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Review

Vivo V15 Pro Review: Style and substance meet in a neat package

Here is my review for the Vivo V15 Pro, one of the first Snapdragon 675-powered device with a motorized camera and in-display fingerprint scanner.

Vivo V15 Pro 7

Vivo V15 Pro 4 5
BGR Rating :
4/5

Highlights

  • Vivo V15 Pro comes with Snapdragon 675 AIE processor along with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage.

  • The company has added an in-display fingerprint scanner along with a dedicated smart button.

  • The V15 Pro also comes with Dual-engine Fast Charging technology and 18W charger in the box.

Chinese smartphone maker Vivo launched its latest mid-range smartphone, the Vivo V15 Pro a little less than two weeks ago in the Indian market. As part of the announcement, the company revealed the specifications of the device along with the pricing. Unlike most smartphone launches in the market, Vivo will only launch one variant in the market with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The device is priced at Rs 28,990 and it is set to go on sale on Flipkart, Amazon India, Paytm Mall, and other online as well as offline channels starting from March 6, 2019.

To attract potential buyers, the company has also launched a number of launch offers where buyers will get five percent cash back in case they use an HDFC bank-issued credit or debit card to make the purchase along with on-time screen replacement and zero percent down payment on EMI with IDFC bank. With the first Snapdragon 675-powered device to go on sale in the Indian market along with the motorized camera and in-display fingerprint scanner, the company is aiming at the mid-range segment.

Taking a look at the specifications, even though the company is aiming at the mid-range segment, the device comes with some features that are usually found in flagship-grade devices. Vivo sent us the device for testing and I have been using it as my main device for about two weeks. Here is my review for the Vivo V15 Pro.

The gradient design and the style

As soon as you take the smartphone out of the box, one thing that you can’t help but notice is the design of the smartphone. The gradient finish on the back is impressive with distinct, more defined patterns that interact with how lighting falls on them. The company has termed it as “Spectrum Ripple” design which is somewhat different from what we have seen in the device that was launched last year. As part of the device, the company has also added a triple camera setup on the back of the device along with a pop-up motorized setup.

In addition to how the four cameras perform as we discussed in the detailed camera review, the way the cameras are laid out and look more of a robotic and futuristic vibe to the device. To describe the look in words, it looks complicated instead of the clean design that smartphones usually go for, but at the same time, the design transpires a feeling that it a mean machine with capable internals because of the industrial outlook.

Motors to kill that notch and other things from the future

Vivo has brought back its motorized front camera with the device something that it introduced to the public last year. The company has increased the resolution of the front camera to 32-megapixel while still keeping it stylish. Comparing the entire mechanism with what we saw last year, although it isn’t too different, it’s efficient to the extent that it’s non-intrusive even when you enable face unlock.

Watch: Vivo V15 Pro First Look

The entire look has not lost its coolness factor and people around continue to be impressed by how the motorized pop-up camera works. Moving to the reason why the company when for this technology, the FHD+ “Ultra FullView Display” on the front with Super AMOLED panel comes with no distracting notches, punch hole water drop or dot notch solutions. Instead, you can enjoy the impressive screen in its glory with good color accuracy and reproduction with deep blacks.

Vivo has added more tech in the device that we have come to expect with flagship devices including an in-display fingerprint scanner. Similar to the Vivo NEX, it gets the job done and the company seems to have improved the speed of the technology. However, it still is nowhere as fast as physical fingerprint scanners and I would still prefer them or the under-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanners that come with the Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus. The device also comes with a dedicated smart button on the left side that seems similar to what we have seen in Google Pixel, recently launched the Nokia device lineup at MWC and Galaxy S10 lineup.

Flawless performance

On the specifications side, the device comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 AIE processor along with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage along with 3,700mAh battery with support for Dual-engine Fast Charging technology. As previously mentioned in reports, we already know that 675 SoC is better than the Snapdragon 710 in terms of performance.

My two weeks with the device affirm this as I did not find any problem getting by with my moderate to heavy smartphones usage. I found no slowdowns apart from rare micro jitter that is difficult for most to notice. The device did get heated during extremely long gaming sessions but it cooled quickly and this behavior is nothing out of the ordinary. There were no slowdowns while conducting regular day-to-day tasks including calls, gaming, emails, music, and internet surfing

iOS-like software

Talking about the software of the device, there are two primary things that come to the front, first, the Android 9 Pie-based Funtouch OS_9 that comes with the device and the second is the “Jovi” AI-powered smart assistant. The first part of the equation, Funtouch OS_9 does not post any problem with the whole iOS copy affair needs to improve if Vivo needs to grow beyond its current market share.

 

The interface does not really post any problem but the copying aspect makes the experience a bit complex as the operating system tries to showcase an easy seamless UI that is based on somewhat complex Android internals. With other mobile operating systems such as Oppo and Realme centric ColorOS and Oxygen OS by OnePlus, the company should make moves to head to a unique and coherent design.

The second part is “Jovi” which may try to appear smart, but does not really offer much help beyond trying to predict what the user wants to do based on habits. The smart assistant is backed in the operating system and the camera software working similar to what we have seen with Google Assistant. As previously mentioned the device also comes with a dedicated smart button which is similar to the Bixby button in the Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup but here one can map it to Google Assistant or actually disable it.

Jovi Smart Assistant settings

Battery

As previously mentioned, the device comes with a 3,700mAh battery along with support for Dual-engine Fast Charging technology. The charging speed along with the included 18W fast charger was good allowing me to charge the device from practically 0 percent to 100 percent in one hour and 15 minutes. One problem here for me is that the device still comes with a microUSB port as the world moves to USB Type-C making it one truly retro but uncool thing that Vivo has opted in the device.

The battery backup provided by the device along with the fast charging technology and Super AMOLED display is impressive as the device lasted by almost the entire day without any problems. This included my moderate to heavy smartphone usage including constant emails, WhatsApp and some calls across the day, about 15-20 photos, an hour of gaming, 3-4 hours of music streaming and 45 minutes to an hour of video streaming.

Verdict

Overall, Vivo has created an impressive package with the performance to back the design up. The Vivo V15 Pro is an impressive package that comes together to be comprehensive with some slightly rough edges that need minor improvements. The company manages to take the fight to the competition with plenty of unique selling points for the V15 Pro. This is not to say that everything is great as the company still needs to improve the overall software experience along with improvements in the camera quality while taking images and recording videos in challenging conditions.

However, talking about alternatives, if you want to get a device with best selfies in the market at the time of writing along with a triple camera set up in an attractive package, the Vivo V15 Pro is your device. If you want better performance at a budget and can’t wait for future devices then Poco F1 is the smartphone of your choice. If you don’t mind spending more money then you can look at OnePlus 6T. If you don’t really want to stay limited to the mid-range segment and can do without the pop-up selfie camera, front camera quality, and triple rear camera but want the same processor then you can look at the recently announced Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro.

  • Published Date: March 5, 2019 9:49 AM IST


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