Backside of Vivo V15 Pro next to a Nokia 8.1 hel in a hand

As brands, Vivo and Nokia are polar opposites. Vivo has been pushing the envelope with innovations like in-display fingerprint readers and pop-up selfie cameras. Nokia maintains a sense of Nordic simplicity, including new additions only where necessary. As such, the Vivo V15 Pro and Nokia 8.1 are very different.

Let’s look at which one you should pick in our Vivo V15 Pro vs Nokia 8.1 comparison.

Design

The Vivo V15 Pro is a bold looking device. Between the all screen design and the gradient style finish at the back, it captures attention. The glass back has a ripple pattern underneath that looks like ocean waves when paired with the color of the phone — it looks really good.

Backside photo of the Vivo V15 Pro next Nokia 8.1 on a bench

That said, it would be unfair to say the Nokia 8.1 is a bad looking phone. A bit boring, sure. The Nokia 8.1 has a simple and sophisticated design that should appeal to anyone who prefers a more sober looking phone.

The back of the Nokia 8.1 is also glass and it comes in a range of colors including a really nice looking copper. The color has a matte finish to it that looks really nice under the high-gloss glass back. Unlike the V15 Pro, the Nokia 8.1 doesn’t catch too many smudges or fingerprints.

Frontside photo of the Vivo V15 Pro next to a Nokia 8.1 layed on a bench with displays turned on.

The front of the two phones are as different as they come. The Vivo V15 Pro has a large expansive screen thanks to the pop out selfie camera. Bezels are minimal on all sides and you get an excellent screen to body ratio. The Nokia 8.1 is simpler, with a wide notch at the top that cuts into the display area.

Ergonomics on both the phones are pretty good but the Nokia 8.1 is the more comfortable phone, due to its smaller dimensions. We didn’t quite like how flush the volume rocker felt on the Vivo V15 Pro. The Nokia 8.1 gets these basics absolutely right.

The V15 Pro's in-display fingerprint reader can be a bit hard to reach.

The smaller dimensions of the Nokia 8.1 make reaching out to the rear-mounted fingerprint reader very easy. The Vivo V15 Pro has an in-display fingerprint reader, but the touch point is a bit too low on the screen and required us to bend our fingers to reach it.

If there’s one major fault with the hardware on the Vivo V15 Pro, it has to be the phone’s Micro-USB connector. There’s little justification for it. The Nokia 8.1 sports a USB-C port as you’d expect in 2019.

Both the phones have 3.5mm headphone jacks.

Display

The Vivo V15 Pro has a 6.39-inch Super AMOLED display panel. The screen is excellent to look at and has very good contrast levels, which isn’t surprising for an AMOLED panel. Black levels are deep and dark. Media consumption is a joy and is aided by the unhindered display area.

The Nokia 8.1 sports a 6.18-inch IPS LCD screen that is plenty good. Owing to the nature of the display, black levels aren’t even close to the V15 Pro. The screen isn’t quite as vibrant, but you’ll only notice that with both phones next to each other.

Frontside photo of Vivo V15 Pro pop out selfie camera and Nokia 8.1 notch selife camera.

The big difference between these screens is the notch. The Nokia 8.1 has a wide notch at the top. Unlike the Pocophone F1, which uses the space for an infrared camera, there is no such addition on the Nokia 8.1.

The Vivo V15 Pro opts for a pop-up selfie camera, which hides behind the screen area most of the time. This allows the screen to stretch to the edges, with minimal bezels. The Vivo V15 Pro definitely edges ahead of the Nokia 8.1 as far as the display is concerned.

Performance

The Vivo V15 Pro and Nokia 8.1 both pack Qualcomm’s upper mid-range chipsets. V15 Pro pairs a Snapdragon 675 chipset with 6GB of RAM. The Nokia 8.1 has a slightly more powerful Snapdragon 710 chipset paired with 4GB or 6GB of RAM, depending on the variant.

Both phones are capable every-day performers.

Everyday usability is on par. The Nokia 8.1 is part of the Android One initiative, which means it has a near-stock build of Android. The Vivo V15 Pro runs a heavily skinned Funtouch OS on top of Android 9.0 Pie. The skin is very well optimized and there was no noticeable difference in performance. Be it multitasking or gaming, both phones are capable performers.

In the AnTuTu benchmark, we can see that CPU performance is almost on par on both devices.

The Adreno 616 GPU on the Nokia 8.1 pulls ahead of the Adreno 612 on the Vivo v15 Pro. As such, you might see slightly smoother frames on intensive games. We tried out games like PUBG on both the phones and did not notice an appreciable difference in the performance with the settings cranked up to high.

