Vivo Y19 Review: Could have been better

Vivo Y19 Review: vivo launched the vivo Y19 smartphone into the Kenyan market in January this year. The device is part of the vivo Y series smartphone family which we have covered extensively before. 

Vivo Y series phones available in the Kenyan market currently include vivo Y11, vivo Y12, vivo Y15, vivo Y17, vivo Y90 and now the vivo Y19 which the company is selling at Ksh.26,999. 

Vivo as a smartphone brand itself has really been trying to position itself in the local market. Globally the brand has been making some really good strides. In fact, in countries like India, the company has been ranked second beating the likes of Samsung. These same strides is what the company intends to make in the Kenyan market. 

When vivo unveiled the Y19 smartphone in the country, Mr. Arthur Xian, CEO vivo Kenya was clear about these intentions. 

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‘As a leading smartphone brand, we are keen on strengthening the connection with our customers and partners to meet the increasing demand for quality devices and better user experience in this market.’’ he said.

‘’We are aiming to offer more options for devices with high-quality standard and comprehensive functionality at an affordable price to fulfil this demand.’  he added. 

Vivo Y19 Review

We managed to get our hands on the vivo Y19. A pretty good device if you ask me. We already did the unboxing article and video which you can check here. You can as well watch the video below:

In this review article we will just be sharing our experiences for the entire period we stayed with the device.


Vivo Y19 

The smartphone comes with a waterdrop notch with triple rear camera setup and also sports a gradient back finish. Just like many other budget models, it comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor. 

It also sports a 6.53-inch full-HD+ (1080 x 2340 pixels) Halo FullView display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The display is quite bright, has good colour saturation, text looks sharp and offers some good viewing angles as well. The screen ratio is perfect for viewing your favourite videos, photos and even games. You will not struggle to do this. 

On the right the phone sports the volume and power buttons while the let houses card slot for dual nano sim cards and MicroSD card. At the bottom is the micro-USB port, a mono speaker grill, primary microphone and the headphone jack.

 Specs, Performance and Battery Life

The vivo Y19 is powered with MTK Helio P65 Octa-core processor and comes with 4GB of RAM which delivers outstanding overall performance for opening and running applications, flipping through menus, running home screens and more. It runs  Funtouch OS 9.2 based on Android 9 Pie and is powered by a huge 5000mAh non-removable battery with support for 18W dual-engine fast charging.

As mentioned when we first interacted with a vivo device here, Funtouch OS really took us some time before we got used to it. Navigating through vivo’s menus was still confusing, of course, we said this is something we will get used to as we keep interacting with vivo devices.   So if you already bought or planning to buy a vivo device it will take you some time before you actually get accustomed to the new OS. For example, you have to pull up from the bottom to get to the quick settings, we are used to having them at the top. The settings are easy and quick to access, just that you will need to remember swiping upwards from the bottom of the screen to pull them up.

The phone comes with 128GB of internal storage so you have lots of space for your contacts, music, photos, apps and more.

I need to also mention that the vivo Y19 comes preloaded with an Ultra Game Mode to enhance gaming experiences. If you’re into mobile gaming then this is something that should really excite you.

Other than the fingerprint sensor and a pin number as a security feature, the vivo Y19 also comes with face unlock which is pretty fast.  You won’t struggle using it even in a low-light environment. When using it in the dark, the screen gets brighter to accurately detect your face. 

For the battery, the vivo Y19 is powered by a 5000mAh battery that comes with 18W Dual-Engine Fast Charging technology. The phone also supports reverse charging up to 5W. Battery features include Ultra Power Saving mode that lets you keep your phone powered on for longer in between charges.

The battery is an absolute powerhouse, probably one of the reasons that can actually make us spend our money on this phone.  The battery is able to last you for an entire day and you will still have some juice to push you to the second day. 

Vivo Y19 Review: Cameras

For the cameras, the triple rear camera setup on the vivo Y19 includes a 16-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.78 lens, along with an 8-megapixel sensor with a wide-angle f/2.2 lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The selfie camera, on the other hand, is 16-megapixel with an f/2.0 lens.

The camera features beauty, bokeh, AR shot, Portrait, Professional, panorama, video (shoots at 1080p at 30fps) macro and HDR modes. We expected to see a dedicated night mode but unfortunately, the vivo Y19 does not have one.

Check sample shots we took below (Click to expand) :

Night photos

You will notice that the photos appear sharp and detailed, especially in daylight although there’s something about the colour saturation that we didn’t really like.  Remember we said there’s not dedicated night mode so photos taken at night at night are bit disappointing.

More photos are available on our official TechTrendsKE Instagram page. You can follow us and check them out. 

Should you spend your money on the vivo Y19?

This will be a very tough choice to make considering the competition in the Kenyan smartphone market right now. If you’re really kin on things like software, updates and even micro-USB port instead of a USB-C port then you will definitely you should probably look at the available alternatives which could even be cheaper.  

For Ksh.26,999 the vivo Y19, however, does well in terms of performance, camera and the battery life, so yes, we would really be willing to part with our cash for it. We also mentioned something about the Funtouch OS. You will need to spend more time with the vivo Y19 and other vivo devices before you actually get used to using it. We should maybe just work on a separate article in the coming days just to talk about this OS. 

Have anything to add to our Vivo Y19 Review? Leave us a comment in the comments section below. In the meantime, follow us on TelegramTwitterFacebook or subscribe to our weekly newsletter to ensure you don’t miss out on any future updates.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to

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