Vivo Y90 Review – A Treat for Low-Budget Customers

Vivo Y90 Notch Front Camera

Vivo Y90 is the company’s latest entry-level smartphone that it launched in Pakistan two weeks ago. With the name, it follows the previous Y91C (review) with a trimmed down hardware components.

The Y90 comes with very basic set of features that people usually start using a smartphone with. But thanks to the taxes and rupee value that eventually affects consumers as the Y90 costs exactly the same as Y91C did cost initially. You will get the Y90 for Rs. 18,999- as it’s announced just last week.

Let’s have quick look at the specifications and features of the Vivo Y90.

Quick Features and Specifications

Vivo Y90
SoC Chip: MediaTek Helio A22 – MT6761 – Quad-core
CPU: 4x Cortex-A53 2.0GHz
GPU: PowerVR GE8300
Memory 2GB RAM + 32GB Storage
microSD card dedicated slot (up to 256GB)
OS / Software Android 8.1 Oreo / Funtouch OS 4.5
Display 6.22-inch IPS LCD – Full-incell
1520×720 HD+ resolution, 19:9,
Pixel density: ~271 ppi
Screen-to-body ratio: ~88%
Rear Camera 8MP, PDAF, f/2.0 lens aperture, LED flash
720p/1080p video recording at 30fps
Front Camera 5MP, f/1.8
Battery 4030 mAh
Charger included with retail package: 5V/1A
Size/Weight 155.11 x 75.09 x 8.28 mm / 163.5 grams
Sensors Accelerometer, Proximity, Ambient light, E-Compass, Virtual Gyroscope
Connectivity WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, 2.4GHz
WiFi Tethering, WiFi Direct, Personal Hotspot
Bluetooth: 5, GPS/AGPS, FM Radio,
USB 2.0 micro USB
Color Options Black, Gold

Unlike the Y91C, this phone doesn’t come in multiple variants with various chipsets. Y90 is the single variant with MediaTek’s Helio A22, still the entry-level processor. In fact it’s low performer than the Helio P22 in Y91C.

There are two color options to choose from – Black, and Gold. Here I have the black model which I believe is preferable over the gold one.

Vivo Y90 Color Options

You may have noticed that Y90 doesn’t carry a fingerprint sensor. Yes, as told so, this is very basic handset with entry-level features. But don’t worry, the phone offers face unlocking.

Unboxing of Vivo Y90

Just like any Y-series smartphone from Vivo, Y90 also doesn’t ship with earphones. There is only a power charger and a micro USB cable. Let’s just count the factory-applied screen protector and an add-on silicone back cover.

Video Unboxing

  • Vivo Y90 device
  • 5V~1A charger
  • micro USB cable
  • Add-on silicone back cover
  • Factory-applied screen protector
  • User guide
  • SIM Eject Tool.

Build and Design

Just like Vivo Y91C or any other Y-series smartphone, Y90 also comes with full plastic body. Well in fact like most Vivo smartphones are plastic built and as you know plastic is always prone to attract scratches far quicker. But you shouldn’t really bother about that as the phone you are looking at can only bring charm of a cheaper phone.

The good thing is always Vivo’s quality-built devices, no matter plastic. The matte finish is good to handle on this Y90, the grip is fine and overall the phone is compact in average sized hands.

Vivo Y90 Hands-On Review

There is nothing on the back apart from the VIVO branding in the middle and a single 8-megapixel camera on the corner with an LED flash.

There is a mid-frame in between the screen and the body for shock absorbing and it’s literally identical to the Y91C in design. Yes! just like many other things, the Vivo Y90 shares identical design with Y91C and I already had liked that as it’s not so thicker.

Components and Ports

The Vivo Y90 also has just a common layout of components and ports as we usually see on other many phones recently. What I don’t like is the audio jack on the bottom end. In fact everything is on the bottom along with the audio jack – micro USB port and a speaker grill along with a mouth piece.

Power button and volume rocker is on the right side of the phone, while there is nothing on the top end.

The SIM slot is on the left, though it’s fully dedicated slot for two nano SIM cards and a micro SD card. So it’s good that you can use all of them at once. Much better than those hybrid slots.

Interesting is that the Y90 exactly weighs 163.5 grams just like the Y91C. Though the phone feels not-heavy in hands, but compact.

Again like Y91C, the Y90 has a nice a 8.28mm thickness and has narrow overall profile with thinner bezels around.

Vivo Y90 Buttons and Ports

Slim bezels have helped the phone stay quite within limits, though I’ll again note here that the phone could have been a little smaller in size with respect to its display. Specially with only HD resolution.


Wider notches have gone, but the U-shaped, dewdrop or waterdrop shaped or just the likes of those seem to stay for a while. Y90 carries last year’s most trendy, yet infamous, display notch. The Vivo’s so-called halo display has it on top in the center.

Vivo Y90 Screen Size

It’s 6.22-inch large screen with FullView bezel-less experience. The front still has a bit larger chin. The display resolution is HD+ with 720×1520 pixels on board. It’s an an ideal resolution for lower-end phone with low performing processor but I’d prefer a smaller display in size with these numbers.

