The midrange smartphone market in the Philippines is now more saturated than ever. So in an attempt to keep surviving, Vivo introduced the brand new Vivo Y17.
Standing at the sub-Php13k price segment, the Vivo Y17 will try to keep the money flowing for the tech brand with its features geared for the mainstream market.
But here in our Vivo Y17 review, we want to see if this device is actually one of the best options for the price. Let’s start.
Vivo Y17 Specs
- Android 9.0 Pie, Funtouch 9
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 6.35 inch IPS + LCD display, 720 x 1544 pixel resolution, ~268ppi
- MediaTek Helio P35 octa-core processor
- 4GB RAM
- PowerVR GE8320
- 128GB, non-expandable
- 20-megapixel selfie camera, f/2.0
- 13-megapixel (f/2.2) + 8-megapixel (ultra-wide) + 2-megapixel (depth sensor) rear cameras, LED flash
- Rear-mounted Fingerprint scanner
- 4G LTE
- WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
- Bluetooth 5.0
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
- Dimensions: 159.4 x 76.8 x 8.9 mm
- Weight: 190g
- Colors: Mineral blue, Mystic Purple
- 5,000mAh non-removable battery, 18W charger
Design and Build Quality
The Vivo Y17 is definitely one of the most premium-looking, overly designed smartphone that we saw in this category. The Mineral Blue color variant that we have here has a color gradient look, with slanting lines etched behind a reflective, glass-like panel that feels like glass and really prone to fingerprint marks and smudges.
Vivo Y17’s front and back panel is being held by a metal chassis. The glass material on the back slightly protrudes as it touches the metal band. This results in slightly sharp edges, making the device a bit uncomfortable to hold.
At 8.9mm of thickness and 190g of weight, it feels a little bulky in the hands. However, that’s acceptable since we’re getting a bigger battery from it.
The Vivo Y17 sports a dewdrop notch on the front, with ultra-thin bezels on the sides, and a slightly thicker bezel on the chin.
On the left side, we have the SIM tray that can house two nano SIMs and a microSD card that can hold up to 256GB of storage.
The right side has the lock/power switch below the volume controls. The physical buttons are easily reachable and provide a tactile and clicky feel when pressed.
Vivo Y17’s top is empty, while on the bottom we the microUSB port, instead of the more modern USB Type-C. A 3.5mm headphone jack, and a poor-sounding loudspeaker that sounds muffled and distorted are also down here.
On the back, there’s the fingerprint scanner on the middle that’s easily reachable by your index finger. There’s the triple camera on the top left, protected by a gold-painted metal band, with an unnoticeable camera bump.
Overall, the Vivo Y17 has a relatively sleek and flashy design, despite its large display and heavy battery module.
The Vivo Y17 has a 6.35-inch HD+ IPS display with a 1544 x 720 pixel resolution and ~268ppi. This is one of the biggest downsides of the Y17 — for a device at this price point, we should already be getting a sharper FHD+ screen.
To the normal eye, the lack of sharpness might not be noticeable. But for tech enthusiasts like us, or those who came from a smartphone with an FHD screen, you can immediately notice the lack of detail.
Thankfully, the color quality is decent. In addition, the size is great for gaming and consuming media. Its screen backlight is also good, making it usable outdoors.
Hardware and Performance
The Vivo Y17 has an underwhelming MediaTek Helio P35 octa-core processor, PowerVR GE8320 graphics, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of expandable storage. For a device at this price, we should be getting at least a Helio P60 processor.
Thankfully, its performance in basic tasks was passable. Light apps like Facebook and Instagram ran well, with no noticeable stuttering while browsing the newsfeeds. Taking a picture is also relatively fast, watching videos is fine, and switching between apps is smooth enough thanks to its decent 4GB of RAM.
Vivo Y17 benchmarks
Its performance in gaming is fine, but I think we really deserve better. Resource-hungry games like PUBG Mobile and NBA 2k19 ran with acceptable frame rates but under the lowest graphics settings.
Asphalt 9 was also playable, but with more noticeable frame drops. On the upside, Mobile Legends ran smoothly on this device. The Vivo Y17 also has a Game Assistant feature and even an eSports mode, so you can game without any distractions.
Software and User Interface
The Vivo Y17 runs on Android 9 Pie with Funtouch OS 9 UI, which is probably the most stuffed and intuitive manufacturer-made interface that we have tested.
Unlike OPPO’s ColorOS, Funtouch has features that make the device more comfortable to use. For starters, you can easily swipe up from the home screen to access the Shortcut center in full screen. It houses not just your WiFi and Bluetooth toggles, but also the brightness and volume sliders, commonly used apps, and more.
