Vivo V7 First Impressions

Vivo V7 First Impressions

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Vivo V7 is a smaller version of the previously launched Vivo V7+
  • The smartphone features a 5.7-inch FullView display with 18:9 aspect rati
  • It comes with a ‘Moonlight’ selfie flash and offers a face unlock feature

The Vivo V7, which was launched in India earlier this week, is a smaller and more affordable version of the V7+ which debuted back in September. The new Vivo smartphone retains most of the hardware of its predecessor, albeit a smaller screen, lower capacity battery, and half the onboard storage. Despite these cutbacks that make the V7 fit into the sub-Rs. 20,000 segment, features like the ‘Moonlight Glow’ flash for selfies, face unlock, and 18:9 display should be enough to give strong competition to the Honor 8, Xiaomi Mi Max 2, and Oppo F5. The handset also has a custom Funtouch OS skin on top of Android Nougat that delivers a unique experience. We have been able to spend some time with the Vivo V7 following its launch in India, and here are our first impressions.

First things first, the construction of the Vivo V7 is very similar to that of the V7+. There is a metal frame that bounds a glass panel on the front, and a metal-finished plastic casing on the back. The device is 7.9mm thick, 149.30mm tall and 72.80mm wide. These measurements make it a compact device that is easy to grip in an average-sized palm. Further, the mix-and-match of plastic, metal, and glass in its construction makes the weight of the Vivo V7 manageable, at 139g – significantly lighter than the 152g Oppo F5 and the 178g Samsung Galaxy On Max. If we compare the Vivo V7 with the Vivo V7+, the new model is 21g lighter but 0.2mm thicker than its predecessor. It is available in Champagne Gold and Matte Black.

The Vivo V7 continues the trend of taller screens and narrower borders, and so there is a 5.7-inch FullView IPS display with a resolution of 720 x 1440 pixels (HD+) and an 18:9 aspect ratio. This display is bright and easy to read. Viewing angles are also fair and colour reproduction is quite vivid. However, the HD+ resolution is relatively inferior in this segment that is filled with full-HD offerings.

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Vivo V7 featuring a 5.7-inch FullView HD+ display

The screen of the Vivo V7 occupies most of its front face, with a screen-to-body ratio of 83.6 percent. This is the reason that there aren’t any physical or capacitive keys below it – pretty much the same as competing models. The display is protected by a 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass. Vivo has attached a screen protector on top of the scratch-resistant glass. Above the screen is a selfie camera sensor and an earpiece, whereas a pair of ambient light and proximity sensors and a notification LED are almost hidden under the jet black glass covering. Also, if you are afraid of accidental falls, the handset comes with a bundled TPU cover.

On the right side, the Vivo V7 has a volume rocker and a power button, while the left side has a three-card tray to hold a microSD card as well as two Nano-SIM cards. The bottom of the V7 has a 3.5mm jack, a primary microphone, a Micro-USB port and a loudspeaker grille. If you were looking for a USB Type-C port, you will be disappointed. The top has a secondary microphone for noise cancellation. On the back, there is a fingerprint scanner and the camera which protrudes a little and has a dual-LED flash.

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Vivo V7 with a matte, metal-finish back panel

At the heart of the Vivo V7 is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 450, the same SoC that powers the Vivo V7+. It’s a 1.8GHz octa-core CPU with integrated Adreno 506 GPU. The Vivo V7 also has 4GB of RAM. Instead of the 64GB storage that was available on the V7+, you get 32GB which is expandable using a microSD card (up to 256GB).

Vivo has gone with Android 7.1 Nougat with its own Funtouch OS 3.2 skin. We did not experience any lag, and usage was quite smooth. The custom skin has a bunch of proprietary features. There is a game mode that claims to improve performance, and an App Clone feature that allows you to use two copies of an app with different accounts. The interface that comes preloaded with FuntouchOS also has tweaks like an iOS-style Control Center, and gestures that can work as navigation keys. You can use “smart motion” shortcuts to wake the screen with a slide upwards, or answer a call by bringing the device close to your ear. There is no official word on the release of an Android Oreo update.

