Vivo V5 is all about the selfies, and you can tell it right away by a quick inspection on its specs sheet. It has a lower-res screen, a mediocre chipset, and an uninspiring main camera. Its popularity in recent months however spiked surprisingly high and that left us curious wherether there might be more than the spec sheet alone suggests.
The Vivo V5 Plus, which we reviewed recently, is a model, which is positioned higher in the food chain. It may not have been particularly original in its design choices (read: it’s almost an iPhone clone), but at least it had quite the decent chipset and a dual front camera setup, which produced selfies with great-looking artificial bokeh – something of an industry first if you ask us.
The lower-priced V5, however, has lost that selfie superpower, but has kept a single 20MP selfie camera and the fill-light for those advertised “moonlight” selfies.
vivo V5 key features
- Body: Plastic unibody; 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass front
- Screen: 5.5-inch IPS LCD of 720 x 1,280 resolution; 267ppi;
- Chipset: MT6750 chipset; octa-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU; Mali-T860MP2 GPU;
- Memory: 4GB RAM; 32GB of built-in memory; microSD card slot;
- Camera: 13MP rear camera; f/2.2 lens; phase-detect AF; single LED flash; 1080p video
- Selfie cam: 20MP front camera; f/2.0 lens; single LED flash
- OS: Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, Funtouch OS 2.6 on top
- Battery: 3,000mAh battery
- Connectivity: Dual nano SIM slots (hybrid); Cat. 6 LTE support; 802.11 a/g/b/n; Bluetooth 4.0; GPS; FM radio
- Misc: Home button with fingerprint scanner
- Low-end chipset
- 720p resolution is a bit of a stretch on a 5.5″ screen
- Hybrid Dual SIM/microSD card slot limits options
- No NFC and no fast charging
There are already a few clear warning signs on the Vivo V5 spec sheet. The Mediatek MT6750 is a feeble chip worthy mostly for entry-level smartphones, but vivo has put it on a $270 device. It doesn’t even support 1080p screens, which may explain why vivo has gone for the 720p panel despite that they are stretching it a bit too thin over the otherwise ample 5.5-inch sized display.
There is no fast charging, not even a microSD slot. There is also no NFC, but that’s the least of your concerns.
The V5 has a few attractive features, which may help it save face – the 20MP selfie camera, its fill-light, the 4 gigabytes of RAM, and the promising fingerprint scanner. Oh, and there is an FM radio, probably onboard because of the dated chipset, so there is that.
We called the vivo V5 Plus an iPhone impersonator, and if you thought the company might have come up with some original design for the regular V5 – you’d be wrong. While it no longer takes its cues from the Cupertino’s flagship, it recycles the already overused forms by Oppo and vivo.
You may recall Oppo, vivo, OnePlus, and imoo are part of the BBK corporation, and this could easily explain the blatant V5 similarities with the Oppo F1s, the Oppo A57, and the in-house vivo X7 and vivo Y67, among others.
Now that we’ve established the vivo V5 won’t shine with any design innovations, we can move on to all the positive impressions from the phone.
For starters, the V5 looks like it’s made of metal, but a very close inspection and some tests involving a coin and some knocking led us to believe it’s actually plastic. Vivo has put some effort into making it look and feel premium when it comes to exterior and touch, so we are giving it credit for that.
The entire front is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass with beveled 2.5D edges. vivo didn’t specify the exact Gorilla Glass revision used here. There is a beautiful silver line emphasizing on the border between the screen and the rear panel. Similar silver strips cover the antenna bands at the back and win some extra points for good looks.
The V5 round corners and oval frame may not be the perfect shape for a secure grip, but if vivo was a house in Hogwarts, the points for those good looks should have already made Slytherin’s faces turn green with envy.
Handling the V5 is a nice experience – the phone feels solid and well built. One-hand operations are possible, but not enough for some common tasks. There is a software feature that shrinks the interface to manageable dimensions, so vivo has thought of that and has provided a solution.
The battery inside the vivo V5 packs 3,000mAh worth of juice. The Redmi Note 4 has 1,000mAh more, while the vivo V5 Plus only makes do with 3,160mAh.
The V5 ships with a rather standard 5V/2A plug and it fills up 25% of the battery capacity in 30 minutes. You get 50% in 55 mins and a full charge in 2 hours and 20 mins.
The V5 is a dual SIM device and it accepts one nano and one microSIM card. Only one card at a time can connect to a 4G network, but the other one can meanwhile be on 3G too – it’s not limited to just 2G connectivity. Alternatively, you can have both cards connected to a 3G network.
Vivo itself doesn’t detail what category LTE the phone supports, but MediaTek’s specs page for the MT6750 says Cat.6 downlink (300Mbps theoretical maximum).
There is dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n with Wi-Fi Direct and hotspot support, Bluetooth 4.0, and GPS, GLONASS, and BDS for positioning. An FM radio is on board, too, but there is no NFC support.
A microUSB 2.0 port is used for charging and attaching peripherals (OTG needs to be enabled in settings), and there’s a good old 3.5mm headphone jack.