With this price tag, the Vivo V5 Plus smartphone is definitely taking on the OnePlus 3T. Where both these smartphones fall in different categories. At the same time, it is difficult for the user to choose which device is better in terms of value. The Vivo V5 Plus is an ‘ultimate’ selfie smartphone but does it have everything to replace a flagship-level phone? Know in the review of V5 Plus.
Vivo V5 Plus design and build
The design of the Vivo V5 Plus doesn’t differ much from the design of the Vivo V5 we reviewed. The phone has a fingerprint sensor integrated into a home button at the bottom of the screen and a sensor, notification LED and a fill light at the top. It is no secret that Vivo and Oppo like to copy Apple’s hardware and software design and Vivo has continued the same in its latest variants. The antenna bands on the Vivo V5 Plus look exactly like the new iPhone 7. The full metal rear is pretty stable and we liked the soft gold finish of the phone. The finish of the chassis and buttons gives a premium feel and we have no complaints from the company here.
The left side of the phone has a SIM tray in which two nano-SIM cards can be used. However, it is not a hybrid SIM card and there is no separate slot for a microSD card. On the bottom is a micro-USB port, headphone jack and speaker. The grip of the Vivo V5 Plus is good and with a weight of 158 grams, it feels light.
The 5.5 inch IPS display given in Vivo V5 Plus is bright and touch response is also good. The sharpness is also good due to the full HD resolution. There is no color correction option in the Settings app but you will find an eye-protection mode. Color saturation is good and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 has been given to protect the display.
In the box, you’ll find an 18W/10W adapter, data cable, headset, case, screen guard, and SIM ejector tool. Overall, the Vivo V5 Plus scores well in terms of design and build just like the previous smartphones in this series. However, the phone has ample inbuilt storage and the lack of expandable storage might disappoint some users.
Vivo V5 Plus Specifications
Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage has been given in Vivo V5 Plus. However, we can’t find it attractive because Xiaomi has launched the Redmi Note 4 (Review) with the same specification for half the price.
Apart from this, Vivo V5 Plus has Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band Wi-Fi b / g / n, GPS and USB-OTG. The phone has an AK4376 audio DAC for better sound quality. The phone does not have NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11ac or FM radio. There is also no new Type-C USB connector in the phone. Talking about the sensor, the phone has all the other sensors along with the gyroscope. Vivo V5 Plus supports VoLTE with 4G on both the SIM cards.
Vivo V5 Plus runs on Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 based Funtouch OS 3.0. The stock icons and Control Center-like panels—which pop up from the bottom—all have a smattering of iOS. The phone has Google’s preinstalled apps, including Duo. Apart from this, WhatsApp, UC Browser and WPS Office are included. Vivo has also given some of its apps like themes, Vivo Cloud and a manager app for permissions, app locking etc. You can know about all the gesture based features of the new Vivo V5 Plus in our Vivo V5 review.
If you are using this phone after stock Android, then it will take some time for you to get used to the new software. We expected the Vivo V5 Plus to come with the new Android Nougat as Marshmallow is a bit outdated now.
Vivo V5 Plus Performance
The Vivo V5 Plus smartphone with Snapdragon 625 processor runs well despite Vivo’s bulky Android skin. Multitasking is easy on the phone and we did not face any problem in playing animated games. The fingerprint sensor detects fingers very quickly and apart from unlocking the phone, you can also lock apps with this sensor. Coming to the benchmarks, the Vivo V5 Plus scored well. The phone does not heat up even when doing serious tasks like recording 4K videos and playing games. The upper part is a little hot but not that much.
The processor comes with the ability to play 4K videos and also play other media files smoothly in the phone. The phone has a ‘Smart Split’ mode that lets you view messages from Facebook, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger without having to exit the video player. This mode also works with MX Player, YouTube and Google Play Movies. The mono speaker on the Vivo V5 Plus is not bad for media and is quite loud but not as good as stereo speakers. If you have connected wired earphones, you can toggle the inbuilt DAC on or off using the Hi-Fi icon in the music and video player app. If you look at the headsets that come with the Vivo V5 Plus, Apple’s influence on them is clearly visible as they look exactly like Apple’s headsets. However, the audio quality is not good at all.
The front camera of the phone is the most important part of this phone and now we will talk about it. Vivo V5 Plus has a 20-megapixel sensor with aperture F / 2.0 and an additional 8-megapixel sensor for depth. The latter sensor is used to generate the bokeh effect in the camera app by isolating you from the background. You can adjust the aperture according to the depth-of-field effect. The effect is quite good and selfies come with good detail even in low light from the 20 megapixel camera. Apart from this, you also get other modes like Auto HDR and Face Beauty and fill light helps when it is dark.
The rear camera of V5 was very weak but in Vivo V5 Plus, the company has removed this problem. Macro and landscape shots come with a lot of detailing from the 16-megapixel sensor. Though, we did have some issues with white balance but the app mostly corrects it. Performance was not bad even in low light and the detailing is a bit poor and objects look a bit scattered when zooming in. But overall the performance has definitely improved from the previous variants.
4K video recording is good. Like other Vivo phones in the V5, Night, PPT, Pro and Ultra HD modes have been given.
Vivo V5 Plus packs a 3055 mAh non-removable battery that can easily last a whole day on a single charge. In our HD video loop test, we were able to run the phone smoothly for 10 hours and 53 minutes, which cannot be called bad. Fast charging support is also provided with Vivo’s ‘Dual-Charging Engine’ technology, which has two microchips for higher current. With this, we could charge the device up to 43 percent in just half an hour.
Chinese smartphone makers have set the trend of offering products with strong specifications at very affordable prices. And maybe this is what Vivo is doing now too. The V5 Plus is a great smartphone as it dares to break tradition. However, we don’t think this phone delivers the performance at its premium price, especially when you get all the same things for much less than this.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 is probably not the best example because Xiaomi sells it online and because of this, it gets rid of the distributor, sub-distributor, retailer etc. thereby reducing the price. But even with all this, we could not know why the Vivo V5 Plus is priced so high. Despite being premium, the V5 Plus lacks features like USB Type-C, NFC, Wi-Fi ac, expandable storage and FM radio. FM radio is still loved by a lot of people in India. Apart from this, if this phone had given a better chip like OnePlus 3T, then the phone could have been better.
Along with this, the software also has some shortcomings. At the price at which Vivo and similar brands are offering the phone, then soon its upgraded variant with Android Nougat can be introduced. If software updates are important to you, then the OnePlus 3T is a better option for spending a little more money. It may not have the fancy dual-camera setup like the Vivo V5 Plus, but it can take good selfies and it performs better than the V5 Plus in many respects.
The Vivo V5 Plus smartphone could have been a stronger phone in the V-series if it had been priced around Rs 20,000. However, at Rs 27,980, it is an expensive phone as phones like OnePlus 3T and Honor 8 (Review) are available at this price point. But if you are just fond of taking good selfies then the Oppo F1s (review) or Vivo V5 (Review) perform much better at a lower price.