Vivo Z1 Pro Review: Best Budget-Friendly Smartphone in India

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Vivo is one of the biggest and most successful smartphone brands in the Indian Market. In the past few years, the company has launched many best quality smartphones in the Indian Market. Recently, the company launched its one of the flagship smartphone, Vivo V15 Pro (Review) in India which comes with best in class specifications but was quite expensive. Now, it seems that the company wants to take on Xiaomi, Realme, and other online-first brands in the mid-range segment. The company has just launched its first “online-focused” device, the new Vivo Z1 Pro.

It looks like the company has carefully studied all the market trends before making this device to give a tough fight to other smartphone makers especially Xiaomi, and Realme. This smartphone is made for those buyers who want good-looking phones with all the latest capabilities. The Vivo Z1 Pro comes with a beautiful display, camera, huge battery, and a powerful processor. We’ve got the brand new Vivo Z1 Pro in for review, and we’re going to see if the features and specifications it boasts of will be enough to compete against other smartphones under 20,000 budget.

Design and Display

The Vivo Z1 Pro breaks the mould and introduces a design that introduces elements from phones priced much higher. Starting from the front, Vivo Z1 Pro is the second and the most affordable smartphone to launch in India with a punch-hole design after Samsung Galaxy M40. The camera hole isn’t too big and it isn’t really distracting in everyday use. The punch-hole display definitely makes Vivo Z1 Pro different from many other smartphones with either wide-notch or dew-drop notch design.

Like most of the smartphones under this segment, Vivo Z1 Pro also comes with a glossy polycarbonate back panel with a multi-colored gradient finish. In the lighting condition, you can see different colorful patterns appearing on the back panel at different angles. The effect is anything but crafty – Vivo Z1 Pro is definitely designed to be eye-catching from the front as well as the rear.

The Vivo Z1 Pro comes in three color variants – Sonic Black, Sonic Blue, and in Mirror Black. Although the device is quite big in the hands, the functional buttons are placed in such a manner that they are easier accessible. On the right side of the body, there placed the power and volume buttons while at the left of the panel there sits the SIM tray (full-size) along with a Google Assistant button.

Vivo hasn’t placed any kind of stuff at the top of this phone, while at the bottom, you will find a MicroUSB port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a speaker grill. It is quite disappointing that Vivo has shipped this phone with a MicroUSB charging port instead of a USB Type-C port which is commonly found in most of the high profile devices.

Now coming to the display, Vivo Z1 Pro sports a 6.53-inch FHD+ (1080×2340 pixels) punch-hole display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 90.77% percent screen-to-body ratio. Thanks to the punch-hole design which makes the display looks quite premium and attractive. The Z1 Pro is actually heavier at 201g but a hair thinner at 8.85mm thick.

In the retail box, you get a flexible plastic case, a pretty bulky 18W charger, a Micro-USB cable, 3.5mm wired headset, SIM eject pin, and some pamphlets.

Vivo Z1 Pro

Specifications and Software

The main highlight of Vivo Z1 Pro is that this is the first smartphone in India to be launched with Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor. This chip is based on the 10nm fabrication process and was announced earlier this year an improvement over the Snapdragon 710. It features six 1.7GHz Kryo 360 Silver cores tuned for efficiency and two 2.3GHz Kryo 360 Gold cores for power, along with integrated Adreno 616 graphics and an X15 LTE modem.

With Snapdragon 712 SoC, Vivo Z1 Pro delivers up to 10 percent better performance than the smartphone having Snapdragon 710 and 25 percent better performance than the smartphones powered by Snapdragon 660. This makes this phone more powerful than any of the smartphones available in this price segment as most of the phone are powered by either SD 710 or SD 660 processor.

Along with a powerful processor, Vivo Z1 Pro comes in three variants – 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage (Rs. 14,990), 6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage (Rs. 16,990), and 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage (Rs. 17,990).

Apart from this, Vivo Z1 Pro comes with full-size sim tray means, you can put dual Nano-SIM as well as a MicroSD card at the same time to use dual sim functionality without giving up the external MicroSD card. In addition to this, V15 Pro has rich connectivity options as it includes dual 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, GPS/ A-GPS, a Micro-USB port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. This phone doesn’t have an NFC and FM radio. The sensors onboard are an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, digital compass, gyroscope, and proximity sensor.

Vivo Z1 Pro

At the other end, Vivo V15 Pro runs on the latest FunTouch OS 9 which is based on the latest Android 9 Pie running on July 2019 Android Security patch. It offers a clean and immersive UI which makes it easier for a user to handle this phone. It also has some pre-installed apps which include some company’s own apps including V-AppStore, iMusic, iTheme, Albums, and VivoCloud among others, as well as third-party apps that include Paytm, PhonePe, Gaana, UC Browser, and WPS Office.

One of the highlights of Funtouch OS is a game enhancement that Vivo calls Game Mode in its promotional materials but is also referred to as Game Cube. This now includes specific optimizations for PUBG Mobile including “4D vibrations and 3D surround sound” as well as a countdown feature that lets you do other things while you wait for your next round to begin.

