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Vivo Xplay5 boasts 6GB RAM and a familiar curved screen

The iPhone and the Galaxy S6 Edge made a baby.

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If you need an excuse to acquire a new exotic Chinese smartphone, then how about 6GB of RAM? Not only is Vivo's new Xplay5 the first mobile device to announce this spec, but it's also the second non-Samsung device — following the BlackBerry Priv — to pack a screen that's curved on both sides. Judging by its familiar metallic design, you'd easily think that the Xplay5 is the bastard child of the Galaxy S6 Edge (front) and the iPhone (back) after a one night stand in Dongguan (the S7 Edge's chamfer isn't as shiny). Despite the unfortunate similarities, this is still a surprisingly decent product in terms of hardware and specs -- much like how its predecessor, the Xplay3S, managed to wow us a little over two years ago.

Gallery: Vivo Xplay5 hands-on in Beijing | 16 Photos

The dual-SIM Xplay5 comes in two flavors. The "Flagship Edition" features Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 chipset, 6GB of speedy LPDDR4 RAM, 128GB of internal storage and a "HiFi 3.0" package consisting of two ES9028 SABRE Mobile DAC chips plus three OPA1612 amplifiers for improved audio quality overall. As for the regular model, you get the mid-range Snapdragon 652, a "mere" 4GB of RAM, also 128GB of storage and a different combination of audio chips (CS4398 plus AD45257).

Both versions sport a 5.43-inch Super AMOLED display with QHD resolution (2,560 x 1,440) along with a fingerprint reader on the back. For photography, a 16-megapixel f/2.0 Sony IMX298-powered main camera with phase detection auto-focus plus dual-tone LED flash, and a generous 8-megapixel f/2.4 front-facing camera for you selfie addicts. The built-in 3,600mAh battery should be plentiful, and the rapid charging support comes in handy (we've yet to confirm whether it's the Quick Charge 2.0 or 3.0 standard). What's a bit disappointing is the lack of NFC and USB Type-C here, as well as the fact that the Xplay5 only comes with Android 5.1 (under Vivo's skin, of course), plus there are no software features that take advantage of the curved edges.

While no date has been mentioned for the "Flagship Edition" just yet, the regular model is already up for pre-order. It's no Xiaomi; Vivo is charging 3,698 yuan or about $560 for the base model, but you can wait for a while to save up 4,288 yuan or about $650 for that beastly version. Both are available in gold and pink.

Gallery: Vivo Xplay5 launch event in Beijing | 30 Photos

Richard's love for gadgets was probably triggered by an electric shock at the age of five while poking his finger into power sockets for no reason. Since then he has managed to destroy a few more desktops and phones until he was sent to England to start secondary education. Somehow he ended up in London, where he had the golden opportunity to buy a then senior editor a pint of lager, and here we are. Follow Richard around in electronic stores and you will witness some intense exchanges between him and the sales reps.


Ethics: Richard's partner is an employee of LeEco as of May 9th, 2016, therefore he has no input into articles about this company after this date.

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