If we consider the technical equipment, Vernee M5 is the more rightful successor to Vernee Thor than Thor E or Thor Plus are. Compared to Vernee Thor, M5’s display is slightly bigger (5.2 inches) and the battery has now a capacity of 3300mAh. The memory modules (4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage) are now significantly bigger and M5 houses a faster octa-core processor. I really like that Vernee decided to go without a dual-camera. The manufacturer himself sees M5 as a smaller Vernee Mars. Vernee M5 is sold at a price of 100$, a fact that makes even Redmi 4X tremble.
Design and build quality
Light, thin and compact – that’s what describes Vernee’s latest smartphone best. The dimensions are relatively small with 148x73x8mm. The bezels are small as well with 3mm. The smartphone’s body consists of neatly rounded off aluminium and has the common plastic tops. Rear and frame are separated, but the transition is smooth without any edges. The plastic tops fit perfect in the metal body in terms of appearance and Vernee M5 looks great with that matt black color. Alternatively, the phone is available in blue. Holding the phone in the hand, you get a premium feeling which is also created by the smooth transition from the display glass to the frame. A screen protector has already been applied on the phone, however, it does not fully extend to the edges of the phone, which lets you feel the edges of the screen protector while swiping. You can easily operate the 5.2-inch phone with only one hand because of the size and the compact dimensions. The pleasant weight of 144g is another of Vernee’s strong points. Power button and volume control consist of plastic, are firmly attached to the casing and have a nice feedback.
The fingerprint scanner is located below the rear camera. The phone is operated via on-screen buttons. There is a notification LED above the display on the right, and it shines in the color green. The fingerprint scanner is well reachable and unlocks the device from stand-by within a second. Accuracy is on a top level with 9/10 successful attempts. Instead of USB-Type C the smartphone offers the old micro-USB standard.
In terms of design and build quality, Vernee M5 is clearly an upgrade compared to the plastic smartphone Vernee Thor. Vernee M5 is now on the same level as a Xiaomi Redmi 4X. You now have a notification LED, which was not available with Vernee Thor, and the metal casing leaves a good impression. For the sake of the fine design the manufacturer removed the possibility of both storage expansion and dual-SIM (compared to the first Thor). You can use 2 Nano-SIMs or 1 Nano-SIM and 1 micro-SD card (up to 128GB) in Vernee M5. You should be able to cope with that in view of 64GB of internal storage.
Vernee M5 houses a handy 5.2-inch display with a 1280x720pixels resolution. This results in sufficiently sharp 282PPI, so you won’t have to fear pixelated images. Contents are represented sharply and the neutral color representation pleases. For a better customization, MiraVision is available in the options menu. Brightness can be regulated automatically via a light sensor, which works well in daily use. The maximum brightness is sufficient for using the device outside on a bright day. Viewing angles are stable, as it is common for an IPS display. Contrast is good and white is just really white. Those looking for a display with realistic colors and real white is well-served by Vernee M5’s display.
Vernee advertises with slightly rounded off 2.5D glass; the smooth transition from display to frame however is achieved by a plastic border rather than by the rounded off glass. Although the manufacturer did not mention scratch resistant Gorilla Glass, the device passes the test with the screwdriver without any marks. A screen protector is applied ex works. The 10 –point touchscreen always reacts precisely and fast.
Performance and system
The Mediatek MT6750 processor is currently very popular among Chinese manufacturers producing middle class phones. The 8 Cortex-A53 cores clock in 2 clusters with 4×1.5GHz and 4×1.0GHz. The processor is used for smartphones with big batteries as well. Whereas both Thor successors (E and Plus) housed the old MT6753, we’re happy to see this processor now. The performance is sufficient for standard tasks and gaming. Multitasking is good thanks to the 4GB of RAM. 64GB of internal storage are not too bad either, and it is possible to expand the storage by 128GB when going without dual-SIM. The internal storage of Vernee M5 has a reading/writing speed of 121/130MB/s. The RAM has a good speed of 3.7GB/s.Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result
The performance also makes profit of the VOS (Vernee operating system), which is a slightly adjusted stock Android system. Updates are directly installed on the phone via OTA. Those looking for a smartphone that is comparable to Nexus/Mi A1/Googleone are well-served by Vernee. The system is free from viruses and other malware. Besides the Google standard, Duraspeed is available as well, but it can be easily deactivated if not desired.
Vernee uses a 13MP sensor in the rear camera, which does a great job especially because its accurate color representation. Number of details and sharpness are quite good as well. As it is common for phones in this price range, sharpness and number of details strongly decrease in low light conditions and at night. The dynamic range is not that good, so it is better to use the HDR mode from time to time. Vernee M5’s main camera is perfectly suitable for snapshots and does a significantly better job than the cameras of Vernee Thor and Thor Plus.
The 8MP front camera is strongly influenced by the software; as a consequence, the features of the face seem to be very artificial. However, selfies are not completely bad. Those looking for a useful camera in the price range of up to 100$ won’t be disappointed by Vernee M5.
Connectivity and communication
Vernee convinces in terms of connectivity. All necessary 2G (850/900/1800/1900), 3G (900/2100) and 4G (TD LTE B1/B3/B7/B20) are available. Voice quality is high and the earpiece is loud enough. There were never complaints about voice quality. The speakerphone can be used as well, but it creates a clear echo.
The internal speaker is how you would expect a speaker to be in this price range. The sound is free from basses, but even at highest volume there are no distortions. The sound however is not really loud.
Bluetooth 4.0 works well and has a good range and a stable reception. The Wi-Fi module with n-standard is good, too. Range is good and throughput is sufficient. The smartphone provides an acceleration, a proximity and a brightness sensor as well as a compass. Vernee M5 does not support a gyroscope, OTG and NFC. On the other hand, the phone has a well-functioning FM radio.
The GPS reception is sufficient for car navigation and worked without any problems. Pedestrian navigation with the compass works perfectly as well.
BatteryBattery lifetime Result Unit: hours
Vernee M5 houses a 3300mAh battery with 4.2V. The battery is charged with a 1.5A charging adapter, which takes about 2 hours. If you are using dual-SIM, GPS and Bluetooth, Vernee M5 struggles and you cannot make it through the day. If you turn on GPS only when you really need it, almost all users will make it through the day.
During the test, I got 3-4 hours DOT (display-on time) with occasionally high demands. In the PC Mark battery test the phone lasted for good 7 hours and 37 minutes. Vernee M5 ranks between Cubot Note Plus and Redmi 4a.