by Deriq T. Bernard
THERE is an incredible rebranding story on the Internet about a kind cereal called “Shreddies.”
It was a boring square shaped cereal which, in order to create more interest, was repackaged into a diamond shaped munchie, simply by twisting the square 45 degrees in one direction.
This is what I thought of when I saw the S1 Pro’s diamond-shaped rear camera module.
Others have tried ovals, rounded edged rectangles, circles, and yes, squares. But a diamond, well not only is it eye-catching, it is also strangely practical. Since the Vivo S1 Pro was designed for the IG-intensive youth market under which I think I still fall into, the camera and its power is the focus of this review.
The primary camera is a 48MP with an 8MP ultrawide, 2MP depth, and a 2MP macro lens all sharing that diamond in the rear. Then inside a waterdrop notch on the front is a 32MP camera.
These cameras run of similar camera engines as other Vivos thus they produce modest to excellent photos, naturally depending of lighting, forced or natural can blur some of the details. Yet I rate the selfies, as very modest and acceptable—the colors vivid enough, with nice details and resolution. And is this not exactly why the phone was made? To satisfy the need for IG, Pinterest and other social media postings.
On portrait mode there is distinct subject-to-background separation. But in both cases, highlights can appear washed out.
Now the rear camera is a different situation.
The S1 Pro’s has sufficient speed to handle most conditions, but the shutter speed slows down to almost a halt in less than favorable lighting. Don’t let that stop you. Others phones also react the same way. The Vivo however, tries to compensate, and again, depending on the lighting condition succeeds. The bokeh is also good enough on macro.
Color although acceptable isn’t accurate enough for a professional. However, as mentioned earlier when used for posting this color concern ceases to be an issue. It balances itself our every which way. The basics for good camera–the dynamic range is pretty good, and sharpness is fantastic. Similar to the selfies, the highlights become iffy and though the bokeh is also good enough on macro, the subject can appear out of focus possibly because of the beautifying AI that does not overdo its job.
Video work is a different ballgame.
I recommend a good gimbal for this because though it records up to 1080p at 30fps, stabilization becomes an issue. The color reproduction isn’t too satisfying as well, but the necessary details are still in the videos, thus still meeting the necessities of this IG-driven generation.
To do that the workhorse and very capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 revs up the S1 Pro.
Keeping it sane are the Adreno 610 GPU and 8GB of RAM. Now this is not a rapid and aggressive set up. It is modest and midrange in its performance with basic tasks such as browsing, navigation, office work, media viewing, music streaming, podcasting and even gaming can be handled with no noticeable lags or delays.
That processing power capably runs the Super AMOLED display. At 6.38 inches and with an FHD+ (2340 x 1080) resolution, it produces vibrant colors, vivid enough so that good contrast and sharp details come out. The very bright sun poses a challenge as brightness levels only reach so high. The Vivo Nex runs brightly in any lighting condition, but given the price difference between the two phones, it is understandable why the S1 Pro can operate with the limitation.
The screen size is rather large, but it is still comfortable to grasp. Why?
Because Vivo managed to trim the edges of the case. This slightly curved rear gives more grip room. Since jewelry was the company’s inspiration for the overall design vibe, is it cut like a diamond (and has a diamond camera too) Even the colors sound so jeweler inspired; Knight Black and Fancy Sky. That’s a lot of class for a P15,999 phone.
It looks pretty, very dignified as it is. To make it fun and youthful, Vivo put red accents all over. And it worked. Audio is highly acceptable, in fact above my expectations for the price.
The volume is loud enough for the speakers to get noticed, but works best with the supplied headphones, to enjoy the best of the highs and lows from your Spotify list.
Android 9 Pie is its’ operating system. Again let me say that I do not want skins over Android, but with Vivo’s FunTouch OS, I will make a slight exemption. The notifications come down from the top, while the shortcut keys by swiping up from the bottom. The Easy Touch shortcut is configurable so that you can have access to their favorite apps or features when you want to.