The Best Vivo phones to buy in South Africa

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With a large range of cellphones on offer to the budget-conscious and bargain-hunting population, vivo cellphones in South Africa are sold at the low end of each major category: budget, mid-range, and high-end.

Named as one of the Miss SA partners for the year 2023, this Chinese brand is expanding in South Africa by marketing in established market like the annual Miss SA pageant.

Miss SA finalists with the vivo V27 5G in Mauritius.

vivo phones range in South Africa

vivo smartphones use the FunTouch operating system. It is based on the Android Operating System, which you can consider as a customized skin that vivo configured to make it its own. It will be familiar to users who have used an Android cellphone previously.

The range of vivo smartphones that are for sale in South Africa include these:

  • vivo X Series
  • vivo V Series
  • vivo Y Series

vivo X Series smartphones

The vivo X Series of phones were the flagship X50 smartphones, but that strategy was changed for South Africa. The vivo X Series range has now effectively been dropped from the lineup and named the V series as the new flagship range. The X Series range shipped with the Android 10 OS in 2020 and featured great cameras, 5G network connectivity, and large full HD+ (FHD+) AMOLED displays.

The smartphones in the current X Series lineup were released in 2020, but it can be argued that they are now showing their age in the fast-paced smartphone world. The X50 was never replaced with the X80 or X80 Pro phones when the latters were available overseas.

Missing from this line was the X Note and X Fold, which would have competed with the Huawei phablets phones and perhaps turned up the heat in the local flagship smartphone market.

Here is a list of the vivo X Series phones and the year of their release:

  • vivo X50 5G and X50 Pro 5G (2020)

Please note: we expect the phone to be discontinued soon as there is limited stock available online.

The vivo X50 Pro is sold out and out of stock on the Makro online store. Screenshot source:

vivo V Series smartphones

For vivo in South Africa, the V Series is current flagship series in their lineup! The V Series are high-end smartphones that offer premium-level performance and cameras.

Premium-level Chinese phones make certain that they offer 5G phones in our local market, perhaps to ensure a brand identity that they have a range capable of keeping up with technological advancements du jour.

Here is a list of the vivo V Series phones and the year of their release:

  • vivo V27e and V27 5G (2023)
  • vivo V25e and V25 5G (2022)
  • vivo V21 5G (2021)

vivo Y Series smartphones

vivo has flooded the budget smartphone market with their Y Series phones, offering very cheap entry-level smartphones like the vivo Y01 Elegant DualSIM 32GB (2022) right through to budget smartphones like the vivo Y35 128GB (2022).

Their current entry-level smartphone, the vivo Y01 Elegant DualSIM 32GB (2022), sells for around R2,500, but it is competing in a market that can offer similar performance and camera system for R500 cheaper. And in this market, price will triumph over aesthetics and performance.

Regardless, let’s have a look at the range of vivo Y Series budget smartphones available in South Africa and the year of their release:

  • vivo Y76 5G (2021)
  • vivo Y52 5G (2021)
  • vivo Y36 (2023)
  • vivo Y35 (2022)
  • vivo Y33s (2021)
  • vivo Y30 (2020)
  • vivo Y27 (2023)
  • vivo Y22 (2022)
  • vivo Y21 and Y21s (2021)
  • vivo Y20 (2020)
  • vivo Y16 (2022)
  • vivo Y15s (2021)
  • vivo Y12s (2020)
  • vivo Y11 (2019)
  • vivo Y1s (2020)
  • vivo Y01 (2022)

Best cheap vivo phone

vivo Y02 (2022)

CamerasMain camera 8MP
Selfie camera 5MP
RAM and StorageRAM Size 2GB
Storage Size 32GB
Internet speed4G, Dual SIM
Screen resolutionHD (1520×720) 6.22-inch screen
PriceR1,699 from Ackermans
vivo Y02 32GB features, specs, and price.

The absolute cheapest vivo phone for sale in South Africa is the vivo Y1s (2020). But, there are similarly specced phones that are better, newer, and cheaper than the Y1s from other manufacturers, and also have a newer Operating System.

Avoid the Y01 because it is on Android Go. You could try the Y91C even though it is older, but it is extremely cheap.

