With the local launch of the vivo V29 series looming on the horizon, now’s probably the best time to take a good look at the previous generation to see if it’s still worth the money months after its release. Is the vivo V27 5G still a good buy today? Read our long-term review to find out.
The V27 5G is the successor to last year’s vivo V25 5G. For fans looking for a midrange upgrade, it could very well be an excellent starting point for the lineup. Between the color-changing rear panel in a new color, curved AMOLED display, portrait-focused camera system, and powerful yet efficient chipset coupled with a generous serving of RAM and storage, there’s actually plenty to like here.
In the Philippines, the vivo V27 5G with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage is priced at P24,999 (around $445 converted).
Our vivo V27 5G unit comes in this striking Emerald Green color variant that features the company’s color-changing Photochromic 2.0 finish, which is now more sensitive to light and can change color faster than the previous generation. By default and when indoors, the phone has a marble-like light green finish which quickly changes to a deep-green color when exposed directly to UV light or sunlight as soon as you step outside.
The shift in color happens within seconds, and you can get creative and put a custom pattern or your own logo on the back of the device to get a unique result. The color change is pretty subtle, especially when you’re not paying attention to it, and yet still stunning.
We also like that the vivo V27 5G has a clean design that’s also impressively slim and light, with the body measuring only 7.36mm at its thickest point and weighing 180 grams despite its matte-glass back and rather generous screen size and battery capacity. Like its front glass, the smartphone’s glass rear panel curves on the edges to meet its sleek plastic frame.
The back houses a rectangular camera module with a triple-camera array next to a circular flash, which vivo refers to as Aura Light. This particular flash works like a tiny ring light to help brighten your regular photos, as well as portrait shots — which we’ll get to in a bit.
Perhaps more notably, the vivo V27 5G now sports a 3D curved AMOLED screen, as opposed to last year’s regular model with a flat display. This makes the handset not only easier to hold and operate, but also gives it an aesthetic on a par with its upgraded sibling, the vivo V27 Pro 5G.
The AMOLED screen is plenty vibrant and pumps out a billion colors. It measures 6.78 FHD+ inches across, providing plenty of screen real estate for viewing pictures, watching content, and gaming. With a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, the display is pleasing to look at and provides a responsive touch experience. But don’t expect games — even light ones that don’t require much graphics power — to run higher than 60 fps, as vivo has locked the screen to 60Hz when gaming, similar to other phones launched under the BBK Electronics group, which includes vivo, OPPO, OnePlus, and realme.
A capable and efficient MediaTek Dimensity 7200 5G chip runs the show here, paired with 12GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage in our local unit. The processor uses TSMC’s second-gen 4nm production process, just like the flagship-grade Dimensity 9200, and integrates two Cortex-A715 performance cores and six Cortex-A510 cores for lightweight tasks. It boasts quad-core Mali-G610 graphics as well.
The phone supports virtual RAM expansion up to 8GB for a total of 20GB dynamic RAM, if you don’t mind giving up storage for marginally better multitasking performance. Personally, we think 8GB is too much for virtual RAM expansion, and it’s unfortunate that you can’t choose how much storage to allocate for it.
While not a flagship-level model, the vivo V27 5G is capable of handling pretty much anything you throw at it. In fact, most games we tested on our unit ran smoothly and efficiently. Heavy games like Genshin Impact ran at medium to high graphics settings without any notable performance issues. The device doesn’t heat up considerably, too, and longer periods of gaming saw minimal dips in performance.
Battery life is one area in which the vivo V27 5G excels compared to other devices around the same price — or even more. The smartphone packs a 4,600mAh cell that can easily last a full day of mixed use and supports 66-watt fast charging, allowing you to recharge the battery from zero to 100% capacity in under an hour. After an hour of playing Genshin Impact, we had the battery down by around 20%, which is pretty great considering the size of the display.
The vivo V27 5G video we posted in March. For more of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel
But the biggest highlight for us is the main rear camera. vivo has equipped the V27 5G with a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766V image sensor with OIS and EIS dual stabilization. There’s also a secondary ultrawide cam with an 8-megapixel sensor and a 2-megapixel tertiary shooter for macro photography around the back.
As expected, portrait photography is a highlight here. Our unit is not only capable of shooting bright and detailed pictures with nice contrast and exposure on faces, it also delivers good separation between the subject and background. Additionally, the V27 5G produces acceptable noise when shooting indoors and in dim environments, and its rear-facing Aura Light flash can do wonders to make skin tones appear more natural.
We’ve already published our feature article focusing on the V27 5G’s camera system, so it’s good to know that after three months of use, its imaging performance holds up well with long-term testing.
The Aura Light flash comes with three bright LED lights that adjust their brightness according to the ambient lighting. This helps the unit take better low-light pictures in Portrait mode, especially when using the Flash Portrait style. Additionally, the small ring light will let you take more stable and sharper pictures, particularly in scenarios where the subject is moving.
For best results, we recommend that you use the flash exclusively in dim environments to avoid overexposing your shots. Also, take note that a smartphone flash often leads to harsh shadows. As a countermeasure, we recommend using a semi-translucent tape to cover the flash, acting as a homemade diffuser that slightly reduces the harshness of the LED lights.
Another tip is to use the camera’s zoom function to reduce the effect of the flash. After months of using the vivo V27 5G for casual pictures and portrait photography, we think it does an admirable job in Portrait mode. The simulated bokeh effect looks nice and is comparable to what you could get from an actual camera lens with a wide aperture and shallow depth of field.
And if you and your subject don’t know how to strike a pose, don’t worry; the vivo V27 5G has a handy-posing guide in Portrait mode, which you can access by tapping the Beauty icon and choosing Posture. Night mode is all well and good if your subject isn’t moving, and you can choose from several photo styles to add variety to your shots.
For videos, you get the ability to shoot up to 4K at 30 fps as well as two stabilization options — Standard and Ultra. The latter is a combination of the sensor and software to keep things steady when you’re shooting while walking or moving the phone. There’s also film LUTs or color presets built into vivo’s Camera app, in addition to templates that can help you produce high-quality content for social media with just a few taps — useful if you don’t know how to edit photos or videos on your device.
The front-facing cam, meanwhile, boasts a 50-megapixel sensor that allows users to zoom into a selfie without losing details and shoot sharp vlog-style videos for online use. Here are a few more day and night photo samples shot on the vivo V27 5G.
Additional sample shots. The original batch is featured in the video we embedded in this article
Overall, we think the vivo V27 5G is a huge improvement over last year’s V25 5G and brings big upgrades that everyone was looking forward to across the board, especially in terms of design and performance.
And while it certainly won’t replace our professional camera for work, it is capable of producing nice results in the right situations. It sure beats carrying around a bulky DSLR camera if all you need is a quick portrait shot for social media. Plus, you don’t have to worry about poor lighting in tight spaces, thanks to the vivo V27 5G’s Aura Light flash.
This model is available on vivo Philippines’ E-store and other online channels and at retail stores nationwide.
vivo V27 5G specs
- 6.78-inch curved AMOLED display, FHD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate
- 4nm MediaTek Dimensity 7200 processor with 5G
- Mali-G610 GPU
- 12GB RAM
- 256GB storage
- Triple 50-megapixel main, 8-megapixel ultrawide, 2-megapixel macro rear cameras with OIS + EIS, Aura Portrait flash system
- 50-megapixel front camera with autofocus
- Under-display fingerprint reader
- 4,600mAh battery with 66-watt fast wired charging
- FuntouchOS 13 based on Android 13
- Color: Emerald Green
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