vivo V30 review


Introduction

We wish for more handsets like the vivo V30 – a sleek, photography-oriented smartphone with capable hardware and an immersive display. It is available in unique colorways, packs a large battery, and comes with a powerful charger. What’s not to like?

vivo V30 review

Let’s rewind a bit, though. The vivo V30 is the headliner of the new midrange series by vivo – the V30. The lineup includes the V30, the V30 Pro highlighted with the Zeiss collaboration, and the V30 Lite – a basic, yet beautiful 5G phone.

The vivo V30 is an IP54-rated smartphone with a dual-glass curved design and thin and lightweight body. Even though it is only 7mm thin, the V30 still packs a premium 6.78-inch AMOLED (1260p resolution, 10-bit color depth and 120Hz refresh rate) and a beefy 5,000mAh battery with 80W fast charging support.

vivo V30 review

The vivo V30 is powered by the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 chipset, which should offer some great gaming performance for the class. The phone is available with 8GB or 12GB RAM, while the storage options are 128GB, 256GB and 512GB UFS 2.2.

The cameras have always been a strong side of vivo’s phones, and the V30 is no different. A dual camera kit on the back has a 50MP OIS primary and a 50MP ultrawide with AF. There is a third 50MP camera with a wide-angle lens and AF for selfies.

Let’s scroll through the complete specs sheet.

vivo V30 specs at a glance:

  • Body: 164.4×75.1×7.5mm, 186g; Glass front, plastic frame, glass back; IP54, dust and splash resistant.
  • Display: 6.78″ AMOLED, 1B colors, HDR10+, 120Hz, 1200 nits (HBM), 2800 nits (peak), 1260x2800px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 453ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×2.63 GHz Cortex-A715 & 3×2.4 GHz Cortex-A715 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 720.
  • Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM; UFS 2.2.
  • OS/Software: Android 14, Funtouch 14.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.9, 1/1.55″, PDAF, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 50 MP, f/2.0, 119˚, AF.
  • Front camera: 50 MP, f/2.0, 21mm (wide), AF.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS; Front camera: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 5000mAh; 80W wired, PD, 100% in 48 min (advertised), Reverse wired.
  • Connectivity: 5G; Dual SIM; Wi-Fi 6; BT 5.4, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive; NFC.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical).

There is only one feature we consider as an omission on the vivo V30, something that has been a rarity across the mid-range V series. Yes, we are talking about stereo speakers The V30 has one bottom-firing speakers. Let’s hope it’s a loud one, at least.

Unboxing the vivo V30

The vivo V30 ships inside a thick white box, which contains an 80W power adapter, a USB-A-to-C cable, and a transparent silicone case.

vivo V30 review

The vivo V30 also has a thin protective film on its display, and it is up to you to decide whether to keep this smudge magnet or not.

Design, build quality, handling

The vivo V30 has a stylish curved design, slim profile and unique colorways – something vivo has been known for. The phone is IP54-rated for dust and heavy splash resistance.

vivo V30 review

The vivo V30 is a glass smartphone with a plastic frame. But it is not as simple as this sounds. The front curved panel is a sheet of Schott Alpha glass, while the rear, also curved, is a multi-layered tempered glass with eye-catching textures. Finally, the thin, glossy frame, while made of plastic, features reinforced corners with aluminum alloy.

vivo V30 review

The back of the vivo V30 features an enormous camera and flash housing. Indeed, the top square has two 50MP rear cameras, while the bottom one has the LED flash with aura light surrounding, which is something vivo has named a View Catcher. The square does glow, and it can go from white, through yellow, all the way to orange/red.

vivo V30 review

The vivo V30 is available in four colors, each with a different finish. The Bloom White version has a 3D Petal Pattern; the Waving Aqua has a Rippling Magnetic Particle effect; the Lush Green is a color-changing version, and the Noble Black has Fluorite AG Glass.

Vivo V30 review

The Aqua model we have for review has a flowing texture underneath the rear glass that’s reminiscent of ripples on moving water. The blue shade of the back panel is quite subtle.

vivo V30 review

The vivo V30 has a curved glass sheet atop its 6.78-inch OLED. The screen itself is not curved, just the protective glass. The bezels are even and thin, the perforation for the selfie camera – small.

vivo V30 review

The earpiece is almost invisible above the screen, while completely invisible to the naked eye is the under-scree fingerprint reader. It is fast and reliable, as most optical solutions are.

