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Vivo Z1 Pro first impressions: packs a punch

Vivo has always been a pioneer when it comes to selfie camera innovations. From the AI Beauty mode to the world’s first motorised pop-up selfie camera in Nex, Vivo has been a trailblazer in the industry. Now, Vivo has borrowed a cue from brands like Samsung and Honor and launched its first phone with a punch-hole display, the Z1 Pro. We spent some time with the handset, and here’s our two cents.

On the back, you get the triple camera module in the top left corner with an silver trimming around the wide-angle camera and a squircle fingerprint scanner towards the centre. Vivo is offering the handset in three colourways – Mirror Black, Sonic Black and Sonic Blue with gradient hue, which pours over to the sides as well giving a uniform look to it. The smartphone is clad in polycarbonate with a glossy finish that doesn’t get smudged easily, which is a plus. The phone also has an evenly-distributed heft to it, which makes it quite ergonomic in the hand.

As for the other elements, the Vivo Z1 Pro features a dedicated Jovi button on the left along with a SIM tray, which takes two nano SIMs and a microSD card. The dedicated Jovi assistant button can be configured to Google Assistant or Google Search as well. On the right side, you will find the power button with volume up and down keys. At the bottom, Vivo has placed the 3.5mm audio interface, micro-USB port and loudspeaker grille.

Let’s talk about the highlight of the smartphone now, shall we? The 6.53-inch display of the Z1 Pro has next to no bezels on three sides and a slight chin at the bottom. You will see the display piercing housing the 32MP selfie shooter in the top left corner. While the positioning of the hole itself is non-obtrusive, there is a thick black band surrounding the camera that sticks out like a sore thumb. The display itself features full HD+ screen resolution and is very vivid. We didn’t get to test smartphone outdoors, but the display is sufficiently bright and we feel it will be legible in direct sunlight as well. The smartphone also comes with Widevine L1 certification, which means it can play high-resolution content on most streaming platforms.

Performance wise, the Vivo Z1 Pro gets the latest mid-range silicone from Qualcomm – the Snapdragon 712 ticking at its core. The phone is being offered in three variants – 4GB + 64GB, 6GB + 64GB and 6GB + 128GB. The second-generation Snapdragon 700-series chipset is fabricated using 10nm die size and as such offers a good balance of performance and efficiency. Vivo has also equipped the latest launch with its Multi Turbo feature to boost performance, AI features, connectivity, cooling, and gaming on the handset. Speaking of gaming, there is an Ultra Game Mode with PUBG specific features. We didn’t get to try all modes but during our short stint, the Z1 Pro multitasked well enough.

On the software front, the phone boots Funtouch OS 9 based on Android 9 Pie and is powered by a beefy 5,000mAh battery.

The Vivo Z1 Pro flaunts a triple camera module on the back comprising of a 16MP f/1.78 primary camera, 8MP 120-degree AI super wide-angle sensor and 2MP bokeh camera. For selfies, you get a 32MP shooter on the front. The camera interface is pretty straight-forward with swipe gestures to shift between modes. You get AI Beauty, Wide-angle, Bokeh, HDR, Live Filter, Documents and more. The initial shots taken using front and rear cameras were both impressive. However, we will reserve judgement for the detailed review that will be up soon.

The Vivo Z1 Pro happens to be the most affordable smartphone flaunting a punch-hole display with a starting price of Rs 14,990. Plus, you get a solid processor, pleasing aesthetics and a massive battery. However, the phone might face some heat from the likes of Realme 3 Pro, Redmi Note 7 Pro and Samsung Galaxy M30.

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