There’s also an esports mode that can kill all background apps, block notifications, and disable temperature throttling to maximize performance. According to Vivo, more features including voice chat filters are to be added in future updates.

Performance, Camera, and Battery Life

Nowadays, the performance of any smartphone is the key factor which everyone looks for while buying any smartphones. With Vivo Z1 Pro you will never give complaints, especially for its performance. We never felt any slowdowns or hesitation when using the Vivo Z1 Pro. Despite its heavy modifications, Funtouch OS did not seem to be causing any performance issues at all. Our review unit was the lowest variant with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage.

Talking about the display, it is very clear and sharp in all conditions. Viewing angles are great, but the colors aren’t as vivid as they are on competing phones with AMOLED panels. However, you’ll find a very minute difference in both of the panels and will, of course, will not be a big issue where you get a great smartphone at this segment. You can adjust the color temperature and there’s a system-wide dark mode, though not all third-party apps can recognize this and adapt.

From the gaming point of view, this might be your best companion to play high-end games on a huge display without any performance issue. Vivo Z1 Pro has also been the official smartphone of PUBG Mobile Club Open 2019. We spent some time playing popular games like PUBG on the Vivo Z1 Pro and the results were right in line with our expectations. With the graphics setting at HD, the game is reasonably smooth. It isn’t entirely without frame drops or texture pop-ins, but the gameplay is about as good as it gets in this category of devices. Moreover, I didn’t notice the phone getting appreciably warm.

Coming to the camera department, Vivo Z1 Pro sports a triple rear camera module that includes a 16-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.78 aperture, an 8-megapixel super wide-angle camera with an f/2.2 aperture, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. At the front, Vivo Z1 Pro houses a 32-megapixel sensor and f/2.0 aperture that sits inside the notch.

Coming specifically to the rear camera, the primary camera on Vivo Z1 Pro works great in the daylight condition.  It managed quality imaging with great details. The contrast, brightness and sharpness levels were nice as well. The 8-megapixel wide-angle lens adds a feature into the cap in the camera department of this phone. It adds a lot of versatility to the setup and definitely comes in handy when trying to capture large buildings, landscapes, or just a big group of people. 

Vivo Z1 Pro
Wide Angle Shot

Vivo Z1 Pro

Vivo Z1 Pro
Macro Shot

The camera also performs great in the low-light condition. The dedicated Night Vision can capture the frame in just very little light as well. However, photos captured in low-light condition some detail. Well, the best part is that even in low-light condition, the noise was under control and colors weren’t lost. Enabling the depth effect, we were able to take some nice shots with smooth background blurring, though edge detection wasn’t perfect all the time. You can adjust the level of a blur after taking a shot, in Vivo’s own Albums app.

The front camera takes decent shots, which will be more than enough for people looking to share selfies on social media. There’s no depth effect or portrait mode but you can apply lighting effects, which are somewhat like subtle filters. However, we can expect to have this feature in the future updates to this phone.

Video is unfortunately recorded at 1280×720 by default, and at that resolution, it is a little grainy, though at least it’s still bright. You can shoot at up to 4K 30fps with the Vivo Z1 Pro. However, we found the camera performing well at 1080p video recording. We found that videos recorded while walking were quite stable but an opposite case while switching to the 4K recording. You can’t switch between the standard and wide-angle lenses while shooting a video which we think a downfall of this phone.

At last, Vivo Z1 Pro is fuelled by a huge 5,000mAh battery which is capable enough to run this phone through the day even on heavy usage. It lasted for around 20 hours on continuous usage which includes few hours of Gaming, social media for more than an hour, some online videos streaming and YouTube and about an hour of music playback which looks fairly good along with some daily multi-taking. Additionally, it comes with 18W fast charging support that charges the battery from scratch to full level in about 142 minutes.

Verdict

Overall, Vivo seems to have done a very good job with the Z1 Pro. This phone has nearly every current-day feature and a selling point that we can expect on a phone priced below Rs. 20,000, most notably the hole-punch front camera and triple rear cameras. Vivo has managed to deliver competitive specifications, and we really don’t think there’s anything major missing that any other company offers right now.

The Vivo Z1 Pro is a strong all-rounder and is definitely worth considering if you are looking to buy Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro (Review) or Realme 3 Pro (Review). This phone scores very well in terms of performance and battery life and offers a big display with a modern-looking punch-hole camera as well. So, for Vivo Z1 Pro, there is big thumbs up from TechnoCodex.

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92%
Awesome

Vivo Z1 Pro

The Vivo Z1 Pro is a strong all-rounder under the 20K price segment. his phone scores very well in terms of performance and battery life and offers a big display with a modern-looking punch-hole camera as well and is the first smartphone to be powered by SD 712 SoC. So, if you are looking for the best all-rounder smartphone under 20K budget, you must go for this smartphone.

  • Design
  • Display
  • Camera
  • Performance
  • Battery

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