Тhe back is quite interesting and unique among hundreds of similarly looking mid-range phones and easily allows the vivo V30 to fit into the stylish category.

vivo V30 review

Anyway, the top square contains the cameras, the bottom – the LED flashes. The whole island is surrounded by a thin metal frame.

And here is a look at the sides of the vivo V30. Nothing unusual here.

 - vivo V30 review
 - vivo V30 review

 - vivo V30 review
 - vivo V30 review

The vivo V30 is available in four unique colors. The thin profile is something that looks amazing when the phone lies on your desk or table, and its curves look great.

vivo V30 review

But the V30 is also one of the worst phones to handle without a case. Its all-glossy body and thin frame make for zero grip, and the phone is nightmarishly slippery. Worse, it is almost impossible to pick it up from the desk without a huge risk of an immediate drop. The other color options seem to have a matte finish, but we doubt it will improve much.

Luckily, there is a silicone case in the retail bundle, which gives the much-needed grip, but it also takes away the thin profile.

Curved 6.78-inch OLED

The vivo V30 employs a 6.78-inch AMOLED screen of 1,260 x 2,800 pixels or 453ppi. It is protected with a curved Schott Alpha glass.

vivo V30 review

The panel is quite premium – it has support for 10-bit color depth, there is up to 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, and up to 2,800nits of peak brightness. According to the official specifications, the screen has 1,200nits of High Maximum Brightness.

We’ve completed our display test, and the numbers are in line with vivo’s claims. First, we captured 528nits of maximum brightness when controlling the brightness slider manually.

But when using the Auto Brightness mode, the screen can be much brighter – 1,253 nits, to be specific.

The minimum brightness at point white is just 2 nits!

The display supports up to 120Hz refresh rate, and there are three refresh modes – 120Hz, 60Hz and Smart Switch. The 120Hz and the Smart Switch drop-down to 60Hz when the screen shows static content, but the Smart Switch is more limiting – often capping the system UI and apps to 90Hz or even 60Hz.

The vivo V30 comes with Widevine L1 DRM support, and Full HD streaming with HDR10 support is available across popular platforms, Netflix included.

Battery life

Our new Active Use Score is an estimate of how long the battery will last if you use the device with a mix of all four test activities. You can adjust the calculation based on your usage pattern using the sliders below. You can read about our current battery life testing procedure here. For a comprehensive list of all tested devices so far, head this way.

The vivo V30 carries a standard 5,000 mAh battery, but its overall endurance is anything but standard. Aside from the gaming test, the handset passed all other three tests with flying colors and achieved an Active Use Score of 15:32h. That’s enough to overtake pretty much all of its competitors.

Vivo introduces some under-the-hood changes too. The company promises 4-year-long optimal battery health, meaning it should retain 80% of its capacity even after 1,600 charging cycles.

Charging speed

The vivo V30 supports 80W fast charging, and it ships with an 80W FlashCharge power adapter. Vivo advertises a full charge in 46 minutes.

We’ve completed our charging test with the supplied adapter, and the numbers are in line with vivo’s statements. We clocked 39% charge in 15 minutes, 77% in 30 minutes and 100% in 42 minutes. Note that it took the phone another 4 minutes before it showed Fully Charged.

Vivo is offering smart battery charging as part of the battery optimizations.

Speaker

The vivo V30 Pro has one speaker at the bottom of the phone. It has a loudness boost marked as 150% if you click the volume up button after reaching 100%. The boost increases the high-frequencies, and the V30 Pro does sound louder without hurting the overall audio quality (which is not always the case).

The vivo V30 Pro scored a Good mark on our loudness tests – in both 100% and 150% options. The speaker offers average audio quality – there is a rich presentation of the high-frequency range, okayish vocals and almost no bass.

Use the Playback controls to listen to the phone sample recordings (best use headphones). We measure the average loudness of the speakers in LUFS. A lower absolute value means a louder sound. A look at the frequency response chart will tell you how far off the ideal “0db” flat line is the reproduction of the bass, treble, and mid frequencies. You can add more phones to compare how they differ. The scores and ratings are not comparable with our older loudspeaker test. Learn more about how we test here.

Funtouch OS 14 on top of Android 14

The vivo V30 launches with the latest proprietary Funtouch OS 14 based on Android 14. It’s a heavily customized UI with plenty of features to go through.

vivo V30 review

Vivo promises 50 months of smooth operation without major slowdowns due to the system’s intelligent control over background tasks.

