As we welcome a new decade, the hype for quad cameras continues to grow. Vivo has been at the forefront of innovating smartphone features, beginning the craze for in-display fingerprint scanners and picture-perfect front cameras. Gearing up its mid-range smartphones, the brand does an upgrade to the S-series, beefing up its hardware.
Compared to its predecessor, the Vivo S1 Pro certainly looks more eye-catching. Its back panel, inspired by fine jewelry, is made from glass and features a diamond-shaped quad camera. It is available in two colors: knight black and fancy sky, with the former as our review unit. There’s a reflective silver Vivo logo, as well as the words camera and music, underneath its camera module. It is matched with a matte metal side frame where the power button, volume rocker, and the hybrid sim tray are located. Up front, the Vivo S1 Pro showcases a display with a waterdrop notch which houses its front camera. The microphone and the 3.5 mm audio jack can be found at the top of the smartphone while the main microphone, USB-C port, and single downward-firing speakers are conveniently placed at the bottom.
One of the highlights of the Vivo S1 Pro is the 6.38-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display which is also present in the Vivo S1. It has a 32-megapixel front camera that captures natural-looking selfies. On its diamond-shaped rear camera module are three lenses: an 8 MP primary, an 8 MP ultrawide, 2 MP depth sensor, and a 2 MP macro. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chipset, it runs on Vivo’s Funtouch OS 9.2, the brand’s own dedicated software based on Android 9 out of the box. Among the upgrades that the S1 Pro offers are its internal storage and RAM, at 128 GB and 8 GB respectively. It now also boasts a USB-C port that supports 18 W Dual Engine Fast Charging technology, filling its 4500 mAh battery within just an hour.
User Experience: 4/5
Marketed as a mid-ranger equipped with rear quad cameras, the Vivo S1 Pro produces decent photos and boasts video shooting capabilities up to 1080p at 30 fps. Subjects appear to be clearer when the 48 MP AI mode is used properly. However, colors seem to be a bit darker compared to its night mode. The smartphone also has an ultra-wide mode that broadens landscapes up to 120-degrees, macro mode for capturing extremely-close subjects, and portrait mode for taking more-enhanced selfies. There are natural and fresh filters under the portrait mode to highlight your best facial features. Even with sub-par scene lighting, the Vivo S1 Pro still manages to shoot good images without compromising color and details. It has several things to improve on the video department though, particularly in stabilization and color reproduction.
It has a less obtrusive chin and displays extra punchy graphics and visuals. With up to 430 nits of brightness, using the phone outdoors under bright sunlight is not troublesome. As for performance, the phone can handle multitasking. You’ll have to tweak the settings for average games, though, to play smoothly.
Vivo still integrates its iconic in-display fingerprint scanner and its FunTouch OS, the brand’s own UI, based on Android 9. It still bears other productivity features out of the box such as the motorbike mode, Jovi assistant, USB reverse charging, and two-way call recording. Expect solid battery life, thanks to its 4500 mAh battery equipped with 18 W Dual Engine Fast Charging technology. This means that the Vivo S1 Pro now has a USB-C port for data transfer and charging. Seamless gaming is made possible by its fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor mated with 8 GB RAM. To top it off, the phone also gets an upgrade on its internal memory with 128 GB onboard, expandable up to 256 GB via microSD slot.
As the latest addition to the S-series, the Vivo S1 Pro is a value-for-money device that appeals to both millennials and gamers. It combines a Super AMOLED display, larger internal storage, an impressive set of cameras, and efficient battery in one package. If you’re on the look-out for a new smartphone that has flagship-like features, then this one’s a gem.
- Display: 6.38-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080) Super AMOLED display
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
- RAM: 8 GB
- Internal storage: 128 GB (expandable up to 256 GB via microSD)
- Cameras: 48 MP F1.8 (main) + 8 MP F2.2 (ultrawide) + 2 MP F2.4 macro + 2 MP F2.4 quad-rear cameras, 32 MP F2.0 front camera
- Operating system: Funtouch OS 9.2 (based on Android 9)
- Other features: 4,500 mAh battery with 18 W Dual Engine Fast Charging, Bluetooth 5.0, in-display fingerprint scanner, Jovi Assistant, IPx2 rating
- Good performance
- Solid and elegant design
- Impressive camera and battery life
- No Corning Gorilla Glass protection
- Does not support NFC technology
- Not splash-proof
Charming and dynamic, the Vivo S1 Pro will let you shine bright like a diamond.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE February 2020 Issue
Reviewed by Jewel Sta. Ana