Vivo V5 Plus: a great selfie shooter, a decent daily driver

Jumping onto the selfie-centric bandwagon after OPPO, Chinese company vivo introduced the V5 series. Stretching the series further, the company recently unveiled the vivo V5 Plus. The USP of the smartphone is the 20-megapixel dual front facing shooter it houses. Our first impressions of the vivo V5 Plus were more or less positive. But, is the phone loaded enough to take on the formidable competition? Read on to find out.

Design:

Starting with the design, the smartphone indeed looks premium, is pretty lightweight and easy to hold. As stated in our first impressions, the looks of the device completely bring justice to the price tag it comes with, but they do not necessarily help the V5 stand out. The design language follows the lines of the recently launched iPhone 7. Additionally, the vivo V5 Plus doesn’t stray much from the design ethos of its predecessor, the V5, except for the antenna bands which now lie just alongside the top and the bottom edge the device. The device is built around a 5.5-inch full HD display, with the front camera along with a front flash placed above the display, and the oval-shaped physical home button below it. The two capacitive keys are placed on either sides of the home button. The home button also functions as a fingerprint scanner. On the bottom edge of the device, you’ll find a 3.5mm audio jack, a micro-USB port and the speaker grille. At the back, the smartphone houses the primary camera setup with an LED flash, and the ‘vivo’ branding below it. On the left edge, there is a hybrid SIM card slot, while on the right side you can find the volume rocker and the power/ lock button. With the V5 Plus being just 7.26mm thin, it is definitely an ergonomic device and we believe you would wish to flaunt in the gold colour option it comes in.

Display:

As mentioned earlier, the 5.5-inch display is full HD in nature, that is, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and comes with a layer of 2.5D curved glass on top. Additionally, it is the first ever smartphone to be protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The V5 Plus offers a crisp display with the icons and the text appearing sharp enough. The colours looked rich and vivid. However, there’s no option to customise the colour settings of the display to your liking. The viewing angles of the device were good as well. However, from extreme angles, we saw slight tints of yellow and red. However, it didn’t really affect the quality of the display. The brightness of the display was adequate, but the V5’s screen is faintly reflective. The phone comes with the Global Eye Protection feature which prevents the eyes from being exposed to a lot of blue light. The sunlight legibility was decent. Overall, the display on the vivo V5 Plus should please most users.

Camera: 

The vivo V5 Plus, being selfie-centric and sporting the best front camera configuration on any smartphone yet, ought to result in perfect selfies, and during our testing period, it definitely lived up to the hype. It houses 20-megapixel and 8-megapixel dual front cameras aided by a front flash, while the primary camera consists of a 16-megapixel sensor featuring a Sony IMX376 sensor, Phase Detection autofocus, a 5p lens, and an LED flash. We tested the cameras in almost all shooting conditions, and the long and short of our verdict is that both the shooters are good.

Starting with the front camera, the dual setup performed really well. Not compromising on the intricate details of the subject, the smartphone brings out the 15-year old teenager in you, making you want to click innumerable selfies. The colour reproduction, however, was not accurate.

The front snapper comes with various camera features such as the company’s proprietary Moonlight Glow, along with Face Beauty 6.0 and Bokeh effect. For those who don’t know, Bokeh unambiguously refers to how visually appealing the out-of-focus areas look in an image. And boy, does this feature get to your head! While the blurred backgrounds in your selfies come across as “processed” if looked at closely, the overall output looks stunning. And more often than not, the selfies clicked using the Bokeh effect on the vivo V5 Plus will look like pictures taken with a DSLR, when seen on small screens.

Now, coming to the rear camera, the 16-megapixel sensor also clicks well, however, it resulted in over-exposed pictures most of the times. That said, the color reproduction was better as compared to the front cam. The default camera app assists the primary camera with various shooting modes such as HDR, Night, Ultra HD, PPT, Anti-shake, Professional, Slow and Time-lapse. The images clicked in broad daylight captured decent details, but pixelated quite a bit when viewed in full resolution. The output in low-light conditions was downright disappointing. The focussing and shutter speeds were good. As a matter of fact, the shutter speed on the vivoV5 Plus is significantly better that of the critically acclaimed OnePlus 3T.

Performance and Battery:

The vivo V5 Plus, under the hood, packs an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset clocked at 2.0GHz, coupled with 4GB of RAM. It comes with 64GB of internal storage. The combination of the aforementioned chip and the RAM capacity worked rather well for the smartphone. During our review period, we didn’t come across any lags. From surfing social networking apps like Facebook and Instagram, to playing around with Snapchat filters, and checking out the online shopping portals, it was a smooth ride altogether. Our gaming experience on the smartphone was good as well, apart from a slight heating issue, and occasional stutters. Multi-tasking was a cakewalk. However, overall, the V5 Plus isn’t as big a performance powerhouse as its direct competitor, the OnePlus 3T. That said, users who don’t stress on performance all that much will not experience any issues with the V5 Plus.

The fingerprint sensor which is embedded in the physical home button is really quick and lives up to the ‘unlocking in 0.2 seconds’ statement by the company. The audio quality was above average, too.

Speaking of the battery, the smartphone sources its juice from a 3,055mAh battery, which comes equipped with fast charging technology. The device charges to a 100 per cent in around an hour, and the battery easily lasted us a day with mixed usage.

Software:

Software-wise, the V5 Plus runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow with the company’s FunTouch 3.0 OS on top. The operating system brings its own themes helping you customize the look and feel of the UI. While the device does not run the latest Android 7.0 Nougat, you get the Smart Split feature for better multitasking, all credits to the FunTouch OS. The feature, however, works only with apps like Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp. Additionally, you get like functionalities like the One-handed mode, Super screenshot feature, and the Quick Launcher, which opens up apps like flashlight, Facebook and camera simply by double clicking the home button. The phone doesn’t come preloaded with a lot of bloatware.

Verdict: The vivo V5 Plus is a good-specced device which excels in the selfie game. It might as well be one of the best devices you can get your hands on in the Rs 25,000 – 30,000 price segment. However, the phone competes directly with the OnePlus 3T, which for a few more pennies, offers a Super AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 821 processor, 6GB of RAM, 64GB and 128GB ROM options, and a 3,500mAh battery, all while staying true to the numbers. That said, the vivo V5 Plus overshadows the OnePlus 3T in the selfie-shooting department. If you are a selfie freak, we recommend the V5 Plus.

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