Android Authority https://www.androidauthority.com Android News, Reviews, How To Wed, 20 Feb 2019 08:29:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 54cc39 https://www.androidauthority.com/wp-content/uploads/feed/aa-mascot-192x192.png?v=1.0.2 https://www.androidauthority.com/wp-content/uploads/feed/aa_icon_feed.svg?v=1.0.2 Xiaomi Mi 9 announced: Snapdragon 855, 48MP triple camera for under $500 https://www.androidauthority.com/xiaomi-mi-9-954984/ https://www.androidauthority.com/xiaomi-mi-9-954984/#respond Wed, 20 Feb 2019 08:25:02 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=954984 The Xiaomi Mi 9. Wang Xiang/Xiaomi

The Xiaomi Mi 9 has been teased for weeks now, but the company has finally launched the device in China. So what should you know about it?

First of all, the company has already shown off the rather unique holographic colorways, namely Lavender Violet, Ocean Blue, and Piano Black. But the Chinese manufacturer also confirmed that the Mi 9 has a dedicated button for Google Assistant.

The Lavender Violet Xiaomi Mi 9. The Ocean Blue Xiaomi Mi 9. The Piano Black Xiaomi Mi 9.

The company also used the event to confirm that the phone is using a Samsung-made 6.39-inch AMOLED screen, complete with a waterdrop notch. Furthermore, the Xiaomi Mi 9 features an improved in-display fingerprint sensor. The firm is also using that AMOLED screen to deliver a dark mode, claiming it can reduce display power usage by up to 83 percent when on full brightness.

We already knew the device would be using the Snapdragon 855 chipset. But Xiaomi also revealed an Antutu score of 387,851 points, compared to the Mate 20 Pro’s 298,659 and the Mi 8’s 293,897.

Moving to the battery arena, Xiaomi is packing a 3,300mAh battery here. But it’s also delivered 27 watt wired charging via its Charge Turbo solution, claiming a full charge in roughly an hour. The faster charging doesn’t stop there, as it’s claiming a world first by implementing 20 watt wireless charging. The firm says this solution is even faster than wired charging on the Xiaomi Mi 8.

Xiaomi Mi 9 chargers.

The 20 watt wireless charging pad will be available as a separate purchase for 99 yuan (~$14). But you can also pick up a wireless charging power bank (10,000mAh), coming in at 149 yuan (~$22). And if that’s not enough, Xiaomi is also selling a 20 watt wireless charger for your car, complete with a grip that automatically opens and closes when you reach for the charger. The car charger will retail for 169 yuan (~$25).

Xiaomi Mi 9 gets high DxOMark score

The Mi 9 indeed offers a triple rear camera combo, starting with a 48MP primary shooter (Sony IMX586, f/1.75). As for the other cameras, you can expect a 16MP ultra-wide snapper (117 degree field of view, f/2.2) and a 12MP 2x telephoto shooter (f/2.2). Much like Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro, the Xiaomi Mi 9’s ultra-wide camera can also be used for macro photography, with a focus distance of four centimeters (~1.5 inches). Selfies are handled by a 20MP sensor.

The Xiaomi Mi 9 is looking like a pretty flexible camera platform then, but it could deliver in the quality department too. Camera testing firm DxOMark gave it a score of 107 points, giving it 112 points for photos and 99 for video. This total score puts it in third place, two points behind the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and P20 Pro.

Editor's Pick

The new flagship starts at 2,999 yuan (~$446) for the 6GB/128GB variant. Need the 8GB/128GB model? Then you’ll be splashing out 3,299 yuan (~$491). Much like the Mi 8 launch, Xiaomi is bringing a transparent Mi 9 to the table as well, offering 12GB of RAM and 256GB of expandable storage for 3,999 yuan (~$595).

If you need something a little more modest, the company has also launched the Xiaomi Mi 9 SE. This model offers a Snapdragon 712 chipset, 5.97-inch OLED screen (complete with waterdrop notch), in-display fingerprint sensor, 3,070mAh battery, a 20MP selfie shooter, and a triple rear camera (48MP+8MP+13MP). The Mi 9 SE has a suggested price of 1999 yuan (~$297) for a 6GB/64GB model.

This is a developing story…

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Vivo V15 Pro review: Pop goes the selfie https://www.androidauthority.com/vivo-v15-pro-review-955300/ https://www.androidauthority.com/vivo-v15-pro-review-955300/#respond Wed, 20 Feb 2019 08:00:33 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=955300 Vivo has had an interesting year. From the Apex concept to the Vivo NEX, and then the Vivo NEX Dual Display, the company has surprised us with its ability to innovate and offer something different. Like them or not, the pop-up camera and rear display unit definitely added some much-needed pizzaz to the phones’ otherwise me-too designs. Enter the Vivo V15 Pro, a device that takes a lot of inspiration from higher-end devices and brings it to a more mainstream price point.

This is Android Authority’s Vivo V15 Pro review.

