Believe it or not. Vivo, China-based smartphone manufacturer emerged as a winning brand in the lower and mid-range segment. After beating Xiaomi in its domestic market with budget-centric smartphones, now the company is all set to make its emergence in mid-range smartphones with high-end specs in the Indian market as well. One thing is clear for sure, With V5 Plus, the company is trying to give tough competition to One Plus 3, 3T and even newly launched Xiaomi Mi 6. I believe that Vivo has the edge over brands like One Plus and Xiaomi because the company is selling its devices in both online and offline market.
Coming to the point, Vivo has identified that the trend for selfies is here to stay and aren’t going anywhere soon. That ‘selfie culture’ led the company to shift the focus of their devices over front-camera So that people can capture best-quality selfie through their smartphones without spending much.
As we all know that towards the end of 2016 Vivo launched their selfie-centric smartphone ‘Vivo V5’ with a 20-megapixel front camera. But recently Vivo came up with the improved and bigger version of V5, and it is called ‘V5 Plus’. The device sports a dual front camera along with Vivo’s trademark ‘Moonlight’ flash feature. Though the device launched at an expensive price tag of Rs 28,000 but you can get the device easily at Rs 26,000 from online stores like Flipkart.
As far as the specification sheet is concerned, the V5 Plus looks pretty good and doesn’t seem cheap from any angle. But does that ‘selfie’ aspect is sufficient enough to attract consumers and do the internals are good enough to deliver a smooth Android experience? If you are eager to find out, read my detailed review of the Vivo V5 Plus.
- Screen: 5.5-inch IPS LCD Display with 1920x1080p screen resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 / 2.5D
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC,
- Memory: 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage
- Operating system: Runs Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and FunTouch OS (User-Interface)
- Camera: For rear; a 16MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture, For front; a 20-megapixel sensor with a f/2.0 aperture and an additional 8-megapixel sensor for depth. Other cam features; Modes- Normal, Panorama, HDR, Night, PPT, Pro, Ultra HD Photos, Palm Capture, Face Beauty, Voice Capture, Camera Filter, Fast, Slow, Sport Mode, Timer, Touch Capture, 4K Video Recording.
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS and USB-OTG.
- Dual-Sim: Supports 4G on both SIM slots along with VoLTE
- Battery: Non-removable 3160 mAh battery
Design and Build Quality
At first glance, the outlook of V5 plus will just blow your mind. But then you will realize, it’s nothing but an imitation of iPhone 7 in terms of design. That somewhat disappoints as a consumer, As I would rather prefer experiencing a unique design at the price point of Rs 26,000. Trust me, It will take eagle’s eyes to differentiate the back panel of the Vivo V5 Plus and iPhone 7 but luckily logos (of brands) at the back makes it possible to tell the difference at the first glance. The resemblance with iPhone 7 doesn’t end here. The U-shaped antenna design on the top and bottom half at the back of V5 Plus is similar to 7 Plus. As far as the camera placement is concerned, the rear camera and LED flash is also placed similarly to iPhone 7. Unlikely to iPhone, the V5 Plus camera module is surrounded by a metal rim.
As far the design and build quality goes, the Vivo does the excellent work. Those who didn’t experience iPhone 7 in the past, will be delighted to use V5 Plus as it feels premium and can easily beat OnePlus 3T in design quotient.
The devices feature the 74 x 7.26 x 152.58 mm dimension and have a 5.5-inch display screen. Just above the display, you’ll get the dual-camera setup, earpiece and the moonlight LED lamp for low-light selfies. Below the display screen, you get the physical button that is fingerprint sensor-enabled and the basic capacitive buttons for app switcher and back on either side.
For port placement; the left side is equipped with the dual nano-sim tray, while the right side features a volume rocker and power button. The 3.5mm audio jack is embedded at the bottom along with microUSB port (not a USB type-c port) for charging and data transfers.
The V5 Plus has a 5.5-inch Full HD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution. The screen comes with 2.5D curved glass, there is also the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection. Full marks to Vivo for making V5 Plus display quality superior. The curved display looks gorgeous, along with sharp, crisp and vibrant color offers great viewing angles for watching movies and playing games.
Everything about the display such as brightnesses and color reproduction is up to the mark, but somehow V5 Plus lacked in sunlight lucidity as it is not the best display to look out for in sunlight environment.
