|Launch Date||July 23, 2018 (Official)|
|Operating System||Android v8.1 (Oreo)|
|Custom UI||Funtouch OS|
|SIM Slot(s)||Dual SIM, GSM+GSM|
|SIM Size||SIM1: Nano|
|Network||4G: Available (supports Indian bands)|
|Screen Size||6.0 inches (15.24 cm)|
|Screen Resolution||720 x 1440 pixels|
|Pixel Density||268 ppi|
|Display Type||IPS LCD|
|Screen to Body Ratio (claimed by the brand)||84.4 %|
|Screen to Body Ratio (calculated)||78.77 %|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 MSM8917|
|Processor||Quad core, 1.4 GHz, Cortex A53|
|Internal Memory||16 GB|
|USB OTG Support||yes|
|Resolution||5 MP Front Camera|
|Image Resolution||3264 x 2448 Pixels|
|Settings||Exposure compensation, ISO control|
|Shooting Modes||Continuos Shooting, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)|
|Camera Features||Digital Zoom, Auto Flash, Face detection, Touch to focus|
|Network & Connectivity|
|SIM Size||SIM1: Nano, SIM2: Nano|
|Network Support||4G (supports Indian bands), 3G, 2G|
|SAR Value||Head: 1.16 W/kg, Body: 0.96 W/kg|
|Wi-Fi Features||Mobile Hotspot|
|USB Connectivity||Mass storage device, USB charging, microUSB 2.0|
|Audio Jack||3.5 mm|
|Other Sensors||Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope|
The Vivo Y71i is a phone that is competing against the likes of Redmi Note 5, Honor 7A, Honor 9 Lite, Asus Zenfone Max Pro and others. While it does have its fair share of Pros such as decent build quality, latest OS right out of the box, decent performance, the cons outweigh them. The lack of a fingerprint sensor is disheartening, poor camera performance in low-light and semi-artificial conditions is yet another drawback, and on the whole, the cost-cutting measures like HD+ display and lack of earphones lets down the Y71i in the race. So, if you are in the market looking for a smartphone in the segment, we suggest you go with the Redmi Note 5, or the Asus Zenfone Max Pro.
Vivo continues its terrific form in India with frequent launches very often than before. The company’s success is mostly attributed to its strategy of launching phones with great innovation like under-the-display fingerprints, motorized pop-up cameras, at the same bringing budget-centric smartphones to carter budget audience in the country. In fact, Vivo now stands only next to Samsung and Xiaomi in India and this in many ways is an incredible feat.
Vivo’s success started in India with its focus on selfie centric phones that worked big time for the company. Off late, the budget segment is becoming the hot cake for smartphone manufacturers to capture the top spot. A prime example for this is the incredible sales of Xiaomi’s Redmi 5A which continues to stay on top months after launch. Aiming at the segment, Vivo recently launched the Y71i in the successful Y-series in India. In our today’s review, we shall find out if it is worth the money you are spending. Let’s get started.
The Vivo Y21 sports a 6-inches HD+ (1440 X 720 pixels) display and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 SoC clocked at 1.4GHz Octa-Core processor with Adreno 308 GPU. There is 2GB of RAM and 16GB storage that is further expandable up to 256GB. It runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with FunTouch OS.
There is an 8-megapixel rear camera with f/1.0 aperture and HDR mode, and a 5-megapixel selfie shooter with f/2.2 aperture and AI beauty features. Connectivity features include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS + GLONASS, USB OTG. A 3360mAh battery on board.
The Vivo Y71i features an all plastic body that might be a let down if you were hoping a metal unibody which we see these days. Since the phone costs Rs. 9,000 the plastic build might be a reasonably generous offering from Vivo, but considering phones like the Honor 9 Lite, Asus Zenfone Max Pro, Redmi Note 5, the build definitely seems quite ordinary. Don’t get us wrong, the build in no way feels cheap, but we would have appreciated a metal design on any given day. The Phones in the latest 18:9 aspect ratio, so the in-hand feel and weight distribution of the same is perfect. All-in-all, we don’t have any major complains about the build, but it certainly feels like cost-cutting measures to keep the pricing in check.
