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vivo Y20s Review - the cheapest vivo smartphone

Test report prepared by Timo on June 4, 2021

The vivo Y20s is an Android smartphone that promises a lot of quality for little money. Above all, it wants to score with a modern design, good camera and powerful battery. In this test, I'll tell you whether that works.

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Our rating
149 € mediamarkt.de
Price Comparison
Specifications
Overview
Manufacturer

live

Model

I live Y20s

Specifications

 Processor and memory 
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 460
GPU: Adreno 610
RAM: 4GB
Internal memory: 128GB
Memory extension: Yes, until 256GB

 Display 
Display diagonal: 6.51 inches
Display resolution: 1600 x 720 pixels
Display frequency: 60 Hz
Display Type: IPS
Screen Protector: Unknown
Multitouch: 10 fingers

 cameras 
Main camera: 13 MP (f / 2.2 aperture)
Portrait camera: 2 MP (f / 2.4 aperture)
Macro camera: 2 MP (f / 2.4 aperture)

Front camera: 8 MP (f / 1.8 aperture)

 Mesh 
Dual SIM: Yes
SIM size: Nano SIM
eSIM: No.

GSM: B2 / 3 / 5 / 8
WCDMA: B1/2/4/5/8
FDD LTE: B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/ 20/28
TDD LTE: B38 / 40/41

 wireless 
WiFi: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
Bluetooth: 5.0
GPS: Yes

 Sensors 
* Ambient light sensor
* Accelerometer
* Proximity Sensor
* E-Compass
* Gyroscope (virtual)
* Fingerprint Sensor

 Accumulator 
Battery: 5.000 mAh
Fast charge function: 18 Watt
Qi store: no

 other 
Operating system: Android 11 (FuntouchOS 11)
Audio: 3.5mm headphones / mono speakers
Connection: microUSB
Size: 164,41 × 76,32 × 8,41 mm
Weight: 192,3g

What's in the box

1x smartphone
1x SIM needle
1x headphones
1x charging cable
1x charger (18 watts)
1x user manual

Vivo Y20s: Chic design with a glass back

Although the vivo Y20s is not a high-end smartphone, neither design nor quality have suffered. The back is made of 2.5D glass, which is by no means too smooth in appearance, but rather ensures a pleasant feel. Depending on the incidence of light, the back of the vivo Y20s, which is optionally available in Obsidian Black and Nebula Blue, is reflected in a subtle, chic pattern.

At the top left is the vertically arranged triple camera, which protrudes a good 2 mm from the housing. But that's all still within the normal framework. Softly curved transitions from the back to the plastic frame give the design the finishing touch.

vivo Y20s glass back

The color of the plastic frame is matched to the overall design. The power button on the right is embedded in the frame and also acts as a fingerprint scanner. The volume rocker is located above it. Both keys sit tight in the case and have a good pressure point. The USB port is located in the middle of the lower frame section. Unfortunately, vivo decided on the outdated microUSB. You can look forward to a headphone connection that vivo - unlike many other manufacturers - has not done without. A microphone and a mono speaker are also placed below. On the left of the frame in the upper area there is the SIM card slot, which can be equipped with two nano SIM cards (dual SIM) and a microSD memory card (memory expansion).

If we hike to the front, the HD display with a classic drop notch, which surrounds the 8 megapixel front camera, awaits us there. With a screen-to-body ratio of 81.6 percent, a large part of the front is covered by the display. The display bezels are not particularly small, but not too big for this price range. You will look in vain for a notification LED.

vivo Y20s display

As far as the processing quality and the scope of delivery are concerned, vivo does not make a mistake. The processing quality is very good for a smartphone in the price range under 200 euros. The back of the glass gives it a premium feeling. The scope of delivery goes beyond the usual. In addition to the smartphone, power supply and USB cable, additional headphones are included. A screen protector is also already on the display at the factory.

Vivo Y20s: display with air upwards

The IPS display built into the vivo Y20s only has a resolution of 6,51 inches in HD (1600 x 720 pixels). Thanks to the slim 20: 9 aspect ratio, the display is easy to operate with just one hand.

However, with a pixel density of 270 PPI, the smartphone is below the magical retina limit of 300 PPI. Experienced eyes will notice the lower display sharpness. The same applies to the 60 Hz refresh rate, which users of higher refresh rates notice as a dragging effect when scrolling.

vivo Y20s display

In terms of colors, contrast and display brightness, no outliers are to be expected. Although the display on the IPS panel is largely stable from the viewing angle, the color reproduction is a bit pale and the contrast is weak. The display settings do not bring any improvement either, which can only be used to adjust the color temperature. The display brightness is average. The display is difficult to read in strong light. However, the adaptive brightness adjustment reacts quickly.

