A mid range phone with a color-changing case. That was our initial expectation of the Vivo 27 Pro, since that’s what we thought about last year’s model. Well, color us surprised when working on the Vivo V27 Pro review, because this phone has an amazing selfie camera and incredible low light performance. So incredible, it even puts iPhone 14 Pro to shame in some shots.
iPhone 14 on the left, Vivo V27 Pro on the right
But more on the camera front later, let’s see the basic features and specs of the Vivo V27 Pro first.
Vivo V27 Pro Look and feel
Just like the Vivo V25 Pro, Vivo chose to use actual fluorite crystals for the case of this phone, which means it changes colors depending on the light available. Indoors, our Vivo V27 Pro is a very pale, almost silvery blue, but exposed to UV and/or sunlight it darkens to a beautiful marine blue.
This time, the phone didn’t ship with an UVA flashlight and a cutout pattern to test the color-changing back and play with the design. Still, when you use it in full sunlight, you will notice the discreet but beautiful effect, especially where your fingers grip the phone.
Check out the demo video for Vivo’s color changing tech below. If you want to learn more about how this glass back works, we geeked out about it in our Vivo V25 Pro review.
Cute color-changing gimmick aside, this is one gorgeous device that looks and feels flagship. Even though it’s available at an affordable price, the Vivo V27 Pro has the most premium feel of any phone we came across this year.
Even though it has a glass front and back build, it’s a very light and pleasant device to hold, weighing 182 grams and really, feeling like a million bucks.
This is one phone you’re going to want to keep face down, just because the back looks great alongside the sleek, very slightly raised triple camera setup. In photos the color looks kind of flat and matte but really, photos don’t do it justice.
Vivo V27 Pro specs and performance
Moving on from the fascinating color-changing glass back made with real fluorite crystals, let’s see what it offers in terms of specs.
It comes with a 6.78-inch Super AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ and a very nice 90.4 percent screen-to-body ratio.
The phone is powered by a 4nm Mediatek Dimensity 8200 chipset paired with an octa-core CP, a Mali-G610 MC6 GPU and 8 or 12 GB of RAM – not flagship specs but it handles most tasks beautifully. As with most mid rangers, it comes with 128GB or 256GB of internal storage.
As we were saying earlier, the Vivo V27 Pro has a triple-camera setup on the back, which includes a 50-megapixel f/1.9 wide main camera, an 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, and a 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro sensor.
While the main 50MP sensor on the back is a downgrade from the 64MP one from the previous model, the Vivo V25 Pro, you do get a much better selfie camera. Actually, the Vivo V27 Pro has an amazing selfie camera and scroll on, because we’ll bring receipts.
We took selfies side by side with Vivo V27 Pro and iPhone 14 and we were amazed to see the selfie camera on the Vivo is miles ahead of the iPhone in low-light conditions.
But first, let’s see what else the Vivo V27 Pro changed from the previous model.
Other upgrades include Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6, GPS.
Weirdly enough, even though the Vivo V27 Pro has a smaller battery than Vivo V25 Pro (4,600 mAh vs 4,830 mAh), the endurance rating jumped from 101 hours to 121 hours. That’s something we noticed in our extensive tests as well. Having spent more than a couple of weeks with each phone, it does offer better battery life and you can finish a busy day with 20-30% battery left. And yes, it has very fast charging at 66W wired, which means you can charge it at 50% in under 20 minutes and about 70% in half an hour.
While it might feel counterintuitive to have “worse” specs in a newer phone, there’s plenty of reasons for it – and don’t let this be the reason you pass Vivo V27 Pro when shopping for a new device.
Usually, a manufacturer releases a phone with “worse” specs to make the phone more affordable, or to shave some costs in one area so they can include a more flagship feature in another.
Plus, new phone models with “worse” specs can simply be targeted towards a different market segment than the previous models. This means it might have a smaller screen or a less powerful processor, but you’ll probably get better battery life or a nicer camera.
In the case of Vivo V27 Pro, you have some of those compromises, as it’s clear the company is still trying to find the perfect niche for the device. I for one am glad they’re not giving up the premium build with the color-changing back, as that’s something truly unique in the crowded Android market.
Vivo V27 Performance
All in all, the Vivo V27 is a great device if you don’t use it for work and a more than serviceable device for various productivity tasks. I wouldn’t exactly edit 4K videos on this phone but, as you can see from the benchmarks, it handled most tasks well – and with great battery life.
While I didn’t game on it personally for more than a couple of hours, during the gaming benchmarks I did not notice any overheating, not even when running them back to back.
With that being said, let’s see what the Vivo V27 Pro camera can do. Since this is clearly a phone focused on looks, it makes sense that potential buyers are mostly interested in camera performance.
We added a few photos taken by the Vivo V27 Pro throughout this review but if you want the full sized camera samples to examine every detail, you can find a lot of them in this Drive folder.
Vivo V27 Pro Camera
Unfortunately, I must say I found it a bit more unstable than on the previous model – and overall a decent but underwhelming camera in daylight. At night time, the Vivo V27 Pro camera is simply fantastic – but more on that later. During day shots, the camera is serviceable, don’t get me wrong, but it does tend to have some frustrating errors.
For example, food shots looked uniformly great, which is nice for those who love to cook or share experiences. You can find all of our Vivo V27 Pro camera samples in this drive folder at full quality and see exactly what this phone has to offer.
Color accuracy was also good, most of the time. For example, photographing a mother-of-pearl inlay accurately captured most of the colors and contrasts.
However, when shooting a blooming rosemary, I found it airbrushed the dots off a ladybug. The flower buds are crisp, clear and color accurate, but the camera found the bug in question was too complicated.
When shooting a dragonfly, the problem was the other way around: it captured the delicate lace wings but all the colors came out muted and muddy.
Still, that macro issue with denoising, the almost painting-like feel with disappearing details, is something you’ll encounter in most mid-range cameras. It’s a common issue with budget-friendly Android phones but annoying nonetheless.
On the video front, the Vivo V27 Pro performs well in daylight and fantastic in low light circumstances. We’ll leave you with some Vivo V27 Pro video samples in all circumstances, so you can see for yourself just how beautiful night-time footage looks.
Vivo V27 Pro Selfie Camera
All in all, the Vivo V27 main camera setup can be described as “good” if you’re a more positive person or “OK” if you’re in a bad mood.
But really, it all depends on what camera you use most on your phone.
iPhone 14 Pro on the left, Vivo V27 Pro on the right
If you’re selfie-addicted and are always snapping shots indoors, Vivo V27 Pro is in our opinion the best phone of 2023 for this.
In low-light conditions like outside at night or at a restaurant, every Vivo V27 Pro selfie came out amazing with absolutely no need for filters and retouching. The camera does some tricks to erase small wrinkles, blemishes or other small imperfections, but keeps skin texture great and colors flattering. Take a look at these side by side selfies – to the left are Vivo V27 Pro selfies, to the right iPhone 14 selfies.
Somehow, the Vivo V27 Pro comes together to paint a very clear picture: this is a phone all about aesthetics. Vivo V27 Pro is a phone that wants to make you look great. And it knows what to sacrifice to offer flawless aesthetics on a budget.
It might have midrange specs but those are more than enough for most any task you could throw at it. With a gorgeous build, a great selfie camera and superb night shots, Vivo V27 Pro refined last year’s model into one of the best mid range phones in 2023.
You really can’t ask for more at this price point.
Also read: Poco F5 Pro Review: Is This Really A Deal?
Review written as a collaboration between our editor Ana D. and our AV expert Dan Petru.