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Vivo Y53 Unboxing And First Impressions

To slug it out in the entry-midrange smartphone realm, Vivo Philippines has recently introduced the Y53, another affordable handset with focus in photography. As a matter of fact, Vivo is marketing the Y53 as a device that takes "Ultra HD Photos" with the use of its 8 MP f/2.0 rear shooter.
Vivo Y53 Unboxing And First Impressions
Meet Vivo Y53

As we all know, handsets in this price range often have at least 13 MP cameras. Having said that, this device lags on paper based on megapixel alone. However, we are also aware that photo quality isn't always about the number of pixels on specs, actual performance is still the key indicator whether this smartphone can take good photos or not.

So, let's review this phone and see if Vivo can back their claims.

Vivo Y53 Specs

Display: 5 Inch qHD IPS 960 x 540 resolution at 220 ppi
CPU: 1.4 GHz 64 Bit Snapdragon 425 quad core processor
GPU: Adreno 308
ROM: 16 GB expandable via micro SD card slot up to 256 GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 8 MP f/2.0 w/ AF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5 MP f/2.2 w/ screen flash
Battery: 2,500 mAh
OS: Android 6.0 Marshmallow w/ FunTouch OS 3.0
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2, FM Radio, OTG, GPS, A GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors: Proximity, accelerometer, ambient light, gyroscope
Others: Colors: gold, space gray
Dimensions: 144.2 x 71.4 x 7.64 mm
Weight: 137 g
Price: PHP 6,990 (PHP 5,990 sale price)

Disclaimer: We just borrowed this handset from Vivo Philippines for our honest and constructive review.

Unboxing / Accessories

The box
The box

Like most Vivo phones, the Y53 comes with the same style of simple packaging. You'll still get the 1A USB wall charger, micro USB data / charging cable, earbuds w/ mic, SIM ejector tool, and pre-installed screen protector.
What's inside excluding paper docs
What's inside excluding paper docs

The only thing that's missing here that's present with other Vivo devices we tested in the past is the TPU case. Given that Vivo doesn't have much accessories out in the market yet, it could be hard finding a case for this phone.

Build Quality / Design

The familiar HTC inspired design
The familiar HTC inspired design w/ dual SIM and micro SD card tray

Another value proposition that Vivo is highlighting on this handset is its build and design. The Y53 is enclosed in mostly metal unibody frame w/ good curved and chamfered edges. In front, the 5 inch qHD screen is made out of glass w/ a sheet of plastic as a guard against scratches.
Headphone slot on top
Headphone slot on top
Microphone, micro USB port, and speaker grill below
Microphone, micro USB port, and speaker grill below
SIM tray at left
SIM tray at left
Power button and volume rocker at right
Power button and volume rocker at right

From our observation, we liked that Vivo used metal here compared to the plastic material found with V5 and V5 Lite. However, it doesn't feel as solid when you pit it against the other metal clad phones including their very own Y55.

Design is safe, build is decent, but not that solid

Design-wise, it still has that HTC inspired aesthetics. It doesn't have the flashy looks compared to higher-end phones as Vivo kept it simple with the Y53. As a result, it looks simple and easy on the eyes. It also has decent paint finish, proper curves, good 7.64 mm slimness, and non-protruding main cameras. The black border bezel on the screen is thicker than our liking though.

Ergonomically, holding this device is just fine. It sits comfortably in my hands and one handed operation is possible. Ports and buttons are on standard placements too so locating them won't be a problem. It is just slippery at times so make sure that your grip is strong.

Initial findings

1. The build and design of this device is decent. However, we feel that it lags behind its Y51 predecessor and the phased out Y55 in premiumness. Display at just qHD (960 x 540) doesn't look as crisp and sharp as the current HD resolution standard in this price range.
2. The processor used here is an upgrade to what you'll see with the ageing Y51. So far we hardly felt any hiccups. It's speedy and doesn't heat up.
3. This Vivo device is loaded with a Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS w/ FunTouch OS 3.0. Again, that's an upgrade to what you'll find with the Y51.
4. We liked its cameras for the price. Even by using just an 8 MP sensor, it performs like a midrange 13 MP camera w/ good amount of color punch and detail. The selfie camera and its beautify feature looks nice too.
5. OTG works and there's a dedicated micro SD card slot, but there's no LED light for notification and Android keys.

As of the moment

The Vivo Y53 feels like a decent device with good cameras for this price range. It isn't just as impressive against the likes of their own Y55 straight out of the box, but it has some potential to be a good photography centric budget phone.

We'll check this handset out in the following weeks and see if its priced right for the performance, camera, and features. 

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