Vivo V5 Plus Review: Perfect Selfie Camera with Average Specs at a High Price

In January 2017, Vivo launched a well rounded mid-range smartphone, the V5 Plus. This smartphone immediately grabbed the attention of the Indian consumer due to its gorgeous display, spectacular metallic chassis and decent performance. It was priced at Rs.27,980 for the Indian audience. The Vivo V5 Plus was touted as a step up from its predecessor, Vivo V5, which had been launched in November 2016.

When marketing the phone, the Chinese phone maker completely focused on the phone giving the users the “perfect selfie,” which the company has already done with its previous models. Soon after its launch, the V5 Plus started being compared with the OnePlus 3T and many others that come with better specs.

So, for its the specifications and features, does the Vivo V5 Plus justify its price tag? Here’s what I think.

Vivo V5 Plus Review

Specifications

The Vivo V5 Plus is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that comes with a 5.50-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 X 1920 pixels. The handset weighs 158.6 gm and measures 152.80 x 74.00 x 7.26 mm. The V5 Plus runs on the Android 6.0 and is fuelled by a 3055mAh non-removable battery.

The device is powered by a 2GHz octa-core processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage that cannot be expanded. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, USB OTG, 3G and 4G.

The Vivo V5 Plus features a 16-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 20-megapixel front shooter for selfies. The sensors on V5 Plus include the proximity Sensor, compass/magnetometer, accelerometer, ambient light sensor and gyroscope.

Technical Features

Display size: 5.5 inch

Screen Resolution: 1080X1920 pixels

Dimensions: 152.80 x 74.00 x 7.26 mm

Processor: 2GHz octa-core processor

RAM: 4 GB

OS: Android 6.0

Battery: 3055 mAh

Front Camera: 20MP

Rear Camera: 16 MP

Display and Looks

The design of the Vivo V5 Plus is quite similar to the Vivo V5, given that the fingerprint sensor and home button below the screen, notification LED, sensors and fill light above are all the same. The back of the smartphone is full metal, with a gold finish. The handset weighs only 158 gm and is fairly slim. I find this phone extremely comfortable to hold even for long hours. Vivo’s fondness for an iPhone-like appearance can be seen in the V5 Plus too. The antenna band looks exactly like that of the iPhone 7.

Vivo V5 Plus features a 5.5-inch IPS display, protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 5. The touch sensitivity of the screen is good. Due to the full HD resolution, the sharpness is top notch too. To prevent eye strain, the phone also has an eye protection mode.

On the left, the phone has a SIM tray that can accommodate two nano-SIM cards. However, you won’t find a dedicated slot for the micro SD card, since Vivo V5 Plus is not a hybrid type device. Just like other Vivo smartphones, this one too has a headphone socket, USB port and speaker at the bottom.

The phone doesn’t have NFC, IR Blaster and USB Type-C port, which are not very essential features, but are available in other phones that are similarly priced or even less.

Camera and Apps

Starting with the star attraction, the Vivo V5 Plus features a 20 MP selfie camera and an additional 8 MP sensor for depth. The 8 MP sensor separates the main object from the background to generate a bokeh effect, which came out pretty good. I am really impressed with the 20 MP front shooter. It gave some amazing selfies with details, even in low lighting conditions. There also are various modes like Face Beauty and Auto HDR.

In comparison with the front camera, the performance of the 16 MP rear camera is weak. However, it did perform well in low light, much better than the rear camera of the Vivo V5.

Performance and Battery

The V5 Plus is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC pared with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. This is a good combination. But for the price, Snapdragon 625 is a mediocre SoC. Since there are many phones at this price range, like the OnePlus 3 or Redmi Note 4, that come with Snapdragon 820, whose performance is much better than the 625.

Talking of the ROM, Vivo V5 Plus comes with 64GB of internal storage, which is enough for some users. But I find it disappointing that this phone didn’t have the option to add on to the storage through a micro SD card, which most other phones allow, regardless of price.

The V5 Plus runs on the Funtouch OS 3.0, on top of Android Marshmallow 6.0.1. This is another area where the device disappoints. When the Vivo V5 Plus was launched, Android version 7.0 was already a part of a large number of smartphones, like Zenfone 3s Max, while One Plus 3 and One Plus 3T received the Android Nougat update. I am surprised that Vivo stuck to the older version and did not update their phones.

The Vivo V5 Plus is powered by a non-removable 3055mAh battery.  In the HD Loop test by Gadgets 360 degrees, the phone stayed charged for 10 hours and 53 minutes. The V5 Plus comes with proprietary fast charging support with “Dual-Charging Engine” technology, which charges faster. However, in comparison with the DASG charger in the OnePlus 3, Vivo’s fast charger is not as fast.

Price

When launched, the Vivo V5 Plus was priced at around Rs. 28,000. Given the phone’s capabilities, ot could attract more buyers if it was priced closer to Rs. 20,000. At the current price, people will certainly prefer to go for the Oppo F1s that gives great selfies or the OnePlus 3T with much better features at a lower price.

Reasons Why I Like The Vivo V5 Plus

  1. Good build & gorgeous display
  2. Excellent selfies
  3. Longer battery life

Reasons Why I Hate Vivo V5 Plus

  1. Mediocre SoC
  2. Lack of dedicated micro SD card slot
  3. Old Android Marshmallow 6.0.1

If you are someone who takes frequent selfies and likes to share them on social media, Vivo V5 Plus could be a good choice. However, you might go wrong with the buying decision if you expect value for the hefty price tag. Also, there are newer and better phones from Vivo itself in this segment, do check them out as well.

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