Here is our complete review of the new Vivo V15 smartphone. Innovating to find new ways to reduce bezel size on smartphones, Vivo has equipped its V15 with a front movable camera that gets hidden behind the display when not in use. This allows to have minimal bezels on the front display and that too without having to fit a notch or cut-out. While the movable front camera sure seems cool, lets see how the complete package builds up against competing options.
Vivo V15, in terms of pricing, is placed within the budget category as it costs approximately 350USD. Sporting a Mediatek P70 processor, 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, the hardware seems quite right. Further, there is a 3-lens camera cluster on the back as well. Making use of the hidden camera, there is a gorgeous 6.53 inch complete display on the front with quite less bezels. While most would be curious about the front-moving camera, Vivo V15 still has to perform as a complete smartphone and let’s see how it actually does in this detailed review.
We briefly went over some of the hardware but here are the complete and official Vivo V15 technical specifications.
- Network: (GSM / FDD / TDD / WCDMA)
- Display: 6.53-inch Ultra Full View Display (19.5:9, 1920 x 2340)
- Processor: Mediatek P70
- OS: Android 9.0, Funtouch OS
- Camera Rear: 12MP f/1.8, 8MP f/2.2, 5MP f/2.4 Depth Sensor
- Camera Front: 32MP f/2.0
- Connectivity: microUSB, Bluetooth and 3.5mm Headphone Jack
- Memory: 6GB RAM + 64GB Storage
- Dimension: 161.2 x 75.9 x 8.5 mm
- Battery: 4,000mAh
Design and Hardware
In modern smartphone design, brands have resorted to custom paint jobs to set themselves apart. As the slab shape leaves quite less to modify, the color schemes of phones is one dimension that brands use to win over customers. Similarly, Vivo V15 comes in two bold color schemes Glamour Red and Topaz Blue. Our review unit was painted in the cool Topaz Blue color scheme. Further, the blue color has a weave line texture to it which adds bit more depth. To incorporate the camera bump caused by the front camera, the rear sensors have been placed in an elongated black rectangle which itself is approximately the width of the moving module. This gives Vivo V15 a unique look while also integrating the front camera into the back design.
In terms of design, what makes Vivo V15 truly stand out is the movable front camera. The brand has managed to successfully integrate a complete camera that mechanically moves in and out of the phone’s body. Triggered only by software, this is all to benefit the front display. However, resorting to a moving mechanical module raises a few questions as generally, smartphones don’t have moving parts because they are susceptible to drops and bangs. To ensure reliability, Vivo is guranteeing continuous movement for 300,000 times without any fault and also boasts that upto 15KG of weight can be handled on the camera pop-up. In our use, there was no hassle or glitch and we found the functioning to be smooth. Further, there are multiple sounds to choose from when activating the camera or even mute them.
Vivo went through all the hassle of developing a movable front camera just to make the front display highly immersive and it truly is. The front 6.53 inch display feels quite near to the dream of holding just a glass slab. Further, the panel itself — which is running at a resolution of 1920 x 2340 — is quite sharp and delivers amazing quality. However, there is a slight chin at the bottom to fit in the display hardware itself. To complete the front section, Vivo has managed to fit the front speaker just above the display within the tiny bezel space. From afar, it is barely noticeable can easily be mistaken for not being there. Necessary sensors such as light and proximity are also fitted up top so you don’t lose functionality such as auto-brightness.
