The camera-backed midrange smartphone space had never been so interesting. On Realme has spiced up the game with the launch of the Realme XT (review), which has a whopping 64-megapixel camera, Vivo’s new offering in the Z-series, with a 48-megapixel camera, has only added to delight and confusion.
Business Standard reviewed the Vivo Z1x. Here is how the phone fared on key parameters:
Gradients have become common these days, but the Z1x, thankfully, is an exception. It reflects various shades of the same colour. We had the Phantom Purple variant and the colour scheme looked fine. Its glossy finish made it shine but also attracted fingerprints and smudges.
The frame is polycarbonate; a glass back would have been better. The panel is flat, making the phone easy to hold. Even though single-handed operation is a bit difficult, the phone still fits in the hand easily.
The volume and power buttons are on the right, and a dedicated button for Google Assistant and dual nano-SIM card tray is on the left. All the buttons are within reach of your fingers.
The phone weighs 189.6 gms. Though not the lightest, it is not feel bulky — something I felt when using the phone for clicking photographs while riding pillion on a motorbike.
The overall build quality may not have been too desirable for some, but it’s a good change from the common curved look. The flat panel also makes it less slippery.
The 6.38-inch full-HD Plus (1,080 x 2,340 pixels) super AMOLED display, with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio, delivers a fine viewing experience. The bezels are minimal on the sides and top but a bit thick at the bottom.
The in-display fingerprint sensor works fine. The colours look a bit dull but the brightness can be adjusted to make it look all clear. The display may not look very crispy but the brighter side is that it doesn’t put much pressure on the eye to adjust to the screen.
The screen is ideal for binge-watching, though. The overall experience on Netflix and Amazon Prime was good. The volume output is decent, so you can rely on the phone’s sound even if you don’t have earphones or headphones.
Performance and battery
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor, paired with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage space, makes it one of the best bets in the mid-range category. The other variant of the phone comes in the 6GB+64GB configuration.
I did not face any lag while playing demanding games like PUBG and Asphalt. Although initially it looked like there were some frames dropping, it was all fine really. The company claims that the phone is powered by Multi Turbo engine to boost the gaming experience, I enjoyed my gaming sessions.
The 4,500mAh battery is a relief as the phone easily lasts more than a day on moderate to heavy usage. The phone underwent heavy camera usage along with binge streaming and at times, long gaming sessions, and the overall battery performance was good. The 22.5 W Vivo Flash Charge is enough to provide a good backup.
The fingerprint and face unlocking are quick to respond. When it comes to the interface, the Z1x features Funtouch OS 9.1 based on the Android 9 Pie. It offers shortcuts without much scrolling or navigation. In my view, the phone looks neat and the app icons appear bigger, making it easy for the user to navigate easily. There is hardly any clutter and that helps makes the interface complement the overall look of the phone.
Now, the most awaited part, the 48MP camera of the Z1x.
The triple-camera setup has a 48-megapixel primary camera with the Sony IMX582 sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor.
I was quite impressed with the camera quality. However, this may not qualify as an all-weather camera. The portraits were right in place with crispy edges and smooth background blurring. However, a lot depends on light conditions. The night mode was able to justify some shots, but we understand that a mobile camera has its limitations, so, don’t expect the moon.
The lens that I enjoy the most is the wide-angle lens and I was satisfied with most of the clicks but there remains a need for crispy and detailed output in challenging conditions.
The lens was able to bring a good area under the frame and if the light conditions allow, the final output comes out great. I used the phone during a recent trip and I was happy with most of the clicks. The night mode may not have been too good, but I was able to get better shots with the Z1x than other phones in a similar price bracket.
The 32-megapixel selfie camera does soften the image, making the skin appear clear, something I personally don’t like in a smartphone camera.
The camera interface has a lot of options that may look cluttered but come handy if you’re in the middle of action. I used the camera while riding pillion and that did not allow one to select modes and settings, but the availability of different modes and other settings made it easier to click photos and record videos.
Another thing I really liked about the camera was that the photos did not lose clarity when zoomed in. Overall, the camera performance did impress, considering the conditions and use, but there’s always scope for improvements.
With a starting price of Rs 16,990 for the 6GB+ 64GB version and Rs 18,990 got the 6GB+ 128GB version, Vivo has introduced one of the best-performing smartphones in the mid-range category. The 48-megapixel camera ad 4500mAh battery are the key highlights of the phone. There are a few misses, too, but the overall piece leaves little to complain about in the price range. The phone faces a stiff competition from Realme XT in terms of camera and price, but the Vivo Z1x clearly has its own charm.