Vivo launched their latest mid range smartphone Vivo V5 (Read Review) 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 is going one step further in selfie game with Vivo V5 Plus by offering a dual front selfie camera of 20 MP + 8 MP for great selfies and upgrading processor with Qualcomm Snapdragon 625. This review is based on our experience Vivo V5 Plus as our primary device for more than a week.

Vivo V5 Plus Vivo V5 Plus Review : Great Selfies with Decent Performance 1

Vivo V5 specifications 

  • Display : 5.5 inch 1080p Full HD display, 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection
  • CPU : 2.0 GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 625 processor
  • GPU :Adreno 506
  • RAM : 4 GB
  • Storage : 64 GB internal, NO support for microsd card
  • Misc: Dual SIM, Fingerprint sensor, 3.5mm audio jack, AK4376 audio chip
  • OS : Funtouch OS 3.0 based on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
  • Camera : 16 MP rear camera with LED Flash, f/2.0 aperture, PDAF and 20MP front-shooter with Moonlight Flash, Sony IMX376 1/2.78″ sensor, f/2.0 aperture and 5p lens, secondary 8MP front camera
  • Dimensions: 152.58 x 74 x 7.26 mm
  • Weight: 158.6 gm
  • Connectivity : 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS + GLONASS, USB OTG
  • Battery : 3160 mAh with fast charging

Design and Build Quality

In terms of design & build quality, Vivo V5 Plus looks similar to Vivo V5 and makes a good impression with premium look imitated from Apple iPhone 7. The fingerprint sensor is embedded in the front Home button and you just need to touch it to use it without pressing. The antenna lines at back is integrated seamlessly at top and bottom just like iPhone 7. In spite of  5.5 inch display it feels comfortable and light to hold thanks to weight of just 158 grams.

At the back, Vivo logo can be seen in the middle and Camera along with LED flash at top left corner.Power buttons are at one side with the Dual SIM slot at the other side of the phone. Two nano SIM cards can be used, but there is no microsd support. The 3.5 mm audio jack is at the bottom along with the micro USB port & speakers grills.

The 20 MP + 8 MP front camera is located at the top of the display with moonlight flash & proximity sensor along with the speakers. It comes with 3160 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 Full HD display with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution with 2.5D, Gorilla glass 5 protection.  This is an upgrade over HD display of V5 plus and hence it looks much better under normal lighting conditions with good color reproduction and brightness. Display works fine even  under severe sunlight in outdoor environment. It comes with great viewing angles, letting you view the screen even at steep angles.

Vivo V5 is powered by 2.0 GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 625 processor with 4 GB of RAM.Snapdragon 625 is one of the mid range SOC chip by Qualcomm that powers many mid range smartphones. It results in considerable performance improvement over Vivo V5 which is powered by an entry level Mediatek processor. Presence of 4 GB of RAM helps in 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 including some graphics intensive games under default conditions, but still it’s not as good as other devices which are priced similar when it comes to games such as Asphalt 8, Nova 3 etc. Under those gaming conditions, it lags a bit and frame drops are visible though heating isn’t much. The color reproduction and graphics were good for a full HD device, but again other brands offer much more in this price range.

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It comes with 64 GB of internal storage out of which approximately 52 GB is available to end user. 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. There is no microsd card support.

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 V5 Plus comes out to be about 60,000+ which is a considerable improvement if you look at Vivo V5, but yet is low for a device priced ~Rs. 28,000 and it reflects in performance in various conditions especially during gaming. Device such as LeEco Le 2 (Read Review)offer better performance and score 80,000+ in Antutu Benchmarks, yet priced much lower.

Camera

The phone comes with a 16 MP rear camera with LED Flash, f/2.0 aperture, PDAF and 20MP front-shooter with Moonlight Flash, Sony IMX376 1/2.78″ sensor, f/2.0 aperture, 5p lens & secondary 8MP front shooter. The dual front camera setup with 20 MP + 8 MP sensors with moonlight flash makes it a great phone for the selfie obsessed younger generation.

The main camera produced good images under normal lighting conditions and are much better if compared to Vivo V5, but again Noise starts to creep in while shooting in low light or dark conditions. IT produced some good macro and landscape shots and even the low light performance was not bad. Vivo appears to have fixed many issues that we faced with Vivo V5 main rear camera.

Once again, 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 front camera setup comes with same 20 MP Sony IMX376 sensor as in Vivo V5 with f/2.0 aperture along with a secondary 8 MP sensor with Moonlight Flash for selfies. The dual camera setup managed to produce some great selfies with Bokeh effect under normal lighting conditions. The camera app lets you adjust the aperture and hence you can manage the depth of field required as per your needs. 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. Yet, many of you may love the beauty mode as it does offer lots of options to finetune selfies. Also the so-called moonlight flash doesn’t do wonders and act like a normal flash for the front camera.

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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 Plus has improved considerably over Vivo V5 thanks to Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 which does offer better battery performance. The battery performance is good with the phone lasting full day on an above average or 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 Plus is backed by 3160 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.

Operating System and UI

Vivo uses a pretty different kind of UI for its smartphones. Vivo V3 runs on Funtouch OS 3.0 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 V5. 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. 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 Plus is a great phone if shooting great selfies each day is your primary feature for buying the smartphone. The design and build quality of the smartphone is good, comes with an mid-range processor with decent performance, good main rear camera and a great dual front camera for selfie. But the pricing ~Rs. 28,000 puts it into direct competition with some popular smartphones such as OnePlus 3T which offers a flagship performance. But as Vivo V5 Plus is available only in offline market where devices are usually priced high and Offline exclusivity makes it a decent option for consumers who are less inclined to buy online for some reasons in many Indian cities, it may be a good option to consider for many users.


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