Reviews

iQOO 9T review: The ultimate gaming phone killer?

Pure gaming flagship, no overhyped knick-knacks

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If you’re someone who’s into the nitty-gritty of smartphones, iQOO won’t sound like a complete stranger. But if you’re just a casual reader of anything about tech, you might have never heard of this brand ever before.

iQOO 9T

Just like any other Chinese manufacturer launching their own sub-brands such as OPPO and realme, Xiaomi and Redmi (and formerly POCO), and even Huawei with HONOR (before the latter came back to the scene as an “independent” company), vivo also has a sub-brand called ‘iQOO’. However, iQOO is meant to disrupt the flagship smartphone space — unlike the budget-conscious sub-brands stated prior.

I have reviewed several vivo smartphones before, but using an iQOO phone is actually my first time. Let’s dive right in.

iQOO or vivo?

The moment I first saw the iQOO 9T, it instantly reminded me of the vivo X80 Pro. Apart from the different materials used, lack of ZEISS logo, and an extra periscope lens, the similar overall size and left-justified camera layout with three holes are what made these two phones similar to my eyes.

iQOO 9T vivo X80 Pro

Looking closer, the iQOO 9T might just be the “gaming phone” version of the mobile photography-centric vivo X80 Pro.

iQOO 9T vivo X80 Pro
Display 6.78” AMOLED
120Hz flat display
Schott Xensation Alpha
6.78” LTPO3 AMOLED
Adaptive 120Hz curved display
Schott Xensation Up
Processor Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Configuration 8GB128GB
12GB + 256GB
12GB + 256GB
Cameras 50MP f/1.88 wide
Samsung GN5 main sensor
13MP 120º f/2.2 ultra-wide
12MP f/1.98 2x telephoto


16MP f/2.45 selfie
50MP f/1.57 wide
Samsung GNV main sensor
48MP 114º f/2.2 ultra-wide
12MP f/1.85 2x telephoto
8MP periscope 5x zoom
32MP f/2.45 selfie
ZEISS T* lens coating
Battery + Charging 4700mAh
120W FlashCharge
4700mAh
80W FlashCharge
Operating System Android 12
FuntouchOS 12

Premium Packaging

If you’re fond of sports cars (like me), the iQOO 9T ships in a box plastered with BMW Motorsport’s branding. Coincidentally, BMW M is BMW AG’s subsidiary that produces high-performance cars — pretty much like iQOO under vivo.

iQOO 9T

The sports car look is evident all over the box.

iQOO 9T

Aside from the sports car branding, the box details look premium with all the carbon fiber texture, a set of thin lines, together with iQOO’s signature color.

iQOO 9T

There’s even a paper showcasing the BMW M4 wrapped in iQOO decals.

Lifting the box reveals the phone wrapped in plastic.

iQOO 9T

Let me first just appreciate this phone’s exquisite design and how it stands out from afar.

iQOO 9T

After unwrapping the phone and lifting the tab, there are the paper work, SIM tray ejector pin, and a not-so-enticing clear jelly case.

iQOO 9T

Shockingly, it’s bundled with a USB-C to USB-C cable instead of the usual vivo cables with a USB-A ending.

iQOO 9T

There’s also a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter. But unlike the packaging of its big brother, iQOO doesn’t include any bundled earphones out of the box.

iQOO 9T

Finally! Other than the smartphone itself, the star of the show has got to be this massive 120W FlashCharge charging brick. More on that later.

Streamlined Design

As already spoiled in the unboxing earlier, the iQOO 9T has a design that looks flashy yet streamlined.

iQOO 9T

Other than the offset iQOO logo with its tagline along the red, black, and blue lines…

iQOO 9T

…the carbon fiber texture can also be seen at the upper right part of the phone together with the “Powered by V1+” branding — which is vivo’s in-house imaging chip that’s also inside the aforementioned vivo X80 Pro.

This two-tone black and white design is one of the best design smartphone incorporations I’ve ever seen. It’s clean yet not too much in the face type of gaming phone.

On its right, there’s the usual volume rocker paired with a very distinct blue power button — a design touch I personally like.

At the bottom, there are the speaker grilles, USB-C port, microphone hole, and the SIM card tray without support for expandable microSD storage.

