There is no doubt that Vivo is doing an exceptional job of selling their smartphones in India by whatever means necessary. Yes, literally Vivo is everywhere in the country. Be it shopping malls, or just a busy road where you look up, and there is a Vivo hoarding touting the Perfect Selfie taking capabilities of their smartphones. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that their smartphones are not good, and the company is purely relying on offline marketing for their business. Over the last couple of months, we have seen a ton of smartphone launches from Vivo. They launched the Vivo V5 smartphone which was soon followed by the Vivo V5 Plus variant. And now just about six months down the line, we have the new Vivo V5s smartphone.
So when you launch a bunch of these smartphones back to back, it is important to make sure that every time you are coming up with something that is better than the previous one. However, talking about the new Vivo V5s smartphone, it is hard to digest the fact that we have a new smartphone in just within six months from the launch of the Vivo V5. So we decided to take the Vivo V5s for a spin and see if this is actually good and is it worth upgrading to this smartphone if you already own one of the perfect selfie smartphones from Vivo.
If you are coming from the Vivo V5 smartphone, then getting introduced to the design of the Vivo V5s shouldn’t be a problem for you. It looks exactly the same for the most part. The Vivo V5s has a polycarbonate body which does of giving a fake metal look and feel while holding in your hands. The only noticeable difference which you will come across are the antenna bands. They now run across the top and bottom and makes a ‘U’ shape. This is very similar to the ones found on the iPhone 7 and the 7 Plus and in fact, even the Vivo V5 Plus had the same design for the antenna lines. At the back, there is nothing else but the camera sensor, LED Flash and the Vivo branding.
Coming to the front, we have the display and the fingerprint scanner at the bottom which is also a capacitive button. On the top of the front, we have the earpiece, front facing camera and a bunch of sensors. To the left side, we have nothing but the SIM tray which is a hybrid slot, and on the right, we have the volume rockers and the power button. Overall, there is nothing impressive about the design of this particular smartphone here, but it is indeed a well-built smartphone which has good ergonomics to fit nicely in hand.
Hardware & Performance
Again in terms of the hardware, we don’t have much of an improvement here with the Vivo V5s over the Vivo V5. We are looking at the same 5.5” display on the front with a resolution of 1280 x 720. Yes, this is one of the major disappointment which we have with the smartphone since an FHD display would have been nice to add to the overall value of the smartphone. Also, considering the fact that other competitions in the same price point are offering an FHD display like the Redmi Note 4, etc. this was the least that we could have asked for. Moving on from that, we have a 64-bit octave-core MediaTek MT6750 SoC powering this smartphone. It is coupled with Mali-T860MP2 for graphics processing.
The Vivo V5s comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage out of the box. Now, the storage is where we have an upgrade from the Vivo V5 as the V5 came with only 32GB of storage out of the box and here we have 64GB. However, in both the case, you can expand it via a microSD card anyway so it shouldn’t be a deciding factor to buy the smartphone after all. And in fact, this is the only difference that we have with the Vivo V5s and pretty much everything else about the smartphone in terms of its performance is identical to that of the Vivo V5. However, if you still need any details on the performance, we are leaving a bunch of benchmark results for you to take a look.
Software & Battery Life
The Vivo V5s runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow based FunTouch 3.0 OS. This is the company’s custom skin on top of the stock Android. Honestly, this is one of the most heaviest UI which we have seen on any Android smartphone till and we have used a lot of them. We have already pointed this out a number of times while using previous Vivo smartphones, but things don’t seem to have changed even a bit. It is customized to a point where it doesn’t even feel like you are using an Android phone anymore. It looks like iOS since most of the design is inspired by the iOS. The app icons, the control panel from the bottom and even the notification shade on top, everything about this UI screams iOS. Yes, if you fancy an iOS smartphone and can’t afford one, then this could be the best thing for you. But for other who are into stock Android should stay away from this.
But not everything about the UI is bad. Although it is heavily skinned, we do have some newly added features which would allow users to make the most out of your device. But the UI is not badly affecting the battery life as such and it is a good thing to know. The 3,000 mAh battery managed to keep up with our usage easily throughout the day. Even on the days when we tested it out hard by throwing in some benchmark tests, etc. the battery managed to keep up with the load.
Vivo has been focusing more on the camera side for its smartphones, and it is quite obvious as most of the previous launches are just selfies centric smartphones. Well, the Vivo V5s is no exception either. This is also a selfie-centric smartphone or it is safe to say that the camera is the unique selling point of this smartphone. At the back, the Vivo V5s has a 13MP camera, whereas, on the front, there is a 20MP front-facing selfie shooter for those perfect selfies. The front facing camera also has the company’s signature moonlight flash as well which we have been seeing in most of the recent Vivo smartphone. Talking about the front facing camera, it has all the tricks that you would expect it to have like the Beauty Mode which can make you look flawless at any given time.
Well, not a fan of beauty mode and want to show off your natural beauty, then you can wish to opt out of it as well and simply go for the regular images. Having said that, the selfies taken from this smartphone, be it with or without the beauty mode, are simply amazing. This is your best bet if you really want a selfie-centric smartphone. We already did a detailed comparison of the selfie camera of Vivo V5 and the Vivo V5s smartphone. You can check it out for a detailed analysis of the difference between both the selfie cameras and the devices as a whole.
Now, coming to the rear facing camera, as mentioned earlier, the Vivo V5s has a 13MP rear-facing camera. The camera is not exceptional, but it gets the job done. The photos which you capture from this smartphone has a lot of details, thanks to the 13MP sensor, there is a lot of details to play around with. Although few of the shots which we captured in the daylight came out a bit faded and dull in comparison to what you could get out of some other smartphone in and around the same price point. And coming to the low-light photos, even when you use the flash, the images will be grainy and overall, let’s just say that it is not really impressive in low-light. Below are some of the camera samples which we shot around, and they should give you a good idea on what exactly we saw talking about here.
At a price of 18,990 INR, it is really hard to recommend this smartphone to someone who is already using a Vivo V5 or the Vivo V5 Plus, etc. since you are not really getting anything new. The Vivo V5s comes with 64GB of internal storage which is only slightly more than the V5 and given the fact that both the devices do support an expandable storage, it shouldn’t be an issue after all. That said, if you are in the market to buy a selfie-centric smartphone now and if you are tight on the budget, then Vivo V5s and even the Vivo V5 are your best options. They both have really good selfie camera that works flawlessly and does exactly what they are supposed to do. There are a bunch of other options as well when it comes to selfie-centric smartphones at sub-20,000 INR price segment like the Oppo F1s, etc. and they are also worth considering.