Owing to the popularity of mobile games like PUBG, the Indian smartphone market is showing more inclination towards game-centric phones than ever before. Vivo was one of the players to realize the importance of employing competent chipsets early on and through the last year, it revamped its portfolio with competent Qualcomm and MediaTek chipsets. The new Z1 Pro is Vivo’s most aggressively specced and most disruptively priced phone in India till date, and it’s a phone that pays special focus to gaming needs. (Vivo Z1 Pro review हिंदी में पढ़िए)
So, can the first online exclusive option from Vivo stand up to the burgeoning competition? We will answer that and more in our Vivo Z1 Pro review that follows.
- Vivo Z1 Pro Review: Price and Specification
- Vivo Z1 Pro Review: Box Contents
- Vivo Z1 Pro Review: Design and Build
- Vivo Z1 Pro Review: Display
- Vivo Z1 Pro Review: Performance and Software
- Vivo Z1 Pro Review: Camera review
- Vivo Z1 Pro Review: Battery and Audio
- Vivo Z1 Pro Review: Verdict
Vivo Z1 Pro Price and Specifications
|Vivo Z1 Pro
|6.53-inch LCD Full HD+ 19:5:9 aspect ratio
|2.3 GHz Octa-core SD712, Adreno 616
|64/128GB, microSD, up to 256 GB
|5000mAh with 18W Dual-engine fast charger
|16MP (f/1.8) +8MP (f/2.2) +2MP (f/2.4)
|Android Pie-based Funtouch OS
|Dimensions and weight
|162.4 x 77.3 x 8.9 mm; 206 grams
|Vivo Z1 Pro India Price
Also Check: Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro Review
Vivo Z1 Pro Unboxing: What’s in the box?
Here’s what you’d get in the box
- Handset with pre-applied screen protector
- Transparent case cover
- 18W charging adaptor
- Charging cable
- SIM ejector tool and documentation
Vivo Z1 Pro Review: Design and Build
The first thing we noticed is that the Vivo Z1 Pro is a big and bulky phone (we measured 206 grams). The back is favorably arched and that helps improve the grip to an extent.
The novel design element has to be the circular punch-hole cutout for the front camera, which is also currently the trendiest notch style. The punch hole, which Vivo refers as in-display camera, helps the phone achieve 90.77% screen-to-body ratio. Or, in simpler terms, the bezel around the screen is extremely narrow.
Other than that, Vivo is using the familiar polycarbonate but glass-finish gradient back, adorned by a verticle triple camera module and a reliable capacitive fingerprint reader which is always within easy reach. The gradient pattern on our Sonic Blue unit is a bit flashy for our taste, but consumers will have the option for relatively sober Mirror Black and Sonic Black hues.
Thankfully, Vivo isn’t skimping on basics like dedicated microSD card slot and 3.5mm audio jack. The charging port is still micro USB, though.
In spite of the large profile, the power buttons and volume rocker on the left edge are easily reachable. These plastic buttons are however clicky and the tactile feedback isn’t up to the mark. There is also a dedicated Google Assistant button which we particularly liked since we tend to use the Google Assistant a lot these days.
Overall, the Vivo Z1 Pro conforms to the modern trends but is not a particularly ergonomic phone. At the same time, the extra footprint helps accommodate a bigger screen and a massive capacity battery – which are features smartphone gamers would appreciate.
Also Read: Samsung Galaxy M40 Review
Vivo Z1 Pro Review: Display
The display on the Vivo Z1 Pro is 6.53-inches in size. This extra-large IPS LCD panel has 2430 x 1080 pixels (Full HD+), which make it sharp enough for most practical purposes.
As is the case with almost all contemporary phones, the whites are a bit cool in the default mode, but you can conveniently adjust them to your liking using a simple color adjustment slider under display settings. The default fonts size felt a bit too big and we resorted to one-lesser size first thing. You will also find options for dark mode and eye protect mode in there.
Colors are vivid and contrast is sufficiently high, and that makes the screen suitable for consuming multimedia and for playing games. Outdoor visibility is workable but not stellar.
Vivo Z1 Pro Review: Performance and Software
The performance takes the center stage with Vivo Z1 Pro. The handset is powered by Snapdragon 712 which is similar to Snapdragon 710 but with slightly higher clocked CPU and GPU cores.
We’d say it is one of the best available chipsets for phones under 20k and that, coupled with up to 6GB RAM and up to 128GB storage, is what makes the Z1 Pro excellent options for consumers who prioritize gaming.
