The Vivo 5R is BLU’s latest smartphone. For $200, you get a 5.5-inch HD display and octa-core 1.3GHz processor with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory, 13-megapixel main camera and 8-megapixel selfie camera, fingerprint scanner, 4G LTE, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow. So a couple of those buzzwords are $200, 3GB of RAM and fingerprint scanner. There’s clearly some bang for your buck present here with this device. There usually is with BLU devices.
All we need to do to get inside this box is slide off the top, no cutting or tearing required. We’re going to see the Vivo 5R sitting right on top, which I’m going to set off to the side for now. The first accessory included in the box is a micro USB charging cable. Notice how I said micro USB and not USB Type-C. That’s a bit of a bummer to see the somewhat outdated cable here. There’s a USB to micro USB adaptor included as well, a fast charging wall wart, and a pair of earphones with removable tips and music playback buttons. Believe it or not, we’re only about halfway with the contents of this box. There is a SIM card remover tool, some literature like a SIM card installation guide and Quick Guide, a silicone case for the Vivo 5R, and a screen protector as well.
The Vivo 5R is covered with plastic. There’s plastic on the front of the device, there’s plastic on the rear, and there’s more plastic on the front. Once that is removed though, we can view the build of the Vivo 5R and it resembles the Pure XL in a lot of ways. There’s an aluminum battery cover that is cool to the touch but almost feels like plastic. Whether that’s because there’s a thick coat of paint on the cover or there’s very little metal being used, I’m not entirely sure. The metal frame is, however, disputably metallic of origin.
The Vivo 5R features a 5.5-inch 1080p LCD display so it’s not AMOLED, which is something that I immediately noticed upon booting up the phone. But upon closer inspection, the display has good viewing angles and can get pretty darn bright. I’m coming from a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 and the display doesn’t look very saturated or vivid. But for $200, I don’t think it’s too bad. I mentioned earlier this device comes equipped with an octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM. While most flagship smartphones feature 4GB of RAM (some even 6), 3GB of RAM is still a lot and still the amount most flagships of 2015 so it’s no surprise the phone feels pretty snappy. I can switch between applications quickly without much delay or stuttering. There is a custom skin on top of Android Marshmallow and it’s a bit funky for those coming from stock Android.
The notification panel slides down from the top but it does not contain any quick settings. Instead, the quick settings slide up from the bottom of the phone. This is where you can change the brightness and what not and access the quick settings like I mentioned earlier. The way it works I think it’s a bit unorthodox. The fingerprint scanner on the rear works pretty well too. In my experience, it detected my fingerprint I would say 9 out of 10 times without any issues whatsoever.
On the rear of the device, we’ll find a 13-megapixel camera sensor with an f2.0 aperture and face detection auto focus. There is an 8-megapixel front-facing selfie camera. You can capture some pretty decent low-light images with this sensor thanks to the wide aperture. The high megapixel count will remain the quality of cropped images. But that is quite pointless if the camera is garbage.
One big bummer about the smartphone is that it features rear-facing speakers. Even Apple has addressed the speaker placement with their latest smartphone so there’s no excuse why the speakers on this phone or any phone should face outwards against the palm of your hand when holding the device. that is the case with this smartphone. But to be fair, this speaker is not terrible. It’s crispy and it doesn’t get too distorted at high volumes when compared to other budget phones. But still, it could be better.
We do have a 3150mAh battery under the hood with quick charging support. I haven’t tested this phone long enough to really come to a conclusion on the battery life performance. I don’t see a reason why it wouldn’t last full day with moderate usage.
So this is the BLU Vivo 5R. For $200, you get a lot out of the smartphone and one that gives the Moto G4 a run for its money.