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vivo V5: Hands on and first impressions

With a 20MP front camera and a good-looking metal body, and the fact that the V5 is available in physical retail stores across the country, unlike a lot of its competition, vivo might be on something interesting.

Published onNovember 15, 2016


Earlier today, vivo announced the launch of their mid-range flagship device in India. The vivo V5 packs in an unprecedented 20MP front camera and wraps it with mid-level internals in a stylish metallic chassis.

vivo V5 Specifications

  • Operating System: Android 6.0 Marshmallow with Funtouch OS 2.6
  • Display: 13.97cm (5.5-inch) HD (1280 x 720) | 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Processor: 1.5GHz octa-core 64-bit MediaTek MT6750
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Internal Storage: 32GB; expandable up to 128GB with microSD card
  • Camera: 20MP rear camera | 13MP front camera
  • Dimensions: 153.8 x 75.5 x 7.55mm
  • Weight: 154g
  • Battery: 3000mAh



The vivo V5 looks like a regular slab of metal – the unibody design that we see too often, and yet it does not look bad. The metallic construction with a matte finish at the back and an engraved vivo logo gives it a premium look, but of course, it does not stand out. It’s slim, and the curved edges makes it quite ergonomic to grip in the hand.

The 5.5-inch display with Corning Gorilla Glass protection is brilliant. It’s bright and vivid, the viewing angles are great, and it impresses, even though it is a tad reflective and struggles in bright outdoors.


The joy of the nice display is, however, short-lived as you realize it’s only an HD display, quite a disappointment for a phone at this price. Unless you look close enough, the 294ppi display does not look pixelated, but it’s a definite mishit on the specifications sheet.

Despite the protection on the glass, the out-of-the-box unit comes with a tempered glass protector applied on it that I took off as soon as I could. There’s also a silicone back cover bundled in the box.


Powered by the 1.5GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6750 chipset with Mali 860 GPU, the V5 makes up for the mid-level processor with a generous 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.

In the little time I spent with the device, the phone performed okay with no apparent lags even during multi-tasking. Of course, that could change as we install and use more apps, and try out those graphic-intensive games.

The V5 also packs in the custom built AK4376 Hi-Fi audio chipset that promises an immersive audio experience by giving a signal-to-noise ratio of up to 115dB. It’s loud, and not rash, in the couple of songs I heard on it during my time with the device.


The fingerprint scanner is placed below the display on the front of the device (doubles up as the home button), and unlocks the device in quick time without any issues each time.

The phone boasts of a 3000mAh non-removable battery. It’s good enough, but there’s no fast charging, yet the box includes a 5V/2A charger. Also, the phone includes microUSB port for charging the device, while I would prefer USB Type-C on all smartphones going forward.

I’d expect better battery performance with an HD display instead of Full HD, but we’ll know better only when we test the phone for a longer period of time.


Out of the box, the vivo V5 comes with the company’s proprietary Funtouch OS 2.6 running on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Like is the case with most custom Android implementations, there is no app drawer here, but is otherwise a straightforward and plain, vanilla UI.



Of course, the highlight of the vivo V5 is the 20MP front camera with Moonlight Glow technology for better selfies. The few selfies I clicked gave mixed results. Some were pretty good and seemed to validate company’s tall claims of balanced illumination and no noise, but few ended up being too over exposed for my liking.

The 13-megapixel rear camera performed quite okay in daylight, but indoors or in poor light conditions, the noise was very apparent. Of course, these observations are from a limited photos I clicked without being specific of test shots and ambient scenes.



If you take out the front camera from the equation (for those who’re still not in on the selfie craze), the vivo V5 is a tad uninspiring smartphone. However, with that marquee feature and good-looking metal body, and the fact that the V5 is available in physical retail stores across the country, unlike a lot of its competition, the company might be on something interesting.

The vivo V5 is priced at ₹17,980 ($265) in India, and goes on sale on November 26. Let us know your initial thoughts about the phone with ‘Moonlight Camera’ in the comments below.

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