The Chinese smartphone company recently launched Vivo S1 in India. It comes with a 32-megapixel front-facing camera and is powered by MediaTek Helio P65 SoC. The device has a 4,500mAh battery along with an in-display fingerprint sensor. Vivo sent us the Diamond Black colour variant of the S1 for review that we used for over 10 days now. Read our review to know if it is worth purchasing.
Vivo S1 Design and display
Vivo S1 comes with a 6.38-inch Full-HD+ Super AMOLED display that includes a waterdrop design to house the selfie camera. The design of the smartphone has a 90 per cent screen to body ratio and offers an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 that provides great multimedia experience. The display comes with an in-display fingerprint sensor along with face unlock as security features. If we look at the design it carries a slim look that makes it easy to handle and the bezels are thin on the sides and on contrast the chin is wider.
The company has launched the smartphone in two colour variants Skyline Blue and Diamond Black. So, for this review, we got Diamond Black colour version. The very first time when we unpacked the device we found it to be sleek as well as well designed. It comes with a plastic-coated rear panel, under it some diamond patterns that make it look stunning.
However, the back, as well as the front panel, catches fingerprints as well as scratches very easily. And while reviewing this stylish unit the front caught few minor scratches on the display. Here we would like to suggest that at Rs 20,000 price point the company should have taken care of such details and rather than giving more attention to the design. We would have appreciated the use of Corning Gorilla Glass because no one likes a trendy phone with a scratched front.
On the brighter side, the company has chosen plastic material that gives it a glass-like finish. The rear panel comes with a triple rear camera set up aligned vertically along with golden border all along the metal rim placed on the top left corner with LED Flashlight. On the right edge, Vivo S1 comes with Volume and power buttons that are easy to get to. On the left, the phone comes with a Dual SIM (NANO) card slots along with a dedicated Google Assistant button that activates the Assistant on a single press, identical to the Vivo Z1 Pro. While at the bottom user gets a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as a Micro-USB port along with a speaker grille.
Not only the back panel looks stylish, but the front also looks pretty good. Vivo S1 has a bright display screen that offers vivid colours as well as crisp text characters when used indoors. The brightness of the screen is not superb when used under direct sunlight. We suggest using the auto screen brightness mode if you go out a lot. On the whole, the display is pretty much decent as we thoroughly enjoyed watching movies, surfing the internet as well as browsing social media apps like Instagram and Facebook. The overall experience was good because the touch response is quick.
Here we would also like to mention that at this price point the Vivo S1 offers in-display fingerprint sensor along with face unlock feature. And we were surprised to note that both the sensor were swift at unlocking the phone, but the face unlocks feature excellent for our liking as it was way faster than the fingerprint sensor.
Vivo S1 Performance and Camera
Vivo S1 is powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio P65 SoC. The Helio P65 is paired with two cores Cortex A75 cores clocked at 2GHz along with six Cortex A55 cores clocked at 1.7 GHz. The handset comes integrated with Mali-G52 intended for graphics.
The handset is available in three storage options 4GB RAM/128 GB storage and 6GB RAM/64 GB storage and 6GB RAM with 128GB storage that is expandable up to 256GB via microSD card. The 4GB RAM along with 128GB of internal storage will come at a price tag of Rs 17,999 the other 6GB RAM with 64GB of onboard storage variant can be purchased at Rs 18,990 while the 6GB RAM with 128GB storage variant can be bought for Rs 19,990.
The handset runs on Android 9.0 based on Funtouch OS 9 that offers Jovi Smart Screen, Customisable Icons, Dark Mode, new shortcut centre and so on, which offers smoother and faster user experience.
Unlike Vivo Z1 Pro, the Vivo S1 smartphone comes with a 4500mAh battery supported by 18W fast charger that is included in the box. It takes 2.5 hours to get fully charged. Despite the large battery inside the device is light in weight.
Coming to the user interface and Android 9 with Funtouch OS experience, if truth to be told the home screen is a bit chaotic as there is no app drawer. It comes pre-installed with lots of apps like V-Appstore, Vivo Browser, Vivocloud data backup service, Easyshare file sharing tool, I Manager for general security and maintenance tasks and I Theme for UI customisation. Third-party apps include Gaana, Amazon, Facebook, WhatsApp, PhonePe, Paytm and more. The device could have done without them, however, Vivo does give its users the options to quickly remove most of the above apps in two taps.
A good-looking phone with great design is not the only requirement while buying a smartphone. Today in the era of Instagram and Facebook people love clicking pictures as well as posting them instantly. So if you are also one of them and love taking pictures as well as expect them to be Instagram worthy then the S1’s selfie camera comes into play. On the front, the 32MP camera (with f/2.0 aperture) has been included within a waterdrop design. The camera sensors of the device are supported by Artificial Intelligence. It offers enhanced beautification features like AI Face Beauty, AI Portrait Lighting, AR Stickers, etc. We must say it is a good quality selfie phone that let us capture great selfies in low light conditions also. So that means the front camera sensor is capable of taking a picture in all light conditions.
Now coming on the rear camera capabilities, first things first, Vivo S1 features a triple rear camera set up that includes a 16MP (f/1.78), 8MP AI Super Wide Angle (f/2.2) secondary sensor along with 2MP Bokeh Camera (f/2.4). The rear camera sensors of the device are supported by Artificial Intelligence, too. It comes with several modes like HDR Mode, Live Photo, PDAF, AI Super Wide-Angle, Portrait Mode, AI Portrait Framing, AI Face Beauty, Time-Lapse, Slo-Mo among others. At this price point, we did not expect Vivo to be providing a phone with just a 16-megapixel camera. Its competitors in the market launched their devices with a 48-megapixel camera set up. Well, maybe in the next one then.
However, we managed to click a good picture with the Vivo S1 but we missed the sharpness in the pictures, which a 48 MP camera will fetch. And here we would like to mention like many other smartphones it also failed to capture pictures where red, magenta and white colours were prominent, we clicked few pictures in the portrait mode and the results were not up to mark as we noticed a change in the colours.
The low light pictures were great we have also attached a few samples of photos captured in low light conditions. The pictures were less noisy when compared to some of its competition and we were able to capture the photos with great details.
Where other Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Realme are constantly coming up with great design and performance Vivo’s S1 did leave us with a mixed bag of feelings. On one hand, we loved the day and night shots of the front camera, but day shots of the rear sensors were a bit outdated. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a phone that looks good as well as captures great selfies then go for Vivo S1 because it delivers good selfies in almost all light conditions.
Over that, to give it life, Vivo S1 houses a 4500 mAh battery that is supported by 18W Dual-Engine Fast Charging. It lasts more than a day on a single charge if you are not a heavy gamer or power user.
- Bright display
- Good battery life
- Clicks great selfies
- Images could be better
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