Camera

The Vivo V15 Pro has a heavy focus on camera capabilities. Over at the rear you’ll notice a 48MP primary sensor. This sensor pixel bins images down to 12MP shots with superior dynamic range and lower noise levels. It is accompanied by an 8MP ultra wide sensor as well as a 5MP depth sensor. The came software includes a range of AI enhancements that kick in automatically.

The Nokia 8.1 has a 12MP primary camera paired with a 13MP depth sensor. The camera software here is relatively bare bones, but you get a full-fledged pro mode if you want to get extra creative with photography.

Nokia 8.1 Vivo V15 Pro Nokia 8.1
Vivo V15 Pro

There are significant differences in how the Vivo V15 Pro and Nokia 8.1 approach image rendering. The Vivo V15 Pro’s built-in AI engine has a tendency to oversaturate colors a bit. The default 12MP pixel-binned shots have low noise levels and a bit more detail too. Images out of the Nokia 8.1 are certainly not bad but they appear slightly overexposed.

Nokia 8.1 Vivo V15 Pro Nokia 8.1
Vivo V15 Pro

Our next test shot displays similar results. The Vivo V15 Pro’s shot is definitely warmer and oversaturated. Depending on how you use your phone, this might not be a problem. The images look ready for Instagram. Pixel-peeping reveals heavy noise reduction.

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

The Vivo V15 Pro definitely wins out in flexibility. The addition of an 8MP ultra-wide camera sensor means you can capture a whole lot more.

The Vivo V15 Pro with it's ultra-wide camera definitely wins out in flexibility.

There’s also the matter of that pop-up selfie camera. The Vivo V15 has a 32-megapixel front-facing camera, and it emphasizes artificial beautification. The Nokia 8.1 has a 20-megapixel front-facing camera that takes more natural looking images.

Software

The Vivo V15 Pro and the Nokia 8.1 are completely different as far as software is concerned. The similarities end at Android 9.0 Pie.

The Vivo V15 Pro has the company’s Funtouch OS on board. Everything from the icon sets to how the quick access toggles and notification shade is split across the bottom and top of the phone borrows heavily from iOS. It is a big departure from stock Android, but we doubt Vivo’s target audience cares too much about that.

Talking about stock, as a part of the Android One initiative, the Nokia 8.1 has a near-stock build of Android. There are few additions like the pro camera UI in the camera app, but for the most part, the software keeps it simple and clean.

Specs

 Vivo V15 Pro specsNokia 8.1 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
6.18-inch (15.70cm) PureDisplay
Full HD+ (2246 x 1080)
18.7:9 aspect ratio
420ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 675Qualcomm Snapdragon 710
8 x Kryo 360 CPU
10nm manufacturing process
GPUAdreno 612Adreno 616
RAM6/8GB4GB LPPDDR4x
Storage128GB
Expandable up to 256GB with microSD card
64GB e-MMC 5.1
Expandable up to 400GB
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
Front camera: 20MP

Rear camera:
12MP f/1.8 aperture primary sensor
13MP depth sensor
OIS + EIS
Dual Hi-Cri flash
Battery3,700mAh
Dual-Engine Fast Charging
Bundled 5V/2A charger
3500mAh
18W fast charging
Sensors5th gen in-display fingerprint sensor
Accelerometer
Ambient light
Proximity
E-compass
Gyroscope
3.5 mm headphone jack
Single speaker with smart amplifier
Nokia OZO surround sound capture
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
LTE Cat. 6, 2CA, L+L, VoLTE, VoWiFi
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
GPS/AGPS+GLONASS+Beidou
SoftwareFuntouch OS 9
Android 9 Pie
Android 9 Pie
Android One
Dimensions and weight157.25 x 74.71 x 8.21mm154.8 x 75.76 x 7.97 mm
180 g
ColorsGradient Blue and Gradient RedBlue/Silver, Steel/Copper, Iron/Steel

Vivo V15 Pro vs Nokia 8.1: Price and Availability

The Vivo V15 Pro costs 28,990 rupees (~$400) in India. Meanwhile, the Nokia 8.1 retails for between 26,999 rupees (~$380) for the 4GB RAM and 64GB variant, and 29,999 rupees (~$420) for the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage version.

Similarly priced, both phones offer excellent value for money and cater to very different audiences. The Vivo V15 Pro is aimed at more fashion-conscious and social media savvy users. The phone looks great and takes images that are immediately ready to go up on social media.

Both phones cater to very different audiences but still offer excellent value for money.

The Nokia 8.1 exercises restraint both in design and software. The clean lines, nearly stock Android, and neutral approach to photography makes it a strong contender for someone who wants a phone that excels at the basics.

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