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Maintaining the signature Royal design with a trimmed down body, while borrowing few clues from the Tango A5 is what this new entrant to the Royal lineage brings to the table. Some might confuse if for a Royal V7 mini, but the naming refutes the mini moniker something which I certainly concur with. Putting the design DNA confusion aside, I hypothetically confess it’s my best iDroid USA smartphone (yes, even better than the Royal V7) this year, unless a brand new baby comes up along the way to deviate my previous statement. From the rather impressive 13MP camera to ever grace an iDroid USA smartphone (BTW they’re now four) to it’s ubiquitous design that could get some design camps jealous, here is my iDroid Royal V5 review.
Design & Hardware
I can’t proclaim that it’s out of objection that we don’t hold annual design awards, but the V5 could easily maneuver and scoop one, even the fierce Royal V7 with its beautifully crafted body could bow for it. This 5 inch smartphone however has it all plastic, from its screen at the front and a dotted matte plastic finish at the rear, which ensured an overall fine grip and once again a boxed plastic rail onto which it rests. I commend that I didn’t feel it wanting to slip off my palms to the soils attraction. With volume rockers on the flat edges and the power button in direct opposite, a standard 3.5 headphone jack and USB port at the top. Reaching out to all didn’t feel too much of a pain as I did it with too much ease. And no worries that you’ll cough out an extra dime for accessories! The phone packaging awards you with 3 extra back covers in flavors of Blue, Pink and Purple (these might differ basing on the purchased model) , so color addicts, choice is at your figure tips. The packaging includes headsets to make use of the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB cable for charging and transfer of files.
In what is starting to feel like some kind of déjà vu when it comes to iDroid USA smartphones, always expect to find what we can only term as mediocre internals. So, your eyebrows won’t be raised in astonishment! Although we must state that this raw horse power is good enough for you to carry out any day to day tasks. In the V5, we shall see the same old internals which calls for same old stereotype with the exception of the camera bump which now comes with a generous 13 megapixel (MP) shooter and it’s 5 MP cousin at the front. This draws me back to my very first paragraph, if grasped, most of you could give me a nod of affirmation. The Royal V5 is propelled by Quad Core ARM v7 Processor clocked at 1.3GHz running on a single Gig of RAM. It comes equipped with an 8GB ROM complemented with a micro SD expansion slot of up to 64GB, packs an 13 MP rear shooter and a 5MP Secondary camera for selfies and video calling.
This dual SIM handset (Micro and mini) supports a Quad Band 850/900/1800/1900 / 4G (read as advanced 3G) HSPA + 21MPS 850/1900/2100 MHz frequencies. 2G EDGE data, WiFi support, Bluetooth 4.0 plus a built in GPS sensor and surprisingly a built in heart rate sensor for those who want to keep fit.
The Royal V5’s 5 inch OGS (One Glass Solution) IPS screen isn’t one to boost about. It’s qHD resolution measures 960×540, in contrast with an HD resolution (1280×720) that would come handy. The viewing angles were nothing to complain about but I had to adjust the brightness outdoors to counteract the dim default setting. [blockquote right=”pull-right”] [/blockquote]
The default V5 skin has a striking resemblance with Apple’s iOS and you would think the iPhone’s clean User Interface (UI) was exported and found its way to the V5. I think iDroid should find its own look when it comes to Android. The UI is intuitive and easier to use, so getting accustomed to it was no brainer. iDroid however gives you a second option of using the Yandex Shell launcher, (yes, that’s what they call 3D, those wondering when we are getting to the 3D capabilities of the phone) which I outright set as my default with huge customizations which I did to my own suits. It should be worth noting that all this run disappointingly atop Android 4.4 KitKat but gave me a seamless performance. If only they can launch a phone with the latest Android 5.0 and above since its 2015.
The Royal V5 comes preloaded with popular apps like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter plus it’s customer support iDroid hub. To my surprise, the phone now comes with local bloatware apps like NTV mobi, the Galaxy FM app & Africell Uganda’s app. This will be a welcome move for many as it will spare many the extra MBs they would need to download these app.
It was also a heyday for all Rocket Internet apps like Lamudi, Jumia, Kaymu and Hello Food as they all came preloaded citing a probable deal between iDroid USA and Rocket Internet. In other words I can summarize it as prioritizing regional customization, a win-win for both parties involved.
The normal gimmicks did a follow-up with things air and wake-up gestures plus the app permission management. Lets not for get Jose Chameleon’s “CAPTURE” phrase that we see in the iDroid V7 add that enables one to take a photograph seamlessly. It worth noting that all these apps that come pre-installed will take up to 3GB meaning you only got 5GB to play around with.
The 13MP rear shooter worked just fine out doing the Tango A5’s photography abilities especially outdoors. The prolonged shutter speed couldn’t deter me from taking crisp images and adding HDR in the process was worth the wait.
However, results took a dive in low lit conditions, which better describe an awesome camera. After all not all the fun happens outdoors. I must add that I was impressed though given my previous interaction with the previous iDroid camera sensor lineup could prompt me to give you a poker face.
The Camera Sample Gallery
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Other modes at your disposal are panorama, face beauty and live mode with an array of the usual settings like contrast, white balance and the list goes on. The secondary camera promises nothing more than the 5MP sensor and iDroid promises both cameras are capable of FullHD recording.
Normal browsing with productivity apps, casual gaming and social apps running simultaneously couldn’t put a dent on the V5 ‘s performance. No lag time, no sluggish execution of tasks, all I can award the V5 is seamless performance culminating into better results. The same can be said of video streaming but things got perplexed when it came to graphics heavy gaming. This however was characterized with heating issues give the strain exerted on the GPU (graphical processing unit) something we’ve come to expect from most smartphones. My review unit was sustained by a 2020 mAh battery which went a full day without charge with all the above tasks at hand. I therefore fore no complaint as regards the battery.