* Good design
* Decent performance and battery life
* Android Marshmallow out of the box
* Low price
* Creaky plastic body
* Limited internal storage
Vivo launched a new smartphone in the Philippines a couple of weeks ago in the form of the Vivo Y55. It’s an entry-level device with a 5.2-inch display, Snapdragon 430 CPU, 2GB RAM, LTE, and a sub-Php8K price tag. It also categorizes itself as a selfie-centric phone with its Smart Screen flash, but how does it stack up with other selfie devices in market? Let’s find out.
Design and Construction
If the Y55 reminds you of another smartphone brand, you’re right, as this heavily reminds us of the OPPO F1s with a few differences. It’s quite understandable though considering that Vivo and OPPO are under a same parent company – BBK Electronics Corporation. It has a white face, rounded sides and corners, and a rear that reminds us of the iPhone.
Up front we have the 5.2-inch display, above it are the earpiece, 5MP front camera, and sensors. Down below are three unlit capacitive navigation buttons for Options, Home, and Back.
On the left is the dual-SIM card tray for a nano and micro-sized SIMs. On the right are the volume keys and the power/lock button.
Up top are the headset jack and the dedicated microSD card slot. Down at the bottom are the microphone, microUSB port, and loudspeaker.
Flip it on its back and you will see the 8MP camera and LED flash, a couple of antenna bands, and the Vivo branding right in the middle.
On hand, the Y55 has a size that is neither too big nor too small, which makes it comfortable to hold even those with small hands. It has a chrome lining on the edges that adds extra grip while the back has a metallic matte finish that repels smudges and fingerprints well.
My only complaint is the plastic body that creaks when you squeeze it. It’s a big turn off considering that it almost looks premium, but feels different to the touch. In addition, it’s also susceptible to micro scratches so you might want to use the protective case that is included in the package right away.
Display and Multimedia
The display comes with a modest 5.2-inch screen size with HD resolution or equal to 282ppi. Pixels are discernible, but not an eye-sore. Screen quality is good with natural colors, wide viewing angles, can produce enough brightness for outdoor use, and has eye protection mode for night-time viewing.
As for the down-firing loudspeaker, it may not look like much but it can produce loud sounds with a subtle bass. It’s not that great though compared to more expensive, media-centric smartphones, but it is better than other devices in this price range, and good enough for some private listening.
OS, UI, and Apps
It’s good that Vivo decided to equip the Y55 with Funtouch OS powered by Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. Even the Vivo V3 Max is still stuck with 5.1.1 Lollipop. UI-wise, nothing much has changed. It still has a clean interface with attractive icons. There’s no app drawer as all apps are placed in homescreens.
Swiping from the top to bottom will reveal notifications, while swiping from the bottom will show shortcut keys and recent apps. Doing screenshots are cumbersome though as you need to access it via a shortcut key which takes a few of presses instead of the usual volume down + lock button combo.
One of the features the Y55 is flaunting is the Smart Split. It essentially lets you split the screen in two for easier multitasking like watching a video while reading a message. Not a game-changer, but it’s good to have it even for a 5.2-inch screen.
When it comes to apps, the Y55 doesn’t have a lot pre-installed. It’s mostly Google apps which you cannot uninstall. It’s a bit annoying especially if you’re not using any of them. Other apps include Vivo’s Easy Share wireless file transfer, Facebook, and WPS Office.
Storage-wise, you have 16GB of claimed storage, but with only 8.95GB as usable. That’s pretty much limited, but you can use a microSD card via its dedicated slot for heavy media files like music, videos, and photos.
Imaging is handled by an 8MP main shooter with a 5MP front for selfies which is what you’d normally find in entry-level devices. Images produced are decent with sufficient details even when shooting indoors or in low-light. Autofocus is also fairly quick, but a bit sluggish when shooting subjects up close.
The front camera, on the other hand, doesn’t offer much in terms of resolution, but it has beautify, one-tap makeover, and smart screen flash for selfies in the dark. Don’t expect great quality flash though, but it will suffice as a fill flash in some scenarios.
As for videos, it can shoot at up to 1080p resolution at 30fps in MP4 format. Watch sample below:
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the Y55 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core, Adreno 505 GPU, and 2GB RAM. Specs are modest, but it can handle basic tasks including some graphics-heavy games. Apps launch fast, while animations and transitions were smooth. We played a few games including EA’s UFC and it was able to run well. Take a look at the benchmark scores below:
* AnTuTu – 41,904
* Quadrant Standard – 16,741
* Vellamo – 1,429 (Multicore), 1,024 (Metal), 2,678 (Chrome)
* 3D Mark – 292 (Sling Shot ES 3.1)
* PC Mark – 5,081 (Work 1.0), 3,550 (Work 2.0), 2,895 (Storage)
Connectivity and Call Quality
The Y55 got all the basic connectivity features covered. It has 4G LTE and full dual-SIM support without that limiting hybrid setup. There’s WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS as well. No NFC though, but not really a deal breaker. When it comes to call quality, they’re loud and clear as long as you’re in an area with strong coverage.
At 2,650mAh capacity, we understand if you frown upon as most smartphones go for 3,000mAh minimum. However, given the modest specs it was able to last for 10 to 11 hours with light calls and text, constant WiFi connectivity with heavy social media apps usage. Using PC Mark’s battery benchmark, it was rated at 9 hours and 21 minuteswhich is good. If you’re looking for fast charging, sad to say it’s not available although the CPU supports Quick Charge 3.0. Vivo is probably reserving it for models with bigger batteries.
The Vivo Y55 is pretty good entry-level device for something that is priced at Php7,990. It has good design, decent specs, and Android Marshmallow out of the box. However, it’s not going to wow a lot users, considering that its competitors in the Philippines are launching phones with better specs for about the same price, particularly the Cherry Mobile Flare X2. That said, the Y55 is good, but not good enough.
Vivo Y55 specs:
- 5.2-inch HD IPS display, 282ppi
- 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core CPU
- Adreno 505 GPU
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB internal storage
- up to 128GB via microSD (dedicated slot)
- 8MP rear autofocus camera w/ LED flash
- 5MP front camera w/ screen flash
- 4G LTE
- Wi-Fi 802.11ac
- Bluetooth 4.1
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
- USB OTG
- Funtouch OS 2.6 (Android 6.0 Marshmallow)
- 2,650mAh (non-removable) battery
- 147.9 x 72.9 x 7.5 mm
- 142 g