vivo Y16 Review: Entry-Level Phone with Exquisite Design

vivo is in releasing spree these past few weeks, especially on its Y series of smartphones. After the shiny Y35, the company made a brief follow-up with the vivo Y16. The vivo Y16 is everything you'd expect from an entry-level handset except that the Y16 features a classy design which is quite rare in this segment.

vivo Y16 Review: Entry-Level Phone with Exquisite Design

vivo Y16 Review

Review Summary:

Pros

  • Elegant design
  • Large display
  • Good-looking shots
  • Very efficient battery life

Cons

  • Display lacks brightness
  • Slow charging

Time and again, vivo has proven to have an eye for aesthetics, even in its budget phones; and the vivo Y16 is no exception. I had my fair share of experience with the handset and I'd be glad to share it with you in this review.

Design

The vivo Y16 is straight-out a beautiful phone right after you put it out of the box. I prefer its design and color choices compared to the recently-released vivo Y35. The rectangular slab with angled edges is quite a joy to use, even with one hand. 

This 183-gram phone is nothing short of amusing when we talk about aesthetics; the striking back panel gave justice to its "Drizzling Gold" name by reflecting light in something like a startrails pattern.

vivo Y16 Review: Design and construction

I like how the back panel negates most of the fingerprints. The ports and buttons are also in their no-nonsense placements and the camera module is trimmed in a simple yet effective way. The overall ergonomics and grip of the vivo Y16 is quite pleasing, I must say.

Display

There's more to be desired in the phone's display. We only have an HD+ panel framed in a 6.51-inch screen with waterdrop notch. The display is an IPS LCD; this means that viewing the screen in different angles won't be an issue. I noticed that the colors need a little punch, but the overall color accuracy is okay. 

vivo Y16 Review: Display

Another challenge is using the smartphone outdoors; you may want to avoid checking your phone under direct sunlight. However, in an ideal lighting, there's less to complain about the display. The details are there, and even the contrast is quite on point. The large display would make the handset a good companion in streaming videos and playing mobile games.

vivo Y16 Review: Display

Performance

Speaking of mobile games, I have had multiple Mobile Legends sessions using the vivo Y16. The MediaTek Helio P35 SoC may start showing some age compared to other new entry-level chipsets but it could still work efficiently with non-demanding tasks. There's 4GB of RAM onboard; the handset could also access 1GB of extended RAM should some processes need to do so. 

vivo Y16 Review: Performance

The roomy 128GB of storage is one of the things I love about this phone. This allowed me to store multiple multimedia apps and photos on the vivo Y16. 

Running games like Genshin Impact and Asphalt 9 could put more pressure on the hardware. Though the Ultra Game Mode could help a little, I'd still recommend to use the least graphic settings if you really need to do graphic-intensive gaming in this phone. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is highly playable in this device, though.

I'd lie if I'd say that the phone comes with an entirely smooth interface. Though most of the times it responded immediately, there's a considerable number of sessions that it would pick up my gestures, swipes or taps with delay. However, this is far from being alarming. 

In our AnTuTu Benchmark test, vivo Y16 scored 127,969.

vivo Y16 AnTuTu Benchmark Score

Camera

Where the vivo Y16 beats some of its rivals is in the camera department. The 13MP f/2.2 main sensor shoots good-looking shots with lots of details, accurate colors, and good amount of contrast. In addition, there's a lot of optimization offerings vivo has weaved in its camera app that it could only pull off. For one, I love the HDR mode and the in-app filters.

vivo Y16 Review: Camera Performance

You can also invoke the super macro and the bokeh feature on the lower right portion of the camera app. This eventually makes use of the 2MP f/2.4 macro sensor. Macro shots from the vivo Y16 are quite decent; I know you may think that the second sensor is a gimmick but I think it is a good feature to have if you're fond of close-up shots.

I could also say the same for the 5MP f/2.2 selfie sensor. It shoots good selfies for social media use with decent details and accurate colors. Using the selfie camera in the app will give you Beauty Mode for face enhancement purposes. Just like the back camera, you can also tap the bokeh icon to activate depth effect.

Check out our sample photos below:

vivo Y16 Review: Sample camera photos

vivo Y16 Review: Sample camera photos

vivo Y16 Review: Sample camera photos

vivo Y16 Review: Sample camera photos

vivo Y16 Review: Sample camera photos

vivo Y16 Review: Sample selfie photos

Software and Battery

The vivo Y16 boots with FunTouch 12 OS that is based on the latest Android 12. vivo has had great improvements with the FunTouch OS in the last several years, and I think the current version has matured already. I love the flat icons for the apps and simple toggles that's now integrated in the notification shade. However, there's still a number of bloatwares that come pre-installed.

The 5000 mAh battery would be another feature that's appealing for the consumers; although it is not uncommon for entry-level smartphones nowadays. Most of the times, I am able to use the vivo Y16 for more than a day, and I think this is more than enough for an average user.

The Y16 comes with 18W fast charging support but vivo only includes a 10W charger in the package. In my charging test, I recorded 60 percent of battery for 120 minutes of charge using an 18W charger.

In our PCMark Battery Life test, the phone scored 17 hours and 19 minutes.

vivo Y16 review: Battery Performance

Verdict: Should You Buy The vivo Y16?

The vivo Y16 is priced at Php 8499 for the 4GB + 128GB variant. This is quite a good offer for an entry-level smartphone that can take good photos, has long battery life, and large display. On top of that, it's rare to see a good-looking smartphone in this segment, I think this is where I find the vivo Y16 unique.

vivo Y16 Review

There's also a vivo Y16 4GB+64GB variant which is priced at only Php 6,999. You can get it in vivo's official channels, e-commerce platforms, and brick-and-mortar stores nationwide.

Key Specifications:

  • 6.51-inch HD+ IPS LCD display
  • Mediatek Helio P35 (12nm) SoC
  • 2.3GHz Octa-core CPU
  • PowerVR GE8320 GPU
  • 4GB RAM + 128GB ROM, 4/64GB
  • 13MP dual rear cameras
  • 5MP front camera
  • 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS
  • USB Type-C
  • Funtouch 12, based on Android 12 OS
  • 163.95 x 75.55 x 8.19 mm, 183 grams
  • 5000 mAh battery
  • WATCH: vivo Y16 unboxing video
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