Vivo S1 Pro Review: The company is now targeting the mid-range segment with the new Vivo S1 Pro, after failing to gain upper midrange market share with the Vivo V17 Pro due to fierce competition from the Realm X2 Pro and Redmi K20 Pro. It has a brand new design, which I’m sure many people will admire. I’ve been using this phone for almost a month now and here’s what I have to say about it.
Vivo S1 Pro Review & Specifications
Vivo S1 Pro Specifications
|Display:||6.38-inch (2340 × 1080 pixels) Full HD+ Super AMOLED|
|CPU:||Octa-core (4 X 2GHz Kryo 260 + 4 X 1.8GHz Kryo 260)|
|GPU:||Adreno 610 GPU|
|Memory:||8GB RAM with 128GB storage, expandable up to 256GB with MicroSD|
|OS:||Android 9.0 Pie with Funtouch OS 9.2|
|Back Camera:||48MP primary sensor, f/1.78 aperture + 8MP 120° ultrawide sensor with f/2.2 aperture + 2MP depth sensor with f/2.4 aperture + 2MP monochrome sensor with f/2.4 aperture|
|Front Camera:||32MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture|
|Security:||In-display fingerprint sensor|
|Dimensions:||159.25 × 75.19 × 8.68 mm; Weight: 186.7g|
|Connectivity:||Dual 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11 ac dual-band, Bluetooth 5, GPS/GLONASS, Type C-port, 3.5 mm audio jack, FM Radio|
|Battery:||4500mAh with fast charging|
Let’s start with the design of the phone. Vivo finally gave the glass back design with the S1 Pro and it looks great. The phone comes in three colour variants – Fancy Sky, Jazzy Blue, Mystic Black and the one I have.
The rear camera arrangement is somewhat unique as the rear cameras of the Vivo S1 Pro are placed inside a diamond-shaped module. All this talk about a design upgrade could qualify as a worthy successor to the last-generation Vivo S1. The Vivo S1 Pro is similar to the Vivo V17, which was not launched here in Nepal.
Also, the power button nifty gets a little red, further adding to the aesthetics of the phone. The Vivo S1 Pro is not so heavy and so easy on the hands. – Vivo S1 Pro Review
Despite all this, I have a few complaints about the Vivo S1 Pro design. The glass on the phone was a few scratches during my stay.
Strangely enough, this was not the case with the Redmi Note 8 Pro that came with the glass back. So, Vivo may not go with Corning’s latest version of Gorilla Glass. Overall, the design of the S1 Pro is good.
On the front of the phone, you’ll find a 6.4-inch full-HD + Super AMOLED display with a smaller U’-shaped stripe and a 19.5: 9 aspect ratio. Furthermore, with more OEMs pushing punch-holes or pop-up mechanisms, the 2020s may seem out of date.
Adding to the specifics of the display, the phone comes with a pre-installed screen protector, but strangely there is no gorilla glass protection here.
Additionally, the Vivo S1 Pro has an optical in-display fingerprint sensor and is as fast and accurate as the regular S1. Since the fingerprint scanner is much faster here (which is faster than Samsung devices), I didn’t bother using Face Unlock.
Now turn your gear towards its performance, just like every other Vivo smartphone; By this, I mean how terrible it is when the company talks about the choice of chipsets. – Vivo S1 Pro Review
Here, the Vivo S1 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 665, which clearly doesn’t justify its price. We have complained about this on almost every Vivo phone including Vivo Pro.
You think they have learned their lesson by now, but unfortunately not.
Vivo S1 Pro – Memory
In phone memory, the Vivo S1 Pro comes with a single configuration with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Thanks to the large playground, the multi-tasking is handled very nicely by phone.
Although the Snapdragon 665 may have hindered overall performance, I believe this would not have been the case if the phone went the other way by pairing the Snapdragon 730 or 730G with the Vivo 6GB RAM.
8GB of RAM is just like the company’s marketing gimmick to cover the phone’s weak SoC. The average consumer doesn’t care or bothers to understand the essence of the right thing and it is clear that companies like Vivo blend in perfectly with the bone. – Vivo S1 Pro Review
Gaming performance on the Vivo S1 Pro is not uncommon, but I think it should be. You can play fewer mid-tier games without any hiccups, but games like PUBG only work best in moderate settings with a smooth or balanced frame rate. So, this may not be the best option for hard-core gamers.
UI / UX
Although slightly improved, Vivo’s UI. The new FunTouch OS seems very optimized and the apps run smoothly. I have installed over 50 apps and they all run smoothly and fast. As I said before, multi-tasking is equally effective.
The FunTouch OS is very optimized, but frustrating for me to use.
Command Center starting by swiping from the bottom of the screen is enough to shut me down, but I understand this is subjective and there are many users who like it. The amount is enough to disrupt your Android experience.
