vivo V15 Pro review

Introduction

High-end features in a relatively affordable package. That’s the vivo V15 Pro in a few words. Or you can say that this phone is vivo’s attempt to bring everything we love about the first vivo NEX to the masses. And thanks to the fast developing tech, we can even go ahead and say that in some aspects, the V15 Pro has outdone its more expensive sibling.

Vivo V15 Pro review

Of course, besides the pop-up selfie cam and the under-display fingerprint, the V15 Pro still needs to keep the overall cost low to make the cut. That includes a mid-range SoC instead of a flagship one but that doesn’t mean performance has been overlooked. The handset carries a perfectly capable Snapdragon 675 chipset and preliminary synthetic benchmarks suggest that it might be the spiritual successor to the beloved Snapdragon 660. And it should be more efficient as well given that it’s based on a smaller 11nm node.

vivo V15 Pro specs

  • Body: 157.3 x 74.7 x 8.2 mm, 185 grams, glass front, plastic back and sides.
  • Screen: 6.39″ Super AMOLED, 1080 x 2316px resolution; ~400 ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SDM636 Snapdragon 675 (14 nm) chipset: octa-core CPU (2×2.0 GHz Kryo 460 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 460 Silver); Adreno 612 GPU.
  • Memory: 6GB RAM, 128GB built-in storage, microSD slot support.
  • OS: Funtouch 9 based on Android 9.0 Pie.
  • Rear camera: 48MP f/1.8, 0.8µm, 1/2″, PDAF support, Quad-bayer pixel array + 5MP depth sensor, dual-tone LED flash; Ultra-wide: 8MP f/2.2; [email protected]/60fps and [email protected]
  • Front camera: 32MP f/2.0, Quad-bayer pixel array.
  • Battery: 3,700mAh, Dual-Engine fast charging 18W (9V/2A).
  • Connectivity: Dual-SIM; LTE Cat.12 download/ Cat.13 upload, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Dual-band MIMO, 2×2 antennas, GPS; Bluetooth 5.0 A2DP, LE, EDR, aptX, microUSB 2.0.
  • Misc: Under-display fingerprint reader, motorized pop-up selfie camera.

The camera department is where vivo thinks the V15 Pro excels so it would be interesting to see where the 32MP front and 48MP back cameras will take us. The ultra-wide angle snapper on the back is a bonus here and only tests will show how usable it really is. We’ve seen even flagships fail with the ultra-wide photography more than once.

Unboxing the vivo V15 Pro

The handset comes in a standard retail bundle containing all the user manuals you’d normally find along with the microUSB (!) charging/data transfer cable and the charging brick itself. Vivo has also included a plastic case with silicone side bumpers for extra protection. It’s compatible with the pop-up camera mechanism.

Vivo V15 Pro review

The charger caps at 18W (9V/2A) so some kind of fast charging is at hand. Vivo calls it Dual-Engine fast charging but we’ll have a closer look at it in the battery section.

Design and build

The vivo V15 Pro is definitely a nice-looking device. It follows all the new trends in the smartphone world – gradient color, glass-like back design and a full-screen display without notches or cutouts of any sort. We said glass-like because it’s most probably made of plastic – ti doesn’t feel like the glass and vivo didn’t say anything about the materials used. We reckin that if it was glass, they would have bragged about it.

Vivo V15 Pro review

And yet, the plastic doesn’t take away the good feel of the phone overall and it’s supposed to be more resilient to cracks. On the other hand, expect it to scratch easier. That’s just the nature of plastic.

Vivo V15 Pro review

Design-wise, the back has a big blocky bulge that accommodates all three cameras along with the pop-up selfie mechanism. Perhaps the size of both modules required a big bulge like the one here. It definitely gives the device a distinct look but it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea for sure.

The color, on the other hand, is hard not to like. We got the Topaz Blue and it’s mesmerizing. It also features a subtle stripes pattern that can be seen at a certain angle.

