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Vivo V5 Review – It’s the Selfie-centric phone with 20 MP front camera

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Vivo V5 is the successor to the Vivo V3 but this time Vivo has focused more on the front camera. Vivo V5 is now selfie-centric with 20 MP front camera. It’s the World’s first smartphone to feature a 20 MP front camera. Yes, there are other smartphones that already focus on the front camera as selfie-centric, however, Vivo V5 has stepped up with a new trend for selfie lovers by incorporating a Moonlight flash in a 20 MP front camera. That’s even higher than its own main rear 13 MP camera. Sounds interesting? Let’s dig it more to find out about the Vivo V5. Here’s our Vivo V5 review below.

Vivo V5 review

What’s in the Box?

  • Vivo V5 with built-in battery
  • Micro USB cable
  • Power Adapter (5V, 2A)
  • Wired Earphones
  • User Guide, Warranty Card
  • SIM Tray Ejector PIN

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 Specifications

  • Display: 5.5-inch IPS HD Display (1280 x 720 pixels resolution) covered with 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, on the home button
  • Software: Funtouch OS 2.6 based on Android 6.0
  • CPU: Up to 1.5 GHz octa-core processor (Cortex-A53), MediaTek MT6750 SoC
  • GPU: Mali-T860 MP2 (350 MHz)
  • Memory: 4 GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • Storage: 32 GB internal storage, MicroSD support up to 128 GB
  • Main Camera: 13 MP PDAF, LED flash, 1080p video @60fps, 720p video @120fps
  • Front Camera: 20 MP f/2.0 (Exmor IMX376), LED Flash, 1080p video @30fps
  • Connectivity: Micro USB, USB OTG, 3.5 mm headphone jack, Wi-Fi 802.11 Bluetooth, A-GPS,
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity sensor, E-compass
  • Cellular: 4G LTE, Hybrid Tray, Micro SIM + Nano SIM (GSM + GSM) or Micro SIM + MicroSD Slot
  • SAR Value: 0.952 W/Kg @1g (Body), 0.697 W/Kg @1g (Head)
  • Battery: 3000 mAh Li-Po (non-removable)
  • Dimensions: 153.8 mm x 75.5 mm x 7.55 mm
  • Weight: 154 grams
  • Colors: Crown Gold, Grey
  • Price: ₹17,980
  • Warranty: 1 Year Warranty

Design and Build

Upon grabbing it, V5 boasts a metallic-look-a-like design with a matte finish back and 2.5D curved glass on the front. The back is flashy and comes with a sparkling glow when you peer at it closely. However, the back is actually made of plastic and somehow looks like metal. There’s a silver rim all around the frames. The edges are made curved giving you a comfortable hold.

On the front, the bottom area has a touch home button which also holds the fingerprint scanner. I have seen this already on the OnePlus 3. However, Oppo F1s too came up with a similar concept, and now Vivo V5 is following the footprints.

I like the sleek form factor. For a 5.5-inch device, it is quite surprising to know that the phone is 7.55 mm slim and notably light in weight, 154 grams only. Though, please note that the phone is made from plastic materials, hence, light weight.

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

Surprisingly, Vivo V5 has a huge 20 MP camera on the front. Vivo is the world’s first to come up with a 20 MP front camera on a phone. We already saw smartphones having 20+ MP, but that’s just the rear thingy. Vivo has put the camera in the front, shocking, really? I haven’t heard that a front facing camera could be far better than its rear camera, until now. V5 uses 13 MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture with LED flash while equips a 20 MP over the front side.

The 20 MP selfie camera actually uses Sony’s Exmor sensor (IMX376) which turns out to be the best selfie camera on a smartphone. Also, the front camera contains extraordinary features like Face Beauty Mode 6.0 and Selfie Moonlight.

Vivo V5 review
The Big 20 MP Selfie Camera (IMX376)

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review
Backlit Touch Buttons
Vivo V5 review
Fingerprint Scanner Embedded On Home Button
Vivo V5 review
13 MP Camera

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

The power button and volume rocker on the right are located ergonomically where power button sits right on my thumb. The left uses a hybrid SIM tray holding either dual SIM or one SIM and one Micro SD card. You can put one Micro SIM and one nano SIM, both GSM. The phone supports 4G LTE network and VoLTE. The Micro SD card can be used up to 128 GB.

On the bottom, it doesn’t come with the latest USB Type-C but a standard Micro USB. Furthermore, the bottom has a microphone, loudspeakers grill and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

V5 packs custom Hi-Fi audio chip (AK4376) delivering high-quality audio experience giving a signal-to-noise ratio of up to 115 dB.

