We’ve enumerated the reasons why the Vivo Y35 should be on your shortlist of smartphones to consider. Its combination of an efficient processor, generous storage and battery capacity, and fast charging make it a solid overall option. On the other hand, some drawbacks prevent the Y35 from becoming an easy recommendation.
For one, the Y35 has a teardrop notch straight from 2018; in addition, it utilizes an LCD panel instead of the now ubiquitous OLED. We also have concerns regarding its operating system and camera setup. Now that we’ve spent more time with the Y35, we have a lot to say about the overall experience. Let’s begin with…
It all begins with the processor. The Snapdragon 680 has always been a reliable chipset among entry-level and midrange smartphones. It leans toward the efficient side, offering superior battery life over raw performance. Still, the Vivo Y35 manages respectable numbers in both benchmarks and gaming.
Similar to other Snapdragon 680-equipped devices, the Y35 can run the graphically demanding Genshin Impact on low settings at a steady 30 frames per second. This means every other game is a cinch: Mobile Legends, Call of Duty: Mobile — you name it. At the same time, temperatures stay below 40 degrees Celsius, so your own hands remain comfy during extended play sessions.
Coupled with 8GB of RAM, apps remain in their most recent state rather than refresh when you return to them. This helps when multitasking between multiple apps. By default, the Vivo Y35 expands its RAM by an additional 8GB from the internal storage. We didn’t notice much of a difference, but taking away a fraction of the 256GB storage doesn’t hurt.
The 5,000mAh battery easily lasts an entire day of moderate usage with over six hours of screen-on time from a full charge. An impressive time of 19 hours and 47 minutes on PCMark’s battery-endurance test proved we weren’t imagining things. On top of that, it took only a little over an hour to fully charge the smartphone using the 44-watt charger included in the box.
The Vivo Y35’s rear cameras are headlined by the 50-megapixel main sensor. It’s assisted by 2-megapixel depth and macro cameras, which are easy to forget about. They’re nowhere near as usable as a dedicated ultrawide or telephoto module. The front has a 16-megapixel sensor to handle selfie duties.
Both the main and selfie cameras impressed us. They were consistent in producing sharp images with lots of pop to their colors. Night mode improved the quality of darkly lit photos, while portrait mode delivered smooth background blur behind our subjects. The camera app also activated quickly, so we wouldn’t miss out on important moments to capture. Unfortunately, all cameras were restricted to 1080p resolution at 30 frames per second for video recording. 60 frames per second is limited to the lower 720p resolution.
We were satisfied with the side-mounted fingerprint reader. It was quick in unlocking the phone and wasn’t strict about the cleanliness of our fingers. Although we’ve gotten used to under-display readers, this implementation is the next best thing. However, there were times when the Y35’s fingerprint reader wouldn’t respond on the first attempt. We later realized this happened after the phone slept for a couple of hours without any screen interaction.
As for the rest of the features, some parts shine while others don’t. We appreciate the loud downward-firing speaker (and we mean loud) and inclusion of a 3.5mm audio port. Keeping them beside the USB-C port at the bottom and leaving the SIM/microSD card slot on top is a smart design choice to keep the sides clean. We aren’t fans of the rear design of our unit, though. Dawn Gold doesn’t blend well with the camera bump, which in itself is overly large for the lenses it holds. On the plus side, the back panel is fingerprint-proof even without installing the bundled clear case.
At first glance, the Vivo Y35 looks like a smartphone released in 2018. The teardrop notch and thick chin are sore spots when punch-hole, chin-less designs are becoming the norm at this price point. And even though the display runs at a refresh rate of up to 90Hz, the LCD panel can’t provide true blacks. It’s noticeable while viewing in dark environments, especially when compared to an OLED panel.
Another example of old features: the Snapdragon 680 chipset doesn’t offer 5G connectivity. It may not be a deal-breaker at first, but the lack of future-proofing and faster download speeds could hurt the device’s usability down the line.
The rest of the negatives are in the Y35’s excess. Although the rear houses a great main camera, the other two feel unnecessary. For its midrange price, we would’ve loved to see an ultrawide camera in place of the depth sensor. It could have also doubled as a macro camera, as proven by other smartphones.
The bloatware is excessive as well. Aside from the default Google Play Store, there are four app stores you can’t uninstall. The V-Appstore, in particular, is constantly in your face with its push notifications. If you include Vivo’s redundant browser, smartphone shop, and feature apps, you’re left with a crowded app drawer that eliminates the fun in Funtouch OS 12.
The Vivo Y35’s downsides aren’t that big of a deal if you aren’t particular about physical design and the exclusion of certain features. However, once you’re reminded that it costs P14,999 (around $255) in the Philippines, the flaws begin to stand out a little more.
For that price, you could go for the more complete Realme 9 4G. It has a superior 90Hz AMOLED display, ultrawide camera, and under-display fingerprint reader if you fancy that. You could also spend extra for the more gamer-centric Vivo T1 5G. It owns a much more powerful processor, faster charging, and 5G connectivity.
The Vivo Y35 is meant for those who value battery endurance and dependable hardware without breaking the bank. Having so much expandable storage and memory at this price point is a major plus.
Vivo Y35 specs
- 6.58-inch 1080p LCD, 90Hz refresh rate
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB storage, expandable with microSD
- 50-megapixel main, 2-megapixel depth, and 2-megapixel macro cameras
- 16-megapixel front camera
- Side-mounted fingerprint reader
- 5,000mAh battery
- 44-watt fast charging
- Funtouch OS 12, based on Android 12
- Colors: Dawn Gold, Agate Black
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