Vivo V30 Pro review: The Aura of Zeiss comes to Vivo V-series, but all isn’t good

Vivo V30 Pro review: The Aura of Zeiss comes to Vivo V-series, but all isn’t good
Digit Rating 6.4
Performance
6.3
Value for Money
6.7
Build and Design
5.4
Specs and Features
7.6
PROS:
  • Beautiful design
  • Superb camera performance
  • Super fast charging
CONS:
  • No stereo speakers
  • Display is average
  • Feels fragile in the hand
VERDICT:

If you want a flagship-level camera without spending money on a flagship phone, the Vivo V30 Pro is for you. If you want a party trick with the Aura Light or want to flaunt your style, the Vivo V30 Pro is for you. But if you are someone who wants the best value for money without caring much about the camera and style, then there are better options available at a lesser price.

Vivo has launched the Vivo V30 series to take its mid-range camera capabilities to the next level. This year, Vivo has gone a step ahead not only in terms of offering a bigger aura light that will light up your subject better, Vivo is also bringing the Zeiss mastery to its mid-range smartphones with the Vivo V30 Pro and I couldn’t be more excited.

The Vivo V30 Pro comes with a curved glass on both back and front.

Yes, it all comes with a price. The Vivo V30 Pro, although a mid-range smartphone, is an expensive one at that. Starting at a price of Rs 41,999 and going all the way up to Rs 46,999 is touching the high-end category, so by default I wasn’t able to test this smartphone as a mid-ranger. But even for a high-end smartphone, it holds up. Yes, there are many things that also don’t add up, but Vivo’s unwavering focus on bringing a flagship-level camera experience to the V-series has paid off.

Vivo V30 Pro review: Design

Now design, like every year, is one of the best parts about the Vivo V30 Pro. The smartphone takes the trend forward in offering one of the sleekest, most striking designs in this range. The Vivo V30 Pro, like its predecessors, comes with curved front and back panels. The smartphone is also super lightweight and handy. At just 7.5mm thickness and 188 grams of weight, the Vivo V30 Pro is also very slim and light, despite the big dimensions with the 6.78-inch display.

The back panel of the Vivo V30 Pro uses 3D particle technology, which creates this back panel that resonates an ocean.

This time around, we are also getting an IP rating, the Vivo V30 Pro offers IP54 dust and splash resistance, which is fine but in a Rs 42,000 smartphone, there could have been a higher level of protection since IP54 I have also seen in sub-Rs 20,000 smartphones. We also get Schott Xensation scratch resistance on the display, so there is some level of protection in all aspects, if not the best or most justifiable.

The Vivo V30 Pro has an extremely slim side profile, measuring just 7.5mm.

Now, like I said, the Vivo V30 Pro looks very good. The smartphone has this nice texture on the back panel, which resembles waves in the ocean. Vivo has used what it calls “3D particle technology” to give this wave-like effect. Looks very good. We got the “Andaman Blue” colour for our review, which has this wave-like texture on the back panel, making it seem like the particles are inside the glass back panel. There is also the “Classic Black” colourway, which comes with a rather simple matte finish frosted glass back.

Up front, the Vivo V30 Pro has a nice curved bezel-less display.

So the design, like all Vivo V-series smartphones, remains nice and quirky. I like the Vivo V30 Pro’s look and feel. It gives a very premium feel to the user and of course, for a roughly Rs 42,000 price tag, it should feel premium. The only thing about the design is that there could have been a higher level of IP rating, since the brand is asking for a significant price.

Vivo V30 Pro review: Display

Coming to display, we get a nice 6.78-inch curved AMOLED display with an FHD+ (1260 x 2800) resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. The display is claimed to offer up to 2,800 nits of peak brightness, but that is subject to testing. Now, the 120Hz refresh rate obviously makes things super smooth and slick when scrolling through menus and apps. So while using the smartphone, the feeling is nothing short of being buttery smooth.

We get a 6.78-inch curved AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate with the Vivo V30 Pro.

