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If you’re up for a phone that’s an ace at taking selfies, the Vivo V5 might just be right up your alley.

The V5 is an altogether decent phone with one standout feature: it’s got a whopper of a front camera, a 20MP stunner that’s been crafted to appeal to the selfie-obsessed. Does this powerful and smooth front camera give the V5 enough bang for the buck to help it stand out in an increasingly crowded and competitive field?

Read our review right now to find out!

Clean as a whistle

The Vivo V5 might surprise many people who think that a camera phone mounting a camera like this should be flaunting its capabilities – showing itself off, even. The V5 does just the opposite, as a matter of fact – it’s so simply and cleanly styled that it runs the risk of being categorized as “just another phone,” unless you already know what you’re looking at and/or know your smartphones very well.

The V5’s 5.5in HD 720p display is protected by Gorilla Glass and takes pride of place up front. It’s nice and bright and the color saturation seems just right. The phone’s side bezels are appreciably thin, and its gently curved sides taper off and make those bezels seem even slimmer than they actually are. A fast and accurate fingerprint reader (which, by the way, can be used to lock apps) and two capacitive buttons round out the front of the phone.

Turn the V5 around and you’ll see that its clean and simple styling continues to the rear, too. The eye is drawn to the Vivo logo, located about two-thirds of the way up the rear of its matte-finish body. Two tastefully thin chrome strips add a welcome dash of brightness up top and down below. And the camera and its flash module are located up top.

That rear camera is no slouch – 13MP augmented with phase detection autofocus, a technology used in DSLR cameras that makes use of light entering the camera lens to determine which particular object to focus on. This technology has been used in top-of-the-line phones before, including those by Apple and Samsung, to help ensure great photos.

Flip the phone on its back to reveal its underparts and you’ll see that it mounts a microUSB port and not a USB Type-C port. Depending on your inclinations (and on what cables you have or how much you’re willing to spend, of course), this is either an irritant or no great shakes. The phone also has a dual-SIM tray, the second slot of which can also accommodate microSD cards.

The V5 isn’t tremendously heavy, at just 154 grams; it’s less than 8mm thick, making it a cinch to stow and tote. And it and finish-wise, the V5 seems to be at par with most of the best phones in its price range and size class – it’s a relatively lightweight and very pocketable phone that feels decently sturdy and sits well in the hand.

Super selfie-phone

The Vivo V5 is a true standout by dint of the sheer “megapixel-tonnage,” if you will, of its 20MP front cam – how often does one see phones nowadays mounting more powerful front cameras than rear ones?

Said camera, says the company, rocks a 5P lens system that helps make sure users can easily snap great-looking selfies. It also boasts a Sony IMX376 sensor, a f/2.0 aperture, and a fixed-focus lens.

This powerful camera is brisk and lag-free, and takes impressive shots, most especially of people, places and things lit naturally. The camera also offers users the ability to shoot impressive wide-angle pictures, too.

Users can revel in the front camera’s range of special features, like the Face Beauty shooting mode that judiciously applies filters to edit out blemishes (users can determine just how ‘intense’ the filter can be – it can be set from 0 to 100).

Peek under the hood

The Vivo V5 runs MediaTek’s 64-bit octa-core MT6750 SoC processor. This, along with the phone’s 4GB of RAM, makes the phone decently peppy and gives it the capability to handle a full range of tasks, from very easy ones like social media posting to tougher ones like gaming. App loading times are quite short too – no need to fret while your app of choice loads.

And when said app is up and running, the V5 still impresses. Not once did our test phone lag when we put it through its paces; it readily and easily took on whatever we asked it to do with no fuss (although it did get a tiny bit warm during the most intensive tasks, like heavy gaming).

The V5’s battery is all of 3000mAh and, thanks to the phone’s power-sipping 720p display, it lasts quite a while – light to moderate usage allowed us to stretch its battery life to nearly one entire day.

Fans of high-fi audio might be interested to learn that Vivo integrated a hi-fi audio chip – namely the AK4376 audio chip custom made by the company – into the V5. The sound’s not spectacular, but it’s quite a bit better than you might expect it to be, and this should serve as a very pleasant surprise to first-time users.

The V5 runs the company’s Funtouch OS, which is something of an extensive redesign of Android Marshmallow. It offers a clean interface and proves easy enough to navigate and use. The V5 has 32GB of internal storage, approximately 22GB of which is available for users’ files and apps.

The bottom line

Check out the Vivo V5 if you’re in the market for an great-value, good-looking phone that’s got one great camera for snapping selfies with. As a matter of fact, the rest of it is far from chopped liver – it’s good enough that even those who aren’t selfie lovers will find a lot to like about the phone as a whole.

 

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