The company doesn’t explicitly commit to prolonged support, so are yet to hear how many major software updates the V30 will get. If the V30 Pro is anything to go by, the phone should get two major OS updates and three years of security patches for the V30 Pro.

vivo V30 review

Since we covered the Funtouch OS 14 extensively in the vivo X100 Pro review, we suggest giving the software section a read. Most features listed there are available on the V30.

Benchmark and sustained performance

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 was announced in late 2023, but it started appearing in smartphones in early 2024. It’s a modern mid-range SoC based on TSMC’s 4nm manufacturing process and promises performance and efficiency improvements over its predecessor, which isn’t the one you think it is.

vivo V30 review

Qualcomm’s naming scheme continues to be a mess as the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 slots between the Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 and the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2. So, the promised 15% CPU and 50% GPU gains are in the Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 context. The SD 7+ Gen 2 remains the most powerful in the SD7 family.

With the semantics out of the way, let’s see what the SD7 Gen 3 offers. It relies on an octa-core CPU with 1×2.63 GHz Cortex-A715 & 3×2.4 GHz Cortex-A715 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A510 cores and an Adreno 720 GPU. The system also supports up to LPDDR5 RAM.

The V30 ships in four variants – 8GB/128GB, 8GB/256GB, 12GB/256GB and 12GB/512GB. We have the beefiest 12GB/512GB version in our office. All storage options are listed as UFS 2.2

We’ve discontinued GFXBench graphics benchmarking as the app is often banned/blacklisted on the phones we receive for review. The graphics performance ranking in 3D Mark is just as meaningful, so we suggest you refer to that one instead.

As you can see, the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 inside the vivo V30 performs just as expected – it slots in between the Snapdragon 7s Gen 2 and the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2. Compared to its competitors, the V30 seems to be either on par or outperforming them by a small margin. The Dimensity 9000-powered OnePlus Nord 3 seems to be leading the pack in this price category, but you could make a case that this one is an exception, given that it outpaces the vivo V30 Pro even.

Regarding sustained performance, the vivo V30 passed our tests with flying colors. In the CPU throttle test, the handset maintained almost 90% of the CPU’s theoretical performance and also kept the clock speeds steady, which is crucial for a smooth gaming experience.

CPU and GPU stress tests - vivo V30 review
CPU and GPU stress tests - vivo V30 review
CPU and GPU stress tests - vivo V30 review

CPU and GPU stress tests

The V30 breezed through the 3DMark GPU stress test as well, and not only did it maintain almost 100% of the GPU’s performance, the device didn’t feel warm after the test at all.

A capable dual-camera solution

The vivo V30 comes with two or three cameras, depending on the market. However, the wildcard is a fairly useless depth sensor, so don’t feel bad if you can’t get the triple-camera variant.

vivo V30 review

  • Wide (main): 50 MP OmniVision OV50E f/1.9, 23mm, 1/1.55″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS; 2160p@30fps
  • Ultra wide angle: 50 MP Samsung ISOCELL JN1, f/2.0, 15mm, 1/2.76″, 0.64µm, autofocus; 1080p@30fps
  • Front camera: 50 MP Samsung ISOCELL JN1, f/2.0, 20mm, 1/2.76″, 0.64µm, autofocus; 2160p@30fps

The good news is that both cameras on the vivo V30 are capable shooters, especially the ultrawide camera. The outdated 8MP ultrawide camera is swapped out for a 50MP snapper that takes considerably better photos and has autofocus for more dramatic close-up shots.

The selfie camera is good too. In fact, this is one of the few phones to offer a 50MP front-facing camera. Check out the quality below.

Daylight photos

Main camera

During the day, the vivo V30’s main camera outputs somewhat clean, colorful and sharp photos. You may find the shadows a bit thicker than usual, but we believe it’s due to the overcast. Otherwise, the dynamic range is good and fine detail is present in all scenarios, even indoors. Still, we would have preferred a slightly brighter exposure in some of the stills as well as better noise reduction in uniform and dark areas.

Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1287s - vivo V30 review
Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1364s - vivo V30 review
Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1066s - vivo V30 review
Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/224s - vivo V30 review

Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1393s - vivo V30 review
Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/437s - vivo V30 review
Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/357s - vivo V30 review
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Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1420s - vivo V30 review
Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/197s - vivo V30 review
Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 231, 1/100s - vivo V30 review
Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 54, 1/270s - vivo V30 review

Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 75, 1/100s - vivo V30 review
Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 853, 1/100s - vivo V30 review
Main camera daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 540, 1/100s - vivo V30 review

Main camera daylight samples

Portrait mode - f/2.8, ISO 73, 1/100s - vivo V30 review
Portrait mode - f/2.8, ISO 948, 1/100s - vivo V30 review
Portrait mode - f/2.8, ISO 617, 1/100s - vivo V30 review

Portrait mode

In case you are not a fan of the saturated colors, there are two color modes in addition to the default Vibrant one – Natural and Textured.

2x zoom

Expectedly, the 2x zoom samples offer the same rendition style with a surprisingly high level of detail, but they are also a bit too fuzzy for our taste. In more challenging scenes, the noise reduction algorithm seems to be working overtime and smears away fine detail, making the scene even softer. We have definitely seen better 2x zoom implementations.

2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/962s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1042s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/514s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/577s - vivo V30 review

2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1042s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1172s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/507s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/1072s - vivo V30 review

2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/156s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 115, 1/100s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 50, 1/33s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 101, 1/100s - vivo V30 review

2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 1006, 1/100s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom daylight samples - f/1.9, ISO 701, 1/100s - vivo V30 review

2x zoom daylight samples

2x zoom Portrait mode - f/2.8, ISO 106, 1/100s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom Portrait mode - f/2.8, ISO 1015, 1/100s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom Portrait mode - f/2.8, ISO 722, 1/100s - vivo V30 review

2x zoom Portrait mode

Ultrawide camera

We are happy to see a non-8MP ultrawide camera on the V30, and we must say the samples are considerably better than most competitors still relying on the outdated 8MP sensor. The photos are vibrant, surprisingly detailed, sharp and leave little to complain about.

Ultrawide camera daylight samples - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/428s - vivo V30 review
Ultrawide camera daylight samples - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/503s - vivo V30 review
Ultrawide camera daylight samples - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/322s - vivo V30 review
Ultrawide camera daylight samples - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/167s - vivo V30 review

Ultrawide camera daylight samples - f/2.0, ISO 50, 1/154s - vivo V30 review
Ultrawide camera daylight samples - f/2.0, ISO 732, 1/100s - vivo V30 review
Ultrawide camera daylight samples - f/2.0, ISO 107, 1/114s - vivo V30 review

Ultrawide camera daylight samples

Going indoors or shooting high-contrast scenes, however, seems to take a toll on the camera. You will notice either crushed shadows, clipped highlights, or both. Nevertheless, this ultrawide camera is one of the best in its class.

Selfies

Vivo V30’s selfie game is quite impressive. The camera produces detailed and sharp photos with real-life colors and natural skin tones. Dynamic range is also good, while more challenging scenes with insufficient ambient light don’t seem to bother the front-facing shooter all that much.

Selfies - f/16.0, ISO 61, 1/100s - vivo V30 review
Selfies - f/2.0, ISO 51, 1/169s - vivo V30 review
Selfies - f/2.0, ISO 83, 1/50s - vivo V30 review

Selfies - f/2.0, ISO 990, 1/33s - vivo V30 review
Selfies - f/2.0, ISO 573, 1/33s - vivo V30 review

Selfies

Low-light photos

Main camera

The system prefers using the dedicated Night mode more often than not, but that’s not necessarily bad because the result is always great. The nighttime samples taken with the main camera are clean, balanced, with punchy colors and lots of detail. There’s quite a bit in the shadows too, while highlights and light sources are always well-preserved. We can even go as far as saying the nighttime photos get close to flagship quality.

Main camera low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 1248, 1/20s - vivo V30 review
Main camera low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 1771, 1/17s - vivo V30 review
Main camera low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 1829, 1/20s - vivo V30 review
Main camera low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 1748, 1/14s - vivo V30 review

Main camera low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 1950, 1/14s - vivo V30 review
Main camera low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 2121, 1/14s - vivo V30 review
Main camera low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 1120, 1/20s - vivo V30 review
Main camera low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 879, 1/33s - vivo V30 review

Main camera low-light samples

2x zoom

Quite expectedly, the 2x zoom mode delivers somewhat soft and sometimes noisy pictures, but they may be just enough for casual social media posting.

