Overview
Introduction
Design
Display
Hardware
Software and apps
Camera
Audio and video
Performance
Battery life
Conclusion
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vivo X5Pro Review

Only Android smartphone to be the closest iPhone clone yet.
By Samir Makwana on 2015-09-15
Key Features
  • 5.2-inch Super AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 4G LTE support
What we like
  • Gorgeous display 
  • Stylish-looking device
  • Solid audio and video output
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3 based display
What we don't like
  • Nagging issues with Funtouch OS
  • Gets warm with graphics-intensive tasks
  • Camera app needs tweaking
7.3
Our Score
Introduction

The Apple iPhone has set a high benchmark which still majority of Android smartphones are struggling to achieve. Often, we find Apple iOS' look, styling, and features smartly wrapped atop an Android version. This is the first time we’ve seen a device that apes the iPhone so well that it looks almost like its doppleganger. Just last month, vivo introduced its flagship smartphone for the Indian market - the X5Pro. A stepped up version of the X5Max, the X5Pro boots vivo’s Funtouch 2.1 OS atop Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. Launched at a price of Rs.27,980, the X5Pro competes with big guns such as the OnePlus 2 and the Samsung Galaxy A8. Facing stiff competition with such flagship devices, the X5Pro has a lot to prove.

vivo X5Pro Review - Introduction

We put the device to test in real-world usage to see where exactly it stands. Here’s what we think of the X5Pro.

Design
8

The design of the X5Pro appears to have been heavily inspired by the iPhone. The X5Pro it sports a glass panel at the front and the back. Encased in an anodized metallic frame with chamfered edges, the device is well-rounded at the corners, proportionate to its 6.44mm profile. The three capacitive menu keys are placed just below the display. These keys are not backlit, which makes it difficult to use them in the dark. 

vivo X5Pro Review - Design

Above the display comes an earpiece right at the centre, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera to its right and a proximity sensor to its left. The Micro-USB port is placed right at the centre of the bottom edge, with machine drilled holes for the speaker on either sides of it. The audio port is located at the top. On the right side of the metallic frame sits the volume rocker, the power button, and two ejectable Micro-SIM card trays. A 13-megapixel primary camera rests at the back with an LED flash next to it. 

vivo X5Pro Review - Design 1

Flaunting a glossy, smooth design, the S5Pro also feels good to hold in hand, at a weight of 147g. The glossy finish does make the phone slightly slippery, though. The lack of oleophobic coating is what’s missed most on its design, since the device attracted a lot of smudges and scratches on its glass panels. Moreover, the glass panels at the front and back are quite likely to get shattered if they hit a sharp object. Premium persona bearing X5Pro may feel great in your hands but needs to be handled with care. 

Display
8

The X5Pro has a 5.2-inch Super AMOLED display with a 2.5D curved frame on both sides - front and back. The glossy glass panels gives the device a premium look. The display supports a pixel resolution of 1080x1920, which translates to a pixel density of 424PPI. The Super AMOLED display offers vibrant colours and text appears crisp.

vivo X5Pro Review - Display

However, the colours also tend to be a bit saturated. In X5Pro, vivo has used the Corning Gorilla Glass technology for the display and the rear, which offers resistance against usual wear and tear. A factory-installed screen guard protects the display from minute scratches. The phone can also be used under direct sunlight without much of a problem. We feel that vivo should offer an option to adjust the display temperature as well as the saturation levels.

Hardware
7.5

Irrespective of how premium a phone looks, for it to be able to stand strong in its segment, it needs to have competitive hardware as well. In the X5Pro, vivo uses an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 mobile chipset. This SoC (System-on-Chip) has eight ARM Cortex-A53 processing cores, out of which four are clocked at 1.5GHz, and the rest four are clocked at 1.1GHz. This mobile chipset integrates the Adreno 305 GPU for handling the graphics. Coupled with it is 2GB of RAM, which is enough to handle the system UI and heavy apps.

