The Vivo Y76 5G is perfect for anybody that wants a smartphone without the bells and whistles that never get used. At a price point of R9,000, it's hard to say no to. You're paying for a speedy phone with an amazing battery, that also takes pictures (as long as your life doesn't depend on that last bit).
The Vivo Y76 5G hit South African shelves in April, despite launching at the end of 2021 for overseas folks. Still, good things require patience, right? That makes this one of the first Vivo devices to release this year in South Africa. It doesn’t disappoint, especially at this price point.
It starts at R9,000 in South Africa, which for this phone feels slightly undervalued. Vivo’s phone certainly won’t win any awards, but it may be nominated for a few. We used the Vivo Y76 for a week, and it replaced a Samsung Galaxy S10 during that time. Besides a few minor quality of life differences, the Y76 stood up to the more expensive phone.
Size does matter
The first thing you’re greeted with when opening the box is a slip-on see-through case (and it was greatly appreciated, Vivo). Underneath what you’re really here for – the phone. Our model came in the Cosmic Aurora shade. The other option available is called Midnight Space, which has a more ‘refined’ feel to it, if that’s your vibe.
We generally prefer our phones on the larger side. But it must be as thin as physically possible, without feeling weak. In this case, the Vivo Y76 was both larger and slimmer than the S10. It’s 7.79mm thick, which gives it a premium feel. In our book, that’s a win. The flat, 6.58in display was a blessing after using the S10’s edge for so long. It makes the phone feel larger than it already is.
On the inside
On the inside, the Y76 sports a Mediatek Dimensity 700 processor, which makes effective use of its 8GB of RAM. Storage-wise, the Y76 is no slouch. You’re given 128GB to play with; more than enough for the majority of phone users. The Y76 offers a little bit more RAM in order to keep things flowing smoothly. 4GB extra to be precise, which it borrows from the ROM, making it have 12GB of RAM total.
Of course, the Y76 is a 5G phone. If you’ve never used a 5G device before, thinking it is a way to make more money for slightly faster network speeds, this will change your mind. It turns out, those speeds aren’t just slightly faster. It’s hard to go back to standard 4G after experiencing the future.
But all these stats mean nothing if the phone isn’t smooth when in use. The Y76 feels (mostly) darn smooth — besides a few cases of lag on the homepage which never ruined the experience. Speed isn’t much of an issue for this mid-ranger. It could be faster. It could also be more expensive, so there’s that.
We also tried to see how warm it would get. Our go-to game is Asphalt 9 – which is powerful enough to make your phone run a little hot. The Vivo Y76 barely broke a sweat. That’s down to a five-dimensional cooling system that actually seems to keep temperatures down. We’d have cracked the phone open to take a closer look at it, but Vivo doesn’t like it when you do that.
On to the camera. There is a slight bulge where the camera is placed, which might annoy. Luckily, the cover Vivo supplies makes up for much of the bulge, eliminating the problem. Unless you roll without a cover, in which case you can expect it to feel as stable as a three-legged dog on any flat surface.
But enough about how the camera looks. The Y76 has a three-camera system around the back. There’s a 50MP main, a 2MP macro, and a 2MP depth camera providing support. On the front, Vivo’s 16MP selfie camera is set to get those glam shots. If you really have to. The Vivo Y76 doesn’t have the best camera setup but at R9,000, it doesn’t need to be. Shots are fair in good light, but you can say that even about truly mediocre cameras. The front and rear cams here will get the job done. Just not the best job.
Charged with battery
The battery is easily one of the best features the Y76 has to offer. It feels like whenever a new phone is announced it’s claimed that the battery performs miracles on a single charge… blah, blah, blah. Usually. The Y76 isn’t lying about how good its battery life is.
Load shedding struck one fateful weekend (surprise surprise) and left us without any power. Turns out, we didn’t need it. We used the Y76 all day, went to sleep, and did it all over again. By the time we got to charging the phone, two nights had passed and we were still left with 22% on the clock.
And when we did charge it, it was quick. Real quick. The Y76 has 44W fast charging capabilities. There was just one minor issue — the lack of a battery protection feature.
We went searching for the battery protection feature – which limits charging to a certain number and then stops charging except to return it to the cap number. The Y76 doesn’t include this. It left us worried to charge the phone overnight. It’s not a huge problem, but it’s something we hope Vivo considers for the future.
Vivo Y76 5G verdict
Overall, the Vivo Y76 5G is a great phone that could challenge the likes of Samsung if it wanted to. It’s missing a few key features that are standard on Samsung and Apple flagships, but it doesn’t play in that pool. It does what you ask of it, and does it well. While looking extremely stylish too, we might add. 5G capability is an excellent feature, now that it’s actually usable in more areas in South Africa, but it’s still not that essential. Still, it’s nice to have at your disposal. The camera is a pity, but for R9,000, you can’t have everything. Vivo’s phone costs less than half of what a brand new Samsung phone would cost. That’s a compelling argument for choosing this one, especially if you’re on a budget. And aren’t too upset by the camera being so-so.