Okay, we have a thing for curves, and dual-edge displays strike a particular chord in our reviewers' hearts. It's irrational, naturally, as the great looks of the curved screen come at the expense of handling and the vivo Xplay5 Elite is no exception.
Elite it truly is though - in appearance, build, presentation. The vivo flagship's appeal is not just skin deep either - some premium hardware is put to good use and the contender stands tall next to the established players.
The vivo Xplay5 Elite is a premium smartphone and commands a high price. That said, its price of about $650 in China is still some $200 less than what Samsung's charging on the Galaxy S7 edge, and the S6 edge+ isn't much cheaper than its successor either. That makes the Elite a viable alternative to the two Samsung curve-screened offerings, and you won't really be sacrificing much.
The S7 edge has IP certification, better battery life and inductive charging, plus that dual-pixel autofocus, and potentially better support down the line, so it's up to you to judge whether those features can justify the higher price. The Xplay5 Elite, on the other hand, has a higher-res primary camera that can give the S7 edge a run for its money in good light and 4K video quality may actually be on vivo's side too.
The OnePlus 3 is often in the same conversation when the Xplay5 Elite gets mentioned, both of them sporting 6GB of RAM on top of their Snapdragon 820's. Audio enthusiasts may opt for the vivo for its dual-DAC-triple-amp setup, and the Elite does win a few extra points for fashion with its curved display. The OnePlus 3 is significantly cheaper, though, and has better chances for official software updates, plus a very active community for unofficial mods.
The Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe has yet to hit the stores, but if you haven't yet picked up a vivo Xplay5 Elite, the Zenfone may be worth waiting for. With a price of $500, the Deluxe will spare you $150 over the Elite, but you'll be trading off display resolution, not to mention curves. That 3,000mAh battery inside the Asus phablet raises some concerns, though.
And if we're going the affordable route, there is also the ZUK Z2 Pro and the LeEco Le Max 2 - both fully tricked-out smartphones retailing for about $420 and $380, respectively. Neither has the Elite's flair, that's for sure, but both match it on chipset and RAM (in the top-spec'd versions).
Ultimately, whether the vivo Xplay5 Elite is the right phone for you could be down to a simple Yes/No question. If it's available to purchase in your country, which is hardly a given, it's not a very tough choice over one of Samsung's edges - it's cheaper, yet it's equally good without the gimmicky Edge UI functionality.
Then again, there are similarly equipped competitors for, say, two thirds of the Elite's asking price. None of them has a dual-curved display and that premium presence but then again, they don't raise questions about your aesthetic motivation.
Yes, vivo has gone to a new extreme by pulling a double impersonation with the Xplay5 Elite. Something more subtle may arguably have been more convincing but obviously easier to miss too. The same goes for the price - but we'll let you to be the judge of that.