REVIEW | vivo V25e midrange flagship smartphone  

Back in September, vivo formally launched three premium devices under its midrange-flagship V series – the vivo V25 Pro, the vivo V25, and the vivo V25e. Among these three, the V25e is the most affordable with a P17,999 price tag.  

When compared to its pricier siblings, the vivo V25e lacks the 120Hz screen refresh rate of the Pro variant and the 50MP front-facing camera of the standard version. All three models have different processors, but the vivo V25 Pro does come with a larger battery life and faster charging capacity.  

The vivo V25e’s direct predecessor is the V23e released November of last year. Versus the older model, the vivo V25e now has a formal dust and water resistance rating at IP54, a brighter AMOLED-type display, a faster and more energy-efficient MediaTek Helio G99 processor, a bigger storage option, a longer battery life, and a unique back panel coating called Flourite AG.  

Despite its tall display at 6.44-inches, the vivo V25e is lighter than expected. It does not have an ultra-thin body as marketed by the company and can feel bulky when used in tandem with a case.  

The metal chassis wrapped in all sides of the device gives off a better grip experience, but the rounded corners would be better complemented with softer 2.5D glass or tapered edges to make one-handed mode more comfortable.

The gradient shifting in colour adds a motion element to the overall design language, making the device more exciting to look at especially when laid bare without a rubber case. This Fluorite AG coating also has a second function, essentially making the vivo V25e immune to fingerprints or smudges. 

The rear camera island has a multilayer component that gives the illusion that the device does not have a large camera bump, which in reality is quite sizeable and will require additional external protection.  

Beside the main sensor and the depth sensor is a dedicated macro shooter and LED flash, other than that, the right side feels slightly vacant and incomplete – vivo could have easily added customized branding or camera information to offset this effect. 

The front-facing camera cut-out is also unnecessarily thick, taking a more noticeable chunk of the screen real estate versus more subtle dewdrop designs. 

Despite the display being AMOLED, the V25e lacks vivid colours and depth. Streaming content on the screen is acceptable: the resolution is average, the colour reproduction is lacking, and the overall dynamic range leaves a lot of room for improvement.  

With the addition of 4GB in extended memory, the device performs admirably even when multi-tasking up to a certain extent. Graphics are fluid but held back by the lack of 120Hz screen refresh rate, operating animations are snappy, and the performance doesn’t feel sluggish even with several background activities running.  

Heavy games run well but cause slight heating near the rear cameras, rendering times are a little bit slow compared to what other 6nm processors deliver in other smartphones, and multi-tasking is a breeze as long as users leave enough storage for extended memory to work. 

Vivo highlights the camera performance of the V25 series, but the cheaper V25e fails to keep up with its pricier siblings. The lack of wide-angle shots, for one, is a major disadvantage. Portrait shots are aggressively underexposed, macro mode must be manually turned on every time, and the peak 1080p at 60 frames-per-second footages suffer from poor edge detection and exposure even in well-lit environments.  

Fortunately, the battery life and charging rate of the vivo V25e is able to keep up even with the most demanding of users. With average usage, it can power through more than 24 hours of battery life, and up to eight hours when gaming. The vivo V25e is also NFC-ready which is convenient for users who transact via contactless payments.  

Verdict  

When it comes to aesthetics, it is undeniable that the vivo V25e looks more expensive than it actually is. This value for design, however, comes with a few tradeoffs: from the mediocre cameras, middling processor performance, and lacklustre display. For P5000 more, performance users should take a look at the standard V25, while content creators should consider the flagship V25 Pro priced at P29,999.  

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