This display is also very vibrant and immersive. I used the Vivo V30 Pro for watching movies and TV shows for a bit and the experience was immersive. A bit of it was mired by the absence of stereo speakers since we all have the habit of just popping things open to watch without connecting any headphones.

While the display is vibrant, it is a bit too vibrant, meaning the colours are not accurate. We tested the colour accuracy using the Calman Colorchecker analysis and found that this display isn’t the most colour accurate. While in general, the Vivo V30 Pro showcased good results with an average DeltaE of 2.8 (a DeltaE of 3.0 or below is considered good for smartphones), it is much behind its competitors.

The Vivo V30 Pro’s display showcased an average DeltaE of 2.8, which is decent for a smartphone.

In the grayscale test, however, the smartphone showcased good results. The Vivo V30 Pro tracked the Gamma value of 2.2 very accurately and showcased pretty decent RGB balance.

The Vivo V30 Pro tracked Gamma 2.2 in the greyscale test.

Now coming to the brightness, Vivo claimed a peak brightness of 2,800 nits, which is the brightest 1 percent of the whole display so you won’t see the 2,800 nits at all times. We put this also to test using a Lux Meter and the Vivo V30 Pro showcased a very good luminance of 1542 nits under bright sunlight. The lowest we could get was 8, which means that this AMOLED display has a good range.

Vivo V30 Pro review: Performance

Coming to performance, the Vivo V30 Pro comes with a MediaTek Dimensity 8200 SoC paired with up to 12GB of RAM. Now this is the same chip as the one we saw on the Vivo V30 Pro’s predecessor, the Vivo V29 Pro (review) and the synthetic benchmarks are also similar. In CPU benchmarks, there is marginal difference between the performance numbers of the Vivo V30 Pro as compared to its predecessor. What is more problematic, is that this was the case last year as well with the Vivo V29 series where we saw only a marginal jump in performance from the V27 Pro (review) to the V29 Pro.

The Vivo V30 Pro is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 8200 SoC paired with up to 12GB RAM.

And while all the talk about the Vivo V-series users not looking at performance or it doesn’t matter much since the smartphone’s main focus is camera and experience and design is fair, it just doesn’t feel right that three generations of a smartphone have been using the same exact chip and without any changes in how they perform or the architecture.

Vivo V30 Pro vs Vivo V29 Pro vs Vivo V27 Pro AnTuTu scores.
Vivo V30 Pro vs Vivo V29 Pro vs Vivo V27 Pro Geekbench 6 scores.

In GPU benchmarks also, the story remains the same. We get similar scores with the Vivo V30 Pro as compared to its predecessor, or its predecessor’s predecessor. There are some marginal differences here and there obviously, but the overall performance remains on the same scale.

Vivo V30 Pro vs Vivo V29 Pro vs Vivo V27 Pro 3D Mark Wildlife Extreme scores.

So performance-wise, there is nothing as such to note here. The Vivo V30 Pro performs very similar to its predecessors. Although the upgrade isn’t there, the MediaTek Dimensity 8200 still remains powerful enough to handle all the camera smarts and features that Vivo has put in the new Vivo V30 Pro.

Vivo V30 Pro review: Camera

Coming to the hero of the story, the camera. This is where the Vivo V30 Pro showcases its superiority. This is the first V-series smartphone which boasts of Zeiss superpowers in the camera department. We all have seen what Vivo and Zeiss have been able to create in the last couple of years with the Vivo X80, Vivo X90 and the Vivo X100 series. This time, the brand has brought a lot of that to the premium mid-range segment.

Vivo V30 Pro comes with a 50-megapixel triple rear camera co-developed with Zeiss.

So we get a triple rear camera setup with a 50-megapixel primary shooter, a 50-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens, and a 50-megapixel telephoto lens which enables 4x telephoto zoom. Now with the rear primary camera, the Vivo V30 Pro clicks great pictures regardless of how the light and environment is. The colours are nice and consistent, photos are sharp, and the images have great dynamic range.

