vivo V30 5G Review: Well-rounded Smartphone Performance and Portraits

The vivo V30 5G is the base model of the latest V30 5G series. It was released alongside the more powerful Pro version, yet it does not diminish its capability to impress. Notably, the vivo V30 5G looks similar to the V30 Pro, and offers a number of similar features. With its starting price of Php 24,999, this smartphone is quite a stunner with its Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 processor and three 50MP sensors.

vivo V30 5G Review

But what keeps this phone apart from its closest rivals is the use of the Aura Light 3.0. With this new generation feature, it's quite obvious that this device is gunned for portrait lovers and night photography enthusiasts. But apart from these capabilities, does the phone have more to offer? Let's find out in this review.

Pros

  • Excellent Cameras for Night Photography
  • Powerful processor
  • Portrait system with the Aura Light 3.0
  • Great battery performance in a slim body

Cons

  • No Stereo speakers
  • Slippery body

Unboxing

The vivo V30 5G is packaged in a black box with gray accents. It has a standard set of inserts - a clear jelly case, USB-C cable, 88-watt power adapter, SIM eject tool, and some documentations. You can also watch our ASMR unboxing video and gaming test in our YouTube channel as embedded after the jump.

Design

The vivo V30 5G is a stylish smartphone that looks and feels like the previous generations of the V series - a glass slab with high-grade alloy-reinforced plastic frame and curved display. On the get-go, you'll definitely say that this is one of the thinnest Android phones around. The front panel is a curved glass; likewise, the back is curved with a satin-like texture.

Visually, the backing showcases pearl-like patterns, and comes with a raised camera module housing the main camera sensor and the Aura Light 3.0 system. The latter is a squarish module, situated just below the main camera module, that emits light along its edges, offering users an instant ring-light effect. Additionally, this module features a transparent circular cavity for the actual LED flash. Unlike the V30 Pro, which features the ZEISS inscription, the top array of the camera module on this phone is adorned with the OIS branding alongside the main camera.

vivo V30 5G Review: Well-rounded Smartphone Performance and Portraits

The frame comes with a smooth finish. You can tell that it's made of plastic by how it feels on the hand. However, this is reinforced with metal to give ample strength to the structure. There's also a no-nonsense placement of ports and buttons. The right side has the power button and the volume rocker. The top side has the secondary microphone and the "Professional Portrait" branding; while the bottom part is very busy with the SIM tray, primary microphone, USB-C port, and the speaker grille.

Furthermore, the overall design of the device is very practical. It is rated with IP54 water and dust resistance. Thus, using this phone under drizzles of rain or shower won't be an issue. Its curved edges offer a slim profile in my hand, although I can sense that it might easily slip from my grasp.

Display

The vivo V30 5G employs a curved 6.78-inch AMOLED display. The panel comes with 1260 x 2800 pixel resolution and 453 ppi pixel density. The screen is also protected with Schott Alpha Glass to give resistance from unintentional drops and scratches. The display is quite immersive due to minute bezels and stunning quality.

vivo V30 5G Review: Display

The vivo V30 5G offers a premium screen with a plethora of quality specifications. For one, it is rated with Widevine L1 with up to a maximum Full HD streaming resolution. On top of that, it has HDR streaming capabilities with HDR-10 HEVC; this means that you'll enjoy punchy colors when streaming compatible apps like Netflix and Disney+.

The panel is quite bright and could actually go up to 1200 nits in terms of brightness. This panel has 120Hz refresh rate, good contrast, and exceptional color accuracy. The Dynamic Range and viewing angles are also on point.

On the settings app, you'll have a choice of screen color modes - Standard, Pro, and Bright. You can also set your preferred color temperature or manually drag the color scheme. I often use the Eye Protection mode when using this phone in a dark room or at night. This feature prevents eye strain and ensures that my sleeping pattern remains undisturbed.

The overall screen quality is quite good as what you'd expect from a vivo V-series smartphone.

Performance

The vivo V30 5G ticks with Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 3, fabricated under a 4nm process. We have the 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM model which can be extended up to another 12GB RAM via virtual expansion. The chipset comes with an octa-core CPU with up to 2.63GHz speeds and Adreno 720 GPU. In my real-time use, the V30 breezed through most of my favorite gaming titles.

vivo V30 5G Review: Performance

In my Mobile Legends: Bang Bang sessions, the phone supports High Refresh Rate and Ultra Graphics settings. Genshin Impact is also very playable in this smartphone; however, don't expect it to flagship-like rendering as the settings default to medium graphics overall. Other popular shooting games like Call of Duty Mobile and Garena Free Fire run smoothly with this handset.

vivo V30 5G Review: Performance

In my time running games and doing mainstream activities with the vivo V30, I have not experienced any heating issues. For sure, there are times that it would get slightly warm when subjected to continuous load; however, this is just tolerable.

The vivo V30 5G supports dual SIM slots. Sadly, it doesn't allow you to expand the storage; should you need it, you'll have to get the variant with larger storage configuration.

vivo V30 5G Review: Performance

The smartphone only has a single-firing speaker at the bottom side of the phone. Given its price range, I had expected vivo to include dual stereo speakers. However, despite this, the mono speaker is still quite good, and comes with ample loudness that could easily fill a small room.

vivo V30 5G Review: Performance

In our Geekbench 6, this smartphone tallied 1136 Single-core and 3115 Multi-core scores in CPU benchmarks. Meanwhile, it garnered 3543 OpenCL and 4141 Vulkan scores in the GPU benchmarks.

Camera

The camera department is where the vivo V30 5G aces the competition. The smartphone has a dual rear camera setup. The primary camera is a 50MP OmniVision OV50E sensor with f/1.9 aperture, PDAF, and OIS capabilities. On top of that, there's a 50MP Samsung ISOCELL JN1 ultrawide sensor with f/2.0 aperture.

