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Vivo S1: Pros, Cons, And The X Factor
Vivo today announced the launch of the company's new S-series smartphones in the Indian market. The first smartphone in the new S-series- Vivo S1 is priced at Rs. 17,990 for the 4GB RAM +128GB ROM variant. The 6GB RAM + 64GB ROM variant will sell at Rs. 18,990; whereas the flagship Vivo S1 handset has been priced at Rs. 19,990 and offers 6GB Ram + 128GB internal storage.
The Vivo S1 brings offers some noteworthy features. The handset is backed by a big 4,500mAh battery cell and features an in-screen fingerprint scanner. A 32MP selfie camera is offered along with a triple-lens rear camera setup that features a super-wide-angle lens.
The Vivo S1 is backed by a MediaTek Helio P65 chipset and will compete with Realme X, OPPO K3, Redmi Note 7 Pro, and other sub 20K smartphones in the Indian market. Let's find out how the frst S-series smrtphone from Vivo performed in our first impressions.
From Onion and garlic themed devices to colorful gradient shades, we have seen it all in the last one year. Yet smartphone makers keep pushing the design boundaries to offer something new to consumers. The new Vivo S1 brings yet another distinctive gradient pattern and will be available in two different color variants- Diamond Black and Skyline Blue.
We have got the Diamond Black variant and it looks quite premium. The back panel of this particular color variant gets a diamond-shaped criss-cross pattern that reflects light with the slightest shift in the angle. The Skyline Blue variant looks more subtle and pleasing to the eyes.
Big Vibrant AMOLED Screen
A big 6.38" AMOLED screen takes up the entire front of Vivo S1. The screen comes in 19.5:9 aspect ratio and offers a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. The only break in the symmetry is the centrally aligned dewdrop notch at the top which houses the selfie camera. The vivid AMOLED panel offers good viewing angles and serves well for video playback and gameplay. You also get an in-screen fingerprint scanner and face unlock feature which is very fast and instantly unlocks the handset.
32MP Selfie Camera
The 32MP selfie camera works on F/2.0 aperture, which is not the brightest in the town but the camera still manages to offer crisp and vibrant selfies. The sensor captures a lot of details and selfies show natural skin color tones with fine textures. You also get a variety of modes and filters. The AI Beautify mode allows you to tweak individual elements of your face (such as nose, eyes, jawline, etc.) to derive the desired output. Overall, Vivo S1 offers one of the best selfie cameras in its respective price bracket.
Dedicated MicroSD Card Slot
While some smartphone manufacturers are forcing consumers to rely on the handset's internal storage, Vivo is still offering a dedicated microSD card slot. The new Vivo S1 ships with a triple-slot hybrid SIM card tray that offers two nano SIM-card housings and a dedicated slot for microSD card expansion. Having said that, you can use two nano-SIM cards and a microSD card at the same time, very basic and useful feature for consumers with two active SIM cards and gigabytes of data to store on the handset.
Powerful 4,500mAh Battery Cell
Vivo S1 can last really long. It is backed by a massive 4,500mAh battery cell that can easily last one full day even on heavy usage. The smartphone managed to last for almost two days on moderate usage. We will push the handset to its limits to evaluate the battery life in detail in our comprehensive review. Vivo S1 also supports 18W Dual-Engine fast-charging technology.
Mediocre Rear Camera
Unlike the 32MP selfie camera, the triple-lens rear camera offers underwhelming performance. The camera is only good for daylight photography and fails to impress in low-light. Images captured with Vivo S1 show crisp details but colors look dull. The rear camera performance on the Vivo S1 is not comparable to the rival devices such as Realme X, Redmi Note 7 Pro, etc.
The primary camera on Vivo S1 works on Sony IMX499 sensor whereas Realme and Redmi devices use Sony IMX586 sensor (48MP) to deliver much better image output. The problem lies in the underlying CPU as the Helio P65 offers support for 16+ 16MP dual-lens configuration or a single 48MP lens support that could have added Sony IMX586 sensor support.
Dated MicroUSB 2.0 Charging Port
Vivo has constantly failed to offer the Type-C charging port with the company's budget and mid-range smartphones even though the parent company- BBK Electronics offer the new port with OPPO and Realme devices. Like the recently launched Vivo Z1 Pro, the new S1 also ships with the dated microUSB 2.0 charging port. It's quite ironical that the same Vivo S1 gets the futuristic in-screen fingerprint scanner.
The microUSB 2.0 port might not bother you much if you haven't made a shift to Type-C port devices; however, if you own another device with a Type-C port then you are bound to carry an extra data cable or a converter. It is high time for Vivo to get away with the old microUSB technology for its devices.
Feels Hefty In Hands
The 4,500mAh battery cell and a big 6.38" screen add a noticeable heft to the Vivo S1. The handset feels quite bulky and is not an ideal fit for one-hand use. You can only use the dialer and some other basic operations while operating the phone with one hand.
The X factor
Vivo pioneered the in-screen fingerprint sensor technology with the Vivo X21 handset. In just one year, the company is now offering the same futuristic tech at very affordable prices. The in-screen fingerprint scanner on Vivo S1 is snappy and very functional. As the technology works with AMOLED panels, the S1 also offers a vibrant OLED display. The 32MP selfie camera and the big 4,500mAh battery unit are other noteworthy features of this mid-range handset.
Should You Buy It?
Vivo S1 manages to offer some high-end features at an affordable price-point. The snappy in-screen fingerprint scanner placed inside the vibrant AMOLED panel gives Vivo S1 a high-end device feel. The smartphone can easily last more than a day even with heavy usage, thanks to the beefier 4,500 mAh battery cell.
You also get a capable 32MP selfie camera that can click some stunning portraits. The dedicated microSD card slot is a bonus for consumers who like to store loads of multimedia content on their devices.
The rear camera performance could have been better and the lack of Type-C charging port is really disappointing. The brand needs to get away with the old charging port to offer better transfer speeds and ease-of-use.
Overall, Vivo S1 makes for a good mid-range smartphone for consumers who want a big battery, good selfie camera and lots of storage to consume multimedia content on-the-go. If you are in the market for best-in-class rear camera performance, Realme X is the device you should go for. Vivo Z1 Pro is another sub 15K handset worth checking out if you are an avid gamer.