Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget Pilipinas

With most of the spotlight locked on to its V-series devices, Vivo is a brand that still throws some love on the more budget-conscious segment. Thanks to devices that offer decent specs and a nifty feature set for pocket-friendly prices.

One of its latest offerings is the Vivo S1, a phone which on paper, seems like a pretty decent mid-ranger that offers some interesting features that you usually wouldn’t find on a phone at its price range. Not to mention that it’s an eye-candy as well. We tested the device for ourselves to find out how it fares.

Specifications

Display 6.38″ FHD+ Super AMOLED
Processor Helio P65
RAM 6GB
Storage 128GB (Expandable)
Rear Camera 16MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front Camera 32MP
OS Android 9 + Funtouch OS 9
Battery 4,500mAh
Other Features 18W Fast Charging
Always-On Display
In-Display Fingerprint Scanner
SRP PhP14,999

Design

Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget PilipinasDespite having a few similarities with a phone from another brand, the Vivo S1 does manage to establish its own identity design-wise. One handed-use is pretty easy, though you may want to invest in a case to avoid scratching that glossy back.

Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget PilipinasSpeaking of the back portion, the camera module awfully protrudes, so you won’t be able to put this device flat on a surface without it wobbling.

Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget Pilipinas

Button placement is pretty standard – Volume Rocker on the left, Power button and SIM slot on the right.

Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget PilipinasVivo sticks to a standard microUSB port, along with the speaker grill and headphone jack, all located at the bottom.

Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget Pilipinas

The device has a 6.38-inch 1080p+ Super AMOLED display which outputs punchy colors and a good level of detail. Surprisingly, they’ve also equipped the S1 with an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is uncommon for a device at this price.

Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget PilipinasThe good news is that while it’s not the fastest we’ve seen, it’s quick enough that it’s not annoying, and it’s very responsive as well.

Performance

The Vivo S1 packs a Helio P65, which may not be the latest and greatest out there, but is still pretty much a very capable chip, and with 6GB of RAM, multi-tasking isn’t going to cause any problems.

If we let the numbers speak, the S1 trails just a little bit behind the OPPO F11 and F11 Pro, while just inching slightly ahead of the V15. Note that the difference is quite small and can be considered within the margin for error.

Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget PilipinasGaming-wise, you can play PUBG Mobile on this phone with no major issues at HD + High framerate.

Camera

Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget PilipinasVivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget PilipinasVivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget PilipinasVivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget Pilipinas

Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget Pilipinas

With enough lighting, the Vivo S1’s trio of shooters (Main, Wide, Depth) can capture pretty decent photos with good detail, sharpness and dynamic range.¬†Depth effect from the dedicated sensor also looks refined.

Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget PilipinasVivo isn’t letting up on its pedigree of being one of the best when it comes to selfies, as the S1’s front camera is also able to capture photos with great detail and texture. Edge detection does need a bit of work though.

Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget Pilipinas

Perhaps the most critical weakness of the S1’s cameras is in low-light, where photos take a hit in everything, especially detail.

Software

As far as aesthetics are concerned, Vivo’s Funtouch OS remains faithful to its simple yet beautiful approach. Performance-wise, the UI itself runs smooth, fluid and snappy.

Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget PilipinasYou get the usual features such as Game Assistant, which lets you block notifications and disable some other screen-related features while in-game, and App Clone, and my personal favorite, S-Capture, which not only lets you take custom shaped screenshots, but also lets you record what’s on screen.

Battery

Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget PilipinasVivo S1 managed to pull out an estimated 11 hours and 17 minutes of uptime in PCMark’s Work 2.0 test, which simulates basic video editing and data manipulation. Thanks to 18W fast-charging, it takes about 2 hours to charge its 4,500mAh battery from zero to full.

Vivo S1 Review, Vivo S1 Review, Gadget Pilipinas
Our Verdict
Vivo S1 is a decent mid-range device that offers a premium look and feel, and good day-to-day performance. It can game, but the experience certainly isn't the best you could get at its price. Its cameras fare well, at least when there's good lighting, but don't count on it in low-light. Software is feature packed and well-optimized, and the battery life is more than decent. While it's certainly a decent phone overall, I personally find it to be a little overpriced for what it offers. There are certainly other devices out there that are so much better in numerous aspects, and yet, cost less.
Design and Build Quality
Performance
Camera
Software
Battery
Price
What's Good
Premium look and feel
Decent day-to-day performance
Feature-packed and optimized software
Great battery life
Decent camera performance in day light
What's Not
Poor low-light camera performance
Too pricey for what it offers
3.7
Author

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.

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