Just like its back, the left side is clean. The things you’ll only see are the antenna bands and the separation of the display from its aluminum frame with chamfered edges.

Lastly, there’s the other microphone at top with what seems like an IR blaster — a feature you don’t see that much in 2022 phones.

The Better Display?

It’s finally time to flip the phone over to showcase its front display. For specifics, it sports a 6.78-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a buttery-smooth 120Hz refresh rate and support for HDR10 plus 100% DCI-P3 wide color gamut.

Different from usual Chinese flagship smartphones that still rock curved displays for the sake of “immersiveness”, the iQOO 9T is equipped with a flat display instead.

Also, there’s a single punch-hole camera cutout on top.

The display bezels are thin enough. While not 100% symmetrical, the chin is obviously thinner than the rest of the display competition.

iQOO 9T

If you’re wondering where the fingerprint scanner is, it’s hidden beneath the display. vivo being the first company that started this technology, it should be given that its in-house under-display fingerprint sensor is fast and accurate.

Ideal for Entertainment

iQOO 9T

IVE has completely dominated the whole K-Pop scene with After Like…

While we’re already on the topic, it’s worthy to point out how ideal the iQOO 9T is for your audiovisual needs.

iQOO 9T

…and so as Ahn Yujin and her power visuals and vocals

Given that it features an AMOLED display, visuals should look vivid. It’s bright enough when used indoors even at the lower side of brightness. When outdoors, it can get even brighter all thanks to its 1500nits of peak brightness.

iQOO 9T

While I may not have the essential equipment nor the skill to completely say its audio quality is better than other flagship smartphones, personally, it’s loud with a decent amount of bass. It’s good enough if you don’t want to hear the heavy rain outside. It’s also sufficient for bathroom concert sessions (which is my regular use-case).

iQOO 9T

As a SONE since 2009, I still can’t get over how SNSD already reached their 15th year anniversary *silently weeps in the corner*

And if you’re not the type who plays songs or videos using loudspeakers, a pair of wireless earbuds will always work. As previously shown, there’s no bundled USB-C earphones. It’s either you can buy a separate set or just use existing 3.5mm wired earphones with the adapter — which looks very odd in 2022.

More-than-sufficient Performance

One of the highlights of the iQOO 9T is none other than its Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset. Paired with either 8GB or 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and a 128GB or 256GB UFS 3.1 storage, expect speedy performance using this phone.

iQOO 9T

As usual, I played my favorite game first — the Asphalt 9: Legends. Similar to other Android smartphones, iQOO also features an extensive game-boosting extension thanks to the extra software feature provided by FunTouchOS 12 based on Android 12.

iQOO 9T

While the balanced mode is already enough when playing these games, there’s the “Monster Mode” option if you want to maximize your gameplay to the full extent. You just have to be cautious as it consumes more battery power.

iQOO 9T

Onto the next game: Call of Duty: Mobile (CoDM).

iQOO 9T

As the “Very High” graphics quality and maxed out frame rate options were both ticked, this FPS game was able to withstand thirty (30) minutes of gameplay without those annoying lag and stutter. That’s all thanks to its VC liquid cooling system. If that ain’t enough, it also features what iQOO calls “game frame interpolation” which enhances frame rate up to 90fps.

Last but definitely not the least, I also tested the phone with Genshin Impact.

iQOO 9T

I first checked its overall graphics quality and changed it from Medium to High just to test its limits since we all know how graphics-intensive this title is.

Just like what I expected, the gameplay is smoother in contrast to other smartphones with lower-end chipsets. Albeit, the game will suffer frame rate drops over a course of time especially when you’re playing in a hotter than usual environment.

But when you’re inside a cool-controlled room with the air-conditioner turned on, Genshin Impact should be less laggy.

iQOO 9T

While this isn’t a comprehensive gaming review (nor provide an ever-subjective gaming benchmark results of each game), it’s very obvious that the iQOO 9T can handle most (if not all) of the graphics-heavy games available in the Android space — more than enough for your mobile gaming needs.

Blazing-fast Charging

Another highlight of this phone is none other than its 120W FlashCharge capability.

