Vivo Y55 5G – on a tight budget from Telstra (review)

If you only have $299 to spend and are happy to be locked into Telstra, then the Vivo Y55 5G may be the phone for you.

To be clear, the Vivo Y55 5G is a Telstra pre-paid mobile device. It only works with a Telstra SIM card. An unlocking fee applies for use with a non-Telstra SIM card. When you buy online, you must commit to a Telstra plan. Regrettably, Telstra does not show you the available plans upfront (for any pre-paid mobile), so you don’t know what you are committing to. Note this is a single sim version, and it is also currently at Big W for $249 on a Telstra plan.

Apart from that it is a decent phone with a 5000mAh battery and 18W charger, 6.58” FHD+ screen, MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC, 4/128GB/microSD, Wi-Fi 5 AC, BT 5.1, NFC, and 50+2+2MP rear camera.

Australian review: Vivo Y55 5G 4/128GB, Single sim Model V2127

Australian websiteVivo Y55 5G Product page
Price:$299 on a Telstra pre-paid plan (unlocking fees apply)
ColoursStarlight Black
FromTelstra and Big W
Warranty2-years ACL from approved retailers
Country of OriginChina
CompanyVivo is part of what is arguably the world’s largest smartphone company – BBK. Along with its siblings (with quite a lot of rivalry), including OPPO, realme, OnePlus, iQOO – they make more phones than Samsung and Apple.
MoreCyberShack Vivo news and reviews

We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed.

There is a five-minute overview first and all test results in a table at the end.

First Impression – solid glass slab – Pass

The Vivo Y55 5G is a solid 164 x 75.84 x 8.25mm x 188g phone. The front is an Incell IPS screen (no screen protection rating), the frame is plastic, and the rear is a plastic glass-like, finger-print-resistant finish.

Power and volume controls are on the right. A rectangular camera hump is on the rear. Overall, it is a pleasing effect worthy of a more expensive device.

Screen – 2408 x 1080, 402ppi, 20:9, 8-bit 16.7m colours 60Hz Incell IPS – Pass

No specifications are given, and at this price, we don’t test screen brightness, contrast, colour gamut etc. It is unusual to see an FHD+ screen at this price. While it claims HDR10+, HLG, and HDR that simply means it downscales that to the screen’s capability. It has L1 Widevine for HD SRD streaming content.

There is no screen protection rating, so take care and get a screen protector if you can.

The screen has a softer, translucent cool blue tint due to its Incell design. It is focused on battery saving, and you may need to disable auto-brightness and set it to around 80%.

Processor – MediaTek Dimensity 700 – Pass

The MediaTek Dimensity 700 is its entry-level 5G chip in a range that includes the 800, 900, 1000, 8000-series and 9000-series. It is why you can have a $299 phone, and there are a few trade-offs.

For example, its modem/antenna is really for city/suburban use where you have good tower coverage. Photo AI post-processing is limited, and we noticed lags between screens when under load. It is not a gamer’s device.

Its closest Qualcomm Snapdragon comparison is the SD480 5G, but its ARM Mail-G57 MAC GPU performs above that.

Despite being a 7nm chip, it throttles by 15% after 15-minutes. That is not bad, but it is not exactly a fast chip in the first place. It starts at 156,114 GIPS, averages 143,937 GIPS and drops to 125,203 GIPS.

4GB LPDDR4X RAM is about the minimum, although it can swap an extra 1GB from storage. 128GB is fine, and there is a dedicated microSD slot to 1TB. CPDT sequential read/write was 491/238Mbps reflecting slower UFS 2.2 flash. Similarly, the SD card achieved 44/24Mbps, which is half the read/write speed we expected. Still, it is not an issue for an entry-level phone. External USB-C is 2.0 and maxes out at 26/16Mbps with OTG enabled.

Comms – Wi-Fi 5 AC, BT 5.1, and NFC – Pass (able)

It should have scored better here as this level of tech is not usual at this price. But Wi-Fi signal strengths were poor, and BT transmission distance is about 10m (should be 30).

