Vivo has launched its S-series in India and the phones that shall release under the banner will lay special emphasis on style. The first S-series phone in India, Vivo S1, lies in the same segment where the company, not very long ago, launched the game-centric Z1 Pro (Vivo S1 review हिंदी में पढ़िए).
How is the Vivo S1 experience different from Vivo Z1 Pro? Is the Vivo S1 a viable alternative to Realme X and Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 7-series? Is it a phone that you should buy? We will discuss answers to all such questions in our Vivo Z1 Pro review. Keep reading.
- Vivo S1 Price and Specification
- Vivo S1 Unboxing: What’s in the box?
- Vivo S1 Review: Design and Build
- Vivo S1 Review: Display
- Vivo S1 Review: Camera
- Vivo S1 Review: Performance and Software
- Vivo S1 Review: Battery and Audio
- Vivo S1 Review Verdict with Pros and Cons
Vivo S1 India price and specifications
|Display||6.38-inch, 1080 X 2340(Full HD+), Super AMOLED, 98% DCI-P3
Schott Xensation 3D protection
|Chipset||12nm 2.0 GHz MediaTek Helio P65 octa-core|
|RAM and storage||
|Software||Android Pie based Funtouch OS 9.0|
|Camera||Rear: 16MP (f/1.8) + 8MP Wide-angle (f/2.2) + 2MP depth sensor (f/2.4)
Front: 32MP (f/2.0)
|Dimensions||159.53 x 75.23 x 8.13|
|Audio and video formats||Audio: WAV, MP3, MP2, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, MIDI, Vorbis, APE, FLAC
Video: MP4, 3GP, AVI, TS, FLV, MKV
|Connectivity and others||Bluetooth 5.0, Dual-band Wi-Fi, Dual 4G VoLTE, USB 2.0, GPS, BeiDou, GLONASS, Galileo
|Battery||4500mAh, 18W dual-engine fast charging|
Vivo S1 Box Content
Inside the Vivo S1 box, you’d get:
- 18W Charging adaptor
- Charging cable
- Protective Case
- Thin-film screen protector (pre-installed)
- Documentation and SIM ejector tool
Vivo S1 Review: Design and Build
The Vivo S1 has a glass-finish body, that’s not actually glass but plastic. The handset derives its charm from distinct gradient finishes – Skyline Blue and Diamond Black. We have the diamond black variant with us which has a diamond pattern etched on the rear complemented by gold accent around the vertically stacked triple-camera system. If you ask, it’s the skyline blue option that we are more fascinated by.
The back panel is flat and perhaps that’s why the handset feels a bit chunky. But yes, the S1 is still more compact and significantly lighter than the Z1 Pro, thanks to relatively smaller display size and smaller battery capacity.
The selfie camera is accommodated within an old-school notch, that’s somewhere-in-the-middle-of-U-and-V-shape cut out. The AMOLED display and the in-display fingerprint reader further makes the Vivo S1 trendy. Also, Vivo adds some cool unlock animations and Always-on display widgets that you can use to customize the looks of the phone.
The charging port is still regular micro USB and thankfully the good old audio jack is still there. Just as most Vivo phones launched in India this year, the S1 has a dedicated button to summon Google Assistant, and that’s something we find quite useful. You can’t map the key to Alexa, though.
Vivo S1 Review: Display
The Vivo S1 has a 6.38-inch AMOLED display (Full HD+) and that really spices things up. For one thing, you get characteristic deep blacks and high contrast. What we admired, even more, is that Vivo has added some useful color profile presets, and it’s now simpler to tweak the display to your liking.
If you detest the cold and bluish whites (as we do), the normal mode should be more to your liking. In the default mode, Vivo targets DCI-P3 gamut.
There’s also a bright mode that shows punchy and oversaturated colors, and a color temperature toggle to further fine-tune your Whites. Also on the software side of the equation are Always-on display and a dark mode.