The iQOO 9T is one of the very few smartphones in 2022 that still provides a charger out of the box. Not to mention it’s a charging brick that has an output of more than 100W. Other smartphones range from 65W to 80W, just like its vivo counterpart.

iQOO 9T

According to iQOO, using this charger can provide you a full charge from 0% in just 20 minutes. I tried and tested iQOO’s claim. Here are my charge test results using the bundled 120W FlashCharge adapter:

  • 2 minutes = 3%
  • 5 minutes = 26%
  • 7 minutes = 33%
  • 10 minutes = 45%
  • 11 minutes,  27 seconds = 50%
  • 15 minutes = 60%
  • 20 minutes = 82%
  • 25 minutes = 96%
  • 27 minutes = 100%

While the claim isn’t exactly like how iQOO advertised it, the 7-minute discrepancy shouldn’t be a big fuss. It still provided blazing-fast charging speeds under thirty minutes — something most phone chargers can’t even provide.

If you’re curious about its battery life, it has a decently-sized 4700mAh battery that lasted me at least a full day of moderate to heavy use. That’s socials, casual gaming, taking photos, listening to Apple Music, and watching YouTube videos or Netflix series for hours.

When I played for a longer duration than usual (over an hour or two), it (obviously) had a major battery level depletion and didn’t last until the end of day. For lighter usage with power saving on, the iQOO 9T can last more than that — even days — especially if it stays inside your pocket or just chillin’ at your tabletop.

Very Capable Cameras

Unalike most gaming phones, the iQOO 9T provides the quintessential trio of cameras that other manufacturers fail to provide.

It’s got everything you need in a smartphone camera: a 1x wide, ultra-wide, and a 2x telephoto lens. I like how they didn’t slap other gimmicky cameras such as a macro, portrait, 3D ToF, or even a B/W (black and white) sensor just to say the phone has more than two cameras at the back.

Wide

The iQOO 9T has a 50MP wide (1x) camera based on the Samsung GN5 sensor — the same exact sensor used by Samsung in the Galaxy S22 and S22+. With the pairing of this sensor together with the vivo V1+ imaging chip, it’s expected that it’s a great performer in one’s day-to-day scenarios.

Images taken with the main sensor looked enticing enough with the right amount of contrast, sharpness, and warmth. That’s all thanks to iQOO’s adequate software post-processing and AI algorithm techniques.

And with a wide aperture of f/1.88, Night Mode shots using the regular 1x lens all looked astonishing.

iQOO 9T

Ultra-wide

The iQOO 9T’s 13MP 120º f/2.2 ultra-wide angle (UWA) camera that doubles as a macro lens is also a decent shooter.

Despite the different sensors used, photos taken with the UWA lens looked consistent to that of the 1x wide camera.

Surprisingly, Night Mode shots also turned out pretty similar to the output of the wide camera.

Telephoto

The iQOO 9T provides a 12MP f/1.98 telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom and up to 30x digital zoom.

For the most part, zoomed shots look consistent just like the wide camera. But if you focus on the details, the images are less sharp.

And as there is more absence of natural light and the lack of gimbal OIS or gyro-EIS (that the vivo X80 Pro was able to provide to its 2x telephoto lens), the iQOO 9T 2x shots look less promising — but still alright if you’ll just post it on socials.

SEE ALSO: iQOO 9T vs vivo X80 Pro: Camera Shootout

Portraits and selfies

To escalate human subjects even further, portraits taken with the iQOO 9T looked satisfactory.

If you switch to Portrait Mode, there are several options for you to adjust such as Beauty Mode and even the style and level of bokeh blur or depth segmentation. Personally, I like how it was able to create a clean segmentation of the subject despite the noisy and fast-moving environment happening in the background.

For selfies, it relies on the 16MP f/2.45 punch-hole camera. While preferential, turning on Beauty Mode (even at the lowest level) still provides you an ample amount of skin smoothing that can either make or break your selfies.

Beauty Mode OFF | ON

While it’s all preferential and may vary from person to person, selfies in the iQOO 9T aren’t grainy — even when you take them indoors where fill light is turned off and there’s no presence of natural light.

Is the iQOO 9T Your GadgetMatch?

