Review Verdict: the vivo Y16 is a good example of a budget offering in the Philippines that really makes the most out of its modest hardware to give the best possible performance–specifically when it comes to taking photos.
- Good battery life
- Well-optimized cameras
- Underwhelming processor
vivo Y16 Review Philippines Specs
- Helio P35 processor
- 4GB LPDDR4X RAM
- 64GB/128GB UFS 2.1 storage
- 6.51-inch HD+ IPS display
- 13-megapixel f/2.2 main camera w/ PDAF, 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor
- 5-megapixel f/2.2 selfie camera
- 4G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, side-mounted fingerprint scanner
- 5000mAh battery
- 10w wired charging
- Android 12, FunTouchOS 12
Aside from the Y35, vivo also has a new and more affordable Y-series phone arriving in the Philippines with the Y16. As a successor to the Y15A and the Y11, the Y16 improves on a few aspects to make it a compelling budget phone that has great camera performance. Does it perform well enough to stay true to its “memory is priceless” tag?
Unboxing and packaging contents
Like the Y35, the Y16 comes in a white box that has a large vivo branding along with the model name in front. The back part of the box gives a quick overview of its key features. Inside the box, you have the phone itself, a 10w charger, USB-C cable, documentation, and a SIM ejector tool.
The Y16 borrows the twin circular camera module design that we first saw in the T1 5G, making it look premium. The upper module has the 13-megapixel main camera, while the bottom circle has the depth sensor. Colors available are either in Drizzling Gold or Stellar Black, with our review unit being the former. Despite getting an all-plastic build, we like the brushed finish of the Drizzling Gold colorway; it also has a certain shimmer that makes it look more expensive than it should be.
The right side has the volume rocker and power button/fingerprint scanner, while the bottom has a headphone jack, USB-C port, and loudspeaker. Unlike most vivo phones, the Y16 has the SIM card tray located on top. The Y16’s flat frame has the same profile as most phones in 2022.
Being a budget phone, the Y16 gets a familiar 6.51-inch HD+ IPS panel that has a dewdrop notch and a conventional 60hz refesh rate. The said panel has been used on a number of budget phones for the past few years, and we wished vivo gave it a design upgrade by using a trendier punch-hole instead.
Despite using a rather dated display, we appreciate the fact that vivo used a high-quality panel that has a good brightness range that’s usable outdoors, even under the blinding rays of the noonday sun. Colors are just alright for watching videos–not the most vibrant, but that’s typical on any IPS panel used on a budget phone. The same can be said about the blacks; overall, the Y16’s display is good enough for viewing multimedia content.
The Y16 comes with a dated camera setup that consists of a 13-megapixel main camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. While the competition has been offering high-megapixel cameras, vivo went for a different route with the Y16 by focusing more on software optimization to maximize the capabilities of its meagre hardware.
We took the Y16 with us on our overseas trip to Austin, Texas, and we’re quite impressed at how the Y16 managed to take good quality photos despite using a rather dated set of cameras. The colors may be more on the neutral side, but we noticed that they have a good amount of detail even in low light situations.
The same can be said with its 5-megapixel selfie shooter. While you can only do so much with a limited megapixel count, the Y16’s software maximizes the capabilities of its selfie camera in delivering clear and detailed shots.
Internals and battery life
The Y16 is powered by an Helio P35 processor that’s paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB/128GB internal storage. The Helio P35 is a processor that is over 3 years old, and as such is not the best processor you can have for the Y16’s asking price. Compared to its rivals that use more powerful processors like the Helio G88 and Tiger T612, the Helio P35 trails behind in synthetic benchmarks and is evident with its rather sluggish performance when we tried playing Asphalt 9 with it.
That should not be a big issue, as vivo markets the Y16 more as a budget phone for photography, and it does get the job done on that aspect. Despite being a budget phone, you get Android 12-based FunTouchOS 12 with the Y16, and our review unit was updated to the latest August 2022 security patch. This is a notable improvement from vivo, which shows that they are stepping up with software updates even for their budget phones.
The Y16 does a great job in maximizing its 5000mAh cell just like its predecessors. We were able to get a battery life of a little over 16 hours in PCMark’s battery life test, which easily translates to more than a day’s worth of use. Even if charging speeds are limited to only 10w, we’re thankful that vivo is making the shift to USB-C even for its budget offerings.
Wrap up and conclusions
If you are not after gaming performance and just want an affordable phone that can take great photos, the vivo Y16 is a viable option worth considering in the Philippines. While it does not boast a high-megapixel rear camera, vivo did a good job in software optimization in order to make the most out of the Y16’s hardware to deliver great photos for its price.
vivo Y16 Review Price Philippines
The Y16 is priced at Php 6,999 for the 4GB/64GB variant and Php 8,499 for the 4GB/128GB variant. The 128GB variant will be available via vivo’s official website, Lazada, Shopee, TikTok shop and through vivo’s offline stores and kiosks nationwide starting September 17, and early birds who purchase online will get a DITO SIM card and FOOMEE QA05 wired earphones with their purchase.