Vivo V15 Pro review

Moving to the sides, we can’t help but notice not one but two trays – one on the bottom taking up to two SIM cards and another one on the left side reserved for the microSD card. That’s pretty neat as you don’t have to trade in the dual-SIM functionality for expandable storage and vice versa. A dedicated voice assistant button keeps company to the microSD card and on the right are placed the power button and the volume rocker. The buttons feel a bit wobbly but are clicky but that doesn’t get in the way of usability.

Vivo V15 Pro review

We have some good news and some bad news about connectivity. The 3.5 mm audio jack is placed on the top – cool to have that nowadays – but we also have a microUSB connector on the bottom for charging and data transfer. It sits right between the SIM card tray and the loudspeaker grille.

Vivo V15 Pro review

What’s left is the front. There’s no Gorilla Glass and instead, vivo says it’s regular 2.5D glass panel. However, the panel looks almost completely flat with no noticeable rounded edges. In fact, there’s a noticeable gap between the panel and the side frame.

Vivo V15 Pro review

The thinness of the bezels, on the other hand, is pretty impressive. The side ones are 1.75mm while the top one is 2.2mm. It’s not the skinniest one around but it’s enough to accommodate the earpiece. The ambient and proximity sensors are placed under the OLED screen in the upper left part of the panel. The chin also appears to be pretty minimal considering the price point of the V15 Pro.

Vivo V15 Pro review

Although the handset feels solid in the hand, the overall handling leaves more to be desired. The sides are a bit sharp and the finishes used are quite slippery. That last one was to be expected but vivo could have done a better job with the ergonomics. One-handed operation is out of the question with this extra tall 19.5:9 6.39-inch display. Then again, users with big hands probably won’t complain about that.

Vivo V15 Pro review

Now let’s talk about the motorized camera. It’s fast to appear when summoned or needed. In fact, it pops up measurably faster than the NEX S. It seems that vivo has worked on that motor and it’s now considerably more reliable. In terms of longevity, well we couldn’t test it so we would have to take vivo’s word on that.

Vivo V15 Pro review

Still, we do have some concerns about it. Dust will probably build up over time, which could jam the unit or scratch the camera. But if you are one of those people that bring out the selfie camera once in a full moon, then maybe it’s safe to say you will be fine. You get rid of the useless selfie cam and get to keep all the screen for you. Win-win situation right there. Also, the motor works a lot faster than the NEX S’ periscope. Maybe vivo took the time to perfect it.

The same applies to the fingerprint reader. Although it’s still optical, it works a lot better than the one found on the NEX S. It’s pretty reliable and unlocks fast enough. It’s one of the better implementations of under-display fingerprint readers but it’s still not as fast as conventional ones.

Vivo V15 Pro review

Here’s how the phone looks from all sides in our 360-degree view. You can even take a closer look at the periscope-like mechanism.

Mid-range AMOLED screen for a mid-range phone

The vivo V15 Pro boasts a full-screen Super AMOLED screen with 6.39-inch diagonal and an extra tall 19.5:9 free of all kinds of cutouts and notches. Vivo calls it Ultra FullView Display but it’s just a fancy word for a notch-less nearly bezel-less screen.

Vivo V15 Pro review

Performance-wise, though, the Super AMOLED screen used here isn’t the best one we’ve seen but it definitely covers all the basic stats for a mid-range offering. Maximum brightness is okay and close to what you’d expect of a typical OLED – 429 nits.

Max Auto mode didn’t do much for us – just a few nits increase over the maximum. In any case, it should do fine outdoors in most scenarios. Unlikely to deliver great sunlight legibility under extreme conditions, though, like direct sunlight, for example.

Display test100% brightness
Black, cd/m2White, cd/m2Contrast ratio
Xiaomi Mi 8 (Max Auto)0.002624312000
Motorola Moto G7 Plus (Max Auto)0.4695901258
Xiaomi Redmi Note 70.3584791338
Motorola Moto G7 Plus0.3324731425
Xiaomi Pocophone F10.3144611468
Xiaomi Mi 80458
Oppo RX17 Pro0455
Oppo F11 Pro0.3164401392
vivo V15 Pro0429
vivo V110418

The color accuracy isn’t the strongest suit of this phone either. The average dE2000 measured at maximum brightness is 5.8 with expected blue-ish whites. If you prefer a warmer look, you will find a color temperature slider in the Display settings menu but this will also blow the reds. Of course, this shouldn’t worry you if you aren’t doing any sort of color-sensitive work.

