Vivo V15 hands-on: 32MP pop-up selfie camera on a budget

When Vivo introduced its NEX flagship smartphone last year, it was a pretty looking device. It had an immersive Ultra FullView display that stretches edge to edge and it has no ugly notches at the top. The device even has a motorised pop-up front camera to solve the selfie camera conundrum.

The same features were introduced with the V15 Pro just weeks ago. Now Vivo is releasing an even cheaper non-pro version of the V15 that still retains both the Ultra FullView display and pop-up selfie camera. It’s going on sale in Malaysia next weekend and here’s our first look at the device.

Despite being a lower-spec device, the V15 is actually bigger than the Pro model. The display is upsized from 6.39″ to 6.53″. Instead of an AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint sensor, the Vivo V15 settles for LCD which still looks pretty decent. The overall design looks similar to the V15 Pro and the only giveaway is its rear mounted fingerprint sensor.

In the hands, the curved back feels nice to hold but I think the V15 Pro looks more upmarket. If you look closely, the standard Vivo V15 goes for a subtle gradient appearance with some slight metallic specs at the bottom. The V15 doesn’t get the fancy reflective lines that you get on the V15 Pro.

The rest of the device looks quite identical. The screen does a Full HD+ resolution and on the inside, you still get the quirky FunTouch OS interface, which I’m really not a big fan of. The pop-up selfie camera is still the same 32MP shooter and so is the rear triple-camera array.

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According to the official spec-sheet, the main camera is a 12MP camera with 24 million photosensitive units. However, if you look in the camera app, it still retains a 48MP camera mode like the Pro model. The V15 also gets an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera and an extra 5MP shooter for depth effects. I haven’t really tried the camera extensively, but in my quick hands-on it is indistinguishable from the V15 Pro.

Because of the lower price, the biggest difference between the Pro and non-Pro model is the processor. Instead of a high-performance Snapdragon 675 unit, the standard V15 runs on a MediaTek Helio P70, which should be decent enough for most users. Vivo is still generous enough in providing 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for the device.

Another interesting surprise with the Vivo V15 is that it gets a bigger 4,000mAh battery which is larger than the 3,700mAh capacity on the V15 Pro. The new batch of Helio processors are quite frugal and we’re guessing this could probably last longer than the V15 Pro on a single charge. The device, unfortunately, still uses a microUSB port but thankfully it comes with an 18W fast charger in the box.

The V15 will be going on sale in Malaysia on the 23rd March 2019 but we still don’t know its official pricing. The device will be facing fierce competition in the coming weeks. There’s the Nova 4e that’s priced at RM1,199 and some of the incoming smartphones to our market include the Redmi Note 7, Galaxy M20, Galaxy A50 and the Oppo F11 Pro.

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Regardless of what the competition has to offer, the Vivo V15 is still a unique device. It will be the most affordable new smartphone that offers a larger edge to edge display without a notch or a punch hole at the corner. On top of that, it also has the cool factor of having a pop-up selfie mechanism. If it’s priced at RM1,399, would you get this over the Nova 4e or a Galaxy A50? Let us know in the comments down below.

Alexander Wong