Having reviewed the best mobile phones for a decade or more, it's rare I'll roll out the word 'fun' when describing a handset. Most are usually staunchly serious pieces of kit. Vivo, however, has just released the V25 and V25 Pro – both of which are firmly in the 'fun' camp, by delivering a design feature that Samsung has never dared to entertain in its best Galaxy range of phones.
What am I talking about exactly? The V25 and V25 Pro feature what Vivo calls 'Color Changing Fluorite AG Glass'. And as you can see from my image above, that means you can use light to 'paint' the rear panels, providing a temporary look. I've just used sheets of card to cover the sections to give that angular light/dark effect. And I think it's great fun. You could get even more creative if you want (I've played around with a torch, too, image below).
Perhaps 2022 is the year that mobile phone makers lean into the fun factor more, having largely run out of tech spec avenues to pursue. I've already reviewed the Nothing Phone 1, as one example, which has a built-in lighting system to illuminate in different ways for various notifications. Not hugely useful for most people but, hey, I think it's fun.
Vivo V25 & V25 Pro colour changing design
Vivo provided me with the Aquamarine Blue version of the V25 and the Surfing Blue version of the V25 Pro: the former shifts from "ocean blue to blueish green", the latter from "light sky blue to deep ocean blue" in Vivo's words. My description would be slightly different, but you can make up your own mind from the image above as to how accurate you think that is. I'd be more excited to see the Sunrise Gold version, really, which is said to shift colour from "gold to reddish orange".
Not that these Vivo devices are merely trying to distract your with peacock-like visual displays, as their innards – featuring the MediaTek Dimensity 1300 (V25 Pro) 900 (V25) – are no slouch. There's also a 64-megapixel main camera with optical and electronic stabilisation to keep things steady – so you can paint with light in other creative ways, not just on the back of your Vivo device.
Except there's a stall should you be taken by Vivo's colour-shifting designs: the V25 and V25 Pro won't release in the UK, USA or Australia. You'll need to be looking in Asia, Middle East, India and Latin America territories to find one of these handsets. So while Samsung has never dared to release such an eye-catching Galaxy handset, I suspect Vivo's reluctance to release such devices in wider territories is reflective of true demand. Still, I'm impressed, it's nice to receive a fun handset or two in-between the serious best Android phones out there.