Design, Display, and Features
The Vivo 5C$269.99 at Amazon looks like a cross between the Apple iPhone 6s$649.00 at Apple Store and the aforementioned Honor 5X. It measures 5.98 by 2.94 by 0.27 inches (HWD) and weighs 5.04 ounces. It’s roughly the same size as the Honor 5X, but weighs about half an ounce less. These are both big, phablet-sized devices, but neither will totally bust your hand. That said, the Honor 5X has a brushed metal back, while the Vivo 5 is smooth and slippery, making it a little harder to hold.
Network Performance and Connectivity
Like most unlocked phones, you’ll have to use the Vivo 5 on a GSM carrier like AT&T or T-Mobile. The device supports GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz), HSDPA (850/1800[AWS]/1900/2100MHz), and LTE (2/4/7) bands. As you can see, the phone is missing bands 12 and 17, present on both the Honor 5X and the Blu Life One X. These bands are important for T-Mobile and AT&T, respectively, offering broader connectivity outside urban areas on T-Mobile, and better indoor connectivity and building penetration on AT&T.
There’s no dual-band Wi-Fi or NFC, but the phone has Bluetooth 4.0 and HotKnot—an NFC-like
feature that functions with other MediaTek-powered devices.
Processor, Battery, and Camera
The 1.3GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6753 processor that powers the Vivo 5 is the same one you’ll find in the Life One X. It performs even better here, thanks to the lower display resolution. The Vivo 5 scored 38,372 on the
AnTuTu benchmark, which measures overall system performance, slightly higher than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 616-powered Honor 5X (35,200). General performance feels smooth, without any of the jerkiness and lag that I
experienced on the 5X. Multitasking wasn’t a problem, as you would expect of a phone with 3GB of RAM. The Vivo 5 also did well with gaming,
running Asphalt 8 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas without any dropped frames or lag.
Battery life on the Vivo 5 is
solid, clocking 6 hours and 8 minutes on our battery rundown test in which we stream full-screen video over LTE at maximum brightness. It easily beats out the Honor 5X (5 hours and 16 minutes) and the Life One X (4 hours and 4 minutes).
Camera performance is good, but not great. The 13-megapixel rear sensor has a speedy autofocus and takes clear shots, but struggles with detail. Distant objects end up noisy,while closer ones have some softness to them. Color reproduction varies between vibrant and dull, depending heavily on lighting conditions. Indoors, in our photo lab, colors pop. Outside, white balance seems to be off, with buildings taking on a yellowish tinge. The rear camera also records respectable 1080p video at 30fps, while the 5-megapixel front-facing camera takes clean shots with realistic tones and good detail.
Software and Conclusions
The Vivo 5 ships running Android 5.1 Lollipop, but an update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow is expected. As mentioned earlier, Blu has departed from other devices in its lineup by laying on a pretty thick UI layer here. The app drawer has been removed, so all of your apps are splashed across the home screens. Icons, the notification shade, and the Settings menu are all clearly iOS-inspired.