Vivo S1 Pro Review
Vivo Philippines brought in the brand’s S series to the country, beginning with the S1. Months later, the company has launched the S1 Pro, a bigger sibling to the S1. See how it fared in our full review.
Design and Construction
Different from its sibling, the S1 Pro has a diamond-shaped camera module on the rear. It’s eye-catching, given that not a lot of smartphones these days have varying styles of camera modules. Vivo has stated that jewelry was the company’s inspiration for the S1 Pro’s overall design language, hence the diamond. The S1 Pro is available in two colors, namely Knight Black and Fancy Sky, with our unit here in the former. The color exudes class with a touch of fun, thanks to the red accents all over the device.
Upfront, the S1 Pro sports a display that has a waterdrop notch, housing the front camera. Slim bezels surround the panel, with the chin wider than the rest.
The red-colored power button and the volume rocker are placed on the right side of the handset. They’re easy to reach and have some tactility to them.
Sitting on the left side is the hybrid dual SIM card tray.
At the top, one can find the noise-canceling mic and the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Last but not least, located at the bottom are the single downward-firing speaker, main microphone, and the USB-C port in between them.
The S1 Pro has a premium feel to it, thanks to its glass construction, paired with a metallic frame. It’s robust in the hands, but it is quite thick and hefty. Despite that, it’s comfortable to grasp because of its slightly curved rear. As always, with glass back smartphones, the S1 Pro is prone to fingerprints, smudges, and dirt, so we advise users to use a case with it.
Display and Multimedia
The S1 Pro possesses a rather sizeable Super AMOLED display, measuring at 6.38 inches and with an FHD+ (2340 x 1080) resolution. There’s no Gorilla Glass protection equipped on this, but Vivo did install a screen protector over the display. As the S1 Pro has a Super AMOLED display, it produces vibrant and punchy colors with good contrast and sharp details. We find it somewhat usable under direct sunlight, but we do wish that the panel could have been brighter.
When it comes to audio, the sound produced can get moderately loud, with its highs and lows minimal. Mids can be heard thoroughly though, and that could be the best point about the S1 Pro’s audio.
OS, UI, and Apps
Android 9 Pie runs as the S1 Pro’s operating system, with Vivo’s FunTouch OS 9.2 skin laid on top of it. The skin is pretty clean but can be rather confusing for those who aren’t used to Vivo devices. The notifications can be seen by swiping down from the top, while the shortcut keys and the like can be viewed by swiping up from the bottom. Vivo has also included an Easy Touch shortcut for those who prefer to have quick access to their favorite apps or features; it can be enabled through the settings.
For navigation, S1 Pro has options between buttons or gestures. Apps, on the other hand, can only be arranged in a home screen style. FunTouch also offers a system-wide dark mode, in case users are tired of the default light mode. Features such as Kids Mode, Lock, Motorbike Mode, and Ultra Gaming Mode are also present.
The usual Google apps are pre-installed in the S1 Pro, along with other Vivo apps such as EasyShare, vivoCloud, and V-AppStore. Third-party apps such as Facebook, Lazada, WeSing, Webnovel, WPS Office, and Opera also come with the S1 Pro out of the box. Out of the 128GB storage, about 115GB of it is usable. The S1 Pro’s storage can be expanded up to 256GB via microSD.
Sitting on the rear of the device and inside that diamond camera module is a 48MP primary camera, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP depth, and a 2MP macro lens. Meanwhile, residing in the waterdrop notch on the front is a 32MP camera.
For selfies, images produced look pretty modest, with nice details and good colors. They’re usable enough for social media posting. Portrait-wise, subject-background separation is present; however, highlights can appear blown out at certain times.
Photos produced by the rear cameras look rather decent. The S1 Pro’s shutter speed can get slow, though, depending on the lighting condition. The images’ color reproduction isn’t entirely accurate too. However, the dynamic range can get pretty good, and there’s sharpness in the details as well. Similar to the selfies, the highlights can get overblown at times. For portrait images, the subject-background separation is quite good, although sometimes, the subject can appear out of focus.
For videos, the S1 Pro can shoot up to 1080p at 30fps. Stabilization needs more improvement, and similar to the still images, color reproduction isn’t entirely accurate as well. Still, details are present, and the videos are good enough to use on social media.
Performance and Benchmarks
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 powers up the S1 Pro, paired with Adreno 610 GPU and 8GB of RAM. The chipset is moderate at best; basic tasks such as browsing, navigation, productivity, media watching and streaming, and multitasking can be handled by the S1 Pro pretty good without noticeable lags or delays.
For those interested, check out the benchmark results that the S1 Pro yielded:
- AnTuTu – 179,490
- 3DMark – 1,085 (OpenGL), 1,050 (Vulkan)
- Geekbench 5 – 314 (Single-core), 1,387 (Multi-core)
- PCMark – 6,547 (Work 2.0)
- AndroBench – 498.64 MB/s (Read), 182.95 MB/s (Write)
Gaming-wise, the S1 Pro has an Ultra Game Mode that can be modified through the settings. It optimizes the device for gaming, allowing games to run as smoothly as possible. We played Mobile Legends and Asphalt 9 under the Ultra Game Mode, and we didn’t experience any notable frame drops during our gameplay.
Connectivity and Battery Life
The S1 Pro pretty much has everything, including dual SIM capability, 4G LTE, WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth 5.0. Location-based apps ran pretty accurately and without any issues as well.
Under our video loop test that involves a 1080p movie, 50% brightness, 50% volume with earphones, and airplane mode, the S1 Pro’s 4,500mAh battery yielded us 21 hours and 52 minutes of playback. As the S1 Pro has Dual Engine Fast Charging support, filling up its battery to a full 100% took us just under two hours.
The Vivo S1 Pro is an overall good mid-ranger. It does have a rather average chipset, and it’s pretty much a slightly improved S1 in some aspects. For a price of PHP 15,990, you get a Super AMOLED display, 8GB RAM, 128GB of storage, a modest battery life, and a decent set of cameras. Not a lot of mid-rangers offer 8GB + 128GB at this price point. If you’re looking for a decent mid-range daily driver, the S1 Pro might be your next device.
Vivo S1 Pro specs
6.38-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080) Super AMOLED display
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
microSD up to 256GB
48MP F1.8 (main) + 8MP F2.2 (ultrawide) + 2MP F2.4 macro + 2MP F2.4 quad-rear cameras
32MP F2.0 front cameras
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
Funtouch OS 9.2 (Android 9 Pie)
4,500mAh battery with Dual Engine Fast Charging support
159.25 × 75.19 × 8.68 mm
Knight Black, Fancy Sky
What we liked:
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB storage
- Premium-looking design
- Decent selfie and rear cameras
- Long battery life
- Good performance
What we didn’t:
- Minor differences from the S1
- A lot of third-party apps pre-installed
- No Gorilla Glass protection
With additional input from Miguel Ty.