Z1 Pro proves Vivo is no pushover

The Vivo Z1 Pro enters the highly-competitive mid-range smartphone segment. It has a few tricks up its sleeve. Do those tricks help its case against its rivals’ from Motorola and Xiaomi?

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When I first saw the OnePlus 7 Pro‘s retractable front camera, I thought of the Vivo Nex. That is the power of a Unique Selling Point (USP). Same is the case with Samsung’s hole-punch front camera system. No matter where I see it, I will be reminded of the Galaxy S10. That is the same thought I had in my mind when I saw the Vivo Z1 Pro. It has the same hole-punch front camera system as the Galaxy S10 range, although that’s to sell the whole equation short. You see, unlike the Galaxy S10, the Z1 Pro isn’t a premium smartphone. It is meant for budget-conscious individuals who won’t sacrifice on features or value. These users are critical of what they get and don’t get. Let’s see if the Vivo Z1 Pro can win over these folks or not.

Vivo Z1 Pro – Photo Gallery

What’s new about the Vivo Z1 Pro?

The Vivo Z1 Pro may be a mid-range smartphone. However, you may be forgiven for considering it is a premium device. Even in the photos, it looks nothing other than a premium offering. In short, the Z1 Pro’s first impression is quite good. Now, if you were guessing it would have a glass-metal finish, you’d be disappointed. Some corners have to be cut in making a mid-range device and material choice happens to be one such corner. That said, better luck finding anyone who can discover this bit without holding the phone in his/her hand.

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Of the three colour choices offered with Vivo Z1 Pro, only Mirror Black is the vanilla offering. The rest, Sonic Blue and Sonic Black look smashing. Both feature nice colour play with multi-tone finishes. I’d have sided with Sonic Blue as the default choice. After checking out the Sonic Black though, I am not so sure.

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Up front, the Z1 Pro features an almost all-screen design with a hole-punch camera breaking the monotony. Unlike how OnePlus 7 Pro didn’t even change the location of its pop-up selfie camera vis-a-vis the Vivo Nex, the Z1 Pro relocated the hole-punch to left side of the screen and closer to the upper edge.

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Does the front camera relocation help the Vivo Z1 Pro in any way? Who cares! It’s pushed way out to the side and works. You won’t mind it a few days into your ownership of the device. On the subject, the front does have a small chin.

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That’s because the device uses an LCD screen than an AMOLED display, another cost-cutting measure. While we’re at the cost-cutting subject, the Z1 Pro doesn’t use USB Type-C either. The upside is easy availability of charging cables. The downside is it makes the device feel not as fresh as it should.

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You get a triple rear-camera setup on the Vivo Z1 Pro. The 16-megapixel main camera (middle) is paired with an 8-megapixel super wide-angle unit (top), and a 2-megapixel bokeh lens (bottom). Up front, in that hole-punch display lies a 32-megapixel camera with screen flash support.

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Vivo talks about camera and music a lot and this phone has both. Camera features on the Z1 Pro include portrait mode (with bokeh and light effects), AI filter, AI Beauty mode, AR stickers, Live Photo, and Fun Video. On the subject of music, it has a 3.5mm headphone jack too. Beat that, premium smartphones!

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The Vivo Z1 Pro is the first phone in India to sport the Snapdragon 712 chip. With up to 2.3GHz clock speed and 8 cores, it’s paired with Adreno 616 GPU. Per Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 712 chip is a power-efficient processor.

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This means, coupled with a 5000mAh battery, the Z1 Pro should keep going even after a long day at work. It features Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ tech that helps juice the battery up from 0-50 per cent in 15 minutes. While we’re on the subject of what the phone has, let’s also mention the presence of Bluetooth 5.0.

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You must have heard about the wireless reverse charging in Samsung Galaxy S10. If not, here’s a lowdown – if your phone has wireless charging and you know someone with a Galaxy S10, you can use their phone to juice yours up like a wireless charger.

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The Vivo Z1 Pro does the same thing, except with a USB cable. It also has Multi Turbo feature to improve processor performance, internet connectivity, reduce phone temperature, and improve gaming experience. Suffice to say, this phone brings quite a few unique tricks to the table.

Is the Vivo Z1 Pro worth consideration?

The Vivo Z1 Pro is definitely worth consideration, especially when you see how its variants serve different needs. There is a 4GB/64GB variant, a 6GB/64GB version, and a 6GB/128GB model. Spaced just Rs 2,000 apart from each other, they make this phone quite a good value proposition.

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In terms of repairability, the Z1 Pro’s spares are quite pocket-friendly and won’t break the bank. In short, long-term ownership shouldn’t be a problem with Vivo Z1 Pro. Do check it out if you are looking for a new sub-Rs 20,000 phone.

Vivo Z1 Pro – Specs at a Glance

SpecificationsVivo Z1 Pro
PriceRs 14,990 onward
Processor2.3GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 with Adreno 616 GPU
RAM4GB/6GB
DisplayIPS LCD, 6.53-inch with Full HD+ (2340x1080p) resolution
Internal Storage64GB/128GB
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie-based Funtouch OS 9.0
Rear Camera16-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 2-megapixel
Front Camera32-megapixel
Battery5,000mAh with Fast Charging
Dimensions162.39mm x 77.33mm x 8.85mm
NFCN/A
Fingerprint ScannerRear-mounted
Water/Dust ResistanceN/A

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