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Vivo Y31 Review; A Capable Budget Phone of 2021?

Vivo budget phones are normally known to outperform in battery performance, is this one such device?

vivo y31 review 2021

Vivo Y31 is a significant upgrade from its predecessor, Y30, in many ways. Although its price in Pakistan isn’t much different than the earlier version, the chipset, display size, camera strength, and of course, battery performance – all make it a more striking device in the budget category.

So if you are planning to consider this phone as your next device, keep reading the review to find out if it’s a worthy phone and a good value for money or not.

Vivo Y31 highlighting features

  • Screen: 6.58 inches IPS LCD
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
  • RAM/ROM: 4GB/128GB
  • OS: Android 11, Funtouch 11
  • Camera (rear): 48MP + 2MP + 2MP
  • Camera (front): 16MP
  • Battery: 5000 mAh (18W fast charge)

Simple but impressive design 

It’s a nifty smartphone carrying a triple camera setup on the rear glass lookalike plastic surface. The shiny dual-tone back cover catches smudges the moment you touch it, so I recommend using a clear case Vivo provides with the phone for keeping it unmarked.

Since Vivo V19, a premium companion in the league, the company has started to follow a rectangular camera design strategy on its phones that looks like a signature element, and I believe more such designs are likely to land in 2021. Y31 carries forward this minimal design approach that captivated us the moment we looked at it. 

This well-proportioned device is comfortable to hold for a longer duration, and the rightly placed volume and power keys make it even easier to do the basic operation.

You can find this phone in two colors on the market, Racing Black and Ocean Blue.

Vivo Y31’s 1080p full view display, 6.58-inch screen size, and a wider P3 color gamut are enough for an immersive multimedia experience; you can further enhance the viewing quality such as screen colors from the display setting area.

The screen shows a good brightness level indoors at 50%, whereas the outdoor screen legibility isn’t bad at 100%.

Decent performance, amazing battery

Our review unit features 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage supporting Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 under the hood. For the graphics, the chipset gets further help from Adreno 610. Even though 128GB looks more than enough, you can extend it by 1TB through a micro SD card.

The Antutu benchmark performance of Y31 (196,255) gives it an edge over some of the midrange we tested recently. It comfortably leaves behind Poco M3 (184,135) and marginally outperforms Vivo’s own V20SE (190,975) and Y51s (193,449).

During our test, I didn’t notice any major performance hiccup with multitasking and online gaming other than a few delayed responses once in a while.

Vivo Y31 plays PUBG at ‘balanced’ graphics, which is normal to expect from this chipset. The frame rate can be set to ‘high’ by bringing down graphics to ‘smooth’, which is a preferred option for most times. Else, you might get a few minor lags, but they are nothing major to spoil the mood. 

An hour of PUBG on Y31 drained 12% of the battery, suggesting a continuous gaming backup of nearly 8 hours, which is fantastic for game lovers.

The smartphone can easily give a day-long battery life to aggressive users. For an average user like me, it can smoothly accompany you for more than a day.

Vivo Y31 battery performed amazingly in our battery drain test, whereas it charges faster than Y30 with the help of its 18W charger. Watch the video below if you want to see a full battery charging and drain test.

Vivo Y31 gives you both facial and side-mounted fingerprint scanners. The facial unlock is quicker sometimes but mostly unreliable; however, the fingerprint scanner is better in security and quick at the same time. Vivo claims a 0.3 second it takes to unlock the phone. We couldn’t measure it precisely, but it is quick.

Y31 has an Audio booster

Vivo is pushing the audio booster as one of the highlighting features. It actually enhances the volume limit by a few percentages above the upper limit that we know as maximum volume. So with this boosted volume, set by a toggle key in the sound setting, movies and games are a tad louder. You may not find it working for a few apps, such as MX Player, but it works for multimedia apps, YouTube, Netflix, etc.

You can also use super audio and different preset audio modes as per liking, or you can leave it to the phone’s AI to auto improve the sound experience. 

Funtouch 11 is cleaner. It’s great to see Funtouch more in line with the industry’s standard. It is cleaner and much improved from earlier messy iterations that still exist in the older models. And finally, Vivo has gotten rid of the bottom swipe-up menu that never looked original.

Despite the simplicity, even on this budget phone, you get to change the animations for facial recognition and charging.

Ultra Game Mode is a part of every OS and phone now to speed up and improvise the gaming experience, and Y31 is no different with giving options to block notifications amid gaming, game picture in picture, improving sound quality for games, whatnot.


Considering its price category, Vivo Y31 does a reasonable job with its rear camera setup during the day. Still, it’s not as promising as the details we saw on Y51s, having almost similar camera setup on the rear.

The 12MP default pictures in the standard mode – ‘photo’ in this case – are impressive on a brighter day. The dynamic range looks good, and the colors turn out near to the original. We didn’t notice any extra boost to color saturation which is very much how Vivo works. 

48MP mode can take larger images, but 12MP shots look sharper than the bigger ones. However, both of them fall short of the desired details when pixel peeped.

Digital zoom can go as high as 8x for both pictures and videos. On smartphone screens and social media apps, 2x and 3x apparently give better closeup and quality, but only if you magnify them over 50%, they start to reveal flattened and grainy objects.

Vivo Y31 can take some nice bokeh and super macro images with a bit of practice. Bokeh images are a little brighter than usual 12MP pictures giving a nice detail level, but we noticed super macro mode outperforming the bokeh in edge detection in most cases.

Another selling feature of the phone is the night mode, which offers 4 preset hues for making your shots a little more interesting. You can try using it during the day as well, and it might convince you to use built-in color variations more frequently. 

Usually, on other phones, night modes take away the extra noise and make the scene smoother overall; Vivo Y31 doesn’t do this extra job to clean those grains that are as obvious as they are on images shot with standard mode.

Slow-mo video on Y31 is only limited to 120 fps at 720p resolution that will require a good amount of light to capture your subject. However, you can shoot 1080p videos from the rear camera with EIS onboard. It’s active by default. This feature works great and could be one of the things Y31 stands out among others. Like the images, the videos also keep the colors natural but don’t expect to capture a great deal of detail by zooming in on something.

Vivo is giving a video editor embedded on this device that can help you do the necessary editing. As much as this could come in handy, the tool struggles to maintain the original video quality after the export.

And yes, if you are a fan of getting credit for every picture you take, you can get this customized watermark option, in addition to the preset phone model watermark.


Vivo Y31 is undoubtedly a great-looking device in the budget category. It impressed us with its battery performance that Vivo showed once on a few of its phones. We liked the content quality on its screen, but the sound doesn’t seem to carry the richness despite being loud. It offers EIS and super night mode for camera lovers, but you shouldn’t expect too much in the low light. Overall, it has more pros than cons.

Written by Mudassar Jehangir

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