vivo Y36 review
I have always seen vivo as a brand that is hyper-focused on devices with good camera features and entertainment. I am going to see things differently this time with their latest low midrange smartphone, the vivo Y36. I would like to answer the question: can you game with the vivo Y36?
In this review, I will present both synthetic and actual gameplay experience using the vivo Y36. You may also use this as a guide before you make a decision especially if you have PhP12,999 for a new smartphone. While this is a gaming and benchmark review, I will still mention the other features of the device at the tail-end of this article. I decided to focus heavily on gaming because this is being marketed as something you can use for gaming despite having a relatively old chipset.
Before we get started, allow me to share with you the full specifications of the device.
|Body||Dimensions: 164.06×76.17×8.07 mm|
|Material: 2.5D Plastic|
|Battery: 5000mAh (TYP)|
|Color: Meteor Black, Glitter Aqua|
|Operating System: Funtouch OS 13 Global|
|Resolution: 2388 × 1080 (FHD+)|
|Touch Screen: Capacitive multi-touch|
|Camera||Front Camera: 16MP|
|Rear Camera: 50MP + 2MP|
|Aperture: Front f/2.0, Rear f/1.8 + f/2.4 + f/2.4|
|Flash: Rear flash|
|Scene Modes: Night, Portrait, Photo, Video, etc.|
|Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0|
|Type-C to USB Cable: Type-C|
|Network||2G GSM: 850/900/1800MHz|
|3G WCDMA: B1/B5/B8|
|4G FDD-LTE: B1/B3/B5/B7/B8/B20/B28|
|4G TDD-LTE: B38/B40/B41 (194M)|
|Card Slot: 2 nano SIMs + 1 micro SD|
|Standby Mode: Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS)|
|Ambient Light Sensor: Supported|
|Proximity Sensor: Supported|
|Fingerprint Sensor: Supported|
|Audio Playback: WAV, M4A, MP3, etc.|
|Video Playback: WAV, MP3, AAC, etc.|
|Audio Recording: Supported|
|Location||GPS, BEIDOU, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS|
Benchmark and Methodology
We subjected the vivo Y36 to a series of synthetic and actual gameplay tests that you can try and replicate. Below are the list of synthetic benchmarks we have used.
- Antutu Benchmark is a widely used and popular benchmarking tool for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. It evaluates the performance of a device by measuring its CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage capabilities, as well as testing its UX (user experience) and overall performance. The benchmark provides a comprehensive score that helps users compare the performance of different devices and make informed decisions based on their specific needs and preferences.
- Geekbench 6 serves as an indispensable tool for individuals who seek reliable and comprehensive information about the performance capabilities of their devices. By providing accurate and standardized benchmarks, Geekbench 6 enables users to choose devices that cater to their specific requirements, ensuring a seamless and efficient user experience.
- 3D Mark Wild Life Extreme is a benchmarking test that measures the performance of graphics cards in mobile devices. It is designed to push graphics cards to their limits, simulating demanding gaming scenarios and providing an accurate assessment of their capabilities. With Wild Life Extreme, users can evaluate the graphical performance of their devices and compare them to other devices on the market. It is a reliable and comprehensive tool for assessing the gaming potential of a mobile device and making informed decisions about their hardware choices.
- PCMark Work 3.0 is a benchmarking tool specifically designed for smartphones. It assesses the performance of various aspects of a smartphone’s functionality, focusing on work-related tasks. This benchmark evaluates the device’s ability to handle daily productivity tasks such as document editing, web browsing, video conferencing, and data manipulation. By running PCMark Work 3.0, users can accurately gauge their smartphone’s efficiency and compare it to other devices on the market. This information enables users to make informed decisions regarding their smartphone choices, ensuring optimal productivity and performance in their daily work routines.
We also played the following games of various genres. We needed to check how the phone performs while playing these games in the following settings. Please note that we only got to get FPS, Battery Temperature, and CPU Usage data. We were unable to get CPU and Device Skin temperature on this smartphone, which are normally included in our testing methodology. You may be able to replicate this using industry benchmarking applications like WeTest Perfdog and Gamebench.
- Mobile Legends: Shadow – Refresh Rate – High; Graphics – High; HD Mode On
Mobile Legends is supposedly one of the most optimized mobile games. Phones that cost less than PhP10,000 can run this game at average of 57 FPS. This game played quite “ok” on the vivo Y36. I experience very minor janks and the FPS hovers around 45 to 60 FPS. Based on our benchmark of the game on the vivo Y36, it managed to run with an average FPS of 49.47, which is relatively lower than phones with Helio G99. Regardless, it is important to note that the game is very much playable on the vivo Y36, albeit underperforming compared to competition.