About our Vivo V15 Pro review: I, Dhruv Bhutani, worked on this Vivo V15 Pro review over the course of a week, while my colleague Gary Sims handled the video review. My V15 Pro review unit was used in India on the Airtel network, both of our review units were running the January 1st, 2019 security patch and software version PD1832F_EX_A_1.8.2.

Vivo V15 Pro review: Design

The Vivo V15 Pro looks really damn good. There, I said it. That massive screen at the front offers an expansive viewing field that is as close to the concept of all-screen devices as we’ve gotten to so far. It doesn’t hurt that the screen looks really good too (more on that later).

Vivo V15 Pro front design

I’ve spent almost a week with the Vivo V15 Pro and the dimensions have grown on me. This is not a small phone, but the gently curved edges and back make it very comfortable to hold. Vivo did a really good job with weight distribution, and the phone nestles very easily in the palm of your hand.

The ergonomics, however, aren’t quite perfect. The volume rocker, in particular, is rather flush with the side of the phone and it’s often hard to make out whether a button press registers without looking at the visual feedback. Perhaps it’s just me, but I found the volume rocker on my Vivo V15 Pro review unit was a bit too high up for my hands, requiring a little shimmy to reach.

Vivo V15 Pro volume rocker and power button

The power button, on the other hand, was easy to reach and had sufficient give, though I wouldn’t mind a “clickier” button. There’s a direct shortcut for Google Assistant on the left side of the phone. Double clicking the button activates Google Lens or Vivo’s own Jovi image recognition.

The back of the phone is all sorts of interesting. Gradient style colorways are all the rage at the moment, and the Vivo V15 Pro is joining in, sporting a finish that goes from an inky almost-black, to a bright electric blue, and then back again. It looks splendid. Coupled with the ripple-like design underneath, it’s definitely going to turn heads.

Vivo V15 Pro rear design

Since the Vivo V15 Pro has a glass back, the usual caveats apply. The phone is extremely slippery and more than once, I caught it slipping down a couch. It is nearly impossible to keep the back clean of fingerprints and smudges.

Vivo is throwing a case in the box, which adds a bit of bulk to the phone, but we’ll take that over constantly wiping the back clean. The case is rather nicely designed and combines a transparent back with rigid side panels.

Vivo V15 Pro micro USB

Along the top of the phone, there’s a 3.5mm audio jack. The bottom edge has a speaker grille and Micro-USB charging port. Yes, it’s 2019 and the Vivo V15 Pro has a Micro-USB charging port. There is no justification for this, especially at this price point.

There’s a fifth-generation in-display fingerprint scanner under the screen here and I found it worked perfectly well. It isn’t quite as fast as a standard fingerprint reader, but unlike last year’s models, the speed of the fingerprint reader is no longer an impediment. However, I have an issue with the location of the fingerprint touchpoint. It is set too low on the screen and I found myself having to bend my thumb over a bit too much to unlock the phone.

Vivo V15 Pro pop up front facing camera

If you are reading this Vivo V15 Pro review, there’s a good chance that the pop-up selfie camera has you intrigued. In fairness, it could be overkill, but I absolutely love it.

The selfie camera on the Vivo V15 Pro pops out in under half a second. It’s fast enough. Located at the top right corner, the camera pops out for face recognition or if you are taking selfies in the camera app. It works just fine even in Instagram.

Vivo V15 Pro review: Display

The Vivo V15 Pro has a 6.23-inch Super AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution. The screen is nice and sharp with crisp text rendering.

Being a Super AMOLED panel, the display is particularly vibrant and excellent for media consumption. I found the white point very accurate. Personally, I prefer a slightly warmer color tuning, something it’s possible to adjust via a slider in the settings.

Vivo V15 Pro display

The screen itself gets sufficiently bright for outdoor use in direct sunlight. However, the phone is a bit aggressive with automatic brightness control and in low ambient light, it would often drop down a bit too far. It’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a quick swipe up of the settings shade, but a pain nonetheless.

The same goes for the default font size which takes way too much space. It is easy to adjust the font size and you can further change the font style as well, should you choose. Additional fonts are available via Vivo’s themes app.

The pop-up selfie camera on the Vivo V15 Pro is the reason why you have that expansive uninterrupted screen. The bezel at the top is 2.2mm while the chin at the bottom is a bit thicker. I really wish Vivo had opted for similar dimensions on both ends for the sake of symmetry.

Vivo V15 Pro review: Hardware

Powering the Vivo V15 Pro is an all-new Snapdragon 675 chipset. The processor hasn’t been used in many phones yet and in fact, the V15 Pro was our first experience with it. It really isn’t a top of the line chipset but our experience with it was rather satisfactory.

The Snapdragon 675 is an octa-core chipset using a combination of six Kryo 460 Silver cores clocked at 1.7GHz and two Kryo 460 Gold cores at 2.0GHz. This combination of efficiency and performance cores should assist with getting long battery life and just enough power when you need to push the phone. The chip uses an Adreno 612 GPU, a big step up above the Adreno 512 in the Snapdragon 660, but not as good as the Adreno 616 of the Snapdragon 710. Finally, the chip’s onboard Hexagon 685 DSP should help with AI-related tasks.