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Vivo V7 with Funtouch OS 3.2

Coming to the camera, the Vivo V7 sports a 16-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture lens that supports phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and an LED flash. On the front, there’s a 24-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 aperture lens. The camera app offers features such as face beauty, panorama, HDR, ultra-HD, portrait mode, and tons of filters. Also, there is an iOS-like Live Photos mode that creates short, animated clips. Face beauty offers preset options, namely buffing, skin tone, and whitening. The primary camera seemed to take well-detailed shots in our limited time with it. There was little noticeable noise even in low light. We did observe some signs of oversaturation while capturing selfies under bright light, though. The available LED Moonlight Glow flash can improve selfies in low light.

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Vivo V7 with a 16MP primary camera

The front camera of the Vivo V7 can be used to unlock the phone using facial recognition. The experience isn’t as smooth (or advanced) as Apple has implemented on the iPhone X. Lighting conditions impact the experience and face recognition won’t work in some instances. This is something that is common to most Android smartphones that have tried to implement this feature.

The Vivo V7 packs a 3,000mAh battery but doesn’t support fast charging. We’re reserving comment on battery performance till we can test it thoroughly in our full review.

Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 to catch our full review of the performance, features, cameras and battery life of the Vivo V7.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Vivo V7

Vivo V7

Rs.18,990
Buy
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.70-inch

Processor

1.8GHz octa-core

Front Camera

24-megapixel

Resolution

720×1440 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.1

Storage

32GB

Rear Camera

16-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3000mAh

BUY AT
  • Vivo V7 (Champagne Gold, 32GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs.18,990
  • Vivo V7 (Matte Black, 32GB, 4GB RAM) – OFFER
    Rs.18,990

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Bharat-1 First Impressions: The Jio Phone Rival India Needs?

Bharat-1 First Impressions: The Jio Phone Rival India Needs?

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Micromax has launched Bharat-1 feature phone
  • The Bharat-1 supports 4G VoLTE, and ships with BSNL’s bundled offers
  • We spent some time with the Bharat-1, read our first impressions below

After years of manufacturers scrambling for ways to bring affordable and locally relevant smartphones into the hands of millions, it took a Jio Phone to bring feature phones back into focus. So it’s no surprise that telecom operators and phone manufacturers in India are having a deja vu moment, BSNL and Micromax being the latest with the new Bharat-1, a 4G feature phone with high-speed Internet that was unveiled in New Delhi on Tuesday.

The BSNL Micromax Bharat-1 has an unassuming design – more on this shortly – but what it offers out of the box and signifies in the grand scheme of things is perhaps more appealing. Priced at Rs. 2,200 (roughly $34) and going on sale October 20, it is positioned as a solution to the needs of over half a billion people in India.

The need for affordable connectivity

So what are these needs that the BSNL Micromax Bharat-1 phone can fulfil? Let’s see. Micromax’s Rahul Sharma thinks that people don’t want to pay for the voice calls they make and also surf countless webpages at no charge. For this, his company has partnered with state-run telecom operator BSNL. At a meagre Rs. 97 monthly tariff plan, Sharma says, customers can avail all of this with the Bharat-1.

But let’s be honest. People also want to listen to music, watch videos, and stream live TV occasionally. What about those needs? Micromax says it has partnered with a range of companies including Zenga to bundle in those entertainment offerings with the phone.

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Which brings us to the only question that matters: does the BSNL Micromax Bharat-1 handset live up to the expectations? The short answer is yes. A slightly longer answer is, mostly yes. We spent some time with the handset to figure out what the big deal was.

Does it live up to expectations?

From the looks of it, the Micromax Bharat-1 can be mistaken for a relic of the past. It features the classic numeric keypad and keys make unpleasant noise when you click on them. And you will be clicking them a lot as the tiny (2.4-inch), barely okay-ish display doesn’t support touch input. The plastic body also doesn’t feel premium, though it doesn’t feel cheap either. And that in a nutshell is what the design and other aesthetics of the BSNL Bharat-1 feel like. But everything gets interesting as you long hold and release the * key.

