Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Vivo Philippines sent us its latest Y series smartphone, the Vivo Y31, last week for review. The Y31 was recently made official for global markets and will be the company’s first local offering in 2021. It comes in Ocean Blue and Racing Black colors.
(Update, February 7: Our review of the Vivo Y31 is finally up!)
(Update, February 5: And it’s official: The Vivo Y31 is now available in the Philippines!)
(Update, January 30: The Vivo Y31’s Philippine launch date has been revealed!)
While we wait for the review embargo to lift next month, you may want to read our first impressions of the upcoming handset and check out some sample pictures taken with the Vivo Y31’s 48-megapixel main camera. We’ll have the full specs of our unit up for you in our review.
Unboxing and first look
Like other Y series devices released lately, the Y31 ships in a blue-and-white box that features the phone’s model name and the Vivo branding in white against a blue background. It’s a simple smartphone packaging; there’s nothing out of the ordinary for the brand.
Inside the box, you’ll find the following:
- Vivo Y31
- Silicone case
- Wired earphones
- Documentation, including a quick guide and a warranty card
- SIM-eject tool
- 18-watt wall charger
- USB-C cable
Unboxing pictures. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow
The 18-watt fast power adapter is a nice inclusion, though, and should top up the Y31’s 5,000mAh battery in under three hours. The included headset looks classy in glossy white and plugs in nicely into the Y31’s standard 3.5mm jack. The free case is better than average, too, and has a port cover to prevent dust and lint from getting into the phone’s USB-C input, while the charger is conveniently small and integrates a US plug.
Meanwhile, the phone itself looks really good for a Y series entry and borrows some design elements from the company’s more premium models. In particular, the Vivo Y31 shreds the typical box-like design of many budget handsets in favor of a rounded casing with a metal-like gradient finish and a matte texture that helps with grip and feels great in the hands. Other than that, it repels fingerprints and smudges quite effectively, making it a breeze to clean.
The rear-facing camera unit is composed of three lenses and a flash module in a rectangular module similar to that on the Vivo X50 Pro 5G. The sides of the phone match the color at the back, and the right-hand side houses the volume rocker and power/wake key integrated with a fingerprint scanner for security.
Moving to the front, there’s a waterdrop notch at the top center for the selfie camera. We would have wanted to see a punch-hole screen here, just like what the Vivo Y30 offers, but it isn’t really a deal-breaker — not for us, at least. It helps that the bezels are reasonably slim and the cutout housing the front camera isn’t huge.
Picture quality is definitely another plus. Place the Y31’s display next to most other budget handsets, and you’ll probably pick the Vivo to be one of the better ones in the lot.
It’s hard not to like what Vivo did with the Y31. Our only real criticism regarding the hardware is that it isn’t compact enough to make one-handed operation easy. On the flip side, those who will buy the phone for its display size and quality won’t be disappointed.
Finally, let’s look at some sample photos shot on the Vivo Y31’s 48-megapixel unit, which is a significant upgrade over the Y30’s 13-megapixel shooter. The main camera supports AI scene recognition, as well as Vivo’s handy Portrait Framing feature to help you frame a scene that follows the rule of thirds. Plus, there’s Night mode available on the camera, alongside different filters you can apply to make your night shots look more dramatic.
Shot on the Vivo Y31: 1-6) Auto; 7) 8x zoom (the maximum); 8-9) Auto; 10) Night mode (understand that this, as the ninth image, was captured in a dark room with the only source of light coming from the room next door); 11-15) Night mode (No style applied, with the other four getting filters: Black and Gold, Blue Ice, Green Orange, and Cyberpunk). More pictures with different subjects and scenes in our review
We’ll have more about the Vivo Y31 in our full review, so check back in a couple of weeks once the embargo is lifted.
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