Alas! A phone that packs a bunch of new tech and doesn’t cost too much.
The Vivo V11 Pro was a great phone and there weren’t too many flaws to fix for its next mass-selling smartphone. So, to please techies in 2019, Vivo just had to make a few tweaks to its already ‘perfect’ smartphone and make it a little better for the current techy generation.
This time, Vivo added a mix of new potions into its solution to lure the mass - a pop-up selfie camera, an in-display fingerprint scanner, triple cameras and an eye-catching gradient back.
We took in a nice whiff and jotted down things we liked and didn’t like. Let’s begin, shall we?
Hold the V15 Pro in your hand and you’d immediately notice its wide and tall 6.4in screen, which is ideal for tall and big hands. It’s also quite grippy to hold and play around with since it isn’t that heavy or fat (185g). However, the phone still feels plasticy and cheap in the hand compared to the solid-body Nokia 8.1. Even the buttons feel cheap and doesn’t seem like it’ll last long in the long run. But hey, there's a dedicated Google Assisant button on the left side of the phone if you're curious to know what's the weather like.
Since the fingerprint scanner was done with, Vivo filled that space up with its unique ‘Spectrum Ripple’ gradient back in two colourways (Topaz Blue or Coral Red). If you like flaunting off what you hold, this will do the job.
Vivo took out the notch, placed the selfie camera inside the phone just like its elder sibling NEX. The camera will only pop out if you turn ON the selfie mode or if you’ve turned on face recognition. It pops faster than you think, and goes back even faster. 0.46 milliseconds to be exact.
To keep it simple, Vivo stuck with the micro USB charging technique instead of Type-C. Boohoo. There’s also a headphone jack, just in case you haven't moved on to the wireless life.
Look ma, no notch!
With no notch-nonsense, the Vivo V15 Pro achieves a 91.64% screen-to-body ratio which is a boon for binge-watchers and multitaskers to play and fidget around with.
Vivo sticks to its guns with the Super AMOLED 6.4in display with a pixel density of (1080x2316) so pixel-peepers don’t complain of blurs or blunt visuals.
The display is satisfactory in sunny conditions, scrolling on Instagram is even nicer since most pictures are sharper and watching videos is quite fun since it adapts that 19:9 body and videos reach the edge of the screen instead of getting hid behind a notch. Well, that’s what you want right?
The display gets an optical in-display fingerprint sensor at the bottom just like the V11 Pro. It’s nothing we’d ever fancy having on a phone since it isn't as secure like on the S10 or as fast like the OnePlus 6T. But it’s a cool feature to have when you’re paying almost ₹30k for a smartphone.
Perfomance and battery
Any PUBG fans in the house? We’re sure some of you are.
If yes, we’ve got good news. The V15 Pro might just be one of the best devices in this price range to get those chicken dinners on. Since it’s got the added advantage of a big and notchless screen, it’s easy on the eyes whilst playing games in landscape mode.
With the Snapdragon 675 quietly running tasks in the background, the V15 Pro keeps its pace and is quite responsive to commands. Play heavy-duty games like PUBG or browse on social media all day, it’ll do just fine. In fact, you’ll be surprised how well it handles heavy apps and games.
With 6GB RAM and 128GB storage space to use, you can multitask like a boss without worrying about killing all your background apps and hoard up all the WhatsApp media for quite some time. If you run out of storage, add an expandable SD Card for more room.
The 3700mAh battery seems low on paper considering all the other 4-5000mAh batteries out there. But since the processor knows how to keep things efficient, it understands how you use the phone and optimises the battery accordingly and will easily shell out a proper day’s work and play.
Once drained, fast charge it for an hour and half and you’re ready to rock and roll.
However funny FunTouch OS might sound, it’s still one of the most unique UI’s from all of the other Androids we’ve tested. It still flaunts its iOS-like gestures and moves, but it’s gotten MUCH better since its older versions.
Operation of the phone on FunTouch 9 is smoother and felt easier to use than before. Maybe it’s Android Pie playing a role here... or maybe it’s just Vivo doing a good job.
We feel Vivo can still do better and come up with a much cleaner, sophisticated outlook. Maybe something like Android One for the future?
For us, Vivo’s always been undisputed selfie-king in the sub-₹30k bracket. Its 32MP pop-up camera can capture excellent, crisp and detailed selfies. If you let it, it can balance out the exposure in bright backgrounds and areas. If you’re a selfie-addict, this will ignite your social channels on fire. Watch out for haters.
Vivo plonks a triple camera setup on the V15 Pro. Upto 48MP on the main lens, an 8MP ultra-wide 120˚ lens and a 5MP depth-sensing lens for portrait shots.
We kept switching to the wide-angle lens to see how much more drama we could capture in one single frame. With 120˚ field-of-view you can fit in your mama, your wide TV and your cat sleeping on the shelf too.
Vivo squeezed in a Super Night Mode for nocturnals to play around in the dark. It captures multiple photos in about 2-3 seconds and fixes the exposure and clarity for a bright and sharp low-lit photo. It stands no chance when comparing against Pixel’s Night Sight, but it does a decent job for its price.
Its main camera shoots at 12MP in default, but you can bump up the resolution to 48MP if you fancy a hi-res shot. Its rear camera can capture great stills in good lighting but disappoints when shooting fast-moving subjects. However, we felt other smartphones around this price could do a better job and we’re certain we wouldn’t make this our everyday machine gun for photos.
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Vivo V15 Pro verdict
There aren’t many phones in this price range with so many advantages. With this one, you get lots of new tech, good looks, speedy processing, a full day’s battery and triple cameras with a wide-angle mode. Whoof, that’s a lot for ₹29k.
Although, it’s not all sunshine. The V15 pro misses out a few boxes which were required to achieve those full marks from our side. It misses out on a premium body build, Type-C charging and a sleeker UI. It’s 2019 for heaven's sake!
We know you’re tempted by the the Oppo F11 Pro, Nokia 8.1 or the Poco F1, but each have their own ups and downs. From what we’ve used, this one packs a bunch of features and won’t burn a hole in the pocket like any other premium mid-range flagship.