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Review: Vivo Y55 a perfect everyday phone

WHEN a phone brands itself as selfie-centric, people might expect that they’ll only be left with a handset, whose only strong point is its camera.

But when a handset adds sleek design and an intuitive OS into the mix, you’ve got yourself a do-it-all smartphone perfect for the busy millennial.

Launched a couple of weeks ago, the new Vivo Y55 is the latest smartphone from the company to hit Philippine shores- the first entry-level phone from the Chinese manufacturer. 

For starters, the device has a 5.2-inch display--giving it a “just right” feel, not too big or too small. Right off the bat, the phone offers the Funtouch OS powered by Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and comes with 2GB RAM, 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core CPU. 

Certainly the definite phone fit for all of the apps and heavy processes, but we’re still not close to the good part.

First Glance

Of course, the phone already packs a punch with the specs mentioned, but the simple yet elegant design should also be highlighted.

The Y55 may remind you of another handset, with its rounded corners and white face, the Oppo F1s comes to mind, but that’s perfectly understandable as the two brands are under one mother company--BKK Electronics. 

Up top, it has the standard 35mm jack for headsets, the dedicated micro SD card slot on the left side with the slots for micro and nano sims, which let you expand storage without sacrificing a sim tray unlike with other brands. On the right are the power/lock buttons as well as the volume keys. 

The 5MP front-facing camera also sits neatly with the proximity and light sensors, while below the screen are the unlit capacitive navigation buttons for Options, Home, and Back. At the bottom part are the microUSB port, speakers and the microphone.

At the back back are Vivo’s brand name , the 8MP camera, and the LED flash, making for a compact design without the unnecessary parts. 

The Y55 has a matte metallic finish and a chrome lining that adds extra grip. The material can repel fingerprints and smudges, but one needs not worry as the model comes with a screen protector and casing off the box.

The Inside

Vivo’s Y55 has a non-removable 2650mAh battery, but it can last half a day with  light calls and text, and 10 hours of constant WiFi connectivity, while heavy apps usage doesn’t seem to drain the juice quickly especially considering it has an octacore processor to feed. 

The phone can still perform fast even if games and apps are still running on the background, and with the Fun Touch Operating system, you can customize a wide array of things using iThemes. The OS also allows you to put apps in folders and the motion is fluid without lag even with apps in constant running.

The OS also has an out of pocket feature which allows users to simply remove the phone from their pockets and it will automatically turn on thanks to its light sensors which also automatically adjusts brightness when outdoors.

It has a clean interface with attractive icons and swiping from the top to bottom will reveal notifications, while swiping from the bottom will show shortcut keys and recent apps.

The Y55 boasts of a split screen feature, which this writer thinks is a neat addition as users can read messages while watching a video. 

Overall performance

The main camera can shoot at up to 1080p resolution at 30fps in MP4 format as well as an Ultra HD mode, which Vivo claims can ramp up the advertised 8 megapixels to 32. 

The main shooter has the usual modes like HDR, Panorama and night shooting, but it also allows the Pro mode, hyperlapse and slow-motion features. 

The front cam comes with brightness compensation and screenflash for the perfect selfie, even in lowlight conditions. The face beauty feature automatically filters the face to cut out blemishes and enhances somewhat bland facial features. 

It also has an array of intuitive options for shutters. The voice shutter lets you capture selfies by saying “cheese”, the gesture shutter captures pics when users hold out their palm and a gender detection feature, which, well, I don’t really know what for. 

The display screen can handle HD resolution or 282ppi and the screen is discernible from all angles. The loudspeaker, well, can be loud, but compared to some media-centric phones, it can pass off as average.

Doing screenshots isn’t as simple as with most phones but the super screenshot shortcut is very much enjoyable to navigate. 

You can screenshot more than one page for a long screenshot, while rectangular screenshots lets you select what you only want to capture on the screen. Funny screenshots enable users to edit captured images then and there while the screen recording feature is just awesome that can record up to an hour of activity--perfect for demo videos because the shortcut lets users record voice while recording.

The phone doesn’t have a lot pre-installed apps. There are only a handful of Google apps which you cannot uninstall and other apps include Vivo’s Easy Share wireless file transfer, Facebook, and WPS Office.

There is a 16GB of internal storage-wise, but only 8.95GB as usable. However, the phone compensates that with the expandable microSD card slot and a built in cloud service.

The verdict

The Vivo Y55 is a packed entry-level device which boasts some decent specs but an even more attractive P7,990 price tag.

The strong points are its elegant design, intuitive OS and processors, and the reliable battery life, but there are still minimal improvements that the phone may need especially with its plastic casing and screen that is susceptible to micro scratches, but with a sub-P8,000 phone like this, the best it can offer is its affordable price. 

The phone is a perfect everyday companion even for heavy gaming geeks, selfie-centric peeps and everyone that wants a fairly-priced phone that can offer decent specs. 

All in all, the Vivo Y55 can go toe-to-toe with most brands today, and with the holidays creeping in, this phone is certainly a prime addition to anyone’s Christmas shopping list.

Topics: Vivo Y55 , smartphone
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