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The Vivo V20 is the first phone to launch with Android 11 out of the box

In just over 12 hours, Google will announce the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 at Launch Night In. Thanks to numerous leaks, we know almost everything we need to know about both phones, including the fact that both will launch with the latest version of Android, Android 11, out of the box. An update for Android 11 for existing Pixel devices was released on September 8, and we saw that numerous OEMs were releasing beta updates for their own devices. But so far no one has released a new smartphone with the latest version from the box. We all thought that Google would be the first to do this, but the Chinese smartphone brand Vivo beat them with the launch of the new Vivo V20.

In a press release, Vivo says that its new V20 series “will run on the recently launched Android 1

1 operating system,” which certainly sounds as if the three devices will work with the latest version of the operating system. However, the press release also mentions that the company “has a plan to equip the V20 with Android 11 sequentially” depending on “market conditions”. This is quite unclear and leaves us wondering if the Vivo V20 SE, V20 and V20 Pro will really work with Android 11. It wouldn’t be the first time we see companies mentioning the latest version of the OS as a marketing tactic – HMD Global says that the new Nokia 2.4 and Nokia 3.4 are “ready for Android 11”, which simply means that they will receive the latest update for Android 11 when the company is ready to release it. Interestingly, the product pages for the Vivo V20 SE and V20 Pro state that both devices work with Funtouch OS 11 based on Android 10while the Vivo V20 product page says it works with Funtouch OS 11 based Android 11.

Fortunately, it’s easy for us to confirm that the regular Vivo V20 actually works with the latest version of Android. The phone has already reached the hands of Indonesian YouTube GadgetInwho published the unpacking of the new phone. In the video, it goes through the settings menu and shows that the device runs Android version 11 and has the new Easter egg.

Vivo V20 running Funtouch OS 11 based on Android 11. Source: GadgetIn.

His video also confirms that the model name of the device is “V2025”. I made a reference to this with the device catalog of the Google Play Console and confirmed that the SDK level of the device is indeed indicated as “30” for Android 11. In fact, the Vivo V20 is only device in the catalog to have its SDK version listed as “30” and nothing else that confirms that it is the first phone launched with the latest version of Android. All other phones in the catalog that support SDK level 30 are either upgraded to Android 11 (such as the current vintage of Pixel and ADT-3 phones) or are currently in beta, such as OnePlus, OPPO, Realme and Xiaomi phones that are listed).

There are two reasons why this matters. First, the fact that the OEM maker managed to beat Google until the launch of the Android 11 phone is impressive, given how slow most OEMs are in releasing major OS updates. Second, the “delivery API level” of the phone is actually quite important to note, as it takes into account how many operating system updates the manufacturer is expected to deliver. When most OEMs promise “2 years” OS upgrades, they really mean “2-letter upgrades” or “2 generations of updates.” This way, a phone running Android 10 can expect to receive Android 11 and Android updates. 12, while a phone starting with Android 11 can expect to receive an update to Android 12 and Android 13. We’re not sure how long Vivo plans to support the new Vivo V20, but it’s definitely promising that the phone has launched with the latest version of the operating system.

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