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vivo Y73 Review - Brilliant screen and capable main cam under PHP 15K

OPPO
Huawei
About a month ago, the vivo Y73 arrived in the local market. And, we are now ready to share with you our final thoughts about this mid-ranger.
vivo Y73 Review - Brilliant screen and respectable shooters under PHP 15K
Meet vivo Y73

During its launch, the Y73 is also geared as a camera-centric device. To recall, this mid-ranger boasts a triple-camera system at the back with a 64MP f/1.79 main sensor + 2MP f/2.4 bokeh sensor + 2MP f/2.4 macro sensor with LED flash. It also has a 16MP f/2.0 shooter in front.

Other highlights include a 6.44-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen, a MediaTek Helio G95 octa-core processor, and a 4,000mAh battery with a USB-C 33W fast charging technology.

Now, let's take a deeper look at its performance after making it our daily driver for more than two weeks.

Is this sub-PHP 15K device enough content creators on a budget?


Read on!

Multimedia Experience

A tall AMOLED display
A tall AMOLED display

The vivo Y73 sports a 6.44-inch AMOLED screen w/ FHD+ 2400 x 1080 resolution. Upon hold, the screen is huge but in a sense that it's tall yet easy to use. There's a U-shaped notch in the middle of the top bezel housing the selfie shooter.

The device has 408 ppi density while the screen brightness of the phone is 570 nits. Thanks to its AMOLED panel and full HD plus resolution, it got a pretty vibrant color with good sharpness and detail.
Vibrant colors and deep blacks
Vibrant colors and deep blacks

The contrast is also great as it can show darker colors and deep blacks more accurately. The display is bright enough for indoor use but it will still struggle in broad daylight.

A good display meant for watching videos or browsing the Internet...

The screen is also HDR10 compliant so streaming HDR content on YouTube or Netflix is much better. It got nice viewing angles too.

We also noticed that the Y73 got a color mode in the display settings. It allows you to choose from three modes: Standard, Professional, and Bright. There's also a slider for the color temperature from cool to warm depending on your preference. 

Aside from these, this pretty mid-range features Adaptive brightness and Eye Protection, and a Dark theme mode. Personally, I prefer turning on the dark theme as it is easier on the eyes, especially when before bedtime and I want to rest my eyes a bit.

A higher refresh rate essentially means a smoother experience while scrolling or playing games. But since it comes with a standard 60Hz, animations and transitions are not that fluid and natural. 

Another downside would be the fact that was no mention of any protection like Corning Glass. The good thing is, that the company equipped it with a  pre-installed screen protector for added protection. 

Although it only has a single grille speaker, the Y73 can fill up a medium room with a solid, crisp sound. The sounds may seem a little distorted when the volume is at its highest level but this should not concern you because is unnoticeable. 

Turning down at around 70 or 80 percent is loud enough for me when watching YouTube clips or my favorite Netflix series.

For a more immersive experience and better listening experience, we recommend plugging in your earphones to the provided 3.5mm jack slot. 

Note that you can also connect this with wireless buds via Bluetooth.

We also tried the device to record our voice using its microphones and the result is clear as long as you are in a quiet room. It can block outside noise a little, but background noises were still apparent.

Meanwhile, the handset's microphone gave us clear calls and voice quality. It is not perfect, but we didn't experience any issues throughout our usage.

Cameras

The triple camera set-up on the rectangular hump
The triple camera set-up on the rectangular hump

Tagged as the best camera phone in the Y series so far, the Y73 boasts a triple rear set-up. This consists of 64MP f/1.79 w/ PDAF, EIS + 2MP f/2.4 macro + 2MP f/2.4 bokeh + LED flash. 

Aside from that, it can record in 4K, have EIS VIdeo, and comes with an improved Night mode. The only downside that we saw is the lack of an ultra-wide camera. 

The stock camera app comes with the following modes: night, video, photo, portrait, slo-mo, time-lapse, documents, expert (pro), 64MP, and panorama. The bokeh and super macro are separated from these modes but you can find them when you toggle at the lens icon at the lower right of the screen.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight auto w/o HDR
Daylight auto w/ HDR
Daylight auto w/ HDR

In daylight, the photos are quite detailed with high vibrancy and contrast. The HDR enhances the saturation of the auto mode but still looks balanced. 

True-to-life colors of images under daylight!

