Vivo V5 Review: Great Selfie Phone with average performance

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Vivo launched their latest mid range smartphone Vivo V5 in November 16,  targeting the young selfie lover generation for the Indian Smartphone market. Vivo V5 sports a whopping 20 MP front shooter with Moonlight Flash with Sony IMX376, f/2.0 aperture which makes it perhaps the first ever smartphone with a 20 MP front shooter. Vivo V3 (Read Review) is the last device from the company that we reviewed sometime back which left some mixed feelings. Today we review the Vivo V5 which we have used as our primary device for more than two weeks and this review is based on that experience.

Vivo V5 - Vivo V5 Review: Great Selfie Phone with average performance

Vivo V5 specifications 

  • Display : 5.5 inch 720p HD display, 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass protection
  • CPU : Octa-Core MediaTek MT6750 processor
  • GPU : Mali T860
  • RAM : 4 GB
  • Storage : 32 GB internal, expandable up to 128GB
  • Misc: Hybrid Dual SIM, Fingerprint sensor, 3.5mm audio jack, AK4376 audio chip
  • OS : Funtouch OS 2.6 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow
  • Camera : 13 MP rear camera with LED Flash, PDAF and 20 MP front-shooter with Moonlight Flash, Sony IMX376, f/2.0 aperture
  • Dimensions: 153.8 x 75.5 x 7.55 mm
  • Weight: 154 gm
  • Connectivity : 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS + GLONASS, USB OTG
  • Battery : 3000 mAh

Design and Build Quality

In terms of design & build quality, Vivo V5 looks similar to Vivo V3 and makes a good impression with premium look. Even though the build of the device appears like a unimetal body, it is a faux metal body with shiny golden metal finish at the back. In spite of being a 5.5 inch display, it feels comfortable to hold thanks to weight of just 154 grams.

At the back, Vivo logo can be seen in the middle and Camera along with LED flash at top left corner. The fingerprint sensor is embedded in the front Home button.The volume rockers and power buttons are at one side with the Dual Hybrid SIM slot at the other side of the phone. There is no dedicated microsd slot, while the 3.5 mm audio jack is at the bottom along with the micro USB port & speakers grills.

The physical navigation capacitive buttons are located below the display and are back-lit. The 20 MP front camera is located at the top of the display with moonlight flash & proximity sensor along with the speakers. It comes with 3000 mAh embedded battery which can’t be removed.

Check out some of the device shots below to understand better. Click on the images for full resolution images.

Display, Performance, Gaming and Benchmarks

The phone sports a 5.5 inch HD display with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution with 2.5D Gorilla glass protection.  The display appears great under normal lighting conditions with decent color reproduction and brightness but under severe direct sunlight, display is unable to adjust properly. It comes with great viewing angles, letting you view the screen even at steep angles. But considering the price, we expected a full HD display which unfortunately it is not. The reason being, the CPU that powers the Vivo V5 i.e. MediaTek MT6750  doesn’t support full HD display.

Vivo V5 is powered by a Octa-Core MediaTek MT6750 processor with Mali T860 GPU with 4 GB of RAM.MediaTek MT6750 is one of the entry level SOC chips by Mediatek and usually powers the budget devices. Presence of 4 GB of RAM though, is able to offer decent performance on the device under normal day-to-day conditions. It runs well under daily usage with casual gaming, browsing, music etc. without any issues, but the moment you try some graphics intensive games such as Asphalt 8, Nova 3 etc, you will feel that it is not built for gaming. Under those gaming conditions, it lags a bit and frame drops are visible though heating isn’t much. The color reproduction and graphics were just good enough for a HD device, but you already know that other brands offer much more in this price range.

It comes with 32 GB of internal storage. It also supports USB OTG, but is disabled by default. You need to enable USB OTG from settings every time you want to use it as the option is disabled automatically if you are not using it.

The call quality during voice calls was pretty clear without any issues. The dialer app also gives you an option to record calls without installing any additional app or rooting the device. Usually, in most devices, you need to root your device first and then install an additional paid app to record calls.

The earphones provided with the smartphone produces some crystal clear sound that we are yet to hear in any other mid range smartphone. Also, sound from speakers are crystal clear but not loud.

The AnTuTu benchmark score for Vivo V3 comes out to be about 41,000+ which is low for a device priced ~Rs. 18,000 and it reflects in performance in various conditions especially during gaming. Device such as LeEco Le 2 offer better performance and score almost twice in Antutu Benchmarks.

