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Vivo V5s: An iPhone lookalike that justifies its 'selfie king' label

Apart from a few misses like absence of a full-HD display and weak OS, the smartphone is a good buy

Pratyush Raj  |  New Delhi 

Vivo V5s: An iPhone lookalike that justifies its 'selfie king' label

Taking its so-called ‘selfie revolution’ a notch higher, Chinese smartphone maker recently launched in its V5s smartphone, which sports a 20-megapixel front and 13MP rear one.

With India’s smartphone penetration maturing and demand for high-end devices at competitive prices continuing to grow in the country, Vivo, which has a strong offline presence, has been investing substantially in the domestic market.

In its V5 and V5 Plus devices, the company differentiated itself by introducing the ‘Moonlight Glow’ feature, challenging its closest Chinese rivals like Oppo and Gionee in the selfie-focused smartphone market.

After using the device for about a week, Business Standard evaluates if the phone is truly capable of belting out some really good selfies, and if the V5S justifies its Rs 18,990 price tag.


The phone has a neat look and an apparent influence of the design. Among truly good features is the fingerprint sensor on the front, below the display which works just like Apple's Touch ID on to unlock the device in a jiffy.

The device runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but it is a modified version called Funtouch OS.

Apart from being an iPhone lookalike, the phone does manage to emit a premium look and feel. It’s easy to hold and feels nice in the hand. Besides, its sleek form factor makes it easy to operate with one hand. However, the metallic back tends to get a bit slippery. The volume rockers and the power button are housed on the right edge and are easy to access, while the 3.5 mm jack and the USB port are placed at the bottom.


Given the phone’s Rs 18,990 price tag, it certainly calls for a Full HD. However, there’s nothing wrong with the phone’s 720p display, either. Colors look good and the screen can deliver a decent amount of details. But, the overall sharpness and brightness levels don’t really match the likes of the Moto G5 Plus or the Redmi Note 4, which cost much less.


The ‘smart screen-split’ feature allows you to multitask without having to switch back and forth every time a message pops up. You can chat and watch videos simultaneously on one screen.

The uses a 20MP sensor similar to the previous V5 series devices. It is fast and has accurate auto-focus speed. In most situations, the device produces sharp pictures.

The 13MP rear is above average in colour reproduction. In darker environments like inside a bar, however, noise becomes obvious.

The ‘Moonlight Glow’ feature gives a natural glow to the face, without being a strain on the eyes, and brightens up the selfie irrespective of the lighting conditions.


Juicing up the V5S is a 3000mAh battery with fast-charging support. The phone can easily last an entire day of normal usage which involves taking photos, WhatsApp, Skype, and some gaming. Besides, you can trigger the power-saving mode which gives you an extra hour or two of battery life.

What does not work?

The custom Android OS tries to copy iOS but is a mess— you get a cluttered control centre. The back of the phone is prone to finger-print smudges.


Being advertised as selfie-focused, the V5S has what it takes to be crowned as the selfie king. In ideal lighting conditions, the phone belts out really crisp selfies, packed with plenty of detail. 

However, the company has made a few compromises to focus on the phone’s 20MP selfie For instance, the lack of a Full HD screen certainly takes away a lot of brownie points.

But you might like to ignore those nuances if you are an avid selfie fan.