The Snapdragon 675 uses a combination of six Kryo 460 Silver and two Kryo 460 Gold cores.

The Vivo V15 Pro pairs the Snapdragon 675 chipset with 6 or 8GB of RAM depending on the variant. In India, only the 6GB version of the phone will be available. Storage is capped at 128GB on both versions though you can expand storage using a microSD card in case you need more. About 110GB of free storage is available at first boot.

The phone supports dual nano-SIM card slots. Network performance was quite decent. It might have a bit of trouble in low network areas but phone calls generally sounded loud and crisp at both ends. NFC support is restricted to limited markets like Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.

Vivo V15 Pro review: Performance

The Snapdragon 675 processor on the Vivo V15 Pro is an interesting beast. Technically, it ranks below the Snapdragon 710, but everyday performance was generally on par. Navigating through the interface and jumping between apps on my Vivo V15 Pro review unit was usually very smooth.

Playing games like PUBG was a very enjoyable experience.

I was pleasantly surprised by how well the phone did with gaming. With graphics set to high on PUBG Mobile, the phone maintained a solid framerate and the gameplay experience was very enjoyable. Guns of Boom, another online PvP shooter looked and played really well on the V15 Pro.

That said, it was obvious the phone was working hard to maintain performance. The phone gets noticeably warm along the upper half with anything more than a few minutes of gaming. Battery drain is also noticeable. I observed a six or seven percent drop in battery life over a 10-minute PUBG session.

Vivo V15 Pro review: Software

I have a love-hate relationship with Vivo devices. I love what it does with the hardware, but not so much the software. The interface picks up elements from all over iOS, but doesn’t quite have the soul of what makes the iPhone’s operating system endearing. The Vivo V15 Pro runs Funtouch OS 9 on top of Android Pie.

To start with, there is no app drawer so to speak. All the app icons are on the home screen. There is no option to change this in the settings. The notifications shade and quick toggles have also been split between two separate panes. Like iOS, the notifications shade can be pulled down from the top while the quick toggles are pulled from the bottom left corner. This is a complete departure from how things work on stock Android.

There are other changes and additions all around. By default, the phone cycles through wallpapers every time you tap the power button. This can be turned off. There are a whole bunch of preloaded apps as well. Our Indian Vivo V15 review unit shipped with apps for PhonePe, UC Browser, Gaana, PayTM, and a whole lot more. Most of these can be uninstalled. This is in addition to Vivo’s own take on photo gallery app, theme store, and other extras. The phone even has a dedicated Game Mode to turn off all possible distractions while gaming.

The settings menu is a gold mine if you really like to customize your experience. From the optional gestures to changing the font as we’d mentioned earlier, you can do a lot here. It’s great that Vivo lets you choose whether you want to use the button on the side for Google Assistant, Google’s visual search tool, or Jovi. Speaking of Jovi, the search tool works as advertised as far as identifying objects is concerned, but search results for shopping links were always a bit off. I don’t really see anyone using this over Google Lens.

We’ve talked about all the additions made to the software, but the Vivo V15 Pro falls a bit short with changes to its existing software. The company made some questionable decisions about how apps are handled, and there are a few bugs here and there. The keyboard often refused to pop up despite multiple taps on a text entry field. The phone would also force close apps or drop off network connectivity in the middle of a download if the screen was turned off. This aggressive app management might result in better battery life, but it also ruins the otherwise pretty decent user experience. It can and should be fixed by Vivo with a software update.

Vivo V15 Pro review: Camera

The Vivo V15 Pro has three different rear camera modules. There’s a 5MP depth-sensing camera, an 8MP wide-angle sensor and most interestingly, a 48MP primary camera.  The primary camera has a Sony sensor that combines four adjoining pixels to improve sensitivity. While you can shoot full resolution, 48MP, shots from the camera, it works best when pixel-binned to 12MP.

Vivo V15 Pro outdoor camera sample

Dull and gray Delhi does not make the ideal spot for testing out cameras, however, the Vivo V15 Pro did a very decent job at evenly lighting up the foreground, despite a hazy sun shining straight at the camera. Generally, images from the primary camera look pretty good. Pixel peeping reveals the heavy noise reduction in play — grass, in particular, gets reduced to green splotches. The phone will suffice if all you do is share images on social media.

Vivo V15 Pro Close Up 48MP Resolution Vivo V15 Pro Close Up Vivo V15 Pro Close Up 48MP Resolution
Vivo V15 Pro Close Up

For close up shots, we did a quick comparison between the full resolution and binned 12MP images. On the left, see how the 12MP shot has lower levels of noise in shadow regions. This is also where the “AI Engine” kicks in, giving the image a slight boost in saturation. Meanwhile, the full resolution shot has a bit more noise and no obvious benefit over the binned version.

