VIVO V15Pro: mid-range features with amazing pop-up selfie camera

VIVO V15 Pro - mid-range features with amazing pop-up selfie camera

The VIVO V15Pro stems as one of 2019’s most innovative smartphones, illustrating the speed of smartphone innovation. VIVO, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer that has slowly grown in the smartphone market for the past few years, is a brand that everyone is aware of. The company rose to fame with its budget smartphones and more recently with its NEX-branded smartphones.

The V15Pro is a massive phone with zero notches, and almost amazing specs. This new phone brings significant upgrades over its predecessor including a 32MP pop-up selfie camera, ultra FullView™ Display with 91.64% screen-to-body ratio, Qualcomm 675AIE octa-core processor, AI-triple rear camera setup, in-display fingerprint sensor and more.

Even in an industry that progresses at a breakneck pace, VIVO’s V series may be the fastest evolving line in the industry, with the previous V11 launched only late last year.

Stylish design featuring a notch-less, immersive screen

VIVO V15Pro - stylish design

Just as the V11Pro that it succeeds, the V15Pro stays on top of modern design trends. There’s no notch, and the selfie camera is now housed within a pop-up module. But by having the front-facing camera mechanically hidden, this phone is one of those that have achieved the truly all-display design, making it stands out and feels different. This intelligent design, by itself, counts as an accomplishment in our books. Hiding beneath the big screen is a fingerprint sensor, also present in the V11, refined over five generations with a higher fingerprint pixel density and more sophisticated algorithms.

The phone measures 157.25 mm × 74.71 mm × 8.21 mm (height x width x thickness) and weighs 185 grams, making it extraordinarily sleek and feels quite comfortable to hold.

VIVO V15Pro - right

Right: power button and the volume rocker

On the right side are the power button and the volume rocker, while on the left, there’s a dedicated Google Assistant button. This smart button has limited functions and is accessible depending on how you press it. Above the Smart Button sits the microSD tray for your external storage needs. Microphone, 3.5mm headphone jack, and the pop-up selfie camera sit at the top of the smartphone while the bottom features the SIM tray, speakers and a Micro-USB port.

VIVO V15Pro - bottom
Bottom: the SIM tray, speakers and a Micro-USB port

The back panel has a glossy gradient finish, which gives the feel of glass but is actually made up of high-quality polished polycarbonate. There is a micro-dot pattern at the back gives it a subtle texture, which looks, and the company calls it “Spectrum Ripple Design.” It is prone to smudges but may not be that much of a dealbreaker, as you can choose to use a VIVO provided protective case or just get one off the shelf.

Bezel-less 6.39 inch Super AMOLED Display

The VIVO V15Pro sports a 6.39-inch Ultra FullView™ Display with FHD+ (2340 × 1080 pixels) screen and a 91.64% screen to body ratio. This excellent screen-to-body ration only can be achieved when the side and top bezels reduced to just 1.75mm and 2.22mm, respectively.

The screen is bright enough to maintain legibility under direct sunlight. It can produce ultra-high color saturation with lower power consumption, giving you crisp and vivid visuals. The video viewing experience on the V15Pro is impressive also thanks to its Super AMOLED display.

Decent triple camera setup with front-facing pop-up camera

VIVO has been implementing the pop-up front-facing camera since last year, starting with VIVO NEX. This pop-up camera continues the V series’ trend of pushing the tech boundaries of what’s necessary for selfies since taking selfies is already a social norm. And the company is becoming one of the go-to smartphone brands when it comes to selfie cameras and beauty effects. While the NEX is very much in flagship series, this phone is the company’s attempt to bring these still unique features down to a much lower price point.

VIVO V15Pro - pop-up
The “world’s first” pop-up camera with 32MP

This retraction camera is automated and shows up while face unlocking or while using the front-facing camera, and it is one of the most highlighted and marketed features in the VIVO V15Pro. The company also claims that the V15Pro has the “world’s first” pop-up camera with 32MP. The front-facing camera has an f/2.0 aperture and is quick to shoot, equipped with an autofocus sensor which hardly takes time to adjust focus in between foreground and background, and it takes incredible photos.

That said, activating the front-facing camera generates a synthetic noise, and moving parts give a tendency for fatigue failure. On the other hand, if you change phones quite frequently, then this may not be a huge concern.

At the back is a triple camera system that includes a wide-angle lens to the established main and depth sensor setup. The setup comprises of a primary 48MP Quad Pixel sensor with f/1.8 aperture, 8MP wide-angle sensor with f/2.2 aperture, and 5MP depth sensor with f/2.4 aperture.

