Vivo V15 Pro review: Pop goes the selfie

Vivo has had an interesting year. From the Apex concept to the Vivo NEX , and then the Vivo NEX Dual Display , the company has surprised us with its ability to innovate and offer something different. Like them or not, the pop-up camera and rear display unit definitely added some much-needed pizzaz to the phones’ otherwise me-too designs. Enter the Vivo V15 Pro , a device that takes a lot of inspiration from higher-end devices and brings it to a more mainstream price point.

This is Android Authority’s Vivo V15 Pro review.

About our Vivo V15 Pro review: I, Dhruv Bhutani, worked on this Vivo V15 Pro review over the course of a week, while my colleague Gary Sims handled the video review. My V15 Pro review unit was used in India on the Airtel network, both of our review units were running the January 1st, 2019 security patch and software version PD1832F_EX_A_1.8.2. Vivo V15 Pro review: Design

The Vivo V15 Pro looks really damn good. There, I said it. That massive screen at the front offers an expansive viewing field that is as close to the concept of all-screen devices as we’ve gotten to so far. It doesn’t hurt that the screen looks really good too (more on that later). I’ve spent almost a week with the Vivo V15 Pro and the dimensions have grown on me. This is not a small phone, but the gently curved edges and back make it very comfortable to hold. Vivo did a really good job with weight distribution, and the phone nestles very easily in the palm of your hand.

The ergonomics, however, aren’t quite perfect. The volume rocker, in particular, is rather flush with the side of the phone and it’s often hard to make out whether a button press registers without looking at the visual feedback. Perhaps it’s just me, but I found the volume rocker on my Vivo V15 Pro review unit was a bit too high up for my hands, requiring a little shimmy to reach. The power button, on the other hand, was easy to reach and had sufficient give, though I wouldn’t mind a “clickier” button. There’s a direct shortcut for Google Assistant on the left side of the phone. Double clicking the button activates Google Lens or Vivo’s own Jovi image recognition.

The back of the phone is all sorts of interesting. Gradient style colorways are all the rage at the moment, and the Vivo V15 Pro is joining in, sporting a finish that goes from an inky almost-black, to a bright electric blue, and then back again. It looks splendid. Coupled with the ripple-like design underneath, it’s definitely going to turn heads. Since the Vivo V15 Pro has a glass back, the usual caveats apply. The phone is extremely slippery and more than once, I caught it slipping down a couch. It is nearly impossible to keep the back clean of fingerprints and smudges.

Vivo is throwing a case in the box, which adds a bit of bulk to the phone, but we’ll take that over constantly wiping the back clean. The case is rather nicely designed and combines a transparent back with rigid side panels. Along the top of the phone, there’s a 3.5mm audio jack. The bottom edge has a speaker grille and Micro-USB charging port. Yes, it’s 2019 and the Vivo V15 Pro has a Micro-USB charging port. There is no justification for this, especially at this price point.

There’s a fifth-generation in-display fingerprint scanner under the screen here and I found it worked perfectly well. It isn’t quite as fast as a standard fingerprint reader, but unlike last year’s models, the speed of the fingerprint reader is no longer an impediment. However, I have an issue with the location of the fingerprint touchpoint. It is set too low on the screen and I found myself having to bend my thumb over a bit too much to unlock the phone. If you are reading this Vivo V15 Pro review, there’s a good chance that the pop-up selfie camera has you intrigued. In fairness, it could be overkill, but I absolutely love it.

The selfie camera on the Vivo V15 Pro pops out in under half a second. It’s fast enough. Located at the top right corner, the camera pops out for face recognition or if you are taking selfies in the camera app. It works just fine even in Instagram. Vivo V15 Pro review: Display

The Vivo V15 Pro has a 6.23-inch Super AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution. The screen is nice and sharp with crisp text rendering.

Being a Super AMOLED panel, the display is particularly vibrant and excellent for media consumption. I found the white point very accurate. Personally, I prefer a slightly warmer color tuning, something it’s possible to adjust via a slider in the settings. The screen itself gets sufficiently bright for outdoor use in direct sunlight. However, the phone is a bit aggressive with automatic brightness control and in low ambient light, it would often drop down a bit too far. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a quick swipe up of the settings shade, but a pain nonetheless.

The same goes for the default font size which takes way too much space. It is easy to adjust the font size and you can further change the font style as well, should you choose. Additional fonts are available via Vivo’s themes app.

The pop-up selfie camera on the Vivo V15 Pro is the reason why you have that expansive uninterrupted screen. The bezel at the top is 2.2mm while the chin at the bottom is a bit thicker. I really wish Vivo had opted for similar dimensions on both ends for the sake of symmetry. Vivo V15 Pro review: Hardware

Powering the Vivo V15 Pro is an all-new Snapdragon 675 chipset. The processor hasn’t been used in many phones yet and in fact, the V15 Pro was our first experience with it. It really isn’t a top of the line chipset but our experience with it was rather satisfactory.

The Snapdragon 675 is an octa-core chipset using a combination of six Kryo 460 Silver cores clocked at 1.7GHz and two Kryo 460 Gold cores at 2.0GHz. This combination of efficiency and performance cores should assist with getting long battery life and just enough power when you need to push the phone. The chip uses an Adreno 612 GPU, a big step up above the Adreno 512 in the Snapdragon 660, but not as good as the Adreno 616 of the Snapdragon 710 . Finally, the chip’s onboard Hexagon 685 DSP should help with AI-related tasks. The Snapdragon 675 uses a combination of six Kryo 460 Silver and two Kryo 460 Gold cores. The Vivo V15 Pro pairs the Snapdragon 675 chipset with 6 or 8GB of RAM depending on the variant. In India, only the 6GB version of the phone will be available. Storage is capped at 128GB on both versions though you can expand storage using a microSD card in case you need more. About 110GB of free storage is available at first boot.

The phone supports dual nano-SIM card slots. Network performance was quite decent. It might have a bit of trouble in low network areas but phone calls generally sounded loud and crisp at both ends. NFC support is restricted to limited markets like Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. Vivo V15 Pro review: Performance

The Snapdragon 675 processor on the Vivo V15 Pro is an interesting beast. Technically, it ranks below the Snapdragon 710, but everyday performance was generally on par. Navigating through the interface and jumping between apps on my Vivo V15 Pro review unit was usually very smooth. Playing games like PUBG was a very enjoyable experience. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the phone did with gaming. With graphics set to high on PUBG Mobile , the phone maintained a solid framerate and the gameplay experience was very enjoyable. Guns of Boom, another online PvP shooter looked and played really well on the V15 Pro. Vivo V15 Pro AnTuTu Vivo V15 Pro 3D Mark That said, it was obvious the phone was working hard to maintain performance. The phone gets noticeably warm along the upper half with anything more than a few minutes of gaming. Battery drain is also noticeable. I observed a six or seven percent drop in battery life over a 10-minute PUBG session. Vivo V15 Pro review: Software

I have a love-hate relationship with Vivo devices. I love what it does with the hardware, but not so much the software. The interface picks up elements from all over iOS, but doesn’t quite have the soul of what makes the iPhone’s operating system endearing. The Vivo V15 Pro runs Funtouch OS 9 on top of Android Pie . To start with, there is no app drawer so to speak. All the app icons are on the home screen. There is no option to change this in the settings. The notifications shade and quick […]


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