Vivo may be a brand name most if not all people in western countries have never heard of but this Chinese smartphone maker is one of the more popular brands in its home country. Vivo also sells its smartphones running Android, in other countries like Malaysia and Indonesia and it is remarkably successful in India, in particular due to a huge offline push. This offline push means more in a country like India than in western countries because even with the world’s fastest growth rate in the adoption of smartphones, most Indian are still buying their phones offline, at brick and mortar retail stores. Vivo is making a huge effort to sell phones like the Vivo V5 in stores. It is doing this in huge part by offering retailers a much higher cut of the asking price of the phone. This gives retailers more of a margin to discount the phone and increase sales. Or they can sell the phone at retail prices and reap much higher profits.
Sellers who normally make the most profit by selling higher margin items like smartphone cases and back covers for other phones can make a killing selling the V5 itself and then even more profit by selling accessories like Vivo V5 covers. Though if you want a Vivo V5 custom case, you still have to buy it online at one of the many designer smartphone case sellers in the country.
But what about the V5 itself?
The Vivo V5 is by no means a bad smartphone, hardware-wise. It has pretty standard, competitive specs for an Android phone in its price bracket in 2017 and it has good fit and finish to boot. The issue with the Vivo, like almost every other no-name Chinese smartphone, is that it is saddled with a terrible skin on top of the Android operating system it runs. This is because apparently the Chinese market prefers skinned versions of Android.
However everywhere else in the rest of the world, most discerning Android smartphone users would just prefer it if manufacturers would put a clean, stock implementation of Android on their devices. This doesn’t happen though and what you usually get is the kind of ugly, terrible, buggy interfaces like the awfully named FunTouch™ OS that Vivo handicaps the V5 with. This single decision makes the Vivo V5 a phone that you should avoid like the plague, no matter how popular it is.