Our Opinion

The Vivo V9 is a significantly better phone than the Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra, and is also significantly better value for money. What should you buy? Go for the Vivo V9!

Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra  Vivo V9 
Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra Vivo V9
Buy Now Buy Buy
Excellence Score
38.4
50.5
Value for Money Score
60.9
79.3
Price ₹ 22,513 onwards ₹ 17,649 onwards
Launch Date (India) Jul, 2017 Apr, 2018
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 7.0 Nougat, Upgradeable to 8.0 OreoLow likelihood of getting updated to next Android version Android 8.1 OreoLow likelihood of getting updated to next Android version
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 6 inches 6.3 inches
Screen Resolution 1080x1920 pixels (~ 367 pixels per inch) 1080x2280 pixels (~ 400 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Display Features N/A IPS, 2.5D Curved Glass, FullView Display
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2.3 GHz 2.2 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Mediatek Helio P20Ranked #38 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Qualcomm Snapdragon 626Ranked #34 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Mali-T880MP2 Adreno 506
RAM 4 GB 4 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB-C USB
Primary Camera 23.0MP 16MP + 5MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (Full HD) Yes (4K)
Other Camera Features F/2.0 Aperture, 24mm Focal Length, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), Hybrid Autfocus, 1/2.3" Sensor Size, Geo-tagging, Touch Focus, Face/Smile Detection, HDR, Panorama, Stereo Sound Recording in Video, Video HDR, SteadyShot F/2.0 Aperture, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), Professional mode, Slow motion, Time-Lapse Photography, Camera Filter, AI Bokeh, AI HDR, AI Face Beauty, Panorama, Palm capture, Gender detection, AR Stickers
Secondary Camera 16.0MP 24.0MP
Secondary Camera Features F/2.0 Aperture, 23mm Focal Length, 1/2.6" Sensor Size, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), Autofocus, LED Flash, Full HD Video Recording F/2.0 Aperture, Full HD Recording, AI Bokeh, AI HDR, AI Face Beauty
Internal Memory 64 GB 64 GB
Expandable Memory Slot up to 256 GB up to 256 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio Yes Yes
Dual SIM GSM+GSM GSM+GSM
Thickness 8.1 mm 7.89 mm
Weight 188 gm 150 gm
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant
Battery Capacity 2700 mAh 3260 mAh
Battery Standby 658 hrs N/A
Battery Standby (3G) 708 hrs N/A
Battery Talktime 13.00 hrs N/A
Battery Talktime (3G) 12.00 hrs N/A
Fast Charging Yes, Pump Express+ 2.0
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes
Other Features Fast Battery Charging (Pump Express+ 2.0); NFC; Miracast; Google Cast; Noise Filtration Noise Filtration
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Very good build quality and a premium feel in the hand - even though it's a mid range device, it could pass for a flagship Xperia
  • This is also a classic Sony design, and one that very much stands out from the crowd of standard gray rectangles (for better or worse)
  • Close-to-stock Android interface, with added (and useful) stamina-branded battery-saving modes, and Sony's own multimedia apps
  • Good performance, backed by the efficient Helio P20 chip (comparable to phones powered by the Snapdragon 625)
  • Very good, gigantic, edge to edge, 6-inch display - high maximum brightness and contrast, good outdoor legibility, and good color accuracy - the Xperia XA1 Ultra is tailor-made for the YouTube-watching, selfie-snapping, Insta-sharing crowd that have the phone in their hands all day
  • Decent rear camera - good with details and dynamic range
  • Good selfie camera - again captures lot of detail, has wide dynamic range and renders accurate colors, plus it's got the flash to (just barely) rescue shots in extremely low light
  • Good loudspeaker
  • Good audio quality via audio jack too
  • Solid, consistent battery life - lasts a day of moderate use - even though the battery capacity is not on the high end of the spectrum, the excellent efficiency comes courtesy of the efficient Helio P20 chipset, and the light skin
  • Beautiful, elegant notch-based full screen design (that is clearly inspired from the iPhone X) - the device feels slick in the hand, with subtle curves on the back - and it looks great
  • In terms of the ease of using the one-handed, the Vivo V9 actually goes one up on the iPhone X - it packs a bigger screen (6.2 inches) - and is still feels incredibly easy to use one hand
  • Fast fingerprint sensor
  • Facial recognition to unlock works very well too
  • The tall 19:9 display is bright and vibrant, and ticks all the right boxes
  • Vivo's custom Android UI (Funtouch) is very inspired from iOS too - it works decently well, although a lot of Android users do tend to prefer close-to-stock Android UIs
  • The UI also brings in a new gesture based navigation system, that operates without buttons (a la iPhone X), and thus gives you even more screen real estate to play with - the system itself is not too difficult to get a hang of - so it works out pretty well - and makes navigation on the V9 feel more 2018 than getting around on, say, a Samsung Galaxy S9 with its standard touch buttons
  • Decent set of rear and front cameras, especially in daylight - colors are accurate, dynamic range is slightly above average, and the camera focuses relatively fast - of course, photo quality falls quite a bit short when compared to an iPhone X or Galaxy S9 - but for the price range, it's decent
  • Decent battery life - will last the day with moderate use
  • Dedicated Dual SIM and MicroSD card slots
  • On the whole, the Vivo V9 is an all-round good device in this price range - especially for people who are more interested in a great design, great screen, and decent cameras - at the cost of a little bit of raw performance power
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • No fingerprint scanner
  • Performance is good, but in terms of raw power, a step behind the best performing phones in this price bracket, which have a Snapdragon 820 processor or similar
  • The fact remains that phones this big remain a niche for now, and are certainly unwieldy to carry around - it is mainly targeted at a certain subset of users who want a device geared towards multimedia with decent cameras
  • Mediocre video output from the primary camera - soft and lacking in detail - and no 4K video recording support either
  • The Funtouch Android UI continues to come pre-installed with about six or seven bloatware apps - which could have been avoided
  • While the performance is good in regular use, the Snapdragon 626 chipset inside is not the best of the pack in this price bracket
  • Doesn't support the modern USB-C port
Expert Reviews
  1. gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. phonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. digit.in in-depth Read Review »
  5. indiatoday.intoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  6. livemint.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. techradar.com hands-on Read Review »
  8. androidauthority.com hands-on Read Review »
  9. expertreviews.co.uk hands-on Read Review »
  10. stuff.tv hands-on Read Review »
  1. With the V9, Vivo has managed to ship the first Android phone with a notch in India - for whatever that's worth
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. A surprisingly refined package... the device feels very slick in the hand, with subtle curves on the back, and little things like facial recognition to unlock works very well
    forbes.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. The Vivo V9 offers quite a bit for its price tag.... it is a beautiful looking device worth showing off, and it comes with decent hardware, and plenty of software customizations
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  4. A great midrange smartphone
    androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. The Vivo V9 targets the masses....the handset should appeal to anyone who is looking for a well-rounded smartphone
    indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. livemint.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. business-standard.com in-depth Read Review »
  11. beebom.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. firstpost.com in-depth Read Review »
  13. indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  14. deccanchronicle.com in-depth Read Review »
  15. gadgetsnow.com in-depth Read Review »
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Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
Individual Review 2
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