Battery life

Regards to battery life, our expectations were met. The vivo V15 Pro delivered excellent battery life thanks to its 3,700 mAh battery and (obviously) rather efficient Snapdragon 675 SoC. The use of AMOLED screen instead of an IPS panel must have helped a bit too.

Web browsing and video playback times were slightly above average for the class but the standby score made it stand out even more. The 3G talk time shouldn’t be overlooked as well.

Vivo V15 Pro review

Unfortunately, when it comes to charging, the vivo V15 Pro doesn’t really impress with speed. Despite the Dual-Engine Fast Charging tech, it looks like it’s a standard Quick Charge 3.0 working over microUSB and the provided charger managed to fill up the battery from flat to only 38% in 30 minutes. Not all that impressive. At least the solid battery life makes up for that.

Loudspeaker

The loudspeaker’s loudness isn’t exceptional but it’s right above average. We’ve definitely seen louder ones. Quality-wise, the speaker doesn’t impress as well. And since it’s a bottom-firing single speaker, your hand might get in the way when watching videos.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOverall score
Realme 366.071.881.2Good
Oppo F11 Pro67.672.380.5Very Good
Xiaomi Mi 868.172.382.2Very Good
vivo V15 Pro65.074.183.6Very Good
Oppo RX17 Pro68.372.781.8Very Good
Moto G7 Plus (Smart Audio)70.872.484.9Excellent
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE70.574.185.2Excellent
Xiaomi Redmi Note 769.871.590.5Excellent
Xiaomi Pocophone F172.874.786.6Excellent

Audio quality

The vivo V15 Pro did very well in the first part of our audio quality test, where we hook it up to an active external amplifier. It reproduced our test track perfectly and at high volume.

Things weren’t quite as perfect when headphones came into play – the stereo crosstalk raised notably, volume dropped to just above average and some intermodulation distortion crept in. A decent showing still, but not one to impress audiophiles.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
vivo V15 Pro+0.02, -0.01-93.493.40.00130.0076-92.2
vivo V15 Pro (headphones)+0.32, -0.08-93.193.20.00870.254-54.9
Motorola Moto G7 Plus+0.04, -0.00-93.393.20.00290.0077-93.8
Motorola Moto G7 Plus (headphones)+0.07, -0.01-92.993.20.0150.076-68.8
Redmi Note 7+0.04, -0.04-90.790.70.00150.014-94.5
Redmi Note 7 (headphones)+0.05, -0.29-92.592.50.0240.296-55.0
Huawei P Smart 2019+0.02, -0.02-93.193.00.00390.0088-81.9
Huawei P Smart 2019 (headphones)+0.64, -0.38-88.691.90.00690.606-50.6
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite+0.04, -0.04-93.593.40.00110.0070-93.4
Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite (headphones)+0.45, -0.18-93.493.40.0210.457-54.9
Honor 8X+0.01, -0.04-92.392.40.00410.0085-80.7
Honor 8X (headphones)+0.45, -0.54-92.292.80.00840.492-51.5

vivo V15 Pro frequency response
vivo V15 Pro frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/gsmarena_lab_tests-review-751p4.php).

Android 9.0 Pie-flavored Funtouch OS 9

The vivo V15 Pro runs on Funtouch OS 9 based on Android 9.0 Pie and it offers familiar Funtouch experience. In fact, it offers an iOS-like experience so if you are coming from an iPhone, some parts of the UI may seem familiar.

For instance, swiping from the top won’t bring down the quick toggles, it would only display the current notifications. Swiping from the bottom will summon the quick toggles. It gives you control over the volume and the display’s brightness. And depending on your app usage, some of the apps may end up in that menu as well for quick access.

