The Vivo NEX made headlines last year all thanks to its unique pop-up front camera that completely eliminated the requirement of a notch. Well, the company is bringing the same concept this year to its mainstream mid-range smartphone. Here's a detailed look at the Vivo V15 Pro.
The V15 Pro is the latest sub-Rs 30,000 smartphone from Vivo which honestly packs in quite a lot of features. For starters, there is an in-display fingerprint scanner which is fast and responsive. Then there is a triple camera arrangement at the back with 48-megapixel primary sensor, paired to an 8-megapixel unit that can capture ultra-wide shots and a 5-megapixel sensor to capture depth information. For taking selfies, the camera pops-out from the top to take high-resolution photos.
Yes, that pop-up camera is very similar to last year’s Vivo NEX, but the company is now offering the feature in a more affordable package. And Unlike the NEX, the V15 Pro's pop-up camera also comes with face unlock and a 32-megapixel resolution. Just swipe-up on the lockscreen and the camera quickly raises to scan your face and goes back in. Mind you, this also makes the phone a tad-bit heavy since it contains an entire motor that raise the camera.
The pop-up camera also enabled Vivo to slap on a display that doesn’t have any awkward notch or holes. It has a solid-looking 6.3-inch Super AMOLED panel which offers great colours and enough brightness to use the phone under harsh sunlight. The display also incorporates a fingerprint scanner, which feels refined and more accurate than last year’s phones that introduced the innovative piece of tech.
The handset itself looks quite premium with a gradient colour at back and what seems like a textured finish sitting under a glass back. However, there is no glass at the back and is actually glossy polycarbonate which is also used on the frame sitting in the middle. Nonetheless, it feels worthy of its price.
On the inside, you get Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 675 chipset. In fact, it the first handset on the market sporting the chipset, which is an update to the popular Snapdragon 660. While technically it sits below the Snapdragon 710, it is said to perform better than the Snapdragon 835 in synthetic benchmarks. There is also 6GB of RAM for your multitasking needs and 128GB of inbuilt storage which can be expanded as well. This combination translates into a great experience on the device. You can easily glide through multiple apps and even have a great gaming experience. Although, I wasn’t fully satisfied with the choppy frames on PUBG Mobile.
Coming down to the cameras, the front 32-megapixel and the rear 48-megapixel sensors use quad-bayer filters. Meaning that they are actually 8-megapixel and 12-megapixel sensors which combine pixels to produce the high-resolution photos. Despite that, both the cameras produce fine and sharp looking pictures in daylight and above average photos in low-light. It is, however, best to use the lower resolution unless you want to print your photos on a large canvas.
The front camera can take good looking selfies, although the aggressive skin softening defeats the purpose of having high-resolution in the first place. There are a bunch of modes and features on the camera app including AI based enhancements. The one thing that I personally liked was the ability to take wide-angle shots which offer 120-degree of a wide field of view.
There’s a 3,700mAh battery on the device, which easily offers a day’s worth of charge. It also comes with Vivo’s Dual Engine fast charging technology, which isn’t as fast as Oppo's SuperVOOC, but is fairly good. In my test, I managed to charge to phone from zero to 25 percent in 14 minutes and hit 75 percent in about an hour. Notably, you get a microUSB port here, which is something I did not expect from a sub-Rs 30,000 smartphone.
The V15 Pro is a very well-rounded smartphone for it's asking price. It has a premium design and finish with a solid looking AMOLED display that covers almost the entire front of the device. Even the cameras work great despite the high-resolution photos being a result of pixel binning. The company is definitely going to get points for that pop-up mechanism and including a more efficient in-display fingerprint scanner.
Of course, there are a few quirks. I've said this about other phones as well, but a microUSB port is getting old especially when you are paying close to Rs. 30,000. Also, Vivo's Funtouch OS UI layer is not very intuitive and takes time to get used to. Not to mention the chunk of unnecessary apps that the company has preloaded on the device. Apart from that, this is a solid smartphone that is worth your money. If you want to look elsewhere, there is the Nokia 8.1 which is a solid recommendation from us, as it comes with stock Android and a premium looking design. Even Oppo’s newly launched F11 Pro is worth mentioning if you are looking for a slick looking device in the mid-range segment.