2x zoom low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 967, 1/20s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 1175, 1/20s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 2001, 1/14s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 2257, 1/14s - vivo V30 review

2x zoom low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 1356, 1/20s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 1128, 1/50s - vivo V30 review
2x zoom low-light samples - f/1.9, ISO 790, 1/33s - vivo V30 review

2x zoom low-light samples

Ultrawide camera

We are pleasantly surprised by the ultrawide camera. The nighttime samples are clean, sharp, detailed and have decent dynamic range. You will notice the occasional clipped highlights and soft patches here and there, but the overall quality is quite impressive for its class.

Ultrawide camera low-light samples - f/2.0, ISO 2327, 1/10s - vivo V30 review
Ultrawide camera low-light samples - f/2.0, ISO 4648, 1/8s - vivo V30 review
Ultrawide camera low-light samples - f/2.0, ISO 4420, 1/8s - vivo V30 review

Ultrawide camera low-light samples - f/2.0, ISO 4487, 1/8s - vivo V30 review
Ultrawide camera low-light samples - f/2.0, ISO 4444, 1/5s - vivo V30 review
Ultrawide camera low-light samples - f/2.0, ISO 1642, 1/10s - vivo V30 review

Ultrawide camera low-light samples

Video recording

The vivo V30 caps at 2160p at 30fps for video recording with its main and selfie cameras. Interestingly enough, the ultrawide camera caps at 1080p, even though the sensor has enough pixels for 4K footage.

The standard 4K footage is stabilized, while an Ultra stabilization mode limits the resolution to 1080p and mimics action camera-like stabilization.

As far as the 4K footage goes, it’s pretty solid. We like the contrast, sharpness, detail and vibrant colors. We are also impressed by the overall rendering despite the overcast – there’s quite a bit of detail even in the shadows without blowing up the highlights.

The ultrawide video isn’t impressive – limited dynamic range, plenty of noise, and it’s quite soft too. That last part could be due to the 1080p resolution.

At night, the main camera delivers decent enough videos, considering the price bracket. Sure, the video may seem a little soft and noisy (especially in uniform areas like the sky), but the dynamic range is okay, the contrast is good, and there’s plenty of detail all around.

Video samples playlist

Competition

As is usually the case with vivo smartphones, they tend to be more expensive than their direct competitors. Still, the V30 this year stands out with exceptional all-around camera performance, unmatched battery life, and a competitive display solution. So, its higher price tag can be justified. Considering what the competition has to offer, often for a smaller price tag, won’t hurt, though.

vivo V30 review

One of the first INR 30,000+ options to come to mind is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+. It’s an excellent all-rounder with a comparable display, faster charging and a set of decent stereo speakers, unlike the V30, which has a single, bottom-firing speaker. Aside from that, and your potential software preferences, the vivo V30 makes a stronger case for itself with better all-round camera performance (albeit the main cameras’ quality is comparable) and much longer battery life.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+
Realme 12 Pro+
OnePlus Nord 3

Xiaomi Redmi Note 13 Pro+ • Realme 12 Pro+ • OnePlus Nord 3

Another similarly priced alternative is the Realme 12 Pro+, but it falls short of the V30 in most aspects. Vivo’s solution runs for longer away from the charger, has a nicer display and takes better photos. The Realme 12 Pro+’s advantage lies within its telephoto camera and stereo loudspeakers.

The OnePlus Nord 3 is a worthy competitor with a similar feature set, faster charging, more powerful chipset, but less potent cameras and shorter battery life. It’s also considerably cheaper, though, which isn’t a small feat.

vivo V30 review

Verdict

The vivo V30 may be a bit expensive for its class, but it definitely punches above its weight. The handset impresses with exceptional camera performance and unmatched battery life. The display, chipset, and charging are also quite competitive, although they are not part of the device’s standout features.

vivo V30 review

All in all, we can only think of just two drawbacks – the lack of stereo speakers and the relatively high price tag. Aside from that, the V30 is an excellent all-rounder with marginal drawbacks.

Pros

  • One of the brightest OLEDs in its class, 120Hz, 10-bit color and HDR10+.
  • Outstanding battery life.
  • Competitive fast charging solution.
  • Great all-around camera performance.

Cons

  • No stereo speakers.
  • Incredibly slippery body with poor grip without a case.
  • A bit on the pricey end.

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