Photos: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
Photos: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

Review: Vivo Y27L

Vivo's new phone offers the look and feel of a more expensive smartphone. But it comes up short against the Moto G (3rd Gen)

Chinese phone maker Vivo may not have the same brand recall as Lenovo or Xiaomi, but it has an interesting line-up of devices in India. The Vivo Y27L, priced at 10,499, is another good-looking addition to the budget segment, but faces some serious competition from the Moto G (3rd Gen) 16 GB version, which is selling at 10,999, down from 12,999.

Design: good-looking and compact

The Vivo Y27L impresses with its good looks, solid build and compact form. The back panel has a layer of aluminium, while the area around the edges is made of plastic. The aluminium and white combination looks premium. The phone is 7mm thick and weighs 137g, which is pretty impressive. The Moto G (3rd Gen), in comparison, weighs 155g and is 11.6mm thick, but feels equally handy owing to its curved back design and coarse-patterned back panel. It offers some cool features like the ability to withstand dips in water up to 1.5m. While it doesn’t look as classy as the Vivo Y27L, you can always change the back panel to make it look better.

Display: small but sharp

The 4.7-inch display has a screen resolution of 1,280x720p. The display looks sharp and vivid but feels too small for gaming and watching movies at a stretch. While the text and videos look crisp and natural, the games appear a bit dull. The wide-angle visibility is poor and looks a bit bluish when viewed from the side. The display is a bit glossy and smudges too easily. The Moto G (3rd Gen), on the other hand, offers a bigger (5-inch) display, which makes reading and watching movies more comfortable. It comes with a layer of Gorilla Glass 3 over it and an oleophobic coating to play down the smudges. The colour on the Vivo Y27L looks more natural; the Moto G (3rd Gen) has a slight yellowish tinge.

Software: old Android with confusing user interface

The phone runs Android 4.4 (KitKat), with Vivo’s own custom user interface. The icons are too big for the screen size and look a bit strange. It offers some really cool features, though. For instance, there is tilt to zoom, which allows you to zoom into a picture by pressing the picture and tilting the phone backward and then forward. It makes zooming into an image simpler and fun. While you can change the themes and wallpapers, there aren’t many customization options. The Moto G (3rd Gen) is a better bet—it runs Android 5.1 (Lollipop) and is likely to get the Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) update soon. Also, the clutter-free stock Android interface feels a lot more user friendly.

Performance: meant for basic users

The Vivo Y27L supports 4G networks and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor paired with 1 GB of RAM. Watching movies and browsing the Web was smooth, but the phone does feel sluggish with 8-10 apps in the background. It can handle simple games well, but struggles with the graphically demanding ones. Some of them, like Smash Hit, aren’t even compatible with it. The Moto G (3rd Gen), which runs on the same processor but with 2 GB RAM, is a lot better at multitasking. The plain Android uses fewer resources than the Vivo’s custom user interface. It is also better with games.

The Vivo Y27L runs on a 2,260 mAh battery, that barely manages a full day’s backup. The Moto G (3rd Gen), powered by a 2,470 mAh battery, easily lasts over a day.

Camera: slow, and average picture quality

The phone’s 8-megapixel camera is a little slow, but handles colours well. However, it struggles when it comes to capturing detail, especially landscape shots. The close-up and macro shots look much better. Indoor and low-light results look blurry and washed out. The Moto G (3rd Gen) camera is fast and handles colours well, but it is not very good with sharpness and the auto focus feature is a major letdown. We would go with the Vivo Y27L for the convenience and options it offers.

Verdict

Though the Vivo Y27L is a good-looking smartphone with a good display, it doesn’t really impress overall in terms of user experience and performance. The Moto G (3rd Gen), with a slightly better performance, a bigger display, a water-resistant body and a plain Android OS, is still a better smartphone to buy in the 10,000-11,000 price range.

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