Auto brightness works well, and at maximum brightness, the screen gets bright enough to be legible under direct sunlight. For whoever’s asking, the Funtouch OS lets you turn the notch off, but you will have to decide for individual apps.
Vivo S1 Review: Camera
The Vivo S1 has the same camera hardware as the Vivo Z1 Pro, and consequently, the camera performance on both phones is similar.
The camera app is feature-rich and engaging, but it took us some time figuring out what goes where. There are options like AR stickers, AI beautification across all modes, portrait photography, Pro mode, Live photos and many more.
In daylight, the shots clicked on 16MP primary camera had punchy colors and wide dynamic range. When analyzed on a bigger monitor, the details felt scanty in a few clicks. In low light, the software tends to over sharpen images resulting in further loss of details.
The 8MP wide-angle camera works well outdoors in proper lighting. Anyways, consumers would be using it occasionally, mostly to capture broad landscapes.
The 2MP depth sensor assists with portrait mode. Edge detection works fairly well, but the quality of portraits isn’t outright impressive.
The 32MP camera does a fine job with selfies.
Overall, the camera performance on the Vivo S1 is strictly mediocre, but we don’t have any ideal cameras in this price segment, which is why this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
Vivo S1 Review: Performance and Software
The Vivo S1 is powered by 12nm process based MediaTek Helio P65 chipset and retails in three configurations – 4GB RAM + 128GB storage, 6GB RAM + 64GB storage, 6GB RAM + 128GB storage.
We have the 6GB RAM and 128GB storage with us. The MediaTek chipset is powerful enough to handle all demanding day-to-day needs and can sustain most high-end games too. PUBG didn’t work smoothly in default HD and High settings but worked fine at Balanced and High graphics.
In terms of snappiness or benchmark scores, the Helio P65 can’t quite match up to the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 700-series or Snapdragon 600-series chips, that you’d find on Vivo’s Z1 Pro and many other phones in the same budget.
The software on the phone is Funtouch OS 9.0 that’s modeled on Apple’s iOS. Even though it isn’t our favorite interface, the Funtouch OS is customizable and easy to get used to.
There are numerous pre-installed apps and of these, you can uninstall all third-party apps that don’t belong to Vivo. RAM management is still aggressive and that can be a minor inconvenience at times.
For now, our unit has DRM L3 certification which limits it to SD streaming on apps like Netflix and Prime Videos. Vivo S1 will, however, get DRM L1 certificate via August update. It remains to be seen if HD streaming will be supported after the digital rights management certification update.
The in-display sensor on the Vivo S1 is fast and consistent. You also get to choose from a bunch of slick unlock animations. The IR face unlock is also extremely fast and convenient.
The Vivo S1 supports dual SIM dual VoLTE and call quality is remarkable in our area.
Vivo S1 Review: Battery and Audio
Battery backup on our Vivo S1 is excellent. Thanks to an optimized software and power-efficient chipset, the 4500mAh power unit on the S1 lasts really long. With moderate to heavy usage, the phone comfortably lasts for around one and a half-day. Besides, 18W dual engine fast charging support ensures that you can top up the battery really fast.
The loudspeaker present at the bottom can get loud enough, but the quality leaves a lot to be desired. Audio output via headphones is average too.
Vivo S1 Review Verdict: Should you buy it?
Thanks to a vivid display and wonderful battery experience, the Z1 Pro is a good affordable phone for consuming multimedia content. The overall practical experience is pretty decent. The MediaTek Helio P65 is consistent but not snappy and if you are primarily interested in gaming, you’d be better off with the Z1 Pro.
It must also be kept in mind that unlike the Z1 Pro, the Vivo S1 is not an online exclusive and will retail at offline stores too. It does not outright outclass online exclusives but makes a pretty solid case for itself when pitched again other offline options.
- AMOLED Display
- Fast in-display sensor and face unlock
- Excellent battery
- Decent performance
- Dedicated card slot
- No HD streaming
- No Type-C port