Where most phones have a -20-30dBm 5Ghz signal strength at 2m from the test Netgear Nighthawk AX11000 router, this had -47dBm (way too high) and 433Mbps (normal). At 5/10m this had increased to -75/91dBm, both of which are considered unusable. Again, this reflects the MediaTek SoC and antenna system.

Phone – 4 and 5G – Pass for city use – Pass(able)

You guessed it – the modem and antenna system hold this phone back. It found the nearest Telstra tower at -86dBm and a reasonable 2.5pW. But it could not find the next three towers as most Qualcomm-based phones can. This is strictly for good reception areas in the city and suburbs where there is good tower coverage.

Battery – 5000mAh and 18W charger inbox – Pass+

The brightest part of this device is the battery. In our video loop (50% brightness/sound/aeroplane mode) it got 18 hours. PC Mark 3 Modern Office Battery Life was 25 hours and 50 minutes (odd as this is usually lower than the video loop) and Accubattery 18 hours (spot on with the video loop).

The charger 9V/2A/18W charger takes two hours for 0-100% – reasonable.

Summary – a two-day device.

Sound – mono PASS

It has a mono earpiece for calls and a mono down-firing speaker for hands-free. The maximum volume is 84dB. It is not fair to compare mono devices to stereo as the focus must be on clear voice – not music.

It has a 3.5mm 3-pole earphone/mic port. It is fine for hand-free with dual mics offering some noise-cancelling.

Sound-wise it is Mid centric for clear voice. It is missing all the important bass so that this is muddy and missing all the important treble, so there is little character and directionality. In short, it is dull and thin for music

Use BT earphones if you listen to music.

Build – very good – Pass

While it lacks toughened front glass, the build quality is very good. It has a plastic frame and back. It has no IP rating.

Android 12 – Pass+

We expect Android 12, and we got it. The Funtouch OS12 seems a light tough over Android, and it is free of bloatware. It has Vivo alternatives to Google Apps.

We understand (but cannot confirm) that security patches will be released for three years from the handset release.

Vivo Y55 5G camera – pretty good in day and office light – Pass+

This is teg typical 50+2+2MP rear camera setup using the Samsung S5KJN1 sensor. It bins to 12.5MP finished image after MediaTek AI post-processing. That is not strong, but it does help low-light shots.

  • 1X Day (well, a slightly overcast one): Primary sensor – the colours are slightly over-saturated (we all like that) with good dynamic range. Good details in the background, shadows, and highlights.
  • 2X Day: Primary sensor – the foreground is fine, but the background shows too much noise
  • 5X Day: Primary sensor – forget it
  • 10X Day: Primary sensor: as per 5X
  • Ultra-wide: N/A
  • 50MP – 1X no AI post-processing is good on detail and has slightly more natural colours
  • Macro: The primary sensor can take macro shots at 4cm. It is OK, but it is critical to get the focal length correct
  • Indoor office light: Colours and focus are off. It is as if its focusing on the background.
  • Bokeh Depth: A 2MP sensor helps for bokeh shots. But it has blurred the foreground and sharpened the background. This occasionally happens with other similar camera setups.
  • Dark <40 lumens: The standard (not night mode) is overly noisy, and the camera is struggling.
  •  Night mode improves the detail, saturates the colour, and removes a lot of noise
  • Selfie: The MP selfie has natural skin tones and details and a range of filters to enhance any image.
  • Video (we are not video experts): You can shoot at 1080p@30fps with some EIS (Electronic Image Stabilisation crops the image to the horizon) for a reasonably stable image.

Overall camera summary: Excellent day and office light camera but not strong on zoom, bokeh or low-light.

CyberShack’s view – Vivo Y55 5G has decent quality and performance, punching above its price

We know that the price is subsidised by locking you into Telstra (on indeterminate conditions and prices), so this handset is worth more than you are paying up front.

Overall it has everything you need, and we don’t expect more for the price.

