Vivo V5s Review: Delivers on camera, but there are some misses

While the phone’s specifications may not be the real highlight, the 20-megapixel front camera is the star of this phone. The V5s is what exactly company needed to remind people that the selfie culture is here to stay. But the question still remains: Is the V5s a good buy at Rs. 18,990? Here's our review of Vivo V5s

Rating: 3 out of 5
Written by Anuj Bhatia | New Delhi | Updated: June 11, 2017 12:07 pm
Vivo, Vivo V5s, Vivo V5s review, Vivo V5s selfie phone, Vivo V5s price in India Is the V5s a good buy at Rs. 18,990? Here’s our review of the Vivo V5s.

When Vivo V5 Plus was launched earlier this year, the impression was that this phone is priced too high, It seems Vivo agreed and thus it launched the V5s, albit at a lower price point. Vivo V5s is the third smartphone in the company’s popular V5 series that targets selfie lovers.

Sure, the V5 Plus was marketed as a premium smartphone compared to the V5s (which is obvious due to the price difference) but the trimmed down version is more mainstream, closer to the current competition. The V5s is what exactly company needed to remind people that the selfie culture is here to stay.

While the phone’s specifications may not be the real highlight, the 20-megapixel front camera is the star of this phone. But the question still remains: Is the V5s a good buy at Rs. 18,990? With smartphones from the likes of Oppo and Gionee, among others, targeting the same set of audience, it’s a tough call. Here’s our review of the Vivo V5s.

Vivo V5s specifications: 5.5-inch HD display |MediaTek MT6750 clocked at 1.5Ghz |4GB RAM+64GB storage (expandable) | 13MP rear camera with PDAF, LED flash + 20 MP front camera | 3000 mAh battery | Android M with FunTouch OS 3.0|

Price: Rs. 18,990

Vivo V5s Design and Display review

Vivo V5s has a metal bodied design and can be purchased in two color options ( Matte Black and Crown Gold). Like any other smartphone from a Chinese OEM, Vivo V5s doesn’t look like a cheap device. You get a handsome looking phone with a premium finish. A closer examination of the V5s, however, reveals a truth that no Chinese OEM would like to accept. The phone appears to be an iPhone 7 lookalike with the antenna lines on the top and bottom. It looks like exactly what you would expect from an iPhone 7 clone because it has a similar chassis.

On the front, there’s a 5.5-inch screen and a chrome-trim home button underneath, which also acts as a fingerprint sensor. The volume rocker and power button live on the upper right side, while the left side of the phone houses a hybrid SIM slot that doubles as a microSD card slot. The bottom edge of the phone features a handy headphone jack, along with a single speaker grill and a USB 2.0 port.

 Vivo, Vivo V5s, Vivo V5s review, Vivo V5s selfie phone, Vivo V5s price in India Like any other smartphone from a Chinese OEM, Vivo V5s doesn’t look like a cheap device.

Perhaps most surprising is that Vivo V5s fits in the pocket easily. Albeit being a large screen device, the V5s is pretty light, boasting a thickness of 7.5mm and weighs just 154 grams. However, you will need to use both hands to type on it properly. Nevertheless, the phone never slipped out of my hand, even when taking pictures in a crowded Delhi market.

Vivo, Vivo V5s, Vivo V5s review, Vivo V5s selfie phone, Vivo V5s price in India Vivo V5s features a 5.5-inch 720p HD resolution display, instead of a full HD panel.

Coming to the display, it’s fairly common to see a mid-end smartphone with a Full HD screen, which is not the case with Vivo V5s. Somewhere in the beginning of the review, I have written that Vivo V5s is a trimmed down version of the V5 Plus. That’s primarily because the phone features a 5.5-inch 720p HD resolution display, instead of a full HD panel. This is kind of a bummer. Although I found the 720p HD display to be capable of enjoying TV shows and YouTube videos, somewhere down the line I’d prefer a Full HD resolution. This is a caveat for sure, given the price point of the phone.

Vivo V5s Performance review

Vivo V5s is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM, like its predecessor – the V5. In my testing, the phone does perform quite well. Its performance is comparable to mid-end smartphones such as the Moto G5 Plus and Gionee A1, rather than with expensive premium mid-range phones such as the OnePlus 3T. Even demanding games like Real Racing 3 run on the handset without too many hiccups. The phone scored 41,571 points in AnTuTu and 2514 (multicore) in Geekbench 4.