Further setting options for the display include the eye protection mode, which acts as an automatic blue light filter, and the dark theme. An always-on function is not supported. This is a disadvantage, especially if there is no notification LED, as new notifications cannot be recognized immediately.

Vivo Y20s: good performance

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 20 system-on-chip works under the hood of the vivo Y460s. The eight-core CPU is divided into four fast Cortex-A73 processor cores that clock at up to 1.61 GHz, as well as four Cortex-A53 cores, also with 1.80 GHz. The memory is divided into 4GB main memory and a generous 128GB data memory, which can also be expanded with a microSD memory card. Here are the performance values ​​based on various benchmark apps:

The smartphone performs well in everyday use. The FuntouchOS user interface is largely fluid to use. Here and there animations can appear a bit jerky. Apps are kept in memory for a long time and data transfers are quick.

When it comes to mobile gaming, the Adreno 610 GPU quickly reaches its limits. Demanding games like PUBG are just playable on low resolution. There is no noticeable heat development or thermal throttling.

Vivo Y20s: Current Android 11

In terms of software, the vivo Y20s is well positioned. The FuntouchOS 11 user interface is based on the current Android 11. Compared to Stock Android, vivo has not made any profound changes to the user interface, but only slightly expanded the range of functions.

For example, the Ultra Game Mode has been added to the settings, which enables gamers to enjoy a better gaming experience by simply managing performance and notifications. Among other things, the iManager app warns of risks, cleans up the memory, clones apps and helps with the management of app permissions. Apart from apps like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, no other third-party apps are preinstalled.

 The smartphone usually only receives security updates 2 months after they have been published. It is not known how long the vivo Y20s will receive system updates. The 3-year update policy recently promised by vivo only applies to the company's flagship devices.

Vivo Y20s: Convincing triple camera

Let's switch to the back of the smartphone, where the triple main camera is located. The following sensors are used:

  •  13 megapixel main camera (f / 2.2 aperture)
  •  2 megapixel bokeh (f / 2.4 aperture)
  •  2 megapixel super macro (f / 2.4 aperture)

vivo Y20s camera setup

main camera

You shouldn't be fooled by the low number of megapixels of the main camera, because the main camera definitely has its strengths.

In good lighting conditions, the main camera takes color-realistic photos with pleasant dynamics and very little noise. The distribution of sharpness is good, even if it is slightly reduced towards the edges of the image.

Contrasts that are too high, especially backlighting, can quickly make the camera sweat, which can lead to partially underexposed and overexposed sections of the photo. Although there is an HDR mode, it does not work automatically and has to be switched on manually. Zooming is supported purely digitally with a maximum of 4x magnification.

With increasingly poor lighting conditions, image details are lost and the image sharpness decreases. The color fidelity is kept surprisingly well, even if the colors fade out a bit. The lack of night mode, which adapts the exposure time to the surroundings, is particularly noticeable at night. As a result, photos are sometimes very dark. If you want to increase the exposure time, you have to switch to manual Pro mode.

Portrait camera

The portrait mode caused some initial confusion. If you select this, the blurring effect is not activated immediately. The blurring is only added by selecting the bokeh lens.

If you stay in normal photo mode, you can also activate the bokeh lens there, which is why the additional portrait mode does not make sense. There are no image differences and in both modes the degree of blurring (aperture) can be adjusted afterwards.

Macro camera

The macro camera is a nice-to-have. The macro photos taken with it are good for the price range of the vivo Y20s.

video mode

The vivo Y20s records videos in a maximum of 1080p at 30 frames per second. The recording quality largely corresponds to the photo mode. Image stabilization cannot be switched on. The auto focus reacts very quickly and the camera adapts quickly to changes in the exposure. The recorded sound is a bit flat, but still in scope.

Vivo Y20s: connectivity

Telephony, WLAN and Bluetooth

The vivo Y20s supports the 4G mobile radio frequencies and bands that are common in this country. The fully-fledged dual SIM slot enables the simultaneous use of two nano SIM cards. Here is an overview of the bands:

 GSM : B2 / B3 / B5 / B8

 WCDMA: B1/B2/B4/B5/B8

 LTE FDD: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B20/B28

 LTE TDD : B38 / B40 / B41

Telephony and mobile surfing work smoothly with the vivo Y20s. The network reception and the voice quality are still good even in remote areas. Functions such as VoLTE and VoWiFi (WiFi calling) are available.

