After the fairly decent attempt at a selfie centric smartphone with the V5, Vivo is continuing with the same category in a quick succession of time, with a rather premium V5 Plus. Priced at Rs.27,980, the V5 Plus faces tough competition from the likes of the OnePlus 3T and the iPhone SE. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, which is a good, but a considerably lower performing chip compared to the likes of SD 821. However, the selling point of this device lies in the new front facing camera or cameras to be correct. Donning a 20MP + 8MP camera setup at the front, the phone is aiming to be the best selfie experience available in the Indian market.

Front facing camera

On the V5, Vivo already had a 20MP front facing camera, but it wasn’t the best selfie cam we had seen at that time. On the V5 Plus, the company has chosen to add a secondary 8MP camera to the 20MP camera, which enables the phone to shoot better images in low light conditions, capturing more light and adding more details. The secondary 8MP camera on the front helps the phone to to take ‘Bokeh’ images of the subject. This means, you can get a good selfie with a cool defocused effect around you. That being said, colour reproduction is not true to source as the camera seems to whiten skin tones, even in normal selfie mode. You can get even more intense effects on-the-fly in the dedicated beauty mode. We like it, but whether you would like it or not, it’s totally up to you. Although, at the end of the day, the images are not the correct representation of

Rear camera

Vivo has also updated the rear camera with the Plus version of the V5, and it now features a 16MP rear sensor. While this seems like an upgrade on paper, it is not so in real life. The test images we shot with the rear camera during the day came out really good, the colour reproduction is accurate and the focus time is fairly decent. However, there is an observable lack of detail, which became more evident when we tried to pixel peep the image on an external display. Like on the V5, the sharpness is evidently lower than its competition and the camera algorithm tends to soften down the images to hide noise. The situation becomes almost dire in low light images as the images miss most of their details, and there is too much noise rendering the images unusable

Vivo V5 Plus specifications

The core specifications of the Vivo V5 Plus include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, which is good combination. However, we wouldn’t really call it impressive considering Xiaomi offers the exact same configuration at less than half this price.

In addition to this, the Vivo V5 Plus also features Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS and USB-OTG. There’s an AK4376 audio DAC for better sound quality. There’s no NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11ac or even FM radio. It’s a little unfortunate to not have the newer Type-C USB connector too. In terms of sensors, we have the usual suspects along with a gyroscope. The Vivo V5 Plus also supports 4G on both SIM slots along with VoLTE.

Display and UI

The Vivo V5 features a 5.5-inch display with a 1920 x 1080p resolution. There is nothing to complain about the display, as it is almost perfect. The viewing angles are good and the colour saturation is fairly decent. We recorded a max brightness of 410 lux at the centre of the display, which is just average. However, this does not affect the sunlight legibility as the phone is fairly visible under direct sunlight. The phone has thin bezels on both sides of the display, giving it better ergonomics than many other 5.5-inch devices. The 2.5D curved glass adds a touch of class to the whole design.

 

Battery

The battery pack on the Vivo V5 Plus also gets a slight bump over the V5. It uses a 3055 mAh battery, which copes well with the new processor and the phone churns out a workday worth of battery life without much hassle. We tested the phone with usual apps mentioned above, with constant and multiple IMs, video watching, and did indulge ourselves in half an hour gaming everyday. After all this, the phone only requires a charge in the night. Vivo is using a fast charging tech called Dual-engine quick Charging, but it still takes almost 2 hours to fully charge the device.

Performance

While the rear camera is not as good as it should be, the new SoC atleast plays its part well. The V5 Plus is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, which is paired with 4GB of RAM. The phone remains snappy as far as non-processor intensive apps are concerned. So, one can enjoy all the usual apps one would use on a smartphone, such as Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, YouTube, WhatsApp and more without much hassle. We even tried playing games such as Asphalt 8 on the phone while streaming music in the background and it works without any issues.

Verdict

The Vivo V5 Plus would have been a strong addition to the V-series if it had been priced at about Rs. 20,000, which is what we think is justified given this phone’s capabilities. However, at Rs. 27,980, it’s simply too expensive to pick over much better offerings like the OnePlus 3T or even the Honor 8 (Review). If you’re only after good selfies then you can go for the Oppo F1s or Vivo V5, both of which will do a very good job for much less money.

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