Introduction: Vernee M5 Unboxing and Specs
Few months back, I wrote an article on 12 best affordable smartphone with 4GB of RAM. In that article, the Vernee M5 was the second smartphone on the list. And in the article today, it is the Vernee M5 review. We are calling this phone 2018 affordable smartphone champion with 4GB RAM. So at $100, what are you getting from Vernee?
Vernee M5 Smartphone Specifications and Features
- OS: Android 7.0 (Nougat) Underneath VOS 1.0.0
- SIM Type: Dual Nano-SIMs
- Network Type: 2G/3G/4G
- Screen Size : 5.2-inch HD IPS display with 1280 x 720 pixels resolution (280 PPI)
- Processor Type: 1.5GHz MT6750 octa-core 64-bit CPU
- Storage: 32/64 GB + 3/4GB RAM
- External Storage: 128GB via SD Card
- Camera: 13MP rear camera with LED Flash and 5MP front-facing camera
- Back-placed Fingerprint scanner
- Battery: 3300mAh Non-removable Battery
- Price: $105
Vernee M5 Major Drawbacks
- No micro SD slot
- No Front facing LED flash
Vernee M5 Review: Design and Built Quality
Vernee M5 is completely built into a full metal uni-body featuring a 5.2-inch IPS HD display. Above the display, there is a 5-megapixel sensor, the speaker grill and the ambient sensor. The Power button and volume rockers are fitted at the right hand side of the smartphone.
You get a 3.5mm audio jack and a secondary noise cancelling mic above the phone, while the Hybrid SIM card slot is kept at the right hand side. At the base of the device, there is a USB 2.0 port, the loud speaker opening and the primary microphone.
At the back, there is a protruded 13-megapixel main camera along with a single LED flash. Below the camera seats a 360 degree fingerprint sensor, and Vernee and M5 branding to the base of the back panel.
The device feels very sturdy in the hand, and comfortable to hold. Despite the metal body and the built 3300mAh battery, the Vernee M5 still feels light in the hand, weighing just 145 grams with 7.5mm thickness, which is a big plus for the the company, but I personally think that the bezels below and above the display is a bit too tick.
Vernee M5 Review: Hardware
The Display is a 5.2-inch display with IPS panel and a 1280 x 720 pixels resolutions. While a 280 PPI is far below high end smartphone display of 2018, I still find the display on this smartphone to be crisp enough for a day to day use. The display produce sufficient brightness for a moderate out door usage.
However, folks that have eyes for crisp display, might find the display a bit whitish during indoor use. This is could be due to the extra brightness from the IPS panel, but in all, this is a no challenge at all, considering the fact that out door usage experience is good.
The touch panel also responded very well. But anytime I look at screen, I’ll keep asking why Vernee did not use a physical capacitve keys, considering those huge bezels down the screen?
Processor and Memory
The Vernee M5 is powered by an octa-core Mediatek MT6750 clocked at 1.5Ghz along with a Mali-T860 GPU, 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. I ran series of tests and some comparisons with this processor, and got good results. On Antutu, the device got some numbers above 40k. Geekbench and Basemark OS v2 also produced great result enough for a midrange smartphone.
RELATED READING: Comparison Test – SC9853i CPU Vs MT6750 CPU
Thanks to the fast 4GB RAM and the spacious 64GB internal storage, I was able to throw multiple apps and games at the M5, most of which the device handled without stress. However, I noticed that during stressful use, the device to warm up a little, and might even warn you of over heating during heavy use.
One thing you will like with the device is the fluid operation aided by the 4GB of RAM and the almost stock Android 7.0 (Nougat). Multi-tasking was was also a fluid. The 4GB RAM can hold between 15 to 20 apps without running out of memory, and of course, that depends on the memory demands of apps in question.
Camera and Fingerprint Scanner
The main camera on the Vernee M5 is a 13-megapixel sensor along a single LED flash. The camera supports PDAF and F/2.2 aperture. Out door image outputs in full day light are crystal clear. Despite being a midrange phone, noise level on the camera is kept very minimal. I discovered that the smartphone is able to take in much light enough to produce clean images.
As for indoors and low light images, well don’t expect above average quality. I discovered that while the rear single LED flash was bright enough, it can bright up only object at close range. A dual LED flash would have been more helpful though.
The front facing 5-megapixel camera was also at per with devices of same price range. Using the front camera in full day light produce clean selfies, but indoor or low light shot was it main challenge due to the absent of a front facing LED flash.
