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vivo T1 5G Review - Legit mid-range gaming contender!

To those who missed it, China-based global mobile giant vivo released the T1 series in the Philippines late in May 2022. One of them is the vivo T1 5G, the company's strongest release in the sub-PHP 20K range in years for us.
One of the best all-rounders for the price?

After more than a month of using it, we will share with you guys in this article if it is worth all the hype. Read on.

Multimedia Experience

The screen of T1 5G
The screen of T1 5G

The vivo T1 5G is the first smartphone from the company in the country boasting a high-refresh-rate AMOLED display at this price point.

One of the better displays we have tested for the price!

In particular, it is using a large enough 6.44-inch AMOLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, 180Hz touch sampling rate, and FHD+ 2404 x 1080 resolution. This even has 100 percent DCI-P3 colors, HDR10+ support, a peak brightness of 1,300 nits, and SGS Eye Care Certification.
Immersive screen, but with a notch
Immersive screen, but with a notch

As a result, it provided some of the better overall screen performance we've seen for the price. Details are fairly crisp, colors are rich, popping, and a bit warm but not oversaturated, and it has great viewing angles.

On the display settings, color temperature could be even adjusted. It comes in Standard (default), Professional, and Bright color modes as well.

Its screen also has the Adaptive brightness tech, Eye protection, and Visual enhancement to somehow optimize colors on YouTube, Netflix, and the Video app at the expense of consuming more battery life.

As mentioned earlier, its screen can go very bright. As expected, it is viewable even under direct sunlight.
90fps appeared at the UFO Test
90fps appeared at the UFO Test

It also has an adaptive refresh rate with the Smart Switch function that will automatically select the appropriate refresh rate according to the actual usage scenario and system power consumption. of course, you can select to use 90Hz or 60Hz all the time if you need.

This tech made the display experience on supported apps and games smoother than the average 60Hz-only panels found on previous similarly-priced devices. It isn't 120Hz, but, this is not bad.

The display has 10 points of touch in total and a 180Hz touch sampling rate making it ideal enough for gaming.

Similar to what we previously said, our only gripe on its display is its use of a notch. It would have looked more modern if it has a punch-hole screen instead.
Single loudspeaker below
Single loudspeaker below

For audio, it uses a single down-firing speaker of 0.9cc size. vivo claims that it is a loudspeaker that is better than average speakers. It produced a tight bass response, but it lacks the deeper bass tune similar to most smartphone speakers as expected. Vocals are fairly clear. The rest of the audio frequencies are alright for a smartphone.

This also has a Loudspeaker Mode that increases its volume to 150 percent. It works as it can really make the volume louder, but at the expense of sound quality. When using this mode, audio isn't as good as the 70 percent to 80 percent volume. Distortion will be present and highs will have some unwanted peaks.

For wired audio, you may have to use a USB-C to 3.5mm dongle to enjoy your favorite wired earphones or small headphones. Thankfully, you will be able to truly enjoy it as it is Hi-Res Audio certified. Even for wireless audio, it has Hi-Res certification

You just need to make sure that both your wired and wireless earphones/headphones are quite good as well.

As expected, it has LDAC codec support which 
allows its users to enjoy high-quality wireless audio via Bluetooth up to 990 kbps at 32-bit/96KHz on supported headphones.

Personally, I enjoyed using it on my HIFIMAN Deva and Sony WF-1000XM4.

This can also be used for recording your voice and it is respectable for a phone in that regard. Just don't expect it to block noise that well and to be super clear.

For calls, it is also okay. The earspeaker they used is just as good as most mid-range phones.


A capable camera setup?
A capable camera setup?

The vivo T1 5G is tagged as a smartphone for gaming, but vivo didn't skimp on its cameras.

In particular, the handset is equipped with a large 64MP main shooter with f/1.7 aperture size and PDAF focus. It is paired with an 8MP f/2.2 117-degree ultra-wide-angle camera and a 2MP f/2.4 4cm macro shooter. This setup is completed by an LED flash that you can use in poorly lit conditions.

This one is also loaded with plenty of camera features including AI optimizations, HDR, Macro, Night, Portrait, 64MP, Pano, AR Stickers, and a robust Pro mode for those who know how to use it.

For the Night mode, it has plenty of "Styles" to choose from like Black & gold, Cyberpunk, Dreamy spotlight, Textured, Blue Ice, Green orange, Dark red, Blue orange, and Silver orange.

Here are some of the shots that we took.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight 2x zoom
Daylight 2x zoom
Daylight ultra-wide
Indoor well-lit
Indoor well-lit
Indoor close-up
Indoor close-up
Indoor Portrait mode
Indoor Portrait mode
Low light
Low light
Low light filter Cyberpunk
Low light filter Cyberpunk
Low light close-up
Low light close-up

For a "gaming-focused" smartphone, the vivo T1 5G did a better than expected when it comes to taking images using its back cameras.

