Just last month, Vivo launched the Vivo Z1 Pro in India. The Vivo Z1 Pro was one of the finest phones under Rs. 14,999. Vivo hasn’t stopped there. The company has launched the all-new Vivo S1, which is now another hot smartphone under Rs. 20,000. I didn’t expect it to be priced under Rs. 20,000, once again but I’m glad that Vivo kept the price low while providing the best possible hardware at this price. I got to try the new Vivo S1 for quite some time and today, I will be sharing my experience with the phone in the full review of Vivo S1.
The Vivo S1 is one of those phones that come with a triple camera setup on the back but is priced quite reasonably as in terms of CPU as well, there is no compromise as the phone comes with MediaTek’s Helio P65 chipset.
Vivo S1 Smartphone Review
Look & Feel
Every phone from Vivo definitely looks better than its competitors. The Vivo S1 carries the legacy forward. The phone features a 6.38-inch AMOLED display with a tiny dewdrop-style notch at the top. There is an in-display fingerprint scanner, making it one of those affordable phones that offer quite a bit of futuristic tech. The bezels are minimum on either side of the display, but it’s a bit thicker at the bottom.
On the back, there is the triple camera setup and flash. The camera module is protected by a tiny metal ring going around. The SIM card trays and volume rockers are at the edge of the phone, on the left and right side respectively. There is also a Google Assistant button, just like the one we saw on Vivo Z1 Pro. It’s a handy little button to summon Google Assistant easily. At the bottom of the phone, there is the micro-USB port, which is a bit disappointing. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack and the loudspeaker at the bottom.
The Vivo S1 is available in two color- Diamond Black and Skyline Blue. The phone has a laminate back with a striking diamond pattern design as well as a gradient color finish. When light strikes the back of the phone, the diamond patterns emerge and well, it looks beautiful. And well, sometimes the phone gets fingerprints quite easily. But overall, the Vivo S1 is one of the most beautiful looking phones under Rs. 20,000. Also, despite the phone packs a big battery, it doesn’t feel too heavy in hand. The back of the phone, despite being very shinny isn’t a fingerprint magnet, but well, sometimes occasional wiping helps in removing a few fingerprints accumulated on the surface.
The Vivo S1 features a 6.38-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display, with a tall aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and a dewdrop notch, resulting in 90% screen-to-body-ratio. There is Schott Xensation 3D protection instead of Gorilla Glass. Vivo had claimed that it’s as good as Gorilla Glass protection and well, during my usage, the screen didn’t get any scratches. However, I won’t recommend that you keep the phone in your pocket along with objects like keys.
In terms of brightness, the screen is adequate but not the brightest I would say. The sharpness levels are great and viewing angles are fine, but sometimes, during the time when I used the phone under harsh summer sunlight of Delhi, I had to manually crank up the brightness to full for the best viewing experience. The display has nice contrast and saturation levels are good. The good contrast ratio is obviously expected but I was a bit surprised at the perfect saturation levels that makes everything look natural, rather than hyper-saturated extra punchy colours. The Vivo S1 doesn’t come with the Widevine L1 support out of the box, but the same will be provided by the end of this month. Also, the in-display fingerprint scanner is something futuristic at a nominal price I would say. It is fast enough and accurate, just that those who will switch to the phone from any other old phone that uses a conventional scanner, will have to get adjusted to it a bit.
The Vivo S1 has a triple camera setup on the back. On the back, there is a primary 16-megapixel sensor, accompanied by an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor for portrait shots.
The phone clicks nice pictures in broad daylight. There is a good amount of detail and sharpness, the colours look natural. But, well the AI sometimes softens the pictures a bit more than required. In low lighting conditions as well, the Vivo S1 clicks quite good pictures, but some noise levels can be seen.
The 8-megapixel wide-angle camera is something that I love more than the main camera, the wide-angle shots look great in my opinion and I have probably clicked more wide-angle photos than regular ones. The depth sensor seems to work well for portraits, the bokeh is quite natural, but the edge detection could be a bit better. I hope Vivo will improve the same with software updates.
In terms of selfies, the Vivo S1 clicks nice selfies with a good amount of details when there is ample light. In the selfies taken with the front-facing camera in portrait mode also, the bokeh is good and the photos are Instagrammable!
The Vivo S1 is powered by MediaTek’s Helio P65 chipset, coupled with 4GB of RAM and Mali-G52 MC2 GPU. The Helio P65 is an octa-core chipset with the highest clock speeds of up to 2.0 GHz. The chipset is as good in real life, as it is on paper. I use my phone for mainly social media, watching some movies and videos and gaming. During regular tasks like browsing the web, using social media I didn’t feel any lag. Everything runs smoothly, multitasking experience is great.
Even while gaming, the phone didn’t disappoint me at all. I kinda play heavy games like PUBG. While playing PUBG, sometimes, here and there, minor lags are visible but apart from it, the phone does handle everything well.
The Vivo S1 runs FunTouch 9 OS based on Android 9.0 Pie. The OS is full of very useful features for sure, but it’s not the smoothest skin out there. Gestures work fine, dark mode is good as well but the look and feel aren’t that great, to be honest. There are quite a few pre-installed apps, however, I could get rid of them quite easily. There are features like Ultra Game Mode which brings features like sound localization, countdown floating window, e-sport mode as well as it just mutes all kind of notifications for the uninterrupted gaming experience.
The Vivo S1 packs a 4500mAh battery, which is bigger than that of most phones in this price segment, apart from the phones by ASUS. The 4500mAh battery can easily last for two days with moderate usage. I’m a heavy user, but even after playing games, streaming Sacred Games and intense use, the phone easily lasted a full day. The 18W fast charging worked well when I needed some quick juice and the charging speed is quite impressive as the phone took just a little more than an hour to get charged from 0-100%.
You need to evaluate your priorities before buying this phone. The phone looks good and stylish. It has a great display, good battery life. The blue one looks really good. The phone is capable of handling day-to-day task easily although the gaming performance could have been better. Vivo S1 is a capable phone and will please the user demands from day-to-day although if I had to buy one, I would prefer buying Vivo Z1X or the Vivo Z1 Pro.