vivo X5Pro first impressions: a beauty, but not really a beast

“vivo’s latest flagship scores high on the styling factor, but what about everything else? Our first impressions has all the details.”

Chinese smartphone maker vivo entered the Indian market with its razor-thin X5Max (first impressions) towards the end of the last year. Now, the brand has introduced a variant of the same deice, the X5Pro in the subcontinent as its latest flagship offering. With the device, vivo is aiming to make the smartphone one’s personal style statement.

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To highlight the same, the smartphone was launched in an star-studded event in New Delhi today by none other than Bollywood diva Kangana Ranaut. Can the phone dazzle us just like the Queen herself? While our review will be able to answer that, let’s check out our hands-on experience of the vivo X5Pro.

At first glance, the vivo X5Pro seems similar to the X5Max, especially from the front – be it the various elements above and below the display panel or the rounded corners. But that notion changes as soon as you flip around both handsets. While the X5Max features a dual-tone finish at the rear, which looks quite good, it can’t match the shiny glass panel at the back of the X5Pro. vivo’s latest smartphone bears a 2.5D glass both at the front and the back, making it seamlessly merge with the edges. Providing robustness and adding to the style factor is the metallic frame.

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The X5Pro is also slightly smaller than the X5Max, since it’s fitted with a screen size measuring 5.2-inches, instead of a large phablet-grade 5.5-inch display adorning the latter. The AMOLED display reproduces lovely colours and there’s no sign of pixelation either, thanks to rich pixel density of 424ppi. Brightness levels offered by the display also seemed to be adequate.

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Along with the display panel at the fascia, you’ll find an earpiece, some sensors and a selfie camera above, and a three navigation keys below. The hardware buttons aren’t backlit, but follow the Android guidelines to access the options menu, jump to the homescreen or return to the previous screen.

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The right spine sports the volume buttons along with the power key, and an ejectable tray with hybrid SIM slots towards the bottom. This means you can use the vivo X5Pro as a dual-SIM smartphone or a single-SIM device with an option to expand storage.

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The 3.5mm audio socket can be found up top, whereas the micro-USB port is present at the bottom. The base also features precision-grilled speaker holes on both the sides.

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The vivo X5Pro is quite lean with a 6.44mm frame. Being a unibody device, it has non-removable back panel. As mentioned before, the rear sports shiny and glossy finish thanks to a layer of glass, which also makes it reflective.

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Running the show on the vivo X5Pro is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 615 chipset, which has 64-bit architecture and offer eight cores clocked at 1.5GHz. The processor is mated to 2GB of RAM. During our brief usage, the hardware managed to fly through the tasks we threw at it. However, the actual capabilities of the handset can only be known once we play some high-end titles or run multiple apps together.

In the storage department, the phablet ships with 16GB built-in memory. Strangely however, the storage is partitioned into two separate chunks. One of them comes with around 4GB, which can be used for installing apps, while the other partition offers 5.4GB that can be availed for storing your personal files and multimedia content. The device also offers the option to choose the preferred install location. If you need more memory, then you can slide in a microSD card of up to 128GB.

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Software is available in the form of vivo’s proprietary FunTouch OS v2.1, which is running atop the latest build of Android, i.e., Lollipop 5.0. We’ve already taken a look at company’s custom skin when we checked out its debut offerings, but now it comes with some improved features such as Smart Wake 2.0. Not only does it allow you to use various gestures such as double-tap-to-wake when the display is on sleep, but you can also setup a custom gesture (although only one gesture can be added).

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For photography purposes, the vivo X5Pro flaunts a 13-megapixel camera sensor at the back, which is supplemented by an LED flash. There’s also an 8MP secondary snapper to let you capture high-quality selfies or make video calls. vivo’s camera app brings forth a lot of interesting features such as bokeh mode, fun video, etc.

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Juicing up the vivo X5Pro is embedded 2,450mAh Li-Po battery. There are also several battery-extending modes like extreme and general saver. Connectivity-wise, the smartphone can support 4G on both the SIM slots, and offers the usual options such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

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vivo is following its Chinese counterparts with the X5Pro, be it the special attention to design or customised user interface or features on top of Android, but one aspect where it has chosen not to follow them is perhaps the most crucial. Unlike most Chinese brands, which have redefined the meaning of value for money with their enticing pricing strategies, the X5Pro carries a sticker price of Rs 27,980, bringing it into the upper mid-range category against offerings from well-known brands like Samsung and HTC. In terms of hardware as well, you can get similar internals in devices that cost almost one third of its price.