There are several apps that come pre-installed on the new Micromax Bharat-1 handset. For Web browsing, there is a custom build of Opera Mini mobile browser. We typed in a few webpages and they loaded just fine. There is a YouTube app as well, and the display and sound quality are good enough for what a customer would be paying for the device.

The Bharat-1 isn’t running Android, so there is no Google Play app store on the phone. This could be crucial to you if you were planning to download WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app in India, or most other popular app that you have been meaning to try on a phone. You will, however, be able to check Wikipedia, update Facebook statuses, read news articles, and do a range of other things using the Opera Mini browser.

There are two camera sensors on the phone as well. The rear camera, a 2-megapixel sensor and a VGA selfie camera on front, take perhaps the best images you can expect from them. Put mildly, you wouldn’t want to take pictures from them unless you don’t have any other phone lying around. The Jio Phone, in comparison, takes better pictures.

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There is an entertainment “Fun” app on the phone as well, which we are told offer a ton of songs, videos, and provides access to over one hundred TV channels. The catalogue felt thin to us, though we admittedly couldn’t browse through all the sections in the limited time we spent with the device. On the plus side, the videos run impressively well on the phone with enough clarity. The BSNL phone also supports Bluetooth, allowing users to quickly share files among themselves.

Bharat-1 supports Wi-Fi, and that’s how the test unit we played with was hooked to the Internet. Combing through the Settings, we also found that this phone is capable of turning into a Wi-Fi hotspot machine. Though, we couldn’t test the feature as there were no SIM cards in the test device. We also couldn’t make any voice calls.

Speaking of which, the BSNL Bharat-1 comes with two SIM card slots. A Micromax representative told Gadgets 360 that users can absolutely swap the BSNL SIM cards with those from other telecom operators. Jio Phone doesn’t let you do that, do note, and has only a single SIM card slot. Those of you who are planning to purchase the Bharat-1, you could want swap in an Airtel or Reliance Jio SIM card into the phone.

Even as Micromax is positioning the device as “India Ka 4G phone”, it’s a little ironic that the launch partner BSNL doesn’t offer 4G just yet. So for the immediate future, if you want to browse the Web at 4G speeds, you would actually need a Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, or Reliance Jio SIM card to avail the facility.

“For us, this is a future acquisition strategy and BSNL has already started 4G tests and currently has a rural network that’s unmatched with any existing operator in the country. Once a feature phone user shifts to 3G and discards his outdated phone, in next few months the migration to 4G becomes easier,” a Micromax spokesperson told Gadgets 360.

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There is a 2000mAh battery in the Jio Phone rival that is a considerably larger from what feature phones typically seem to pack in, and should last you a couple of days of moderate usage on a single charge. We didn’t notice any significant battery drain on the phone even as we hammered the keypad to scan for everything we could find on the phone.

Should you purchase a Bharat-1 phone?

Well, it really depends. If you already own a smartphone, you might not want to purchase one of these Bharat-1 handsets. You will find that it takes worse images, and its display is unlikely to please your eyes. The phone is also very tiny and the keypad might ruin your experience. But that’s alright. Micromax hasn’t necessarily built the phone for you.

The Bharat-1 handset has been designed for the 500 million people in India who cannot afford a smartphone, or the data plans that go along with them to avail much of the services. The phone has been designed for the elderly, kids, and everyone in between who hasn’t had the opportunity to use a smartphone yet. And for those people, the Bharat-1 may just be a great purchase, even on BSNL’s 3G speeds.

Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for a detailed review of the BSNL Micromax Bharat-1.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Micromax Bharat-1

Micromax Bharat-1

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

2.40-inch

Front Camera

0.3-megapixel

Resolution

240×320 pixels

RAM

512MB

Storage

4GB

Rear Camera

2.4-megapixel

Also See
  • Micromax Joy X1850 (Black)
    Rs.784
  • Micromax Joy X1850 (Black)
    Rs.792
  • Micromax X072 (Black)
    Rs.830

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Honor 9i First Impressions: Will It Leave a Mark in Sub-Rs. 20,000 Segment?

Honor 9i First Impressions: Will It Leave a Mark in Sub-Rs. 20,000 Segment?

