Sunday, 08 November 2020 06:54

Review: vivo Y20s is a solid offering at a very reasonable price

The Obsidian black model of the Y20s. The Obsidian black model of the Y20s. Supplied

Like many of its cousins from its parent company, electronics giant B.B.K. Electronics, the vivo Y20S is a solidly constructed device, one of many 4G smartphones hitting the Australian market as companies realise that 5G smartphones are really not needed here given the current state of the 5G rollout.

vivo, which has stayed out of Australia until recently, made its first foray into the country with a 5G model, the $999 X50 Pro, in August.

This time, it has launched two mid-range models – or rather one budget model and one mid-range device. Along with the Y20s, the company has also released the Y70, with somewhat better specs and a price to match

distance shot

Taken in somewhat overcast conditions on a cold Melbourne morning.

The first thing that is notable about the Y20s is the price: $299. One can't get away from that at a time when other manufacturers are drowning the market in models that cost at least in the low four figures.

The Y20s has a big battery (5000mAh) and in this respect brings to mind the OPPO AX5s which I reviewed last year; it costs the same as the vivo phone. But the latter has a much more solid feel than the OPPO model.

The 18W FlashCharge technology means that charging from zero to 100% takes at least an hour. The connector is USB-C.

The Y20s is built atop a Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 SoC and has 4GB of memory and 128GB of storage, more than adequate for all normal tasks.


Plenty of detail in this shot, despite the poor ambient conditions.

Unlike many other models in the same price bracket, it has both facial recognition and a fingerprint scanner which is side-mounted. There is no NFC.

Given the plethora of Android devices in the market, every brand looks to distinguish itself in some way and vivo is no different. The company has its own modified version of Android, known as FunTouch OS, which is plastered on top of Android 10.

There is no crapware that comes pre-installed; many phones come with an enormous number of apps, most of which are the result of marketing deals. This is one thing that is a major irritant for some people and the Y20s' almost religious avoidance of this is great to behold.

The device has an AI triple camera with portrait mode (13MP + 2MP + 2MP) plus an 8MP front camera and comes in two colours: Obsidian Black and Nebula Blue.

The sound is remarkable for a device of this price and the supplied earphones — there is a headphone jack — are the first I have encountered which do not pop out from my ears even when I am eating.

coker and son

An indoor shot taken in poor light.

Whether that is down to the the styling of the buds or the peculiar shape of my ears is difficult to pick.

The sides of the Y20s are not rounded and serve to prevent the device from slipping from one's hand; there is no case supplied with the phone.

The camera provides decent pictures in all conditions; Melbourne was in one of its gray moods when I ventured out to take the pictures in this review.

All in all, the Y20s is a good buy as a Christmas gift for some younger member of the family; it will not break the bank and will also not result in complaints.

The Y20s has been selling instore and online at JB Hi-Fi, Big W, Officeworks, Mobileciti and Amazon since its launch last month. Harvey Norman has also started selling the device recently.

Update, 9 November: One little thing I neglected to mention at the time of posting; vivo is reminding any would-be buyers that it has access to Google's proprietary apps, by the word "GooglePlay" on the packaging of the Y20s, a not-so-subtle dig at Huawei, the biggest selling smartphone in China which cannot use the Google apps due to American sanctions.



Processor SDM460


Storage 128GB

Battery 5000mAh (TYP)

Colours Obsidian Black and Nebula Blue

Operating System Funtouch OS 11


Dimensions 164.41×76.32×8.41mm

Weight 192.3g

Fast Charging 18W/10W(TR)

Material Plastic

Y20s Nebula Blue FrontDISPLAY

Screen 6.51-inch

Resolution 1600*720(HD+)

Type IPS

Touch Screen Capacitive multi-touch


2G GSM B2/3/5/8

3G WCDMA B1/2/4/5/8


4G FDD-LTE "B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/ 20/28"

4G TDD-LTE B38/40/41

Card Slot 2 Nano SIM + 1 Micro SD

Standby Mode Dual SIM and Dual Standby


Camera Front 8MP / Rear 13MP+2MP+2MP

Aperture Front f/1.8 (8MP), Rear f/2.2 (13MP) + f/2.4 (2MP)+ f/2.4 (2MP)

Flash Rear flash

Scene Modes Portrait, Photo, Video, Panorama, Live Photo, Slo-mo, Time-Lapse, Professional


Hi-Fi Chipset N/A

Audio Playback WAV, MP3, MP2, AMR-NB, MIDI, Vorbis, APE, FLAC

Video Playback MP4, 3GP, AVI, TS, MKV, FLV

Video Recording MP4

Voice Recording Supported


Wi-Fi 2.4GHz /5GHz

Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0

USB Micro USB (USB 2.0)

GPS Supported

OTG Supported


FM Supported


Location GPS, BeiDou, GLONASS, Galileo


Accelerometer Supported

Ambient Light Sensor Supported

Proximity Sensor Supported

E-compass Supported

Fingerprint Supported

Gyroscope Virtual


Model name Y20s

Earpieces Supported

Documentation Supported

USB Supported

USB Power Adapter Supported

SIM Ejector Supported

Protective Film (applied) Supported

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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