Vivo has been pushing out a lot of affordable smartphones in India since the very beginning. However, the brand has now started focussing primarily on the premium and mid-premium range category, catering to the needs of prospective buyers looking for good looking and well-built devices.
Being a perfect example of the same, the recently launched Vivo Y17 is a triple-camera phone that follows the modern design suite and camera trends in order to gain majorly of traction in the offline market. But is it worthy enough to stand against the immense competition? Let’s check out the same in our full Vivo Y17 review.
Vivo Y17 Specifications
Before starting with the Vivo Y17 review, let’s have a glance at the phone’s specifications, pricing and things we get with the device.
- Display: 6.35-inch IPS LCD display, HD+ (720 x 1544 pixels resolution), 19:9 ratio, 268 PPI density
- CPU: 12nm-based octa-core Mediatek MT6765 Helio P35 processor (4×2.3 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)
- GPU: PowerVR GE8320
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 128GB
- Software: Android 9 Pie (FunTouch OS 9)
- Main Camera: 13MP primary sensor (f/2.2, AF) + 8MP ultra-wide (f/2.2, 16mm) + 2MP depth sensor (f/2.4)
- Selfie Camera: 20MP (f/2.0)
- Connectivity: micro USB 2.0, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack, FM Radio
- Cellular: Dual SIM
- Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, rear-mounted capacitive fingerprint scanner
- Battery: 5,000 mAh, Li-ion Polymer, non-removable
- Charging: 18W Dual-Engine fast charging
Price: Rs. 15,990 for 4/128GB
A complete list of items you get inside the box:
- Vivo Y17
- 18W Fast Charger
- micro-USB cable
- Transparent Silicone Case
- Sim Ejector Tool
Vivo Y17 Review
The Vivo Y17 looks akin to most of the mid-range smartphones in this budget with a sleek glass sandwich design and rounded sides. What makes it special is the deep jewel-tone finish given on the frame as well as the back panel.
The Mineral Blue variant we have here offers a subtle gradient blue glaze that gradually turns to a much darker shade in the bottom. When light hits the panel at different angles, you’ll see a slender pattern of diagonal lines that offer a premium feel to the device.
Besides, you can also opt for the Mystic Purple version that transmutes from glossy purple at the bottom to a darker shade of the same on the top. The Blue unit has a gold ring circling the camera module, while on the other variant, it’s coloured in Purple to match with the ominous contour. Note that the back panel is made out of polycarbonate and attracts a lot of fingerprints and smudges. Hence, we would recommend slapping on the case bundled in the box.
Flip it to the front, and you’ll get to see a beautiful full-view display with a water-drop notch on top. However, the phone does have significant bezels running all around the corner, accompanied by a broad bottom chin. As a result, it looks quite muted in front of much modern-looking phones like Realme X (review) and Vivo’s own Z1 Pro (review).
Buttons & Port Placements
As for the buttons and placements, both the power button and volume rockers are given to the right and are within the comfortable reach of fingers. The sim tray is located on the left with slots for two nano-sim cards and a microSD card. Coming to the bottom, you get to see the speaker grille, microphone and a micro-USB port for charging, which is a disappointment to have as many cheaper phones have started adopting the USB Type-C.
Talking of the fingerprint scanner, it works reliably well, but we aren’t a huge fan of its odd squircle shape. At about 190 grams, Y17 isn’t a lightweight phone by any means, so keep a note of that.
The Vivo Y17 comes with a 6.53-inch IPS LCD panel with a waterdrop notch and 720 x 1544 pixel resolution. Unfortunately, even after charging a premium, Vivo has settled for an HD+ panel instead of giving a full-HD resolution.
Nonetheless, the screen has good viewing angles, decent colour reproduction and good enough sunlight legibility. However, the lack of pixels will definitely be a dealbreaker, especially to a pixel peeper like me. Hence, I’d rate the overall display quality to be slightly above average, nothing extra-ordinary here.
Powering the phone is the octa-core MediaTek Helio P35 SoC at its core, coupled with 4GB of RAM and an ample 128GB of internal storage. If you closely judge the raw performance, the chipset ranks somewhere around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 which again isn’t something we’d appreciate much.
Anyways, in day to day experience, the Vivo Y17 runs quite smooth, be it tasks like calling, texting, surfing the web, using social media or even clicking pictures and playing casual games. In fact, the phone also managed to run games like PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9 at low settings, followed by PUBG Lite, which went even better. While the phone is quite smooth and refined, it’s simply not as snappy as other phones in the segment due to obvious reasons.
Talking about the software, Vivo is using its own custom FunTouch OS 9, based on Android 9 Pie with this phone which might be a decisive factor for many. The FunTouch resembles iOS in many areas and comes with a lot of preloaded bloatware including Vivo’s own app store, Vivo Browser, EasyShare file sharing tool, followed by third-party apps like UC Browser, Amazon, NewsPoint, PhonePe, WPS Office and more.
Note that the quick setting toggles need to be pulled upwards from the bottom of the screen, and are not given in the notification panel. And the notification panel itself is quite messed up. Furthermore, Vivo is using an ancient style of Android navigation buttons, which you can get rid of by using full-screen gestures.
Having said that, there are some useful customisation features including a built-in theming engine, screen recorder, system-wide dark mode, and a feature-rich Jovi assistant. There’s also a gaming assistant called Game Cube, which blocks calls, alongside letting you enable 4D vibration for improved experience while gaming.
Being a stock Android lover, I’ve had a tough time getting used to the UI of Vivo Y17. Therefore, make sure to check out the FunTouch OS at least for once in-person if software experience is one of the priorities for you.
For photography, the Vivo Y17 adopts a triple camera module at the back. The setup comprises of a 13MP primary sensor with f/2.2 aperture, an 8MP ultra-wide shooter and a 2MP depth sensor. For selfies, there’s a 20MP front camera, housed by the waterdrop notch.
Notably, the camera captures pretty good pictures in broad daylight. The photos have plenty of detail, are vibrant and have punchy colours. However, it does struggle a bit while locking focus, especially in low-light. The wide-angle camera, as expected, yields adequate results but grapples with over-processing and lens distortion.
The low-light camera performance of Y17 is pretty weak, which is quite understandable for a mid-range phone. Photos usually turn out soft, lack detail and exhibit a lot of noise. Note that similarly priced phones like Redmi Note 7 Pro, Realme 3 Pro, and even Vivo’s own Z1 Pro produce better quality images in low light.
Coming to the selfies, the photos captured in daylight are rather amazing and ready to post on social media. The front camera too performs well in indoor lighting conditions. Overall, we were satisfied with the selfie performance of Vivo Y17.
Battery & More
The battery is one of the strongest points of Vivo Y17. Notably, the large 5,000mAh cell on the device grants an endurance of nearly two days on a single charge. In our usage, we managed to get a screen on time of around 8-9 hours on medium usage. Well, this phone reminds us of the mighty Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 with its stupendous battery life. And the fun doesn’t stop here, thanks to the in-built support for 18W dual-engine fast charging.
- Good design
- Promising selfie camera
- Ample amount of storage
- Stupendous battery life
- Fast Charging
- Low-resolution display
- Inconsistent rear cameras
- Mediocre processor
- Not a lightweight phone
Vivo Y17 Review Verdict – Should you buy it?
With excellent battery life, modern design and decent cameras, the Vivo Y17 can be a perfect companion for people who don’t bother much about performance or playing high-end games. However, there’s no doubt that the phone is simply outclassed by most other devices in this price range. Hence, power users and binge-watchers should better look somewhere else.