Vivo leverages all that raw power and adds some cool gaming features to the phone. We can confidently say that the PUBG experience is better than other contemporary phones available in the same budget. Features like the new gaming mode and 4D vibration make a difference too.
The software on the handset is the Funtouch OS 9 that’s based on Android Pie. The new Funtouch OS ushers in some design changes, but we essentially have the same set of complaints.
The UI is more of an iOS look-alike and isn’t in line with global taste. There is no app drawer, the default security keyboard sucks, apps are quickly pushed out of RAM when the phone is idle, and it’s not easy to find what you looking for in settings menu (even with a search bar on top).
Of course, since the underlying software is Android you get the freedom to tweak parts of the interface you need to deal with most frequently, including the launcher, but there still is a big room for improvement here.
Our review unit has Widewine L3 certificate and does not support HD streaming, but since Vivo particularly mentioned the same at the launch we expect the retail units to be L1 certified.
The call quality is good but we had to often reposition our ears in front of speakers. The handset supports dual 4G VoLTE and dual-band Wi-Fi.
Unlocking the Z1 pro is a seamless process. The fingerprint sensor is fast and reliable and so is the Face Unlock.
Vivo Z1 Pro Camera Review
While dual cameras are yet to prove their merits on affordable phones, the industry has already accepted triple cameras as the prevailing standard for 2019.
Apart from the main 16MP shooter (that you’d be using most often), the Z1 Pro also has a secondary 8MP wide-angle shooter and a tertiary 2MP depth sensor for aiding portraits.
And if you are still drinking the megapixel Cool Aid, there’s a 32MP selfie camera that outputs full 32MP resolution selfies by default. The camera app has numerous features, but it is not always easy to find what you are looking for.
Let’s start with the rear camera first.
The 16MP rear camera can shoot great, well-metered shots in proper daylight and under proper indoor lighting as well. In tricky lighting, however, the camera performance fumbles.
The camera struggles in low light and in dark ambiance, but with a few tries, we could still manage decent captures.
The Night mode comes in handy at times and you may use it to salvage low light shots. Unlike on other phones, we didn’t find ourselves using the night mode very often on Z1 Pro. That’s because the Auto mode is mostly better suited unless you need to brighten up a dark scene
The wide-angle camera is a decent performer, but as is true for wide-angle mode on all phones, it’s best suited for outdoor in daylight.
The portrait mode is again average. The consistency of edge detection and quality of blur aren’t much to write home about.
Thankfully, the camera app keeps the beautify enhancements in a separate mode. The app also includes a Pro mode for advanced users, AR stickers, fun video mode, and many other features.
The selfie camera shoots full-resolution images, but this one too is best suited for outdoor usage. Under proper lighting, selfies turned out well even indoors. Metering goes haywire whenever there’s a light source in the selfie frame.
Overall the Z1 Pro won’t be setting any new camera benchmarks, but the imaging performance is still good enough for the price.
Vivo Z1 Pro Review: Battery and Audio
The battery backup on the Vivo Z1 Pro is simply awesome. The 5000mAh battery could often last for more than a day, even with extensive gaming. The handset also supports 18W dual engine fast charging and the battery charges to 70% in one hour.
The loudspeakers on Vivo Z1 Pro can get louder than most other phones in this segment, which is again well-suited to gaming. The audio output via headphones is pretty great too. Audio via wireless headphones felt a bit lacking, though.
Vivo Z1 Pro Review: Should you buy it?
With the Z1 Pro, Vivo radically changes its approach. If gaming is your top priority, the Z1 Pro is currently one of the best available options under 15,000. The handset offers excellent performance hardware, has a decent full-view IPS LCD display, a mammoth battery with fast charging, a dedicated card slot, and retains the audio jack.
On the downside, it’s not for people who prefer their phones compact and handy. For the last year, we have been pointing out flaws like imperfect software, lack of Type-C port, or lack of HD streaming on Vivo phones, and the Z1 Pro doesn’t do much to address these shortcomings.
Having said that, most of these imperfections aren’t absolute deal-breakers, and if you care about the good part (read: performance hardware and gaming), the Z1 Pro is a worthy option.
- Excellent performance and gaming
- Dedicated card slot and Audio Jack
- Trendy display
- Excellent battery mileage
- Big and bulky
- No HD streaming on Netflix, Prime
- Software needs improvements
- No USB Type-C port