VIVO Y19 – The Mid-Range Phone Review

Kenya’s mid-range device market has been seeing several entrants recently with Vivo officially entering the space by unveiling its Y19 to...


VIVO Y19 – The Mid-Range Phone Review
Trying out a reality shot on Vivo Y19 AI camera mode.

Kenya’s mid-range device market has been seeing several entrants recently with Vivo officially entering the space by unveiling its Y19 to the market. With a price tag of around Kes 27,000, the vivo Y19 joins the Y- series which include the Y12, Y15 and Y17 currently retailing in stores country wide.  I got the chance to interact with the vivo Y19 2020 for the past few weeks, but before I tell you whether to buy it or not, here is what I thought of the sleek gadget.

Comparing it to the Huawei Y9 2019, one of its competitors in the same range, the two devices, just like most mid-range devices these days, share a similar aesthetic appeal but with its dimensions of 162.15× 76.47× 8.89mm and screen size of 6.53-inches the vivo Y19 just about beats out the Huawei Y9 2019 when it comes to size as it stands at dimensions of  162.4 x 77.1 x 8.1 mm and screen size of 6.5-inches. The light comfort to the eye from the vivo Y19 screen looks subtle yet vivid with a more appealing comfort to the eye.

It may seem a petty comparison I know, but for those avid gamers and those that enjoy watching movies on their phones that extra 0.03 inches of screen makes a difference. And it is one of the reasons to make me choose one device over another? To help ease your purchasing decision I’ve carefully gone through a number of different factors.



As earlier mentioned, the 6.53-inches display gives the phone an almost all-screen look and with only a water droplet like notch that hosts the device’s 16 MP selfie camera, one can enjoy the screen to almost its full potential.

At the back of the phone there are three AI cameras and an LED flash next to the rear fingerprint scanner and the vivo logo to the bottom left. The device comes in two colours, Magnetic Black and Spring White. I had the chance to interact with the Magnetic Black version, which was quite a delight. The only problem is leaving fingerprints on the device, a problem easily solved by using the silicon case provided. The general feel is so sleek, smooth and silky. And with it’s weight for the size, the phone feels of substance to hold.


With its big screen and a 1080p(1080 x 2340 pixels) Halo Fullview display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio movie phone movie watchers and game players will have found a new best friend thanks to the Full-HD+ screen (which is common in devices at this range) but maybe that is why the 0.03 inches might make a difference for you, I know it did for me as I caught up with the last season of ‘Black List’ in HD.



Connectivity features include VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, BeiDou, GLONASS, FM radio and micro USB port 2.0.

 Camera and battery

As earlier mentioned, the device has three AI cameras consisting of a 16-megapixels as a primary sensor with f/1.78, an 8-megapixel wide-angle snapper with f/2.2 aperture, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor accompanied with LED flash. Taking photos with the vivo y19, just like every mid-range device, is only fun in a well light room or during the day light. I however noted the well balanced distribution of rich colour and enhancement in landscape and most out-door shot.


However, even with the flash the photos don’t come out the best during the night, which is the same case with the 16MP selfie camera with f/2.0, AI Face Beauty mode. The device also features different modes to use including AR stickers, portrait mode, panorama, beauty, Pro mode and HDR. Video is shot at 1080p resolution at 30fps. It also offers a spectacular ‘Slow Mo’ effect that is unlimited to duration, giving you dramatic video recordings captured in speedy moments.

The phone comes packed with a 5000mAh non-removable battery with support for 18W dual-engine fast charging. It also supports reverse charging and runs on Android 9.0 based on Funtouch OS 9.2. The size of the battery certainly lets you get a lot done for a reasonably long time till the next charge.


Equipped with Android 9 Pie and Funtouch OS 9.2. with its 5000mAh non-removable battery, the device, which is not so demanding, handles pretty well even when you have multiple apps open at the same time.

Since the phone supports the 18W dual-engine it offers fast charging that helps the device take just less than 2hrs to charge to 100% as it comes equipped with MicroUSB port. This is different from the Huawei Y9 2019 which comes with the USB Type-C and helps the phone charge up twice as fast.

Even with the big screen and its relatively long-lasting battery some games were a bit difficult for me to play as they were a bit slower, a problem I suspect was there due to the device’s 4GB RAM. However, it handles quite well in the smaller games.


  • MicroUSB port in this day and age.
  • Small RAM at 4GB.
  • Camera not handling well in poor light.


  • Three rear AI Cameras that take good photos during the day.
  • Large screen for the gamers and movie watchers.
  • Small Notch on front screen giving you optimized use of the screen.


Being a mid-range smartphone retailing at just Ksh 26,999, the vivo Y19 2020 is more than worth it for mobile phones in the mid-range prices. In comparison to this price range, the phone has outstanding features crowning it all with it’s monster of the battery that can well run through two days without charge yet in almost full use. It also has a facinating triple AI back camera that gives you the pictures as required in todays era.

Vivo Y19 Specifications at a glance:

LAUNCH Announced 2020, January
Status Available. Released 2019, November
BODY Dimensions 162.2 x 76.5 x 8.9 mm (6.39 x 3.01 x 0.35 in)
Weight 193 g (6.81 oz)
Build Glass front, plastic back, plastic frame
SIM  Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 6.53 inches, 104.7 cm2 (~84.4% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~395 ppi density)
PLATFORM OS Android 9.0 (Pie); Funtouch 9.2
Chipset Mediatek MT6768 Helio P65 (12nm)
CPU Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Cortex-A75 & 6×1.7 GHz Cortex-A55)
GPU Mali-G52 MC2
MEMORY Card slot microSDXC (dedicated slot)
Internal 128GB ROM, 4GB RAM
  eMMC 5.1
MAIN CAMERA Triple 16 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF
8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide)
2 MP, f/2.4, (macro), 1/5.0″, 1.75µm
Features LED flash, HDR, panorama
Video 1080p@30fps
SELFIE CAMERA Single 16 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/3.1″, 1.0µm
Features HDR
Video 1080p@30fps
SOUND Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
Radio FM radio
USB microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, compass
BATTERY   Non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery
Charging Fast charging 18W
Power bank/Reverse charging 5W
MISC Colors Magnetic Black, Spring White
Models 1915
SAR 0.72 W/kg (head)     0.31 W/kg (body)
Price KES 26,999.


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