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Honor 9i has a 5.9-inch FullView display
  • It has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage
  • It sports dual cameras at the front and at the back

Honor 9i is the latest sub-Rs. 20,000 entrant to hit the Indian market, relying on features such as its four cameras, and bezel-less FullVision display. The company has been expanding aggressively in India, launching a handset for each key price point, such as the Honor 8 Pro in the sub-Rs. 30,000 segment. So, with the Honor 9i in its portfolio, will the Huawei-owned brand have enough firepower to make a last mark in the segment, which is dominated by the likes of Vivo, Oppo and Samsung? Find out in our Honor 9i first impressions.

 

With the 9i, Honor has a lot of firsts. For starters, this is the first device from the company to sport an 18:9 FullView display. It is also the first to launch with dual cameras at the back as well as the front. So how good is it in the real world? We got to spend some time with the Honor 9i at the company’s launch event and here are our first impressions.

The device looks quite premium. It also feels solid and has a good heft to it. There’s a 13-megapixel primary camera along with a 2-megapixel secondary one on the front, while the pair on the rear consist of a 16-megapixel sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The camera bump on the back is positioned in the centre of the phone and protrude slightly. While it does seem to have a raised metal trim around it, we are curious to see how it holds up with regular use.

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Power the device on and the big 5.9-inch display fires up giving you the first indication of how thin the borders around it are. Honor has followed the current market trend and opted for an 18:9 aspect ratio for its display. The different aspect ratio results in what’s called FHD+ resolution which is 1080×2160 pixels. At the bottom of the phone, you’ll find an old-style Micro-USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack along with the loudspeaker. Powering the Honor 9i is Huawei’sown Kirin 659 which is an octa-core processor. There is also 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage which seems to be in line with similarly priced devices like the Xiaomi Mi A1 and the Moto G5S Plus. You do get the option to expand storage using the hybrid dual-SIM slot, at the cost of a second SIM.

Honor has managed to cram in a 3340mAh battery which is good considering its thickness. In our brief time with the Honor 9i, it didn’t exhibit any abnormal drain or heating issues. However, we’ll hold our comments on battery life till we run it through our full review process.

Once powered on, you are treated to EMUI 5.1 running on top of Android 7.0 Nougat. While the basic functionality of the OS is the same, Honor has added a few features.

There are multiple gestures and shortcuts that can be used to get things done. Also, the higher resolution means that most apps will need to be stretched to make use of the entire screen.

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There is no doubt that the cameras are the highlight of this smartphone. With dual cameras on both sides, Honor is claiming that it is using hardware to create bokeh effects rather than software, which most other manufacturers use. We will test how much of a difference this makes when we conduct our full review.

Priced at Rs. 17,999, it does seem that this phone offers good hardware. With an 18:9 display and four cameras, the Honor 9i could tempt a lot of buyers looking for new features to play with. Stay tuned for our review to see how well it performs in the real world.

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Disclosure: Honor sponsored the correspondent’s flights and hotel for the event in Goa.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Huawei Honor 9i

Huawei Honor 9i

  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS

Display

5.50-inch

Processor

2.36GHz octa-core

Front Camera

13-megapixel

Resolution

1080×2160 pixels

RAM

4GB

OS

Android 7.0

Storage

64GB

Rear Camera

16-megapixel

Battery Capacity

3340mAh

Also See
  • Motorola Moto G5 Plus (Lunar Grey, 32GB, 4GB RAM)
    Rs.16,999
  • Oppo F1S (Gold, 64GB) With offer –
    Rs.17,990

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Destiny 2 Reviews: Release Day Impressions Roundup

Image result for Destiny 2 Reviews: Release Day Impressions Roundup

Destiny 2 has officially launched, and soon it will be available worldwide. Full reviews won’t arrive just yet, but reviews-in-progress have started to pop up around the internet based on a recent three-day event in Seattle.

The much-anticipated sequel doesn’t radically shake up the Destiny formula, instead opting primarily to refine and improve the core of the first game. You can see our breakdown of Destiny 2’s five biggest changes for a basic idea of what to expect.

