vivo y52 5g

Vivo Y52 5G – at $379 everything and so much more (review)

The vivo Y52 5G is everything you could want in a smartphone at the ultra-low price of $379 – support for all Australian 4/5G bands, 48MP tri-camera, 4/128GB, 5000mAh fast charge, 6.58″ screen, NFC, Wi-Fi AC, 3.5mm jack and microSD.

And that is all you need to pay to get one of the better 5G Android 11 handsets under $400. Let’s back up a little. Today’s overwhelming trend is an outright purchase of an affordable handset (remember, you can buy three of these for the cheapest iPhone 13). Then cherry-pick from the cheapest 4G Sim plans. Although there are no cheap 5G Plans at present, we expect more MVNOs (mobile resellers) to offer 5G, but there will not be any $10-20 plans.

  • Telstra: $65/80GB, $85/120GB, $115/180GB
  • Optus $45/20GB, 55/80GB, 65/200GB, $85/240GB and $115/500GB
  • Vodafone – plans are tied to a handset purchase, but due to a minimal 5G coverage, you are better looking at the other providers
  • Spintel (Optus network and same pricing) $50/80GB, $65/200GB
  • Aussie Broadband (Optus network and same pricing) $45/20GB, $55/80GB, $65/200GB, $85/240GB

Spoiler alert: While there are cheaper 5G handsets, you would be hard-pressed to find better value and features.

Vivo Y52 5G Model V2053 4/128GB, Dual Hybrid sim

Australian websiteProduct page
ColoursGraphite Black
From *JB Hi-Fi, Good Guys, Harvey Norman, Officeworks and Big W
Warranty2-years ACL from approved retailers
Country of OriginChina
Companyvivo is part of what is arguably the world’s largest smartphone company – BBK. Along with its siblings (with quite a lot of rivalry), including OPPO, realme, OnePlus, iQOO – they make more phones than Samsung and Apple.
MoreMore GadgetGuy vivo news and reviews

* Grey market – no Australian warranty

We issue a strong warning that you must buy a genuine model with Australian firmware.

It is easy to identify the Australian version – under About Phone, Legal Information, Regulatory compliance, you will see the Australian RCM C-tick mark – nothing else.

They use unique Australian 5G sub-6Ghz and 5G low-band frequencies and require local activation first. That means a grey market phone likely won’t be able to use 5G here. Also, you will not get local warranty, over the air OS and security updates, nor make a 000-emergency call without a sim.

We have named and shamed the prominent grey marketers here. If you are going to spend this much money, get a genuine ‘Made for Australia’ model.

First impression – more than you expect

The rear panel and the 2.5D glass fit to the frame shows craftsmanship. Other than that, it has a fairly bland fingerprint magnet, graphite black back with a fingerprint sensor on the power button, a 3.5mm port and USB-C 18W charging.

Camera-wise, there is a 48+2+2MP setup typical of vivo, OPPO, and realme (all owned by BBK) with just enough AI to produce far better than social media quality photos.

Screen – colourful

Size6.58”, 2408×1080, 401ppi, 60Hz, 20:9, 16.7m, IPS with a top teardrop selfie

It is a vivid screen with standard, professional, bright and colour temperature adjustment. We don’t test gamut and contrast for lower-cost devices but suffice to say, it is excellent for the price.

Vivo claim 96% NTSC, which is well over 100% sRGB and close to the DCI-P3 colour gamut – if correct, that accounts for the vivid colours. It will play Netflix FHD SDR content.

Processor – fine for the job

SoCMediaTek Dimensity 700 5G 7nm
2 x 2.2GHz, 6 x 2.0GHz
GPUMali-G57 MC2 955Mhz
Test: Compute Open CL: 1293 and Vulkan 1452
Game useNot really, although vivo has games enhancement modes
Storage128GB UFS 2.1 (101GB free)
Mbps sequential read/write 766/227MBps
Hybrid slot microSD card 41.3/13.6 (write speeds vary from 5-20MBps)
Its USB-C 2.0, so expect external speeds or <30MBps
Bench 5
Single/Multi-core 566/1758
Overall it performs slightly above a Qualcomm SD720 or 732G
15-min test
Max: 167,734 GIPS, Average: 155,657 – 13% loss over 15 minutes
CPU temp reached 50°

The MediaTek Dimensity 700 is a 7nm chip, so it runs quite cool and is energy efficient. It is a very popular chip used in Motorola g50, realme 8/V3, vivo V21/Y72, Samsung A22, OPPO A53s/55 and dozens of other phones. Raw power is 7% faster than a Qualcomm SD732G, but its AI power is about 20% lower.

