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Meet Vivo Y17 - "Premium" entry level?

Xtreme
Vivo Y17 is the company's answer to the OPPO A5s with higher specs but nearly double the price tag. Is it worth it though?
Vivo Y17

Equipped with the same Helio P35 of the OPPO A5s but with more RAM, with more internal storage, and with a larger battery, the Vivo Y17 looks to topple the OPPO A5s with better looks and improved specs at nearly double the price.

Is this Vivo's attempt to create a new "premium" entry-level segment? And does it succeed?

Meet Vivo Y17

Unboxed
Unboxed

Inside the familiar white box is the Vivo Y17, silicone jelly case, 5V2A power plug, USB Type-A to the micro USB port, stock Vivo earphones, SIM ejector tool, and documentation.

We applaud Vivo for still offering a complete package inside of the box along with a pre-installed screen protector.
Cameras and fingerprint sensor at the back
Cameras and fingerprint sensor at the back

At the back is a glasstic panel that shines differently depending on how the light hits it. On the top left side is the vertically aligned triple camera module with gold trimming and LED flash. Beside it is the fingerprint scanner.
Top
Top

On top is a smooth surface while at the bottom is a single bottom-firing speaker, micro USB port, microphone, and 3.5mm headphone jack.
Bottom
Bottom



On the left is the SIM card tray (with 2 dedicated SIM slots and a dedicated microSD card slot) while on the right side is the volume rocker and power button.

If you look closely from the side the glasstic panel on the back curves to the polycarbonate frame while the glass panel in front chamfers on top of the frame. Vivo designed and implemented this sandwiching in a polished manner that elevates the design of the phone even with the given materials used.
Right
Right

The phone feels exceptionally lightweight but equally solid because of the sturdy polycarbonate frame. While the 
6.35-inch 2.5D HD+ curved screen with 1544 x 720 resolution at 268 ppi produces a vibrant and bright image with a serviceable 720p resolution. We had hoped that it was a 1080p panel to take advantage of the chip and the large 5,000mAh battery.

Inside is a 2.3GHz 64-bit Helio P35 octa-core processor with PowerVR GE8320 GPU, 4GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage that is expandable up to 256GB. The Helio P35 is a great processor but at the price point of the Y17, we expect more given that competition is fierce.

Though the 128GB and 4GB RAM are standard in this price point in 2019.

The rest of the features

Rear cameras
Rear cameras

At the back is a 13MP f/2.2 main camera, 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera, and 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor with PDAF and LED flash that is embellished with gold trimming.
Rear-facing camera app
Rear-facing camera app

The camera app has multiple modes like Photo, Video, Beauty, Pano, Pro, Document and Fun Video.

In Pro mode, you can set the shutter speed (1/12000 to 32 seconds), ISO (100-3200), White Balance and EV (+-3).

Fun Video allows you to record and pause several scenes and stitch them together in one 15 second video which allows for creative and fun video footage.


Rear Facing Camera Samples

Main camera daylight
Main camera daylight
Ultra-wide camera daylight
Ultra-wide camera daylight

In daylight, both main and ultra-wide camera produces decently sharp images with some detail but struggles with color accuracy and white balance.
Indoor main camera
Indoor main camera
Indoor ultra-wide camera
Indoor ultra-wide camera

In indoors, the main and ultra-wide camera produces decently sharp images like in daylight but suffers the same problem with color accuracy which can be noticed in skin tones.
Main camera low light
Main camera low light
Ultra-wide camera low light
Ultra-wide camera low light

In low light, the main camera and ultra-wide camera is able to produce images with soft images because of the increased noise.  There are noticeably fewer details in the shadows along with lesser contrast. Color accuracy is still struggling because of the inaccurate white balance.
Front-facing camera
Front-facing camera

In front is a 20MP f/2.0 front-facing camera with AI Face Beauty. Surprisingly, the camera app has the same camera modes as the rear-facing camera.

It has 6 levels of face beauty
It has 6 levels of face beauty

Face Beauty has 6 levels of intensity with the default level at AI.


Selfie Camera Samples

Front facing camera
Front facing camera
Front facing camera with Face Beauty
Front facing camera with Face Beauty
The front-facing camera in Portrait mode
The front-facing camera in Portrait mode

In our first few shots with the front facing camera, we got decently sharp images with decent contrast. It struggles with white balance and skin tones. We hope the images produced would improve via a firmware update.
FunTouch OS 9
FunTouch OS 9

Running the show is FunTouch OS 9 based on Android 9.0 Pie. It is the latest version of FunTouch OS 9 with the updated visuals and design more a more modern look. However, the changes are more visual than actual UI elements so if you did not like how FunTouch interacts with the user, you still won't like it. But if you like FunTouch, you will appreciate the new coat of paint.
Benchmarks
Benchmarks

As mentioned above, inside is a 2.3GHz 64-bit Helio P35 octa-core processor with the PowerVR GE8320 GPU and 4GB of RAM that produced an AnTuTu score of more than 86K while producing a single-core score of 906 and multi-core score of 4291 in GeekBench 4.

For audio, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack, included stock earphones, and a single bottom-firing speaker.

The device connects via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, and supports GPS, GLONASS. It has an FM Radio and has two SIM card slots and a dedicated microSD card slot.

Sensors include an accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, and sound. There is a fingerprint sensor at the back and Face Unlock is there if you prefer to use facial recognition.


Vivo Y17 Specs

Display: 6.35-inch 2.5D curved screen w/ HD+ 1544 x 720 resolution at 268 ppi
CPU: 2.3GHz 64-bit Helio P35 octa-core processor
GPU: PowerVR GE8320
RAM: 4GB
ROM: 128GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 13MP f/2.2 + 8MP f/2.2 ultra wide-angle lens + 2MP f/2.4 w/ PDAF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 20MP f/2.0 w/ AI face beauty
Battery: 5,000mAh w/ Dual Engine fast charging
OS: Android 9.0 Pie w/ Funtouch OS 9
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, OTG, FM Radio, GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM slots
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, face unlock, Colors: mystic blue, mystic purple
Dimensions: 159.43 x 76.77 8.92 mm
Weight: 190.5 g
Price: PHP 12,999 (PHP 9,999 new SRP)

Quick thoughts

Meet the Vivo Y17
Meet the Vivo Y17

The Vivo Y17 is priced at a premium of PHP 12,990 but carries specs that rival phones at nearly half its price.

The Helio P35 can be had in the OPPO A5s at under PHP 10K. Even though the Y17 has a larger battery with Dual Engine charging, larger RAM and ROM capacity, and a better design, we find it hard to truly enjoy the Y17 compared to its peers.

But if you prefer the better design and are okay with its specs, then it isn't a bad phone.

What do you guys think?
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