In our previous vivo review, of the v25 5G, we got to grips with the new direction that the company is taking in the mid-range market. They have stuck with that philosophy with the new vivo v27e, but with more compromises in key areas. In our vivo v27e review, we see if the mid-range device offers a good enough package at a very attractive price.
The vivo V27e has a unique back panel design that is sure to turn heads. The Lavender Purple variant has a hologram finish with a feather-like design that is both eye-catching and functional. The frosted-feather aesthetic gives the phone a slight texture that makes it less slippery and less prone to fingerprints.
The phone is 7.69mm thick and has a chamfered frame that makes it comfortable to grip and hold. The three rear cameras rest on a rounded camera bump, with the lenses slightly exposed. vivo’s signature Aura ring light is also located next to the cameras.
The V27e has a power button and volume rocker on the right side of the device. On the bottom, you’ll find a USB-C port, a microphone, a SIM slot, and a speaker grill. There is a secondary mic on top, and nothing on the left side.
The vivo V27e is rated for IP54 ingress protection against dust and water. This means that it has limited dust protection and is protected from sprays of water from any direction. While we would have liked to see a higher IP rating, we understand that this is a budget-friendly phone and that lower protection comes with a lower price tag.
Overall, the vivo V27e has a unique and eye-catching design, as we’ve come to expect from the V series of devices. It is also relatively light, which makes it comfortable to hold for longer periods of time. As was the case with the vivo V25, we can’t fault the build quality for the price.
The vivo V27e has a 6.62-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. The display is vibrant and rich, with good viewing angles and visibility in direct sunlight. The under-screen fingerprint sensor is also responsive.
The V27e offers three refresh rate modes: dynamic, 120Hz, and 60Hz. Dynamic mode automatically adjusts the refresh rate depending on the content being displayed, while 120Hz and 60Hz lock the refresh rate at the respective values.
The 120Hz mode is not as smooth as it should be. When scrolling through apps, the screen would often stutter and drop down to 60Hz or less. This is likely due to the phone’s chipset not being powerful enough to keep up with the rapid refresh rate.
The unoptimized 120Hz mode is a major disappointment, as the V27e’s display is otherwise very good. However, the V27e is still a good option if you’re not concerned with having a smooth and fluid display.
The vivo V25 has a 6.4-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen, but it only has a 90Hz refresh rate. This means that the V27e’s display is technically smoother, but the difference is not very noticeable in practice. The V25’s display is also slightly brighter than the V27e’s, so it may be a better choice if you often use your phone in direct sunlight.
Overall, the vivo V27e’s display is good, but it is not as smooth as it could be. If you are looking for a phone with a smooth and fluid display, you may want to consider the vivo V25 or another phone with a higher refresh rate.
The V27 series boasts a prominent feature – its cameras. vivo claims that the V27 line is like having a “studio in your pocket.” Now, it’s time to put the V27e to the test and see if it lives up to that promise.
The vivo V27e comes equipped with a triple-rear camera setup, spearheaded by a 64MP OIS main sensor with an f/1.79 aperture, a 2MP bokeh lens at f/2.4, and a 2MP macro lens at f/2.4. Additionally, it features a 33MP selfie camera with an f/2.0 aperture.
The standout camera feature of the V27e is the “Aura Portrait Algorithm,” a fusion of hardware and software optimizations designed to enhance portrait and night shots by optimizing lighting. To thoroughly examine this feature, our camera test primarily focused on it. Unfortunately, the results were a mix of hits and misses.
Testing the Aura Portrait Algorithm involved capturing subjects using three main modes: regular photo mode on the main camera, Portrait Mode, and Portrait Mode with the Aura light activated (which activates the Aura Portrait Algorithm).
According to vivo, the Aura Portrait Algorithm is best suited for night shots or night portraits. To put it to the test, we tried it out in two different low-light scenarios.
Surprisingly, the photos taken with the V27e’s regular mode performed the best in challenging lighting conditions. They offered good subject cropping, decent bokeh, and accurate representation of the subject’s skin tone. However, with Portrait mode, the subject’s face appeared lighter than usual, and the focus was off.
The photo taken with the Aura Portrait Algorithm managed to accurately isolate the subject and create a respectable depth effect. Nevertheless, similar to the regular photo mode, the Aura Portrait Algorithm photo failed to achieve proper focus on the subject.
Strangely, even though we manually tapped the viewfinder to focus on the subject, the photo still turned out slightly blurry, missing the subject entirely.
Photos taken with the main camera displayed decent image quality, featuring good colours and no tendency to over-brighten shots. We appreciated the 2x Zoom on the V27e, allowing for zooming into subjects with minimal reduction in detail. Unfortunately, there is no ultrawide option available, which might disappoint those seeking a broader field of view. Notably, we noticed the focus issues persisted in non-portrait night shots as well.
Overall, the image quality from the vivo V27e’s cameras is satisfactory. It is relatively good considering the device’s price point, but it falls short of fully delivering on the “studio in your pocket” claim.
Performance & Battery
Under the hood, the V27e boasts a MediaTek Helio G99 chip, 8GB of RAM, and a spacious 256GB of internal storage.
However, it’s important to be candid about the phone’s performance. To put it plainly, the V27e falls short in this department. In fact, it’s one of the slowest mid-range devices we’ve tested in a long time. As mentioned earlier, even navigating menus on the 120Hz screen felt sluggish and jittery, but that’s just the beginning.
When it comes to basic tasks like using social media or browsing websites within a single app, the V27e manages fine. However, the real trouble starts when switching between multiple apps. The phone’s performance noticeably falters, even with the ample 8GB of RAM. It seems that apps running in the background are getting killed or reset frequently, causing interruptions and frustration. It felt like you had to give the V27e a quick second to do what you want it to do with each tap. As much as it may be the processor, we think that this is also due to the V27e’s software.
Don’t even try to play any graphically intense games on this phone. It will immediately start to overheat and slow down even more.
Even the under-display fingerprint scanner felt painfully slow at times. It also fails to register fingerprints more than most phones we’ve used in the past. We’re not sure if it is an issue with the fingerprint scanner, but we’re more inclined to say it is an issue with the overall performance and the device just can’t keep up.
The V27e is powered by a 4600 mAh battery, featuring support for GGW FlashCharge. In real-world usage, the battery life is quite impressive, easily lasting a full day and a half on light use. During my testing, I consistently ended my day with a substantial 30-40% battery remaining. This was with regular data usage, browsing social media, capturing photos and videos, and occasional gaming sessions. The V27e ensures you stay connected and productive throughout the day without worrying about running out of battery.
Overall, the performance is the real deal-breaker for us. Sure, it is a relatively cheap mid-range smartphone and you don’t expect it to fly through everyday tasks, but it is poor indeed.
At the current price of around R6,000 for the vivo V27e, we can’t recommend this device to anyone. While the design is truly eye-catching and very unique, that is its only positive trait other than decent battery life. The camera is mediocre at best (even for this price point), the display is good on paper only, and the performance is simply not good enough for this type of device. At times it is even thoroughly frustrating to use. If you need a device in this price point, there are other options that will suit your need much better.