The iQOO 9T is currently available in two colorways: Alpha (Black) and Legend (White). It’s being sold in India alongside two configurations:

  • 8GB+128GB = INR 49,999
    (US$ 626 / EUR 626 / GBP 542 / S$ 878 / PhP 35,618)
  • 12GB+256GB = INR 54,999
    (US$ 687 / EUR 689 / GBP 596 / S$ 966 / PhP 39,180)

I’ll get straight to the point: the iQOO 9T is one deserving smartphone that’s more than just a “flagship killer”.

It’s more of a “gaming phone killer” — providing the necessities that any gaming smartphone should provide minus the overhyped knick-knacks of dedicated gaming phones with flashy RGB lights, extra set of gaming-specified buttons, second screen at the back, and other set of gaming accessories being sold to you — either bundled or through additional costs.

The iQOO 9T provided more than what was expected in this price range: a flagship-grade mobile processor, fast and vibrant display, loud-enough stereo speakers, modest battery, fast AF charging, and even a decent set of cameras that other phone brands refuse to supply in their gaming smartphones.

While there are compromises such as the lack of IP rating nor support for wireless charging, those aren’t dealbreakers for most users (or potential buyers) who are looking for the best-in-class gaming performance minus the heft in pocket. It’s also fortunate that iQOO didn’t forego the premium design with the 9T’s aluminum frame and glass back incorporation.

The pro-grade features of the iQOO 9T outweigh the compromises. And with a price tag below the INR 50K mark (a price tag phone companies can’t even provide in their top-spec’d or gaming-centric smartphones anymore), the iQOO 9T is one hell of a deal — especially in the gaming and mobile photography segment.

Overall, this makes the iQOO 9T a deserving recipient of the the GadgetMatch Seal of Approval.

Reviews

vivo Y16 review: The basics turned classy

Budget phones look like this now

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vivo Y16

The competition for the best smartphone gets tighter by the minute. If you’ve been up-to-date with tech news, you’ll notice that more smartphones are being released. And the features just keep getting better.

Many of us aspire to have these latest and greatest smartphones. But let’s be honest, not all of us can afford it. 

So what can we get our hands on that’s possibly within the budget? We have here the newest member of the vivo’s Y series this year — the vivo Y16. 

Now let’s check out what this new player can offer us.  

Dazzling design in Drizzling Gold

vivo Y16

One thing that vivo’s been consistent with is how they make their smartphones look and feel premium, even the ones belonging in the budget range. 

The 8.19mm-slim Y16 weighing 183g really feels premium, especially with its 2.5D curved flat frame that makes it comfortable to grip. 

vivo Y16

I also understand why people can’t help but glance at it especially when I’m using it outdoors because its design is striking, especially this Drizzling Gold variant that we have. When hit with light perfectly, its design actually makes it seem like I’m holding a piece of the sun. 

I also prefer smartphones that are not fingerprint magnets. Even if I’m using a flagship phone, I tend to dislike it when I see fingerprint smudges all over its body. So I was really pleased that the Y16 is smear-free no matter how sweaty my hands get. 

Decently sized display but colors could be improved

vivo Y16

Up front, the vivo Y16 comes with a 6.51-inch 720p Fullview Display with a dewdrop notch. While I do like its size, I noticed that the colors do seem a bit washed out. This is more noticeable when side by side with other phones, nonetheless, it was still an enjoyable experience to watch music videos on it.

The bottom bezel is noticeably thicker than the rest which makes the screen look more dated paired with the notch.

vivo Y16

I did walk around Baguio City and BGC with this and found that it was a bit of a struggle to use it outdoors, especially on sunny days.

Mediocre Performance but tons of storage

vivo Y16

Under the hood, the vivo Y16 comes with the Media Helio P35 octa-core processor, 4GB + 1GB Extended RAM storage and 128GB of internal storage. Which is quite refreshing to me since most phones I’ve encountered in this level are commonly just 32 and 64GB variants. 

Not being a big gamer, I did try to play a few games such as Asphalt 9 and Crash on the Run while I was out at BGC and the experience was mostly pleasant.

vivo Y16

It does have vivo’s Multi-Turbo 5.5 performance gaming mode which optimizes the phone as it is running games. I’m guessing this may have contributed to reducing stuttering and lag so I was able to play smoothly. 

In addition, it also has what vivo calls an Ultra Game Mode. It lets users experience 4D Game Vibration, mute and block incoming calls, and hide visual notifications. To add in having a more immersive and focused gameplay.

vivo Y16

But ironically, it was when I was not playing that I noticed that the phone’s performance was not as snappy and fast as I wanted it to be. 

