Vivo updated their last year’s budget offering with the Vivo Y55s. However, the company didn’t pour too much effort on this refresh.
The Y55s only got a bumped up RAM capacity, a better set of cameras, and a slightly increased battery power. Design-wise, it’s still the same as well as with the other features.
So the question is: Is it a worthy upgrade to last year’s Y55? Or to put it more simply, is it a worthy budget smartphone? Let’s figure that out.
Vivo Y55s Specs
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Funtouch OS 3.0
- Dual SIM (Nano + Micro), dual standby
- 5.2-inch IPS display, 1280 x 720 resolution, ~282ppi
- 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 quad-core processor
- 3GB RAM
- Adreno 306 GPU
- 16GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 256GB
- 5-megapixel front camera
- 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, f/2.2
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.2
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
- microUSB 2.0, OTG compatible
- Dimensions: 147.9 x 72.9 x 7.5mm
- Weight: 142g
- Crown Gold, Rose Gold
- 2730mAh non-removable Li-Ion battery
Design and Build Quality
Like I said, the Vivo Y55s shares the same design as its predecessor and pretty much every other smartphone that took inspiration from the iPhone.
With that, we still have the familiar all-metal, unibody build. Despite looking the same, this design language actually works. It’s kind of elegant, and the materials used made it sturdy like a brick. Probably the only drawback of using metal is the added weight that it gives. The Vivo Y55s isn’t the lightest of them all, but nothing worth stressing about.
The back panel also smoothly wraps at the sides of the back, making it really comfortable to hold. And speaking of the corners, the left side houses the clicky, and decently tactile volume controls and lock/power switch. At the top, we have the microSD card’s own, dedicated slot. Next to it is the microphone for noise-cancellation and the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The left side of the Vivo Y55s houses the dual SIM card slot (standard, micro), while at the bottom we have the built-in microphone, microUSB port, and the loudspeaker. The speaker does provide a surprisingly loud volume, with very little to almost non-existent distortion when maxed out. The sound is also well-balanced, with noticeable bass, but not thumping.
In front, there’s a 5.2-inch HD screen and below it are the capacitive buttons (Left to Right: Recent Apps, Home, Back). It would have been nice if the trio was backlit, but I didn’t have any problems distinguishing which is which in the dark.
Overall, the Vivo Y55s looks decent and feels good in the hands. The design might be getting old, but Vivo did do nothing wrong on its physical features.
The Vivo Y55s showcases a 5.2-inch IPS display, with an HD resolution of 1280 x 720, populated with 282 pixels-per-inch.
This is one of the best screens that I have seen in this price category. The colors do pop, with good contrast thanks to its deep blacks. And with its right size, watching movies or playing games are without any hand fatigue.
The viewing angles are also top-notch. It appears that the actual panel was laminated well with the glass. The screen can also get really bright, making it still usable outdoors at direct sunlight.
Hardware and Performance
Inside the Y55s is the 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 octa-core processor, with 3GB of RAM for multitasking, and Adreno 306 GPU to power the visuals, and 16GB of expandable storage (up to 256GB) to store all the meida stuff on.
The combination of everything equates to an overall average performance. Game titles like Stacks and NBA Live were playable at good frame rates, with some occasional stuttering or lags, but nothing too distracting.
The 3GB RAM was also showing off on this thing. I was able to switch between applications seamlessly. You can browse the web, Facebook and Instagram, without any noticeable hitch.
In general, I’m pretty impressed with the Vivo Y55s’ performance. It’s reliable for day-to-day tasks and it can handle games pretty well.
All these “budget-friendly” brands have always focused on bringing the best design and hardware to their offerings which is a feat that’s hard to pull off if you’re only asking for an affordable price tag. However, due to their low-cost smartphones, some corners should be really cut. One of those compromised areas has always been the operating system.
The Vivo Y55s only runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, with their own FunTouch OS 3.0 on top. Sure, the manufacturer-made skin may conceal the out of date OS version, but you’re still missing the benefits of running Nougat. We do hope that Vivo would jump directly to Oreo. But judging by their reputation of not releasing OS upgrades, let’s not get our hopes up too high.