Competition

The 2022 Motorola g51 5G – well-priced, well-featured 5G (review) is $349 and really the pick of the lower-cost 5G with a Qualcomm SD480+, fast Wi-Fi 5 AC, far stronger phone reception, Qualcomm Bluetooth codec suite and the same rear camera setup as the Vivo Y55 5G.

OPPO has the A54 and A74, but these are 2021 models.

Vivo Y55 5G

BrandVivo
ModelY55 5G
Model NumberV2127
Price Base4/128
   Price base$299
Warranty months24-months ACL
 Tierentry level 5G
WebsiteProduct Page
FromLocked to Telstra
Country of OriginChina
CompanyVivo is part of what is arguably the world’s largest smartphone company – BBK. Along with its siblings (with quite a lot of rivalry), including OPPO, realme, OnePlus, iQOO – they make more phones than Samsung and Apple.
Test date1-18/07/2022
Ambient temperature9-15°
ReleaseFeb-22
Other models not for Australia (Don’t buy)From Telstra only. Avoid different ram configurations.

Screen

Size6.58″
TypeIPS LCD
Flat, Curve, 2D, 3DFlat with slightly curved edges
Resolution2408×1080
PPI401
Ratio20:9
Screen to Body %83.80%
Colours bits8-bit 16.7m colours
Refresh Hz, adaptive60Hz fixed
Response 120Hz120Hz 5-finger, 180Hz 2 finger
Nits typical/testNot specified – about 400 nits
Nits max/testNot specified
ContrastNot specified – expect 1200:1
sRGBNot specified – colour accuracy is not expected at this price
DCI-P3Not specified
Rec.2020 or otherNot specified
Delta E (<4 is excellent)Not specified
HDR LevelClaims HDR10+ but downmixed to the panels SDR capability
SDR UpscaleNo
Blue light controlYes
PWM if knownUnlikely
Daylight readableNot for direct sunlight
Always on DisplayNo
Edge displayNo
AccessibilityUsual Android features
DRML1 for FHD SDR playback
GamingNo
Screen protectionNot specified
CommentAdequate screen with a cold tint. No screen adjustment.

Processor

Brand, ModelMediaTek Dimensity 700
nm7
Cores2 x 2.2Ghz and 6 x 2.0Ghz
ModemMediaTek
AI TOPSEstimate 7 TOPS
Geekbench 5 Single-core545
Geekbench 5 multi-core1600
LikeSimilar to SD 480 5G
GPUMali-G57 MC2
GPU Test
Open CL1441
LikeSimilar to SD 7325G
Vulcan1468
RAM, type4GB with 1GB swap
Storage, free, type128GB UFS 2.2 (97GB free)
micro-SDUp to 1TB
CPDT internal seq. Read MBps491
CPDT internal seq. write MBps238
CPDT microSD read, write MBps44/24 mountable
CPDT external (mountable?) MBps26/16 OTG
CommentFit for purpose. Not for gamers
Throttle test
Max GIPS156,114
Average GIPS143,937
Minimum GIPS125,203
% Throttle15% acceptable
CPU Temp50°
CommentAverage thermal management and as expected for a MediaTek SoC

Comms

Wi-Fi Type, modelWi-Fi 5 AC (poor signal strength)
Test 2m -dBm, Mbps-47/433
Test 5m-69/433
Test 10m-75 to -91/433
BT Type5.1 (limited range due to low signal strength)
GPS single, dualSingle
USB typeUSB-C 2.0 480Mbps
Alt DP, DeX, Ready ForNo, Wi-Fi casting and Chromecast
NFCYes
Ultra-widebandNo
Sensors
   AccelerometerYes -combo with Gyro is very sensitive
   GyroYes -pseudo performed by the SoC
   e-CompassYes
   Barometer
   Gravity
   Pedometer
   Ambient lightYes
   Hall sensor
   ProximityYes
CommentWi-Fi 5 AC signal is quite weak and almost unusable at 10m (strong variations). The Auto-screen rotation is very sensitive, and you should disable it.