I often notice that there’s a bit of delay while swiping, tapping and opening apps. It didn’t affect my usage and productivity that much but I just really can’t help but notice it. 

Capable camera by day, needs improvement by night 

vivo Y16

We’re very much familiar with the fact that vivo is well established in the smartphone camera scene especially with its flagship phones. But even in the entry-level spectrum, vivo did not underwhelm. 

A dual camera setup with 13MP main rear camera and 2MP macro camera is loaded in the Y16.

I used it as my secondary shooter during our 3-day trip in Baguio and the photos taken with decent lighting actually look pretty good. Colors looked natural and the photos didn’t look badly processed and saturated.

 

vivo Y16

While taking snaps at Camp John Hay, photos even looked better when I adjusted the exposure a bit. This worked well with its HDR mode which I found to be effective in capturing the bright sky and keeping the whole image nicely exposed.

vivo Y16

vivo Y16

Personally, I think they’re very usable despite not having a bunch of megapixels unlike its contemporaries. I was quite pleased with the outcome that I can consider posting it on socials without much needed tweaking. 

Selfies taken with the 5MP front camera looked okay. But I did feel it needed a bit of editing on Snapseed before posting as that seemed a bit dull.

As for night shots, the Y16 didn’t have a dedicated Night Mode so you can only shoot in standard photo mode. We gave it a try and did a short photowalk before heading back to the hotel and as we had expected, photos looked grainy.

 

Adequate battery life 

vivo Y16

We started our days early when we were in Baguio. So. it was quite commendable that its 5000mAh battery lasted me throughout the day. That’s with me using the phone mostly for photos, a bit of web browsing, and listening to music. Oh and also there’s navigating around the city. 

Getting back to the hotel, I still had around 20 to 30 percent battery. I didn’t need to immediately reach for the charger. When I juiced it up with its 10W charger in the morning, it took a little over two hours to be fully charged. Seemed pretty standard for its rated battery capacity. 

Is the vivo Y16 your GadgetMatch? 

vivo Y16

The vivo Y16 may not have many remarkable features aside from its mesmerizing design and sizable memory. However, there really isn’t too much that we can demand from devices that are within its price range.

The Y16 has a capable battery. It has hardware that is enough to do light gaming and media consumption. Plus, nice enough cameras that lets you keep memories through beautiful photographs. 

vivo Y16

If you’re looking for a smartphone that’s within your budget and your criteria fit everything that we mentioned, then surely the vivo Y16 deserves to be among the options for you to choose from. 

The vivo Y16 retails at PhP 7,999 for its 4GB + 32GB variant. The 4GB + 128GB variant retails for PhP 8,499  and is available in Drizzling Gold and Stellar Black. 

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Reviews

POCO M5 review: No need to break the bank

More than just a gaming phone

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Gaming is usually an expensive hobby. Between new hardware and pricey games, it’s too common to feel broke as a gamer. However, buying into gaming shouldn’t always break the bank. If you’re a mobile gamer, the world now has options to feed your habit without feeling guilty. Earlier this month, POCO launched a new gaming smartphone for budget-conscious gamers — the POCO M5. Now, almost a month after the launch, let’s see how the phone holds up.

Big but light

Boasting a 6.58-inch screen, the POCO M5 is quite hefty. However, despite the size, the phone is a few millimeters narrower than my main driver. It’s gigantic but not uncomfortably so. Of course, size is a great aspect to boast for a gaming phone. Watching Netflix is more than enjoyable on the POCO M5.

Adding to that, the smartphone is remarkably light for its size. Weighing in at just 201 grams, it sits comfortably on my hand while I’m either watching or playing.

As for other design quirks, the smartphone does take some creative liberties behind the screen. Instead of a smooth back, the rear has a leathery texture, adding to a premium feel. Also, like the Pixel 6 series, it sports a camera island that wraps around the entire width of the rear panel. However, unlike the aforementioned Google flagship, the island doesn’t protrude as much, making for a pleasantly stable surface.

