vivo is the fifth biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world but somehow we didn’t hear as much about it in 2020 as usual.
Winner: vivo iQOO 3 5G
The iQOO smartphones are the value for money lineup in vivo’s portfolio and is now a dozen devices strong. However, the iQOO 3 was the first to escape China and arrive in other markets, making it a pioneer.
It launched with Snapdragon 865 chipset and AMOLED display, but what sold the phone for us were the shoulder buttons, top-notch battery life and fast charging capabilities and the iQOO UI is actually pleasant to use – with more intuitive layout than the Funtouch OS that is finally getting replaced.
On top of all the positive sides of how the hardware performs, the cameras were actually doing a solid job. And the iQOO 3 was finally possible to recommend to a larger crowd as it escaped China.
Loser: vivo APEX 2020
The no-port concept with 7.5x optical zoom with dual persicope lenses? It is okay if the name does not ring a bell – the pandemic caused the cancelation of vivo’s event for thr APEX 2020 at MWC. And with no phisycal event for the media to experience the device and no plans of market availability the APEX 2020 was essentially reduced to a press release.
Hopefully the technologies it introduced will make it to some actual phones so at least it gets to leave a legacy.
Winner: vivo V20/V20 Pro
Both versions came with an actual notch, instead of a punch hole. Those hosted 44MP selfie cameras – a rarity among all smartphones. They also brought a less bloated version of FuntouchOS, as a sign of things to come – the new OriginOS takes a major leap in the same direction.
Loser: vivo NEX 3S 5G
We are quite sad to put a NEX phone here, but the 3S was only a cosmetic upgrade over the NEX 3 – a new chipset, slightly faster internal storage and that’s it. We are used to getting bold design decisions and innovative features from each NEX flagship, and while the 3S is excellent phone on its own it just didn’t have the same kind of excitement to it.
Winner: vivo Europe
In these uncertain times it was great to see vivo expand to six new markets in Europe – United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Spain, France, and Italy. There are only four different phones available for users in these markets, including the vivo X51 Pro (which is a local name for the vivo X50 Pro), but hopefully the company will keep pushing in 2021.
Still even now there’s a little something for everyone in these six countries – the vivo Y70 and vivo Y20 are midrange-level devices, while the Y11s is an entirely new phone, launched specifically for Europe. The company also announced a partnership with UEFA for the upcoming Euro 2020 (that will take place in 2021), as well as Euro 2024 in Germany. A quick reminder, that vivo was a key partner during the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia and will continue to be throughout 2022 when the tournament will take place in Qatar.