Vivo is entering the European market for the first time, targeting consumers in the high-end and price-conscious mid-range segments of the smartphone market.
The company is one of several Chinese vendors to have enjoyed considerable success in their homeland over the past decade. A large domestic market, feature-packed handsets and low brand loyalty have allowed it to become the second biggest manufacturer in China behind Huawei.
Like its compatriots, Vivo has expanded into other parts of Asia, most notably India, but it trails Xiaomi and Oppo globally.
Only Huawei has been able to make serious inroads into Europe, but Vivo hopes its feature-packed, affordable handsets will appeal allow it to better compete at multiple price points in the UK and beyond.
“We are truly excited to showcase our first ever line-up of smartphones for the European market. To ensure we had a clear understanding of the market, we spoke to 9000 consumers across Europe, to understand how these devices are integrated into their daily life,” said Denny Deng, the head of Vivo’s European business.
“The feedback was absolutely clear. Battery camera, and design are of huge importance, with emphasis on intuitiveness and ease of use, as well as a great balance between price and performance. And that’s what we will deliver.”
The Vivo X51 5G is the flagship for the company’s European launch and will target consumers who want a high-end smartphone that can connect to next generation networks without the associated price tag. The headline feature is advanced imaging capabilities, supported by a Gimbal camera system that compensates for the natural shaking of hands when taking photos.
Meanwhile, the Y70, Y20 and Y11 are mid-range devices that aim to deliver as much capability as possible for the price.
To make its devices as appealing to western consumers as possible, Vivo will offer stock Android and ditch the highly customised user interface used elsewhere. The smartphones will also support Google Assistant rather than Vivo’s own alternative.
Vivo is also making wireless earphones available and plans to offer more accessories in the future. In an interview with TechRadar earlier this year, the company confirmed it wants to bring smartwatches and AR glasses to Europe.