Talking about software, the Vivo V5 Plus runs on Android Marshmallow OS, with Vivo’s FunTouch 3.0. At first, it was pretty hard for me to digest that V5 Plus comes with a bit dated Marshmallow OS. It is a single layered user-interface and doesn’t feature any app drawer and you can get all your installed apps on the home screen itself. The handsets come with pre-installed apps such as the UC Browser, WPS Office, Vivo Cloud (lets you backup your contacts, SMSes, bookmarks and notes to the cloud), iTheme, Lock, and other Google bundled apps.
There is also a smart slip mode that allows you to watch videos along with seeing messages from WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, other text messages with just tapping on the icon to slip the screen, respond and close it to continue watching videos. But the bad aspect here is; you can’t use the Smart Split feature when you want to, but only when a notification from a supported app arrives. Tap on the notification and the screen splits into two.
I have also figured out other annoying shortcomings which are going to be a serious headache for even a regular Android user. At first, you will find out the layout of the settings menu is pretty weird and would take your time to find a particular item since there is no search bar in it either.
Considering 4GB RAM and a low-powered Snapdragon 625 onboard, the software inside the V5 Plus managed to deliver a better performance with no annoying lags or hiccups.
That’s where Vivo V5 Plus managed to impress me. Considering its Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0Ghz with Adreno 506 GPU and 4GB RAM, the device worked pretty well in conditions like multi-tasking, graphic intensive gaming, photography, recording and viewing HD videos. The great aspect about V5 Plus is; there are no heating issues either, except for when it was being charged.
Being a hardcore, I played intensive games like Asphalt 8, San Andreas, and Mortal Kombat X and experienced a smooth performance without any heating problem or lag.
Talking about fingerprint sensor, it was perfectly accurate and fast. Its speaker output was quite loud and clear which makes it amazing to watch movies, playing games without earphones.
Talking about the audio quality through the headphones, the audio was well-setted and balanced. And listening to downloaded music using the built-in Music app makes the listening experience even better.
When it comes to the front camera, V5 Plus is a master. The smartphone uses a 20-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 aperture and an additional 8-megapixel sensor for depth. The 8-MP sensor helps in generating a bokeh effect in the camera app by separating you from the background. Apart from that, the 20-megapixel camera provides detailed selfie pictures, even in a low-light environment. You also get other modes like Auto HDR and Face Beauty, and the moonlight helps when it’s dark.
Contrary to the selfie camera, the rear camera of V5 Plus is weak. The rear camera has a 16-megapixel sensor which provides basic shots and also you can easily notice that distant objects appear a bit shaky when you zoom in.
Talking about video recording, it can record 4K videos and there are other modes like Night, PPT, Pro, and Ultra HD.
It is powered by a 3,160mAh battery that also supports fast charging, thanks to ‘Dual charging engine’ technology. In my personal testing, the device took exactly 85 minutes to charge it from 0 to 100 percent.The charging time may vary, but overall it will take 90 minutes to reach 100 percent. Even charging for 30 minutes, will reach 40 percent easily.
During my usage, the device easily lasted for 36 hours that involved the phone calls, gaming, multitasking, browsing, and the phone were connected to either Wifi or 4G network in these 36 hours. That’s where Vivo V5 Plus managed to wipe out One Plus 3 & 3T in battery part. With screen-on-time, you can easily get hours. Thanks to FunTouch OS optimization, when the phone is locked, it will consume very less power and hardly throw up notifications unless you have added them to the list of apps that are permitted to remain on.
Overall the Vivo V5 Plus is a well-rounded android smartphone and surprisingly, it has managed to outperform One Plus 3T in the selfie camera department, heating factor, and battery part. And in recent years, Chinese smartphone makers have set a benchmark for offering highly affordable products with solid specifications but it seems Vivo has made an assertive move with V5 Plus.
See from consumer’s point of view, If you are looking for a DSLR level selfies with a good smartphone performance then you can go for V5 plus without giving a second thought. But if your interest is more towards power pack processor then you can also opt for other alternatives in the market such as OnePlus 3 (Rs 27,999), One Plus 3T (Rs 29,999), and Honor 8 (Rs 25100).
- Good built, design quality
- Sharp and Gorgeous display
- All-Day battery life
- Best selfie taking camera (at this price point)
- Lacks Wi-Fi AC, NFC or Type-C USB
- No expandable storage option
- FunTouch OS is unaccomplished