 Bluetooth is supported in version 5.0. In the WLAN, the smartphone connects to dual AC networks (2.4GHz and 5GHz) and achieves solid transfer rates.

vivo Y20s smartphone with dual SIM slot.

GPS and sensors

The position determination shows no abnormalities. The smartphone finds the satellites (GPS, Beidou, GLONASS and Galileo) required for precise navigation within a few seconds.

The remaining sensors include an acceleration sensor, an ambient light sensor, a proximity sensor, an e-compass and a gyroscope (virtual). NFC is not available, which is why contactless payment is not possible. 

The fingerprint scanner integrated into the side of the power button unlocks the smartphone quickly and reliably. In addition to the classic unlocking methods (PIN, pattern and password), unlocking the smartphone via face recognition is supported.

Audio

The mono speaker on the bottom reaches a high volume, but tends to be distorted. The loudspeaker is sufficient to play a video or to make a phone call. If you connect headphones, the FM function (radio) of the smartphone can be used.

Vivo Y20s: powerful 5.000 mAh battery

Forcing the 5.000 mAh battery of the vivo Y20s to its knees is not that easy. The built-in system-on-chip is extremely economical and vivo has also optimized consumption very well on the software side.

With normal use, it is not a problem to achieve a running time of more than 2 days. The battery hardly loses percentage points in standby or at night. The 18W quick charge function charges the battery to 69 percent in just 70 minutes. A full charge takes approximately 135 minutes. A suitable quick charger is fortunately included in the scope of delivery.

A small specialty is the "reverse charging" function, which turns the smartphone into a power bank. This means that devices can be charged in the opposite direction with the vivo Y20s.

Price Comparison

iconGerman warehouse
iconDelivery time 2-5 business days
149,00€
iconGerman warehouse
iconDelivery time 2-5 business days
199,00€
iconGerman warehouse
iconDelivery time 2-5 business days
279,00€
Rating
Positive

Stylish design
Good workmanship
Good everyday performance despite the weak chip
Main camera in good lighting conditions
Tidy Android 11 user interface
Good cellular quality (reception, VoLTE, VoWiFi)
Excellent battery life and quick charge functionality

Negative

MicroUSB connection
HD display with weaknesses
No notification LED / Always-On function

Summary

The vivo Y20s is a bit nostalgic, because microUSB and HD display are no longer up-to-date even in this price range. Nevertheless, the vivo Y20s also does a lot of things right, because the smartphone impresses with its charming design, the latest Android 11, good cellular quality and a long-lasting battery.

But all of this only applies if the price is right. At an initial 200 euros, the price of the vivo Y20s was simply too high and what was offered was unrivaled. As the price drops, however, things look different again, which is why it is worth taking a look at the vivo Y20s!

Our rating
Overview
Manufacturer

live

Model

I live Y20s

Specifications

 Processor and memory 
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 460
GPU: Adreno 610
RAM: 4GB
Internal memory: 128GB
Memory extension: Yes, until 256GB

 Display 
Display diagonal: 6.51 inches
Display resolution: 1600 x 720 pixels
Display frequency: 60 Hz
Display Type: IPS
Screen Protector: Unknown
Multitouch: 10 fingers

 cameras 
Main camera: 13 MP (f / 2.2 aperture)
Portrait camera: 2 MP (f / 2.4 aperture)
Macro camera: 2 MP (f / 2.4 aperture)

Front camera: 8 MP (f / 1.8 aperture)

 Mesh 
Dual SIM: Yes
SIM size: Nano SIM
eSIM: No.

GSM: B2 / 3 / 5 / 8
WCDMA: B1/2/4/5/8
FDD LTE: B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/ 20/28
TDD LTE: B38 / 40/41

 wireless 
WiFi: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
Bluetooth: 5.0
GPS: Yes

 Sensors 
* Ambient light sensor
* Accelerometer
* Proximity Sensor
* E-Compass
* Gyroscope (virtual)
* Fingerprint Sensor

 Accumulator 
Battery: 5.000 mAh
Fast charge function: 18 Watt
Qi store: no

 other 
Operating system: Android 11 (FuntouchOS 11)
Audio: 3.5mm headphones / mono speakers
Connection: microUSB
Size: 164,41 × 76,32 × 8,41 mm
Weight: 192,3g

What's in the box

1x smartphone
1x SIM needle
1x headphones
1x charging cable
1x charger (18 watts)
1x user manual

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