The X5Pro has two SIM slots trays on the right edge of the frame. Each slot can support a 4G LTE network (Cat. 4) enabled SIM card, and for India, the Band 3 as well as Band 40 are also supported. The second SIM slot though is hybrid by nature, which means that it can support both a SIM card as well as a microSD card. 

vivo X5Pro Review - Hardware

Quick mobile web and fast app downloads are promised by the Wi-Fi network support and Bluetooth 4.0 lets you transfer files wirelessly. The device does not have a Near-Field Communication chip, though. Location-based services are supported with the GPS chip with A-GPS and GLONASS support. The FM Radio app works when you plug in a pair of earphones to the device.

The combination of core hardware that the X5Pro features is already being offered at the Rs.15,000 price point, so ultimately, for the X5Pro to prove its worth, it needs to offer much more to the user in order to get ahead in the race.

Software and apps
6.5

The X5Pro comes preloaded with vivo’s Funtouch OS, which is based on Android 5.0 Lollipop. Those of you who admire and are familiar with the iOS user interface will have no absolutely no issues using the Funtouch UI. Like many other Chinese handset makers, vivo too doesn’t believe in having an App Launcher, so all the apps can be found spread across the various home screens. These apps can be grouped and arranged in folders to make space for other apps. 

vivo X5Pro Review - Software and apps

There is also a function quite similar to the Mission Control. An upward swipe from the bottomw of the screen gives you access to toggle settings and the brightness slider. While the notification drawer worked fine most of the time, we noticed that the calendar events could not be swiped across and cleared out. When it came to app notifications, the drawer lagged terribly when there were several notifications. Moreover, Gmail’s email notification which uses black text for sender's name, was difficult to read on the grey background of the drawer. Hence, vivo needs to fix this in its next update in order to make the notification drawer more relevant. 

The device has several widgets running at the first boot up, and thankfully all of these can be removed for a cleaner look. Loaded with several basic apps, hardly any of them can be deemed to be bloatware. The device has an iTheme app which allows you to customize the look and feel of the user interface. However, there was only one preloaded theme. The iManager app, true to its name, provides a variety of options that give micro-level control to the apps and also lets you restrict apps to conserve power. 

We noticed that the OS lagged at several places, and the animations also slowed down at times. That aside, the X5Pro delivers just what anybody would need in a smartphone in terms of calling, messaging and using other apps.

Camera
7

The primary camera features a 13-megapixel image sensor with a F2.0 aperture to cover wider angles. An LED flash aides in taking pictures in low light environments. The camera app offers all of the basic options arranged neatly. For those of you who struggle to frame a subject, the app offers a grid and spatial levelling overlay, which helps in taking a perfect shot. While the app shoots in auto by default, users can opt for a Pro mode to play around with the Exposure, ISO levels, Shutter Speed, Manual Focus, and White Balance. Other modes are HDR, Night, and Panorama. 

vivo X5Pro Review - Camera

Most of the time, the camera captured images with good amount of details and decent colours. The images tend to be a little on the warmer side, and also show a good amount of noise when zoomed in. The phone doesn’t offer a great dynamic range to experiment with the shadows, and images often appears a bit out of focus with close-up shots. 

Furthermore, you can’t choose from different resolutions, so one is limited to selecting from either 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio. Although, the images are good to be put up on social media platforms, finicky shutterbugs may not be impressed. The camera app records videos in 1080p resolution at 30fps. There is also an option to choose between Fast Motion and Slow Motion videos. You can play around with these settings to get the desired output, especially while taking pictures of toddlers or pets.