Vivo, Vivo V5s, Vivo V5s review, Vivo V5s selfie phone, Vivo V5s price in India Vivo V5s scored 41,571 points in AnTuTu and 2514 (multicore) in Geekbench 4.

Vivo V5s Camera review, Selfie camera review

The camera department, this is one of Vivo V5’s strong points. On the front, it has a 20-megapixel front camera, which has a higher resolution than the one in the back. Selfies taken with the Vivo V5s look sharper than in daylight. In low light environment, without even enabling a ‘Moonlight Glow’ front flash, the results prove to be quite natural. The camera app offers features such as Face Beauty, Group Selfie or HDR. Selfies lovers won’t be disappointed, for sure.

Vivo, Vivo V5s, Vivo V5s review, Vivo V5s selfie phone, Vivo V5s price in India Vivo V5s sample image (Image resized for web)  Vivo, Vivo V5s, Vivo V5s review, Vivo V5s selfie phone, Vivo V5s price in India Vivo V5s sample image (Image resized for web) Vivo, Vivo V5s, Vivo V5s review, Vivo V5s selfie phone, Vivo V5s price in India Vivo V5s sample image (Image resized for web) Vivo, Vivo V5s, Vivo V5s review, Vivo V5s selfie phone, Vivo V5s price in India Vivo V5s sample image (Image resized for web) Vivo, Vivo V5s, Vivo V5s review, Vivo V5s selfie phone, Vivo V5s price in India Vivo V5s sample image (Image resized for web)

The 13-megapixel sensor can take decent enough shots when there’s good light. Based on my time spent with the device, the best results come in natural daylight environments. There’s a professional mode which you can select to adjust ISO sensitivity, white balance and shutter speed. However, even with the professional mode, the end results more or less remain the same.

Vivo V5s Battery, Software review

Vivo V5s houses a 3,000 mAh (non-removable) battery. Even with really heavy use, I wasn’t able to completely drain the 3,000mAh battery in one day. For example, I was able to take take a lot of pictures on the first day of Google I/O in California and the battery didn’t disappoint me. Although Vivo isn’t saying whether the phone comes with fast-charging support, it takes one and a half hours to completely refill the battery from zero to 100 per cent. That’s not bad at all the end of the day.

Vivo V5s runs on FunTouch OS 3.0, based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It’s pity that the phone doesn’t support Google’s Android 7.0 Nougat, when every other smartphone launched in the recent past come running the latest version of Android. Vivo isn’t saying when an update for Android 7.0 will be available soon, which makes the phone’s outdated OS more of an annoyance.

Vivo, Vivo V5s, Vivo V5s review, Vivo V5s selfie phone, Vivo V5s price in India Vivo V5s runs on FunTouch OS 3.0, based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

On top of that, the V5s skin looks chunky and too loud, which makes navigating various menus and apps feel more complicated than it should. Vivo phones have often come with bloatware, the V5s won’t change that, at least for now. The phone come with a slew of apps which cannot be deleted, including Vivo Cloud, i Manager and i Theme.

Audio quality during calls proved to be quite good during the testing, but sometimes I experienced call drops in areas where there is a continuous signal strength problem. Sound through the loudspeaker is loud and clear, which is good enough to play music when sitting in a group.

Vivo V5s Verdict

Vivo V5s is a sleek looking device that looks and feels premium, although it’d have been great to see a genuine push from the OEM to come with the design that’s different from the iPhone. Its performance is similar to that of budget phones, but the display is on par with those costing far less. And yes, it has a complicated user interface.

But the phone’s best feature are the cameras, especially the front-facing 20MP shooter. If given a choice, I’d pick Moto G5 Plus over Vivo V5s for primarily two reasons. One the phone is cheaper at R. 14,999, and two it sports a full HD resolution and runs Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box. Vivo V5s is still about the selfie mania, and if that’s your main aim when picking a phone, you can consider it.

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  1. L
    Lydia
    Jun 23, 2017 at 9:09 pm
    Guys, will this handset have an update to Nougat???
    Reply