Also, the settings menu is another huge mess. Even after using the S1 Pro for about 1 month, I am still confused about which option is available. Vivo’s own AI assistant “Jovi” isn’t even that good. On top of all this, there are ovo-lot bloatware – vivo.com, feedback, iMusic, iManager, etc. Yeah, I couldn’t use any of them. You can’t uninstall, disable or hide them and I need to create a separate folder to separate them. – Vivo S1 Pro Review
I recently received a December security patch, but Vivo’s history is slow when it comes to releasing such security, firmware or other updates.
The S1 Pro still runs on Android-based FunTouch OS 9.2 and there is no word on when the Android 10 update will arrive. I don’t think this is particularly important on heavily customized skin.
Now let’s talk about cameras.
There are four cameras on the back of the aforementioned diamond-shaped arrangement – a 48MP primary sensor, an 8MP wide-angle lens, a 2MP macro sensor and a 2MP depth sensor.
Honestly, I had high expectations from the S1 Pro cameras but it never met in a way.
Images from the primary lens look fast with good color and saturation, though they are awful in terms of dynamic range. – Vivo S1 Pro Review
Check out this comparison with the much cheaper Redmi Note 8 Pro. Although it favors the S1 Pro in terms of color, it has good dynamic range and detail. Also, sometimes, phone cameras confuse colors and lights.
Check out the fur color of our beloved office dog Dodo. This is very inaccurate, the Redmi Note 8 Pro produces true colors. As I mentioned earlier, the Vivo S1 Pro lags behind in terms of detail and against the Redmi Note 8 Pro.
The wide-angle lens shares the same story. It’s lacking in detail and the dynamic range is equally horrible. This is one of the worst wide angle lenses I have on a mid-range phone.
Now the rest of the 2MP macros and depth sensors are also not very good, there is not much inability to become a macro lens. It has no details and the images are washed and blurred.
Speaking of depth sensor, it is not even cheap for me. But I’m not calling it pathetic, with good lighting, a good thing for portrait, and a warm face with an acceptable face and background. However, it does lose hair and edge detection is mostly done by software. – Vivo S1 Pro Review
Okay, low light pictures aren’t good. Surprisingly, the Vivo S1 Pro did not think of including the Night Mode, which is not the case with the regular S1. There is no 4K at the same time as videography, 1080p videos can be captured at 30fps.
In a brutal twist of events, the front camera is truly spectacular.
You get a 32MP sensor that takes 8MP pixel-bound photos. The dynamic range here is very good and took the same imaging algorithm from the V17 Pro. On a bright sunny day, there is not a lot of background. – Vivo S1 Pro Review
If you compare the S1 Pro with the Redmi Note 8 Pro once again, the former selfies are much better. Check out these images for comparison, the Vivo S1 Pro Selfie is definitely a good choice.
Other than the lens, I found a lot of glitches in the native camera app. I get so angry that you can’t take the portrait selfie mode in the app. What about that
Battery & Connectivity
Power wise, you get a larger 4500 mAh battery on the Vivo S1 Pro, which is similar to its predecessor.
However, the regular S1 comes with MediaTek’s Helio P65 chipset, while the S1 Pro has an 11Nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 665. So by comparison, I’m getting decent battery life here.
On a normal day, I have a 15% charge left before going to sleep. I would like to say that its endurance is comparable to the Galaxy Note 10+.
And finally, finally, the Vivo went with a USB Type-C port and I hope the Micro USB does not make any back-to-back in the future. – Vivo S1 Pro Review
You get an 18W fast charger inside the box, which gets the phone from 0 to 100% in 1 to 40 minutes.
What’s left? Yes, call quality and speakers. I rate them both on average, especially as a speaker.
Vivo S1 Pro – Pros & Cons
- Good AMOLED display
- Excellent battery life
- Great selfie camera
- Average rear camera
- Heavily customed UI
- Average gaming performance
The Vivo S1 Pro disturbed me, it was a strange phone. It’s not bad and it’s not amazing. Okay, Denise Reynolds called it “very good … it’s okay … it’s not very good … it’s okay.” But because of the “fine” competition it is no longer cut. Vivo is doing well in India, Nepal and other Asian markets and the S1 Pro is priced at Rs. 36,790, possibly one of his signature smartphones. Although I appreciate it, the phone is not worth the price.
The company has certainly tried to incorporate some important features such as Super AMOLED Display, Fast In-Display Fingerprint Scanner, Large Battery, Good Design and more. Despite all this, the performance is not very good and the gaming on the S1 Pro is not that great. – Vivo S1 Pro Review
The Vivo 8GB RAM could not go for the counter instead of the Snapdragon 730/730G. On top of that, I think the cameras should be a little more receptive.
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