Vivo recently launched the Vivo Z1 Pro (Review) in India and priced it quite nicely. This smartphone were able to fare quite well whenever we reviewed it. Now, the Chinese manufacturer has launched yet another smartphone priced only a little higher, dubbed the Vivo S1. This is the area of the new S series which stands for Style. The Vivo S1 is stylish for sure, but is there the performance to back its looks? We test drive it to find out.
Vivo S1 design
Vivo smartphones are often sleek and well designed, which one is not any exception. The Vivo S1 sports a 6.38-inch display with a little dewdrop-style notch at the top. Vivo has opted for an AMOLED panel, and the Vivo S1 sports an in-display fingerprint scanner. The display has thin bezels on the sides but the bottom chin is comparatively thicker.
The Vivo S1 comes in two colours, Diamond Black and Skyline Blue and we’d the Diamond Black unit because of this review. It has a laminate back with a striking diamond pattern design and a gradient colour finish. Depending on how the light hits the back panel, the diamond patterns emerge, which does look catchy.
However, we aren’t a huge fan of the material that the back panel of the Vivo S1 is constructed of, as it picks up scratches easily. We’d have preferred Corning Gorilla Glass, as seen on the Redmi Note 7 Pro (Review). The Vivo S1 has a triple camera module which protrudes slightly but has a metal rim around it which should save it from getting scratched.
Vivo has opted for a plastic frame that is rounded making the smartphone comfortable to hold in the hand. The back does not meet up with the frame seamlessly, and you can feel rough edges when holding the phone. Vivo has positioned the power button to the right together with the volume buttons, plus they are all easy to reach. The Vivo S1 also has a dedicated Google Assistant button just like the one on the Vivo Z1 Pro.
Vivo S1 In Hand Vivo S1 ReviewThe Vivo S1 sports a 6.38-inch AMOLED display
We were disappointed with the use of a Micro-USB port on the Vivo S1, due to the fact most other smartphones as of this price have moved to USB Type-C. The Micro-USB port is put at the bottom together with the loudspeaker and the 3.5mm headphone jack, while the SIM tray is on the left side.
Vivo S1 specifications and software
The Vivo S1 may be the first smartphone in India to be powered by the new MediaTek Helio P65 SoC. The Helio P65 is really a mid-range processor based on a 12nm process. It has a couple of ARM Cortex-A75 cores clocked at 2GHz, and six Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.7GHz. For graphics, it has a Mali-G52 integrated GPU.
Vivo has launched three variants of the Vivo S1 in India: the entry-level one with 4GB of RAM and128GB of storage; another with 6GB of RAM but 64GB of storage; and the top-end one with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. These variants will set you back Rs. 17,990, Rs. 18,990 and Rs. 19,990 respectively. We had the top variant in for review and it had close to 100GB of storage available out of your box. The pricing of the Vivo S1 pits it directly against powerful phones like the Realme X (Review) and the Oppo K3 (Review).
The Vivo S1 is really a dual-SIM device and has two Nano-SIM slots in addition to a dedicated microSD card slot. Connectivity options on the Vivo S1 include Bluetooth 5, dual-band Wi-Fi, GPS, FM radio, dual 4G VoLTE, and the usual sensors. The Vivo S1 packs in a 4500mAh battery and you get an 18W fast charger in the box.
Vivo S1 SIM Tray Vivo S1 ReviewThe Vivo S1 has dual Nano SIM slots in addition to a dedicated microSD card slot.
The Vivo S1 runs Funtouch OS on top of Android 9 Pie, that is heavily customised. When you have used a Vivo smartphone in past times, it won’t take miss you to stay on course around the device. You can read at length about Funtouch OS inside our Vivo Y17 review. To begin with, there is absolutely no app drawer and all app icons are lined up on the house screens. Funtouch comes with an iOS-like Command Center which needs a swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access. This is actually the exact opposite action compared to other Android smartphones and may be annoying for some people.
Vivo does install a fair level of bloatware on the device, and we saw DailyHunt, Helo, Facebook, Gaana, Amazon Shopping, PhonePe, Paytm, and some other apps preinstalled. Thankfully, this phone didn’t have a notification spam issue just like the Oppo A9 (Review) we recently reviewed. Vivo also has its own app store called the V-Appstore.
Vivo S1 performance, battery life, and cameras
The MediaTek Helio P65 SoC powering the Vivo S1 does an excellent job and you won’t notice lag or stutter doing day-to-day tasks. This smartphone is quick to launch apps and may run most apps and games out there on the Google Play Store. We never had to wait too much time for an app to open. In addition, it manages idle battery drain well, and inside our experience, the Vivo S1 didn’t lose too much of its charge when sitting idle. Multitasking was quite easy considering we’d the 6GB RAM variant of the device. The phone never really had to close apps running in the background.
The AMOLED panel on the Vivo S1 had good viewing angles and was bright enough to be legible outdoors. However, the bottom-firing speaker isn’t that loud, evoking the Vivo S1 to fall short of being a good device to take content on. We also tested the in-display fingerprint scanner along with the face recognition feature with this device. The in-display scanner is quick to scan a finger and unlock the smartphone, and rarely required a second attempt. Face Unlock isn’t probably the most secure method of unlocking the smartphone, nonetheless it is quite quick and convenient.
Vivo S1 managed to clock 146,142 in AnTuTu benchmark which wasn’t significantly higher than the 145,999 scored by the Oppo A9. The Vivo S1 managed 1,853 and 6,034 in Geekbench 4’s single-core and multi-core tests respectively. In graphics benchmarks, the smartphone scored 36fps in GFXBench T-Rex and 12fps in GFXBench Manhattan 3.1.
PUBG Mobile ran at the medium preset on the Vivo S1 with the graphics set to Balanced and the frame rate set to Medium. vivo s1 We played the game for 20 minutes which did cause the telephone to get warm to touch. We also noticed a 5 percent battery drop after gaming for that long.
Vivo S1 Pie Vivo S1 ReviewThe S1 runs FunTouch OS along with Android 9 Pie
The Vivo S1 delivers good battery life and we could go on for about a day and a half about the same charge. During this cycle, we ran all our benchmarks, took a few camera samples, and had an active WhatsApp account on the device. Inside our HD video loop test, the smartphone were able to last for 16 hours and 38 minutes. We put the supplied charger to the ensure that you it were able to charge the battery to 34 percent in half an hour and 65 percent within an hour.
Vivo has opted for a triple camera setup on the trunk of the Vivo S1. This consists of a 16-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.78 aperture, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with an f/2.2 aperture, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor with an f/2.4 aperture. At the front end, this phone has a 32-megapixel selfie shooter having an f/2.0 aperture.
The camera app is comparable to what we’ve seen on the Vivo Z1 Pro and has multiple modes available. It has quick toggles for HDR, Live Photo, Filters, aperture mode, and a toggle to switch between the regular and the wide-angle lens. In addition to the photo and video modes it includes Pano, AR Stickers, Fun Video, Document, and a Pro mode. Fun Video adds background audio while you record a video.
Photos taken with the Vivo S1 were below average for a smartphone as of this price point. In daylight, the telephone focused quickly but we noticed that photos were underexposed. Details were acceptable, and text at a distance was legible. Exactly the same scene was exposed better when using the ultra-wide-angle sensor. However, in this instance, photos lost out on details.