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Vivo V5 Lite Review - The Selfie Machine Under 10K!

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Previously, we mentioned that the new Vivo V5 Lite is shaping up as a serious contender in the extra affordable selfie phone war here in the Philippines. Why? Even if it is the most affordable sibling from the V5 family, this device nearly has all the right ingredients for the perfect selfie dish. It has a bright 16 MP f/2.0 selfie camera w/ softlight flash paired with okay overall specs for the price.
Vivo V5 Lite Review - Selfie Machine Under 10K!
Here's our Vivo V5 Lite review!

Now, have a look at this review and check-out if it is the right selfie phone in the sub PHP 10K price range for you!


Display Quality

Decent 5.5 inch HD screen
Decent 5.5 inch HD screen

Like the regular Vivo V5, the V5 Lite is also equipped with the same large enough 5.5 inch screen w/ 720p HD resolution at 267 pixels per inch. Sharpness are fine, but don't expect it to be as crisp against full HD panels.

Watching HD videos or viewing your phones is mostly good!

Color tones are okay w/ slightly blueish whites. Contrast levels are great, saturation is fine, and blacks are okay. Of course, it won't have the same color pop and deepness of blacks compared with the richer and higher-end AMOLED panels. Viewing angles are acceptable and has good brightness.
10 points of touch, again!

It would have been better if Vivo loaded with a full HD panel, but at this price point and that specs, we won't complain that much. The global eye protection is useful and auto brightness works. Plus, with 10 points of touch, typing and swiping is enjoyable.

Audio Quality

The single speaker below
The single speaker below

The speaker quality of the V5 Lite is decent. It's flat-sounding, engaging, and has just enough clarity to keep most of the sound spectrum audible. The bass is surprisingly present nice tightness and acceptable speed of punch. Just don't expect it to produce heart thumping sub-bass and you'll be fine. Loudness is great for a single speaker too, but grains, distortion, and not-that-good airiness would be present.

For headphones, among all the V-series phones of Vivo, the V5 Lite is the only one we know that doesn't have a dedicated HiFi DAC or amp. It might be a concern for their recent target audience who loves both music and cameras.

Vivo's audio tuning is on point even with the lack of dedicated HiFi chip!

Fortunately, even without the HiFi chip, Vivo's tuning on limited hardware isn't half-baked. The V5 Lite is actually a decent audio player which can drive even some of my source picky in-ear monitors and earbuds.

It just has that slightly bassier and warmer presentation (more on the v-shape side), but the clarity of mids and the rest of the audio spectrum is still okay (not the best though) and it is capable of producing energetic tunes. We were even surprised that it was able to produce some micro-details and even decay.

As a matter of fact, not picky listeners might even be impressed with the extra hump in bass and sub-bass reproduction. However, it won't be just as HiFi compared with the likes of V3, V5, and V5 Plus.

Microphone quality is fine, but don't expect it to perform like other handsets with noise-cancelling or multiple microphone setup. It is acceptable for calls, but it doesn't capture much details for video recordings. Background noise is present as well. Good enough for recording voices on noise-controlled environments

Battery Life

Better than expected battery score!
Better than expected battery score!

With ample 3,000 mAh of battery, the V5 Lite has enough juice to keep your phone running on average usage for an entire day of use.

In our battery test, the handset clocked a decent score of over 10 hours of work battery life. In our actual usage loading social media apps, doing basic phone task, and playing 3D games occasionally, the handset was able to last from 9 am to 7 pm. For straight watching movies, we recorded a little more than 5 hours of use.

Apart from its sufficient battery performance, the V5 Lite comes with a battery saving feature to further lengthen its use on a single charge.

Charging time using the 1A USB charger is slow though. You'll need a tad over 3 hours from 0 to 100 percent.


Camera

The 13 MP camera at the back
The 13 MP camera at the back

Like most Vivo devices, this brand highlights that they have great cameras for the price. On this device, it has a 13 MP f/2.2 lens w/ AF and LED flash at the back. It has an intuitive camera interface ala iPhone w/ several filters, face beauty, and different useful modes.
The modes included
The modes included

One of my favorites there is the auto-HDR function where it automatically detects if your subject needs the power of HDR or not. It also has several modes like the night, ultra hd, powerpoint, and professional modes.
The pro mode
The pro mode

The pro mode has adjustments exposure, ISO (up to 1600), shutter speed (up to 16 seconds), white balance (2300K to 7000K), and manual focus. Those settings should be enough for photographers to play-around and tune photos the way they want it to look. Plus, it is easy to use.