LTE and 5G

SIMHybrid single sim (Telstra) shared with microSD
   ActiveOnly one active at a time
Ring tone single, dualSingle
VoLTECarrier dependent
Wi-Fi callingCarrier dependent
4G Bands1, 2, 3,4, 5, 7,8, 12, 17, 20, 28, 32, 38, 39, 40, ,41
CommentAll Australian 4G bands
5G sub-6GhzN1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41, 78
CommentAll Australian sub-6Ghz and low-bands
mmWaveN/A
Test Boost Mobile, Telstra
   UL, DL, ms23.1/14.3/39ms
   Tower 1 -dBm, fW or pW86/1 to 2.5pW (solid signal strength for city/suburbs)
   Tower 2No
   Tower 3No
   Tower 4No
CommentThis is strictly a city and suburbs phone and reflects the low-cost MediaTek SoC and antenna design.

Battery

mAh5000mAh
Charger, type, supplied5V/2A/10W or 9V/2A/18W in box
 PD, QC levelPD capable – Overcharge protection may influence results
Qi, wattageNo
Reverse Qi or cableNo
Test (60Hz screen)
   Charge % 30mins27%
   Charge 0-100%2 hours
   Charge QiN/A
   Charge 5V, 2A6.5 hours
   Video loop 50%, aeroplane18 hours
   PC Mark 3 battery25 hours 50 minutes (Acccubattery shows 18 hours)
   GFX Bench Manhattan battery580.4 min (9.67 hours) 1333 frames
   GFX Bench T-Rex669.7 min (11.16 hours) 2825 frames
   Drain 100-0% full load screen on5 hours (Confirmed by Accubattery)
   Watt full load322-400
   Watt idle Screen on899
   Estimate loss at max refreshN/A – Fixed refresh 60Hz
   Estimate typical useTwo days at typical use
Comment18W charger is OK, and 2 hours charge time for a low-cost 5G is pretty good. The screen is set for aggressive dimming to prolong battery life, and we found the results too dim.

Sound

SpeakersEarpiece and mono down-fixing speaker
TuningNo
AMPMediaTek
Dolby Atmos decodeNo
Hi-ResNo
3.5mmYes
BT CodecsSBC, AAC – no Qualcomm aptX
MultipointShould support it
Dolby Atmos (DA)No
EQNo
Mics2 with some noise-cancellation
Test dB – all on EQ flat DA off
   Volume max84
   Media (music)80
   Ring78
   Alarm78
   Notifications85
   Earpiece55
   Hands-freeDecent hands-free and has 2 mics for some wind noise reduction
   BT headphonesSBC and AAC only. Decent volume and left/right separation
Sound quality
Deep Bass 20-40HzNil
Middle Bass 40-100HzSlowly building from 70Hz
High Bass 100-200HzSlowly building
Low Mid 200-400HzSlowly building
Mid 4000-1000HzSlowly building
High-Mid 1-2kHzFlat
Low Treble 2-4kHzFlat
Mid Treble 4-6kHzBig dip then declines
High Treble 6-10kHzChoppy decline
Dog Whistle 10-20kHzChoppy decline
Sound Signature typeMid-centric for clear voice. Missing all the important bass so that this is muddy and missing all the important treble, so there is little character and directionality. In short, it is dull and thin for music
   SoundstageMono
CommentGood for voice but not for music

Build

Size (H x W x D)164×75.84×8.25
Weight grams188
Front glassGlass – protection not specified
Rear materialPMMA
FramePlastic
IP ratingNot specified
ColoursStarlight Black
Pen, Stylus supportNo
In the box
   Charger5V/2A/10W and 9V/2A/18W
   USB cableUSB-C to USB-A 2W cable
   BudsYes
   Bumper coverYes
CommentAn 18W inbox charger is perfect for 2-hour charging. Can use any USB-C PD charger

OS

Android12
Security patch date1/06/2022
UIFuntouchOS 12
OS upgrade policyNo OS upgrade
Security patch policyThree years of quarterly updates
BloatwareReasonably clean. Has alternatives to many Google apps.
CommentWhile no OS update is expected at this price it comes with Android 12 and security patch updates.
Fingerprint sensor location, typeOn power key
Face IDYes, 2D
OtherFunTouch OS
CommentVery light touch over Android

