Hello everyone! In this review, we will be taking a closer look at the Vivo Y36, a smartphone that I feel is the dopple ganger of the Y35 (introduced a couple of months ago). The Vivo Y series is known for its budget and mid-range offerings, a fine balance between features and affordability. My goal here is to help you determine whether the Vivo Y36 justifies its price tag.
First, let’s take a quick look at its specs.
Vivo Y36 Review: Specifications
- Dimension: 164.1 x 76.2 x 8.1 mm, 202 g
- Display: 6.64 inches, IPS LCD, 90Hz refresh rate, 650 nits peak brightness
- Resolution: FHD+ (1080 x 2388 pixels), 395 PPI
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon 680 (6 nm), 8 CPU cores + Adreno 610
- Memory: 8GB RAM (+8GB virtual) & 128GB/256GB storage (expandable via microSD)
- Operating System: Funtouch 13 based on Android 13
- SIM: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
- Back Camera: Dual:
– 50 MP, f/1.8 wide, PDAF
– 2 MP, f/2.4 depth
- Front Camera: 16MP front camera with f/2.5 aperture
- Audio: Mono speaker, Built-in microphones, 3.5mm jack
- Security: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, BeiDou, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS
- IP rating: Splash and dust resistance (IP5X, IPX4)
- Battery: Li-PO 5000 mAh, 44W fast-charging, 30% in 15 min
- Colors: Meteor Black and Vibrant Gold
- What’s in the box: Y36, paper works, USB cable, USB power adapter, SIM eject tool, phone case, protective film
- Price in Nepal: Rs. 28,999 (8GB+256GB)
Vivo Y36 Review:
- 164.1 x 76.2 x 8.1 mm, 202 gm
- Glass front, plastic back, plastic frame
- IP5X and IPX4 dust and splash resistance
While it may not be the thinnest smartphone I have used, I appreciate its hands-on feel. Design-wise, I loved the back of the Y36. This Meteor Black variant has a Crystal Glass design with shimmers and a checkered pattern on the back. The squarish camera module is not too bulky either. To put it simply, the Vivo Y36 exudes a simple yet stylish vibe.
And if you’re looking for something more eye-catching, there is always the Vibrant Gold model. The camera island on that even has a reflective accent that gives off rainbow colors.
That being said what’s great about the Midnight Black is its resistance to smudges. Neither the back nor the frame attract fingerprints very easily.
Taking a look at the front, there is the Flourite AG glass with a punch hole up top for a selfie shooter.
Surprisingly, the phone is not as heavy as it looks, weighing in at 202 grams. Plus, the bezels are slim, except for the bottom one-of course. On the left side, it is nice and clean. But on the right side are the volume rockers and the power button (which also doubles as a fingerprint sensor). These buttons are well-made and don’t feel cheap. And, the handset comes with an IP5X and IPX4, which is always nice to have.
No complaints on the design side.
- 6.64-inch FHD+ IPS panel
- 90Hz refresh rate, 650 nits peak brightness
- No gorilla Glass for protection
The Vivo Y36 brings a 6.64-inch FHD+ IPS display, which is larger than its predecessor. The maximum screen brightness is decent, but it could be improved for better visibility in direct sunlight; i.e, it can be a bit challenging to use the Y36 outdoors.
Now, it does come with a 90Hz refresh rate, but I did not feel the “90Hz” worthy smoothness when navigating. This could be due to the phone’s processor being under-optimized or some other reason. You can choose between 60 Hz and 90 Hz and the auto-refresh rate seems to be working well.
On the downside, Vivo Y36 lacks HDR10+ certification, and for streaming services like Netflix, you’re limited to Widevine L1. While the color quality of the display is good, I feel contrast is something to work on.
- Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 4G SoC (6nm)
- 8 RAM, 128/256GB storage (expandable)
- Android 13 with Vivo’s Funtouch OS 13 on top
- 2 years of OS, 3 years of security updates
In terms of overall performance, it’s not exactly mind-blowing, especially considering its price point. Most apps work okay, but the lags can be a real mood killer. For your everyday tasks, this device should handle things decently. Whether it’s video calls, social media browsing, photo editing, document writing, watching your content on YouTube or Netflix, or even just listening to music, it handles them all reasonably well.
