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Vivo V15 Pro quick review: Inspired by NEX, this is next-generation Vivo at a more affordable price



The year 2018 was a good one for Vivo in India. From NEX to V11 Pro, Vivo did a fairly good job as far as “innovations” in phones are concerned. In year 2019, the company hopes to keep the momentum. That is the idea the Vivo V5 Pro, which launches today in India at a price of Rs 28,990, is reinforcing.

Nipun Marya, director of brand strategy at Vivo India, told India Today Tech in an interview recently that in 2019 too Vivo will focus to bring new innovations to consumers. Marya said, “when we entered India in 2014 our target was to become a long term successful company. I believe 2018 has been one such year where success has come our wayin 2019 we will continue to build on the fundamentals which we built on so far, innovation of course being one of the most important aspects.”

The Vivo V15 Pro is the first phone of the year from the company with the same vision. In a way, with the V15 Pro Vivo brings pop-up camera experience to the masses. This is the second pop-up selfie camera smartphone that Vivo has launched in the country, the first one being the NEX which was launched at this time last year.

The NEX is slightly expensive for most of the Indian consumers, even those who tend to buy a high-end and premium phone. The V15 Pro launches at a relatively affordable price of Rs 28,990 in India.

Camera pops out smoothly

I have been using the V15 Pro for the last few days and can say that overall this Vivo phone looks promising, albeit there are a few things here and there that could have been better. The Vivo V15 Pro is big on hardware specifications. For example, the selfie camera that comes equipped with a 32-megapixel image sensor. Also, it is a camera that retracts inside the V15 Pro when you are not using it, and it does so with a pop-up mechanism that is smoother and improved compared to what we saw in the NEX.

The pop-up technology was new when the Vivo NEX was launched, and there were areas that seem less than polished. Thankfully the kinks have been sorted out in the Vivo V15 Pro. The pop-up camera in this phone works smoothly.

The Vivo V15 Pro has been launched in India at a price of Rs 28,990 and with its sleek design and the pop-up camera this might be the best looking phone under Rs 30,000
As this is the first pop-up camera phone I’m using as my primary device it took me some time to get adjusted to the whole mechanism, but then that’s the case with almost all new technologies. The good bit about the pop-up camera of the V15 Pro is that it also works as face-unlock, which wasn’t the case with the NEX. The face unlock is incredibly fast. I must say face unlock is much faster than the fifth generation in-display fingerprint sensor that Vivo uses in the V15 Pro.

Looks beautiful, slim side bezels

Similar to its predecessor, V11 Pro, the V15 Pro looks quite ravishing. The smartphone comes with extremely slim bezels, which increase the screen-to-body-ratio and in turn offer great experience when you are watching a video or photos on it. Sadly, the V15 Pro isn’t very sleek. In fact the phone feels somewhat heavy in the hands when compared to the V11 Pro, which is one of the slimmest phones available under Rs 25,000 in India right now.

In the short time that I managed to spend with the V15 Pro I can very well say that the sAMOLED display of the V15 Pro does a great job. It offers good viewing angles and shows vibrant colours. The Vivo V15 Pro uses a big 6.39-inch Ultra FullView display with an aspect ratio of 19:9 and screen-to-body-ratio of 91.64 per cent. On the rear panel the V15 Pro features a dual tone design which Vivo calls “Spectrum Ripple Design”. Fancy name aside, this is your usual dual-tone design, and looks quite good.

The colour schemes make the Vivo phone looks stylish, though I wish the back cover wasn’t made of plastic. It is also this plastic, used to build the back cover of the V15 Pro, that makes it feel a bit cheap in hands. Another feature that I believe Vivo should have brought to the V15 Pro is the Type C support, which is lacking on this phone.

Impressive cameras

The USP of the Vivo V15 Pro is its cameras. On the front, the V15 Pro comes with a 32-megapixel pop-up selfie shooter. During the time I have so far spent with the phone, I clicked lot of selfies and mmost of the time I was pleased with the photos that came out of it. The colours in the selfie photos were nice, and its AI features that tend to hide or remove blemishes work well. So in case you like beauty mode in your phone’s selfie camera, you will love 32-megapixel selfie shooter in the Vivo V15 Pro.

The rear camera of the V15 Pro also does a good job in both bright and low-light situations. On the rear panel the V15 Pro packs a primary 12-megapixel (48 Million Quad Pixel Sensor) with f/1.8 aperture. The secondary camera uses an 8-megapxiel AI super wide-angle sensor and lens, and the third is a 5-megapixel camera for depth sensing. The main “48-megapixel” camera uses Samsung GM 1 sensor.

For the V15 Pro’s main camera Vivo utilises “four-in-one-pixel” technology or pixel binning technique to combine four adjacent pixels into a single 1.6um large pixel to deliver better quality 12-megapixel pictures. In other words the V15 Pro doesn’t offer a true “48-megapixel” camera but that shouldn’t bother you because by combining pixels together it actually gives you photos that are smaller in size (12 megapixels) but are of high quality.

The V15 Pro captures photos that have lots of details — the pixel binning helps here — and spot on colours in all lightning scenarios. I am particularly impressed with how well the V15 Pro performs in low-light scenarios. We will talk about the V15 Pro camera in details in our full review.

As for the overall performance, the V15 Pro manages to handle the day-to-day task very well. Even while multi-tasking — switching between several open apps and multi-tab browsing in an app like Chrome — the phone is a great performer. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 AIE octa-core processor, paired with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage, expandable up to 256GB via microSD card. It’s also great to see that the V15 Pro runs on Android 9 Pie, albeit the one modified with Vivo’s own Funtouch OS 9. Vivo claims that the V15 Pro is capable of delivering flagship-level performance, something that I will test in the full review. Stay tuned for our full review of the V15 Pro, it’s coming out soon.

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