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Vivo V5 Review - Not Your Ordinary Selfie Phone

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Previously, we stated that the Vivo V5 is shaping up to be a formidable handset in the crowded midrange game in our first impressions post. It's the company's answer to the crowing demand of anyone who wants have decent smartphone that can take great selfies in this ever advancing social media age. Now, let's continue with the part 2 of our review and see if this handset is worth all the buzz.
Vivo V5 review

For the review part 1: Vivo V5 Unboxing And First Impressions - The New Selfie King?

Display Quality

This device has 10 points of multitouch
This device has 10 points of multitouch

The device has a standard 5.5 inch of screen size for your large enough viewing or watching experience. However, it is only equipped with an HD IPS screen w/ 267 pixels per inch sharpness to keep the cost down. Fortunately, it isn't as bad as most critics would think when they have the device on-hand already.

Colors are fine, but sharpness should be better.

The colors are fine and contrast isn't harsh in the eyes. Saturation is passable, though we wished more pop. Just like regular IPS panel, blacks are okay, but it isn't as realistic compared with other higher-end panels. Viewing angles are great and its max brightness level can keep up with direct sunlight hit for acceptable legibility.

The auto brightness mode is useful and we like it has a time settable global eye protection mode. It also has 10 points of multitouch for better typing and swiping accuracy.

Audio Quality

The single speaker below
The single speaker below

Producing HiFi music is Vivo's specialty, so we expected this handset to perform exceptionally well in that regard.

On the speaker part, the V5 has a single loud speaker below. It can produce tunes with slightly above average loudness, details, and resolution. Bass response is quite tight and fast as well. However, due to its small size sub-bass are non-existent. It is also airy and grainy on max loudness.
Press the pink HiFi button and enjoy!
Press the pink HiFi button and enjoy!

The headphone audio output part is where the V5 shines. The AK4376 HiFi DAC proved to be wonderful when you plugged your headphones in. Sound signature is warm and was slightly bass boosted. Fortunately, Vivo tuned its bass properly so it won't overpower the rest of the audio spectrum.

Turning the HiFi button on provides wonderful tunes!

Tonality of voices and instruments are clear, micro-details are presents, and we liked its highs. Soundstage are fine, though we expected its presentation to be wider. But, overall this is HiFi on a phone with fun, full, and non-fatiguing output.

Note: The free earbuds sounds impressive with relaxing warm sound signature and fine microdetails. Build could be better, but for a freebie, this has a close to HiFi sound to compliment the V5.

Microphone quality for videos and calls are fine. There's just nothing too special about it and it can't cancel unnecessary noises for better recordings.

Battery Life

Battery test result!
Battery test result!

Packed with a 3,000 mAh battery on a 5.5 inch screen and MT6750 octa core processor, the V5 has above-average battery life based on our test. It clocked 8 hours and and 26 mins on PC Mark battery test, 7 hours of screen on time, and 8 am to 9 pm usage time before charging the device.

Battery life is above average, but not as good against its main competitor.

However, we can't help but compare it with the Oppo F1s w/ nearly the same battery capacity, screen, and chipset. It lags by at least 4 hours in battery life against its main selfie centric counterpart. Battery needs around 2 hours and 25 mins to be fully charged.


Camera

The bigger 20 MP camera in front w/ softlight flash!

This is one of the rare times when the selfie camera is bigger than the rear camera. The Vivo V5 is packed with a 20 MP f/2.0 Sony IMX376 w/ softlight flash compared with its 13 MP f/2.2 w/ AF and LED flash at the back.
The 13 MP main camera
The 13 MP main camera
The 13 MP main camera has an aperture size of f/2.2 which make it take decent photographs in harsh conditions. It has many modes HDR, panorama, fast, night, slow motion, and powerpoint.
Manual camera mode
Manual camera mode

Then it has a great type of pro camera mode where you can manually adjust the camera settings. In particular, we enjoyed that it has up to ISO 1600 and 16 seconds shutter speed which is great enough for lowlight photography. It also has an option where you can manually adjust focus.


It has a very useful manual camera mode!

