GadgetsLab: Vivo Y55

One indicator that a brand has made it is if you see their products being used almost everywhere. I can confidently say this is the case for Vivo. Launched in the Philippines just five months ago, the Chinese brand has already secured its place in the market with their aggressively priced, yet capable phones. Just recently, Vivo launched an entry-level phone that should prove to be a big hit in the country. Here’s our review of it.

Design: 4/5

The Y55 easily stands out among the phones within its class. Though classified as an entry-level phone, it sports a gorgeous metal unibody that’s characteristic of a premium smartphone.

Looking at the Y55, the first thing you’ll notice is its design. It’s no unique affair like most phones in its segment, but it is undeniably an attractive sight. On the front is a slightly embossed screen that is flanked with a 5 MP camera at the top and capacitive navigation keys at the bottom.

Situated on the sides of the Y55 are its SIM slot, volume rocker, and power/lock button. Atop the device is a 3.5 mm audio jack and a microSD slot that sits a few spaces from the former. The bottom holds its micro USB port and speaker grille. Flip the phone to its back and you’ll see its 8 MP camera accompanied with an LED flash and the Vivo emblem right in the middle

Hardware: 3.5/5

Under the hood of the Y55 are hardware that work together to deliver performance worth noticing. Bannering its spec sheet is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor that promises power and running efficiency. This is paired with 2 GB RAM that’s not big per se, but works great in tandem with the phone’s processor. The Y55 ships with a 16 GB internal storage that is expandable via a microSD card. Using the phone as a daily driver was surprisingly pleasant. I found myself turning to it more for entertainment though having a huge primary phone. Playing games after games and checking on social media updates simultaneously offered little challenge to the Y55’s processing power. However, I think that if pushed take on more intensive tasks given its limited RAM, the phone might slow down.

As an entry-level phone, the Y55 could not contest the V3 Max’s cameras which I really had fun with. Though it offers huge megapixels on paper, I didn’t quite see that in use. The 8 MP rear camera was decent enough for taking photos in welllit conditions while its 5 MP selfie snapper was sluggish.

It’s HD display that offers 1280 x 720 resolution was nice to look at. It produces just the right brightness which can be adjusted to the user’s preference and provides good viewing angles. I would have to say that it lacked a bit of punch in terms of color reproduction, but to the average pair of eyes this wouldn’t be much of an issue.

User Experience: 4/5

The Y55 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow overlaid with Vivo’s own UI. I’m not a fan of Vivo’s TouchUI layout and look but navigation-wise it’s a smooth integration. Notification alerts can be accessed via swiping the screen from the top, meanwhile you have to swipe upwards from the bottom for the settings. One of the features I liked from this phone’s UI is a green line at the topmost part of the screen that indicates the battery’s status when topping up. Though, a huge part of the screen displays the battery’s percentage, I prefer turning to the green line as an indicator better.

The three capacitive keys right below the screen were a bit of a let down. There were times when pushing them over and over and harder made no difference. Albeit slightly disappointing, this issue is really not something to be frowned upon as a quick wipe helps it be more responsive.

Value: 4/5

With a sticker price of PHP 7,990, the Y55 falls under the list of phones to recommend to friends new to the world of Android. Crammed with an able processor, good-looking display, and body that feels solid in the hand, the Y55 manages to hold its own in the vicious smartphone market.

Bottomline:

This holiday season, gift someone a new Vivo Y55!

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