Focusing is also quick (for the price) even with the lack of PDAF focus listed on the spec-sheet. It usually needs less than a second to capture images in well-lit places. For lowlight, steady hands and patience is required as it'll understandably shoot slower. Close-up shots are possible around 3 inches near too. It won't just produce DSLR-like background blurs.

Going to the picture quality, it is great to use in well lit or daylight environments where it produced close to accurate colors w/ good details and decent dynamic range. HDR mode on against the light shots works, but it'll overexpose your stills on bright conditions.

Lowlight stills are grainy and lacks in details, but fortunately, there's night mode and auto mode to fix it. The flash could be useful at times as well.

Rear Camera Samples

Auto vs HDR mode
Auto vs HDR mode
Auto-HDR mode
Auto-HDR mode
Close-up test 1
Close-up test 1
Close-up test 2 w/ better background blur
Close-up test 2 w/ better background blur
Grainy night shot
Grainy night shot
The manual mode works better in lowlight
The manual mode works better in lowlight
Use the flash when needed
Use the flash when needed

Unlike most phones, the highlight of the V5 Lite lies in its 16 MP f/2.0 w/ AF and softlight flash selfie camera, it's arguably the largest megapixel size on any handset in the sub PHP 10K region as of this writing.
The selfie camera modes
The selfie camera modes

It comes in several modes like different types of filters, multi levels of face beauty (buffing, skin tone, whitening), and auto-HDR mode.

For the quality of stills, the V5 Lite is very impressive for a selfie camera. Shooting speed and focus quite quick (on well lit conditions) where you rarely miss your shot. Sharpness is also on point where it can perform as good or better than most main cameras out there. Against the OPPO F1s and Vivo V5, they're still more detailed, but this device doesn't lag that much considering the much lower price.

The V5 Lite has the biggest selfie camera megapixel under PHP 10K!

Colors are mostly okay and close to natural looking too on most conditions. On very bright light, it tends to overexpose images though.

In lowlight, the performance is okay (for a selfie cam), but expect it to be grainy and have less details. Use the softlight flash to provide close to natural type of light to make you visible (great) even in the dark.

Selfie Camera Samples

Natural light selfie
Natural light selfie
Blown-out background
Blown-out background
Very good indoor selfie
Very good indoor selfie
Beautify mode
Beautify mode
Softlight flash in lowlight
Softlight flash in lowlight

For videos, both shooters can record up to 1080p in quality. The main camera has decent colors, but has very shaky performance when handheld. The selfie camera has a better performance with less shakes. Time-lapse and slow motion modes may also be used for creatives.

Video Samples


Performance

The benchmark scores
The benchmark scores

The other aspect that made this Lite edition of the V5 special is due to its great specs for the price ratio. It has the same chipset (MT6750 w/ Mali T860 GPU) found with the higher-end V5 and only has 1 GB less RAM at 3 GB. Benchmark scores are just lower than the regular V5.

As a result, we hardly felt its difference against V5 except when we loads of apps or heavier type of games. It is snappy for casual social media use, multitasking is okay, and this device has nice thermal management too.

For gaming, it loads light games with ease. Some heavy 3D games like the Asphalt 8 are playable on all high settings too. More demanding games like NBA 2K17 needs some tweaks on the graphics settings to run smoothly though.
Custom iOS-like Android skin!
Custom iOS-like Android skin!

For the software, the FunTouch skin on Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS is heavily inspired by the iOS. The good thing is it is intuitive and feature packed. We like the fact that it has a nice phone manager, theme changer, and different gestures.

It just doesn't have a fingerprint scanner for added security like most sub-10K phones today. Telephony is great, regular LTE is stable (signal based), Bluetooth works, GPS is decent, and it has USB OTG support. Gyroscope is also present where you can test it for AR. It worked fine for Pokemon GO.

Pros - Good specs and performance for the price, decent battery life, good main camera, great selfie camera w/ softlight flash
Cons - Construction could be better, charging time isn't fast, main camera is shaky for videos, no fingerprint scanner, Android keys have no light

Verdict

Being "Lite" will always have compromises, but Vivo managed to keep it minimal for the V5 Lite. It's far from perfect, but this device is the best selfie-centric smartphone in its class yet. Apart from that, this has is also a solid all around performer. Even with its few flaws, this phone is a major threat to most sub PHP 10K phone today. It's that good!

Build / Design - 3.75
Display - 4
Audio - 4
Battery - 4
Camera - 4
Performance - 4
Average - 3.95 / 5
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