vivo V9: The best of the iPhone X, on a budget

vivo V9

After a barrage of leaks and rumours, vivo’s latest (though not the greatest) smartphone—the vivo V9 is officially in Malaysia. The Chinese smartphone maker flaunts artificial intelligence (AI) as the main narrative, but let’s skip the pretense. The vivo V9 is unabashedly an iPhone X clone, and a pretty impressive one at that.

Vivo has carved a name for itself with products that mimic the iPhone as much as possible, down to its operating system and user interface.

Of course, it does also inject some innovation of its own. Firstly, the expansive 6.3-inch FHD+ FullView display (2280×1080) with a 19:9 screen aspect ratio. The near bezel-less phone bears no physical home button, offering an outstanding 90% screen-to-body ratio.

vivo V9

Apple as you know, dropped the fingerprint sensor completely in favour of FaceID on the iPhone X. So, Face Unlock is a thing now. The vivo V9, via the front camera embedded in a notch, does Face Unlock out-of-the-box (vivo calls it AI Face Access).

That aside, the vivo V9 comes powered by the power-efficient octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset, mated to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Storage is expandable further via microSD (up to 256GB).

For camera setup, the device uses a 16MP + 5MP (depth) f/2.0 dual-camera setup on the rear. On the flip side, the vivo V9 boasts a signature 24MP with f/2.0 aperture.

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vivo V9

The cameras are backed by “AI functions” that improve selfies and offer iPhone X-like Portrait Lighting, as well as intelligent shoot modes. The AI-powered cameras recognise a scene (landscape, night mode, etc) or object (cat, dog) then engages an appropriate mode/scene. Much like how it’s done on Huawei’s Mate 10 or the honor View10.

Another iPhone X-like feature is vivo’s own Animoji, called “Funmoji.”

vivo V9

Another feature you may like is Pocket Karaoke Bar, with deep integration with the WeSing app.

With the V9, vivo also introduces an AI-powered Game Mode that’s similar to Samsung’s implementation.

On the subject of gaming, vivo has a partnership with Garena for the MOBA “Arena of Valor.” Every V9 purchased will come with the S-Grade Hero, Lauriel. This campaign runs from April till September 2018.

Also, pre-orders and first sales of the V9 come with an additional Lauriel skin: Black Wing.

The vivo V9 comes with a 3,260mAh battery and runs FunTouch OS 4.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo.

Pricing and availability

The vivo V9 retails for MYR1,399 and is available in Black and Gold. You can pre-order starting today, 26 March until 30 March 2018. Early birds stand to receive a gift pack and JBL wireless speakers if you pre-order from vivo Malaysia or retail partners like Lazada or Shopee.

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The device comes with an 18-month warranty.

For more info, visit https://vivo.com/my.

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