Below, you’ll find a collection of various critics’ impressions of the game so far. In GameSpot’s Destiny 2 review in progress, Kallie Plagge calls the story a “clear improvement over Destiny’s much-maligned storytelling,” adding that “Destiny 2 builds on the original in smart ways that make me excited to keep playing.” We’ve also more recently published a Destiny 2 review diarythat offers more of Kallie’s thoughts now that the game is live.

  • Game: Destiny 2
  • Developer / Publisher: Bungie / Activision
  • Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release: September 6 (PS4/Xbox One), October 24 (PC)
  • Price: US $60 / £50 / AU $100

GameSpot

“Of course, all of this still feels like Destiny. The new social space, the Farm, is functionally the same as the Tower in the original. Finding loot and switching out your old gear still takes up a significant portion of your time. Enemies have been tweaked, but they’re not wildly different, either. That’s not necessarily bad, but it also makes me wonder if I’ll see Destiny 2 as a sequel, rather than a half-step forward, the longer I play and the more I grind and repeat.” — Kallie Plagge [Full review in progress]

“Though I’ve only replayed things I’ve already done, I’m still excited about Destiny 2. I can’t wait to find my next exotic weapon, but I’m also looking forward to completing more Adventure missions and learning more about the world. My next step is to finish the story, reach level 20, and run some Strikes, so check back soon for more impressions.” — Kallie Plagge [Destiny 2 review diary]

Polygon

“At the very least, what I’ve played of Destiny 2 is an incredibly promising start. In plain English, it feels like Destiny without all the bulls***. It seems like the sequel Bungie needed to make–not a fundamentally different experience, but improved enough over its predecessor to reel veterans back in and attract people who skipped the original Destiny. Now we have to see how it holds up.” — Samit Sarkar [Full review in progress]

IGN

“My initial impressions leave me with more questions than answers. Is the story going to stay engaging through the end? Are the great drops going to get stingier at higher levels? Am I going to get bored exploring the new destinations? We’ll have to answer those hanging questions later, but based on what I’ve experienced so far, Destiny 2 hasn’t disappointed my high expectations as a fan of the original. There have been deliberate steps to improve the moment-to-moment experience, be it something as simple as bringing up the next task with the press of a button or by keeping you constantly climbing the Light ladder without realizing it with enticing dynamic events. That’s all on top of a story the team at Bungie knew they had to get right after the convoluted mess of the first game which forced you to read Grimoire cards on a website to experience the original story. So far it seems as though they’ve succeeded.” — Destin Legarie [Full review in progress]

Rolling Stone

“However, what’s remarkable about the structure of Destiny 2–aside from it having a real central plot–is that it achieves what the first Destiny tried but ultimately failed to do: it gives the player freedom. Yes, there’s some linearity to the Red War missions and the order in which the destinations are introduced–but you can spend the bulk of your time wherever you’re most comfortable, where you find combat encounters most fulfilling, or where the rewards on offer are most appealing to you.” — Alex Kane [Full impressions]

Ars Technica

“I am not at an ideal state to issue anything resembling a verdict. But I at least feel safe declaring this: I entered the event perturbed that I would play so much Destiny 2 and not get to transfer that progress to the final, retail version. Now, I am anxious to dive back in and try again. I want to flex the muscles of an entirely different class. I want to devote far more attention to so much in-mission dialogue and exposition. Above all else, I want to group up with some friends and see how the ‘always a battle around every corner’ sensation feels when I have some persistent fireteam members at my side.” — Sam Machkovech [Full pre-review]

DualShockers

“So far, Destiny 2 has improved upon the original Destiny in every way. There’s a Pierce Brosnan-impersonating sniper who serves as your faction representative for the European Dead Zone. There’s new enemy types, including staff-wielding Fallen Wretches and caped-flaming-crossbow-wielding Hive Knights. There are cutscenes where The Speaker, who never really had much to say, is actually a savage and disses Ghaul in rap-battle proportions during cutscenes. When I sat down to play this game I had one mission for Bungie: prove to me that Destiny 2 isn’t just another expansion. Thankfully, it turns out that Destiny 2 has listened to the fans and has taken a look in the mirror: the product is one that I–so far–thoroughly enjoy.” — Noah Buttner [Full review impressions]

[“Source-gamespot”]