Moving to placements, up front we have the 5MP front-facing camera, the usual set of sensors, and the capacitive buttons are placed within the display since it is a FullView display. The volume rockers and the power button is placed on the right side. The SIM tray tool is present on the right. The speaker grill, microUSB port, and 3.5mm audio are placed on the bottom. The rear is where you find the 8MP rear camera, LED flash, and Vivo branding. The back is sealed, so the battery isn’t removable. Overall, the build quality and design of the Vivo Y71i is impressive if you can adjust to the plastic build.
The Vivo Y71i sports a 6-inch HD+ (1520×720 pixels) 18:9 IPS display with no support for Corning Gorilla glass protection. Since it is the latest 18:9 aspect ratio, we get impressive screen real estate for media consumption, and gaming as well. We are disappointed with the fact that it packs just an HD+ display as pixilation when scrolling or while zooming in text or images is reasonably visible. The panel itself looks quite dull. Hence the colors look washed out for the most part. The viewing angles are good; we were able to view the content on the phone even at extreme angles.
Since the panel itself is dull, the brightness levels are not very impressive; we were able to access the content indoors, but outdoors is an issue despite maxing out the brightness levels. It comes with an auto-brightness sensor, so you don’t have to adjust the brightness all the time once enabled. The touch response is smooth, and it is responsive when scrolling or while playing. If you are the one who is into gaming or media consumption, you might not appreciate the dull IPS panel on the Vivo Y71i. Overall, the display of the Vivo Y71i is a let-down, by all means, we wish Vivo did some ground-breaking stuff with a 1080p panel.
The Vivo Y71i is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 SoC clocked at 1.4GHz Octa-Core processor with Adreno 308 GPU and 2GB of RAM. Snapdragon 425 is slowly becoming the go-to chipset for most budget segment phones in India. While it is a decent performer, but it isn’t suitable for phones that are costing over Rs. 9,000. This certainly has a significant impact on smartphone’s performance. For the most part, apps open up quick, and they load up pretty fast as well. As we mentioned above, the phone was able to handle 4-5 apps at a time without any lag or stutters in the UI.
We barely noticed any frame drops or delay in the UI. However, the problems start once you put too much pressure on the phone by running resource-intensive games or games, run too many apps then it can handle. U.I becomes slow, and the non-responsive which makes the whole user experience annoying after a while. This comes as a cost for buying a phone that is slightly overpriced for what it has to offer.
Moving to the gaming department, we played games like PUBG, Asphalt 8, Leos Fortune, Modern Combat 5, Nova 3. The device was able to handle casual to mid-range games without any issues. While the high-end titles were dropping frames and offering tedious gameplay. The experience remains the same even with graphics set to medium. We are okay with it since this is what we expect from a budget phone. But the biggest disappointment with the Vivo Y71i is the lack of fingerprint sensor which is slowly becoming a norm these days. It does have Face access, which is its facial recognition technology. It works well in good light conditions, but becomes non-functional in dark and low-light conditions. Overall, the performance of the Vivo Y71i is pretty decent for the pricing, but there are many phones in the similar price segment that can outshine the Y71i.
The Vivo Y71i packs a single 8-megapixel rear camera with f/1.0 aperture and HDR mode, and a 5-megapixel selfie shooter with f/2.2 aperture and AI beauty features. Talking about the interface, even that is very similar to iOS where you will have to swipe right/left from the main screen to toggle between modes like video, slo-mo and other options. It also comes with a Pro mode to tweak ISO, white balance, and more. Moving to camera performance, it can click decent images with acceptable details. Given that you are in a good lighting condition, the pictures are sharp and the colors are close to natural.
The HDR mode works perfectly well, but there is no AutoHDR feature, so you will have to turn it on whenever needed. Turning on the HDR mode brings in more depth and details to the image. The dynamic range is perfectly fine, but if you are in semi lighting conditions, the picture tends to blow out. The rear camera can record 1080p videos, but since there is no OIS, you need to hold the phone steadily to get a stable recording.