Even if Vivo failed to indicate if it has fast focus tech like PDAF, we noticed that the autofocus speed of V5 is good to above-average. Even in doing up to 3 inches close-up shots, only a second or less or needed depending on the light condition is needed. However, shutter speed is tricky. At first you'll think that its fast, but sometimes its not.

Steady hands are needed to ensure that your shots won't be blurred.

Quality of photographs are decent on this price point. It is close to natural looking in tone and has the sharpness we expected from a real 13 MP sensor. It isn't just as punchy compared to other lenses and dynamic range could be better. Images are washed in very bright conditions as well. Lowlight performance is very noisy and camera software lags in that condition. Use the manual camera or flash to take decent photographs.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight snap
Daylight snap
HDR mode
HDR mode
Manual: ISO 100 and shutter speed at 4 seconds
Manual: ISO 100 and shutter speed at 4 seconds
Sunset shot
Sunset shot

For selfies, the 20 MP f/2.0 Sony IMX376 is one of the best we ever saw. It has filters, customizable beauty mode, and softlight flash for selfies in the dark. It has fast focus and tap to focus function too.
Selfie cam interface
Selfie cam interface

On normal mode, it has excellent detail (for a phone) and life-like color reproduction on well lit conditions. Dynamic range and depth is good too.  Beautify mode is also superb as long as you're not using over level 3 of filter. We wish more saturation though.

Selfies from this phone can easily compete or beat with the best in its class out there!

In lowlight, shots are often soft, blurred, or grainy. Fortunately, the softlight flash is there to the rescue. It provides very good type of close to natural light which won't overexpose or burn out your selfies in the dark.

The moonlight flash is a HUGE plus!

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie test
Daylight selfie test
Indoor selfie w/ yellowish restaurant lighting
Indoor selfie w/ yellowish restaurant lighting
Night selfie w/ good lighting
Night selfie w/ good lighting
Softlight flash in action
Softlight flash in action

For videos, both shooter can shoot up to 1080p full HD in quality. They're about the same in color reproduction compared to stills. Both are shaky due to lack of EIS or OIS for stabilization. The selfie camera takes slightly better videos though.

Performance

Benchmark scores
Benchmark scores

Loaded with 
MT6750 octa core paired with 4 GB of RAM, the V5 performed in a way we expected. It is very snappy for casual users and good enough even for picky individuals. Then thanks to its LARGE 4 GB of RAM, multitasking is very enjoyable and buttery smooth on this phone. We barely experienced throttling and heating in the usual tasks we do.
Asphalt 8 settings
Asphalt 8 settings

For gaming, its Mali T860 graphics can handle casual games and even some heavy games like Asphalt 8 with ease. For heavier games like NBA 2K17, it lags in all high settings, but very playable on mostly medium settings.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS w/ FunTouch OS
Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS w/ FunTouch OS

Just like the Vivo Y55, the V5 loads with a heavily skinned and iOS inspired Android 6.0 OS w/ FunTouch skin on top. We liked that it is intuitive, easy to use, and feature packed. In example, it has smart wake options, many app shortcuts, multi screen view and screen recording. The i Manager app included is also very useful in keeping your phone fast all the time.


Its fingerprint scanner is also fast and accurate, has a lockable OTG option, gyroscope sensor for VR, good GSM signals, and stable 4G connectivity.


Connectivity-wise, we didn't have a problem at all with its GSM signals and 4G. WiFi is also great as I can still detect our WiFi even a meter outside of our house. It's Bluetooth 4.1 tech has speedier data transfers and doesn't consume much power. It also has gyroscope for VR (lower res quality due to its 720p screen) AR lovers and has OTG for easy file transfers / connection of other USB devices.

Pros - One of the best selfie camera around, manual camera is useful, speedy performance, audio quality is good, accurate fingerprint scanner

Cons - Build is plasticky, display could be better, speaker is grainy on max loudness, hybrid SIM slot only

Verdict

Easily, the Vivo V5 is one of the best midrange selfie phone in the country today. To excite your guys further, it is more than just that. This handset also a good all rounder for anyone who wants a capable handset in this price range. There are few things that it could improve, but on this budget for its main purpose, the V5 did a great job!

Build / Design - 4
Display - 4
Audio - 4.25
Battery - 4
Camera - 4
Performance - 4
Average - 4.04
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