It has been a good year for Vivo in India , as per market analyst firm like Counterpoint and Canalys, the company has secured third position in the Indian Smartphone market in the first quarter of 2017 securing a neat 10% market share. The surge is largely due to its single minded focus on offline channels and the marketing blitzkrieg along with its brilliant tapping of the selfie craze that many of the smartphone users are fond of. The Vivo V5 and V5 Plus sold on the selfie highlights and now they have added V5S to their portfolio. V5s though is not much different from the Vivo V5, it only augments on the internal storage, slight aesthetic improvement and improved camera alg0irthms.
Like the V5, the V5s also features a 20-megapixel moonlight LED light promising a better selfie experience, does it deliver ? Let’s find out in this review along with what changes it brings over the V5.
Design, Build and Design
- Poly carbonate body
- 5.5-inch IPS LCD display
- 720 x 1280 pixel resolution
- Corning Gorilla Glass (version unspecified)
- 2.5D Curved glass
- 153.8 x 75.5 x 7.6 mm
- 154 grams
- Colors: Crown gold and matte black.
Its surprising that Vivo had opted for a polycarbonate body instead of metal or glass that is in vogue now but on the positive side, the polycarbonate would fare better and avoid dents that a metal body might embrace during falls 0r the cracks a glass body might take. Honestly, the faux-metal does a very neat job and you need to be told that it is plastic and not really a metal body. Aesthetically looking at it, irrespective of the casing, it looks good. The V5s has the design flow and smoothness that is very familiar of its own other models and from the staples of the competition like the Oppo F1s. Its a clean design with good ergonomics. The design language has so far worked for Vivo so they had no reasons to change it at least not with V5s as yet.
The sides are smooth and the edges gently curved, it gives a good feel when you hold it. The antenna lines are similar to what we have seen in V5 Plus and gives a neat look. The rear has the camera, LED flash and Vivo branding.
The bottom is crowded with speaker grille, microUSB port, microphone and a 3.5mm audio jack. The top is devoid of any ports.
The right side has the volume and power button, while the left side houses the ejectable pin tray. Vivo V5s is a dual-SIM 4G VoLTE phone that can also accommodate a microSD card but its a hybrid dual-SIM so either you accommodate two SIMs or sacrifice the second SIM for a microSD card.
Overall, I have no complaints on Vivo V5s design but yes, a metal casing would have been a more contemporary clothing but in any case you would never know unless told about it.
I expected the V5s to have a fullHD display but Vivo has retained the same display as it was in V5. While many companies have made fullHD a mainstay in models in mid-segment and even Oppo and Gionee have opted for their latest devices in this segment, Vivo is still sheepish to change. Not that the HD resolution is bad but a fullHD would have read better on sheet. In practical scenario, Vivo has done a rather fine job with its display. The display has a punch and the colors are well saturated with black rich. The touch sensitivity and responsiveness is very good, the viewing angles are great too!
The display setting has minimal controls and there is a blue filter like in most phone these days and Vivo calls it global eye protection ( a rather elaborate term!)
Software – The FunTouch UI
While the base is Android Marshmallow, Vivo almost make it indistinguishable with its heavy apple inspired UI , the FunTouch OS . The biggest unlearn-learn is getting used to the quick access settings which needs a swipe up from bottom of the screen or long pressing the menu button. Again the recent apps are nested in the control panel below and can the icons can be scrolled horizontally and swiped up to close the running apps.
The FunTouch OS has its own share of quirky features, my favourite being S-Capture which offers some awesome screenshot capabilities, gesture dial, some smart gesture options and a Smart click that allows you to turn the Volume down key to be assigned a task like opening an app or turning on flash light.
The V5s also gets a new feature in vogue in many phones now- App Clone or popularly known as dual apps feature. The set up is not straight forward and you need to go to the edit mode of the homescreen to clone apps. While I had facebook, Instagram and Twitter running in my phone, I could duplicate only WhatsApp and none other apps. So if you have two SIMs in your phone, you can run two WhatsApp accounts associated with both the SIMs.