Gaming on a budget

Armed with the MediaTek Helio G99 octa-core processor, the POCO M5 is capable of holding its own weight. Besides the processor, it also has up to 6GB of RAM and up to 128GB of internal storage (expandable through a microSD slot). It’s not quite a flagship, but it’s enough to get the job done.

Everyday operations — browsing, texting, taking photos — felt seamless. The smartphone never felt slow or laggy — at least during non-gaming sessions.

Unfortunately, the phone’s gaming capabilities fall a bit short from “true gaming phone” territory. While Genshin Impact (which the phone came installed with) played well, meatier games like Diablo Immortal did run into some lag spikes. Thankfully, it’s not a huge downside. Despite playing in low to medium settings, Diablo Immortal played well enough to get through an hour of unbridled gameplay.

Heat wasn’t an issue, either. After playing through an hour, the smartphone never really got hot enough to an uncomfortable level. Plus, with a plastic case, the heat simmered down to lukewarm levels. It might be different during a hot summer day, but the transition between summer to fall is a good time to have this phone.

Taken with the POCO M5

An impressive camera for its price

For a phone with an affordable price tag, the POCO M5 carries an impressive camera combination. Sporting a 50-megapixel main sensor and two 2-megapixel macro/depth sensors, the smartphone can deliver photos that are good enough for the ‘gram.

Taken with the POCO M5

Under bright to overcast lighting situations, photos offered substantial detail and contrast. In fact, it was enough to go up against my Pixel 6. Of course, it doesn’t do as much for less-than-stellar lighting conditions. Regardless, it does remarkably well for its price point.

For example, I took the phone to a live show. The photos were a delight. Although, if you zoom in enough, you can spot some pixelation. It doesn’t matter as much, especially since the photo itself is still impressive.

Taken with the POCO M5

Similarly, the phone does well enough for night shots. Taking photos required stable hands, of course, but the photos were decent. A well-lit photo at night is more than enough for a phone of this caliber.

Gaming all day

With a huge 5000mAh battery, the POCO M5 lasted more than a day. The battery does well for everyday use and some moderate gaming on the side. Further, I tried an all-day screen test with the phone. Despite being on for an entire day (that is, from 5AM to 10PM), the smartphone still had more than a quarter of its battery left.

Charging is standard. With a fast 18W charging standard, the phone filled up to 100 from 15 percent in around 90 minutes.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

Coming in black, green, or yellow, the POCO M5 is available now starting at EUR 189 (going up to EUR 229 for the highest trim). For its price point, the new smartphone is a worthy purchase if you’re looking to game on a budget. And that’s without the additional frills you’re enjoying.

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Reviews

vivo Y35 review: Y series upgraded

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vivo Y35

We know that the Y series is vivo’s entry-level line of smartphones and is among their highest selling variants to date. So, it does feel confusing that the vivo Y35 still belongs in this category as a lot of its features already belong to a higher class. 

It has everything a Y series should be but also a lot to take it to the next level.

That’s exactly what we’re going to discuss as we talk more about the identity crisis this phone is having and why it actually is pretty good.

Specs

A quick recap of the specs before we proceed. The vivo Y35 is running on the Snapdragon 680 chipset with 8GB RAM plus 8GB of extended RAM, it also has a large internal storage of 256GB and is being powered by a 5,000mAh battery with a 44W Flash Charge.

Designed like a Y series and that means beautiful

vivo Y35

The way this phone is designed looks and feels almost exactly like vivo’s other entry-level offerings. It’s not necessarily a bad thing since their designs are recognizably attractive and are pretty well built.

With this one, the size feels slightly thicker and heavier on the hands. It can be both a blessing and a curse especially for people with bigger hands. I like that it feels a bit chunky. It makes it easier to grip though it also bulges a bit in my pants’ pocket.

vivo Y35

It’s commendable that for a relatively affordable phone, I feel proud to bring out even in sophisticated engagements. Contrasting the camera module’s dark gray mirror finish with the Dawn Gold colorway of the whole body is picture-perfect.

Plus, I greatly appreciate that they finally went with a matte textured back case which doesn’t attract smudges.

Responsive Display 

vivo Y35

If you place the Y35 side by side with other budget phones from vivo, you’ll probably think they’re all using the same screens. Most of them still have a chin and a dew drop front camera design. But on paper, most of them slightly differ. 