In daylight and well-lit indoor shots, the T1 5G produced crisp and vibrant enough images with reasonably good contrast and shadows. Autofocus is also fast and rarely fails. Focus hunting is almost non-existent even for close-ups except in super dark situations.

Good for well-lit indoor shots!

The ultra-wide camera is decent with minimal distortion as well. But, the grain will be a bit visible in some indoor situations.

What we like the best about this camera is the main shooter takes great close-up images that produce nice background blurs. 

Speaking of the blur, it also has one of the better Portrait modes with close very good edge detection for a mid-ranger without a ToF sensor. The Portrait mode even has different styles, customizable beautifications, and light effects. This is one of the nicer AI-assisted  Portrait modes around.

What we do not use often is the Portrait camera as it is only usable in daylight and failed to impress us in indoors and low light.

In low light, the main cam shoots decent images. But, we've seen better from other mid-rangers. Even with the Night mode, some of our shots are grainy. We enjoyed its different Night mode Syles (filters) though.

We rarely use its ultra-wide in the dark as it didn't perform that well even with the help of the Night mode. This is understandable on mid-range gaming phones.

In pitch-black lighting, the dual-LED flash at the back could help in close-up shots.
Notch instead of punch-hole

For selfies, it uses a not-that-large 16MP camera with an f/2.0 aperture size. it has the Screen Flash, HDR, filters, and Portrait mode with different styles, customizable beautification, and adjustable "aperture" size.

One of our favorite features here is it has a Night mode with a customizable Beauty mode even for selfies.

Have a look at the shots we took.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie
Low light selfie
Low light selfie

In front, the 16MP shooter also did better than expected.

Even without beautification, it made my skin tone a little white and softer. But, the details on my hair, shirt, and the background is quite nice.

The field of view is not the widest around and it can only likely fit 3 people in one group, but it blurs the background somehow naturally even without using the Portrait mode.

Impressive Portrait mode!

When you use the Portrait mode, the beautification will be stronger by default but you can always tweak it or tone it down. 

The good thing here is the subject to background separation is very impressive for a selfie cam. The level of background blur is even adjustable. This is one of the best we've seen for the price.

In the dark, quality will suffer a little. But thankfully, it has a Night mode that could help you take crisper shots in low light. Again, we are impressed.

For videos, the handset is capable of recording videos up to 4K UHD or 1080p at 60fps at the back. It also has up to Ultra stabilization with the help of EIS with the crop at 1080p 60fps.

In front, it records up to 1080p 30fps with support for Steadiface with a crop, different styles (filters), and customizable beautification.

For the video shots we took, they are generally decent even at 4K 30fps. It has some sort of stabilization as well. It won't look the smoothest around, but they are very usable, especially in properly lit situations.

My favorite mode is the 1080p at 60fps as it feels smoother and you can use the Ultra stabilization. The only downside is there is a large crop. This is ideal if you are shooting in open spaces or spacious areas.

For selfies, it is also quite okay with acceptable stabilization thanks to the Steadiface function. But note that it has no 60fps mode, so make sure that you are not moving around from left to right too or those who will view it might feel dizzy.

Anyway, the back and front cameras are usable in the dark. But, expect grain and fewer colors.

By the way, this also has Slo-mo function at 1080p 120fps or 720p at 240fps. This works decently in well-lit situations.


AnTuTu and Geekbench results
AnTuTu and Geekbench results

The vivo T1 5G is a device boasting the 2.4GHz 6nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G octa-core processor with Adreno 642L and built-in 5G. This is a chip commonly found on phones in the PHP 20K range. This is also speedier even against the MTK Dimensity 920 of the higher-end vivo V23 5G. It isn't the fastest for the price, but this is on the above-average side in terms of processor type at this price point.

vivo T1 5G benchmark scores:

1. AnTuTu - 543,123
2. Geekbench - 782 (Single-Core), 2,864 (Multi-core)
3. PCMark Work 3.0 performance - 9,255
4. 3DMark Wild Life - 2,505 and average 15 fps
5. AI Benchmark - 75.2K 
6. CPDT - 517.15 MB/s (Sequential write speed), 604.75 MB/s (Sequential read speed)

vivo also paired this with 8GB of LPDD4X RAM, up to 4GB of Extended RAM for a total of 12GB usable RAM, and  128GB UFS 2.1 of non-expandable storage.

Great speed and reliability for the price!

Based on our experience, we never had issues in running most of the apps that we use for work and social media. Even for taking pictures, lag is non-existent. Just note that the extended RAM feature will eat some of your internal storage. This helps a little in allowing its users to open more apps in the background for multitasking. But note that it won't help much in gaming.

Speaking of gaming, we never had issues in running Mobile Legends: bang Bang at high settings. It even has support for 90fps which you can only normally see on pricier smartphones. For Call of Duty: Mobile, our graphic settings are Very High graphic quality and Max Frame Rate and there is no lag or whatever.

