A Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ with no home button? No, it’s the Vivo Xplay5 Elite, but we’ll understand if you needed a double-take.

Okay, the dual-edge facade doesn’t strictly make the Xplay 5 the master of disguise. The resemblance disappears completely if you flip it over to reveal a design no Galaxy would be caught dead in. Now, similarities could be found with a certain iPhone 6s Plus, but Vivo has indeed put an extra few distinguishing touches.

There’s more than meets the eye though, and some pretty powerful internals are in there to warrant the Elite moniker. And it doesn’t stop at Qualcomm’s top-shelf Snapdragon 820 – the Elite has 6 gigs of RAM, while plenty of flagships this year make do with just 4. Oh, and 128GB of storage as standard equipment mean you likely won’t be missing the non-existent microSD slot.

Beyond the hardware that keeps it running, the Xplay5 Elite has a Sony-made 16MP primary camera with 4K video capture and an 8MP front facer. Vivo is also big on Hi-Fi audio and comes with two 32-bit digital-to-analog converters and three amplifiers (respect for that!). But first things first.

Vivo Xplay5 Elite key features

  • 5.43″ 1,440 x 2,560px dual-edge AMOLED display of 540ppi
  • Android OS v6.0 Marshmallow with FuntouchOS on top
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset: quad-core Kryo CPU (2×2.15GHz +2×1.6GHz); Adreno 530 GPU; 6GB RAM; 128 GB of built-in storage
  • 16MP camera with 2160p (4K) video recording; 8MP front-facing camera with 1080p video
  • Dual-SIM support; LTE Cat.9 (450/50 Mbps); Dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, Bluetooth v4.2
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • 32-bit/192kHz Hi-Fi 3.0 audio, dual DACs, triple amplifiers
  • 3,600mAh non-removable battery; dual-chip fast charging
  • Fingerprint sensor
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Main disadvantages

  • No stereo speakers
  • No microSD slot
  • Not too subtle impersonation

We already mentioned that the sheer amount of internal storage mitigates the lack of a microSD slot, but some may miss it nonetheless, as a data transfer option if nothing else. Vivo, with all its audio pedigree, could have thought of fitting a pair of stereo speakers though, instead of keeping all that high quality audio flowing from the 3.5mm jack only – it sure looks like there’s plenty of room on the front.

Vivo Xplay5 Elite press images - Vivo Xplay5 Elite review Vivo Xplay5 Elite press images - Vivo Xplay5 Elite review Vivo Xplay5 Elite press images - Vivo Xplay5 Elite review Vivo Xplay5 Elite press images - Vivo Xplay5 Elite review
Vivo Xplay5 Elite press images

You can see we’re struggling to find fault with the Vivo Xplay 5 Elite on paper. We’ll be sure to dig deeper than that as usual, but not before we get a look and feel of the hardware.