vivo Y55L unboxing and first impressions: a pricey, but decent offering for the style-conscious

“The Y55L holds an edge because of its offline availability, unlike its online-only peers”

Chinese brand vivo has been able to make a space for itself in the hyper-competitive Indian smartphone market with its smart offline strategy. While most new entrants go with the online-exclusive model, vivo is among the few brands to have a presence in retail stores across the country. Focussing on the budget segment, the company launched the Y51L in January. Now, vivo has introduced its successor in the form of the Y55L, which offers a better display and improved hardware. We were able to get our hands on the smartphone, so let’s take your through its unboxing, followed by our first look at the phone.

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The vivo Y55L comes hidden in a compact rectangular retail box, featuring  the phone’s image in the front. At the back, the pack mentions the key specs along with other information. Opening the lid, brings up the smartphone itself, which grabs your attention thanks to its classy white hue. Beneath the tray holding it, you’ll find a wrapper holding the documentation as well as a transparent protective cover. Below that, you get the regular set of accessories – a 1A wall charger, a micro-USB cable, a pair of earphones and a SIM ejector tool. 

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Now, coming back to the smartphone itself – it’s a gorgeous device from all angles. The compact design, 2.5D curved glass at the front, and unibody metallic construction makes the vivo Y55L among the most stylish phones in its price bracket. The button and port placement remains standard – the volume rocker and power toggle on the right, a 3.5mm interface up top and a micro-USB port is at the base. While our unit sports a gold finish, the phone will also be available in a grey hue.

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The vivo Y55L has two ejectable trays, which is interesting, since unlike many phones with hybrid slots, it supports a pair of micro-SIM slots along with a separate microSD card slot. The ejectable micro-SIM tray can be found on the right spine, whereas the microSD tray is available at the top.

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Up front, the 5-inch IPS display bears a resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels. The screen reproduces impressive colours, and offers crisp text. While the vivo Y55L might not sport full HD resolution, you won’t complain unless you look at the screen closely.

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Under the hood, the vivo Y55L comes powered by a 1.4GHz octa-core Snapdragon 430 processor from Qualcomm. Supplementing the chipset is a 2GB of RAM, and during our usage, the hardware ensured a smooth experience. There were no lags while navigating between screens or switching between multiple apps. Although, the real performance can only be tested once we play some high-end games on the device.

In terms of the storage, the vivo Y55L ships with 16GB of memory on board, out of which around 7.8GB is available to the end user. As mentioned earlier, you can also extend it further with the use of a microSD card – up to 128GB are supported. The device also accepts USB OTG drives.

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For imaging, the vivo Y55L flaunts an 8-megapixel at the back, and a 5MP selfie camera. For shooting in low-light conditions, the rear shooter gets help from an LED flash, while the front snapper can utilise the screen flash feature. The camera app is quite minimal, but comes with a Pro mode, letting you tweak ISO levels, exposure, white balance, etc. In our initial tests, the camera seems to offer decent images, but we’ll have to spend more time with the device to give you a complete verdict on its quality.

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Like all vivo offerings, the vivo Y55L runs FunTouch OS, standing at v2.6 running atop Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. The basics of the interface remain similar to other Chinese UIs, with a unified homescreen and app drawer, a suite of tools, and more. The device also comes preloaded with apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and WPS Office. The quick toggles bar can be accessed by pressing the overview button, and the panel also shows the recently-opened apps. Some other useful features in the device include a split-screen functionality and a blue-light filter to protect you from eye fatigue.

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The vivo Y55L is juiced up by a 2,650mAh battery, which should give a day’s worth of backup. The smartphone also supports quick charging. The device is  loaded in terms of connectivity, since it features support for VoLTE in both the SIM slots, along with the usual options like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.

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Priced at Rs 11,980, the vivo Y55L will go on sale next week. With its sticker price, it certainly is expensive for the kind of specs it offers, but then its competitors like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (review) and LeEco Le 2 (review) are only available online as of now, and that’s where the Y55L has the edge.

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