Vivo V15 Pro Outdoor Wide Angle Vivo V15 Pro Outdoor Vivo V15 Pro Outdoor Wide Angle
Vivo V15 Pro Outdoor

I’ve long maintained an ultra wide lens makes much more sense than a telephoto camera on a phone. The 8MP ultra-wide camera on the Vivo V15 Pro is a really nice way to get a very different perspective. The shot above simply wouldn’t have been possible without the ultra wide sensor. The image quality is satisfactory for social sharing and on-screen use. Pixel peeping reveals a lack of detail and heavy noise reduction.

Vivo made a big deal out of the 32-megapixel selfie camera on the V15 Pro. I’m not entirely sure who would ever need such a high-resolution image from the front camera but hey, it’s there. Image quality is alright. This is certainly no Google Pixel, but the Vivo V15 Pro can make you look good on camera.

Vivo made a name for itself with selfie-focused cameras and it shows here. The beauty mode can lighten your skin and perform all sorts of mutations like enlarging your eyes and forehead, or slimming your jaw structure, and more. Even with the beauty mode turned all the way down, I could sense a bit of work done to the shot. I get it, there’s an audience for these features. However, not everyone wants to see a dolled-up version of themselves and a bit more natural looking shot in the normal mode would have definitely helped.

Vivo V15 Pro review: Battery

Powering the Vivo V15 Pro is a 3,700mAh battery. It isn’t quite as good as the 4,000mAh batteries on certain competitors but usually manages to last a full day. I found the battery life varied quite drastically with what I used the phone for. On an average day, with a few hours of social media, web browsing and calls, the phone would still have a bit of juice left over to go on till the next morning.

Gamers might be disappointed by the battery life.

Gaming, however, draws a big chunk of battery on the V15 Pro and I could see a six or seven percent drain with just 10 minutes of use. Avid gamers might not be satisfied with the battery life on the Vivo V15 Pro. Overall, with mixed use, I observed about six hours of screen on time but your mileage may vary depending on use.

The phone supports Vivo’s “Dual Engine” charging and could be charged up quite quickly. The company’s claim of a 25 percent charge in fifteen minutes roughly matched our experience. Topping off from 25 percent to a full charge took just about an hour and twenty minutes.

Vivo V15 Pro review: Specs

 Vivo V15 Pro specs
Display6.39-inch Super AMOLED
2,340 x 1,080
19.5:9 aspect ratio
2.5D curved glass
91.64 percent screen-to-body ratio
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 675
GPUAdreno 612
RAM6/8GB
Storage128GB
Expandable up to 256GB with microSD card
CamerasRear cameras:
48MP primary sensor, ƒ/1.8 aperture, .8μm pixels
8MP super wide-angle secondary sensor
5MP depth sensor

Front camera:
32MP elevating front camera
Battery3,700mAh
Dual-Engine Fast Charging
Bundled 5V/2A charger
Sensors5th gen in-display fingerprint sensor
Accelerometer
Ambient light
Proximity
E-compass
Gyroscope
Connectivity802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
USB (USB 2.0)
GPS
OTG
NFC (only in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Russia)
MicroUSB
SoftwareFuntouch OS 9
Android 9 Pie
Dimensions and weight157.25 x 74.71 x 8.21mm
ColorsGradient Blue and Gradient Red

The verdict

The Vivo V15 Pro is an intriguing device. It looks pretty damn amazing, and the expansive display is gorgeous for heavy multimedia consumers. It doesn’t have the sheer power that performance seekers will want. It’ll perform all your daily tasks and let you juggle social media apps, but if you’re always trying out the next high-end smartphone game, the Snapdragon 675 chipset might seem a bit limiting.

Vivo V15 Pro camera set up

The camera aims for AI enhancements and beauty modes over flat out image quality. The sheer number of modes letting you manipulate your face and body are borderline eery. It is not a bad camera at all but competitors like the Pocophone, Honor View 20 and OnePlus 6T all take much more natural looking images. Priced at ~$400 (28,990 rupees), the Vivo V15 Pro is a great option for the social media generation. The Vivo V15 Pro is up for preorder on February 20 and goes on sale in India on March 6, 2019.

What do you think about the Vivo V15 Pro? Do you think design and AI camera enhancements can trounce better hardware and imagery? Let us know in the comments section.

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.
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Vivo V15 Pro specs: All-screen, 32MP pop-up selfie camera, and Snapdragon 675 https://www.androidauthority.com/vivo-v15-pro-specs-954904/ https://www.androidauthority.com/vivo-v15-pro-specs-954904/#respond Wed, 20 Feb 2019 08:00:24 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=954904 Vivo has just pulled the curtain back on the Vivo V15 Pro, the follow-up to the V11 which launched in September last year. Vivo have packed the new V15 Pro with even more tricks, including a pop-up camera borrowed from the more premium Vivo Nex line. This is not just another mid-range smartphone, so let’s take a look at all the Vivo V15 Pro specs and key features.

Where the V11 had a headline feature with the in-display fingerprint scanner, the V15 Pro goes further. The new device comes with an improved “5th generation” in-display fingerprint sensor, a 32MP pop-up selfie camera, the first to offer this, plus a triple-camera setup on the back including a 48MP main camera.