Vivo V5 review
Bottom
Vivo V5 review
Top
Vivo V5 review
Right
Vivo V5 review
Left

Display

The Vivo V5 has a 5.5-inch IPS HD Display (1280 x 720 pixels resolution) covered with 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass. Spending almost 18K on a smartphone and you get a 720p IPS display isn’t worth in my opinion. This is where Vivo V5 is left behind.

The text appears merely sharp and detailing is adequate on the 720p display. The top has a 2.5D curve on the edges of the screen. V5 comes with a scratch resistant protection on top of the screen.

Vivo V5 review

The brightness levels are satisfactory for a 720p IPS display but don’t expect anything higher than that. Nothing more to talk in the display section, it’s already a weak aspect for this price.

Software and User Interface

Vivo V5 uses a customized skin from Vivo itself. It comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow based Funtouch OS. I got an update with version 2.7.4 (beta) after few days I received the device. It uses 5th October 2016 security patch.

Vivo V5 review

The user interface reminds me of what I have seen on iPhones. It doesn’t offer app drawer so everything you have is on the desktop. Like iPhones, the shortcut menu can be brought by swiping from the bottom to top. I have also seen such type of shortcuts on Gionee and Coolpad phones. V5 offers highly customized software that doesn’t feel like a stock Android anyway.

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

I have also noticed that the Funtouch software on V5 offers some extraordinary features. One of them is the type of active display. While it’s not like the Moto X display or Samsung’s Always on display, but looks quite the same, see the screenshot below. The only thing is it is activated only by hovering your palm over the screen, not like Moto X.

There are other features like shake to turn on the flashlight, tilt the phone to zoom the photo and smart remind that reminds you the notifications like missed call or messages when you pick up the phone. The software also supports drawing characters on the screen to activate the task such as M for Music. Long screenshots can be taken without third party apps.

Who would have thought that it can do multi-window for apps? You can parallelly run two apps on the same screen, a similar trait the current Android version (Nougat) support. One-hand mode is supported as well.

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review
Builtin Cleaning Tool Saved Me 3.5 GB

V5 has a fingerprint scanner on the home button located on the bottom-front. One of the best fingerprint scanners I have seen, it is literally fast and unlocks within a blink of an eye. A maximum of 5 fingerprints can be added at a time. The fingerprint scanner doesn’t work with wet fingers.

Vivo V5 review

Hardware, Performance, and Gaming

Under the hood, it runs on MediaTek chipset. Vivo V5 equips a 1.5 GHz octa-core processor (Cortex-A53) from MT6750 chip. More in the specs is its massive 4 GB that takes our attention and a Mali-T860 MP2 GPU which is clocked at 350 MHz. Furthermore, the 32 GB sounds mainstream since smartphones with half price of V5 offer the same storage capacity. The storage can be expanded using a MicroSD card if 32 GB is not enough for you.

The performance of the apps and the user interface was quite smooth but at times the apps struggled, especially, camera, and other heavy apps that use a high amount of CPU resources. Due to its low profile CPU, bottle-necking is expected when multitasking on 4 GB RAM. More can be observed in the coming benchmarks.

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

The benchmarks aren’t really interesting, AnTuTu scored mere 40,509 points, slight below the competition. Geekbench 4 scored 580 and 2,392 points, single core and multicore, respectively. The CPU performs between entry level and midrange category. Geekbench 4 for GPU scored 1,389 for its Mali-T860MP2. The Quadrant Standard Edition scored 21,283 points.

The CPU performs between entry level and midrange category. Geekbench 4 for GPU scored 1,389 for its Mali-T860MP2.The Quadrant Standard Edition scored 21,283 points.

The Quadrant Standard Edition scored 21,283 points.

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

We tried a few popular titles like Angry Birds Rio, Shadow Fight 2, and Trials Frontier, but we didn’t find any noticeable lags or game glitches. As the GPU Mali-T860 MP2 is clocked at 350 MHz, the performance is somewhat mainstream and not high-end due to its lower clock cycle. Many graphics processors are clocked beyond 500 MHz which gives a boost in playing demanding games. Nevertheless, games can be played fairly well as far as you aren’t running some resource-hungry games.

