Vivo V5s first impressions: Still a solid selfie smartphone, but it's not much of an upgrade

The Vivo V5s comes in as a successor to the V5, but is it a worthy one? Here is a quick first look at the new offering.

Vivo is keeping its selfie game up and is doing well in India. After launching the V5 and V5 Plus selfie smartphones, it struck a deal with IPL, creating an even stronger presence in the country.

The Chinese smartphone maker today launched a bumped up version of the V5 called the V5s, which retails at Rs 18,990. The successor comes with more storage and redesigned antenna bands, and a new matte black colour variant. I used the handset for a bit at the launch event and here is what I think.

Build and design

Not much has changed from the V5. The new V5s comes with a similar 5.5-inch display and faux-metal back. Vivo has, however, gone for iPhone 7 like antenna lines, which are now around the top and bottom edges rather than running across the back panel. I also got a chance to check out the matte black variant, which looks pretty good and will probably be more in demand.

Vivo V5s first impressions: Still a solid selfie smartphone, but its not much of an upgrade

Apart from that, there are no other changes. The dimensions and the overall feel of the handset is similar to the V5. As I mentioned above, the back panel is faux-metal, but still gives a nice, high-quality finish. At the front there is a 2.5D curved glass covering the display, a capacitive home button with a fingerprint scanner embedded inside. Above the display is the front camera, a couple of sensors and the front LED flash.

vivo-v5s-2

The volume and power buttons are placed on the right edge while the microUSB port, headphone jack and loudspeaker are placed at the bottom. The SIM tray is placed on the left edge.

It is a typical 5.5-inch handset and I think Vivo could have put a bit a more effort on improving the design.

vivo-v5s-3

Display

It was speculated that the bumped up version will get a Full HD resolution (1920x1080) display, but the company has used the same as the predecessor. The 5.5-inch IPS LCD panel has a 1280x720 pixel resolution, which is a bummer. The display doesn't look all that bad, but a good 1080p display equipped smartphone today is easily available for less than Rs 15,000.

Colors look good, but overall sharpness and pixel density (267 ppi) don't seem as good as what I saw on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 or even the Moto G5 Plus.

Chipset, storage and RAM

There is no change on the chipset either, so you get the same MediaTek MT6750 SoC which has an octa-core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz paired to a Mali-T860MP2 GPU. There is also 4 GB of RAM to handle multitasking. The storage has been increased from 32 GB to 64 GB and you still get an option of expanding the storage further using a microSD card of up to 256 GB in size. Considering the performance on the V5, I am assuming that the hardware will be good for everyday usage.

OS and software

New Android smartphones have now started coming with Android Nougat, however, the V5s still comes with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. This device comes with Vivo's FunTouch 3.0 UI. Just like previous versions, it is highly inspired from iOS with the quick toggles and settings at the bottom rather than the top. The UI also comes with themes including an IPL one. There are also a bunch of pre-loaded apps on the handset as well. The OS felt smooth to me and didn't lag, of course that's only from a fresh unit.

Camera

There has been no change in the camera department. The V5s gets a 13 MP rear camera with an LED flash and phase detection auto-focus. At the front there is a 20 MP selfie camera with a soft LED flash. The quality and performance of the both the cameras are the same as on the V5. Selfies look really good, but processed. You can tinker with the settings to make your face clearer and brighter. Vivo hasn't mentioned any updates on the software side either. For an in-depth analysis of the camera check out the V5 review here.

Battery and connectivity

The battery on the V5s retains the same rating of 3,000 mAh with support for fast charging. With that 720p display it offered a really good backup on the V5. If Vivo hasn't done any changes, then the phone should last all day.

As for connectivity you get the usual, 4G LTE support with dual-SIM cards, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.0, GPS, OTG support, microUSB 2.0 and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

Conclusion

The Vivo V5 was a good device. It offered a good battery life as well. The company has only added more storage and made minor changes in the design for the V5s. It doesn't make sense to upgrade as everything else is the same. At Rs 18,990 it is a bit expensive. I think the Gionee A1 which priced Rs 19,990 is also a really good option if you are looking for a solid selfie smartphone which doesn't compromise on battery and performance.

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