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Vivo V5 – The new selfie sensation in town – Review

Vivo mobiles have been around for about two years in India. Two years was enough for Vivo to build a strong base. Today Vivo has become a household name. While we were raving about the Samsung, HTC and Oneplus, Vivo quietly crept up from behind and took a strong hold of the Indian market. They have tapped the offline market, which is still the a large part of the Indian mobile market. I have used Vivo devices in the past and I had reviewed the V1 Max about an year ago. Today I have the newly launched Vivo V5 and in this review, let us see if the mobile is worth buying.

We have compiled a few guides for Vivo V5. Head to this page to see the full list of guides.

vivo v5

In the Box

  • Vivo V5
  • Sim ejector pin
  • Wall charger
  • USB to micro USB cable
  • Screen protection film, pre-applied on the mobile
  • Soft TPU back case
  • Quick guide
  • Warranty card

Design

Every Vivo mobile has the same design. Vivo is known for their solid construction and the V5 is no exception. The design looks a lot like iPhone, Asus Zenfone or Oppo mobile. Though each Vivo phone is not so different from each other, this mobile looks a lot like other mobiles in the market. It has a metal body with 2.5D curved glass on the front. The power and volume buttons are on the right. The hybrid dual sim tray is on the left. The bottom has the usb port, 3.5 mm audio jack, speaker grills and a mic.

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The display is 5.5 inch and the bezels are thin. Above the display is the 20 MP camera with flash, which is the highlight of this device. The proximity and ambient light sensors are also on the top, while the bottom has the back-lit navigation keys. The fingerprint sensor is on the front. The back has the 13 MP camera with a single LED flash.

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The mobile is quite handy to hold and operate. The design is ergonomic and it feels quite comfortable in the hand. It does not have an unique design identity, but I don’t see a problem with that.

Display

The V5 has a 720p display on a 5.5 inch screen. The display have high white levels. The contrast levels are not right and everything appears to be overly bright. The text is crisp though. The colors are vivid but the white balance is a bit cold. Eye protection mode makes the display yellowish and it is good for reading, but not for media consumption. Display is protected by corning gorilla glass and also has a Screen protection film applied already. Full HD display and a better brightness and contrast calibration would have made this display a good one. But with what we have, the display does not impress.

Hardware and Performance

V5 does not have impressive hardware specifications under the hood. But my policy is not to rate a device, based on whats on the paper, but to rate it based on what it can do. The MediaTek MT6750 processor with 4 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage and give you a pleasing performance. The mobile can push you through your daily task. I have loaded a bunch of apps on the mobile and it shows no signs of lag so far. The UI is fast, smooth and responsive. The hardware does not score high on the benchmark tests, but the UI is a light weight interface. It demands less resource and it keeps the resource free for your apps and games.

With respect to game play, the heavy games when pushed to max limits, starts dropping frames. Keeping the graphics at medium, ensures a smooth game play. It does not heat up easily even after 30 min of continuous game play. Considering that it is a mid-range mobile, the performance is satisfying.

Fingerprint scanner

The fingerprint scanner on the front, resembles Samsung home key. But it is not a mechanical key. It is just a capacitive button. It is very fast, amazingly fast. It is accurate and can detect from all angles, even if the fingers are wet or oily. It can wake the mobile from sleep and lock screen. It can be used to apply a security layer over apps. The fingerprint scanner on V5 is impressive.

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Camera

It is the age of selfies and the V5 is the right mobile for this age. It has a powerful 20 MP front facing camera with a single LED flash. Vivo calls it the moonlight flash, but it is just a marketing name for it. It has nothing to do with moon or light. If a camera has a flash, the flash must help the camera in getting a faster shutter speed. But in V5, the camera and the flash are not talking to each other. There is no adjustment because a flash is fired. Also the flash is pretty weak and useless. Under daylight, it does not give a good fill light. In dim light, it does not give the sensor a fast shutter speed, so the images still shake.

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But talking about the images from the front camera, it is good. There is no doubt about it. I turned off the flash and I clicked quite a bit of selfies. I found that the camera has a very capable hardware. The software is the Achilles heel. The exposure locking is not trustworthy and it has a mind of its own. The background is over exposed, killing the purpose of selfies, most of the time. The image quality is unpredictable and highly inconsistent. I tried clicking with 3rd party camera apps and found that the image is much better. I get great results with Camera 360 app. The skin tone, details, sharpness and exposure are all on-mark. So it is the Vivo software that needs tweaking.

The 13 MP primary camera is an awesome shooter. The images shot from it have the right amount of exposure, contrast and saturation. The images look natural and pleasant. Focusing is fast and fairly accurate. The mobile can shoot videos at 1080p 30fps. Adjusting the exposure based on the scene brightness is really fast. The footage is smooth and pleasant to watch. But it lack OIS or EIS, which can be forgiven, given that it is a mid-range mobile.

The Camera UI is very basic. The labels on action items are funny and it appears to be literal translation from Chinese. But as I said, the entire software needs an update. Hope the update fixes the labels and other use experience issues in it.

Check out the camera samples below

Music

Vivo V5 has a high-quality audio subsystem with DAC AK4376. The phone’s mono speaker has an average output quality. But when connected with a headphone, the sound delivered is very rich. The mids and lows are separated. There is not enough bass to give you that thump, but the voice clarity and treble is distinct and rich. Vivo has re-branded themselves as “Vivo: Camera and Sound”. True to the new brand identity, V5 has noteworthy camera and sound quality.

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Software

V5 runs on Android 6.0 with a proprietary shell Funtouch OS 2.6. I am not impressed about the visual design and text alignment of the Funtouch OS. I had mentioned in my V1 max review, that the Funtouch OS lacks finesse. It been over and year and I see no improvement in the Funtouch OS visual language. But the user experience and feature bouquet has improved a lot. It has a host of gesture controlled features. It supports one hand operation, dual screen, scrolling screenshot, screen recording and much more special features, that add to the user experience. The UI is also light weight. It demands less resource and it keep the memory free for other app. It is fast and responsive. I can overlook the lack of visual finesse for this reason.

funtouch os

Battery

It is powered by a 3000 mAh battery and does not support fast charging. It charges from 0 to 100% in about 2 hours. The UI does not have option to check battery usage. I ran the PC Mark battery test and the device lasted for 5 hours and 36 min from 95 to 20 %. That is really impressive. On my regular usage, it lasts for more than a day and it has about 30-35% when I hit the bed.

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Verdict

It is priced at Rs 17,980. I am hearing that the mobile has got a huge pre-booking in many offline stores across the nation. There is a huge interest for this mobile, especially in the offline market. But here is what I think. When you pay Rs 17,980, you get a mobile which does not have an unique design, has decent performance and a good battery life. It can take interesting selfies and the UI is fast. It does not heat up and Vivo has a good after-sales service reputation. So you can definitely buy this mobile, if you are not comfortable with buying a mobile online. Alternatively, you can consider Asus Zenfone 3, Lenovo Z2, Le Max 2, Moto G4 plus or even the older OnePlus 2. But these are online exclusive mobiles and V5 has no chance against these biggies, as they offer better value for money. Overall, the V5 is a good mobile which scores decently across all segments. You would not regret buying it.

Vivo V5

Design - 7
Display - 6
Performance - 7
Camera - 7.5
User Interface - 7
Battery - 8
Value for Money - 6

6.9

Gadgetdetail score

User Rating: 3.45 ( 1 votes)

About Giridhar

A Technology evangelist, Giridhar reviews gadgets and mobile applications. He is also a passionate photographer and a user experience designer by profession.

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