vivo Y16 Review | Geek Lifestyle

Big Battery, Big Memory, the vivo Y16 is an entry-level offering that fills some pretty big roles for today’s urban youth.

ONE Store Beta Now Available

vivo is on a roll with a lot of gorgeous-looking phone released these past few months. After releasing one of the best flagship phones of the year with the vivo X80 Series, vivo’s adherence to feature-rich handsets mixed with strikingly beautiful design has trickled down all the way to its entry-level series. The vivo V16 is another perfect example of this. Even if people dismiss the phone on its spec sheet alone, one cannot help but admire the craftsmanship that’s build into this sub 9k phone.



The first thing to note about the phone is how solid it feels. Most phones at this price range is made to feel “plasticky”. The vivo Y16 is rendered with an almost full aluminum shell with a brushed-metal finished back design as well to give you that luxurious feel. Because the rear is rendered in a brushed-metal way, you can say goodbye to hyper gloss surfaces leaving traces of your fingerprints. The phone also has a flat side panel in complimentary colors to add more flare. The 2.5 curvature of the unit also makes the vivo Y16 easy to grip. The color that we had is called Drizzling Gold – and boy, is it a stunner!

Turning the phone around, we’re greeted with a large-enough 6.51” display with a dew-drop notch and a bit of a thicker bezel. The screen-to-body ratio of the vivo Y16 sits around the 82.5% mark. Aside from that, clear speaker grills can be seen at the bottom along with the USB Type-C charging port and a 3.5mm combo jack.

With its luxe detailing, brushed metal rear plate, relatively thin frame, flat edges and 2.5D curvature, the vivo Y16 definitely does not look like something that just cost Php 8,499 (the official retail price).  It’s amazing how much design language was carefully placed in this phone and we’re loving every square mm of it.


Binge-Watching Factor

As mentioned, the vivo Y16 is equipped with a 6.51” display, however, the resolution only goes up to 720×1600 or just HD+. While vivo could have pushed the envelope and gotten a FHD display, the HD+ display was still able to produce brilliant colors on today’s high-definition videos.

The unit only has one speaker array but if you max the volume out you’re able to get a loud enough sound emitting from the unit. I watched a couple of shows on Netflix and YouTube. Thor Love And Thunder’s brilliantly colorful world was surprisingly quite enjoyable to watch on the vivo Y16.



Gaming Prowess

As the phone is powered by (a very much dated) MediaTek Helio P35 (12nm), don’t expect too much on the gaming front. While sure you can fire up a handful of mobile games with the unit, the phone will automatically clock it down to their lower (or even lowest) settings just so you can enjoy decent, playable framerates. If you’re planning on firing up Genshin Impact, we highly suggest you refrain from doing so.


If you’re a casual player, however, the Helio P35 should be able to handle majority of non-triple A mobile games with relative ease (and efficiency). Just do take note that you may have to turn your graphics down a bit.

If you do need a bit of a boost, the vivo Y16 comes with the Multi Turbo 5.5, vivo’s proprietary game launcher/ optimizer app that helps turn off pesky notifications, optimize power management and (hopefully) reduce lag spikes and stutters.

There’s also the Extended RAM capability of the vivo Y16 wherein the phone can allocate up to 1GB of extra storage (from the idle ROM storage) to the phone’s 4GB of RAM to help with various app activities.


Geek Photoshoot Capabilities

For those who love taking photos, the vivo Y16 is equipped with an adequate 13MP f/2.2 wide main camera and 2MP f/2.4 macro cam. For selfies, the unit comes with just a 5MP selfie cam. While generally giving standard features for an entry-level phone, the vivo Y16’s front-facing camera has an Aura Screen Light function for softer indoor or low light selfies.

As always, with enough light (either natural or through an artificial light source), despite the low megapixel counts, your photos can look very decent.

See some samples below:

Aura screen light automatically turns on when you’re in a dimly lit environment

However, the vivo Y16 struggles on low light, mood light or indoor shots. As the phone doesn’t have any image stabilization software whatsoever, photos will have a lot of noise and grain the lower your light source becomes. So while the vivo Y16 has an Aura Screen Light function that automatically turns on during low-light settings, you’ll still need to hold the camera very still or you’ll end up with some noise on your photos like this:

While the vivo Y16’s camera-taking capabilities is nothing to write home about, it does the job as long as you make sure you have ample amounts of light source.

Everyday Reliability

One of the selling factors of the phone, aside from the luxe design language that it has, is the large battery and large memory that the unit has (considering the price point). The vivo Y16 has a large 128GB Memory that’s expandable to up to 1TB depending on your micro SD card. No need to keep on deleting photos or videos taken on the vivo Y16!

To help you manage throughout the day, the vivo Y16 runs on a large 5000mAh of battery which should give you about 22 hours of music playback and 5-7 hours of gaming. If your buddy ever runs out of juice, you can use the vivo Y16 as a power source as well, as it has 5W reverse charging capabilities.

vivo was able to tick a lot of the boxes on the smartphone’s basic necessities however there were some bugs that we found that just took away points from a full-proof solid recommendation. First of all, the Helio P35 while a substantially okay chipset is superbly dated. You can feel the phone take its time booting up once you restart the unit.

Second, even with the additional extended RAM, you may feel a bit of millisecond delay when you scroll through the apps, app-folders or open and close the settings menu. It’s not enough to warrant the phone unusable, far from it, but you will feel a bit of sluggishness from time to time. You just have to be a bit patient about it– I mean it is less than Php 8,500.

Lastly, and this could also just be our unit, the vivo Y16 was super nitpicky with the USB Type-C that you attach to it when it comes to transferring files. We had to use the stock USB Type-C chord that it came with for us to be able to successfully transfer photos and videos over to the PC as the options are greyed out when you tried and use our default USB Type-C cable that we have lying around. That being said, this weird bug could be addressed via a software upgrade but this really irked us tremendously.


Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict

Overall, vivo’s entry-level offering is more than adequate to take on the daily challenges and rigors of the urban youth. Trendy look, large battery, large memory, and a decent-enough processor, the vivo Y16 is a reliable choice for a first phone as it ticks all the usual boxes and then some. While there were some bugs that irked us (at least with the unit that we got), we feel these can be easily addressed via new security updates and patches. We’re hoping vivo addresses these as the unit is indeed a gorgeous-looking first phone of sorts.

The vivo Y16 retails for Php 8,499 for the 4GB/ 128GB variant and a 4GB/ 64GB variant will be released very soon.

For more on the vivo Y16, do check out their official social media page.


vivo Y16 Specs:

  • 51-inch HD+ (1600×720) IPS LCD
  • MediaTek Helio P35 (12nm)
  • 4GB RAM (+1GB extended RAM)
  • 128GB storage (expandable via microSD)
  • Rear cameras: 13MP main + 2MP macro
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • 4G, LTE
  • Side-mounted Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C port
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
  • 5,00mAh battery with 10W Fast charging
  • Android 12 (Funtouch 12)
  • Price: PHP 8,499