Throttling is a given in any lower-cost device, and this is within a typical range. Overall, a suitable chip for the price.

Comms – NFC as well

Wi-FiWi-Fi 5 AC 1×1 MU-MIMO 433Mbps
Signal Strength 5Ghz – distance from Netgear RAX200, AX11000, 12 stream router
-dBM lower is better, and Mbps higher is better
– 2m:  -33dBm/433Mbps
– 5m: -58/433
– 10m: -74/433 – too low to be usable.
BluetoothBT 5.1
GPSSingle <10m accuracy
USB-CUSB-C 2.0 480Mbps/65MBps half-duplex achieving a maximum of about 30MBps
SensorsCombo accelerometer/gyro, e-Compass, Proximity, ambient light.
This is about the minimum sensor array and will not detect step (pedometer) or have games sensitivity.

It is similar to all phones in this bracket.

LTE and 5G – Its a city phone

SIMHybrid  Dual sim either 5G or 4G or both (if using 5G, it is always active) or use one as microSD to 1TB
Ring toneSingle
SupportVoLTE – carrier dependent – generally yes
Wi-Fi calling – same
Test38.4/22.1Mbps 31ms (above average)
LTE BandB1/2/3/4/5/7/8/18/19/20/26/28/38/39/40/41
Supports all Australian 4G bands and many international ones
Supports all 5G sub-6GHz and low-band
Test-Using a Boost Mobile (Telstra retail network) sim at 1km line-of-sight from Telstra tower.
Expressed as -dBm (lower is better) and Femtowatts (fW) or picowatts (pW) where higher is better. Tower (nearest to furthest)
1: -85dBm/ varies from 2.5-5pW – quite strong
2: No
3: No
4: No

I am beginning to see a pattern with MediaTek Dimenmsity 700 5G chips – that is, they don’t have the signal strength for anything outside the city or suburbs. If you need a phone for regional or rural use, it will cost more.

And we repeat that 5G Plans cost substantially more than 4G which is all you need.

Battery – Two to three days

Battery mAh5000mAh
Charger5V/2A and 9V/2A
0-100% – 1 hour, 45 minutes
Using a USB-C PD charger makes no difference in charge speed.
Tests100% load Battery drain screen on –  6 hours 16 minutes
Video Loop 50% brightness local storage: 22 hours
Netflix 50% brightness, Wi-FI: 16 hours
PC Mark 3 Battery Test: 25hr and 56 minutes
GFX Bench Manhattan 3.1: 675.3 minutes, 11.26 hours, 1195 frames
GFX Bench T-Rex:  638.6 min  10.64 hours 2812 frames

This is by far one of the best 5000mAh battery results. Screen-on time at 100% load of over 6 hours relates to 2-3 days of typical use, as does the PC Mark 3 battery test of 25.5 hours. Recharge times are fair for the battery size.

Sound – mono

SpeakersMono earpiece and down-firing speaker. It is not fair to measure the sound signature of a mono speaker system. The primary use is for clear voice. It is not for music or movies with no bass or mid before 1000Hz and no treble after 10kHz. There is no sound stage.
AMPMediaTek mono
BT codecsCodecs SBC and AAC
(missing aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX TWS+, LDAC Sony Hi-Res)
MicTwo – top, bottom for effective noise cancellation
Tests dB
Anything over 80dB is excellent
Media – 75
Ring – 71
Alarm – 76
Handsfree – 72
HeadphonesThe BT 5.1 drove our reference Sony WH-1000xM4 in SBC and AAC modes and provides clear sound and adequate volume.

This is a typical mono setup you find in this price bracket. It is flat from 1kHz to 8kHz for clear voice.

