Vivo X5Pro review: Looks impress, but pricing does not
Vivo is a Chinese smartphone maker that entered the Indian market back in December last year with the launch of the slim phone Vivo X5Max, which at just 4.75mm thick, was the slimmest phone then. There have been slimmer phones launched since, but Vivo has continued releasing more phones for the India smartphone users. This time around we got the Vivo X5Pro for review. Let us find out how it fared.
Build and Design: 8/10
One of the hallmark of Vivo phones has been the slim form factor. Since launching the X5 Max, the company has been releasing sleek phones. The Vivo X5Pro is no different. Measuring at just 6.44mm thick, the Vivo X5Pro comes with a metallic frame which is complemented by 2.5D curved glass on both sides, giving the phone an elegant appearance. It does resemble the iPhone 6 in some ways on both the hardware and on the software side (as we shall see later).
The frame has rounded metallic edges and the portion where the metal meets the glass is also bevelled. At the base surrounding microUSB port are two speaker grill sections and on the right hand edge, you have the volume rocker and power/standby button. Down below you have the hybrid dual SIM card slot. The 3.5mm audio jack is located on the top. The rear side has Vivo branding in the centre and there is the 13MP camera on the top left hand corner which is slightly raised from the plane of the phone. The metallic rim around the camera adds a nice touch.
The Vivo X5Pro feels good in the hand and weighs around 147 grams. Despite the glass surface on both sides, the phone isn’t slippery when held. Vivo also bundles in a translucent cover to add more protection to the phone. The rear cover is non removable.
The Vivo X5Pro comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC which has a 64-bit octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz which is paired with 2GB of RAM. There is 16GB of onboard storage which can be expanded to 128GB using a microSD card. You get a 5.2-inch full HD Super AMOLED display.
It comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop OS which is heavily customised thanks to the Funtouch OS from Vivo. As has become a norm now, the phone comes with a hybrid dual SIM configuration with support for 4G SIM cards as well. It supports 802.11n Wi-fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS. On the back you have a 13MP camera with an 8MP camera up front. The LED flash unit is not a two tone one as we have been seeing in a lot of phones off late. A 2,450mAh battery completes the picture.
Vivo X5Pro comes with Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and as we have seen with most Chinese phone markers, there is a heavily customised skin atop it called the Funtouch OS version 2.1. The resemblance of certain bits about the OS with Apple’s iOS is rather uncanny. For instance, swiping from the bottom brings up a three row menu in a layout similar to iOS. Some app icons such as Music look quite similar as well. When you open a folder you get a translucent background and so on.
Resemblances aside, the Funtouch OS does have some interesting features as well. The settings menu is neatly divided into colour coded section. The lowest blue coloured bunch of menus are more interesting as it offers a whole bunch of customisation features such as Smart Motion, Multi-task Window, One-handed use and so on.
Under Smart Motion, Smart wake lets you assign gestures to take certain actions which the phone is in sleep mode. You can switch on preset gestures or make your own one and assign it to an app. Air gestures let you wave your hand over the phone to either unlock it or view the notifications or time when your phone is resting on a table, by gently waving your hand over the phone – a gimmicky feature if you ask us. Then you have the Smart Light and Smart call options which let you activate or mute incoming calls. Multi-task Window is a floating window with option to open a video, play music, make notes or send a message from any screen. Screen capture lets you do customised screen shots as well as screen recordings along with voice recording. This is a great option if you want to trouble shoot for your friend.
A 5.2-inch full HD Super AMOLED display graces the Vivo X5Pro. The display is vibrant but not really oversaturated. Text appears sharp with the images having a slightly warm tinge. The black levels are good and watching movies and videos on the display is a pleasure. It is clearly one of the strong points of the device.
The Vivo X5Pro comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC paired with 2GB of RAM which has become a standard mid-range phone configuration. The Funtouch OS is smooth on most use cases but does stutter at times with some apps such as Chrome, native camera app and so on, which open after a definite lag. The keyboard also tends to slow down a bit at times when you are in the process of deleting chunks of text.
Call quality was good on most occasions with the earpiece speaker churning out a loud sound. The downward firing speakers are good enough to watch a video or listen to audio in a single room, but outdoors you need to use your headphones.
With casual games there was no issue but heavy games such as Dead Trigger 2, Modern Combat 5 need to be played with medium settings. The phone does heat up while gaming. But if you have the translucent cover on, you will not notice the heat as much. Barring the battery life, which we will talk about in a while, there weren’t many areas where the phone faltered much.
The Vivo X5Pro comes with a 13MP rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture and an 8MP front facing camera with an f/2.4 aperture. The rear camera has a 5-element lens and features phase detect AF. During daylight shooting the focus acquisition was quick enough but the low light focus capturing is not equally fast. Also in tricky lighting situations we noticed that the metering tends to go for a toss. HDR mode though present isn’t as impressive as we noticed that it tended to blow the highlights when you metered for the shadowy areas. The camera does feature a lot of options to play around with such as bokeh, filters, panorama, slow and fast video recording, voice commands, gender detection on the front camera and so on. While the camera delivers the goods in daylight and indoor shots, the same cannot be said of low light photographs as you will notice below. The video camera is good enough for casual video shooting and it can shoot up to full HD videos.
PS: Please click on the images to see the full resolution samples.
Battery life: 6/10
The Vivo X5Pro comes with a 2,450mAh Li-polymer battery that is not removable. Battery life on the Vivo X5Pro is disappointing. There were days when we struggled to go a full working day without reaching for the charger halfway through the day. Heavy users will find the battery losing juice even sooner.
For instance, on many working days, we started using the phone from 9AM with 100 per cent charge and by 4PM, the battery had already dipped below 10 per cent. Sure it has the Super saver mode which only gives you access to phone, messages, contacts and clock; but you surely don’t want to be using it in the middle of a day. PC Mark for Android gives a time of 7 hours 4 mins.
Verdict and Price in India
Vivo X5Pro is a wonderful device to look at, the resemblance to the iPhone notwithstanding. In terms of performance it is at par with most mid-range phones we have tested in the past. Some of the software touches are quite impressive as well.
But at Rs 27,980 the phone is over-priced for most buyers hunting for a handset in the mid-range segment. For the simple reason that at this price, the Vivo X5Pro is competing with a lot of phones with a higher specifications and feature set such as its Chinese peers such as OnePlus 2, Xiaomi Mi4 and the more recently launched Meizu MX5 – all of which cost under Rs 25,000.
Agreed, they may not sport as elegant a build as the Vivo X5Pro. But even on the basis of looks if someone is considering paying this kind of money, spending a bit more can get them the Samsung Galaxy A8, which is a much better phone in terms of features and performance as well as camera quality and most importantly battery life. So at Rs 27,980, it is difficult to recommend the X5Pro.