Overall, imaging on this camera manages to pass just the bare minimum, which means it would work fine with ample daylight and struggle under low-light conditions. Check out the images samples below.

vivo X5Pro Review - Camera Sample 1

vivo X5Pro Review - Camera Sample 2

HDR Off
vivo X5Pro Review - Camera Sample - HDR Off

HDR On
vivo X5Pro Review - Camera Sample - HDR On

Audio and video
7.5

The app for the music player on the X5Pro has been cheekily named iMusic, and quite evidently, the icon and the app interface resembles the Apple Music app on iOS. The iMusic app packs a few tricks up its sleeve. It can handle the usual .mp3 and lossless .flac files. That apart, the phone features profiles of a select few earphones, and every time that you connect a particular pair to the device, these profiles are activated. For instance, certain settings are visible only when you connect the bundled XE600i pair. After connecting the earphones, you could try your hand at the various setting options to tune the audio output.

vivo X5Pro Review - Audio and video

The audio performance over the bundled XE600i and our stock Cowon EM-1 pair was quite enjoyable. Those of you who enjoy bass-heavy music are likely to like its performance. The sound output from the speaker is quite loud. A dedicated video player app has a very basic interface, but is capable of supporting a variety of video files such as .wmv, .mkv, .mp4, and .avi. Like what many other customs skins offer, this video player too can pop-out and serve as a floating window, while you finish other tasks. This popped out window, however, is not resizable. 

vivo X5Pro Review - Audio and video support

The audio and video performance was only satisfactory, with a majority of multimedia files able to run smoothly.

Performance
7

Considering the prowess of the octa-core Snapdragon 615 chipset, we expected better performance from the X5Pro. In terms of the benchmark tests that we put it through, the X5Pro scored 33,089 in the AnTuTu Benchmark test, which slotted the device right between the LG G3 and the HTC One. This was quite a respectable score, since both the G3 and the One are flagship devices that feature a top-tier Snapdragon chipset inside. 

vivo X5Pro Review - Benchmarks

Playing Asphalt 8:Airborne and Angry Birds 2 was an absolute delight. We barely faced any issues, except for the fact that Asphalt 8:Airborne struggled to play at the highest graphics settings. With the 3DMark benchmark, the X5Pro score 7,940 in the Ice Storm Unlimited test at Full HD resolution. This score placed the device just above the Samsung Galaxy A7 and the HTC Desire 826. 

The voice call quality was fair, with the earpiece loud and audible. The microphone delivers clear voice to the other end. Our experience with location-based services was quite impressive, for the Google Maps locked the device’s location very quickly. FM Radio requires an earphone to be plugged into the device, and the lack of RDS means that you will have to add the station names manually. 

vivo X5Pro Review - Performance

With a few software nags, the performance of the X5Pro is just average, and definitely has some room for improvement.

Battery life
7

The X5Pro packs a non-removable 2,450mAh Li-Polymer battery. This kind of battery is ideal for a smartphone in the sub-Rs.10,000 category, considering the battery hungry processes and apps. On moderate usage, that involves making voice calls for a couple of hours over 3G network, browsing mobile web for some time, using social networking apps throughout the time, taking a bunch of images, listening to music for almost an hour, and constantly messaging on WhatsApp, the phone manages to run for a day. This was on a single SIM, but if you were to use the other one as well, then there are high chances that the phone might run out just before the day ends. The battery takes about two hours to charge from 5 percent to full with the charger that comes bundled with the phone. Needless to say, the battery performance is in line with the hardware and the design that the X5Pro offers.

vivo X5Pro Review - Battery life

Conclusion

In India, vivo’s X5Pro was launched at a price tag of Rs. 27, 980, but is now available for about Rs.24,999 online as well as offline. The X5Pro does feel as though it was priced higher than what it should have been, and hence, it ends up locking horns with more powerful devices such as the OnePlus 2 and the Samsung Galaxy A8. Featuring competitive hardware, the X5Pro delivers well-knit performance with reference to audio, video, and gaming. The Funtouch UI though, could do with an update to fix the issues found across the device. Regardless, the X5Pro is one of the few decent smartphones out there for those looking for a great display, stylish design, and a solid multimedia performance. If those attributes fit your list of requirements, you can definitely consider buying the X5Pro.

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