Vivo Y51L review: Great design but poor display

  • Abhinav Mishra, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Apr 08, 2016 16:13 IST
Currently priced at around Rs 11,000 on Amazon India, the device comes with a standard set of specifications you would expect from a budget smartphone (Vivo)

The market for mobile devices under the sub-Rs 12,000 bracket is on a constant rise. Considering the fact their innards are so powerful, they can even give their flagship counterparts a mid life crisis. The Vivo Y51L is another one of those trying to capitalise in the ever growing budget category. Apparently it’s the company’s first smartphone manufactured outside of China. In fact, it is assembled at its Greater Noida plant in India.

Currently priced at around Rs 11,000 on Amazon India, the device comes with a standard set of specifications you would expect from a budget smartphone. There are quite a few sub Rs 12,000 smartphones available that more or less take care of your usual requirements such as an elegant looking design, decent graphics for gaming and movies, good music experience and of course no hiccups while switching between apps. Lets see how many of the above parameters did the Vivo Y51L manage to pull-off.


Out of the box, it feels like a pretty good looking device with rather unique design aesthetics. It flaunts a slim body with modulated metal strips running along the sides. The cut outs for the volume rockers and power button are done with absolute precision. The back of the phone gets a neat glossy plastic finish which adds to its overall appearance. The company done a good job when it comes to the smartphone’s design aesthetics, though feels a tad heavy in the hand probably because of the use metal on the edges.


On the front is a 5-inch display which is apparently one of its glaring shortcomings. Its a 5-inch LCD display with a pretty sluggish 960x540p resolution, which makes reading and multimedia experience on the smartphone a bit flat and dull. It will probably suffice for casual users who are not really finicky about displays. Though at a price point where rivals like the Redmi Note 3 and LeEco 1S are offering Full HD displays or the Moto G Turbo which gets the standard HD display, the Vivo Y51L’s display is light years behind.


Coming to its processing power and multitasking performance, the smartphone performed really well during the time I spent with it. It did a fairly decent job at multitasking, even the gaming performance was pretty good. It could even play high-end games like Mortal Kombat X without any major lags or stutters that too without any heating issues, which is quite a rarity these days. Even the software performance is quite snappy featuring some rather unique design changes which can be a bit confusing initially. For instance, the drop down menu only displays the Notifications panel and not the Settings menu. Instead, you will have to slide upwards from the lower edge of the screen to access the settings panel. Though once you get used to it, it does offer some rather nifty features such as long screen shot, which allows you take the screenshot of the entire page and not just the portion visible on the screen, implying you can easily take a screen grab of your entire Twitter timeline in one go.


Coming on to the cameras, the 8-megapixel camera on the back is quite a hit and miss as the end result in well lit conditions turns out quite satisfactory for the most part. Though at times it seems the camera lacks consistency as images appear rather blurry, especially in low light conditions. However, the 5-megapixel camera on the front surprisingly turned out to be quite a delight as it is capable of belting out some pretty good selfies.

Battery and connectivity

The 2,350 mAh non removable battery also churns out a rather satisfactory performance for the everyday user, as it can easily fetch you over a day of moderate usage.

It also offers rather solid storage options such as OTG support, and comes with 16 GB of built-in storage expandable upto 128GB via microSD slot. In terms of connectivity, the VivoY51L comes with dual-SIM, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G along with 4G LTE support.

To buy or not to buy

Barring the smartphone’s lame screen resolution, the Vivo Y51L offers a pretty decent all round performance and definitely score some points in terms of its unique design aesthetics. Though it still lags way behind the competition in the given price range. Especially from the likes of the Le Eco 1S and the Redmi Note 3 who feature more advanced innards and essentially offer a much better overall package at the same price point.

Hence, if you’re looking for a smartphone that’s easily available for purchase without the annoying flash sales model, the Vivo Y51L is a pretty decent buy, unless a good display is one of the core ingredient of your daily smartphone usage.

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