Check out the Vivo V15 Pro specs below:

 Vivo V15 Pro specs
Display6.39-inch Super AMOLED
2,340 x 1,080
19.5:9 aspect ratio
2.5D curved glass
91.64 percent screen-to-body ratio
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 675
GPUAdreno 612
RAM6/8GB
Storage128GB
Expandable up to 256GB with microSD card
CamerasRear cameras:
48MP primary sensor, ƒ/1.8 aperture, .8μm pixels
8MP super wide-angle secondary sensor
5MP depth sensor

Front camera:
32MP elevating front camera
Battery3,700mAh
Dual-Engine Fast Charging
Bundled 5V/2A charger
Sensors5th gen in-display fingerprint sensor
Accelerometer
Ambient light
Proximity
E-compass
Gyroscope
Connectivity802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
USB (USB 2.0)
GPS
OTG
NFC (only in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Russia)
MicroUSB
SoftwareFuntouch OS 9
Android 9 Pie
Dimensions and weight157.25 x 74.71 x 8.21mm
ColorsGradient Blue and Gradient Red

Vivo V15 Pro specs analysis

Vivo have been quick to bring in solid upgrades, jumping from the Snapdragon 660 on the V11 to the more powerful, AI-enabled Snapdragon 675 SoC. There’s an option with 6GB of RAM in India, while other selected markets will get the 8GB version. There’s 128GB of storage onboard, with a microSD expansion slot. This should offer plenty of power, with Vivo’s Game Mode 5.0 adding a little oomph for gaming sessions.

The Vivo V15 Pro specs list includes a 6.39-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display. The phone does away with the notch, given the front-facing camera is now tucked away inside the phone, waiting to be deployed. It’s a great-looking front, with side and top bezels slimmed down to 1.75mm and 2.2mm, respectively.

Vivo's main shooter is now a triple-camera, with the 48MP main sensor, an 8MP 120 degrees wide-angle lens, and a 5MP sensor for depth.

The big talking point is the camera though. Vivo’s main shooter is now a triple-camera, with the 48MP main sensor, an 8MP 120-degree wide-angle lens, and a 5MP sensor for depth. Using pixel binning, the 48MP sensor combines four 0.8-micron physical pixels into one 1.6-micron “quad pixel” that can collect more data. The result is higher-quality 12MP images, especially in lower light and other types of challenging shooting conditions.

We’ve seen the same pixel binning technique used on other recent devices, like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 and the Honor View 20.

Read more about pixel binning and 48MP sensors in our explainer

Although now seen in a few different devices, the pop-up front-facing camera is still a neat trick. It’s also spec’d up to a 32MP sensor that should offer detailed selfies, and there are “AI” modes for reducing camera shake and night mode.

Battery life increases nicely to 3,700mAh, up 300mAh from the last generation or nearly 10 percent. Vivo filled out the V15 Pro specs sheet with a microUSB charging port, for reasons they know and we don’t. But the headphone jack is staying put, which is great.

The Vivo V15 Pro has enough performance and style to last.

The short version of the Vivo V15 Pro specs rundown is that this phone has a solid visual impact with the full-front screen, plus the curiosity of the pop-up camera. It’s sure to surprise people on what’s still a mid-range phone. Beyond that, it has enough performance and style to last. Only Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Russia get NFC, so just double-check that if you’re into it.

We’ll have more spec comparisons in time. For now, what do you think of the Vivo V15 Pro specs?


More Vivo V15 Pro coverage

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Vivo V15 Pro announced: 32MP pop-up camera on a budget https://www.androidauthority.com/vivo-v15-pro-956219/ https://www.androidauthority.com/vivo-v15-pro-956219/#respond Wed, 20 Feb 2019 08:00:09 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=956219 If you loved the pop-up selfie camera on the Vivo NEX but don’t want to pay top dollar for it, Vivo has you covered. The company today announced the Vivo V15 Pro, a device that combines great design with pretty decent specifications.

Read: Vivo 15 Pro review – Pop goes the selfie

Vivo V15 Pro key specs and features

The front of the phone has a large 6.39-inch Super AMOLED display that is, refreshingly, unmarred by a notch or any sort of cut out. A pop-up selfie camera helps achieve the 91.64 percent screen to body ratio on the Vivo V15 Pro. Meanwhile, the display resolution is Full HD+. The phone even has a 5th-generation in-display fingerprint scanner that we found to be pretty fast and accurate.

Vivo V15 Pro front

Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 675 chipset paired with 6GB or 8GB of RAM depending on the variant. The 8GB RAM version is limited to select markets, and India is not one of them. Storage tops off at 128GB but can be expanded via a microSD card. Unfortunately, NFC support too is limited to select markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, Russia and Taiwan.

Vivo V15 Pro back

The Vivo V15 Pro looks particularly gorgeous from the back. The gradient style finish switches between dark and light shades of blue. A red version of the phone will also go on sale in select markets.