The one on the Y35 is a 6.58-inch, full HD+, IPS display but now boasts a 90Hz refresh rate. So it does feel a bit more responsive adding to its overall user experience.

vivo Y35

Given that this isn’t AMOLED, we can’t expect it to have the same vibrance of that kind. But at least the viewing angles are decent and colors are nicely saturated.

Outdoor usage may be a bit of a struggle but not to the point that it gets annoying.

Battery and Charging is its best feature

One of the highlights on the Y35 is its fast charging capabilities. vivo claims this phone can charge up to 70 percent in just 34 minutes. It’s quite unusual to experience in this category of smartphones.

Based on my personal test, the 44W Flash Charge on this was able to get a 20 percent increase in just ten minutes of charging. And from 15 percent, it took a whole hour and two minutes for it to get fully charged.

Not entirely the same as vivo’s claims but still remarkably fast. Especially if we consider that most entry-level phones do take more than two hours to get fully charged.

This means we can now change our overnight charging habit to just charging before we prepare ourselves for leaving the house.

vivo Y35

Battery performance was also fairly good. I managed to use this mostly on data connection, streaming a whole bunch of YouTube videos in a four-hour bus trip to Baguio and I ended the whole day still with 58 percent battery remaining.

That’s pretty decent for a 5,000 mAh battery if you ask me.

Built for Multi-Tasking 

vivo Y35

Aside from the large RAM and storage, there really isn’t much to go crazy about the Y35’s hardware and performance. Apps run more or less the same as other Snapdragon 680 powered phones. But the benefits of having more RAM is quite noticeable.

It can surely handle running apps side by side on multi-window mode but not absurdly responsive. It also manages to return to apps I have running in the background without having to wait for it to load all over again.

vivo Y35

I assume games may have also benefited from the large available RAM as Call of Duty: Mobile is able to run lag-free at very high settings with high FPS enabled. 

vivo Y35

But I feel that among the games I’ve tried, Genshin Impact had a more significant benefit from its specs. Despite being very demanding, the Y35 seemed pretty comfortable handling this game at its default setting with no noticeable slowdowns.

At medium setting, slowdowns did become evident but dropping a few settings to low made the game run at nearly its full speed. I even managed to configure some settings to a combination of high graphic options and this worked out pretty well, too.

Cameras that take Insta-worthy snaps 

vivo Y35

Like the display, I was also expecting the camera to be the exact same one that came with the Y35’s more affordable siblings. With 50MP for its main camera, 2MP bokeh shooter, 2MP macro camera and 16MP selfie camera, on paper, these do seem very similar.

But having the chance to use a lot of them, I can say that that isn’t the case. Image quality has improved but not so drastically.

 

 

 

 

It often gets the colors where I want them and looks Insta-worthy but so long as we manually adjust the exposure slider. Not doing so will mostly result in an overly exposed image which isn’t too appealing.

I noticed that it still has difficulty capturing details in background subjects like leaves of trees. However, I may belong in the minority who actually likes the look of its softness. It kind of reminds me of old digicams which make some shots feel nostalgic if that makes sense.

What I really liked was the ability to recover quickly after taking a shot. I think this could also be a product of its hardware specs and not the camera itself. Whatever it is, it helps ease shooting. The Y35 manages to snap at fast moving subjects allowing me to catch candid moments as it happens.

Is the vivo Y35 your GadgetMatch?

vivo Y35

Priced at PhP 14,999 as of writing, the vivo Y35 does seem to be pushing against the boundaries of the entry-level category. For just a little bit more, a lower mid-range phone isn’t too far off which would likely be better in most cases.

Having this consideration in mind, I think the Y35 would be an ideal fit for people eyeing a budget phone who are willing to stretch their pockets a bit for more features.

vivo Y35

It’s fast enough for daily tasks and games. and is capable of capturing the moment with its decent cameras. It’s also a fast and vibrant display, and best of all, it charges fast and won’t easily die down on you. Plus it also looks really nice, albeit with the notch design.

Basically, it’s a phone that gets the job done with a few extras here and there. Maybe vivo can consider calling this a Y series Plus or Pro? 

The vivo Y35 is available in Dawn Gold or Agate Black colors at their Shopee, Lazada, Tiktok Shop and vivo e-store and all vivo Concept stores nationwide.

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