The phone has a screen-to-body ratio of 88.6% approximately, according to official document and delivers content at pixel density of 217ppi. IPS display is better with incell technology. it’s vivid but not sharp due to low-resolution on a large display – the reason why I’d prefer a smaller display with this resolution.

But the reality is, we do not see phones with displays smaller than 6-inch these days. Just let us know if you love to buy larger display with lower resolution in the comments below.

Software and UI

Vivo y90 still runs Android 8.1 Oreo operating system out-of-the-box with the proprietary Funtouch OS 4.5 software layer on top. This interface doesn’t have any app drawer but only the home screens as app launcher.

Vivo Y90 Display Full

Like previous iterations, Funtouch OS 4.5 keeps its resemblance with iOS. All the apps are there on home screen however you can organize them into folders. A static bottom row of apps is also present.

The drop-down panel from top status bar only brings notifications. You can pull up a control center with a swipe-up gesture on the bottom edge. It brings a row of frequent apps icons, the brightness and media volume controller, and the quick switches/toggles.

The lock screen is as simple as usually it is on most smartphones. Without a separate app launcher, Funtouch OS currently only ships with the home screens. Customization with widgets and folders is available though. Unlike many other Android software interfaces, the Funtouch OS offers more like an iOS feeling with the notifications panel via swipe-down gesture. Control Center is also similar but has more charm of customization of Android OS.

In addition to standard Android navigation, Vivo Y90 offers gesture based navigation too that we now usually see on every next Android smartphone. It’s easy to understand and keep in mind just like shown in the screens below.

Though the mid-range and higher-end phones offer more features, Y90 doesn’t feature split-screen. In fact the most disturbing thing is when you can’t do a search within the system or settings. No option to search from apps or from the settings leads you to a troubling state of mind. I believe it shouldn’t take a performance hit on the system if Vivo offers a global search feature on all the phones, no matter which price category.


The Vivo Y90 is powered by the MediaTek Helio A22 chipset that features a quad-core ARM CPU. All the four cores of Cortex-A53 are clocked at 2.0GHz. The PowerVR GE8300 GPU and 2GB of RAM support the system.

On paper, though, the hardware should be low performer than of the Y91C. In fact it is indeed if we look at the benchmark scores. Geekbench 4 didn’t even run on this phone – not sure why but I believe it wasn’t the hardware issue as it was reporting about internet connection.

Only a few other tools were able to run on Y90 including AnTuTu. So I could actually compare the numbers with it at least. The Y90 hit only 62,898 score on AnTuTu, whereas the Y91C could achieve 76,059. That’s a big difference, but as the GPU is only a minor different, I could play PUBG Mobile on Y90 just like I did on Y91C. So my opinion remains the same – a snippet from Y91C review below.

But you shouldn’t really expect some heavy gaming from this phone. As the PowerVR GPU is not so good to play some graphics hefty games. However you can still play games like PUBG which offer different levels of graphics configuration. Means it will limit the system resources to let you play smoothly but with not-so-cool graphics quality.

Camera Test

The camera user experience is also same as we have seen in other Vivo smartphones previously with Funtouch OS 4.5. Seems to be identical with the one in Y91C – very limited set of options.

The camera app opens with the Photo mode along side a couple of other viewfinder modes – Video, Face Beauty and Professional. One thing that Y91C had but Y90 does not, is the Document scan mode. The phone doesn’t even support panorama mode. Professional mode is there for the name sake. You can record up to 1080p, 720p, and 480p videos at 30fps but system does not support any kind of stabilization – no EIS in fact for low resolution.

Image Quality

The Vivo Y90 has a lower resolution camera than we saw with Y91C. However the 8MP camera still captures nice shots in bright day light. Image detail seems to be fine from this price point but the distant objects looses detail. Colors are accurate and looks nice. Noise handling was also good in some situations but can be spotted in dark gradient shades

There is no HDR feature with the camera but the dynamic range isn’t that bad. The camera is not that good in low-light as heavy noise mostly occurs due to higher ISO usage.

Daylight/Outdoor Samples

Low light/Indoor Samples

Front Camera

Front camera with a 5MP sensor is just not up to the mark as we have seen a couple of others in this price range. Realme C1 for example was better than this in handling detail. But the C1 has already been replaced with the C2 with some extra cost. It’s only of some worth in bright light.

Video Recording

Conclusion and Verdict

Vivo Y90 Face Unlock

This phone is more like a trouble maker specially when you try to figure out about its price. For this price you were able to buy a better performer only a couple of months ago – that too from the same brand.

In fact I made wrong assumption of the price when unboxed the phone as the price was not officially unveiled. I also thought it would be the cheapest phone from the company. But it was later revealed to have affected by the recent taxes and rupee value just like many other devices.

Vivo actually tried to offer consumers below 20k smartphone by hook or by crook. So in my opinion Vivo Y90 is “A Treat for Low-Budget Customers”.

With all that respect, I believe Y90 is just a replacement for those who missed the Y91C at first place and now want a phone right in that price. If you want some better phone, you would need to increase your budget.

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