Vivo’s FunTouch OS is probably one of the most identical interfaces from Apple’s iOS. From the icons, fonts and just the overall design language — everything is reminiscent of the one running on the iPhone. Heck, they even had the quick controls coming out from the bottom of the screen.
But nonetheless, the user-experience was pretty satisfying. Once you get used to it, you’d learn to love it.
Just like the OPPO A71, the Vivo Y55s got its priorities right in the camera department. What we have here is a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and a 13-megapixel shooter at the back. If you’re all about selfies, then you’re better off somewhere else. But if you’re most people who aren’t obsessed with their face, then the Y55s might do you good.
The primary camera can take decent pictures. Images have ample sharpness, acceptable colors, and decent contrast. The dynamic range is also satisfactory. The images taken at low-light gets bombarded with noise, but still fairly usable.
On the other hand, the 5-megapixel front camera of the Vivo Y55s also has decent performance despite the smaller pixel resolution. The selfies that I was able to take were bright, with just the right exposure. The details are kind of soft, but that is kinda expected. The colors are also a bit dead. Still, they are worth posting online and it does work well during video calls.
And of course, the camera does have a Face Beauty feature. You can also enable the Pro Mode to manually adjust the EV, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, and focus.
The Vivo Y55s has WiFi 802.11 b/g/n connectivity, as well as Bluetooth 4.2, and 4G LTE. Pretty much the standard setup you’d get from a device of this caliber. As expected, everything worked well during our tests.
I didn’t experience any WiFi signal drop wherever I was at home. I was also able to connect with my Bluetooth speaker and headphones without any problem even at longer ranges. The 4G LTE connectivity also remained consistent, other than in some locations that doesn’t support it.
On the other hand, call quality on the Vivo Y55s is also decent. The sound coming out of the earpiece was audible and clear to be heard even in a noisy environment. The dual, noise-cancelling microphones was also able to pick up my voice clearly.
Juicing things up is a 2,730mAh battery which is quite okay for what it has to offer. The phone isn’t to powerful and it doesn’t have a ridiculously high resolution, so there’s not much need for a higher capacity battery.
During my tests, the battery would still have a 20% to 30% charge to spare before I go to bed. That’s a day of casual web browsing, checking through social media apps, and streaming videos online from time to time.
I also ran PCMark’s battery stress test, and it took the Vivo Y55s 7 hours and 53 minutes before it reached 20% — almost 8 hours of screen-on time. Pretty impressive considering that the previous competing devices I have reviewed only score less than that.
Hands down, the Vivo Y55s is an impressive budget smartphone. Although don’t get me wrong, it’s not a perfect device. But still, I never felt that I was using a budget handset during my time with it.
The design, despite being a real cliché, still kind of works. And on the up side, the use of unibody metal made it feel really sturdy. Also, the display is surprisingly good. The processor was also able to handle day-to-day tasks and gaming very well which is good enough for most people.
And lastly, let’s not forget that long battery life. Sure, you might still need to charge it every night, but you can rest assure that the device can make it till you get home and not die in the middle of the day.
However, it would have been nice if the Vivo Y55s has a better selfie camera. But considering the price it’s asking, it’s really hard to complain.
Pricing and availability of the Vivo Y55s
The Vivo Y55s is currently available for Php8,490. That’s down from its original price of Php8,990 when it was initially released. You can get it on Vivo stores and kiosks, and other third-party retailers nationwide.
But if the Y55s is not your cup of tea, you can check out other similarly priced devices. For one, there’s the OPPO A71 for Php8,990.
And if you can stretch your budget a little bit more, you can also check out the Samsung Galaxy J7 Core for Php9,990. There’s also the ASUS Zenfone 4 Max with an ultra-large 5000mAh battery and dual cameras for Php9,995.
In case you really want a Vivo smartphone, check out the recently launched Vivo Y69 which has even better specs than Y55s, but it’s priced at Php10,990.
- Sturdy build
- Good Display
- Decent performance
- Impressive battery
- Not for the selfie lovers
- Rear camera could have performed better