Published on November 10th, 2019 | by Tony Smith

vivo S1 Review

vivo S1 Review Tony Smith

Summary: The vivo S1 is a great new smartphone for the Australian market!


A Great Start!

Another new smartphone company has arrived in Australia with vivo that gives Australians an additional choice when it comes to midrange phones. Like OPPO and Huawei, vivo offers an aesthetically impressive looking phone with their new S1, especially with its gradient colouring that changes its shades in different lighting.

Furthermore, it’s quite a lightweight of phone at just 8.3mm in thickness with a weight of just 179 grams. The phone also uses Android 9.0 with a skin called Funtouch OS 9 and while this replacement for the main look and feel of Pie is good, I do prefer the vanilla incarnation but nonetheless, it is still quiet a user friendly skin for the operating system.

Box Contents

  • vivo S1 Smartphone
  • Earpieces
  • Documentation
  • microUSB to USB Cable
  • USB Power Adapter
  • SIM Ejector
  • Protective Case
  • Protective Film (applied)

However where the S1 shines for us is its screen. The vivo S1 comes with 6.36” Super AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and a 90 percent screen to body ratio. The resolution is 1080 x 2340 that produces exceptional sharp images with super vibrant colours that almost makes images come to life on this smarpthone.

Needless to say, whether playing games, watching films, surfing the net or flicking through photos, the screen on the S1 is impressive to say the least. While the screen has a teardrop on the top for the powerful 32-megapixel front face camera (aka selfie camera), it is not that noticeable and blends well into the screen itself.

Another great feature of the vivo S1 is the option of having the screen “always on” that displays the time and notifications which allows you to get these at a glance. So while this uses additional power, the smartphone is in a low-power mode so it’s a small price to pay. Given the cost of this phone, the next feature was quite unexpected, an in-display finger print reader that allows you to easily unlock the phone and without inputting a password.

The camera(s) on the vivo S1 are quite impressive for this mid-range phone, including AI enhanced settings and presets such as “beautify” or landscape. On the back of the phone is a triple camera system that includes an 8 megapixel wide-angle camera, a 13 megapixel main camera and a 2 megapixel depth-camera. The cameras are also powered a Sony IMX499 sensor which does improve clarity and replicating real-world camera. Here’s some sample images we took with the vivo S1, including it’s digital zoom.


As you can see, colours are quite vibrant and the macro feature is great. There is some muting of colours, if you look closely on some of the blue sky photos. However with that said, we were quite impressed at the end results and for the price of this smartphoine, it’s definitely great value for money.

The S1 is also powered by a 2Ghz MT6768 octa-core processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. While this is a midrange processor, the phone does work well for gaming and you can even enable an Ultra Game Mode to increase the framerate, however this will use more of the battery.

Speaking of battery, this phone is supported by a very impressive 4500mAh battery that easily allows almost up to 2-days of regular use. The phone also supports fast charging or as vivo label, it, “Dual-Engine Fast Charging” that is far superior than standard USB connections. In other words, it is a super quick charger!


  • EAN/GTIN/UPC :6935117817026
  • Manufacturer: Vivo
  • Model: S1
  • SIM Card Type: Dual SIM, 4G/4G
  • 2G Network: 2G/GSM, 850, 900, 1800, 1900
  • 3G Network: 3G/HSDPA, 850, 900, 2100
  • 4G Network: 4G/LTE, 2100 (B1), 1800 (B3), 850 (B5), 2600 (B7), 900 (B8), 700 (B28), 2300 (B40)
  • Camera(s): 16 MP (Primary), 8.0 MP (Primary), 2.0 MP (Primary), 32 MP (Secondary)
  • Storage: 128GB
  • External Storage: Expandable to up 256GB via MicroSD card
  • RAM : 6GB RAM
  • CPU: Octa-core 2×2.0 GHz & 6×1.7 GHz
  • Chipset: MTK P65 2.0GHz (12nm)
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Battery Capacity: 4500mAh
  • Screen Size: 6.38 inches, 1080 x 2340 pixels
  • Fingerprint Sensor: Yes
  • Handset Type: Touch Screen
  • Weight: 179g
  • Dimensions: 159.5 x 75.2 x 8.1 mm
  • OS Version: Android 9.0 (Pie)
  • Warranty: 24 Months(AU)

Another function within this phone is the vivo’s smart AI called Jovi. This feature is similar to Google Assistant but it is a more personal experience such as telling you to bring your umbrella to work or informing you it’s time to exercise or why are you working overtime thanks to Jovi Smart Scene. When enabled it even gives the user access to adblocking.

The phone also has the ability to group your photos together in order to create themes with your memories. Then you have Jovi Image Recognizer which allows you to take photos of items and then compare them to products online (e.g. dresses or furniture). OH, there’s even a dedicated Google Assistant button on the side you can push and with a double press, it brings up Jovi Image Recognizer.

In terms of speed, the phone is quite responsive and loads app and navigates the O/S very quickly. Games such as Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9 Legends and Injustice 2 all worked a charm. In terms of benchmarking, the vivo S1 was ranked as a midrange smartphone. Furthermore, there’s plenty of storage and for $449AUD (November 2019), it gives you some great value for money.

It should also be mentioned that the vivo S1 comes with an Ultra Game Mode which allows you to truly become immersed in the game that you are playing. By enabling this function which does not affect your day to day usage of the phone, it allows you to keep on gaming while taking background calls or you can even block calls directly and  alerts. Another highlight is the ability to have game picture in picture which means you can have a chat window while you are gaming! Furthermore, you can even tailor this function to include only certain games.

Final Thoughts?

vivo have launched a strong midrange phone for the Australian market with their S1 that is great for anyone looking for a new phone on a budget. It also feels like a more expensive phone and with its triple camera system plus powerful front-facing camera, this phone is great for social media fans as well. All in all, a strong launch from vivo with an excellent screen, good performance and decent photography capabilities.

For more information, please visit https://www.vivo.com/au/products/s1

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