Vivo V5 Plus Review : All Hype or All Right?

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In the landscape of selfie-centric smartphones, Vivo was able to snag the crown with the launch of the 20-megapixel front cam equipped Vivo V5 just as 2016 was coming to an end. The Chinese company also teased the dual front camera equipped Vivo V5 Plus during the launch and, two months later, it’s finally time to take a closer look at V5 Plus to see if those dual front cameras and the hardware upgrade are worth its price tag. First, let’s look at its specs.

Specifications

  • 2.0 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • Adreno 506 GPU
  • 5.5-inch Full HD display; 1920×1080 resolution, 2.5D curved glass, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Protection
  • 64GB of storage
  • 16-megapixel rear camera, f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus, LED flash
  • 20-megapixel front camera with 8-megapixel secondary camera, f/2.0 aperture, Sony IMX376 sensor
  • 4G, LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 3160mAh battery with fast charging
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow

iPhone 7 Inspired Looks

In terms of its build and design, the V5 Plus gets the same treatment as the V5; a metal body with rounded corners and curved edges. While the Vivo V5 had thin, chrome antenna bands on its back, the Vivo V5 Plus looks a lot like the iPhone 7; down to the placement of the text to let you know that this phone was designed by the Chinese brand. Let’s take a tour around the device to check out its button placements.

On the right of the V5 Plus is the volume rocker and power button, and on the left side is the SIM tray. The bottom of the phone houses its 3.5mm jack, microUSB card, and lone speaker grille; the top of the phone is bare.

Finally! Full HD goodness!

The Vivo V5 and V5 Plus share the same sized screen but, thankfully, the V5 Plus gets a resolution upgrade to full HD; giving it a pixel density of 401 pixels per inch. While watching videos and general use on the V5’s 5.5-inch display was perfectly acceptable, our experience with V5 Plus was definitely more enjoyable. Colors have the same pop, but the details are crisper. It has decent viewing angles and sunlight legibility gets a pass but could be a bit better.

In terms of audio, the speaker pumps out a lot of volume with decent quality, but we do suggest that you keep it at about 75% just to keep things on the safe side. The V5 Plus is also equipped with a AK4376 Hi-Fi audio chip.

Plus Points for the Upgraded Internals

We’re happy to see Vivo move back to a Snapdragon SoC after choosing to go with MediaTek for the V5. Under the hood, the V5 Plus rocks a 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor. This is paired with 4GB of RAM, an Adreno 506 GPU, and 64GB of storage; all running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with an updated version of Vivo’s FunTouch UI. It’s a bit of a bummer that you can’t expand upon the V5 Plus’ storage, but 64GB is a lot to play around with.

Given its processing package, the V5 Plus is definitely snappier than its lower spec’d sibling and gets a 21.3k lead over the V5 on AnTuTu; 62273 on the V5 Plus against the V5’s 40906. It launches apps faster and in terms of gaming, we were able to run NBA 2K17 and Hitman Sniper without any major issues. There were a few tiny hiccups, but our experience with the V5 Plus definitely gets a thumbs up.

Smooth Bokeh for Your Selfies

Before we discuss the dual front cameras, let’s talk about the rear camera on the V5 Plus first.

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We’ve always been impressed by the rear shooters from Vivo. They provide clear, crisp images with decent colors and that certainly hasn’t changed with the V5 Plus. It gets a slightly higher megapixel count over the V5 but, honestly, it doesn’t make much of a difference if you’re mostly planning to share your photos on social media. Okay, now the good part. Let’s talk about the front cameras.

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The Vivo V5 Plus gets a 20-megapixel main front camera, accompanied by an 8-megapixel secondary camera. Just like any other smartphone equipped with dual cameras, the secondary camera is there to collect depth-of-field information. The camera has a f-stop of f/2.0 on paper, which is already pretty good, but the software simulates an aperture size of f/0.95; giving you really smooth bokeh that’s pretty convincing. You can also adjust the f-stop and focus points after taking your photo in Bokeh mode as well.

One thing we like about the V5 and the V5 Plus is what Vivo calls their “Selfie Softlight” that allows you take your selfies in less than ideal lighting conditions without the annoyance of a really harsh LED flash. You can also enable HDR on your front cameras too.

Battery to Last Through Long Days

The Vivo V5 Plus got a time of 8 hours and 32 minutes on PCMark’s Work 2.0 Battery Benchmarks and our real world test backs it up. On a full charge, we were able to go through a full day with more to spare when we got home. The 3160mAh does support fast charging, so if you do need a bit of a top up, 30 minutes of wall hugging before leaving you the office should give you enough juice to get through hellish EDSA traffic. The most we’ve gotten out of the battery was about a day and a half; that’s with our mobile data on for the greater part of the day, with us shooting a lot of photos, and catching a YouTube video here and there during downtime. Not bad at all.

The Verdict: Does It Take the Perfect Selfie?

Would we recommend the Vivo V5 Plus? Yes and no.

If you’re looking for a selfie-centric phone with a bit more oomph and the ability to blur the most annoying photobombers in your shot, then yes! The upgrade in the display, its processing package, and the dual front cameras definitely make it a compelling case for V5 Plus. Like we said, our experience with the Vivo V5 Plus merits a thumbs up; making the V5 Plus, that’s priced at Php 19,990 , worth a look for you next purchase.

So, why did we say no? Well, if you just want a phone that takes great selfies and is also a decent performer, we actually recommend just getting the Vivo V5. Without that secondary camera, the selfies from the V5 and the V5 Plus are identical; they have the same megapixel count, the same sensor, the same aperture size, and same lens system after all. If your purse strings are a little tight after the holidays, then the Vivo V5 should be more enough for you.

Either way, both phones can help you get the perfect selfie.

(unbox.ph, https://goo.gl/a6orSQ)

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