Vivo. Some people may have heard the name, but not too many will have held a Vivo smartphone in their hands. On the one hand, that is not surprising, since devices from the brand have only been available in Germany for about one and a half years. On the other hand, Vivo is one of the world’s big players and has even been challenging Apple for a long time. But first things first.
Vivo Communication Technology C. Ltd. was founded in 2009 in Dongguang, China. The company belongs to the tech group BBK Electronics, which includes Oppo, Realme, OnePlus and Iqoo, other smartphone brands. In 2016, BBK was already the fifth-largest smartphone manufacturer in the world with a share of around ten percent. In 2017, it even rose to number two with a global market share of 15 percent, seven percent of which came from Vivo. This has not changed in the past year. With a combined 20.4 percent, 10.2 percent each split between Vivo (fourth place with 38.7 million phones sold) and Oppo (fifth place; 38.4 million), BBK was once again the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer, ahead of Apple (15.5 percent) and behind Samsung (39 percent).
World Cup in Russia meant breakthrough in Europe
Vivo has only been active on the European market since 2020. However, the company had already taken its first steps beyond China’s borders in 2014, at that time with Thailand as its target. Vivo first came to the attention of a broad global public in 2018, the year in which the brand became FIFA’s official smartphone partner at the World Cup in Russia. As a result, Vivo advertising was the focus of every TV broadcast. And that Vivo truly knows how the game for market share works. This is demonstrated by other collaborations, such as the one with Marvel Studios and the American professional basketball league, NBA.
A collaboration that should also lead Vivo smartphones to the top in the camera sector is the one with the German pioneer Zeiss. Zeiss is a trendsetter for eyeglass lenses, photo lenses and binoculars, among other things, and has been developing mobile imaging technologies for premium smartphones together with Vivo since December 2020 as part of the Imaging Lab.
Top technology, poor sustainability
Vivo has just announced a flagship smartphone in China with the X80 Pro model. It features the V1+ imaging chip, which is said to enable “the performance and speed required for advanced photo and video capabilities.” And the brand’s first foldable smartphone, also developed in collaboration with Zeiss, is also in the offing. The company is particularly proud that the hinge, which is often something of an unintentional predetermined breaking point in foldable smartphones, survived TÜV Rheinland’s marathon test with 300,000 open and closed folding movements without any faults.
However, the Vivo smartphones, which have been on the market for a bit longer, have also convinced in tests. For example, “Connect” rated the V21 5G as “good” and confirmed the device’s “top endurance” and “outstanding price-performance ratio”. The X60 Pro did even better and received a “very good” rating. It is clearly ahead of much more expensive competitors like the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G, the Oppo Find X2 Pro or the Sony Xperia Pro-I in the “Connect” best list.
However, a sustainability report on smartphones, laptops, and tablets by the environmental, nature, and climate protection organization Greenpeace showed that not everything is always sunny at Vivo in 2017. Out of 17 companies evaluated, Vivo only came in a shameful 16th place at the time.