By Charlemagne Losaria
The race for the best selfie smartphone is on and for the budget-conscious crowd, the relatively newcomer Vivo is on their radar. Vivo is a China-based company which has been in the Philippine market for about two years now.
Here is our review of their budget selfie smartphone, the Vivo V5 Lite.
What’s in the box
• Unit with pre-installed screen protector
• Jelly case
• USB cable
• SIM eject pin
• Manuals and leaflets
Build and design
The V5 Lite’s design is all too familiar. For the untrained eye, the Vivo V5 Lite can pass as the iPhone 6 Plus.
Both the front and the back of the phone borrowed its design from the Apple phone but is immediately given away by the non-lit capacitive keys and the Vivo logo at the back. Even the placement of antenna band is fairly similar.
The front panel is protected by a 2.5D curve glass and houses the 16MP camera, an LED flash, LED notifications, ambient sensor, and earpiece.
The back part is metal built and features the Vivo logo, the 13MP rear camera with a single LED flash.
The right edge houses the tactile volume buttons and power button. The left edge is where you can find the hybrid dual SIM slot. The bottom edge houses the single speaker, mic, USB 2.0 port, and the 3.5mm headset port. The top edge is devoid of any port or buttons.
The V5 Lite is a slim device measuring at 7.6mm and is somewhat light at 155g.
The Vivo V5 Lite sports a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with a screen resolution of 720×1280 pixels with a 268 dpi. Personally, I find the display of the V5 Lite as one of its strongest aspects, especially when you consider its price.
The display is bright and the colors are natural, yet the icons are rendered punchy. It also has a respectable viewing angle and I would say one of the best displays on a budget phone.
What drives the V5 Lite is a combination of an 8-core Mediatek MT6750 CPU clocked at 1.51 GHz paired with 3GB worth of RAM.
For its GPU, it sports a Mali-T860. For its internal storage, it has built-in 32GB of space but can be expanded further via a micro-SD card. It is said to support up-to 128GB.
Using the V5 Lite for two weeks as a personal driver, I can say that the phone is truly capable of meeting the demands of a power user without having to burn a hole in your pocket.
Performance-demanding apps like Facebook and Instagram ran without noticeable lags. For normal day-to-day operations, the V5 Lite is truly commendable, especially considering its price tag.
The HD games I tested against the V5 Lite included Asphalt Extreme and Mobile Legends. I was quite happy with the V5 Lite’s performance on the game titles. I was able to run the games without any noticeable frame drops on gameplay.
However, the V5 Lite struggled against NBA 2K17, another popular game title among mobile gamers. Even adjusting the settings to ultra low, the gameplay was sluggish. Truth be told, NBA2K has been somewhat a barometer among mobile gamers whether to buy a phone or not.
The V5 Lite has a 16 MP front snapper and slightly lower 13 MP rear camera, making it a selfie-centric phone. The 16MP front camera captures well-exposed photos even in low-lit environment.
It has a Face Beauty mode which allows you to adjust the skin tone and whitens the skin. It also supports multiple filters. Other modes supported include front-facing panorama mode, and front video selfies.
Flipping it over and we have the 13MP camera capable of taking good photos. It also supports professional or manual mode which allows you to adjust the exposure value (EV), ISO (up-to 1600), shutter speed (up-to 16 seconds).
I must say I was impressed with the inclusion of the manual mode given the price point. Some more expensive medium range phones won’t even offer this feature and its quite baffling given Vivo, Xiaomi, and Oppo are able to do it with their sub-10K peso mid-rangers.
Other modes supported include Slow Motion video, Time Lapse, Night Mode, Panorama mode, and also Face Beauty. Below are sample shots taken from both the front and rear camera of the V5 Lite.
Vivo has its own Android skin called FunTouch OS, and as you may have guessed it, it’s loosely inspired by Apple’s iOS. Xiaomi doesn’t even come close to Vivo’s FunTouch OS with its also iOS-inspired MIUI.
From icons to the overall experience, FunTouch OS feels like iOS. For those who want to switch to Android from iOS, this can be your gateway to Android. Enjoy the style and simplicity of iOS while also enjoying the “openness” of Android has to offer.
Below are screenshots of the Marshmallow 6.0-based FunTouch UI.
The V5 Lite is powered by a 3000 mAh internal battery which can last you a day of normal use. You can prolong the battery life further by turning off some unused features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, A-GPS, and switching back to 2G or 3G from 4G LTE.
• Well-built device
• Good display for a sub-10K peso device
• Cameras both rear and back take good photos
• Sound output quality is commendable
• No fingerprint scanner
• Copied the iPhone too much, both in physical design and interface
• Uninspired generic design