Vivo V15 Pro review

The FuntouchOS also offers gesture-based navigation. Swiping from the center takes you home and if you swipe and hold, you will see the recent apps menu. Depending on your preference, the back button works as a swipe from the bottom left or bottom right. Swiping from the other side brings out the quick toggles that we’ve talked about earlier. Unfortunately, there’s no quick switch to the previously opened app so if fast multitasking is your thing, you’d better go with the software buttons. The Funtouch gestures need a little more work.

Home screen, recent apps, notification shade, quick toggles - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Home screen, recent apps, notification shade, quick toggles - Vivo V15 Pro review Home screen, recent apps, notification shade, quick toggles - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#)
Home screen, recent apps, notification shade, quick toggles

The settings menu is quite rich and you will find tons of settings in there. You can manage your notifications and the way they appear. You can disable the heads-up pop-up if it gets in the way and you can also choose which notifications stay on the status bar.

Settings menu - Vivo V15 Pro review Settings menu - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#)
Settings menu

The Lock screen and Home screen sub-menu is particularly interesting as it gives you all the options you’d need for customization. The Always-on display setting is in there as well. You can set up a background if you want instead of just a plain clock. Keep in mind that standby battery life will be greatly affected.

Navigation settings and always-on display options - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Navigation settings and always-on display options - Vivo V15 Pro review
Navigation settings and always-on display options

As we’ve talked about in the design section, the under-display fingerprint works considerably better than the V11 Pro and even the NEX S. It’s still optical but we found that recognized our fingertip right more often than not. The face unlock works well too although, not being very secure. The pop-up mechanism works quite fast so the speed difference between the V15 Pro and a phone with a standard front-facing camera is negligible.

^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Fingerprint input and facial recognition - Vivo V15 Pro review Fingerprint input and facial recognition - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#)
Fingerprint input and facial recognition

The battery settings menu comes with a few additional options on top of the standard ones. You can set the phone to work in a low-power state, which limits the CPU and GPU performance. It even turns off all radios like WiFi and Bluetooth. But if that’s not enough and you need to squeeze a few more hours out of your dying battery, the Super Power-Saving Mode will help you out. It allows you to use only Contacts, Messages and Clock. Of course, the battery stats menu is at hand as well.

Battery settings - Vivo V15 Pro review
Battery settings

As we’ve already pointed out, vivo’s Funtouch OS is full of useful and maybe not so useful features. The Smart motion menu – as the name implies – contains a couple of off-screen gestures. Drawing a letter will launch an app immediately from a locked state while sliding upwards will bring out the periscope camera to unlock the device.

^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Off screen gestures - Vivo V15 Pro review Off screen gestures - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#)
Off screen gestures

If the device senses a motion, it can wake up the screen while double tapping will do so as well. Double tapping on an empty spot on the home screen will lock the screen. All of these worked reliably and well except for the shaking motion that supposedly launches the flashlight. The phone responded quite slow to the gesture so you might be better off switching it from the quick toggle menu. Or you can set up a shortcut from the volume down key – a quick double press on a locked screen will launch the flashlight or any given app of your choice.

S-capture and smart click - Vivo V15 Pro review
S-capture and smart click

Other settings include the usual split-screen mode, one-handed UI mode, advanced screenshot and screen capture options. On top of that, Funtouch comes with tons of proprietary apps, which could be a bit annoying depending on how you look at it. But most of the apps do are for Music listening, Calendar, Clock, Videos, Weather, Gallery Email, Notes, etc. There’s also the V-Appstore for additional vivo-related apps and the so-called i Theme that offers a wide variety of themes for your phone.

Performance

The vivo V15 Pro is one of the first handsets to be launched with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 675 chipset. It features an octa-core CPU that consists of newly designed 2x Kryo 460 Gold cores clocked at 2.0 GHz and 6x Kryo 460 Silver cores ticking at 1.7 GHz. The GPU inside is Adreno 612. The SoC is manufactured on the cost-efficient 11nm node but more advanced than most chips from the previous gen 14nm Snapdragon 600-series. Fun fact, the 11nm (11LPP) process has been developed by Samsung and it’s a mixture between the company’s 14nm and 10nm nodes.

