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Vivo V15 Pro review: Closing in on greatness

By Luke Tan - 1 Sep 2019
Launch SRP: S$699

Performance & battery life

Performance analysis

The Vivo V15 Pro packs a Snapdragon 675 allied to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. This mid-range combo serves up the goods when it comes to user experience, with barely any noticeable slowdown or lag.

Naturally, comparisons will come up against the similarly-priced Google Pixel 3a XL, which for S$79 more (RRP) is slightly slower in the brains department with a Snapdragon 670. We’ve also thrown in last year’s OnePlus 6T - which at about S$650 on the street remains a very good value - and the similarly-priced 6GB/128GB version of the Honor View 20, which has a similar camera setup and screen size, and trades a decidedly less appealing LCD display for a more powerful Kirin 980 processor.

Test phones compared
  Vivo V15 Pro Google Pixel 3a XL (64GB) OnePlus 7 Pro (12GB/256GB) Honor View 20 (8GB/256GB)
  Vivo V15 Pro Google Pixel 3a XL (64GB) OnePlus 7 Pro (12GB/256GB) Honor View 20 (8GB/256GB)
Launch SRP
  • From S$699
  • From S$779
  • From S$1278
  • From S$829
Operating system
  • Funtouch OS based on Android 9.0
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • Android 9.0 with Oxygen OS
  • Android 9.0 with Magic UI 2
Processor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 675, octa-core (2x Kryo 360 Gold + 6x Kryo 360 Silver), 2.0+1.7GHz
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
  • Octa core (2 x 2GHz 360 Gold, 6 x 1.7GHz Kryo 360 Silver)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  • Hisilicon Kirin 980 octa-core (2 x 2.6GHz Cortex-A76 & 2 x 1.92GHz Cortex-A76 & 4 x 1.8GHz Cortex-A55)
Built-in Memory
  • 8GB RAM (Singapore variant)
  • 4GB RAM
  • 12GB RAM
  • 8GB RAM
Display
  • 6.39-inch, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, notchless
  • Super AMOLED
  • 2,340 x 1,080 pixels
  • 6-inch OLED touchscreen
  • 2,160 x 1,080 pixels resolution
  • 6.67-inch / 3120 x 1440 pixels (516ppi) / 19.5:9 ratio / Fluid AMOLED
  • 6.4-inches 2,310 x 1,080 pixels (398 ppi) IPS LCD 19.5:9 ratio
  • Always-On Display
Camera
  • Rear:
  • Main: 48-megapixel, 0.8μm pixel size, f/1.8 aperture, PDAF
  • Ultra wide-angle (13mm): 8-megapixel, f/2.2 aperture
  • Depth sensor: 5-megapixel, f/2.4 aperture
  • Front:
  • 32-megapixel, f/2.0 aperture, pop-up motorized
  • Main camera: 12.2MP, F1.8, 28mm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
  • Front camera: 8MP, F2.0, 24mm
  • Rear:48 MP, f/1.6, (wide), 1/2", 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
  • 8 MP, f/2.4, 78mm (telephoto), 3x zoom, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
  • 16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide)
  • Front:Motorized pop-up 16 MP, f/2.0, 25mm (wide), 1/3.0", 1.0µm
  • Rear: 48-megapixel, f/1.8, 1/2", 0.8µm, PDAF, Sony IMX586, + TOF 3D stereo camera
  • Front: 25-megapixel, f/2.0, 27mm
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac dual band
  • Bluetooth 5.0 LE/EDR/aptX support
  • GPS, AGPS and GLONASS positioning
  • IR blaster
  • micro-USB 2.0
  • 802.11ac/b/g/n/a
  • Bluetooth 5.0, aptX HD
  • USB Type-C
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot ,Bluetooth v5, NFC, 4G LTE Cat 18 (up to 1.2Gbps)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G+ LTE, dual-band, hotspot, DLNA, Bluetooth v5, A2DP, LE, GPS, GLONASS, USB 3.1 Type-C
Storage Type
  • 128GB internal storage space (Singapore variant)
  • microSD support up to 256GB
  • 64GB internal
  • 256GB
  • 256GB internal storage
Battery
  • 3,700mAh
  • 3,700mAh
  • Fast battery charging 18W
  • 4,000mAh
  • Warp Charge 30 Fast Charging
  • 4,000mAh
  • 22.5W SuperCharge
Dimensions
  • 157.3 x 74.7 x 8.2mm
  • 160.1 x 76.1 x 8.2mm
  • 162.6×75.9×8.8mm
  • 156.9 x 75.4 x 8.1 mm
Weight
  • 185g
  • 167g
  • 206g
  • 180g

 

JetStream 2

For web browsing, we’re switching over to the Jetstream 2 benchmark, which measures browsing performance more accurately than SunSpider over a number of more modern scenarios. To that end, we were only able to draw a comparison versus the Pixel 3a XL, which isn’t a bad thing, since both phones have similar processors. I’ve also thrown my personal OnePlus 7 Pro, a Snapdragon 855 device, into the ring for comparison.

Shocker! Despite having in theory newer cores (Kryo 460 versus Kryo 360) than the Pixel 3a XL, the V15 Pro trails it by a considerable amount, which clearly can be put down to software optimisation. In fact, when we tried this benchmark on the stock browser instead of Chrome, it would frequently seize up and refuse to run.

 

Geekbench & Antutu

Still, better cores are better cores, and the V15 Pro edges out the Pixel 3A XL in Geekbench and Antutu, but obviously loses against the Snapdragon 845 in the OnePlus 6T - or the barnstorming Kirin 980 in the Honor phone.

 

3DMark

In the graphics department, we see a reversal of fortunes. Despite the Vivo V15 Pro being equipped with newer Cortex-A76 derived Kryo 460 cores, the Snapdragon 675’s Adreno 612 GPU is actually slower than the Adreno 615 on the Snapdragon 670 powering the Google Pixel 3a XL.


 

Battery life

Our standard battery test for mobile phones has the following parameters:

  • Looping a 720p video with screen brightness and volume at 100%
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on
  • Constant data streaming through email and Twitter

The V15 Pro and the Pixel 3A XL have identical 3,700mAh battery capacities, but in our video-looping test, the Pixel 3A XL kept going for 2 more hours before it died. See, Vivo, I told you Android One would be good for you.

When all is said and done, you should still get a whole day of moderate use out of this phone if you keep screen brightness at sane levels and avoid working the camera too hard. Just remember that it doesn’t charge in a jiffy. Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 is present, but it took ages to fill up the battery.

 

7.5
  • Design 7.5
  • Features 7.5
  • User-Friendliness 7
  • Performance 7
  • Value 7
The Good
Gorgeous notchless AMOLED display
Great cameras
Smooth performance
Decent battery life
Still has a headphone jack
The Bad
Funtouch OS design needs work
microUSB charging/data port
Plasticky build
Mediocre speaker