Read our full Vivo V15 Pro specs overview here

The cameras are the other big selling point of the Vivo V15 Pro. There’s a triple camera setup at the back that includes a 48MP Sony sensor that takes pixel-binned 12MP images. The main camera is paired with an 8MP ultra-wide camera, as well as a 5MP depth sensing unit. The pop-up front facing camera sports a whopping 32MP sensor. Read more about how the cameras perform in our Vivo V15 Pro review.

Vivo V15 Pro pop up selfie camera

The Vivo V15 Pro has a 3,700 mAh battery and supports Vivo’s fast-charging standard. In our tests, we observed battery life to be a mixed bag and your mileage will vary greatly depending on how you use the phone.

Vivo V15 Pro price and availability

The Vivo V15 Pro costs 28,990 rupees (~$407) in India. At this price, it goes against competitors like the Pocophone F1, Nokia 8.1 and perhaps even the OnePlus 6T at the upper end. While it might not have the best performance or camera around, the Vivo V15 Pro offers an option for those who value fashionable design. What is your take on the device? Let us know in the comments section. The Vivo V15 Pro will be available in India from March 6, with pre-orders starting today February 20.

We’re still looking for details on the international availability of the Vivo V15 Pro, and we’ll update the post as we find out more.

What do you think of this phone?

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Razer reportedly canceled Razer Phone 3, laid off chunk of staff (Update: Razer confirms lay-offs) https://www.androidauthority.com/razer-phone-3-955811/ https://www.androidauthority.com/razer-phone-3-955811/#respond Wed, 20 Feb 2019 06:20:03 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=955811

Update, February 20, 2019 (1:10AM EST): Razer has issued a second statement to Droid Life, following news that the manufacturer would be laying off roughly two percent of its workforce.

The statement confirms that Razer laid off several employees in its mobile division, but adds that it reassigned some workers to other projects within the company.

Read: Nubia Red Magic Mars available now, but many models out of stock

“We see great opportunities in the mobile gaming space that we created with the Razer Phone and will continue to invest in this category through a combination of hardware and software initiatives,” the company noted. “We are working on new exciting mobile projects and will share the news when we are ready. The Razer Phone 2 will continue to be on sale and we are committed to supporting it with the latest updates and features.”

What’s particularly interesting is Razer saying it will invest in hardware and new mobile projects. This doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see a new Razer Phone, but it does suggest that the company isn’t abandoning the sector just yet.

Original article, February 19, 2019 (1:06PM EST): According to Droid Life, the venerable gaming company Razer just pushed a round of layoffs, affecting about 30 employees, or about two percent of the company’s total workforce. However, those 30 employees are reportedly connected mostly with the mobile division at Razer, which is bad news for the Razer Phone 3.

The source responsible for this news claims that the Razer Phone 3 has been canceled.

Droid Life was able to get a vague comment from Razer regarding the layoff/Razer Phone 3 rumors. We’ve reprinted it below, but it doesn’t exactly clarify much:

Razer has made changes to realign our organization and strengthen our path to growth. We will centralize our resources to focus on key projects and improve our profitability. As part of the realignment, we shut down several projects and unfortunately had to part ways with about 30 employees (about 2% of our total workforce). Other employees of the affected projects will be moved to different parts of Razer to work on other key focus projects and initiatives which will continue to scale and hire.

Per this statement, it’s clear that Razer did layoff 30 employees and also shut down “several projects.” However, the fate of the mobile division and the Razer Phone 3 is still ambiguous.

Editor's Pick

The original Razer Phone landed to much fanfare in 2017 but unfortunately featured a weak camera which prevented it from being recommended by most review sites, including Android Authority. The Razer Phone 2 launched a few months ago to much better reviews and is one of the top choices within the relatively new gaming phone category. As such, the loss of a future Razer Phone is unfortunate.

We learned earlier today that the Razer Phone 2 is about to get the Android 9 Pie update, so all is not lost. However, it’s unclear how software updates will work going forward if the mobile division is in turmoil.

NEXT: Razer Phone 2 review: Going against the grain

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LG reveals trio of budget devices ahead of MWC, including triple camera phone https://www.androidauthority.com/lg-q60-triple-camera-954545/ https://www.androidauthority.com/lg-q60-triple-camera-954545/#respond Wed, 20 Feb 2019 05:58:03 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=954545 The LG Q60, LG K50, and LG K40. LG

We already know that the LG G8 ThinQ will be shown off at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019. But the Korean brand has also peeled the curtain back on several budget devices ahead of the Barcelona event.

The LG K40, LG K50, and LG Q60 won’t be threatening flagships any time soon, but they all boast the company’s FullVision screens (5.7-inches for the K40, and 6.26-inches with a waterdrop notch for the rest), AI-powered scene/object recognition, rear fingerprint scanners, DTS:X 3D surround sound, and a Google Assistant key. All three phones are also packing an unnamed 2Ghz octa-core chipset.

The LG Q60 is the top-end model of the bunch, sporting 3GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, a 3,500mAh battery, a 13MP selfie shooter, and a triple rear camera setup (16MP, 5MP ultra wide angle, 2MP depth sensor).