As our initial benchmark testing suggested, the Snapdragon 675 is a great mid-range performer when it comes to productivity. We didn’t notice any hiccups, hangs or performance issues even with the heavy Funtouch OS UI.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    11181
  • Honor View 20
    9530
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
    9003
  • vivo V15 Pro
    6527
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    6020
  • Oppo RX17 Pro
    5944
  • vivo V11
    5535
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    5411
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    4927

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    3503
  • Honor View 20
    3211
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
    2438
  • vivo V15 Pro
    2386
  • Oppo RX17 Pro
    1835
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    1650
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    1560
  • vivo V11
    1457
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    1334

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    372006
  • Honor View 20
    275413
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
    265314
  • vivo V15 Pro
    180774
  • Oppo RX17 Pro
    154861
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    150218
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    139075
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    117829

As you can see from the CPU-intensive benchmarks, the Snapdragon 675 blows every other mid-range SoC out of the water. Single-core performance is particularly impressive and goes neck to neck with last year’s flagship Snapdragon 845. In multi-core performance, the chipset still comes on top even against the Snapdragon 710 leaving the Kirin 710 way behind. There are some significant performance gains over the Snapdragon 660 as well.

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    100
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
    82
  • Honor View 20
    79
  • Oppo RX17 Pro
    32
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    23
  • vivo V15 Pro
    22
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    22
  • vivo V11
    20
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    16

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    60
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
    59
  • Honor View 20
    58
  • Oppo RX17 Pro
    28
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    21
  • vivo V15 Pro
    19
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    19
  • vivo V11
    18
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    15

GFX 3.1 Car scene (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    42
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
    35
  • Honor View 20
    30
  • Oppo RX17 Pro
    13
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    9
  • vivo V15 Pro
    8.8
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    8.5
  • vivo V11
    8.2
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    6.3

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    35
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
    31
  • Honor View 20
    28
  • Oppo RX17 Pro
    11
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    7.7
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    7.4
  • vivo V11
    7.4
  • vivo V15 Pro
    7.1
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    5.9

Basemark OS 2.0

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    5346
  • Honor View 20
    4281
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
    3713
  • vivo V15 Pro
    2936
  • Oppo RX17 Pro
    2735
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    2260
  • vivo V11
    2218
  • Motorola Moto G7 Plus
    1999

3DMark SSE 3.1 Unlimited

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 9
    5816
  • Honor View 20
    3025
  • Oppo RX17 Pro
    1976
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
    1409
  • Oppo F11 Pro
    1275
  • vivo V15 Pro
    1206

The GPU scores, on the other hand, suggest that the Snapdragon 675 won’t be particularly efficient for gaming. The Adreno 612 GPU is just a tad better than the Snapdragon 660’s 512 and Kirin 710’s Mali-G51 MP4 and measurably less powerful than the Adreno 616 in the Snapdragon 710. But if you are getting it as a daily driver for your web browsing, multitasking and productivity-oriented app usage, the Snapdragon 675 is definitely the way to go. Also, battery tests show that it’s fairly power efficient too.

48MP main shooter with a depth sensor and ultra wide angle lens

The vivo V15 Pro comes with a triple-camera setup 48MP + 5MP + 8MP for ultra wide shots. The 48MP sensor is likely to be Samsung’s Bright GM1. It’s pretty big – 1/2″ and has 0.8µm pixels and f/1.8 aperture. It’s a sensor that grows in popularity day by day and has been used in various smartphones including high-end handsets such as the Honor View 20. Of course, that also means that the camera software uses Quad-Bayer-like technology that combines four adjacent pixels into one. This results in a sharper 12MP photo with plenty of light, detail and less noise. The secondary 5MP camera is used only for depth information when taking portraits, for example. The third is an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens with f/2.2 aperture.

Vivo V15 Pro review

And as for the selfie cam, it uses a 32MP sensor and a f/2.0 lens once again utilizing the pixel-binning technology.

Vivo V15 Pro review

But before we go over the sample photos and see what the triple-camera setup is capable of, lets take a look at the camera options in the default camera app.