When it comes to gaming, it is considerable enough. I put it to the test with games like PUBG MOBILE, Asphalt 9, and Genshin Impact. It delivered a respectable performance, but I wouldn’t say I was blown away. Most games like PUBGM, Genshin Impact, and Asphalt 9 are limited to 30 fps. So, if you’re hoping for higher frame rates, Vivo’s Y36 might not deliver in that front.
In terms of actual performance, I noticed an average of around 29.69 fps on PUBG and 28.887 on Asphalt 9: Legends. Genshin Impact, on the other hand, wasn’t as smooth, with an underwhelming 19.631fps.
The Vivo Y36 comes with Android 13-based Funtouch OS 13 which is definitely NOT the cleanest Android skin I’ve ever seen. There are adverts here and there and the handset comes pre-installed with (mostly useless) apps. In terms of software support, Vivo promises to deliver two major OS updates, and you’ll also get security updates for a solid three years.
- Dual camera setup
- 50 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF
- 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
Although Vivo is renowned for its camera capabilities, I must admit I’m not entirely satisfied this time.
In daylight conditions, the Vivo Y36 performs pretty inconsistently. While it occasionally produces overprocessed images with blurred details and white balance issues, there are moments when it delivers good-quality pictures. In direct sunlight, glare can be noticeable though, impacting the overall quality of your shot.
On a positive note, the camera does allow for 2x shots, even without a dedicated telephoto lens. Upon testing this feature, surprisingly the captured images maintain clarity and have enough detail to be considered usable. For close-up shots, I recommend making use of this 2x feature.
With ‘Night’ mode turned off, low-light photos are often subpar in terms of quality. Nevertheless, the images don’t look half bad with the mode enabled.
The reproduction of human skin tone in portrait photos is generally quite accurate, with natural-looking results. However, the edge detection can be inconsistent, it’s a hit or a miss. The overall quality is decent enough.
The Vivo Y36’s 16-megapixel front camera takes good selfies during the day. Regular selfies turn out quite well, with a decent level of sharpness but the skin tone may appear slightly pinkish or reddish.
When it comes to selfie portraits, there’s a noticeable issue with overexposure, where the brightness levels are excessive.
The Vivo Y36 offers video recording options at 1080p 30fps or 720p at 30fps or 60fps, providing flexibility for different scenarios. The video quality is decent, and the stabilization works well. However, there is room for improvement in dynamic range, contrast, and sharpness.
When it comes to slow-motion video, it’s not the phone’s strong point. Capturing slow-motion footage may result in reduced details and lower video quality.
- 5000 mAh battery, 44W FlashCharge
The Vivo Y36 comes equipped with a 5,000mAh battery, which is pretty much the standard for smartphones these days, and it is paired with Vivo’s 44W FlashCharge technology.
Charging this phone is pretty efficient. I plugged it in when it was at 50%, and it took me about 42 minutes to get it from half-full to fully charged. If you’re starting from 0%, it’ll take around an hour and 10 minutes to reach a full charge.
In terms of daily use, this phone does a decent job. It can easily last a full day and a half on a single charge (normal usage), which makes it quite handy for those of us who are always on the move.
Vivo Y36 Review: Conclusion
Well, this guy isn’t exactly winning in its price range. It can handle everyday tasks just fine, but when asked to take on heavier stuff, it lags behind. Gaming performance? Not its strong suit either. Besides, there is some tough competition in this price level from other handsets like the Samsung Galaxy A24 4G, Redmi Note 12 5G, Realme 10, and more.
But if you’re a fan of the design and want decent cameras under 30,000 rupees, I can totally see this being someone’s pick. That shimmery back is quite the looker and daylight shots and portraits are good enough for a budget-midrange phone. Moreover, the battery holds its own, and the overall user experience isn’t terrible either.
Vivo Y36 Review: Pros and Cons
- Pretty good design
- Decent Camera
- Long battery life and fast charging support
- Weak Processor
- Optimization issues