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Vivo Y53 Review - Better Than Average?

Vivo has recently slashed the SRP of the Y53. From PHP 6,990, its down to just PHP 5,990 to make it a better deal. Is that the right move for the company? Here's our full review!
Vivo Y53 Review - Good Enough Or Lacking?
Vivo Y53 Review

For the review part 1: Vivo Y53 Unboxing And First Impressions

Display Quality

10 points of touch

Vivo only used a qHD resolution on a 5 inch screen at 220 pixels per inch. It is decent, but it won't look that great if you compare it with most competing smartphones with HD (720p) or even full HD (1080p) resolution in this price range. Colors looked duller and not that crisp as well.

Screen isn't that sharp

Thanks to its IPS screen, viewing angles are good and the brightness level are just fine. Eye protection is present too. Lastly, its loaded with 10 points of touch, something uncommon for the price.

Audio Quality

Single, but loud
Single, but loud

Surprisingly, the speaker found the Y53 is loud. It isn't the most detailed or the fullest sounding at this price, but the loudness is great. It's something good enough to fill a small room with okayish sound. Distortion is present at max loudness, but not to the annoying point.

For the headphone-out, the Y53 has a balanced to neutral sound signature. It can render good tunes w/ adequate deep and tight bass response. Vocals are also fine and close to full sounding. Highs are okay though there are some harshness at times. Overall clarity and detail are good.

For the mic, again its decent, but nothing noteworthy. It's good for calls and average for quiet room recordings.

Battery Life

10 hours!
10 hours!

Having a low-res screen and a not that power hungry Snapdragon 425 chip helped a lot in maximizing the 2,500 mAh battery of this phone. How? It clocked 10 hours of work battery life in our benchmark test.


Longer battery life than expected!

On actual usage, it performed nicely as well. We recorded screen on time of 7 hours and 20 mins. For straight videos expect around 6 hours of straight usage via headphones. If you are not a heavy user you can use it for more than a day. Charging time is 2 hours 30 mins.

Camera

The manual camera mode
The manual camera mode (shutter-speed up to 1 sec, manual focus, and up to 1600 ISO are present)

The Y53 is packed with an 8 MP sensor w/ a bright type of f/2.0 sensor. Vivo boast that it can shoot ultra HD videos with the use of the camera software. Then like most Vivo phones, has several good modes for basic mobile photography. It includes HDR w/ auto HDR, face beauty, night mode, and pro camera or the manual mode.

Shutter speed even on HDR mode is quick which can shoot a second to less than a second. Focus is fine, not that quick, but okayish for a budget phone. Shooting close-up images is also possible for up around 2 inches near, that's quite impressive.

Quality of images is good for the price!

Going to the quality, we never expected it to perform that well due to its small megapixel size. But, we were wrong, the Y53 can shoot pretty good images which could even be better than what the Y55 can reproduce.

In daylight, images turned out fine. Close to great as a matter of fact. White balance is okay, details are sharp, and it isn't that grainy considering that this is just a sub PHP 6K smartphone.

Dynamic range in lowlight are quite detailed as well. But, as usual, there would be more grains and some loss of details in tough lighting conditions like that. Fortunately, the flash is also strong and has very good white balance.

Rear Camera

Auto HDR in daylight
Auto HDR in daylight
Indoor daylight
Indoor daylight
Indoor dim light
Indoor dim light
Night mode
Night mode
Flash test!
Flash test!

In front, its equipped with a 5 MP f/2.2 sensor w/ screen flash. Angle is also wide enough at around 85 degrees. It has auto HDR, panorama, and a good type of beautify mode w/ buffing, skin tone, and whitening adjustments. It even has touch to focus and quick type of face detection.
Selfie camera mode
Selfie camera mode
Quality of selfies from this phone are enjoyable! Again, we liked it slightly better than Y55 for selfies. It's well saturated, sharp enough, and fairly detailed. The auto HDR mode is wonderful to use and the beautify function isn't too much. For lowlight, expect struggles so turn on the screen flash most of the time.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
The beautify mode
The beautify mode
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie
Wide enough selfie!
Wide enough selfie!
Good selfie screen flash
Good selfie screen flash

For videos, this phone has the ability to shoot in up to 1080p in quality at the back and up to 720p in front. Quality of video at the back is alright with close colors and quality to what it can do for stills. It isn't so shaky too considering that there's no OIS or EIS for stabilization.

In front, the 720p videos should be more than decent for skyping, video calls, and occasional shoots. Both struggled in lowlight though.

Performance

36K Antutu score
36K Antutu score

Equipped with a 64 bit Snapdragon 425 quad core chip paired with Adreno 308 graphics and 2 GB RAM, we never expected the Y53 to be a speedster like the Y55. But, we find it fast enough in real life. It's actually on par with the usual MT6753 octa core chip.

Not the fastest for the price, but speed is decent!

Loading multiple social media apps and doing light multitasking turned is swift and easy. The 16 GB of expandable storage should also be fine for installing several apps and storing files as well. However, if you're a heavy user or you're the type of person who store a lot of heavy games, the 16 GB base storage won't be enough.



For gaming, loading light games up to not that resource hungry 3D games are playable. For NBA 2K17, you'll need to turn the graphics to all low settings to have playable frame rates. Expect some mild heating as well.
User interface of Vivo, FunTouch OS
User interface of Vivo, FunTouch OS

Like most modern Vivo phones, the Y53 boots with Android 6.0 Marshmallow with FunTouch OS 3.0 skin on top. Again, that's the iOS inspired heavy skinned custom Android that's boast good features, gestures, and multi-window mode. Some may not like it due to the iOS-like look, but we find its skin functional and intuitive enough.

What we like here is it has decent telephony experience that worked well for calls and basic SMS. LTE also has w/ VoLTE and it has GPS w/ AGPS and GLONASS. It even has OTG and gyroscope. However, like most sub PHP 10K Vivo phones, it doesn't have a fingerprint scanner for added personal security.


Pros - Good battery life, decent cameras for the price, LTE capable, promising audio, great flash
Cons - Plasticky build, display isn't sharp, no fingerprint scanner, backlit keys aren't lit

Verdict

Overall, the Vivo Y53 is a decent all-rounder for the price if you are the type of person who needs a small device w/ good battery life and capable cameras. The selfie camera also ranked among the better shooters we tested for the price.

Is it better than average? No, why? We aren't that happy with its display. Unlike most of its competitors (except Galaxy J2 Prime), its not on even on HD yet. Plus its specs is just average at this price point and it isn't as exceptional as the Snapdragon 430 powered Y55.

Other than that we are mostly okay with what this handset can do considering the price.

Build / Design - 3.5
Display - 3
Audio - 4
Battery - 4
Camera - 4
Performance - 3.75
Average - 3.7 / 5
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