Meanwhile, the LG K50 is next in line, delivering 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, a 3,500mAh battery, and a 13MP selfie camera. There’s no triple camera combination here though, so you’ll need to make do with the 13MP+2MP pairing instead.

Editor's Pick

LG’s least capable device of the lot is the K40, which features 2GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, a 3,000mAh battery, and an 8MP front-facing snapper. Don’t expect a dual or triple rear camera solution here, as you’ve got a solitary 16MP main camera.

These phones will need to be reasonably priced if the company hopes to claw back market-share from the likes of Huawei and Xiaomi. This is especially pertinent after LG announced full-year losses of over $700 million for its mobile division in 2018. But the firm hasn’t released pricing just yet, only saying they would be “exceptional” in this regard.

NEXT: Razer reportedly canceled Razer Phone 3, laid off chunk of staff

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Get a huge collection of WordPress themes for any project for $39 https://www.androidauthority.com/visualmodo-wordpress-themes-954104/ https://www.androidauthority.com/visualmodo-wordpress-themes-954104/#respond Wed, 20 Feb 2019 04:00:00 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=954104 Visualmodo WordPress Themes

WordPress is famed for its ease of use. Practically anyone can build a variety of websites with it, and tools like Visualmodo only add to the convenience.

Visualmodo offers a library of WordPress themes for any application. Whether you’re designing a personal blog, an e-commerce site for your new startup, or some other project, there’s a theme here you’re likely to love.

Lifetime access is currently 84 percent off for Android Authority readers. That’s a price tag of just $39 right now instead of the $259 retail value.

Lifetime access to a versatile library of themes for all of your WordPress projects.

New WordPress themes are being added to the Visualmodo library all the time, and lifetime membership means you’ll get access to the whole thing as it evolves. All themes adapt responsively to any device and resolution, and they come standard with cross-browser compatibility. This cuts trivial testing down, giving you more time to implement and customize your core site and bring your vision to life. 

You’ll pay only $39 for lifetime access to a versatile library of themes for all of your WordPress projects going forward — a lot less than the normal $259 you’d pay for this membership. Check out Visualmodo now.

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links. To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.

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Galaxy Apps is being renamed to Galaxy Store ahead of S10 unveiling https://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-galaxy-apps-renamed-galaxy-store-956075/ https://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-galaxy-apps-renamed-galaxy-store-956075/#respond Wed, 20 Feb 2019 01:00:21 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=956075 samsung galaxy s9 one ui review home screen display

Ahead of Samsung’s Unpacked event for the Galaxy S10 phones, a Reddit user noted that Galaxy Apps is being renamed to Galaxy Store.

Alongside the new name is the updated One UI aesthetic. As with other One UI-ified Samsung apps’ headers, the Galaxy Store’s header takes up almost half the screen real estate. That might seem like a waste of space, but you can get to more of the app with one hand.

Reddit

Based on the screenshot, the top navigation menu of Galaxy Apps has been moved to the bottom in the Galaxy Store. The Galaxy Store also refreshes the navigation menu options: Home, Games, My Galaxy, and Watch. Before, the navigation menu comprised of Trending, Games, Exclusives, Top, and Gear.

Editor's Pick

Lastly, it looks like Samsung slightly redesigned the app icon. The wire aesthetic and bright colors from before has been replaced with thicker lines and darker hues. It’s a subtler difference, but one that falls in line with the other icons in One UI.

As nice as the Galaxy Store looks, a Reddit user noted that the updated app doesn’t comply with the system-wide night mode that’s found in One UI. That would be a bummer if true, though that could change with a future update.

The renamed Galaxy Store is rolling out now as a mandatory update. Be on the lookout for version 4.5.01.7, which weighs a little over 20MB.

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RFID blocking wallets – what are they, and should you get one? https://www.androidauthority.com/best-rfid-wallets-954613/ https://www.androidauthority.com/best-rfid-wallets-954613/#respond Tue, 19 Feb 2019 23:45:56 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=954613 Lowcards

Even in this age of Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, where you can use virtual payments to purchase items in real stores and restaurants with your smartphone, the “old fashioned” credit card and debit card isn’t going away anytime soon. With that said, many people who use them are afraid that the payment information that’s on those cards could be lifted by hackers, even if they remain inside a wallet.

That fear includes the newer credit and debit cards that have RFID chips inside. That’s why some folks who use those kinds of cards are buying RFID blocking wallets, which are supposed to keep hackers from taking your payment information. But what is an RFID blocking wallet, and do you even need to get one? That’s what we are going to talk about in this article.

What is an RFID credit/debit card?

RDIF stands for “Radio Frequency Identification”. The hardware inside an RFID-based device is basically a small chip and a radio antenna. RDIF chips are used in a number of products and devices. For example, you can tag luggage with an RFID chip so you can track it and never have to worry about losing it during a flight. RFID chips are also used to track and identify livestock animals and even pets.

