“The Vivo Y17 is a mid-range smartphone that offers AI-powered triple rear cameras and a gargantuan 5,000mAh battery”

Under its Y series, Vivo has been launching a number of smartphones that offer a solid build, reliable performance, powerful cameras, and strong battery life. The latest launch from the company, the Vivo Y17 seems to be taking that a step ahead. From the Halo FullView display to AI-powered triple rear cameras, and from a 6.35-inch waterdrop notching-toting display to a massive 5,000mAh battery, the Y17 ticks all of the right boxes. The handset arrived at our premises recently and here’s how I feel about the Vivo Y17 based on a short stint with it.

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Starting with the packaging first, Vivo has changed things up with the presentation and the font on the retail box. Unlike previously, the  Y17 comes in a nondescript white box featuring the name of the phone and branding on top, along with the emphasis on the battery capacity. The bottom of the packaging lists out the main highlights as well as other details of the device including SAR value. As soon as you lift the lid, you will find a sheath containing documents and a protective case, the device itself, and accessories in that order. The accessories include the 18W wall charger, a micro-USB cable, SIM-ejector tool and a pair of in-ear earphones. Also, props to the brand for pre-applying a screen protector on the display.

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The Vivo Y17 is an attractive smartphone that’s being offered in Mineral Blue and Mystic Purple colourways. I have the former in my hand and I must admit, the greenish blue hue fading into black towards the bottom is a looker. Adding to the charisma are very fine slanted lines across the whole rear panel, with the latter throwing off a unique gradient flow when light hits the back. The rear panel is home to a triple-camera module with gold trimming, a squircle fingerprint scanner and Vivo branding. The mineral blue colour also pours over the sides, where you’ll find physical buttons on the right spine and dual nano-SIM tray with a dedicated microSD card slot on the left. The top edge is bare, while the bottom is crammed with the loudspeaker grille, a micro-USB port, microphone and 3.5mm audio jack. 

If I have to nitpick in the design department then it’s worth stating that the display doesn’t sit flush with the chassis, but instead is raised like a platform by a fraction of a millimetre. While this might not be a deal breaker for many, it does ruin the symmetry of the design for me.

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Speaking of the display, the Vivo Y17 is equipped with a 6.35-inch Halo FullView screen. With an aspect ratio of 19.3:9, the device offers an impressive screen-to-body ratio of 89 percent and has minimal bezels apart from the thin chin at the bottom. While I had no issues with the colour reproduction, text and display brightness, I wish Vivo had included an option to hide the notch. The handset also comes with eye protection and colour temperature adjustment to enhance the viewing experience.

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In terms of features, the Y17 boots Funtouch OS 9 based on Android 9 Pie. The interface has a typical drawer-less layout with all apps laid out on the homescreen. While the interface is pretty straight forward, I found myself struggling a little bit to find the right menus in the settings.

As far as performance is concerned, animations and multitasking on the handset felt smooth, thanks to the 12nm 2.3 GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P35 chipset. The processor is backed by 4GB of RAM and 128GB storage, of which around 113GB is available to the user. At no point did the smartphone feel underpowered to me as I was able to breeze through YouTube, Browser and other routine apps smoothly.

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For imaging, the Vivo Y17 is equipped with a triple camera array on the rear comprising a 13-megapixel f/2.2 primary snapper, a 2-megapixel secondary depth unit, and an 8-megapixel f/2.2 super wide-angle sensor. Curiously, the super wide angle lens is backed by AI, expanding the view to 120-degrees. The camera app gets usual features like HDR, bokeh, live filters, pro, panorama, beauty, and fun video. The initial shots taken using the rear camera were pretty impressive, especially the portrait mode and wide angle. The images were able to retain most of the details and have that slight saturation pop that everyone loves. The 20MP front camera also captures impressive selfies that are high on details.

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The Vivo Y17 appears to be quite promising on paper, but for its asking price of Rs 17,999, seems to priced slightly on the higher side. While it’s too early for a definitive verdict, a full review will ascertain how well the device works as a daily driver. What works in the phone’s favour though is that it’ll be available to buy offline.