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Vivo S1 Pro First Impressions

Xtreme
Vivo is back with a new style and camera-focused mid-range smartphone, the Vivo S1 Pro.
Vivo S1 Pro First Impressions
Meet Vivo S1 Pro in Knight Black

At PHP 15,999, it is a handset that highlights a new type of design, good screen, a lot of cameras, and several optimizations for gaming and more.

Here's our first impressions!

Build Quality/Design

Fancy Sky
Fancy Sky

Like other mid-range Vivo devices, the Vivo S1 Pro uses a glasstic material at the back and a polycarbonate frame with a smooth finish.

Unique to Vivo design

But, the type of 3D curved glossy glasstic material in Knight Black and Fancy Sky colors that they used feels and looks a bit premium at the same.
Diamond-shaped camera hump
Diamond-shaped camera hump

At the back, it also highlights a diamond-shaped camera hump. Some may like it and some may not. Personally, I like that Vivo is pushing for its own unique design and I like its camera arrangement.

It also has an IPX2 water splash resistance. It is not as good as IP67 or IP68 from the high-end phones, but at least it has some sort of water resistance unlike other mid-rangers.

Schott Xensation UP glass + Corning Gorilla Glass!

In front, you will be greeted by its large enough 6.38-inch display with a tiny halo notch. Vivo noted that its screen is protected by a layer of Schott Xensation UP glass and another layer of an unspecified version of Corning's Gorilla Glass.

With that, this device should be able to withstand a few accidental drops and avoid annoying hairline scratches. This is also the first time I heard someone do a dual-layer of protection for its display.
A small notch
A small notch

The S1 Pro boasts a 90 percent screen-to-body ratio. The chin bezel is still a bit thick, but overall, we can safely say that it has slim bezels. On top of the notch, there's a slightly hidden earspeaker.

Slim bezels, beautiful display!

It made the handset a bit handy at 159.25 x 75.19 mm. For a device with a large 4,500mAh battery, it is quite slim at 8.68 mm.
In-Display fingerprint reader
In-Display fingerprint reader

If you will notice, it doesn't have a fingerprint reader at the back. Instead, it has an In-Display fingerprint reader near the bottom of its screen.
Top
Top
Bottom

On top, it has a microphone. Vivo did not remove the headphone slot as well. Below, it has a USB-C port and a loudspeaker grill.
Left
Left
Right
Right

At left, it has a hole of the SIM slots. You will also find a microSD slot there. At right, it has a red-colored power button and the volume rocker.

As expected, the handset feels good in the hands. But since it is glossy, it is a bit slippery when placed on a smooth surface. It is also prone to fingerprint smudges. 

It weighs just fine at 186.7 grams.

Initial findings

Nice big screen
Nice big screen

1. This device has a great-looking screen for the price. Thanks to its large 6.38-inch AMOLED panel with FHD+ resolution. Remember, most mid-rangers doesn't have an AMOLED screen. AND yes, it is one of the few mid-rangers with an In-Display fingerprint reader.

2. Under the hood, it has the same chip and storage options found on the OPPO A9 2020. It runs with the 11nm 64-bit Snapdragon 665 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz paired with Adreno 610 GPU. It also has 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The battery capacity is quite large at 4,500mAh and it has a USB-C 18W fast charging support.

This configuration is just alright. Though, I would have liked it better if it used a slightly faster chip like some of its similarly-priced competitors.

3. The OS is still the same and it is still heavily-skinned. It still loads with Android Pie, but it now has a slightly cleaner Funtouch OS 9.2 skin. 

Vivo also added the Multi-Turbo feature that improves the speed and gaming performance of the phone, Game Center for a lot of gaming and anti-distraction, and the "Voice Changer" that will allow users to use a variety of voices to protect the privacy of the user. 
Promising cameras
Promising cameras


4. For cameras, I would have liked it better if it has the 48MP Sony sensor, but if they can tune its 48MP Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 f/1.8 sensor well, I'm fine. It is assisted with an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide sensor, 2MP f/2.4 4cm macro sensor, and a 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor for a total of four cameras at the back.

For selfies, Vivo used a 
32MP f/2.0 OV32A sensor. We also noticed that it has a lot of AI-assisted camera modes.

Note: We will try its cameras in the coming days.

5. It has a speedy In-Display fingerprint reader, dual-band WiFi, Band 28 700MHz 4G LTE, gyroscope sensor, and dual SIM slots.

Vivo S1 Pro Specs

Display: 6.38-inch 2.5D curved Schott Xensation UP glass + Gorilla Glass protected Super AMOLED screen w/ FHD+ 2340 x 1080 resolution at 404 ppi
CPU: 2.0GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 665 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 610
RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X
ROM: 128GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB (dedicated)
Back Camera: 48MP f/1.8 Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 w/ AF + 8MP f/2.2 ultra wide-angle + 2MP f/2.4 4cm macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth w/ LED flash
Selfie Camera: 32MP f/2.0 OV32A sensor
Battery: 4,500mAh w/ 18W Dual Engine fast charging 
OS: Android 9.0 Pie w/ Funtouch OS 9.2
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 700MHz 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5, OTG, FM Radio, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM (nano) 
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic 
Others: In-Display fingerprint sensor, IPX2 water splash resistance, dual mic, USB-C, Colors: knight black, fancy sky
Dimensions: 159.25 x 75.19 x 8.68 mm
Weight: 186.7 g
Price: PHP 15,999

As of the moment

I like that it has a brand new design, the display ranks among the best for the price, there's an accurate In-Display fingerprint reader, it goes with large RAM and storage, the battery capacity is huge with fast USB-C charging, and it is loaded with a lot of cameras that should be good for mobile photography.

My only concern, for now, is Vivo's choice of the chipset. SD665 is not bad, but it is a chip that can be found in some under PHP 10K phones. Let's hope that its optimizations are enough to help it keep up with the speed of other similarly priced devices.

For the price of PHP 15,999, nearly everything is solid about the Vivo S1 Pro so far.

See you in our full review!
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