In the case of an RFID credit and debit card, the chip contains your payment information, and you can simply touch the card to a compatible reader to pay for items, rather than swiping a card with a magnetic strip or inserting the card with another chip.

What is an RFID blocking wallet?

There are many concerns that hackers could use devices to intercept the radio signal that is generated by an RFID credit or debit card and lift your payment info from that card, even if it is in your wallet. If you buy an RFID blocking wallet, it should block any radio waves generated by your RFID card, and thus you should be safe from any hacking attempts.

Do you need an RFID wallet?

The short answer to this question, in our opinion, is “Maybe”. While it’s true that the vast majority of RFID chips in credit cards have not been skimmed by radio hackers, it has been reported out in the wild by a few people. Therefore, getting an effective RFID blocking wallet should give you an extra amount of security, as well as some peace of mind. In other words, while the odds of being hacked aren’t ultra-high it doesn’t hurt to be safe, rather than sorry later.

Best RFID blocking wallets

Here’s a look at the best RFID blocking wallets you can buy at the moment, and as you will see there’s quite a variety to choose from; from very traditional wallets to high-tech products to keep your credit cards safe.

Alpine Swiss Men’s RFID Wallet

Here’s a very traditional men’s wallet from Alpine Swiss, with slots that will hold up to 10 credit and debit cards, plus an ID window slot. According to the company, this RFID wallet will shield them, while also allowing other cards that use different frequencies, such as ID badges, hotel cards, and some transit cards, to be used while still inside the wallet. The leather material comes in three colors (black, gray and brown) and its available on Amazon for $14.99.

Roco Aluminum Money Clip RFID Wallet

If you are the sort of person who prefers a money clip-style wallet to store your cash and cards, check out this sleek looking product from Roco. This minimalist design can keep your RFID credit cards safe from hackers thanks to its aluminum material. Even with its slim design, you could hold as many as 20 credit cards inside if you really wanted to. You also have your choice of several different colors and designs for this money clip. It’s available on Amazon for $14.95.

Slimfold RFID Wallet

This RFID wallet comes from SlimFold, and it’s a pretty cool product for more than just its radio blocking features. It’s made of a special material that the company calls Soft Shell and it’s supposed to be just 0.55mm thick, which makes the wallet itself extremely thin. It can still hold up to 8 credit cards, along with cash. Once more,  the material is also waterproof and is extremely durable. All of those features come at a high price; the SlimFold RFID wallet costs between $45 and $48 on Amazon, depending on which color option you pick.

Ranger RFID Wallet

Here’s another pretty slim RFID blocking wallet from Ranger. It’s made of steel which should keep any skimming hacker away from your credit card info. While it’s extremely slim, it can still hold up to 8 credit or debit cards. Finally, this wallet comes with a flat multi-purpose tool, which can come in handy in certain situations. The flat rectangular tool can be used as a bottle opener, a  1/4 tool driver, a wrench that can support several U.S. and metric sizes, and a flathead screwdriver. You can get this RFID wallet from Amazon for $36.

Bryk RFID Wallet

RFID wallet

Our final RFID wallet comes from Bryk, and as you can see its a pure stainless steel product, which makes it look great as well as offering a material that should block RFID signals. It even comes in a very nice case if you want to give it to a family member, co-worker or friend as a gift. It also comes with a latch that should keep your cards and cash secure and safe against physical issues and threats. It can hold up to seven credit or debit cards, and it even comes with a lifetime guarantee. You can get the Bryk RFID blocking wallet in regular stainless steel, or in a black stainless steel color, from Amazon for the price of $15.97.

That’s our look at RFID wallets and why it might be a good idea to get one. Are you thinking about getting such a wallet? Let us know in the comments!

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Get a Microsoft certified systems expert education for $49 https://www.androidauthority.com/ultimate-mcse-certification-954100/ https://www.androidauthority.com/ultimate-mcse-certification-954100/#respond Tue, 19 Feb 2019 23:00:00 +0000 https://www.androidauthority.com/?p=954100 The Ultimate MCSE Certification Training Bundle

There’s no need to make sacrifices in your career if you’re unhappy in your current job. If you’re interested in trying something new and exciting, we’ve got just the thing for you. 

Prepare to be a well paid and respected Microsoft certified systems expert with the Ultimate MCSE Certification Training Bundle, offered now for just $49.

Prepare for a career as a certified IT expert.

This package includes lifetime access to four courses that will prepare you for a career as a certified IT expert. Upon completion, you’d be qualified for a wide range of positions in an ever more demanding field.

Even better, the training in this package can be easily understood by anyone. Even if you have no experience with computers, you can prepare for a new, high-paying career. If you do work in the field already, this is an inexpensive opportunity to upgrade your education.

Here’s what you get:

  • Over $1,190 worth of elite training for less than $50
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  • Preparation to become a successful Microsoft certified solutions expert
  • Ability to learn from anywhere, at any time, and at your own pace

Build a technical foundation with the Ultimate MCSE Certification Training Bundle, now for just $49.

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links. To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.

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