On the other hand, this one lacks a wide-angle lens which may be problematic for those who want to capture sceneries or landscapes.
Normal daylight
Normal daylight
Daylight with 2x zoom
Daylight with 2x zoom
Daylight with 5x zoom
Daylight with 5x zoom

Upon testing the zoom function, the 2x zoom can provide ample details and sharpness. Although you'll notice the distortion when you increase it to 5x. There's an option for up to 10x zoom but we do not recommend using it.
Daylight photo w/o portrait mode
Daylight photo w/o portrait mode
Daylight photo w/o portrait mode
Daylight photo w/o portrait mode
Another portrait photo under bright lighting conditions

So far, the portrait mode of this device did not produce strong or harsh blurs around its subject. However, its edge detection seems to be hit and miss since there are times that the camera did not blur parts of the background properly.
Indoor auto
Indoor auto
Indoor with 2x zoom
Indoor with 2x zoom

In terms of indoors, the images get a slight increase in noise levels but the sharpness, contrast, and detail are good. This room is a bit dim, but there is an increase in exposure to make the shot quite bright.
Lowlight auto
Lowlight auto
Lowlight with Night mode
Lowlight with Night mode
Night mode with 'Blue Ice' effect
Night mode with "Blue Ice" effect

It's noticeable that the Y73's camera struggled in low-light settings. The sharpness and detail of the photos were less than in daylight and indoors. 

But when Night Mode is activated, it was able to improve the clarity of the images even in a super dark environment. Although if we were to nitpick, the contrast could use some improvement. 

Another cool feature that the Night Mode comes with is the special effect it applies. You just have to tap the Style icon on the display then it will allow you to select among color schemes.

Meanwhile, the 16MP front camera only comes with limited shooting modes such as photo, night, video, portrait, and live mode. Of course, beautification features are included, HDR, screen flash, and filters.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie with a beauty filter
Daylight selfie with a beauty filter
Indoor selfie without filter
Indoor selfie without filter
Indoor selfie with a beauty filter
Indoor selfie with a beauty filter

We think that the 16MP selfie shooter was able to take high-quality shots both in indoor and outdoor settings. It's great in terms of capturing details on my face like moles, skin discolorations, (and even my sunburn from staying too long under the sun). 

The Y73 also managed to preserve the color accuracy of my skin tone that most of us want so our selfies appear more natural. 

If you'll turn on the beauty filter, that's another whole thing since it will diminish all of your skin imperfections, make your skin fairer, and even slim down your face. To avoid looking cartoonish, we highly suggest not to go overboard on this.
Daylight portrait selfie
Daylight portrait selfie
A  bokeh shot with a rainbow effect
A  bokeh shot with a rainbow effect

We also appreciate the impressive subject-to-background separation using the portrait mode of this mid-ranger. 

As you can see, it did struggle with individual hair fibers a bit, but the edge is well-defined. Another plus is the special effects that improve your photo's aesthetics.
Lowlight auto selfie
Lowlight auto selfie
Lowlight selfie with night mode
Lowlight selfie with night mode
Lowlight selfie with night mode and LED flash
Lowlight selfie with night mode and LED flash

Taking selfies in low-light scenarios is indeed challenging but somehow the night mode is a great help. The difference between the photos with and without this feature is really significant. 

Turning on the LED flash also made an improvement in the overall experience. I also like the fact that I can enable or disable the beauty enhancement features while using the night mode. 

Sometimes, the lighting from the flash makes the complexion look pasty. But here, I was able to tweak the skin filter settings a bit.

Lastly, you can also shoot videos up to 4K resolution. In general, the video quality, audio quality, and stability are all superb. For aspiring content creators or bloggers, there are plenty of extra features that may help like ultra stabilization, dual view, live beauty enhancement, filters, and others.


Performance

AnTuTu and Geekbench scores
AnTuTu and Geekbench scores

The Y73 is powered by a 2.05GHz 12nm MediaTek Helio G95 octa-core processor paired with an 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, which is still expandable via microSD. This is considered a gaming chip commonly found on sub-PHP 12K smartphones. But, at this price point, there are more powerful chips.
PCMark and 3DMark scores
PCMark and 3DMark scores
AI benchmark and CPDT
AI benchmark and CPDT

vivo Y73 benchmark scores:

1. AnTuTu - 349,222
2. Geekbench - 523 (Single-Core), 1,622 (Multi-Core)
3. PCMark Work 3.0 performance - 6,888
4. 3DMark Wild Life - 1,507 and average 9 fps
5. AI Benchmark - 41.7K
6. CPDT - 487.20 MB/s (Sequential write speed), 153.68 MB/s (Sequential read speed)

For its actual performance, this midrange device is truly capable of running multiple apps for both work and leisure without any problem. This is quite useful, especially if you need to use your phone for research, browsing e-commerce sites, and responding to email messages. 

The search bar tabs are easily opened and closed so we think that it's a good phone for productivity. The same thing happens with apps, we did not have to wait for too long for them to load, even though we tried launching 3 or 4 at the same time.

