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Vivo Y55s Full Review – A Notable Y55 Upgrade?

The Vivo Y55s emerges in the smartphone marketplace as a Y55 variant with better specs and a better camera. With a notable price increase accompanying the upgrade, is this phone worth buying in 2017? We find out in this full review of the Y55s.

Buying a Vivo Y55s brand new should get you:

  • Vivo Y55s unit (1 pc.)
  • Travel Charger (1 pc.)
  • Micro-USB Charging Cable (1 pc.)
  • Clear Protector for Y55s unit (1 pc.)
  • Earphones (1 pair)
  • SIM slot opener (1 pc.)

Build and Construction

The Y55s takes after past Vivo units like the V5, V5s, and the Y55. Namely, the design looks simple yet clean and vibrant, with a nice metallic sheen and finish for the back. Unlike the V5 series, however, this 5.2-inch phone adds two thin white lines for the top and bottom. This design can also be seen in other smartphones, and I don’t actually mind it on this device. In addition, I also liked the slightly raised Vivo logo on the back. Other phones would simply stick with a printed-on logo, but Vivo goes the extra mile here. Simply put, the design choices added here cause a positive effect on the overall look of the phone.

Furthermore, the Y55s sticks to capacitive buttons in an era where on-screen icons stand as the norm. I personally liked this choice, as having the three main buttons off-screen allows for a more maximized use of the display. The only thing I didn’t like, however, was the lack of sensation. What I mean is that the capacitive buttons do not automatically vibrate upon use or touch, and by default your hands don’t feel anything when you press them. It kinda makes it hard to know if you actually managed to press something.

Tactile sensation aside, let us look at the button placement. Notably, the right side should have all the physical buttons. Namely, the volume and lock buttons. The left portion, meanwhile, holds the SIM card holder, while the top contains the micro SD card holder. Both sections require the use of the opening pin included in the box. Finally, the micro-USB port and the speaker grill stay on the bottom of the phone.

Related: Vivo V5s Review

OS, UI, and Apps

Based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the Funtouch OS 3.0 looks simple, and overall decent. It doesn’t do anything remarkable that differentiates it from Android, though. The default Vivo icons share the same minimal design, and using the Y55s feels almost exactly like a stock Android.  Of course, I don’t mean that negatively, as Funtouch feels intuitive rather than something you have to figure out first.

 

Unlike cheaper phones in the market, the Y55s lacks any form of bloatware. Often, cheaper phone brands put built-in ads within the phone, promoting their brand-focused apps. In contrast, Vivo does none of this and leaves the user to access their phone without any interruptions. To illustrate this point, the Y55s’ stock apps (that are not Google apps) only include Vivo Cloud for backups, UC Browser, WPS Office, Amazon, WhatsApp, and a theme store.

Another positive point to raise is the relative ease with using the interface and opening apps. The 3GB RAM and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 chipset. With a quadcore processor clocking in at 1.4 GHz, it’s on the lower end of the spectrum, but it should be able to satisfy the casual user. However, we’ll get to the nitty-gritty of these specs later on in the review

Camera

Focusing on the camera setup, we see that the Y55s main shooter sports a 13-megapixel sensor and an f/2.2 aperture. This translates to good landscape shots and macros in daylight, with the only drawback in blurry details when zooming into the photo. In addition, the colors are somewhat mute, except in HDR where it all pops well. Simply put, the general image quality looks nice, but going for the closer details might disappoint.

Meanwhile, the Y55s autofocus activates quickly, and low-light shots look fine when Night Mode is in play. Shooting modes include face beauty, panorama, professional, slow-mo video, time-lapse, and ultra HD. The camera interface reminds me of the Funtouch UI–simple and a little drab, but easy to grasp. I think this is a great approach, especially when marketing it to casual users who mainly focus on the image output and quality.

Finally, a modest 5-megapixel front camera captures the selfies for the Y55s. With the same f/2.2 aperture in use, the selfies get good detail, as long as the lighting is sufficient. In darker setups, however, users should consider that the screen flash may not evenly provide proper illumination.

Vivo Y55s Sample Photos:

 

Performance and Benchmarks

In the OS and Apps section, we briefly mentioned the specs of the Vivo Y55s, namely, the chipset and RAM. The 1.4GHz quadcore processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 chipset, and 3GB RAM, simply put, demonstrates decent performance, although it’s not top-notch. The apps do not show any signs of lag, even with multiple apps open at the same time, and our test game, Dead Trigger 2, went on smoothly.

Honestly, the only way we can truly see the difference between the Y55s performance and other phones like the V5 and V5s, would be through the benchmark numbers. On that note, we got an AnTuTu number of 36044, while 3DMark showed 0.7 FPS on Graphics Test 1, and around 10 FPS on Graphics Test 2, with FPS dips of as low as 4 FPS. The final number given by 3DMark Slingshot is 53.

To recap the benchmark numbers we got:

  • AnTuTu – 36044
  • 3DMark Slingshot – 53

Battery Life

The 2,730 mAh non-removable Li-Ion battery sounds like it wouldn’t keep the Vivo Y55s alive for long on a full charge, but you would be surprised. I commend Vivo for creating a phone that can squeeze as much utility as it can from such a small battery, in fact. On a full charge, with moderate use (full screen brightness, mobile data turned on), the Vivo Y55s lasted us almost a whole day before it hit the critical mark. On an HD video loop, on the other hand, we got as much as 11 and a half hours, which is simply remarkable.

Using the pre-packed charger with the Y55s isn’t too shabby either, with the phone taking about two hours to get from zero to 100 percent.

Conclusion

We return to the original question: does the Y55s’ specs and camera justify the PHP 1,000 increase in price? For context, the original Y55 retailed at PHP 7,990 while the Y55s sells for PHP 8,990.

The verdict: yes, it does, but only if you set your expectations properly. For a mere 1k increase, you get a competent phone with decent specs and a good main camera for under PHP 10,000. Basically, the Y55s presents itself as a simple, decently-designed smartphone which plays most casual mobile games, takes good selfies and photos in good lighting. Furthermore, the Funtouch UI allows for intuitive learning in terms of use. It’s definitely an entry-level phone for those who finally have the cash to buy something a little bit pricier. My only caveat is that if you’re expecting a flagship-level device, you’re better off with something like a Vivo V5 or V5 Plus.

POSITIVES

+ Decent set of specs for >10k price point
+ Minimalist outer design
+ Funtouch OS skin feels intuitive and easy-to-learn
+ Virtually no bloatware
+ Surprisingly long battery life

NEGATIVES 

– The specs are technically a little low-end
– The camera setup is decent, but images lack detail when zoomed in
– Front camera flash is weak

Vivo Y55s Specs

OSAndroid 6.0 Marshmallow, Funtouch OS 3.0
Processor1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor
Memory3GB
Display5.2-inch IPS display, 1280 x 720 resolution, ~282ppi
StorageExpandable 16GB onboard storage
Camera13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash + 5-megapixel front camera
SIMDual-SIM
Battery2,730mAh non-removable battery
Weight142 g
Dimensions147.9 x 72.9 x 7.5 mm
ColorsCrown Gold, Rose Gold

More photos of the Vivo Y55s: 

     

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