Camera menus

The camera menu is familiar – swiping to the left and right will cycle between different modes while the additional settings are right above the software shutter button and in the upper part of the viewfinder. There are a couple of settings hidden in the settings menu in the upper-right corner. You can find the 48MP mode in there, AI scene identification and camera pop-up sounds. The camera also supports different capture gestures.

^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Camera menus and options - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Camera menus and options - Vivo V15 Pro review
Camera menus and options

The portrait mode is in the standard Photo mode and you can adjust the blur effect in real-time. The modes worth mentioning are the Pro mode and the Night mode. The names are pretty self-explanatory – the Pro mode gives you manual control over camera settings like ISO, white balance, focus, shutter speed, etc., while the Night mode is used for poorly-lit scenes.

Image quality

During the day, you can expect sharp and detailed photos with accurate color reproduction, nice contrast and good dynamic range. We didn’t really find any big issues to complain about.

^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) AI: On - f/1.8, ISO 49, 1/8742s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) AI: On - f/1.8, ISO 51, 1/7214s - Vivo V15 Pro review
^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) AI: On - f/1.8, ISO 49, 1/6042s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) AI: On - f/1.8, ISO 48, 1/7541s - Vivo V15 Pro review
AI: Off • On • Off • On • Off • On • Off • On

If the colors are lacking, you can always turn on the AI. It will result in juicy colors but maybe a bit over the top.

^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) AI: On - f/1.8, ISO 51, 1/5211s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#)
AI: On - f/1.8, ISO 49, 1/6042s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) AI: On - f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/5953s - Vivo V15 Pro review
AI: Off • On • Off • On • Off • On

However, we found that in some cases, there was visible noise in the sky or around the edges of some buildings. Nothing too alarming but worth noting. And the noise wasn’t as apparent on most samples.

^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) More daylight and indoor photos - f/1.8, ISO 49, 1/4365s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) More daylight and indoor photos - f/1.8, ISO 61, 1/100s - Vivo V15 Pro review
^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) More daylight and indoor photos - f/1.8, ISO 49, 1/6901s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) More daylight and indoor photos - f/1.8, ISO 49, 1/142s - Vivo V15 Pro review
More daylight and indoor photos

Also, the HDR didn’t do much for us – shadows and highlights during the day stay pretty much the same. Luckily, the dynamic range in the standard photo mode is good so you won’t need HDR in most cases.

^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) HDR On - f/1.8, ISO 52, 1/7108s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) HDR On - f/1.8, ISO 48, 1/7541s - Vivo V15 Pro review
^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) HDR On - f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/5953s - Vivo V15 Pro review HDR On - f/1.8, ISO 50, 1/5953s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#)
HDR On

As far as the 48MP mode is concerned – we don’t see any benefit to using the 48MP camera’s native resolution as it delivers more noise, less detail and colors look a bit off, too.

48MP samples - f/1.8, ISO 51, 1/7214s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) 48MP samples - f/1.8, ISO 48, 1/7541s - Vivo V15 Pro review
^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) 48MP samples - f/1.8, ISO 48, 1/6132s - Vivo V15 Pro review 48MP samples - f/1.8, ISO 48, 1/5780s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#)
48MP samples

Ultra-wide photos

The ultra-wide camera applies good correction in the corners of the image and even though distortion is visible (the buildings look tilted), at least there is no pronounced barreling and lines are mostly straight (even if not perpendicular). However, the lack of dynamic range, autofocus, and the rather low 8MP resolution are not promising.

Ultra wide-angle photos - f/2.2, ISO 50, 1/1572s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Ultra wide-angle photos - f/2.2, ISO 49, 1/1619s - Vivo V15 Pro review Ultra wide-angle photos - f/2.2, ISO 49, 1/1438s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#)
Ultra wide-angle photos

Low-light photos

We were kind of impressed by the low-light samples. It appears that the benefits from the 48MP sensor shine in the dark. Noise is limited, highlights and shadows are nice and there’s a good amount of detail. Turning on the Night mode will result in loss of detail but better highlight and shadow reproduction – so there is a certain trade-off involved.

