Vivo and OPPO are well known in the mid-tier segment and spend a lot of time and money in carving their publicity campaigns and sponsorships in major sports activities. Vivo currently holds the third spot in the smartphone shipment in India based on the first quarter sale, this number has hugely increased over the year and helped the brand garner the stake and position. Unlike other brands such as Xiaomi, Realme, and Honor, Vivo never tried to disrupt the market with extremely low prices, instead, the brand actually charges a little more than the above said competitors and offers a better design, camera and after sales support. Vivo has been successful to keep up with the trend by including the latest features such as in-display fingerprint sensors, small bezel displays, and attractive back panels.
The Vivo Y17 is one such latest entrant in the market from the brand and hosts a 5,000mAh battery, the device comes with a slick design and a triple camera setup to tempt the buyers.
Design and Display
The Vivo Y17 isn’t very unique and the overall design is very much standard, the device comes with a waterdrop notch for the front camera and uses a flat body design with rounded sides. The phone does have a good overall design thanks to the choice of the colors of the frame and the rear panel. The device is available in Mineral Blue and Mystic Blue gradient finishes.
The back panel uses a unique design that according to the company is inspired by Water and light when you observe closely and title the phone it catches the light and you can see a fine pattern of diagonal lines. There is a golden ring around the triple camera set up on the blue variant of the smartphone while the purple variant gets a matching purple ring.
While the device is mostly made of plastic, it does look premium and has the depth of glass, the overall finish of the smartphone is above average but it does pick up fingerprints very easily. The front of the Vivo Y17 is mostly taken up by the display which has an unusual aspect ratio of 19.3:9. The device also has very thick borders which are slightly masked by the curved borders; however, the thick chin is evidently noticeable and there’s no hiding in it.
The power and the volume buttons of the smartphone are positioned to the right of the smartphone and are well within the reach of the thumb, the fingerprint sensor is, however, too far away and difficult to reach. The Nano-SIM cards and the microSD cards are placed in the tray that is accessible to the left of the device. The bottom of the Vivo Y17 mainly houses the 3.5mm headset jack and the single speaker setup.
The Vivo Y17 is pretty thick and weighs in at about 190g. While the phone does feel very chunky in the hand, the trade-off is worth it as the device houses a mammoth 5,000mAh battery. The phone has a pretty good grip overall and even one-handed usage is very comfortable overall and we didn’t feel that we might drop the device even as we struggled to stretch our fingers through the edges.
Software and Performance
The Vivo Y17 is powered by the MediaTek Helio P35 processor which is commonly seen on a budget chipset, the mid-range processor comes with ae eight ARM cores based on A53 architecture running at 2.3GHz, the integrated GPU is a PowerVR GE8320 and the device comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The display on the Vivo Y17 measures 6.35-inches and has a resolution of 720 x 1544, the device has a rather strange aspect ratio of 19.3:9. Surprisingly the device uses a standard LCD panel while most competitors in the price segment are offering FullHD resolution panels.
The device runs on Funtouch OS 9 that is based on Android 9 Pie, this software has a lot of customization options and it is a personal preference to like it over the generic Stock Android or not. The lock screen on the Funtouch OS 9 shows random pictures and stories from Vivo’s Lock screen Poster Service without any advertisements. The home screen itself looks medieval and uses the old-style navigation buttons. There is an option to change the current style buttons and opt for modern gestures in the Settings application. There is no app drawer in the software just like the previous Vivo phones and all the applications are shown on the home screen by default. The brand has included a bunch of preinstalled applications such as their own V-Appstore, Vivo Browser, and their data backup utility. There is also IManager for general security and maintenance, along with the first party apps and the Google’s default applications there are several third-party applications installed as well including Facebook, Gaana, WhatsApp, Paytm and several others.