VIVO V15Pro - triple camera setup
Rear: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP

The camera software also adds some cool new features including a Night mode, also spotted in Huawei phones, that requires you to hold your phone steady for a few seconds after which the phone uses AI to counter handshakes. These new features help in low light and indoor performance, giving you pretty impressive photo quality.

Good overall performance with Snapdragon 675 AIE processor

The VIVO V15Pro comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 675AIE octa-core processor and supported by an enhanced CPU and GPU. It also features 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB storage with an option for expandable storage via microSD card. The day-to-day task was very smooth, and switching between apps was fluid. Playing Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is smooth with the graphical setting at high, however again it would be good with more system memory in place. You can also fire up with Game Mode 5.0; when activated, it can block all messages, calls, and alerts while playing games. Competition Mode on the V15Pro enables you to play e-sports like a pro by allocating system resources that prioritize your game’s performance, giving you smoother gameplay and reducing frame-drop by 300%.

VIVO V15Pro - PUBG 1
VIVO V15Pro - PUBG 2
Testing with PUBG with a high setting
VIVO V15Pro - PUBG 3
Playing with a random new account
VIVO V15Pro - PUBG 4
VIVO V15Pro - PUBG 5
VIVO V15Pro - PUBG 6
VIVO V15Pro - PUBG 7
I won! – 13 kills including the last kill

The V15Pro runs VIVO’s Funtouch OS 9 (based on Android 9.0) interface without a hitch and feels relatively responsive; however, it will be better if the phone comes with an 8GB system memory instead. As mentioned in the V11’s review, the Funtouch OS has much of the functionalities mirroring the iOS user interface (UI), and it’s quite different from the stock Android OS. For instance, you swipe up from the bottom of the screen, instead of from the top like most Android devices, to open up the quick settings panel.

VIVO V15Pro - funtouch os
VIVO V15Pro - game box
VIVO V15Pro - Sling Shot Result
VIVO V15Pro - Sling Shot Extreme Result

Using 3DMark, a popular benchmarking app, the VIVO V15Pro achieved a score of 1,764, 1,067 and 1,158 respectively for Sling Shot, Sling Shot Extreme – OpenGL ES 3.1 and Sling Shot Extreme – Vulkan. These scores put V15Pro below average among the mid-range smartphones.

  1. OnePlus 6T (6332 / 4701 / 4376)
  2. Xiaomi Pocophone F1 (4595 / 3580 / 3188)
  3. Honor View 20 (3068 / 3664)
  4. Google Pixel 3a (2433 / 1628)
  5. Nokia 7 Plus (2025 / 1333 / 1293)
  6. VIVO V15Pro (1764 / 1067 / 1158)
  7. Huawei P30 Lite (1474 / 953)
  8. Honor 8X (1445 / 953 / 1350)
VIVO V15Pro - Geekbench Result

On Geekbench 4, the phone produces a single-core score of 2,405 and a multi-core score of 5,926. This score also puts V15Pro on a slightly above average position.

  1. OnePlus 6T (2371 / 8833)
  2. Xiaomi Pocophone F1 (2188 / 7668)
  3. VIVO V15Pro (2405 / 5926)
  4. Honor View 20 (Excluded)
  5. Nokia 7 Plus (1620 / 5704)
  6. Google Pixel 3a (1606 / 5131)
  7. Huawei P30 Lite (Excluded)
  8. Honor 8X (1567 / 5457)

3,700mAh battery with dual-engine fast charging


The VIVO V15Pro comes with a not-too-impressive capacity of 3,700mAh, which is an upgrade from the 3,400mAh battery on the VIVO V11. Within its category, this capacity is still impressive, despite that it would’ve been appreciable if the smartphone comes with a 4,000mAh battery instead. On a single charge and average usage, the V15Pro gave around 10 hours’ worth of juice, which is quite an excellent performance.

The company also makes up for battery capacity with VIVO’s ultra-fast Dual-Engine Fast Charging tech capable of charging the phone from 0 to 100% at about 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Charging time Battery percentage
15 minutes 24%
30 minutes 46%
45 minutes 69%
60 minutes(1 hour) 80%
1 hour and 15 minutes 89%
1 hour and 40 minutes 100% fully charged

The verdict

The VIVO V15Pro is quite an impressive phone in its category. The smartphone also does a good job at balancing between its high and mid range features, giving its user the best of both worlds.

It has a competent set of cameras, a nice design and a battery that can last you a full day without having to reach out for a charger. Even if you are a hardcore smartphone user, you can always rely on its fast charging that could give you a full charge in less than 2 hours.

The popup camera (with the mechanical sound) is a wow factor, and it can deliver great photos. But it being a moving part is essentially another avenue for something to go wrong.

The phone retails for S$699 (without contract) in Singapore, and is available through telcos M1 Limited (M1), and StarHub, and authorised dealers.

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