Night mode: On - f/1.8, ISO 312, 1/20s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Night mode: On - f/1.8, ISO 231, 1/12s - Vivo V15 Pro review
^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Night mode: On - f/1.8, ISO 246, 1/20s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Night mode: On - f/1.8, ISO 274, 1/20s - Vivo V15 Pro review
Night mode: Off • On • Off • On • Off • On • Off • On

It seems like vivo prioritized the exposure over detail whereas in other cases, we’ve seen oversharpening even.

^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Night mode: On - f/1.8, ISO 800, 1/12s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Night mode: On - f/1.8, ISO 1645, 1/8s - Vivo V15 Pro review
Night mode: Off • On • Off • On

Once you are done with the real-life scenarios, take a look at our studio samples taken in a more controlled environment where you can compare how the vivo V15 Pro stacks against the competition.

^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/piccmp.php3?idType=4&idPhone1=9553&idPhone2=9513&idPhone3=9293)
vivo V15 Pro against the Redmi Note 7 and Pocophone F1 in our Photo compare tool

And here are our 48MP samples.

Photo Compare Tool Photo Compare Tool ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/piccmp.php3?idType=4&idCamera1=300595&idCamera2=300572&idCamera3=300580)
48MP mode: vivo V15 Pro against the Redmi Note 7 and Honor View 20 in our Photo compare tool

Portraits

Portrait shots are in terms of color reproduction and detail. They look pretty natural and detailed but it leaves a lot to be desired in the edge detection department. Especially when you consider the fact that there’s a dedicated sensor doing all the depth mapping.

Portraits - f/2.8, ISO 50, 1/223s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Portraits - f/4.0, ISO 153, 1/100s - Vivo V15 Pro review
Portraits

Selfies

The vivo V15 Pro takes awesome selfies – natural colors, great detail, and wide dynamic range.

Only portrait selfies leave something to be desired – HDR doesn’t work in this mode and the edge detection isn’t all that good.

^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Normal selfies - f/2.0, ISO 54, 1/100s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Normal selfies - f/2.0, ISO 49, 1/363s - Vivo V15 Pro review
Normal selfies

^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#) Portrait selfies - f/2.0, ISO 49, 1/348s - Vivo V15 Pro review Portrait selfies - f/2.0, ISO 54, 1/100s - Vivo V15 Pro review ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vivo_v15_pro_review-review-1905.php#)
Portrait selfies

Video recording

The handset supports 1080p video recording in 30 and 60 frames per second while 4K recording is limited to 30fps only. Slow-motion and time-lapse modes are available as well.

Video recording quality, however, is a mixed bag. In 4K, you can expect a good amount of detail, nice contrast and minimal noise but dynamic range is lacking. The biggest issue we had was the sound recording. As you can see for yourself, it sounds awful. It’s like the sound has been compressed. We’ve observed the same behavior indoors as well so it’s not due to the environment.

[embedded content]

The same goes for the 1080p video recording. Of course, expect less detail as well.

[embedded content]

The EIS toggle is nowhere to be found in the camera menus but we can easily tell that the electronic image stabilization works only in 1080p videos while the 4K recording is stripped from this option. Take a closer look for yourself.

[embedded content]

When you are done with the real-life examples, here are some video screengrabs, which you can use to compare the vivo V15 Pro video quality to other phones in the controlled environment of our studio.

Video Compare Tool Video Compare Tool ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/vidcmp.php3?idType=4&idPhone1=9553&idPhone2=9065&idPhone3=9293)
2160p: vivo V15 Pro against the Xiaomi Mi 8 and Pocophone F1 in our Video compare tool

The competition

The vivo V15 Pro might be slightly more expensive than most mid-range phones but it has a couple of unique standout features that make a compelling argument to opt for it.

Perhaps one of the best selling points of the V15 Pro is the raw CPU performance. No matter whether it’s a single-threaded or a multi-threaded task, the Snapdragon 675 will handle gracefully anything you throw at it. We can almost go as far as comparing it to last year’s flagship CPU performance such as the Snapdragon 845.

Vivo V15 Pro review

And when we talk about the Snapdragon 845, we can’t fail to mention the crowd’s favorite Pocophone F1. Roughly for the same price, the handset offers superior performance and marginally better battery life. Also, the UI will appeal more to the stock Android users or those who like MIUI better. On the other hand, the vivo V15 Pro offers more up-to-date features like pop-up selfie cam, full-screen AMOLED screen and under-display fingerprint reader.