I have done a separate post on interesting features Vivo V5s has to offer and you can take a look at it, if you are interested. The Vivo inspite of the heavy customization doesn’t slow down the phone and manages to be nimble.
Hardware and Performance
- MediaTek MT6750 processor
- 1.5GHz octa-core
- 4GB RAM
- Mali T860 GPU
- 64GB storage / expandable
- 4G VoLTE
- 3000mAh battery
- Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation,gyroscope, proximity, magnetic
Now we head to the crucial part of the review most would be interested – the performance. Let’s be honest, the hardware the Vivo V5 doesn’t excite me. It’s pretty old for my personal liking. But that doesn’t mean it would be a sluggish performer.
I been using the Vivo V5s as my primary device for a week now. For normal usage, the V5s works like charm. It can handle multi tasking and for most part due to the lack of one click to close all background apps, I end up using the phone with multiple apps running parallely and it managed to handle the load. The call quality is good and I really liked the keyboard spacing which was very convenient and smooth.
When it comes to gaming, it was not bad at all. I could run Asphalt 8 at the highest graphic settings, though for a keen gamer there will be slight frame rate drops but the bottom line, it was playable. So did NOVA 3. So it was a mixed bag, barring few games, the Vivo V5s was able to play almost all games, heavy ones included but it also struggled with few selected games.
When it comes to audio, the V5s lives up to its reputation. Speaker position in many phones come in way of game play , but not in the case of V5s. Plus, thanks to the AK4376 dedicated Hi-Fi audio chip the the audio output is brilliant. The Hi-Fi audio setting when you listed with earphones on makes for a great listen.
The fingerprint sensor of the Vivo V5s is one of the most reliable sensors I have come across and is also fastest. Apart from unlocking the phone, you can also secure apps with fingerprint sensor.
Battery is yet another star performer of V5s, even the V5 gave me a good battery life and this one inspite of having the same battery scored a notch better than that. On a medium usage with WiFi and dual SIM with a Jio 4G VoLTE on constantly, I could get a full day easily. A let down though is the lack of USB Type-C.
Vivo V5s camera
- Sony IMX 376 sensor
- F/2.0 aperture
- 5P lens
- 1080p videosta capability
- Soft LED light
- Face beauty mode 6.0
The star selling point of the Vivo V5s is its 20 megapixel front facing camera that comes equipped with a soft LED light. Unlike the standard flash that fires while shooting a pic, the moonlight flash (that’s what Vivo calls it) in auto mode turns on under low-light conditions as a soft light even before you click and stays on till you close the camera app. The light is not harsh and gives a natural glow to your face without straining eyes and gives a good highlight.
Vivo has done a better job at the camera algorithm in the V5s, the pictures are remarkably better than the V5. The selfies come out with great detailing , even when you zoom in you can get good details. For the selfie lovers who love ‘beautification’ , the face beauty mode 6.0 offers up to 100 levels and works neatly. The camera on V5s strikes a good note and that is what Vivo V5s sells and it works well as its target customers would want it to.
- 13-megapixel rear camera
- LED flash
Only very few front camera steal the limelight in camera phones where the rear almost always bag bigger mega pixel count but not in Vivo V5’s case. While it is out shadowed by the front camera, it does deliver a very good output. What surprised more is the video quality of the V5s , it is one of the better Smartphone video camera I have come across in recent times in this segment.
Vivo V5s to buy or not?
Say Yes to V5s for:
- Good display inspite of 720 pixels resolution
- Finger print sensor is accurate and very fast
- Good battery life
- Impressive audio output
- The camera both selfie and rear got much better than the V5.
Frankly I expected V5s to be a better worthy upgrade to Vivo V5 but then it doesn’t seem to be. The S in V5s is basically Storage and double of it. Between V5s and V5 it makes sense to buy the V5s at least for the double storage it offers but also, somewhere I feel Vivo has done a bit of optimization to this device that seems to work better now.