Moving to low-light, like with most budget and mid-range phones, the photos are noisy and blurry and are in no way usable on social media as well. The LED flash helps at times, but in extreme low-light situation, even it can’t help much. The front 8MP shooter is decent for selfies, but like the rear, the front camera also suffers from lack of sharpness in the images especially in the dull lit conditions. Overall, the camera of the Vivo Y71i is not the best we have seen in the market, and there certainly is scope for improvement.
The Vivo Y71i packs a 3360mAh battery with no support for fast charging out of the box. We wouldn’t call the bundled battery unit ‘exceptional,’ but it certainly is a generous offering. Our regular working day usage includes slight gaming, listening to music through 4G, GPS navigation, a bunch of selfies, stream videos among essential tasks like taking calls, sending messages, the device could last only until the evening with a screen on time of around 4 to 4 and a half hour at best. We wouldn’t call this exceptional, but decent enough.
We didn’t notice any battery drops or drain overnight, and this is a good thing for a phone with such generic battery performance. Moving to continuous to heavy usage that includes heavy gaming, stream content with 4G, the phone was only able to last till the afternoon with a screen-on-time of 2:30-3:30 hours. We had to charge the phone once to pull through till the end of the day. We didn’t notice any drastic battery drops on heavy usage.
Since there is no fast charging support, the 3360mAh battery with the bundled adaptor took close to 2 hours 45 minutes to charge fully from 1-100%. Though the charging time is a drag, we can’t expect more from a budget offering. Overall, the battery performance of the Vivo Y71i is not the very best, but considering the price tag, this is what you can get.
The company did not include a pair of earphones within the box, not even the basic style. This looks like one of the cost-cutting measures to keep the pricing in check. To a better audio experience, you will have to spend some more bucks on a set of earphones which again increases the cost you are spending on a smartphone. Moving along, the audio quality when tested with the earphones we had with us is quite decent. It also comes with equalizer support so you can tweak the sound quality as per your liking.
The speaker grill is present on the bottom, so the speaker volume doesn’t get muffled when you place it on a flat surface, but it might come in your way while holding it in the landscape mode. The default music player was able to handle most audio formats without any issues.
The Vivo Y71i was able to handle 1080p videos smoothly, and the playback was smooth with no heating and freezing issues. We streamed videos with 4G, and the playback was smooth. All said and done; you still have to spend some more buck on a pair of earphones for better audio and video experience.
The Vivo Y71i runs on the Android 8.1 Oreo with Vivo’s custom FunTouch skin on top. As you are aware, the interface is not stock, but it is a custom skin based on Android. All the icons and widgets are present on the home screen much like the iOS style representation. To access the quick toggles, by swiping up from the bottom which again is very much like the iOS 10 style. For first timers, the new interface might be confusing with an overwhelming presentation of icons and widgets right on the home screen. However, you can jump to quick launcher any day if you feel like giving the phone a stock look and bring in the double hierarchical interface.
The theming doesn’t stop there, even the icon pack is Vivo’s custom, and few icons do look very similar to Apple’s icons. Apart from Google’s native apps, few applications like Theme Store, Vivo native apps, Facebook, WhatsApp, Amazon, and many others come pre-installed. These apps can’t be uninstalled unless rooted. The theme store stretches the limits to customization as it has tons of themes where you can change the look and feel of the U.I. Do note that all the themes are similar to each other and don’t include an app drawer as an option.
There is 2GB of RAM, out which 900MB is available, thanks to the heavily themed interface. However, we didn't notice any significant lag or stutter with casual multitasking or with normal usage.
We did notice constant frame drops and delays during app switching if you have more than 5-6 apps running at the same time. Since the interface is heavily themed, it consumes more RAM to function than the stock Android. The transitions and animations are smooth as long as there is enough free RAM, you can allocate more resources by cleaning out unused apps when not in use. Overall, the Vivo Skin is good, but if you are a fan of Stock Android, you wouldn’t like what you see.