The images out of the wide angle lens are also crisp and sharp, which is great, since there is little to no difference between the quality of images from the primary shooter and the wide angle lens. I put consistency above anything when it comes to the quality of images from each of the shooters, so here also the Vivo V30 Pro fared pretty well.

Coming to the telephoto lens, this is also very good. Firstly, I appreciate getting 4x optical zoom in this range of smartphones. No other smartphone in this range offers this so here the Vivo V30 Pro already gets the points in my book. But that is not all. Not only is the quality of images really good, the 4x shots (92mm) are crisp and super detailed in all lighting conditions. A pretty good flex for a premium mid-ranger to be able to do that.

The portraits on the Vivo V30 Pro are also brilliant. Here, Vivo has brought its partnership with Zeiss into play, meaning we get all the Zeiss portrait styles like Zeiss Biotar, Zeiss Sonar, Zeiss Planar, and more in the Vivo V30 Pro. Each of these are as good as on Vivo’s flagship, the Vivo X100 Pro. Worth mentioning, the edge detection, background blur, and sharpness on the portraits are brilliant. And yes, Vivo has kept the famous “wedding mode” which has been a hit since the Vivo V27 series.

Then again, there’s the Aura Light. This time, we get a large, squared aura light which solves the same purpose as the one we have seen on the Vivo V29 Pro. We can change the Aura Light’s colours from cool to warm to adjust the colour bleed in our photos and it works! In a room which may be too blue or red, or may have any harsh lighting, you can still make your photos nice and balanced by using Aura Light. It works really well and especially for our creator friends, this is a blessing. Not only in terms of balancing the light and making things appear in their true colour, it can also be used to get some very cool video shots.

So the camera on the Vivo V30 Pro is killer. This is probably one of the best cameras available at a price of under Rs 45,000 in the Android space and that itself should tell you that Vivo’s decision of bringing Zeiss’ superpowers to the Vivo V30 Pro has worked well, at least in terms of pure output.

Vivo V30 Pro review: Verdict

So the Vivo V30 Pro is a pretty decent smartphone. We have seen a pretty significant price jump this year, since the smartphone starts at a price of Rs 41,999 in India and for that, it can’t be called a simple mid-ranger anymore. But that’s no problem. Because this camera even outperforms a lot of Android flagships of today. Be it in terms of the quality or in terms of the number of features available, this is no doubt a brilliant camera phone.

However, there are caveats. First and foremost, the thing that has bothered me a lot is that this is the third generation of Vivo V-series smartphones that have had the same exact processor, meaning that the performance has not improved since the Vivo V27 Pro. Furthermore, there is no stereo speaker on the Vivo V30 Pro, so for those who just put up things to watch without headphones, the experience isn’t very immersive.

The Vivo V30 Pro is probably the best camera phone in its segment, but it struggles in other areas.

And then there are the nit pickings. Like the Vivo V30 Pro is super slim (good), but at the same time it feels super fragile (bad). There’s a kickass camera setup that goes well beyond your expectations of a mid-range camera (good), but there’s no expandable storage (bad). And although 512GB is enough storage, there are people who would want to buy a lower storage variant and get a microSD card for more storage.

So yes, the Vivo V30 Pro justifies its value with the camera and the look and feel. But then again, we are getting the same chip as the one we got in the previous two V-series smartphones. We aren’t getting the best display out there. It is vibrant, but not very accurate in terms of colour.

So my verdict is a bit confusing. If you want a flagship-level camera without spending money on a flagship phone, the Vivo V30 Pro is for you. If you want a party trick with the Aura Light or want to flaunt your style, the Vivo V30 Pro is for you. But if you are someone who wants the best value for money without caring much about the camera and style, then there are better options available at a lesser price.

Vivo V30 Pro Key Specs, Price and Launch Date

Release Date: 07 Mar, 2024
Market Status: Launched

Key Specifications

  • Specs

    Storage

    256 GB

  • Specs

    Battery capacity (mAh)

    5000

  • Specs

    Rear Camera Megapixel

    50 + 50 + 50

  • Specs

    Screen size (in inches)

    6.78

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