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vivo S1 Pro Hands-On: One Last Push

Buzzer beater from vivo

vivo isn’t quite done with phone releases for the year just yet. After its rapid-fire local announcements for the V17 Pro, NEX 3, and Y19, the company had one more phone up its sleeves with the S1 Pro. The phone’s claim to fame is a diamond-shaped camera module on the rear that’s a marked departure from the typical designs we see on other mid-range phones in its class.

Will diamonds be forever?

While most brands—vivo included—have been using circular-shaped camera modules to house triple or quad-rear camera setups, the company chose a different approach for the S1 Pro. The diamond-shaped module is certainly unique, with three cameras—48-megapixel main camera, 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and 2-megapixel depth sensor—lining up towards the center. The 2-megapixel macro camera is located towards the right part of the module, while the LED flash is right below it.

We’re not sure why vivo went for this unorthodox setup instead of a circular or vertical camera module that’s more commonly used nowadays. The diamond-shaped camera module is certainly very polarizing, with the Unbox crew split down the middle as far as loving or hating it is concerned. Will this be how vivo houses the cameras on its phones moving forward? We don’t know, but it certainly makes the phone stand out from the crowd.

On the front, the S1 Pro is similar to its non-Pro sibling with its 6.38-inch Super AMOLED display that has a conventional dewdrop notch. That small notch is home to a 32-megapixel snapper and an earpiece tucked right above it. The display supports the P3 color gamut, so expect great color accuracy with the S1 Pro’s panel.

Since it does not have a pop-up module, the S1 Pro is one of the few vivo phones to have an IPx2 rating—that means it can handle water drops, but not accidental splashes.

vivo brings back the “camera and music” branding with the S1 Pro, with the intention of marketing the phone as an all-around multimedia device.

Like the V17 Pro, the S1 Pro ditches MicroUSB for USB-C with support for USB OTG and reverse wireless charging. The headphone jack remains present and is found on top of the device. However, the S1 Pro sticks to a plastic back panel instead of glass.

Powering the S1 Pro is a Snapdragon 665 processor paired with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. We’ve already tried phones with the Snapdragon 665 processor, and Qualcomm’s 2019 mid-range chip gets the job done quite well. However, we still have to do our usual set of tests to see if the S1 Pro’s FunTouchOS 9.2 UI makes it a better performer compared to the competition.

When it comes to juice, the S1 Pro packs a large 4500mAh battery with vivo’s 18W dual-engine fast charging.

vivo has yet revealed the price on the S1 Pro as of this writing. However, given the recent price cut for the S1, we expect the S1 Pro to be priced anywhere between the Php 14k to 16k range. We should know more about the S1 Pro, along with pre-order details, on November 20.

vivo S1 Pro Specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 octa-core processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 6.38-inch Full HD+ AMOLED Halo FullView display, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 2340×1080 resolution
  • 128GB of expandable storage (up to 256GB)
  • Quadruple rear cameras: 48-megapixel f/1.8 Samsung GM1 main camera; 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera; 2-megapixel f/2.4 depth-sensor; 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro camera with PDAF, LED flash, AI Scene Recognition, Super Night Mode
  • 32-megapixel f/2.0 front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 4G, LTE, VoLTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • In-display fingerprint sensor, Jovi assistant, IPx2 rating
  • 4500mAh battery with 18W USB-C fast charging
  • Android 9 Pie with FunTouch OS 9.2

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