Best budget vivo smartphone

When we start looking for entry-level or budget smartphones we know that we tread a fine line between choosing a good display, good-enough performance, a decent camera, and a very low price (think R5,000 and less).

vivo smartphones, it seems, are being priced near premium but without the premium brand. The cheap phones are on par with Samsung and Huawei, which have a much bigger brand name than vivo.

Furthermore, for this set price, it seems they are not bringing any extra features that could possibly lure the big brand’s customers to themselves. So, who would go for them when?

For an entry-level smartphone, we look at a phone that fits a price bracket that goes together with specifications.

A great budget phone should:

  • Perform well in doing everyday tasks like browsing the internet and post videos on social media
  • Take good and clear pictures on a high-resolution screen
  • Because it is not intended for heavy use it should last a relatively long time (minimum of three years)
  • Priced between R7,000 and R4,000

vivo Y27 (2023)

CamerasMain camera 50MP
Selfie camera 8MP
RAM and StorageRAM Size 6GB
Storage Size 128GB
Internet speed4G, Dual SIM
Screen resolutionHD (2388×1080) 6.6-inch screen
FeaturesFingerprint unlock, NFC for tap-to-pay
PriceR5,499 from Edgars
Vivo Y27 128GB Dual Sim features, specs, and price.
The vivo Y27 is the best budget phone from vivo.

Best mid-range vivo phone

A mid-range phone should:

  • Have the capability to play online mobile games well
  • Have above-average main and selfie cameras
  • Be a distinctive range of phones, with a unique look from the rest of the brand’s phones
  • Make use of NFC for contactless payments (e.g.: FNB’s Tap to Pay), 5G connectivity, and fast charging

The vivo smartphones to consider in this category include:

  • vivo V25 5G
  • vivo Y76 5G

vivo Y76 5G (2021)

CamerasMain camera 50MP
Selfie camera 8MP
RAM and StorageRAM Size 4GB
Storage Size 128GB
Internet speed5G, Dual SIM
Screen resolutionHD (1600×720) 6.58-inch screen
FeaturesFingerprint unlock, fast charging, NFC with eSE
PriceR5,199 from SmartphoneShop
Vivo Y76 5G 128GB Dual Sim features, specs, and price.
The best mid-range smartphone from vivo is the Y76 5G.
The best mid-range smartphone from vivo is the Y76 5G.

The vivo Y76 5G is an absolute bargain, especially since we would never spend anything over R10,000 for a mid-range smartphone. The more expensive V25 5G has an AMOLED screen and a different processor, but that is pretty much all there is to it.

At this price point and with these features this vivo phone has brought something into the fight worth considering.

Best vivo vlogging phone

If you’re looking for an outstanding vlogging smartphone choose the vivo V27 with its 50MP main camera and 50MP selfie camera.

You can shoot 4K video using either of the cameras, meaning you can then switch cameras mid-recording and still get high quality 4K video. This makes it great for vlogging as you may want to switch between your background and yourself.

The vivo V27 is also 5G capable, which enables you to do live streams with great clarity. The V27 is a premium-level smartphone, which also brings in big 8GB memory to handle your video processing.

Get image stabilization with the Hybrid Image Stabilization using OIS+EIS.

The vivo V27 uses the Sony IMX766V Sensor to capture more light, for brighter and better night shots.

vivo V27 5G (2023)

CamerasMain camera 50MP, 8MP, 2MP, 4K video recording
Selfie camera 50MP, 4K video recording
RAM and StorageRAM Size 8GB
Storage Size 256GB
Internet speed5G, Dual SIM
Screen resolutionHD (2400×1080) 6.8-inch screen
FeaturesFingerprint unlock, fast charging, Night shooting mode
PriceOn sale for R14,399 from Makro
Vivo V27 5G Dual Sim features, specs, and price.
Use the vivo V27 5G for vlogging or streaming. It has the best camera system on a vivo smartphone.
Use the vivo V27 5G for vlogging or streaming. It has the best camera system on a vivo smartphone.

With the ability to shoot in 4K, the vivo V27 5G can work great as a vlogging camera phone.

Moemedi Segoje

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