Review: Lights, Camera, Vivo V5

Put the phone front facing and keep it next to an OnePlus 3 and we bet you can’t tell the differences in one go

By Sabari Saran

Selfie frenzy is an actual thing now and you can just go about anywhere—restaurants, parks, offices, homes, malls, trial rooms or even wash rooms—you’ll find at least one person pouting and looking at the camera to get that perfect shot.

Vivo is just cashing in on this trend with its recently launched V5 model. While other phone makers have introduced a selfie-induced phone and marketed it as its USP, Vivo has gone one step further by introducing a mind-boggling 20MP front camera. Yes, you head that right! A front camera and that too with moonlight flash. More on that later.

Performance

The V5 is packed with an impressive 4GB RAM and a 32GB internal memory, which is expandable to 128GB via external memory slot, and is powered by a 1.5 GHz octa-core processor and MediaTek MT6750 system on chip. We downloaded some of the best games on to this phone and tried it out, and it played almost all of them smoothly, without hurting the battery much. But if you are a heavy gamer, you might want to pick something else in this range.

The 3,000-mAh battery is powerful enough to last more than a day on low usage but can be used for six to eight hours if you decide to keep the phone on its toes and run a lot of apps, videos, 4G and the ‘hi-fi’ feature continuously.

Its fingerprint sensor is smooth as butter and instantly unlocks your phone and we can without hesitation say that its sensor is better than some of the high-ranged phones like the OnePlus 3T. The sensor is also water resistant; so you don’t have to worry about the phone not opening if your hands are wet, though why would you want to pick your phone up with a wet hand?

Android’s Marshmallow and Vivo’s FunTouch operating system coexist in this phone and provides some interesting smart motion features. For example, when the display is off, you can draw alphabets like ‘w’ to open whatsapp, ‘f’ to open Facebook, ‘m’ for music, etc or double tap to wake the screen up or shake the phone for the flashlight. The phone also allows split screen for few of its apps even though the Nougat update allows this in a full-fledged manner.  

The AK4376 audio chip is stunning and Vivo has walked that extra mile to ensure the music lovers aren’t disappointed. With the ‘hi-fi’ option, you can boost the sound quality on any of the installed sound apps, though mind you, your battery consumption will significantly increase with this feature turned on.

Display and Design

Put the phone front facing and keep it next to an OnePlus 3 and we bet you can’t tell the differences in one go. Apart from the audio jack and speaker position, that has been interchanged, both phones look identical. And you turn the phone backside to find something original but its stark iPhone 6 ‘inspiration’ might keep you guessing what this phone is trying to achieve. The 5.5-inch V5 has a Corning Gorilla Glass protection and weighs just 154gm and is light on the pocket, in its literal sense. So, don’t ruin it with a heavy plastic cover. The phone comes with a 720x1280 pixels IPS display and has an ‘eye protection mode’ to ensure you don’t strain your eyes too much.

Though the phone looks elegant, with its matte finish and nicely engraved bottom, I wouldn’t give it high marks for its design, as it is clearly sourced from multiple already-existing phone designs.

Selfie time

Now, coming to its most interesting aspect—the camera. The phone has a 20MP front facing camera and a 13MP camera on its rear side. The moonlight flash is very impressive and if you are a partygoer who fails to get good pictures in the ridiculously low lit pubs, this phone will not disappoint you at all. The front camera still manages to get decent pictures in low lit to no lit areas. The face beauty feature is kind of an overplay here and we suggest you to keep it below 50; unless you want to kill natural effects and look like someone who just got a bridal makeup done.

Compared to its front camera, the rear camera is sort of a disappointment as it doesn’t match up to its obverse counterpart. You might want to just stick to the front camera to dole out all your nice pictures. The rear still produces some good pictures in daylight but you might not want to swap the camera as the sun sets. 

Currently prized at Rs 17,500, you can consider this phone if you are a pouty model and can’t stop taking selfie pictures and want a powerful sound system to enjoy your music. 

 

sabari@outlookindia.com

 

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