Swipe down from the far top to see your notification, or swipe halfway down for a quick local search. The home screen looks neat, but you don’t have an option to use an app drawer. Meanwhile, swiping from the far left of the home screen reveals shows your most-used apps, Jovi Smart scene, weather, and more.
Speaking of which, the Jovi assistant has Smart Camera and Smart Scene features. Unlike what you’re thinking, it doesn’t work like Siri, Alexa, or any other smart assistant. Basically, it makes use of the device’s AI for better camera features and provide timely cards of information depending on your current/upcoming activity.
The Vivo Y17 also has an Ultra Game Mode feature. It basically removes distracting notification and optimizes the system to make games run at top condition. There’s also the shortcuts tab that you can easily access while you’re in-game.
Just like most smartphones, the Vivo Y17 uses Google’s own keyboard. It’s easy to type on and has easy access to GIFs and Google search. The camera app is intuitive to use, and the Calls/Contact apps give you easy access to your friends and family.
Having a fingerprint scanner and face unlock are standard biometrics feature that a lot of devices have. The Vivo Y17 has both of them, and they both work well.
The fingerprint scanner on the back is placed high enough to be easily reachable by your index finger. You can also use it to authenticate mobile payments using Alipay.
Vivo Y17’s face unlock feature also worked fast and reliably. You can enable the ‘Raise to Wake’ feature to make it work even faster. Plus, the handset can detect if there’s a weak ambient light source, so it will display a white screen to light up your face for it to work.
One of the biggest features of the Vivo Y17 is its cameras. This one comes with a triple camera setup on the back, which consists of a 13-megapixel primary camera, 8-megapixel ultra-wide shooter, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.
The images coming out from its 13-megapixel camera lacks sharpness. Also, both the colors and contrast is a bit mediocre. Its low-light performance is fine, although a better aperture than what it has (f/2.2) could have made images taken indoors or at night better.
Vivo Y17’s AI scene detection has a different implementation. Instead of simply tapping an ‘AI’ button, you have to access the Filters tab, enable the AI feature, and let the device choose the appropriate filter for a particular image.
The quality coming out from its 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens is pretty much the same. Also, it appears that the software is doing some software optimization, which makes the images appear sharper than they normally should.
Probably its best benefit is the wide field of view. You can cram in more subject on a single frame or create an image with a more interesting composition.
On the other hand, the 2-megapixel depth sensor did a pretty poor job capturing depth information. As you can see, it has bad edge detection, creating that obvious cutout look.
Just like a lot of midrange smartphones, the Vivo Y17 comes with a good selfie snapper. This one has a sharp 20-megapixel front-facing camera. It’s partnered with tons of novelty features like AI face beauty and Fun Video.
As expected, the front sensor captures a lot of detail, which also provides more room for its face beauty mode to work with. Unlike before, you can enable face beauty without the image look too soft and artificial.
The Vivo Y17 has a 5,000mAh battery, a capacity that comes standard on most smartphones these days. It’s also bundled with a fast 18W dual-engine fast charger, which can fill up the device back to 100% at around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Thanks to its low-resolution screen and low-power processor, the device was able to churn out good battery performance.
PCMark’s battery loop test gave it a score of 12 hours and 42 minutes of screen-on time before reaching 20%. In real-world scenarios, you can get a full day of use with this device with light to moderate usage. Long gaming sessions and Netflix binge-watching are also possible with the Vivo Y17.
The Vivo Y17 has a lot of things going on with it. Clearly, Vivo knows who they are selling this smartphone for.
For one, there’s the flashy and premium-looking design that makes it look more expansive than what it actually is. It also has a large display that’s great for productivity, gaming, and watching movies. Plus,
You can enjoy all those features for an entire day thanks to its chunky 5,000mAh battery. We also have the triple camera setup that gives flexibility on different shooting scenarios. To top it off, there’s a roomy 128GB of storage for you to store all your photos on.
However, if gaming and overall performance are what you’re after, then you might be better off looking somewhere else. The processor of choice was too underwhelming for the price. And for a device that retails above Php10k, we should already be getting an FHD+ screen.
Vivo Y17 pricing and availability in the Philippines
The Vivo Y17 had an initial price of Php12,999 when it came out in the Philippines. But now, it’s now Php1,000 cheaper at Php11,999. You can get it at Vivo stores, kiosks, and multi-brand shops nationwide. As well as online through Lazada, Shopee, Akulaku, and official Vivo stores.
- Flashy design
- Intuitive, feature-packed interface
- Good battery life
- Flexible cameras
- Large storage capacity
- Underwhelming processor choice
- Only HD+ display