First, it was Samsung’s brilliant Infinity display (circa 2017), then we saw the iPhone X notch, later the same year. This year it was the Honor View 20’s ‘punch hole’ display. Device manufacturers have been relentless in their pursuit to craft a truly immersive display as we seem to have all but ditched our tabs for large-screen smartphones to binge watch on the go. Vivo fires the latest salvo in this drive to eliminate the bezels and create an all-screen smartphone.
The V15 Pro is a big jump from its 2018 predecessor – the V11 Pro; the display is at the centre of it all. Vivo has upped its design game with a device that’s quite a sharp looker. It stems from a gorgeous ripple effect – Vivo calls it ‘Spectrum Ripple effect’, on the rear of the device. It adds an interesting dimension to both the colour variants – the Ruby Red and Topaz Blue (our review unit came in this shade). But the real showstopper is in front of the device. The V15 Pro becomes the first smartphone in the world to sport a 32MP pop-up selfie camera. It allows the device to stretch its screen: body ratio to an impressive 91.4%.
The 6.39-inch Super AMOLED display (with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio) packs 400 pixels per inch (PPI) and offers an immersive experience. The selfie camera pops up seamlessly each time you switch to the front cam mode. Vivo assures us that this mechanism has been tested for 300,000 uses – that’s a lot of selfies even for a vain person. The 32MP selfie shooter should please most selfie fiends, there’s an AI beauty mode to gloss over all those dark circles.
The Vivo V15 Pro is more than a device with a pop-up selfie cam. The rear cam combines three lenses including a primary 48MP lens (with an f/1.8 aperture), a 5MP lens with a depth sensor and an 8MP ultra-wide lens (with a 120-degree field of view). Triple cams are becoming the norm and so is the ultra-wide lens that is great for cityscapes. The device features a super night mode similar to what we saw with the OnePlus 6T where multiple images are stitched together to produce a high-quality image in a lowlight shooting scenario. It’s not perfect and yet this is one of the finest cameras in its price band.
The Vivo V15 Pro boasts of another first. It’s the first smartphone in India with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 675 processor, a huge improvement over its predecessor (the Snapdragon 660). This new processor teams up with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of ROM. There’s room for a Micro SD card slot (up top 256 GB) too. The device delivered acceptable results in our AnTuTu benchmark test notching a score of 176380. Multi-tasking was swift but we’re not big fans of Vivo’s FunTouch OS.
Rear fingerprint sensors are slowly becoming a thing of the past in the premium segment. Vivo has added an ultra-responsive in-display fingerprint sensor to this device. It works really well and so does the face unlock feature that’s equally fast. While the in-display sensor is a premium touch, the choice of a micro USB charging port left us slightly baffled at a time when USB Type-C is fast becoming the standard. The 3700 mAh battery is quite robust and the fast charging option fires up your device in quick time.
Vivo has certainly started 2019 on a positive note with a device that delivers a strong value proposition in the Rs 25,000-30,000 segment. It boasts of an elegant design aesthetic, a solid spec sheet, a beautiful display and yes, a selfie cam that will certainly make some heads turn.
The Vivo V15 Pro costs Rs 28,990 and is available in Ruby red and Topaz blue.