Snappy multi-tasking experience

The MediaTek Helio G95 octa-core processor is a fairly capable processor for the price. This chip is speedy enough to run a lot of apps some heavy games like Call of Duty Mobile and Mobile Legends smoothly.

When we played COD, there were no lags and stutters even though we set the graphic quality and frame rate to very high. It seems that the Multi-Turbo feature worked improved game performance overall. 

The Y73 even comes with an Esports Mode that enables minimal disturbance and brightness lock. It also can intelligently balance the device's temperature and frame rate to prevent overheating issues.          

In terms of security, this smartphone is equipped with has face unlock and an in-display fingerprint scanner. Both are responsive most of the time. The cool thing is, that you can have the option to set animations for facial and fingerprint recognition.

For connectivity, the vivo Y73 has WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, dual SIM (nano).

The downside is it has no 5G, unlike most sub-PHP 15K smartphones.
PCMark Battery Benchmark score of Y73
PCMark Battery Benchmark score of Y73

While many smartphones are coming with a 5,000mAh battery or higher, the device comes with a 4,000mAh battery only. It’s probably one of the cutbacks that vivo to make Y73's build slimmer compared to its previous models.

However, it managed to endure almost 14 hours when we run the PCMark Battery test on it so it's not bad at all. In real-life usage, it managed to last me a whole day without reaching out for the charger. 

Note that it still depends on your level of usage since I mainly used it for messaging, browsing the web, and watching a few TikTok short clips.

The company coupled this average battery capacity with a 33W fast charging support that allegedly recharge the device in just 30 minutes. However, it took us almost an hour and a half to fully charge the phone from 5 percent.
Android 11 with  Funtouch OS user interface
Android 11 with  Funtouch OS user interface

The vivo Y73 arrives with the latest Android 11 w/ Funtouch OS 11.1 delivering a decent performance. Clearly, the downside is that it comes with tons of bloatware. Even though you can remove many, it is still annoying that you get so much bloatware pre-loaded.

On the other hand, the FunTouch OS skins are visually appealing. The UI's transitions are seemingly smooth so no complaints there. 

Upon swiping down, you will see the notifications and shortcuts to WiFi, Mobile data, Bluetooth, Ultra Game Mode, S-capture, Eye Protection, Dark theme, Record screen, Smart mirroring, Split screen, Scan, and others.

Pros - Attractive design, bright AMOLED display, huge RAM and storage capacity, fast charging, capable main camera, 33W fast-charging
Cons -  60Hz refresh rate only, lacks ultra-wide-angle lens, not the most powerful for the price, no 5G, vivo V21e is just PHP 1K more expensive

vivo Y73 Specs

Display: 6.44-inch AMOLED screen w/ FHD+ 2400 x 1080 resolution at 409 ppi
CPU: 2.05GHz 12nm MediaTek Helio G95 octa-core processor
GPU: Mali-G76 3EEMC4 (900MHz)
RAM: 8GB
ROM: 128GB expandable storage via microSD card slot up to 1TB
Back Camera: 64MP f/1.79 w/ PDAF, EIS + 2MP f/2.4 macro + 2MP f/2.4 bokeh + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16MP f/2.0
Battery: 4,000mAh w/ USB-C 33W FlashCharge
OS: Android 11 w/ Funtouch OS 11.1
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, dual SIM (nano)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: In-Display fingerprint scanner, USB-C, Colors: Roman Black, Diamond Flare
Dimensions: 161.24 x 74.37 x 7.38 mm
Weight: 170 g
Price: PHP 14,999

Verdict

Stylishly-thin phone
Stylishly-thin phone

Arguably, the vivo Y73 is one of the better lightweight and fashionable mid-rangers that feels premium to hold in its class.

If you're someone like me who heavily relies on a phone for watching video content, then you'll certainly love the thin bezels and AMOLED goodness of its screen.

Although we wish that it is equipped with a better processor, the MediaTek Helio G95 does pretty much the job when it comes to gaming and multitasking. There are no major issues like lags or overheating in most of the tasks we do except when playing the heaviest games at max settings.

The Y73 is also a strong contender in the camera department thanks to its nice 64MP snapper and decent 16MP selfie shooter. The rear and front cameras were able to produce nice-looking images with good color reproduction. The special effects and extra features are just a bonus.

But, it lacks an ultra-wide lens that would have made it a more versatile camera phone for mobile creators.

Our suggestion is to get the vivo V21e with the same design, but better specs with an ultra-wide shooter and a more powerful 44MP selfie camera instead. It is just PHP 1K more than this one.

However, if you can't really stretch your budget, this could be an option. 

Build/Design - 4
Multimedia Experience - 4.25
Cameras - 4
Performance - 4
Average - 4.06/5
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