Smartphones with pop-up cameras are popping—pun, intended, out here and there, making it the latest trend in the mobile device industry. But one thing’s for sure, Vivo is one of the firsts to popularize this innovative design with its V15 Series.
Here we take a closer look at the top-tier model in the line, the Vivo V15 Pro. What makes this pop-up camera smartphone stand out from the rest of the similarly designed mobile crowd? Does it offer something more significant than being one of the pioneers in the rising-camera trend? Scroll down to learn more about the V15 Pro.
Design & Construction
The V15 Pro flaunts an all-screen display thanks mainly to the new design and placement of the front camera, which now rises from the top of the device on demand. Moreover, the thin bezels help achieved the astounding 91.64% screen-to-body ratio of the V15 Pro. The front of the device comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection. Meanwhile, the rear has a plastic build, but that didn’t make the phone look and feel any less premium. The beautiful gradient finish (available in Topaz Blue and Ruby Red) of the back certainly helped to up this phone’s aesthetics.
Speaking of the rear, the Vivo V15 Pro features a clean simple layout at the back. On the upper left corner, adjacent to the front camera, is the triple rear camera system. The rear camera bump is bulgy for our liking. Good thing the phone already comes with a hard case out of the box.
Looking at all sides of the phone, you’ll find the 3.5mm audio jack and microphone at the top, beside the pop-up camera. At the bottom are the dual nano SIM slot (an interesting configuration) and the microUSB port for charging and data (we wonder why Vivo is not adapting a USB Type-C port still on its latest flagship). For memory expansion, there’s a dedicated microSD card slot at the left of the device, just below the dedicated button for the Google Assistant, which many mistakes for the lock button. For your reference, the lock/power key sits on the right side of the phone, while the volume rocker are placed just right above it. All the keys are clicky and responsive.
While not the thinnest device at 8.21mm, the V15 Pro is easy to handle and feels grippy to hold. Once you slap on the hard case, though, expect that it will be more bulky on your hands. Overall, the phone is lightweight even at 185g.
Display & Multimedia
Of course, one of the highlight features of the Vivo V15 Pro is the huge 6.39-inch Super AMOLED display. This screen brags its FHD+ resolution at 2340 x 1080 pixels and around 403ppi pixel density. As expected, watching movies and playing games bring you more detailed graphics, translating to more enjoyable experience. Plus, thanks to the Super AMOLED technology, the colors are more vibrant, saturated, and popping on the screen. Even the texts are sharp and clear. Outdoor visibility is great as well.
A little snag, but something may not be too significant to some, is that 18:9 videos have black bars on the side when playing. This can be remedied by maximizing the screen (a simple pinch-to-zoom will do), but that would also mean that the certain parts of the video at the top and bottom will be cropped out.
To complement the great display, the V15 Pro touts a down-firing speaker that is loud enough for private listening. It’s clear and balanced over all. Turning the volume up at maximum will give you little distortions, but nothing unreasonable. We still recommend using headphones, though, especially if you’re out and about noisy places.
One more thing, Vivo incorporated its In-Display fingerprint scanning technology in the V15 Pro instead of the usual rear-mounted sensor. It scans prints pretty accurate and unlocks quite fast.
The Vivo V15 Pro comes with powerful shooters. At the back, the triple rear camera system includes: a 48MP main sensor with f/1.8 aperture; an 8MP f/2.2 lens for ultra-wide shots; and a 5MP one for depth-sensing. There’s an LED flash for shooting in low-lit environment.
The resulting images are packing with details, no wonder there. Even the colors are close to real-life with good contrast and saturation. The wide-angle camera allows you to squeeze in as much view or people as possible in one photo; there’s also not much distortion on the image outputs. For bokeh shots, the depth sensor does its job in creating subject-background depth.
Meanwhile, the elevating front camera has a 32MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture. Activating the selfie mode on the camera software will automatically reveal the front shooter at the top. The rising of the camera is accompanied with a motorized sound effect, which is kind of cool. The Face Beauty mode adjusts your face (slimming, smoothening, etc.) quite naturally with help of AI.
The front camera can also be used for face unlock. On the lock screen, swipe up to activate the front camera and detect your face. Unlocking is quite fast, but we still prefer the fingerprint unlock as our main security feature.
Powering the Vivo V15 Pro is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 processor paired with an Adreno 612 GPU and a huge 8GB RAM—talk about powerful performance! Launching and switching between multiple apps and programs are snappy and lag-free. The phone didn’t disappoint as well on graphics-heavy games like Asphalt 9, Mobile Legends, and PUBG Mobile—even when you configure it to the highest settings available. Check out our benchmarks below:
Geekbench Single-core 2382, Multi-core 6455
3DMark Slingshot Extreme OpenGL ES 3.1 – 1075, Vulkan – 1160
PCMark Work 2.0 – 7739
Vivo also equipped the V15 Pro with a generous internal storage of 128GB, more than enough for all your files, photos, videos, and apps. But it’s still expandable up to 256GB via microSD if you still need more memory space.
This Vivo handset runs FunTouch OS 9 (based on Android 9 Pie), giving a clean, minimalist user experience. There are no app drawers available. Access to the notification center requires swiping down from the top of the screen, while the control center appears when you swipe up from the bottom. A few more gestures gives you access to other productivity apps and shortcut to tasks. The Vivo V15 Pro also features Jovi, the brand’s proprietary voice assistant.
Surprisingly however, for a phone this big, the V15 Pro only comes with a 3700mAh battery. While it lasted one whole day (11 to 12 hours) running basic smartphone tasks and usual apps. Constant playing of games and watching videos diminish the battery life to just 6 to 7 hours a day. We would love to have a bigger battery on the V15 pro considering its big screen size, which is expected to be power hungry. To appease, perhaps, Vivo managed to include a Dual-Engine fast charging feature. This means that even when you run out of power, you can power up your device just as fast. Upon testing, we clocked at 1 hour 45 minutes to juice up the phone from 20% to 100%.
Of course, the V15 Pro comes with the usual connectivity features such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This handset also has GPS, GLONASS, and Beidou. It supports up to 4G LTE wireless networks.
The Vivo V15 Pro is a solid flagship phone. It comes with reliable features: powerful hardware, seamless software, fast and accurate security features, and great cameras. In addition, it levels up on other significant areas as well by bringing a true all-screen display experience and a revolutionary rising front camera design. The P23,999 price tag is more expensive than its competitor, but it’s understandable considering that it provides higher specs in some of the vital features of a flagship phone.