The launch of the vivo V17 was a mind-boggling one, because of how similar it is to its bigger brother, the V17 Pro – but after spending some time with the device, I’m glad to report that it’s just as good.

Measuring at 6.44-inches, the V17 has a Super AMOLED display that pushes a resolution of 1080p. Right off the bat, the punch hole camera sets it apart from the V17 Pro. But even without the latter’s Ultra FullView panel, the V17 still boasts thin bezels bar the chin. The phone gets pretty bright and colours are nice and vivid – just the way I like it.

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Moving to the back, you get a glossy panel with an iridescent shimmer – this is one of the nicer ones on the market right now. The phone itself is also much lighter and thinner than the V17 Pro because there isn’t a pop-up module anymore.

For imaging, you get a familiar setup of lenses – 48MP main, 8MP super wide-angle lens, a 2MP macro shooter, and a 2MP portrait lens. If this feels like déjà vu to you, then it’s probably because the V17 Pro has exactly the same setup. The only difference is that the module here is placed in an ‘L’ shape as opposed to straight down the middle like before.

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This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – in fact, I’m happy vivo stuck with the same set of cameras, because they perform fantastically. When you feed the camera a lot of light, images are crisp and colours are vibrant – maybe too vibrant for photography enthusiasts, but it’s great for the layman like myself.

48MP mode offers significantly more detailed shots with a slight shutter lag. If you’re looking to crop your images, the high-res mode is the way to go.

The super wide-angle camera is arguably the weakest link in the module, because it creates noticeable warping around the edges of the photo. If you can look past this, the lens covers a pretty wide angle, which I like to use for scenery shots.

Moving back to the front, the single 32MP selfie camera here is your standard affair – the software packed in the phone does a good job at making me look palatable without overdoing the beautify features. It’s the kind of point-and-click selfie experience a novice selfie taker like me appreciates.

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Getting up close and personal now, we pivot to the portrait and macro lenses – portrait mode offers very good subject-background separation, and with bokeh mode turned on, you can really tweak the level of background blur to your liking. The macro lens here is serviceable – however it takes patience and due diligence to get the focus that you want.

Night time photography is also pretty good – with night mode on, images get significantly brighter without noise. Shutter lag isn’t too pad, but it’s there.

As the V17 is as good as V17 Pro with a very similar list of hardware; plus, the former offers more storage of 256GB, useful for making use of that 48MP camera.

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The Snapdragon 675 is one of my favourite mid-range chipsets around thanks to its ability to function at flagship-like levels with no fuss or muss. Gaming on the V17 is a breeze – PUBG runs on the highest graphics setting and high framerates with no problems at all. Mobile Legends and Call of Duty: Mobile run buttery smooth.

But if you’re not the gaming sort – the chipset plus its 8GB RAM also offers really good multitasking performances. Not once did I encounter any slow-downs even with multiple Chrome tabs open and Gmail at my fingertips.

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With a 4,500mAh battery, the phone lasted me almost an entire day of heavy usage, which includes navigation – the 18W fast charging support the phone has can power the device to full in about an hour.

Verdict

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As much of a head-scratcher this device is due to its identical specs and pricing with its bigger sibling, the Vivo V17 is unsurprisingly just as good. The things that really sets the two devices apart in terms of real-world usage is how much lighter and thinner the V17 is, and having more storage means more apps and photos stored internally.

With that said, the V17 is priced at RM1,699, and at the time of writing, the V17 Pro is priced at RM1,499. With similar hardware and performance, you may want to get the latter and save RM200 – but if you’re looking for something truly lightweight that has fantastic photography quality and overall performance, we say spend that extra cash and go for the V17.

If you’re interested in getting the device, visit vivo’s website here to make your purchase.

 

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