Vivo claims it is a superlinear speaker – that’s marketing hype – mono is mono, and these micro speakers can’t produce bass. But there is an audio booster button that can max out the volume, albeit with noticeable distortion.

There is no EQ, but you can customise sounds for your specific age group.

Build – well-made

Size/Weight163.95×75.30×8.50mm x 193g
ColoursGraphite Black
BuildGlass: toughened
Frame: Plastic
Back: Acrylic Silver ion plating technique brings more depth to the classic black. The grain texture glistens under the light presenting a lustrous finish, like the night sky
In the boxBumper cover
18W W charger
USB-A to USB-C cable

Apart from being a fingerprint magnet, it is very well made. It is quite thin at 8.5mm and easy to hold.

Android 11 – PASS+

AndroidGoogle Android 11
Security patch date 1/9/2021 (review 22/10)
UIFuntouch 11.1
Funtouch supplies vivo alternatives to Google apps. It’s a relatively light touch over Android 11.
GoogleAll standard apps, Google Lens and Assistant.
BloatwareMostly productivity and utilities. But it has bloatware like Netflix, and Facebook that you can uninstall.
Update PolicyAssume one OS update and three years of regular security patches
SecurityFingerprint sensor on the power button – reliable
vivo complies with Australian privacy provisions and only collects telemetry needed for the phone function. It cannot be responsible for third-party apps.

At $379, you can’t expect OS upgrades but three years of regular security patches is reassuring.


Absolutely nothing for the price. There is no point wishing for Qi charging, stereo speakers, AMOLED etc., as that is about double the price.

Camera – very good photos for the price

Given worldwide image sensor shortages, the device can use a range of similar specified sensors from different brands. For example, it supports the Samsung 48MP SKGM1 sensor or the Omnivision OV48B – we know what both can do, and there is not much between them. Similarly, the selfie can be a Hynix HI846 or an OmniVision OV885. It’s a fact of life with COVID–induced component shortages.

But given the lower AI computational power of the processor, you need to be a little more careful with low light.

 Camera Primary
48mp bins to 12MP
OmniVision OV885
FocusPDAF and eye-tracking4cmN/AAF
Aperture f-stop1.792.42.42.0
Pixel size um.8um binned to 1.6um1.751.751.16um
FOV° and (cropped)(68.4)(88.8)(88.8)(71.4)
FlashSingle  Screen fill
Zoom10X digital   
Video Max1080p@60/30fps MP4   
FeaturesHDR, Photo, Portrait (basic), Night, Video, 48 MP, Pano, Live Photo, Slow-Mo, Time-Lapse, Pro, AR Stickers, DOC  HDR, Super night selfie, filters

Daylight, outdoors


Indoors Office Light (400 lumens)

Low light (room with less than 40 lumens)


The 8MP selfie is average and has all the usual vivo filters. You can also select mirrored selfies.


It shoots at 1080p@60 or 30fps and uses EIS for steady shooting. It is pretty good although we noticed the sound recording was a little variable.

GadgetGuy’s take

I like it – good job, vivo. I joked earlier that you could get three of these for an iPhone 13 mini, and it is time that readers realised that phones have a 3-year life (more because of software update limitations), and after that, even the iPhone 13 mini won’t be worth much.

While I use a flagship phone, plenty at even half the price meet my needs – a good camera, battery life, and strong signal reception.

So for $379, this exceeds all expectations. Add a 2-year warranty and good local support, and it’s a winner.


  • OPPO A54 9.8/10 64GB $349
  • TCL 20R 64GB ($349 or $299 on a 36 month Vodafone locked plan)
  • vivo Y52 128GB $379 (This review)
  • OPPO A74 9.8/10 128GB $399
  • Moto G50 8.3/10 128GB $399

It competes very well with the OPPO A74 and Moto g-50.

vivo Y52 5G
The vivo Y52 5G is everything you could want at the ultra-low price of $379 - at this price, you could buy three iPhones!
Value for money
Ease of use
Terrific value for a 5G phone
Vivid and colourful IPS screen
Better camera than you expect for this price
All Australian 4G and 5G bands
Long-lasting battery and 18W charge
Above average quality and features for the price
None really