Vivo Y69 Review: Betting on Camera, Battered on Battery
Picking up megapixel points
Vivo, in its spree to dominate the Selfie market, launched the Y69 smartphone in August 2017. Priced at Rs 14,990, it’s a mid-budget phone housing a 16-megapixel front shooter for selfies. While I am sure you would like me to start with the specifications, but I am going to talk about that in the end, and talk more about how useful the phone is, how great the camera experience was, and if the phone is worth buying.
If I have to put it in one word, it’s “fantastic”. I use tons of apps & devices on daily basis which includes WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger, Fitbit (syncs all the time with my Blaze), stay connected with my Jabra headset through the day, Music streaming for an hour every day, 20+ minutes of gaming, and I had used this to take lots of pictures every day during Durga Puja Festival this time.
Except for the usual hiccups which you can see in every phone, no matter how good they are, there are no complaints. App switching was fast, taking pictures, and shooting videos were decent enough, and with my Internet not working at home, I was connected to the mobile network all the time. When playing games like Asphalt 8 Airborne, the phone did heat up a bit, and performance was just decent. Since you have a 720P (HD) screen here, heavy gamers would probably be disappointed.
All this was delivered by 1.5GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6570 processor with 3GB of RAM. The phone houses 32 GB of internal storage with Dual SIM and SD card slot to increase storage for an additional 256 GB storage.
It’s available on the front and works flawlessly except when your finger is wet or has dirt. You can use it to unlock your phone, and lock/unlock your apps as well. It may not be the fastest FPS in the market, but definitely comparable to other smartphones in its price range.
The kind of usage I explained above falls into the heavy category. The battery lasted for 12-15 hours tops. That wasn’t an issue to be very honest. The standby battery drainage was little on the higher side which bothered me the most. It includes a 3000 mAh battery, and I expected much better performance compared to what I got. In my opinion, it may last for 18 hours max on medium usage unless the drainage issue is fixed.
When it comes to charging, it takes at least 90 minutes to completely charge the phone. That’s pretty slow, and with battery draining so fast, the battery performance left a lot to be desired for me, personally.
While it looks like Y69 is aimed more for selfies, I found selfie shooter not so impressive, even with the moonlight flash. It’s great in daylight but when taking selfies out in low light, it was disappointing. The front shooter lens houses a 16 MP f/2.0 aperture. However, the camera UI comes with interesting features that many would expect from a selfie camera.
Here is the list:
- Group Selfie
- Face Beauty which includes options to control Skin Tone, Whitening, and Buffing.
- LIVE Mode
- HDR mode.
- Portrait Bokeh
- Shoot videos at 720P
- Gender detection.
Of all these, Skin Tone feature and Portrait Bokeh is what I liked the most, and in my view, these are going to get high usage compared to all the features included.
The Rear camera, which you usually won’t see in the marketing brochures of Vivo, is even more impressive than the front. It’s a 13 MP f/2.2 lens. The pictures had the right sharpness, colors were realistic, and when zoomed in, there was not much of loss in details. I am sure you will figure it out when you take a look at the pictures, but first, let’s take a look at the features available with the rear camera.
- Live mode lets take a 5-second clip of anything you shoot. You can view the clip only when you are in the Galery App.
- HDR mode (Auto or Manual)
- Night mode, Slow motion capture, Ultra HD, Time Lapse & PPT Mode.
- Professional mode
When using the camera, there was no shot to shot lag, the camera app launches quickly, and ready to shoot. Most of the time I have used it as point and shoot camera, and it turned out to be fantastic. If you want to fiddle around a bit more, try out the Night Mode, ULTRA HD and Professional mode for sure.
Have a look at the pictures.
Powered by Android 7.0, the Vivo Y69 runs on Funtouch OS. It offers customization, few tweaks, and so on. In my opinion, when I look at Honor and Xiaomi, it still has a long way to mature. Right now, Vivo is relying more on core OS performance with few basic features and happy to mimic the iOS in the looks department.
Here are some you should check out:
- OTG support if you want to copy data from a USB drive to your phone and vice-versa.
- Eye protection for late night reading.
- Lock Apps using Fingerprint.
- Gesture Support included under Smart motion which includes smart wake, air-operation, smart call, shake to run on the flashlight, tilt to zoom pictures, smart remind for missed calls and messages when you pick your phone.
- Smart Split which lets you use two apps together. This shows up automatically for apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, and Messages, but can also be activated manually.
Display & Design
It houses a 5.5-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 720P. The screen is bright, but the ambient sensor takes a bit of time to adjust it. I would have loved if it was a bit faster. Unless you bump up the brightness manually, it can be tough to read the text in sunlight. When it comes to colors, watching movies in wide angle, it does an ok job.
That said, the competition is pretty stiff, and some might not like the 720P display. There are many phones which offer 1080P display at half the price.
When it comes to design, there is nothing really impressive here. It looks like any other smartphone in the market with the big bezel on top, and bottom, and bit on the side. It was comfy using the phone, and the grip was great really good. However it’s a big screen, and with no one hand mode, it might get tricky sometimes.
Back to the front, it comes with hardware enabled buttons. I am a big fan of it, but then its personal choice. Some might want the bezel to disappear, for the on-screen button, which can be customized. The front also houses the ambient sensor and an led sensor for notifications.
There are two antenna bands on the back, one on top while the other one is on the lower part, and Vivo has done an excellent job keeping them off the view. They run around the curved edges, and your fingers won’t touch them at all when making calls.
On the right side, you have the volume button and the power button, while the left side holds the hybrid SIM tray. The bottom of the smartphone holds the 3.5 mm audio jack and the microphone and comes with single speaker grille on the base along with a micro USB port which is placed left to it.
So should one by buying Vivo Y69? It’s little tricky here. The phone performs the day to day tasks well and is great from the camera perspective, but then it has one major drawback, the battery. This one feature is such a letdown, and that I am not able to recommend it unless Vivo can fix the idle battery drain. The second minor disadvantage it has is the HD screen. It’s only minor because it’s not something you cannot live without and is not a great tradeoff.
The only phone which actually competes with Vivo Y69 is the Honor 6X. At the end, if you really want to buy this phone because Vivo is your style, wait till reports of its battery start coming in as positive.