A good camera phone is the norm of the day, and Vivo’s latest smartphone tries to live up to that. Besides the fact that it rocks an all-metal unibody design, the Vivo Y55L features smart screen flash options – a feature eerily similar to the one found on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. It increases the screen brightness to the max while taking selfies, which I’ll discuss more later in the review. At the time of writing, the Vivo Y55L was available at Rs. 11,490 on Flipkart. That said, the phone’s specs aren’t as powerful compared to some of the other similarly priced offerings and even some slightly cheaper alternatives. But can its camera performance turn the tide in its favour? Let’s find out?

Box Contents:

  • Vivo Y55L handset
  • Travel adapter
  • USB Cable
  • in-ear earphones
  • User manual

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Build and Design

At a glance, the Vivo Y55L looks much like any other Chinese smartphone and doesn’t stand out from the crowd. In fact, it seems eerily similar to the Oppo F1s which we reviewed earlier. Though take a closer look, you do notice subtle design changes such as the lack of a home button. Instead, the phone features three physical capacitive buttons. The all-metal unibody does give the Vivo Y55L a premium look and feel.

Besides, it has right amount curves which make it relatively comfortable to hold. For a 5.5-inch, it surprisingly lightweight and not as bulky compared to other similar-sized phones. And at 142 grams, it has a nice weight to it; neither too bulky nor so light that it feels insubstantial.

Display

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The device gets a 5.2-inch HD IPS display with a 2.5D glass on top. While I would have preferred a Full HD display, given the fact that many similarly priced phones are rocking Full HD displays. But even the IPS HD panel on the Vivo Y55L does the job. There’s no denying that at this screen size, the text isn’t that crisp and sharp, but the screen is bright and vibrant enough and has no issues whatsoever in outdoor settings.

The Vivo Y55L is surprisingly lightweight for a smartphone with 5.5-inch display.

Hardware and Performance

Under the hood, the Vivo Y55L gets powered by a Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor bundled with 2GB of RAM. The device handles routine tasks such as web browsing and multitasking surprisingly well. Apps open quickly and everything from videos to games run smoothly. I even tried Asphalt 8 and did not come across any major frame drops or lags, and the whole gameplay experience was rather satisfactory.

In our synthetic benchmark tests, the Vivo Y55L pulled-off an Antutu score of 42095, while in GeekBench 4 it racked up single and multi-core scores of 615 and 1760 respectively. Overall, the Vivo Y55L is a pretty reliable performer as far as daily usage is concerned.

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Also, the phone’s 2650 mAh battery easily manages to eek out 24 hours of usage. For most users, the Vivo Y55L can run through the day without any issues. That said, there’s no support for fast-charging, and it takes around 4 hours for the device to reach full capacity.

Another key highlight of the device is the dedicated microSD slot, which we rarely see these days as most manufacturers are opting for hybrid SIM slots. It comes with 16GB of internal storage further expandable up to 128GB. To top it up, it gets OTG support as well which means you have loads of storage space at your disposal. In terms of connectivity, the Vivo Y55L gets dual-SIM slots, 4G LTE, microUSB slot, 3.5mm jack, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. Though what it surprisingly lacks is a fingerprint scanner which is fast becoming a standard feature on most devices.

Software

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The Vivo Y55L runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box layered with the company’s custom FunTouch OS 2.0 skin wrapped over. While the interface seems snappy and responsive for the most part, it gets entirely different from your stock Android experience. The Vivo Y55L essentially incorporates iOS- like UX elements.

For instance, you’ve to swipe up from bottom to access quick settings, while swiping down fro top pops up the recent notifications screen. That said, it’s not as heavily bloated as some of the other custom Android skins and feels fairly easy to navigate around the UI. Besides, there are some nifty features such as screen recording along with the ability to use two apps simultaneously with a feature called Smart Split 2.0.

The Vivo Y55L essentially incorporates iOS like UX elements.

Camera

The phone’s camera capabilities outshine its other aspects and make it a truly worthy alternative at this price range. Both 8MP and 5MP rear and front cameras belt out fairly detailed pictures in well-lit conditions. It captures macro-shots like a pro as images shot look rather neat and detailed. The phone’s cameras can certainly put other budget devices to shame. While colours aren’t as punchy I would have liked, and low-performance could be better, but it’s still perhaps the best you can find in this price range.

Besides, it features a ‘Pro’ mode which lets you manually adjust camera settings. Also, the phone’s camera app comes with a variety of filters and a slew of photo modes such as HDR, Panorama, Night Mode and more.

Pros:

  • Well built
  • Snappy performance
  • Dedicated microSD slot
  • Impressive set of cameras for the price

Cons:

  • No backlit capacitive buttons
  • No fingerprint sensor
  • Slightly overpriced

Wrap-up

If its ultra-budget you’re looking for, there’s no better alternative than the Xiaomi Redmi 3S. But if you’re up for a decent camera phone which also performs well in every aspect and is well-built – the Vivo Y55L should be on your radar. At this price point, I am not sure if I have come across a smartphone whose camera capabilities are on par with the Vivo Y55L.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build and Design
7
Display
6.5
Performance
7
Camera
7
Software
6
Battery
7
Value for Money
7

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