Oppo F11 Pro
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 • Oppo F11 Pro

Speaking of in-screen fingerprint scanners and pop-up selfie cams, you have two alternative choices here. You can either go with the Oppo R17 Pro for the in-display fingerprint reader or with the Oppo F11 Pro for the periscope-like selfie shooter and notch-less display. Keep in mind, though, that the Oppo F11 Pro will be the only one saving you money and it also has the same 48MP camera module on its back.

^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/oppo_f11_pro-9566.php) Xiaomi Mi 8
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro • Xiaomi Mi 8

Back to Xiaomi’s camp, we have two more devices worth considering. Last year’s Xiaomi flagship, the Mi 8, made the cut as the price has fallen so much that made it a great value proposition. You get a great camera experience, AMOLED display, good battery and a powerful Snapdragon 845 for just about the same price. You will still miss on the full-screen display and the in-display fingerprint tech.

And last, but not least, the all-new Redmi Note 7 Pro is a great alternative. Even though the Redmi Note 7 Pro’s review is still baking, we have a pretty good idea of how the phone will perform. It has the same 48MP camera setup as the international Redmi Note 7 and a Snapdragon 675 chipset found in the V15 Pro but the price is significantly lower. The trade-off is the LCD panel and the notch.

Verdict

The vivo V15 Pro strongly depends on its unique or rare features in the price range. They do contribute to the overall asking price and one could justify the extra cash. But besides the motorized camera and the in-display fingerprint, what else do you get? Well, for starters, the phone has very good battery life (although the fast charging isn’t really “fast”), good AMOLED screen and gorgeous design. The 6.39-inch notch-less display is also worth considering.

The Snapdragon 675 is also a rare piece of hardware, which turned out with great price/performance/efficiency ratio. Few other devices use the chipset so the vivo is among the pioneering devices with it, which might matter to some.

We are puzzled by the microUSB port, though. With so many 2019 features and tech inside the vivo V15 Pro, we just can’t wrap our heads around vivo’s insistence of going with this aging port. And we don’t think it’s about cost-cutting, either.

Moving on the camera section, there’s almost nothing to complain about the stills. The 48MP triple-camera module produces good photos during the day and leaves little to be desired at night. It’s not a flagship camera but it’s on par with the competition. The video recording, on the other hand, is something vivo needs to work on. The sound quality of recorded videos is abysmal so if you are doing videos often, this may be your deal-breaker.

Vivo V15 Pro review

All in all, despite some of the issues we had with the V15 Pro – some negligible, while others not so much – vivo was able to put together a great all-rounder with trendy set of features and design. But given the pace at which the smartphone market moves, one would wonder for how long these “standout features” will remain relevant. Perhaps a price cut in the future will keep the V15 Pro afloat until the successor comes out.

Pros

  • Fairly sturdy build and gorgeous color options.
  • Notch-less full-screen display with a nice Super AMOLED panel.
  • Rare standout features like pop-up selfie cam and under-display fingerprint scanner.
  • Good camera experience (for photos).
  • Great battery life.
  • Feature-rich Funtouch OS.
  • Powerful and efficient Snapdragon 675.

Cons

  • The fast charging isn’t really “fast”.
  • Outdated microUSB port.
  • Abysmal audio quality when recording videos.
  • iOS-like UI might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Let’s block ads! ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://www.appmarsh.com/xiaomi_mi_8-9065.php) (Why?) ^(https://www.appmarsh.com/link/https://blockads.appmarsh.com/acceptable.html)

Author: Marshmallow

Marshmallow Android is BT Ireland’s Head of Sales for Republic of Ireland domestic multi-site companies, indigenous MNCs and public sector accounts. He is responsible for the direction and control of all sales activity in the region. He has over 10 years management experience from high growth start-ups to more established businesses. He’s led teams in Ireland, India and China across various industries (ICT, On-Line Recruitment, Corporate Training and International Education).