It’s that time of the year again: a new Vivo phone is hitting the shelves. Since those shelves are already super crowded with other mid range phones, what does the Vivo V29 bring to the table?
Vivo V29 Look and feel
Just like the previous Vivo phones we tested, the Vivo V29 is one flashy phone. Still, the Vivo V29 no longer has a color-changing back with fluorite crystals, but a new holo-like design that seems to catch on fire when exposed to the sun.
While we thought this is a complete transition from fluorite crystals, Vivo reached out to us and told us that material is still in use for the Vivo V29 Velvet Red version. Our review sample and the other model, the Starry Purple, are made with a 3D magnetic particle technology.
As you can see, the full glass back and front, combined with the curved display, make it a pleasure to hold and look at.
All in all, even though Vivo skipped the color-changing back, this is still one of the most premium-looking Androids out there.
And the best news?
With the Vivo V29, the company finally added some water resistance. With an IP68 rating, you can take this one to the beach with no stress.
Vivo V29 specs and performance
The Vivo V29 is a decidedly mid-range phone, which means that for every flagship feature, there’s also a notable downside.
Just like the Vivo V27 Pro, it has a 6.78-inch Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. There’s also an under-display fingerprint sensor that’s snappy and not prone to errors.
The improvement here is in the resolution – 443 ppi as compared to 388 for the previous model.
However, since this is a regular, not a Pro model, under the hood you’ll feel it a bit pared down. It comes with a Snapdragon 778 5G chipset paired with an Adreno 642L GPU, which does feel somewhat slower than what we’ve tried in the past but still decent.
As with most mid-range phones in 2022, the Vivo V29 comes with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM, and in terms of storage either 128GB or 258GB. You have NFC, eSim, Bluetooth 5.2 and well, pretty much everything you would expect from a phone nowadays.
As with other phones from the company, here you have Android 13 with Funtouch OS 13 on top, which now comes with monochrome icons to best fit your custom aesthetic. I did notice Vivo also included an AQI feature, a nifty addition for the health conscious who want to protect themselves from bad air quality.
On the battery side, the best way to sum it up is “you win some, you lose some”. Even though Vivo V29 has 4,600mAh, just like the previous model, fast charging was bumped from 66W to 80W. That’s a good thing, because battery life is a bit more iffy on this one. We found that it can still last a whole day with regular usage but, if you’re on your phone a lot, you’ll have to plug it in again by afternoon.
Where things usually get interesting is on the camera side and, as previously reported, Vivo does make fantastic selfie cameras.
But first, let’s look at the primary one.
Vivo V29 Pro Camera
If you want to see for yourself how the Vivo V29 camera performs, you can find in this drive a lot of maximum quality photos and videos we took in all conditions.
This article only features a few camera samples for illustrative purposes but, if you want all the details, head on over to that link.
Vivo V29 main camera
The Vivo V29 camera is again nested in the elegant island we’ve seen in the previous models and it’s different from the Vivo V27.
It combines a 50-megapixel f/1.9 wide main camera, an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera and, curiously, a 2MP depth sensor instead of a macro one like before.
We found it to have very good dynamic range in both photos and videos and very deep, saturated reds. If you’re a content creator, you’ll find it has good video stabilization with vibrant colors.
The phone shines at night shots. You’ll see impressive highlights and good shadows detail, something that carries over to the selfie cam as well.
However, in low light the camera does tend to lift the shadows a bit too much.
Another downside is that in bright light, the ultra-wide camera has CA (chromatic aberrations), it has more saturated colors than the main camera and is overall more…contrasty.
Vivo V29 selfie camera
Remember how the Vivo V27 was simply fantastic for selfies? The V29 works beautiful as well, though it’s worth noting that the 50MP sensor now has a f/2.0 aperture instead of f/2.5.
That’s all for the bad stuff. The good news? Comparing Vivo V29 with iPhone 15 for selfies isn’t an unfair match because Vivo phones offer amazing selfies in general.
Just like we saw with the Vivo V27, this phone can actually outperform iPhones when it comes to selfies, especially in low-light situations. With or without flash, selfies taken with Vivo V29 in low light are better than iPhone 14 Pro and even iPhone 15 Pro ones.
Does the Vivo V29 put Apple to shame, just a little bit? Judge for yourself – the Vivo V29 selfie is on the right, the iPhone 15 Pro one on the left.
And here you have Vivo V29 vs iPhone 14 Pro.
As you can see, this phone offers a very capable selfie camera, although in low light you will notice the images are a bit oversharpened.
We also uploaded more selfies to the camera samples folder, so head over there if you want to pore over the details.
To sum things up, the Vivo V29 is a competent phone and it looks a lot more expensive than it is.
However, it’s competing in a very crowded market and, with everyone’s budgets stretched so thin nowadays, isn’t necessarily the best deal around. We’d recommend either waiting for the Vivo V29 Pro for better specs or “downgrading” a bit to the previous model, the Vivo V27 Pro, which is still a great device.