The UI has got its redesign and everything from the notifications shade to the default applications all look new now, the Quick Toggles are now accessible by swiping up from the bottom similar to the iOS Shortcut Centre. Using this feature with the Gesture navigation is a pain and you need to know exactly where to pull up so that you don’t open up the Shortcut Centre. The software has some unique features such as the ability to clone messenger applications right from the home screen or to turn on USB file sharing from the notifications shade itself. There is also a built-in screen video recorder and multiple system-wide shortcuts to trigger actions. Vivo has also included its smart assistant Jovi that is found throughout Funtouch OS, there is a Jovi Smart Scene to the left of the primary home screen similar to the Bixby implementation seen on Samsung. This helps show weather warnings and helps keep track of online purchases as well.
The Vivo Y17 isn’t the most powerful smartphone in the price segment but works pretty well for the most time. While the Funtouch OS has a lot of bloatware we couldn’t see that affecting the overall responsiveness. The software on the smartphone was reasonably responsive and the UI animations were smooth all the time, the fingerprint recognition was responsive as well. The display on the smartphone appears a little washed out but the viewing angles were pretty good. The brightness is really good but the resolution is a little low, the device is usable even under harsh sunlight conditions.
The Vivo Y17 performed a bit on the weaker side in our benchmarks and got a score of 87,022 on AnTuTu while Geekbench gave a score of 761 on single core and 4088 on the multi-core. In the GFXBench T-rex scene, the phone helps up about 28FPS which is decent in terms of graphics performance.
The Vivo Y17 comes with a triple camera setup consisting of a 13MP primary sensor with an f/2.2 aperture, an 8MP wide-angle sensor with an f/2.2 aperture as well and a 2MP f/2.4 sensor for portrait shots. An immediate look at the specifications doesn’t look very impressive, the high apertures clearly point towards a bad low light performance compared to the other smartphones in the price segment. In Vivo Y17, the manufacturer has focused more on the front camera which boasts a 20MP sensor with an f/2.0 aperture. The camera application comes with some handy features allowing to quickly toggle between the portrait effect on the front camera, there is also an aperture toggle button for the rear camera that uses a software effect to change the aperture. There is also a button to switch between the main and the wide-angle lens which gives a much wider angle of viewing.
There is also the Jovi assistant in the Camera application and there is an AI option that identifies the scene and automatically chooses the best filter based on that. This is a subjective topic of argument based on the effect a user wants to create and is easily questionable as a choice. The front camera also comes with an AI beautification option that takes into consideration the gender and the age of the person taking the selfie and applies smoothening and other adjustments dynamically to help augment the end result.
The images that we captured on the Vivo Y17 weren’t all that bad, however, the focus of the camera struggled big time in getting a perfect lock. The sharpness of the images was a hit and miss in most cases, while the images looked mostly fine on the screen of the smartphone, upon zooming or opening the image on a bigger display such as the desktop immediately made the blur and lack of sharpness noticeable. The colors were very punchy and vibrant, the saturation levels were pretty good and the macros on the Vivo Y17 were pretty good. We noticed a huge shift in the quality of images when shifting from the main camera to the wide-angle camera, the colors lost the accuracy the textures looked distorted and the overall quality was greatly diminished.
The night or low light photography on the Vivo Y17 was a real struggle as the device struggled to gain a focus, the objects in the foreground were grainy with noise and the background were all faded or blushed. The details were mostly lost in most normal photos, close-ups were slightly better but objects at a distance lacked any details, adding to it, the wide-angle camera delivered even worse in low light conditions. The front camera performed pretty good in the daylight conditions and performed better than the rear camera even in the low light conditions. The beautification feature at the lowest setting adds a very subtle but helpful effect.
The Vivo Y17 comes with amazing battery life and ample of storage space. The front camera on the device is pretty good and the device is fine for day to day usage if your usage is limited to common social media and chatting applications. The phone is designed for users with very simple needs and might be a good buy if your usage is limited and your prime importance is the overall battery life of the smartphone, which is an exceptional plus over the others in the price range.