Vivo V15 Pro to be unveiled February 20th with a 32MP pop-up selfie snapper

Vivo V15 Pro to be unveiled February 20th with a 32MP pop-up selfie snapper
A tweet from Vivo's India unit (via The Verge) reveals that the Vivo V15 Pro will feature a pop-up selfie camera. While still a novelty, it was the Vivo NEX S that brought the pop-up camera to consumers. There is one big change however; unlike the 8MP pop-up selfie camera on the NEX S, the sensor for the V15 Pro will weigh in at 32MP. There is speculation that the sensor employed on the pop-up is Samsung's GD1, which is known for its ability to be deployed in small spaces. The sensor supports HDR and electronic image stabilization. Another feature that the V15 Pro will take from the NEX S is an in-display fingerprint scanner.

The Vivo V15 Pro will be unveiled on February 20th, which pretty much guarantees that you won't hear much about it. The phone will be unwrapped the same day that Samsung is holding its 2019 Unpacked event. That means Vivo will have to compete with media attention with the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ introductions. In addition, Sammy is expected to trot out its long-awaited foldable Galaxy F device. It's as though a rerun of My Mother the Car was going up against the Super Bowl for television ratings.

Speaking of Samsung, the company is reportedly testing out its own pop-up selfie camera for the Galaxy A90 mid-range phone. This model will supposedly replace the well-spec'd Galaxy A9 (2018) and its quad-camera setup on back.

The advantage of having a pop-up camera is that it can replace a notch or punch-hole camera, leave a phone's screen intact and allow for the thin bezel look that drives consumers wild these days. On the other hand, those with such a feature on their phone need to worry about how long the mechanism will continue to work for, the additional (albeit small) additional call on battery power, and the lack of an Ingress Protection (IP) rating. Is having a thin bezel, no notch or punch-hole worth the lack of protection against dust or water?

Front-facing smartphone cameras are no longer an afterthought

While Vivo has not announced any official pricing for the device, an executive of the company let it be known that in India, the world's second largest smartphone market, the handset will be priced between 20,000 and 30,000 rupees. Using the current exchange rate, that works out to a range between $280 and $420 USD. Not that we expect the Vivo V15 Pro to be available in the states, mind you. Because of the concern that the U.S. government has about Huawei and ZTE spying for the Chinese government, some of the more innovative handsets being produced in China are not going to see the light of day in the U.S. But that isn't stopping larger manufacturers from taking some of the better ideas and using them on phones that do sell in the states. Triple and quad-camera setups, punch-hole cameras and gradient color schemes are now being included on phones heading to the U.S. And if there are no major problems with pop-up cameras, we could see this feature make its way to the states over the next 6 to 12 months.

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Remember when front-facing cameras were considered an afterthought on a phone? The Sony Ericsson Z1010 from 2003 is considered the first to have such a feature. Among the first smartphones to have a front-facing camera was the Apple iPhone 4, released in 2010. Back then, the .3MP camera was used for FaceTime video chats and self-portraits. Once the latter became known as "selfies" and consumers became more artistic and serious about them, more advanced sensors became available for phone manufacturers to use. We might have become indifferent to huge MP sensors on front-facing cameras, but hearing about a 32MP selfie snapper will still make your ears perk up.

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