How many photos of you are on your smartphone right now? If you just don't remember, we have yet another smartphone which is bound to catch your attention. Why? Because you love taking selfies, and this new device knows very well how to cash on it. Meet Vivo V5s, the third smartphone in the V5 range, after the more affordable Vivo V5 and the premium Vivo V5 Plus.
Chinese brands like Vivo, Oppo and Gionee have been successful in creating a niche in the Indian smartphone market for their mid-range handsets with top-of-the-line camera and music experience. With a price tag of Rs. 18,990, is the new Vivo V5s just another addition to the crowded segment of selfies-centric camera phones or, does it have that extra oomph to make for a worthy purchase?
Read on to find out in our review.
If you are familiar with Vivo V5 Plus, then you won't find the V5s aesthetically fresh as both these phones are almost identical. The handset's metal construction and matte-finish back give it a neat look, but design influences from Apple's iPhone are still quite apparent.
There are iPhone 7-like U-type antenna lines around the top and bottom edges of the phone while the physical buttons for volume and power are placed on the right. The SIM/microSD card tray is located on the left while the bottom houses a speaker grille, micro-USB port and 3.5mm audio socket. The rear side accommodates the camera module with flash and the Vivo logo in the top half of the panel.
The fingerprint sensor on the Vivo V5s is embedded in the home button, located below the display. While you can save up to five different impressions, the sensor doesn't lag when unlocking the phone.
The phone's 5.5-inch display HD (720x1280 pixels) IPS display is vivid and bright. But a full HD resolution would have added more charm as many other smartphones within the same price range offer that feature. Nevertheless, the display still looks vibrant, with features like brightness adaptation and an eye-protection mode making the overall experience satisfactory.
The Vivo V5s is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MT6750 processor, coupled with 4 GB of RAM, making the phone perform smoothly during the review period without any lag or app freezing. Navigation was also flawless while switching between multiple apps. Note that the MediaTek processor in question is the same that powered the Vivo V5 as well.
We also ran games like Smash Hit, Call of Duty: Heroes and Asphalt 8 on the Vivo V5s, and found that the phone doesn't heat up much except while playing games for a long time. We also tested a few videos and found that they played without any hassle while the sound quality from the speaker could have been better.
We were quite impressed with the 3,000 mAh non-removable battery, which can easily survive for over 24 hours on moderate usage. To test the battery life, we performed all the possible functions including making phone calls, using social media, watching movies, streaming YouTube videos and playing games throughout the day. And, by the end of the day, the phone still had around 20 percent of battery life remaining.
When it comes to storage, the Vivo V5s features 64 GB internal storage (expandable to 256 GB via a microSD card), which is double the in-house memory capacity of the V5. It's worth mentioning here that the increased onboard storage is one of a few tweaks that the V5s has over its predecessor.
The handset runs on FunTouch OS 3.0, which is a modified platform based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Anyone, who is familiar with iOS, would like to argue that the custom Android skin on the V5s feels more like an iPhone interface, rather than a tailored Android experience.
The 20 megapixel selfie camera on the front is undoubtedly the USP of the Vivo V5s that the company is banking on. The phone even sports an LED flash on the front, which Vivo likes to call the "moonlight flash." In addition to multiple filters, there's also an HDR mode and a Beauty Mode to help you capture the best selfie.
If you take selfies in broad daylight or under proper lighting conditions, you'll get impressive photos with great details and true colours. However, noise becomes obvious when you take selfies in low light conditions.
There is another interesting feature you'll love to use on your phone if you like to have your friends as part of your selfies. This is nothing but a panorama mode that lets you capture a group selfies by moving the phone sideways with the person in the middle being the centre of the frame.
The 13 megapixel rear camera, on the other hand, performs quite well in good light conditions, and when you hold it with a tight grip. Yes, your hands really need to be stable to capture a clear image.
Here're some sample photographs, including an awkward selfie, captured with the Vivo V5s:
There is no doubt that the Vivo V5s packs enough firepower to be a commendable flagship mid-range device. With its impressive general performance, decent battery life and spectacular camera quality, the phone is indeed worth buying, especially if you are really obsessed with selfies.
The Vivo V5s, however, compromises on display quality by sporting a 720p HD display. The phone does lose a bit of competitive edge in this regard as there are some less expensive smartphones that offer full-HD displays.
So, should you buy it? The answer once again boils down to your preference for the quality of photos (selfies, to be precise) you take.
Go for it, if you think your self portraits matter a lot over anything else. Otherwise, there are many better deals in the sub-Rs. 20,000 segment, including the Oppo F1 and the Gionee A1.