Vivo Y91 Review: affordable but unsatisfying

As the budget and midrange category is getting popular, the specs in smartphones are getting beefy and while the prices are reflective of the rising competition. Vivo, in such times, has pushed yet another smartphone, Vivo Y91, at an unbelievable price with decent specs.

Vivo Y91 is available in the market with a price tag of Rs. 27,999 (price at the time of phone’s launch) and comes in two color options, Starry Black and Ocean Blue.

The smartphones from Vivo’s Y series target the youth and are priced to match the budget and needs of this segment which demands affordability and class. So, how good is the Vivo Y91? Let’s answer this question with our in-depth review of the phone.

Design

The smartphone comes with a beautiful design which reinforces the company’s strategy of providing an eye-cathing device without burning the user’s budget.

The phone features plastic unibody design and Vivo has definitely checked some boxes in improving design language on a budget. The two-tone color, polished back that gives you a premium-like feel, are all the indications of a great outlook.

However, it is not the slimmest phone out there and feels pretty bulky when held in hand. On the back, you’ll find dual camera setup vertically placed in the top left corner. The back also sports a figure competition that can easily be reached thanks to its right placement.

The right side of the phone hosts a power key and volume rocker which are appropriately placed so that you don’t have to stretch your fingers.

The left edge of the phone has a SIM card tray that includes a triple slot so you can use both your sim cards and micro SD card simultaneously.

Display

Vivo Y91 comes with a 6.22-inch display screen. It is an IPS LCD which offers a resolution of 720 x 1520 pixels boiling down to the pixel density of 270 ppi. Interestingly the screen sports a 2.5D curved glass.

Even though Y91 comes in a lower mid-range segment, it still retains the latest and the trendy water drop notch design on the front that we have seen on more expensive devices.

Vivo Y91 Notch

Sadly, it’s a 720p display which is not so saturated and punchy so if you are switching from a 1080p screen, you’ll clearly notice the difference between the two.

On the bright side, the lower resolution of the screen helps in minimal battery consumption but on the cost of saturation.

The viewing angles on the device are pretty decent but the more you incline towards the sides, the more the screen gets darker so get your hopes high regarding screen quality. However, it perfectly justifies the price keeping in mind that you are not paying a fortune for the device.

Software

Vivo is infamous for its software Funtouch OS that looks like the iOS had a baby with Android. Vivo Y91 comes with version 4.5 of the said software. The software is based on Android 8.1 Oreo and although being a blatant rip off of iOS, it is still manageable and provides some good features.

Although there is no way to enable the app drawer, you can enable gesture navigation through the phone even though it was not originally meant for Android Pie.

Other than that, the Jovi Assistant plays its part in Game Mode and handling some AI camera tricks and other than that you’ll see no practical use of the assistant.

The Smart click option lets you customize the action of volume down button pressed for long. You can launch the camera or turn the torch on by long pressing the said button.

Funtouch OS smart click

Besides that, applications like the iThemes and the iManager let you customize the phone as well as manage the files on your device. However, the OS is clearly an iOS replica but Vivo has done a good stride to make it more useful.

Performance & Battery

Vivo Y91 comes with MediaTek MTK6762 so, we didn’t get our hopes too high regarding the performance of the phone but we were surprised to witness the poor performance of the device. Here is how the phone performed in benchmark tests.

Vivo Y91 Benchmarks

The SoC is equipped with a 3GB RAM along with a 64GB internal storage. In our real life tests, the phone did not go according to our expectations. Even in moderate usage, the phone began to lag after some time.

The lag came specifically while multitasking and switching between apps. Y91 is one of the few phones that has shown sign of stutter during our moderate usage tests.

The phone lost it at gaming and as soon as we played the Asphalt 9, Deer Hunter and PUBG on the device, the games crashed. The device refused to play the game at all even after trying multiple times with a significant time interval but once you clear the background apps, everything goes buttery smooth which indicates the poor RAM management of the phone.

Vivo Y91 Battery test

Vivo Y91 packs a 4030mAh battery that gives an amazing backup. One of the reasons of such great battery life is definitely the screen. It only has a 720p screen which obviously consumes less battery.

With a massive 4030mAH battery, you can easily eke out two days of moderate battery usage from Vivo Y91

During 1 hour of moderate usage tests which involved basic tasks like calling, texting, social media usage and using a little bit of camera, the device consumed 11% battery which roughly sums up to an amazing 8+ hours of screen on time.

The heavy usage battery test is always the real deal if you truly want to know the battery optimization of a phone. Despite the phone did not perform very well, the battery saved it from being a completely useless device.

In heavy usage, Vivo Y91 gave out 16% battery in 1 hour of gaming, heavy multitasking, video calling, streaming, camera shots, and other resource-intensive use.

Camera

Vivo Y91 Camera

Vivo Y91 comes with a dual camera setup just like every other mid-range smartphone these days. 13MP + 2MP lenses grace the rear of the phone while an 8MP snapper sits in the waterdrop notch on the front.

The pictures from Vivo Y91 come out saturated but also fail to capture detail. Additionally, the pictures give out somewhat artificial and, over-treated vibes.

Lahore Museum Picture with Auto mode on Vivo Y91
Auto Mode

Lahore Museum Picture with HDR mode on Vivo Y91
HDR Mode

Picture with 4X Zoom on Vivo Y91
4x Zoom

HDR Mode even brightens the picture mode and upon using the HDR Mode in daylight, you’ll be shocked to see the inconsistent results. The device spreads an overlay of treatment on the picture in HDR mode which can clearly be spotted.

Building Picture in Daylight with Auto mode on Vivo Y91
Auto Mode

Building Picture in Daylight with HDR mode on Vivo Y91
HDR Mode

As said earlier, the HDR is inconsistent, it may surprise you and sometimes it may shock you.

Picture with Auto mode on Vivo Y91
Auto Mode

Picture with HDR Mode on Vivo Y91
HDR Mode

Picture at Night with Auto Mode on Vivo Y91
Auto Mode

Picture at Night with HDR Mode on Vivo Y91
HDR Mode

Building Picture at night with Auto Mode on Vivo Y91
Auto Mode

Building Picture at night with HDR Mode on Vivo Y91
HDR Mode

Y91 does a relatively better job in detecting the outline of the subject in portrait mode. Whether it’s a selfie or a portrait with rear camera, you’ll not be disappointed.

Picture with Bokeh Mode on Vivo Y91
Bokeh Mode

Selfie With Vivo Y91

Regarding camera performance, we have definitely seen better phones but Vivo should have focused more on the optimization as Huawei Y7 Prime 2018 also falls in the same category with a much better camera.

Verdict

If not for a sturdy design and a long-lasting battery, Vivo Y91 would have been a mess. The device has a great battery that can easily last two days with moderate use. Sadly the same cannot be said for camera and performance.

The entry-level chipset from MediaTek is not optimized in good shape to handle the heavy tasks. So if you are an average user with no concern for a great camera or an ultimate performance and just want the massive battery, we suggest you go for it.

If the camera or performance is your major concern, definitely leave the phone behind and go look for some better alternatives.

Design
8
Display
7
Performance
6
Battery
9
Camera
7

4 COMMENTS

  1. Camera and performance especially the latter is what users look up to when buying smartphone. Why buy this one when there are better alternatives.

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