Vivo V15 Pro review: For Rs 28,990, device offers good camera & battery life; FunTouch OS is disappointing
The phone is significantly thicker where the triple camera module is.
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Specifications: Snapdragon 675 octa core, 6GB DDR4X RAM, 128GB storage (expandable, up to 256GB cards supported with dedicated slot), 6.39-inch Ultra FullView super amoled display (2316 x 1080 pixels, 91.64% screen to body ratio), 48MP f1.8 + 8MP f2.2 + 5MP f2.5 triple rear AI camera, 32MP f2.0 motorised pop-up front camera, WiFi ac, BT5.0, 3,700mAh battery, 185 grams
Pros: Impressively slim bezels & all-screen design with pop-up front camera, vibrant amoled display with in-screen fingerprint, excellent camera performance with wide-angle shooting, box includes special clear case and 3.5mm earphones, good performance & battery life
Cons: Plastic construction, micro USB port instead of USB C, single bottom firing loudspeaker, Vivo’s FunTouch OS takes time to get used to
Like it or not, the smartphone industry is moving towards an all-screen design. In 2018, this kind of edge-to-edge screen (without a notch) was the reserve of a handful of flagships like the Mi Mix, Oppo Find X and Vivo NEX. But Vivo wants to democratize the technology with their new V15 Pro.
For the pop-up camera mechanism, this phone uses the same stepper motor technology we first saw in the Vivo NEX. While the NEX is still available and very much in flagship territory, this phone is Vivo’s attempt to bring these still uncommon features down to a much lower price point.
The box includes a clear hard case, USB cable, 3.5mm earphones and a 9V/2A (18 watt) fast charger. In case you’re wondering, a high quality screen protector is pre-applied too. This is a good package that only enhances the value proposition.
It certainly is a very impressive design — the display is a high resolution super amoled with a massive 91.6% screen to body ratio. It also gets the latest generation in-display optical fingerprint scanner technology which works fast and reliably. The phone is available in two gradient colours which are attractive and shiny — good if you like to stand out in a crowd because the case is not going to hide the colour.
Looking around the back, the back panel feels and looks a lot like glass but is actually high quality plastic. The phone is significantly thicker where the triple camera module is. Vivo has opted to place the front pop-up camera directly in line with the triple rear camera. It may be simpler in terms of internal design but pushes the thickness up.
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As is typical for any kind of moving part on a cellphone, there are questions about the durability of the pop-up camera. That being said, the same thing was launched on the NEX last year and we are yet to hear of the part failing on that device. The mechanism is sturdy and won’t break if you try to stop it from popping up or push it back down with force. Vivo claims they have tested the motor for 300,000 cycles which should equate to several years of use. It most definitely will affect the water resistance though — and there is no way (at least for now) to make a phone with a pop-up part completely watertight.
Apart from the plastic build, the way that Vivo makes this phone more affordable is with the mid-range processor (Snapdragon 675) and skipping things like USB type C and stereo speakers. We think it’s a good compromise for someone who wants an Ultra FullView screen without breaking the bank. Performance from the Snapdragon 675 is more than enough for most needs including gaming. The camera performs well (special mention to the wide angle) and the battery is also good for a full day of use. The only main reason to complain is FunTouch OS which we find a little overbearing.
Vivo’s sister company Oppo is doing a full screen phone of their own — with the same stepper motor. Opps’s phone is the F11 Pro and comes in at an even lower Rs 24,990. However, the F11 Pro screen is LCD (not amoled) and it has noticeably thicker bezels than the Vivo. Right now, the V15 Pro sits in a class of its own and is well worth a look at this price range.