Last year, Vivo announced a selfie focused smartphone, the Vivo V5. The USP of the device is the selfie camera which is a massive 20MP shooter from Sony with a front facing Moonlight selfie flash. Now, the company is announcing an upgraded variant of this device, called Vivo V5S.
On the specs front, the phone comes with a 5.5 inch HD display and is powered by Mediatek 6750 Octa core processor with 4GB of RAM and 64GB storage. The phone is priced Rs.18,990 and how does it perform in this segment? Let’s find out in this detailed review.
Design and Build
The design is definitely one of the strong points of the device and has a polycarbonate unibody construction, very similar to the Vivo V5. There is certainly an inspiration from iPhone in the design department, but it looks good. The phone has curved edges all round and feels good to hold. The device is also relatively slim and lightweight for a 5.5-inch phone and this adds to the usability of the phone. While the build quality of the device is good, it has a faux metal construction. The Vivo v5S has the rear panel design of the V5 Plus with the U design for the antenna and is integrated on to the edges of the rear panel.
The power and volume keys are on the right side while the SIM tray is on the left side. It has a hybrid SIM card slot. At the bottom, there is audio jack, micro USB charging slot, and the speaker unit. We have the gold variant of the phone which comes with front panel finished in white. The front panel houses the 5.5 inch HD display, the 20MP front camera, selfie flash and also the usual set of sensors. Below the display you will see the home button which is integrated with the fingerprint scanner and two capacitive backlit buttons.
Overall, the phone feels good in hands with good design and build quality.
Vivo V5 features a 5.5 inch HD display with 1280 X 720 resolution. While most of the device in this price segment have moved to Full HD (1080P) panels, Vivo has used an HD panel. Although it is an HD panel, the color quality looks very good and the sharpness levels are also decent. The company ships the device with a screen guard installed. The display also has 2.5D curved glass along with Corning Gorilla Glass protection. The viewing angles are also very good.
While we are disappointed to have an HD display in this price segment, the HD display is definitely good.
Vivo V5 runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and has a custom UI called Fun Touch OS. Fun Touch OS is a custom UI from Vivo and feels similar to other Chinese OEMs with no app drawer and packs multiple home screens. The notification center is implemented similar to iOS and has Control center which can be accessed with a swipe from the bottom of the screen. The control center houses the options for multitasking and also quick toggles.
Looking at the settings of the device, you can see a plethora of options like gestures, smart multi-screen, one-handed mode, super screenshot and more. There are lots of options to make the device customized for your use.
The phone also comes with theme manager where you can download additional themes, wallpapers, fonts and lock screens. There is also a phone manager app which has options to clean the phone and also a data manager. The global eye protection mode allows you to get warmer colors on display, specifically for reading.
One of the specialities of the device is that it comes with a dedicated custom audio chipset which provides Hi-Fi music through headphones. You can enable the Hi-Fi music from the sound settings for multimedia apps. There is also a app clone feature in the settings which allows you to clone apps and as of now only WhatsApp is supported which means you can run multiple instances of the app.
While the software offers lots of options, it is not a user-friendly one for first timers. But once you get used to it, the device feels good to use.
Vivo V5S is powered by a Mediatek chipset, the MT6750 Octa-core clocked at 1.5Ghz. It is a Cortex A53 chipset which is coupled with Mali T860 GPU and 4GB RAM. While the processor is not a powerful one, it does the tasks pretty well. In day to day usage, we hardly noticed any lags or issues. It responded well to the tasks it was thrown. The gaming performance of the device is also quite good and barring a few frame skips, it was largely acceptable quality. The benchmark score for the device is a moderate 41543 and not like the Snapdragon 625 which is one of the most popular midrange chipsets.
The phone comes with 64GB storage and around 53GB is available to the user in the first boot. The 4GB RAM on the device is quite good for day to day tasks and overall we were pretty happy with the performance offered by Vivo V5S although we would have expected a more powerful chipset in this price segment.
Vivo V5S comes with an AK4376 audio chip, which is custom made by the company and this provides Hi-Fi music. You can enable this from the ‘Hi-Fi’ option in the settings app and this works only via headphones. There is a noticeable performance in music quality when you enable Hi-Fi option. The speaker performance is also quite decent.
The call quality of the phone is good and it supports VoLTE in India, so you can use it with Jio SIM cards. The phone also offered micro SD expansion option, but it is a hybrid slot. The fingerprint scanner is located on the front panel and is extremely quick and responsive and unlocks the device in a flash.
The USP of the Vivo V5S is the front 20MP shooter with moonlight selfie flash. We have seen the same 20MP front camera on the Vivo V5 as well. Vivo V5S sports a Sony IMX376 sensor with F/2.0, 5P lens and a front facing flash (called as moonlight selfie) and the front camera hardware is definitely impressive. On the rear, there is a 13MP shooter with LED flash.
The camera interface of the phone is quite good and there are some good options and features available including a manual mode for shooting. There are filters, slow motion and fast motion available. There is also 1080p recording available for both front and rear cameras.
Now, talking about the quality of photos, the front 20MP shooter can produce some good selfies and the detailing for the selfie is good along with good colors. When we reviewed the Vivo V5 camera we mentioned that the dynamic range in selfies is pretty poor. The same holds true for Vivo V5S as well, although there seems to be slight improvement compared to V5. In the process of making the selfie better, the exposure for the background is done poorly and this makes the overall quality of selfies not so great. But if your focus is just on the selfie and not the background, it can click some good selfies. We tested the 20MP shooter with third party camera app and it produced better results. The front facing moonlight selfie flash does a good job in extreme light conditions. Here are some of the camera samples taken with the front camera.
The rear camera is a 13MP shooter which shoots some decent pictures with good color quality. But the sharpness levels are way too low for the rear camera and you could see some noise even in daylight shots. The low light captures also had noise and the overall camera performance from the rear camera is strictly average. It is clear that Vivo has focused only on the front camera. The video recording from both the front and rear cameras are quite decent. Here are some of the samples taken from the rear camera.
Vivo V5S comes with a 3900mah battery and the performance is quite good. We tested the phone with social networking apps, calls, browsing, gaming and using the camera and found that the battery can easily last through a day of usage. While the battery performance is good, there is no support for fast or quick charging and the default charger shipped is a 2A.
The Vivo V5S is priced Rs.18,990 and how good is the device for the price? Vivo V5S is definitely a good attempt by the company for selfie enthusiast and the upgraded variant comes with 64GB storage and improved design, but it misses out on many aspects. The 20MP front shooter is definitely good and provides a good experience for selfie lover, but with an HD display and rather weak Mediatek chipset, Vivo is asking a premium pricing for the V5S.
But the device has its own positives including a good design and build, Hi-Fi music, excellent fingerprint scanner and also decent overall performance along with battery life. At Rs 18980, there are many better options available, unless you are looking for a better selfie experience.