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Vivo V5 Plus Review: Ups the Selfie Ante With Class But at a Price

Krishna Sinha Chaudhury | News18.com @krishnaa_tweets

Updated: February 6, 2017, 12:03 PM IST
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Vivo V5 Plus Review: Ups the Selfie Ante With Class But at a Price
Vivo V5 Plus breaks the monotony of frontal mono-cameras and this is definitely its USP. (Image: News18.com)

Vivo has stepped up the competition for the selfie-focused smartphones with the launch of V5 Plus at Rs 27, 980. Vivo V5 Plus is essentially a successor to the Vivo V5 and its dual front cameras have been co-engineered with Sony that may actually start a new trend of dual front camera phones in India.

A 20MP front camera with Sony IMX376 sensor, f/2.0 aperture along with another 8MP camera is there to provide depth of field (DOF), especially for bokeh shots. In terms of connectivity, the V5 Plus offers 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS.

A silicon cover and screen protector, SIM ejector, power adapter and USB cable, earphones and documentation have been included in the box.

At a first glance, one can easily spot the traits Vivo V5 Plus has 'borrowed' from iPhone 7; the slightly protruding camera lens, antenna bands on the top and bottom with (Vivo branding) at the rear make it look like an iPhone look-alike.

The dual-SIM card slot is placed on the left while the volume rockers are on the right. Below it lies the power button. The Micro-USB port and a 3.5-mm standard audio jack are placed at the bottom.

It also breaks the monotony of frontal mono cameras and this is definitely the V5 Plus's USP; but would the fresh concept help Vivo ride on the 'selfie' wave? Here is our detailed review.

What's Cool

The Vivo V5 Plus is essentially a mid-range premium smartphone that looks good and feels equally great to hold. It has a thin frame and perfectly rounded edges that make it ergonomic.

Unlike many other all-metal phones this one does not slip off the hands. It has gracefully pulled off the iPhone-ish look at half the price and does not look like a cheap attempt at all. The gold unit we reviewed was not blingy and looked premium and felt solid to hold.

Notably, the rear side of the V5 Plus looks any day better than the front. Placement of U-shaped antenna bands on the top and bottom render a clean and aesthetic look to the all-metal Vivo V5 Plus.

The LCD display is good quality and hence the colours are vivid and viewing angles are good.

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(Image: News18.com)

A physical fingerprint sensor is placed right on the home button, which is quite sensitive and unlocks the phone in a snap.

To our surprise, the mono speaker grill at the bottom was pretty loud that would not let you miss out on calls, but it lacked quality.

Vivo has engineered the dual front cameras along with Sony especially to capture the attention of selfie-lovers and the V5 Plus does the task gracefully.

A 20 megapixel front camera with Sony IMX376 sensor, f/2.0 aperture has been coupled with another 8 megapixel camera effortlessly takes 'Bokeh' shots. Vivo V5 Plus is also the first Android phone, which takes selfies with the 'Bokeh' effect.

Its front snapper is capable of taking amazing pictures and this makes Vivo V5 Plus stand out amid a host of Android smartphones that have decent selfie cameras. Its 'Bokeh' effect turned out to be better than what was expected and the images were vivid and sharp.

The pictures were rich and did not look over-saturated. Notably, the user can set point of focus after clicking a shot too, which is pretty cool.

Vivo has taken its selfie cameras pretty seriously and has added a beauty mode (found on most phones), an additional HDR mode and LED flash (moonlight) on the front to further beautify the images.

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(Image: News18.com)

The HDR mode in the rear camera does a good job of highlighting the shadows and makes the final image look vivid.

Meanwhile, Vivo's FunTouch 3.0 OS based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow was smooth and showed no lags. It is a welcome break from Vanilla Android and other custom UIs and is heavily influenced by iOS.

The 5.5-inch full-HD IPS screen (1080x1920 pixels) display has decent sunlight legibility and the screen looks vivid with accurate colour saturation. It is protected by fifth generation Corning Gorilla Glass.

Vivo V5 Plus houses a 3,055mAh non-removable battery with twin-engine charging support, which easily lasted a day on 4G.

What's Not So Cool

Talking about the rear camera, it was capable of producing decent pictures in ample light. Even the macro shots came out crisp in daylight. However, when we zoomed into the images clicked in the day, we found that they lacked detailing. Pictures clicked at night and low light had a lot of noise and also looked blurry.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC that powers the Vivo V5 Plus is a lower performing chipset when compared to the likes of Snapdragon 821 SoC.

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(Image: News18.com)

Also, we found the sound quality to be less impressive than its peers such as the OnePlus 3.

The rear camera of the V5 Plus kind of softens the pictures clicked in low light to hide noise. Despite having a dual-engine charging support, it takes complete two hours (or a little more) to completely charge the device.

Also, the lack of a microSD card slot is disappointing.

Competitors

Despite upping the ante in the selfie segment of Android phones, the Vivo V5 Plus faces competition from the likes of OnePlus 3T, OnePlus 3, Moto Z Play and Honor 8 in the sub 30-K segment.

The OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T offer 6GB RAM and a better rear camera along with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC and Adreno 530 GPU and Snapdragon 821 SoC coupled with Adreno 530. Honor 8, on the other hand, uses a dual camera setup at the back.

Verdict

The Vivo V5 Plus has the best selfie camera in the market today and has not direct competition in the offline market in this price segment. It is also one of the most pleasant looking smartphones that tick many right boxes.

The Vivo V5 Plus, at Rs 27,980, is a solid device with great ergonomics and is a complete package that everybody should look forward to.

Vivo V5 Plus Camera Sample Shots

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Outdoor shot [HDR mode] (Image: Krishna Sinha Chaudhury/News18.com)

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Selfie [With 'Bokeh'] (Image: Krishna Sinha Chaudhury/News18.com)

5sample-vivo
Outdoor shot [Non HDR] (Image: Krishna Sinha Chaudhury/News18.com)

3sample-vivo
Macro shot [HDR mode] (Image: Krishna Sinha Chaudhury/News18.com)

2sample-vivo
Night shot (Image: Krishna Sinha Chaudhury/News18.com)

7sample-vivo
Outdoor shot [Non HDR] (Image: Krishna Sinha Chaudhury/News18.com)

sample-vivo-10
Natural light shot [Non HDR] (Image: Krishna Sinha Chaudhury/News18.com)

6sample-vivo
Outdoor shot [Non HDR] (Image: Krishna Sinha Chaudhury/News18.com)

First Published: January 25, 2017, 9:15 AM IST
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