Inspecting the device further, for materials, Vivo V15 has a plastic back and a plastic surround chassis. There is a gloss coating on the rear plastic itself which gives it a similar texture as when holding glass. To gel in the surround chassis, it is painted the same color as the rear. Starting from the left side, there is a multi-purpose single button which Vivo has added to activate its Jovi assistant or, in regions where it doesn’t apply, Google Assistant. This button has further functionality on double tap. Moving along, on the right side are the phone’s main physical buttons. There is a single elongated tab for volume controls and a dedicated power button. Missing is a texture to differentiate between each but we found ourselves getting used to identifying them correctly after few days of use. For the bottom, Vivo V15 features the classic microUSB port, a speaker grill and also a 3.5mm headphone jack. Seeing the price bracket this phone comes in, microUSB as a port is acceptable as most customers would already have chargers and cables that support it. The speaker, in our tests, was good. It got loud enough and had decent quality. Lastly, the back is where there are the three cameras and the fingerprint sensor. Being a 2019 phone, the fingerprint scanner was upto par. Also, you can use your finger to unlock as well as wake up the phone at the same time without using the power button.
Internal hardware of Vivo V15 starts with the Mediatek P70 processor. This chipset is paired with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. If you have been researching devices and they have come up with Snapdragon chipsets or you have previously owned Snapdragon devices, this processor is quite similar to Snapdragon 660. The performance you get from the P70 is quite commendable. In our tests, it handles everyday tasks perfectly while also managing to take on modern day games. One key aspect is efficiency for a processor and P70 excels there as well. It is to be kept in mind, these deductions are relative to price. It is logical that Vivo V15 would not perform as good as a flagship smartphone per say but it doesn’t cost as much as well. We have attached popular benchmark results ahead as well.
Taking one extra step from the standard dual cameras, there are three unique lens on the Vivo V15. One is the main 12MP f/1.8 sensor, secondary is an ultra-wide 8MP f/2.2 and lastly, there is also a 5MP f/2.4 Depth Sensor. This rear setup is further assisted by software through AI assistance as well as special modes such as Pro-Mode. The photos out of the main sensor do come out sharp and have enough detail. However, the addition of Utlra Wide lens is what truly makes the camera setup on the Vivo V15 tick. Users would be pleasantly surprised by the sheer range of view the wide lens has. Ahead, we have attached some sample shots to give a more accurate representation.
Front camera, surprisingly, is the most highest rated one on the whole phone. It is 32MP f/2.0 sensor which captures some stunning portraits. The sharpness is superb and, again, the camera app provides good post-processing options which can further help get the perfect look.
Here are some samples straight out of the Vivo V15:
Vivo V15: Connectivity and Battery
To cover basic connections, Vivo V15 supports dual SIM, has 4G LTE support and for data transfers as well as charging, it has a microUSB slot at the bottom. Thankfully, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack as well. NFC and wireless charging aren’t equipped on this phone which is alright as for the price, that is the standard. Further, Vivo V15 has strong bluetooth and WiFi capabilities as well.
Carrying a large 4,000 mAh battery, Vivo 15 is easily a one-day phone. In our tests, we charged the phone to 100, started our day at 9AM and ended at 2AM the next day with battery to spare. On top of the large battery, V15’s Mediatek P70 processor is tuned to give higher efficiency. The performance lacks but at this price point, greater battery life is much preferred. Also, as Vivo comes with Android Pie, the software further enhances endurance. Lastly, to charge the 4,000 mAh module, there is fast charging support. Buyers get a Vivo branded fast charging plug straight out of the box which is a worthy mention as other competing phones either lack this technology or don’t include a fast charger within the box.
Vivo V15: Software
Complementing the hardware, Vivo has equipped some equally good software on its V15. The phone runs Android 9.0 Pie right of the box and has a Funtouch OS skin on top of it. This specific skin has a bit of learning curve to it but, it comes loaded with features and functionality. Starting with the small things, there is a clever option of locking apps in multi-tasking so when you tap on clear all, these apps don’t get closed down. Further, for appearance, there are visual options such as home screen icons adaptability with background.
To better assist in daily use, Vivo V15 comes with a plethora of Smart Assistance options such as smart motions, app clone (allowing multiple installations of a single app to support multiple accounts), Smart Split multi window and more. Also, there is dedicated Bike Mode.
These additional software features really do join everything perfectly. You can view the UI style as well along with general outlook of Funtouch OS in ahead attached screenshots.