Vivo Y71 Review
Vivo released last month a new smartphone that is catered to people who are looking for something that is budget-friendly, the Y71. You have read our hands-on of it, and maybe you have thought of buying it. To help you with that decision, here’s our full review of the device.
Design and Construction
The Y71 looks totally alike its V7+ sibling. It comes with the same slim bezels design with a 6-inch screen, HD Plus resolution, and 18:9 aspect ratio. Above the screen, we have the 5MP front camera, the call speaker, and the sensors.
On the right, we will find the power/lock button and the volume rocker. Although plastic, both buttons feel sturdy and clicky.
Found on the left is the triple card tray with dedicated slots for two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card.
Located at the bottom are the 3.5mm audio port, the microphone, the loudspeaker, and the micro-USB port. The top part, on the other hand, is absent of any ports or keys.
At the back is the 13MP rear camera with LED flash and the Vivo logo. What’s missing is the fingerprint scanner at the back, but makes up for it by having a face unlock feature which we will tackle later on.
In the hands, the Y71 feels lightweight and comfortable to hold thanks to its curved unibody design. Its body is mostly made of plastic but doesn’t feel and look ‘cheap’. The unit we received comes in black color and despite its matte finish, still attracts smudges and fingerprints. The package didn’t come with a jelly case but the unit already has a screen protector installed.
Display and Multimedia
The Y71 is equipped with a 6-inch HD+ IPS display with a resolution of 1440 x 720 which equates to 268ppi. We’re glad that it uses the 18:9 aspect ratio setup and not the notch. Despite its not-so-high resolution, the screen still looks reasonably good, with accurate color reproduction and good viewing angles. It also has an ‘Eye Protection’ feature to avoid eye strain and to aid in night viewing.
As for audio quality, there’s nothing much expected out of it. Bass is barely existent but will suffice for casual listening. Turning the music up at the maximum level gives off a tinny sound. You can always opt for the earphones provided in the retail box, though.
The Y71 has a lone 13MP rear camera, paired with an LED flash and a 5MP selfie shooter. It’s packed with a handful of modes including Doc (documents), Professional, Panorama, Face Beauty, HDR, and Live Photo. Live Photo lets you capture the scene before you take a shot with a resulting file that is similar to a GIF. It’s a nice feature to have but it is something we rarely used. It also has AI Image Identification that sorts your image in different categories such as Selfie, Landscape, Documents, People, and others.
As for selfies, modes are only limited to Group Selfie, AI Face Beauty that you can adjust from 1-6, and Portrait Bokeh. It also comes with a set of filters if you’re feeling creative.
Taking photos with the device has been an enjoyable experience. They all turned out pretty good for its class, with punchy colors and sharp details, especially in daylight. Autofocus is fast, although it kind of struggles with exposure in some scenarios. We also noticed that shooting continuously with filters on tend to slow down the device. Lowlight photos, on the other hand, are just unsatisfactory.
Selfies have good details and the AI Face Beauty technology helps in smoothening blemishes without looking overdone. The Portrait Bokeh is okay as long as there’s a good distance between the subject and the background.
The device can shoot videos at 1080p at 30fps in MP4 format. It has an added SLO-MO (VGA) and Timelapse feature. Videos produced in daylight looked decent and sharp while the low light ones are subpar and grainy. It also has no OIS so sudden movements are noticeable in the recording. Watch our sample video below.
OS, UI, Apps, and Storage
Running the Y71 is Android 8.1 Oreo skinned with FunTouch OS 4.0. We like the colorful yet clean UI look of the device. You also have the option to customize the font style and size.
Like with other Vivo phones, swiping down from the top will reveal the notifications while swiping up from the bottom will show the Control Center. The device lacks an app drawer so apps are placed on multiple home screens.
There are quite a handful of pre-installed apps on the device including Google apps, Lazada, WPS, and Vivo’s proprietary apps such as vivoCloud to backup your data, i Manager to optimize your phone and monitor data usage, Easy Share to transfer files, and V-Appstore to download, well, apps.
Under settings menu, it has a Motorbike Mode that you can activate while driving as it allows you to auto rejects calls and auto-respond a text. There’s also Smart Wake that lets you do certain gestures on the screen to launch certain apps.
Sadly, the device only comes with a meager 16GB of storage which is quite disappointing as we were only left with an insufficient 7.16GB to use. We suggest that you use a microSD card via its dedicated slot.
Performance and Benchmarks
Powering the Y71 is an outdated yet capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 chip paired with Adreno 308 GPU. The device has two RAM variants, 2GB and 3GB, and what we got is the latter. So far, performance is good as we didn’t experience any lags or sudden crashes while multitasking. Its Face Unlock feature responds quickly in well-lit condition but seems to struggle detecting our faces in low-light. Graphically heavy games like PUBG Mobile and Tekken Mobile are playable but frame drops in intense scenes are visible. The device warms up on the back after long usage but it isn’t something to get worried about. See our benchmarks scores below.
- AnTuTu – 45,201
- Geekbench – 676 (Single-Core), 1,823 (Multi-Core)
- AndroBench – 287.84 MB/s (Read), 49.82 MB/s (Write)
- 3DMark – 68 (Sling Shot), 3,627 (Ice Storm Extreme), 6,012 (Ice Storm Unlimited)
- PCMark – 3,111 (Work 2.0)
Call Quality, Connectivity, and Battery Life
The Y71 comes with the usual connectivity features including WiFi, Bluetooth, 4G LTE, and GPS. So far, connecting both to WiFi and mobile data are fast, call quality is clear (as this is highly dependable on signal coverage), and GPS locks in fast when using navigating apps such as Google Maps, Waze, and Grab.
Giving life to the device is a 3,360mAh battery which is capable of lasting a whole day of light to moderate usage. However, if you’re heavy on mobile data and gaming, it’s recommended to bring a power bank as the battery trickles down quite fast. PCMark rated the battery at 9 hours and 55 minutes while our video loop test yielded 11 hours and 30 minutes which is not bad. Charging the device takes around 2 hours.
Vivo tried to cater a budget-friendly device in the form of the Y71, however, we think that it’s pricey for an entry-level smartphone as there are other devices out in the market that offers the same specs at a much lower price. Nonetheless, the Y71 is still worth considering for its class as it has decent specs, good cameras, average battery life, and fast face unlock feature. If you don’t mind the price tag, then this is a daily driver is worth considering.
The Vivo Y71 2GB variant is priced at Php7,990 while the 3GB variant is priced at Php8,990. Both are available in Vivo authorized retailers and concept stores nationwide.
Vivo Y71 specs:
- 6-inch 18:9 HD+ (1440 x 720) IPS display, 268ppi
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 CPU
- Adreno 308 GPU
- 2GB/3GB RAM
- 16GB storage
- Expandable up to 256GB via microSD (dedicated slot)
- 13MP rear camera with autofocus, LED flash
- 5MP front camera
- 4G LTE
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.2
- GPS w/ A-GPS, GLONASS
- microUSB 2.0
- USB OTG
- 3,360mAh battery
- FunTouch OS 4.0 (Android 8.1 Oreo)
- 155.87 x 75.74 x 7.8mm
- Black, Gold
What we liked:
- Sleek design
- Good cameras
- Nice camera filters
- Fast face unlock
- Triple card slot
- Above average battery capacity
What we didn’t:
- Low internal storage
- Pricey for its class