Vivo Y55 5G Camera

Rear PrimaryWide
  MP50MP bins to 12.5MP
   SensorSamsung S5KJN1
   FocusDouble Super PD (PDAF)
   f-stop1.8
   um.64 bins to 1.28
  FOV° (stated, actual)(66.8-79°)
   StabilisationMediaTek EIS cropping assistance
   Zoom10x digital
Rear 2Macro
   MP2
   SensorGalaxy Core GC02m
   Focus
   f-stop2.4
   um1.75
  FOV (stated, actual)89
   StabilisationNo
   ZoomNo
Rear 3Depth
   MP2
   SensorGalaxy Core GC02m
   FocusFF
   f-stop2.4
   um1.75
  FOV (stated, actual)89
   StabilisationNo
   ZoomNo
   Video max1080p@30fps
   FlashSingle LED
   Auto-HDRPrimary lens only
Photo, Portrait, Night, Video, 50MP, Panorama, Live Photo, Slow Motion, Time-Lapse, Pro Mode, AR Stickers, Documents
   QR code readerGoogle Lens
   Night modeYes

Vivo Y55 5G Front

  MP8
   SensorSamsung S5K4H7
   FocusContrast AF
   f-stop1.8
   um1.12
  FOV (stated, actual)(71.5-85.5°)
   StabilisationNo
   FlashScreen fill
   Zoom4x digital
   Video max1080p@30fps
    Features

Camera Comments

Comment• 1X Day (well, a slightly overcast one): Primary sensor – the colours are slightly over-saturated (we all like that) with good dynamic range. Good details in the background, shadows, and highlights.
• 2X Day: Primary sensor – the foreground is fine, but the background shows too much noise
• 5X Day: Primary sensor – forget it
• 10X Day: Primary sensor: as per 5X
• Ultra-wide: N/A
• 50MP – 1X no AI post-processing is good on detail and has slightly more natural colours
• Macro: The primary sensor can take macro shots at 4cm. It is OK, but it is critical to get the focal length correct
• Indoor office light: Colours and focus are off. It is as if it is focusing on the background.
• Bokeh Depth: A 2MP sensor helps for bokeh shots. But it has blurred the foreground and sharpened the background. This occasionally happens with other similar camera setups.
• Dark <40 lumens: The standard (not night mode) is overly noisy, and the camera is struggling.
• Night mode improves the detail and saturates the colour, and removes a lot of noise
• Selfie: The MP selfie has natural skin tones and details and a range of filters to enhance any image.
• Video (we are not video experts): You can shoot at 1080p@30fps with some EIS (Electronic Image Stabilisation crops the image to the horizon) for a reasonably stable image.

Ratings

Features8.5
It has all you need and more than you expect for $299 (but that is a Telstra plan subsidised price)
Value9
One of the lowest-cost devices that still has reasonable build quality and performance
Performance7
4/128GB and a MediaTek Dimensity processor means you will accept lag times
Ease of Use8
It is a sell-and-forget device that you may see security updates for.
Design7.5
Another glass slab with no distinguishing features
Rating out of 108
CommentIt is one of the lowest-cost 5GH phones that still has a decent build quality.

Vivo Y55 5G

$299 with a plan from Telstra
8

Features

8.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Performance

7.0/10

Ease of Use

8.0/10

Design

7.5/10

Pros

  • Adequate performance - not for gamers
  • Decent screen Incell IPS LCD screen
  • Decent two-day battery life and 18W charge inbox
  • Excellent quality build and 2-year warranty with local support
  • Front and rear cameras are excellent for point-and-shoot in the day or office light. Low light is an issue.

Cons

  • Mono speaker (all we expect)
  • Poor Wi-Fi speeds
  • Poor phone signal strength - for city use only
  • 60Hz fixed refresh screen (all we expect)
  • No formal IP rating


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