Review: Vivo V5 Plus is about the selfie camera, and a lot more

Vivo’s new smartphone is competing in a segment dominated by OnePlus 3T, yet leaves a strong impression


Though it doesn’t have the makings of a flagship killer, Vivo V5 Plus  impresses with classy looks, rich display and smooth performance.
Though it doesn’t have the makings of a flagship killer, Vivo V5 Plus impresses with classy looks, rich display and smooth performance.

Chinese phone company Vivo has released a mid-range smartphone, called the V5 Plus. Priced at Rs 27,980, the phone is in direct competition with the OnePlus 3T which is selling at Rs 29,999 onwards. However, the V5 Plus is not just another smartphone, it actually delivers on most of its promises, especially the front camera. The other good thing about it is that you can buy it from a physical mobile store, unlike OnePlus 3T which is available only through Amazon.in.

Vivo V5 Plus is a premium-looking smartphone with a unibody metal finish .
Vivo V5 Plus is a premium-looking smartphone with a unibody metal finish .

Design: Handy and stylish

Vivo V5 Plus is a premium-looking smartphone with a unibody metal finish covering the entire back and side panel. The side panel is flat and offers better grip quality over the phone. The oval shape of the home button, on the front panel, looks in harmony with the phone’s rounded corners. It also serves as a finger print sensor and as a shortcut button to the camera app. At 159g and 7.3mm, Vivo V5 Plus is one of the lightest and slimmest big screen phones we have come across. The OnePlus 3T weighs 158g and is 7.4mm thick, but feels better in the palm due to its slightly curved back design.

The 5.5-inch Full HD (1,920x1,080p) display is big enough for reading, gaming and typing away comfortably.
The 5.5-inch Full HD (1,920x1,080p) display is big enough for reading, gaming and typing away comfortably.

Display: Big and bright

The 5.5-inch Full HD (1,920x1,080p) display is big enough for reading, gaming and typing away comfortably. It is a bright looking display and handles colours brilliantly. App icons look lively and wallpapers look beautiful. Text looks crisp which makes reading ebooks or browsing through news stories on Flipboard enjoyable. Colours in games and movies look rich.

Vivo V5 Plus is one of the few smartphones to use Corning’s latest and more robust Gorilla Glass 5. It also has an oleophobic coating which proved to be quite effective against smudges. The phone also offers an eye protection mode which can be activated on its own at a time pre-decided by the user. It gives the screen a slightly warmer tone and puts less stress on eyes.

It runs on Android 6.0 with Vivo’s proprietary FunTouch OS
It runs on Android 6.0 with Vivo’s proprietary FunTouch OS

Software: Inspired by iOS

The smartphone runs on Android 6.0 with Vivo’s proprietary FunTouch OS, which looks heavily inspired by Apple’s iOS. Many of the app icons look similar to the app icons in iOS. The quick settings panel also shows up from below when you swipe up on the screen. Like most custom UIs, you can personalise it by applying new themes and wallpapers. It is smart looking UI and doesn’t feel cluttered.

Vivo has added some interesting features such as the one handed mode, split screen mode for side by side multi-tasking, screen recorder and tilt to zoom feature in photo gallery.

Performance: Cool under stress

Vivo has used Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 625 octa-core chip to drive the phone and has paired it with 4GB RAM. It isn’t the most impressive hardware combo at this price point (OnePlus 3T offers a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 821quad-core chip and 6GB RAM), but is powerful enough to handle most mainstream tasks and games with ease. Even with multiple apps open in the background, the phone didn’t stutter with any of the tasks at any point.

The phone has 64GB internal storage which is what most of its rivals including the OnePlus 3T offer. The V5 packs in a 3,160mAh battery, which barely lasted a whole day on one charge.

The rear camera handles colour reproduction .
The rear camera handles colour reproduction .

Camera: Consistent in all conditions

This is one of the few smartphones which offers a 20-megapixel + 8-megapixel camera with flash on the front and a single 16-megapixel camera on the back. The rear camera handles colour reproduction well and was able to capture a lot of finer details in well lit conditions. In low-light, it got the colours right, but the overall image continues to look blurry. The camera also has a ultra HD mode which combines several images to produce a higher resolution photo.

If you are into selfies, you will love the front camera. It takes bright and crisp looking shots even in indoor conditions. The dual camera mechanism allows users to create a depth of field effect in their selfies. It also offers a beauty mode which irons out facial imperfections.

It offers a 20-megapixel + 8-megapixel camera with flash on the front and a single 16-megapixel camera on the back
It offers a 20-megapixel + 8-megapixel camera with flash on the front and a single 16-megapixel camera on the back

Verdict

Vivo V5 Plus offers some every unique features such as the dual front camera. Though it doesn’t have the makings of a flagship killer, it impresses with classy looks, rich display and smooth performance. If you are looking for a more value for money phone, go for the OnePlus 3T. If the front camera matters more, the V5 Plus has more to offer.

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