The front camera is another 50MP Samsung ISOCELL JN1; it having a 50MP is something that I haven't seen in a long time with smartphones at this segment.

vivo V30 5G Review: Camera

In good lighting conditions, the main camera produces great shots with enough detail and color accuracy. The photos are also sharp with enough white balance and contrast. The dynamic range is consistently good in different scenarios. The main camera supports up to 2x physical zoom which preserves almost the same amount of details from the original 1x photo. In the camera app, you can also opt to choose different color styles for your outputs - Vibrant, Natural, and Textured.

vivo V30 5G Sample Photo: 1x Zoom
Sample Photo: 1x Zoom

vivo V30 5G Sample Photo: 2x Zoom
Sample Photo: 2x Zoom

vivo V30 5G Sample Photo: 1x Zoom
Sample Photo: 1x Zoom

vivo V30 5G Sample Photo: 2x Zoom
Sample Photo: 2x Zoom

vivo V30 5G Sample Photo: Food Mode in low-light
Sample Photos: Food Mode in low-light

The 50MP ultrawide camera produces better shots compared to its contemporaries. Photos in good lighting condition produces shots with good color accuracy and just the right amount of detail. Moreover, the images boast vibrant colors and good contrast. It's safe to say that the ultrawide camera on the vivo V30 outperforms many of the 8MP sensors available in the market.

vivo V30 5G Sample Photo: 1x vs Ultrawide
Sample Photos: 1x vs Ultrawide

vivo V30 5G Sample Photo: Ultrawide
Sample Photo: Ultrawide

For low-light situations, there's a dedicated Night mode in the camera app. However, I don't use it often because it tends to blow up the highlights. To me, sticking to the standard photo mode allows for better post-processing flexibility. With that being said, photos taken at night come with balanced colors and are full of details. Noise is subdued leaving clean photo samples. Overall, I am quite surprised with the phone's night photography capability.

vivo V30 5G Sample Photo: Low-light 1x vs 2x Zoom
Sample Photos: Low-light 1x vs 2x Zoom

vivo V30 5G Sample Photo: Low-light Ultrawide vs 1x vs 2x Zoom
Sample Photos: Low-light 1x vs 2x Zoom vs Ultrawide

vivo V30 5G Sample Photo: Low-light
Sample Photo: Low-light

I love using the phone when taking portraits. The dedicated Portrait mode in the camera app offers a very versatile functionality for portrait lovers. You can also set the aperture before and after shooting the photo to achieve your desired Bokeh effect intensity.

The Aura Light 3.0 is very helpful in Portrait modes due to its ability to give varied temperature tones on its lighting system. When in Auto mode, the Aura Light gives a warmer tone when it detects skin tones or when it's closer to a human subject; otherwise, it gives off white light.

vivo V30 5G Sample Portrait: 50MP Front Selfie Camera
Sample Portraits: 50MP Front Selfie Camera

vivo V30 5G Sample Portrait: 50MP Rear Camera with Aura Light 3.0
Sample Portraits: 50MP Rear Camera with Aura Light 3.0

The overall quality of portrait shots taken from the rear camera is exceptional - full of details and crisp bokeh effect. The subject and background separation is also very effective and precise, even when dealing with fine details such as hair strands. I'm not a fan of taking self portraits, but with this smartphone I think it'll going to be a habit. The front camera also takes good portraits with lots of details and accurate background blur.

Speaking of front camera, selfies are quite impressive with this phone. Its in-app beauty mode has lots of facial customizations. There are also different filters and poses to choose from. What's even more interesting is the great quality of ultrawide selfies. Indeed, vivo never disappoints in its selfie game.

Software and Battery

vivo V30 5G comes out of the box with Funtouch OS 14 on top of Android 14. This Android skin has been through transformative eras; and with the current interface, I feel like it's quite a different animal. As of this writing, the UI received two updates. The latest includes system and network updates.

vivo V30 5G Review: Software

Overall, the software defaults with circular apps and flat system toggles. The notification center is embedded with the control center which makes it easier to use. Swiping up from the homescreen will give you access to the app drawer and widgets. Speaking of, there's a lot of interactive and useful widgets to choose from.

My favorite is the Google Chrome Shortcut and Calendars. Aside from that, the UI also supports gesture navigation and other native Android features like Dark Mode, Eye Protection, and more.

vivo V30 5G Review: Battery

In the battery department, the vivo V30 5G packs a 5000 mAh battery. Both the vivo V30 5G and the vivo V30 Pro are the slimmest phones to pack this battery capacity. For fair to moderate use, the smartphone could easily last a day of use.

What's even more interesting is the fact that the vivo V30 5G supports 80-watt fast charging. In our charging test, the battery charges from 0% to 37% in our first 20 minutes of charge. It goes up to 60% in 30 minutes, and all the way to 100% in 50 minutes. This charging speed is quite exceptional.

Should You Buy the vivo V30 5G?

The vivo V30 5G surprisingly performs as a flagship-grade smartphone despite its positioning under the Php 25K segment. The inclusion of Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 is a great choice for this handset. It also boasts a unique set of cameras that offers flexible performance in any lighting conditions. Both the rear and front cameras excel in night and portrait photography, taking advantage of the ingenuous Aura Light 3.0 feature.

Moreover, the device made its mark as the thinnest 5000mAh phone, as of this writing, which adds premium to its design. Additionally, the vivo V30 5G is also a winner in terms of overall battery functionality. It has 80-watt fast charging support with 24-layer protection.

The vivo V30 5G is for the selfie lovers who enjoy taking photos, day or night. It's also for someone who's looking for a well-rounded and very dependable smartphone without breaking the bank.

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