hours, browsing the internet, playing videos online, some gaming and using productivity apps with 120Hz refresh rate enabled with around 50 percent screen brightness throughout the day. The Vivo V29 Pro lasted for 17 hours and 15 minutes in our battery loop test, which is quite impressive.
The smartphone comes with the 80W adaptor inside the retail packaging, which is a plus, considering most smartphones do not come with it nowadays. It charges very fast with the bundled charging adaptor; in our testing, the smartphone charged 66 percent in just 30 minutes and 100 percent in less than an hour, which is excellent. Surprisingly, the smartphone did not overheat while charging at such speeds either.
Vivo V29 Pro Review: Performance
It ships with MediaTek’s Dimensity 8200 5G SoC at heart, which is a good processor when it comes to handling graphic-intensive tasks. We ran all the required benchmarks on the Vivo V29 Pro, and the results were quite good for this price. It scored 9,19,960 on AnTuTu v.10.1.0, 1,213 single core and 3,931 for multi-core for Geekbench 6.
I played a couple of graphic-intensive games, including Call of Duty: Mobile, in which I did not see a lot of frames dropping during the gameplay. The gaming session was smooth, and I could play with high graphic settings enabled. Real Racing 3 was smooth, and the animations did not lag during my entire session. The smartphone did get a little warm after each session, but it was negligible. The Vivo V29 Pro comes loaded with Funtouch 13, based on Android 13. It has many pre-loaded apps, but they can be deleted at will, which is a plus. The overall user experience of the smartphone is lag-free, and it does feel like a premium smartphone.
Vivo V29 Pro Review: Verdict
The Vivo V29 Pro is a good smartphone with a starting price of Rs. 39,999 that checks all the necessary boxes, including a good display, a great set of cameras, a premium build quality and a good battery life with insanely fast charging speeds. It offers most of the premium features that a consumer looks for in this price range. The smartphone offers a premium in-hand feel, and the Himalayan Blue colour stands out. It justifies the starting price, and the 12GB RAM variant is priced decently well, too. The smartphone does fall short with average ultrawide camera performance, and no IP rating. If the latter matters to you more, I suggest you go with the Google Pixel 7a (Review), which has a better ultrawide camera performance, is IP67-rated water and dust resistant and is protected with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3, at a slightly higher price of Rs. 43,999.