The rear finger print scanner also does it work pretty well. When properly set up, it unlocks the phone comfortable, and can also be used to authenticate online payments. However, I discovered that the fingerprint sensor is not as fast as smartphone of similar price tag, but don’t forget that smartphones of similar price tag might not offer you 4GB RAM and 64GB internal Storage.
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Vernee M5 Review: Software
The software department of M5 is controlled by an Android 7.0 underneath Vernee’s customize VOS UI. The UI is almost stock Android 7.0 with just little customization and speed optimization. Talking about customization, I assure you that you might not even notice any changes between a stock Android 7.0 and this VOS V1.0.0 from Vernee.
Everything you get from the software department of this phone is stock Android apps, starting from launcher to gallery, file manager and etc. Where you might notice few changes is in the setting app, where Vernee introduced few options called Smart Assistance.
Under the smart assistance, you get few additional options like Button which controls the on-screen capacitive keys, motion gestures, smart gestures and status bar toggles.
I also notice that the setting app, Gallery app and File manager retains side menu navigation bar, which you can slide out and go to any part of the app like on tablet, which is very handy.
The OS is fast and stable. Throughout my use, I did not notice any app force closing. I also discovered that frequently used apps occupies the first line of the launcher for easy and faster accessibility, and note to mention the fact that all Google app is in place including play store, despite the fact that the phone maker is from China
Telephony and Connectivity
As part of the connectivity options, the Vernee M5 support either two nano SIMs or a single nano SIM + a 128GB SD card. The call app is stock Android AOSP Dailer, and while the Messaging app is stock Android too, Vernee interchanged the Google Keyboard with TouchPal 2017 (AOSP Keyboard is still in place), But I’ve always preferred TouchPal next to SwiftKey.
Call quality quality is one of the coolest thing on this device. The earpiece grill is loud with surprising bass, which make you feel as if your callers are just beside your ears. Data transfer was not a pain either. Aside the WiFi connectivity options, the device supports 2G/3G/4G on all two card slots.
Vernee M5 Review: Multimedia and Battery Performance
Audio Player and Gallery app is Google Music App and Google Photos, as such no much customization and equilizer options for both the music player and Video player, but user can always install players of their choice.
The Vernee M5 comes with a single loud speaker kept at the base of the smartphone. The speaker produces loud and clear sound enough to fill a room, but sound quality is not rich enough like what I saw on the Xiaomi Redmi 5.
One of advantage of Google photo, is that it give you the ability to edit both Images and Videos, sort of, and that is possible on the Vernee M5.
As for the battery performance, this device is got a 3300mAh non-removable battery. Despite the fact that this device have no support for fast charging, I still discovered that the battery charged up a little faster than usual, thanks to it 5V-1.5A charger. But guess what else I also discovered; the battery also depletes faster than usual.
Due to the unusual battery consumption, I took extra time to test out the battery performance and I discovered that, the smartphone tend to retain more battery stamina when charged to 100% than when charged below 80%. So if you want to get the most out of the battery on this smartphone, do ensure to always charge it to full 100% when possible.
A single HD movie of 1 hour and 38 Minutes, with full brightness and volume, brought the battery to 69% from 99%. Gaming and browsing consumed the rest of the battery within 3½ hours. I discovered that battery consumption during standby mode is a bit too high. This could be due to the octa-core CPU and the fact that the OS does not have much of battery management app. Installing a battery management app like DU battery could simply resolve this.
So this device should be able to give you above 5-6 hours continuous on-screen use. But if you use your phone for a 1 hour of call, an hour of multimedia consumption and another hour of heavy gaming or web browsing, then you can expect a full day use from this device.
Vernee M5 Review: Conclusion
On one hand, Vernee is trying to offer an affordable smartphone than can still do it all, while trying to save cost on the other hand. If you ask me, I’ll say OEMs combining the above two options at same time will always result in a ‘Miss and Hit Taregt’, (if you understand what I mean). So in a nutshell, the M5 is rather a great phone than it not
Vernee M5 Pros
- Spacious Storage and RAM
- Value for money
- Sturdy Buit Quality
- Good Camera and sound quality
- Pocket Friendly
Vernee M5 Cons
- Slow Fingerprint Scanner
- Average Battery Performance
If you are a student, or smartphone user with lot of memory demand and in need of a smartphone that will not slow you down while scrolling through your stuffs or navigating in web page, then the Vernee M5 is for you.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a smartphone with stellar battery performance, then, you might want to consider the Xiaomi Redmi 5. In either case, let me hear your comment below.