vivo Y16 Unboxing and First Impressions

vivo Y16 unit (54)

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After the launch of the Y35, which was geared for the mid-range market, vivo recently debuted yet another addition to its popular Y-Series lineup, though this time, it’s an entry level device – the vivo Y16.

With the hashtag #MemoryIsPriceless, this phone banks on having a lot of storage for those moments that are captured through its cameras, while also using its high-capacity battery to let you do more with a single charge. All for a price that won’t hurt your wallet.


Display6.51-inch HD+
ProcessorHelio P35
Rear Camera13MP Main
2MP Macro
Front Camera5MP
OSAndroid 12 + Funtouch OS 12

vivo Y16: What’s in the Box

vivo Y16 unit (46)
vivo Y16 unit (54)

vivo Y35 has two colors: Stellar Black, and this Drizzling Gold, which uses a brushed pattern which resemble rays of light. It makes the phone look more premium, which is a good thing. Like in the Y35, I think that the vivo branding is too subtle, and should have a bit more emphasis.

vivo Y16 unit (59)

The cameras are house in a glossy section, giving good contrast to the rest of the rear panel. It also reminds me of another phone, which I won’t mention, but I’m pretty sure that it has the word Zen in its name. That’s in a good way though.

vivo Y16 unit (8)

Like the Y35, the Y16 also uses flat sides with rounded corners, along with a recessed power button which is also a fingerprint scanner. You also get a USB-C port, and a headphone jack.

vivo Y16 unit (11)

Screen-wise, you get a 6.51-inch Halo FullView LCD with HD+ resolution, which is still okay considering this is an entry-level phone. Despite having less pixels and less punchy colors, it’s still a decent screen to watch videos on and play games with.

For its processing package, the vivo Y16 uses a MediaTek Helio P35, a chip that launched almost four years ago, making it really outdated for a device in 2020. Even with 4GB of RAM, the phone just feels sluggish at times when you’d expect it to run smooth, like when swiping down to reveal the toggle menus, and that’s not a good sign.

vivo Y16 unit (23)

It does come with vivo’s own dose of enhancements like Ultra Game Mode and Multi-Turbo 5.5 to optimize the device and allow it to deliver a smoother and more stable gaming performance. But those can only do so much. I tried playing Mobile Legends and even when High Frame Rate is enabled, it just doesn’t feel as fluid as you’d expect.

At least, this phone can connect to 5GHz networks, allowing for a faster and more stable connection when within the effective range. You also get up to 128GB of storage, which is more than what you’ll usually get for an entry-level device. There’s also a microSD card slot if you want more.

vivo Y16’s dual rear camera system is composed of a 13MP main shooter and a 2MP macro unit, which isn’t a bad combination, but I still prefer an ultra-wide for my use case. The main camera captures decent photos in terms of detail and exposure, given you have good lighting of course.

As for that Macro camera, I’m not sure if it’s a hardware or software issue, but every photo I took on Super Macro mode had this white glow on the sides, which is very annoying.

The 5MP front camera performs much better, able to capture crisp and detailed selfies. The depth of field effect also looks convincing.

vivo Y16 unit (28)

Lastly, you get a 5,000mAh battery which vivo claims can deliver up to 22 hours of music playback and up to 7 hours of resource-intensive gaming, that’s, of course, if you can even play anything resource intensive on this phone. It does support 10W wired charging and reverse wired charging.

Our Initial Take

Even with an HD+ display, the vivo Y16 is decent for media consumption and light tasks in general. It does feel a bit sluggish at times, and that sort of indicates that the hardware inside, particularly, the processor, is showing its age.

It’s just that I find it hard to digest that it has a processor that’s almost four years old, when the competition can offer something better at almost the same price point. The white glow issue with the macro camera can also be very annoying to those who’ll use it a lot.

If vivo can fix some of these issues with software updates, then that would make this phone a bit better, but I’d still say that it’s not the best option out there, especially if you’re planning to keep the phone for a long time before the next upgrade.

What we like so far
  • Premium looking design
  • Good selfie camera
What we don’t like so far
  • No ultra-wide camera
  • Shots taken on Super Macro Mode have an annoying white glow
  • Runs on a processor that’s almost 4 years old

vivo Y16 is priced at PHP 8,499 for the 4GB+128GB variant, and is now available via vivo’s website, Lazada, Shopee, TikTok shop.

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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