Technophile

Vivo Z1x: The game has changed

Mala Bhargava September 23 | Updated on September 23, 2019 Published on September 23, 2019

A beautiful screen, good camera, fast and fluid performance and big battery - all at a killer price

Never before have smartphones in this price category been so much value for money as they are today. Vivo’s Z1s, despite its unnecessarily obtuse name, demonstrates that fact.

The Z1x looks rather good. Everyone is doing gradients and most of them are blue-purple-green combinations, but Vivo has had a good go at making their back panel look unique with a purple streak in the middle and more blue all around it. This variant, the one we received to review, is apparently called Phantom Purple and the colour seems quite aptly named.

It’s interesting that reviewers can no longer tell whether a back is glass or plastic and that’s wonderful. If plastic has caught up with glass, may as well stick with plastic which surely has to be more durable. I’m told it’s plastic but if you told me otherwise, I’d believe that too.

A few things worth mentioning about the design are - the Vivo Z1x has a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left. Unfortunately that isn’t usable for any other function but it does what it’s meant to pretty promptly. Another feature is worth-mentioning is the attention paid to the packaging inside and all the extras in the box. There are just small touches that show a thoroughness that needs to be appreciated.

Screen time

The 6.38-inch 1080x2340 pixels AMOLED FullHD+ screen is something you just won’t have any complaints over. It’s both crisp and richly coloured and very pleasing to look at. It’s good and bright and the auto brightness is for a change not aggressive and annoying. What makes it nicer is that it’s topped by an almost negligible notch. I promptly watched a full movie and enjoyed the experience a fair bit.

This isn’t a small and light phone but more an in-between one. It’s a good attempt to give the user everything possible in one package. One of those things is a whopping 4,500mAh battery with a 22.5 watts Flash charger. Not only does it last long, it can be charged very fast.

Performance on the Vivo Z1x is just one. It’s all fluidity and smoothness as you navigate from one thing to the other. For everyday purposes you won’t need more than what its Snapdragon 712 processor gives you, paired with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. There’s no external card slot and while many think that a big drawback, I think people have more than figured out using multiple cloud storage options.

What’s not so great on this phone is Vivo’s FuntouchOS interface which really is no fun at all. It seems to have no logical organisation and never settles into familiarity. There’s a sense of mess and clutter and randomness and just too many elements everywhere. It does run on Android 9 Pie and is by no means a slow interface, but it cries out for some neatness. There are chunks that are just lifted off from the iPhone. The swipe up from down has a sort of control panel reminiscent of the iPhone’s but somehow doesn’t sit right on an Android phone. The camera has studio lighting effects first started on the iPhone and arranged in exactly the same way on this phone.

 

With Indian users being particularly fond of phone cameras, there’s a treat in store on the Vivo Z1x  which has a three-lens setup. The main camera is a 48MP Sony IMX852 sensor from which you get nice detailed clear images. There’s a 8MP wide angle lens which is very nice and a 2MP depth sensor. The Portrait mode is where you don’t expect it to be and has nice lighting effects though they are lifted off from the iPhone. Of course, that doesn’t detract from how nice they make your selfies look from the 32MP front camera. All the filters and effects look very nice as well. Selfie lovers should have fun with this. A rainbow lighting effect is a particularly fun bit that can get quite addictive. The night mode too works rather well. All in all, the Z1x’s is one of the best cameras under Rs 20,000 and overall the package is an easy one to recommend.

Price: Rs 16,990

Pros: Popping design, great screen, good camera, negligible notch, fluid performance, fast charging, great price

Cons: Funtouch OS not that much fun with its clutter, randomness and number elements, borrows too much from the iPhone

Published on September 23, 2019
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