For heavier games like Genshin Impact, we tried it at mixed medium and high settings and it gave a consistent above-average frame rate.

It also comes with the Multi-Turbo 5.0 tech that improves processor systems and network connectivity to reduce fps drops on popular games and allows players to switch between apps easily without freezing.

This even has the Ultra Game mode that disables background calls, hides pop-up notifications, gives the users the ability to switch to Performance mode, record the screen, and more.

Moreover, it goes with the Z-axis linear motor + 4D gaming vibration for an even more immersive experience.

Speaking of thermals, vivo equipped the device with a 32,923mm² large cooling area (3x the phone's surface), 2,097mm² large vapor chamber, and 8 components cooling solution.

As a result, the phone only gets warm after 2 hours of game time, not hot.

Connectivity-wise, we never had issues with its WiFi. This WiFi is even WiFi 6, the new standard. 5G works well as long as there you have a signal in your area. 4G reception is strong. Bluetooth 5.2 works. Google Maps and Waze performance is alright.

The device also has a pretty fast and accurate In-Display fingerprint scanner and face unlock tech for security.

Note: You may see the 5G speed test and In-Display fingerprint scanning sample in the gaming video we embedded above.

For battery, it comes with a fairly large 4,700mAh capacity. It would have been nicer if it has a larger 5,000mAh capacity, but this is still considered as large for a slim gaming phone.
PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test
PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test

Anyway, it lasted 17 hours and 30 minutes on the PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test and that is a pretty good score.

In real-life, we used it for downloading, playing, taking photos, and web surfing from 2:30 PM to 5 PM and it still has 82 percent left in the tank. It can last for a day or two on casual usage.

Even for gaming, it doesn't drain much power. In our test, a 10-minute Mobile Legends or CODM game only takes 1 to 2 percent of battery even if the data is turned on.

When we tried to drain it by turning on the WiFi hotspot with auto-brightness while playing Genshin Impact, it only drained around 50 percent of the juice in 2 hours and 30 minutes.

After draining its battery, you can easily fill it up by 100 percent in just 40 minutes using its 66W FlashCharge power brick. Unlike other brands, ahem Samsung and Apple, this faster charger is FREE in the package of the phone.
The UI 1
The UI 1

For the interface, the experience is identical with the V23. It has modern-looking circular icons, deep Google integration, and a buttery smooth transitions.
The UI 2
The UI 2

When locked, you will see the time, notifications, and a fingerprint scanning icon (with replaceable animations styles in the settings).

After unlocking, you will see most of the modern features found smartphones such as the notifications and shortcuts after swiping down. This includes WiFi, Mobile data, Bluetooth, and Hotspot to Flashlight, S-capture (screenshot), Eye Protection, Dark theme, Record screen, Ultra Game Mode, and Split screen, among others.

My few gripes here is it has a few bloats (fortunately,  most are removable) and there are ads in the notifications.

To help you keep your device snappy, secured, and in managing it, vivo also included the iManager app. It even has utility tools for app encryption, app cloning, network management, EasyShare, and etc.

Pros - Stylish build, great display, strong mid-range performance even for gaming, strong battery life for a slim phone, fast charging, decent cameras for a "gaming" phone, solid price tag
Cons - Notch screen in 2022, non-expandable storage

vivo T1 5G Specs

Display: 6.44-inch 2.5D curved AMOLED screen w/ 90Hz refresh rate, 180Hz touch sampling rate, HDR10+, FHD+ 2404 x 1080 resolution at 409 ppi
CPU: 2.4GHz 6nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 642L
ROM: 128GB UFS 2.1
Back Camera: 64MP f/1.79 w/ PDAF + 8MP f/2.2 117-degree ultra-wide-angle + 2MP f/2.4 4cm macro + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16MP f/2.0
Battery: 4,700mAh w/ 66W FlashCharge
OS: Android 11 w/ FuntouchOS 12
Connectivity: WiFi 6, 5G SA/NSA, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.2, OTG, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS, dual SIM (nano)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: In-Display fingerprint sensor, Hi-Res Audio (wired and wireless), dual mic, multiple cooling solutions, USB-C, Colors: Turbo Cyan, Turbo Black
Dimensions: 159.7 x 73.6 x 8.49 mm
Weight: 180.3 g
Price: PHP 16,999


A solid contender!
A solid contender!

This is very close to the vivo smartphone that we wanted at this price point.

Similar to what we said in our gaming test, this device handled all the games we threw at it quite well for the price.

Moreover, it isn't just a smartphone for gaming. It is a good all-rounder as well. The design is sleek and not too gamer-ish, the display is great, it is fast for the price, the battery and charging performance are strong, and even the cameras are decent.

This is one of the better phones for the price and it is a must-check under PHP 17K for us.

Build/Design - 4.5
Multimedia Experience - 4.5
Cameras - 4
Performance - 4.5
Average - 4.375/5

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