- Diablo Immortal: Frame Rate – 30; Resolution – Medium; Quality Selection – Low
Diablo Immortal FPS limit is only up t0 30. An information popped up that the vivo Y36 is not optimized to play this game, which is quite a bummer. Fortunately, if you do not mind playing at 30FPS, this should not be a huge deal. The game hovers at 29.506 FPS, which is stable in my opinion. CPU usage hovers around 35% to 65%, and there is very low level of jankiness.
- Farlight 84: Graphics Quality – Balanced; Frame Rate: Very high; Resolution – Medium
I honestly did not expect Farlight 84 to run well on the vivo Y36 because it is a very graphics demanding game. Fortunately, average FPS is at 51 and it even reached 70 at some point during my gameplay. However, I experience a bit of jankiness while playing, and with further optimization, I think that this game will perform much better.
We chose Farlight 84 as its player base is quite high at the time of writing this content. Other BR games like PUBG and FreeFire are very likely going to perform much better on this device.
- Honkai Star Rail: Frame Rate – 60; Resolution – Very low; Shadow – Low; Reflection Quality – Very low
We wanted to push the vivo Y36 to its limit. While Honkai Star Rail is not the most demanding gacha RPG game, its player base is still relevant at the time of producing this review. Is it playable on the vivo Y36? Yes and No.
Based on our benchmark, Star Rail has an average FPS of 21.480 on the vivo Y36. Since this is the case, it is best to lock its FPS to 30 FPS via settings. We chose to play at 60 FPS because we wanted to push the device to its maximum at relatively low resolution and game quality. Despite the latter settings, we noticed very high level of jankiness/FPS instability while playing the game.
Gameplay Benchmark Charts
Honkai: Star RailShow more +
Synthethic Benchmark Charts (Snapdragon 680)
Battery Performance and Charging
vivo Y36 has 5000mAh battery with 44W charger. Based on my experience, a full charge lasts for 17 hours and 25 minutes with 20% juice remaining at moderate usage. This is excellent as I only needed to charge the device once I come back home from a full day of meetings and event coverage.
Of course, your mileage may vary, and it all depends on how you use the vivo Y36. I seldomly used this device for gaming because its performance did not meet my expectations. However, it does not mean that this isn’t a good device for other purposes like productivity, content creation and social media production.
Other Noteworthy Features
Design and Display
Hands down, the vivo Y36 is vivo’s most attractive smartphone this 2023. The Glitter Aqua variant they sent over literally glitters especially when light bounces on its body. The camera panel has a very slight bump, and the two camera lens are elegantly placed on it. The phone looks elegant and very premium for the premium it asks.
All sides are flat and the corners are slightly rounded. You can literally place this on the table without any support. It has a down-firing speaker at the bottom; and beside it are the type-C port, microphone, and 3.5mm headphone jack.
All switches are located on the right side side panel. The sleep/wake button doubles as a fingerprint sensor, and on top of it are the volume rockers.
The 6.64-inch display looks amazing! It has 2388 × 1080 resolution and with a max refresh rate of 90hz. This makes browsing social media feeds and its software UI a very smooth experience. While most games won’t maximize its refresh rate, I have a feeling that its intention is not solely for gaming for overall user experience, including navigating through its software features.
vivo Y36 is packed with a 50MP + 2MP rear cameras, and 16MP front camera. They are decent, but it’s not its best feature. It performs best when there is ample light. Its rear cameras have a hard time focusing when subjects are not well lit. When conditions are met, photos will appear good. Selfie shots perform similarly, although I find it more optimized than the ones at the back.
For the price it asks, there are plenty of reasons to like this product, but there are more reasons why it is hard to recommend. As a “gaming” smartphone, based on my experience – both with actual gameplay and synthetic benchmarks, I cannot recommend this device. There are plenty of more affordable smartphones that outperform the vivo Y36. However, this phone gets a good spot as a stylish and elegant looking device. It also has good display and incredible battery performance.
For the price it asks, there are plenty of reasons to like this product, but there are more reasons why it is hard to recommend. As a “gaming” smartphone, based on my experience – both with actual gameplay and synthetic benchmarks, I cannot recommend this device. There are plenty of more affordable smartphones that outperform the vivo Y36. However, this phone gets a good spot as a stylish and elegant looking device. It also has incredible battery performance and good display, albeit limited to 90Hz.
- Looks amazing!
- Impressive Battery Life
- Decent camera perfomance
- Underperforms in gaming compared to competition
- Pricey for a Snapdragon 680-powered phone
Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.