Games Tested on Vivo V5:

  • Angry Birds Rio
  • Shadow Fight 2
  • Trials Frontier
  • Chess – Play & Learn
Vivo V5 review
Angry Birds Rio
Vivo V5 review
Shadow Fight 2
Vivo V5 review
Chess – Play & Learn

V5 remains on the cooler side i.e. it may feel warm but doesn’t heat too much on load, thanks to its non-metallic body.

Storage and Connectivity

Vivo V5 comes with 32 GB internal storage out of which you get around 24 GB free space. MicroSD card expansion is available.

Vivo V5 review

On performing storage benchmarks, we got 111.94 MB/s Read speed and 78.88 MB/s Write speed on A1 SD Bench. On the other hand, AndroBench gave us 273.57 MB/s Read speed and 71.27 MB/s Write speed both sequential. The random read and write were at 22.53 MB/s and 13.24 MB/s.

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 supports USB OTG i.e. you can plug and play thumb drives on V5 using an OTG cable or connector. Furthermore, it has one Micro USB port as a connectivity option, not the latest USB Type-C. It also has a 3.5 mm headphone jack, Wi-Fi 802.11 Bluetooth, and A-GPS as connectivity features.

Vivo V5 review

Cameras

Vivo V5 offers a great camera package especially if you are a selfie lover, it is made for you. The rear camera is 13 MP with LED flash while the front uses 20 MP camera (Sony IMX376) with Moonlight flash.

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 Camera Specifications

  • Camera: 13 MP PDAF
  • Optical Image Stabilization (OIS): Yes, 4-axis
  • Rear Flash: Single LED Flash
  • Features: Geo-tagging, Tap to Focus,  HDR, Panorama, Night, PPT, Professional, Slow, and Fast.
  • Video Recording: Up to 1080p video @60fps, Slow Motion 720p video @120fps
  • Front Camera: 20 MP f/2.0
  • Camera Sensor: Sony IMX376
  • Video Recording: Up to 1080p @30fps
  • Front Flash: Yes, Moonlight LED Flash

The camera interface will give a few options like HDR, Panorama, Night, PPT, Professional, Slow, and Fast. The Professional mode is the manual camera and Fast is the Timelapse. Not much options like how ZenFones offer. The camera is somewhat a little above average in terms of image quality.

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 Camera Samples

It is surprising for me to know that the front camera is somehow better than the rear camera. The rear camera doesn’t support OIS. The rear camera is slightly above average and gives satisfactory results. Although, the camera interface is slow and isn’t as fast like others, but it manages to take a good shot considering it is a 13 MP camera.

The front camera is simply fascinating, captures great selfie shots. The only thing I didn’t fancy is its blurriness. The images appear to be blurred when selfies are taken in low-light otherwise is perfect for those who like to take selfies every minute in daylight. Its Face Beauty 6.0 do work and enhances the image. The Moonlight flash comes into the action when you want to capture selfies at night. Do note that, in certain extreme low light conditions, selfies tend to blur even with its Moonlight front flash and you may need to hold the phone still for a few seconds.

Battery Runtime

Coming to the battery life, it’s 3,000 mAh battery keeps the phone alive for about a day and a half on normal use like surfing, Facebooking, surfing Instagram, and other similar tasks including a few hours of calling, gaming, and a few shots from the camera. Its 720p display plays a perfect role in gaining the battery time.

The Power manager shows you the remaining time of what you can do. In my test, 89% battery allows me to enjoy 7.1 hours of videos, 38.1 hours of music and etc. Similarly, for 68%, I got 5.6 hours video and 29.1 hours music. The time varies upon the usage of the phone.

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 review

Vivo V5 Battery Test Results

Tasks/Apps/GamesBattery usedRuntimeBrightnessWireless
1080p Video3%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Mobile Data)
YouTube (1080p)3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Angry Birds Rio8%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Shadow Fight 27%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Chess6%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Music Playback (Offline)2%1 HourAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Mobile Data)
Music Steaming (Online) - SoundCloud3%30 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Facebook App4%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)

Verdict

Coming to the end, the phone wins in the front camera and battery area. Hi-Fi audio is an added advantage. Overall, you can say Vivo V5 is an entry level device with a great selfie camera on board. For its ₹17,980 price, I would suggest you to buy it if you are obsessed with selfies, otherwise, there are other good phones in terms of performance and display quality.

Strength

  • Front 20 MP camera captures great selfies
  • Huge 4 GB RAM
  • Very fast fingerprint scanner
  • Variety of features – customized software
  • Decent image quality from rear 13 MP camera

Weakness

  • 720p display
  • Weak CPU

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