Camera

The phone comes with a 13 MP main rear camera with LED Flash, PDAF and a 20 MP front-shooter with Moonlight Flash, Sony IMX376, f/2.0 aperture for selfies. The 20 MP front camera with moonlight flash is the main selling feature that company is advertising. We tested both cameras under different lighting conditions.

The main camera produced decent images under normal lighting conditions, but wasn’t good in low light conditions. Noise starts to creep in the moment we start shooting in low light. If you look for details, sharpness & contrast in the images shot with main rear camera, you wont find them good enough in most of the images.

The camera app comes with some great modes such as beauty mode and even a professional mode which can produce some great shots if you know what to do with professional settings like exposure, white balance and much more. The camera app comes with some great filters inbuilt similar to Instagram. Other modes that camera features are Night Mode, Panorama mode, Motion tracking mode, Fast mode, HDR mode, PPT mode and Slow Motion mode. It offers more features such as touch capture, Voice shutter, gender detection and much more.

The 20 MP front-shooter with Moonlight Flash, Sony IMX376, f/2.0 aperture for selfies did produce some very good selfies under normal lighting conditions. A 20 MP front shooter is in fact great for selfie obsessed consumers and it does do some great job. Under dark conditions, the moonlight flash does help in clicking some good selfies which are better than any other camera without a flash. The face beauty mode does some good job, but in most cases you will find better selfies if you put the beauty mode off. Also the front camera come with focus for short distances i.e. for selfies only. So you can’t shoot normal images of anything at a distance more than the selfie distance, from front camera. It will come blurred and only the objects near the camera will be focussed. Also the so-called moonlight flash doesn’t do wonders and act like a normal flash for the front camera.

Camera samples

Checkout the images below taken under different light conditions and different modes. Click on the images for full resolution images on Flickr.

Fingerprint Sensor

The fingerprint sensor is embedded in the Home button works great and unlocks device pretty fast every time irrespective of how you put your finger on the sensor.  You can add up to five fingers which can be used to unlock the phone and to unlock private files that can be locked.

But as we said with Vivo V3, we want more customization for fingerprints such as, it is possible that each finger can be used for different functions such as opening an App or dialing a contact or any other custom function. Coolpad Note 3 lite fingerprint sensor comes with these features which makes fingerprints much more useful than for just unlocking your phone..

Battery

The battery performance of Vivo V5 was average with the smartphone barely lasting the full day on an above average moderate use. During our review, we used dual SIMs with a 4G Airtel SIM for data and another SIM for voice calls. Our average use includes some Voice calls, browsing Twitter, Facebook, messaging apps such as Whatsapp, Telegram & other social sites. Vivo V5 is backed by 3000 mAh battery which could have been a bit bigger to help you shot more selfies with flash. If you take too many selfies a day, the battery life is bound to go down. But with average usage, the battery lasted full day and we put it for charging during the night.

Operating System and UI

Vivo uses a pretty different kind of UI for its smartphones. Vivo V3 runs on Funtouch OS 2.6 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Even though it’s Android, yet you will feel as if it’s very much similar to iOS. In spite of being based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, it appears same as earlier version and hence our review of OS remains same as Vivo V3. It comes with different settings UI and is difficult to access many conventional settings.

It does not come with an app drawer and uses a launcher similar to iOS. First thing we did was to install a launcher app. Similarly, swiping from the bottom of the screen gives you access to toggles for different features just like iOS. For users who prefer simplicity, this is a good UI but for users like us these modifications in Android make it difficult.  You can get access to widgets on-screen using the left button which usually is the recent key in other smartphones.

But once you get used to the UI, you wont feel odd using it. Yet, we found many settings / UI changes too odd for us in terms of user experience. Perhaps, its our bias towards stock Android and many users may prefer this kind of UI. The smartphone doesn’t come with bloatware.

Conclusion

Vivo V5 is a great phone if taking some great selfies each day is your primary aim for buying the smartphone. Even though the design and build quality of the smartphone is good, yet it comes with an entry-level processor with average performance and average main rear camera. The pricing ~Rs. 18,000 which puts it into direct competition with some popular smartphones, but it is available only in offline market where devices are usually priced high. Offline exclusivity makes it a better deal as lesser options are available in offline smartphone market which is only way to buy in many Indian cities.

Good for Selfies

  • Design and Build 7.5
  • Performance 6.7
  • Battery Life 7
  • Front Camera 8.4
  • Main Rear Camera 7
  • Value for Money 6.8
  • User Ratings (1 Votes) 10
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Summary
7.2 Average
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Founder- Editor at Androidpure : A Mechanical Design Engineer by profession, but passionate about Computers, Smartphones, Gadgets, software and anything that helps to learn something new or different. Love to do things which i don't know and dive into unknown territories.

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