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Vivo V5s – A better variant of the V5 – Review

Vivo mobiles have seen a phenomenal growth in India. From 2% to over 15% market share in India, is not a cakewalk. Vivo has realized the potential of offline market in India and understands what their target segment needs. The Vivo V5 has been a huge success for Vivo. Vivo claims that the V5 has 22% market share and No 2 in the 15k to 20k mobile segment. I am not surprised by this statement because I have seen the aggressive marketing of Vivo V5 and V5 plus across the nation. So here is another mobile, a variant of the hugely successful Vivo V5, the Vivo V5s.

The Vivo V5s is basically an improved version of the V5. On the spec sheet, the only difference is the 64 Gb internal storage on the V5s. On the aesthetics, it inherits the design ID from Vivo V5 Plus with its U-Type antenna design and metal body. Under the hood, the V5s has a few tweaks for better performance and image processing algorithm. So let us take a look at the Vivo V5s in this review.

Design

vivo v5s

The design of Vivo mobiles are not always drastically different. They play safe in the design department and go by their tried and tested methodologies. The V5s is basically the V5’s ghost in the V5 Plus’s shell. The V5s has a metal body design with U-Type antenna lines. It has hybrid dual SIM slot. It still relies on micro-USB port for charging and data transfer. The fingerprint sensor is a capacitive button on the front. Overall, the design is sleek and solid. It gives a good balance feel in the hand.

Dropped in Water…

I dropped the mobile in water, while trying to click a picture near a pond. The mobile was in water for over 10 seconds, until my reflexes kicked in. I grabbed the mobile and switched it off. The back case was not on. But while trying to shake off the water, I accidental switched it on. It was working and I still didn’t want to take any chances. I kept the mobile in rice overnight. The next day, it was working without any problems. Though Vivo V5s does not claim to be water resistant or proof, I found out accidentally that this mobile has some sort of resistance to water.

V5s
Vivo V5s wrapped in rice overnight!

Display

The display is 5.5 inch and it is still the same old 720p HD resolution. I wish Vivo had given it the Full HD upgrade. It comes with a pre-applied screen protection film and also a back case. Display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. With what we have in hand, the display is bright and colors are nearly perfect.

vivo v5s

Hardware and Performance

V5s has the same un-impressive hardware specifications like the V5.  The MediaTek MT6750 processor with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage and gives a decent performance for average mobile users. I wish Vivo had gone for a better processor  like the SD 625 or Helio P series.    The 64GB is the only difference in the hardware spec sheet, compared to the V5.  For an average user, the mobile can push through the daily tasks. 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. The benchmarks scores are better than V5 and this suggests that Vivo has tweaks the hardware a bit.

 V5 vs V5 vs V5 Plus

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 V5s is impressive.

vivo v5s
Camera

The camera hardware has not changed from the V5. It has a 20 MP front camera with LED flash and a 13 MP rear camera with LED flash. But the software has been improved. The selfies from the V5s look sharper and clearer with better exposure compensation. Under low light the moonlight selfie light makes a bit of difference. On the rear camera, the colors are accurate and the exposure is perfect. The rear camera is one of the best in this segment. The Camera UI is very basic but functional. A new OTA update has given it an option to click wide angle panorama selfie. Overall, I find the camera experience from the V5s to be satisfying in the price range and for its target segment.

Do check out the camera samples below

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Music

Vivo V5s 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 V5s Black
Matte black variant looks nice, but I prefer the crown gold, personally

Software

V5s still 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. 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. You can also install two Whatsapp with the Clone app feature. 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.

Check out our detailed guides on Vivo Funtouch OS.

Battery

It is powered by a 3000 mAh battery and supports 2A fast charging. It charges from 0 to 100% in less than 2 hours. The UI does not have option to check battery usage. I ran the PC Mark battery test and the device lasted for 9 hours and 45 min from 100 to 20 %. That is really impressive. On my regular usage, it lasts for more than a day and it has about 40-45% when I hit the bed. The battery life has doubled when compared to V5.

V5S BATTERY

Verdict

It is priced at Rs 18,990. When you pay Rs 18990, 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. If you are thinking of buying the V5, you better get the V5s instead. In the online world, you can consider Nubia Z11 Mini S, Redmi Note 4, Moto G5 Plus, Honor 6X. These mobiles do have good selfie camera but they are also better smartphones overall. In the offline market, the Oppo F1s and Gionee A1 are competitors. Overall, the V5s is a good mobile which scores decently across all segments but priced higher than whats it has got to offer. You would not regret buying it, if you manage to get a better deal in the offline market.

Also available on Flipkart

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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