Indeed, almost every one of us was astonished by the value for money offered by the Vivo Z1 Pro (review). In fact, it’s still one of the best phones in its segment, but that doesn’t deny that it had its own rooms for improvements. However, Vivo has worked on them, putting forward a more refined version, dubbed as the all-new Vivo Z1x.
Looking solely at the specs, the phone tends to offer a perfect package that one would demand in the mid-range segment. You get a Super AMOLED display, triple rear cameras, a massive battery, and an in-display fingerprint sensor. But that’s all on paper, right? So, is the new Z1x potent enough to beat the popular Realme X? And is it worth paying the premium over Z1 Pro? Well, let’s check out the same in our full Vivo Z1x review.
Vivo Z1x Specifications
Before starting with the Vivo Z1x review, let’s have a glance at the phone’s specifications, pricing and things we get with the device.
- Display: 6.38-inch IPS LCD display, Full-HD+ (1080 x 2340 pixels resolution), 19.5:9 ratio, 404 PPI density
- CPU: 10nm-based octa-core Qualcomm SDM712 Snapdragon 712 processor (2×2.3 GHz Kryo 360 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 360 Silver)
- GPU: Adreno 616
- RAM: 6GB
- Storage: 64GB/128GB
- Software: Android 9 Pie (FunTouch OS 9)
- Main Camera: 48 MP Sony IMX582 primary sensor (f/1.8, AF) + 8MP ultra-wide (f/2.2, 16mm) + 5MP depth sensor (f/2.4) | 2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps
- Selfie Camera: 32MP (f/2.0) | 1080p@30fps
- Connectivity: USB Type-C, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, 3.5mm headphone jack, FM Radio
- Cellular: Dual SIM
- Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, in-display
- Battery: 4,500 mAh, Li-ion Polymer, non-removable
- Charging: 22.5W fast charging
Price: Rs. 16,990 for 6/64GB | Rs. 18,990 for 6/128GB
Here’s a complete list of items you get inside the box:
- Vivo Z1x
- 22.5W Fast Charger
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Transparent Silicon Case
- Sim Ejector Tool
Vivo Z1x Review
As evident, the Vivo Z1x has nothing extra-ordinary to offer when it comes to design and aesthetics. It gets the same old water-drop notch up front, accompanied by narrow bezels on sides and a significant chin at the bottom. And while it looks quite modern, we’d have loved to see the punch-hole display from the Z1 Pro.
Flipping the phone over, you’re welcomed by a polycarbonate back with a gradient finish on top. Interestingly, this isn’t the most common gradient finish we’ve seen in the segment. Instead, the Z1x flaunts a subtle purple hue in the median, surrounded by dark violet accents on the sides and bottom that creates a wavy waterfall-like effect from left to right on reflection of light.
However, the back is slippery and gets smudged very easily and hence using a case is a must. Thankfully, Vivo has bundled a good quality transparent TPU case with the box. The frame too is made out of plastic but flushes seamlessly with the back. That being said, the phone is a tad large and heavy at over 189grams. Also, it’s a little uncomfortable to use it single-handedly for people with small hands.
Coming to the placements, the power button and volume rockers are given to the right while there’s a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left. Furthermore, there’s a dual-nano sim slot on the left, followed by a 3.5mm audio jack, microphone, speaker grille and charging port at the bottom. This time, Vivo has opted for a USB Type-C port instead of micro-USB which is indeed a welcome change.
The Vivo Z1x comes with a 6.38-inch Super AMOLED screen that offers 2340 x 1080p resolution, 19:5:9 aspect ratio and a pixel density of around 404ppi. Furthermore, it’s said to have 103 per cent of the NTSC colour gamut and boasts a peak brightness of 430 nits.
Unlike the Z1 Pro, the panel on the Z1x comes with a water-drop notch and gets an optical fingerprint scanner underneath. It also supports the “Always-on display” feature, which is a lovely addition. As for the screen protection, the phone employes Schott Xensation 3D glass upfront which said to be a tad stronger than the Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
Anyways, speaking of quality, the display offers crisp visuals, punchy colours and deep blacks. The viewing angles are nice, and the sunlight legibility isn’t an issue either. The panel gets adequately bright in both outdoor and indoor conditions. In our review period, we found Z1x’s screen to be great for watching movies and videos. And keeping the water-drop notch aside, it’s even slightly better than the one on Realme X.
Under the hood, the Vivo Z1x gets powered by octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 SoC, as seen on the Z1 Pro. For starters, the Snapdragon 712 is a 10nm-based chip with 64-bit architecture and 8x Qualcomm Kryo 360 CPU cores. As evident, it’s quite similar to Snapdragon 710 on the Realme X but gets slightly higher clock speeds.
In our usage, we found the phone to be buttery smooth as far as day to day tasks were concerned. Multi-tasking too wasn’t an issue, and the phone was easily able to handle a dozen of apps in memory. Thanks to the huge 6GB RAM, even apps like Truecaller and Hangouts which are generally killed were working properly in the background.
Moving further, the phone even shines when it comes to gaming. The Adreno 616 GPU is capable enough to run massive games like PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9 and Modern Combat 5 without any problems. In our usage, PUBG ran reasonably well at HD settings, and there were no heating issues either, even on extended hours of gameplay.
On the software front, Vivo is using its own custom FunTouch OS 9, based on Android 9 Pie which might be a decisive factor for many. The FunTouch resembles iOS in many areas and comes with a lot of preloaded bloatware including Vivo’s own app store, Vivo Browser, EasyShare file sharing tool, followed by third-party apps like UC Browser, Amazon, NewsPoint, WPS Office, PhonePe, and more.
Note that the quick setting toggles need to be pulled upwards from the bottom of the screen, and are not given in the notification panel. And the notification panel itself is quite messed up. Moreover, Vivo is using an ancient style of Android navigation buttons. While there’s an option to enable full-screen gestures, the overall experience isn’t that great.
That being said, there are some useful customisation features including a built-in theming engine, screen recorder, system-wide dark mode, and a feature-rich Jovi assistant. There’s also a gaming assistant called Game Cube, which blocks calls, alongside letting you enable 4D vibration for improved experience while gaming.
For photography, the phone gets a triple camera setup at the rear, comprising a 48-megapixel primary Sony IMX582 sensor with an f/1.78 aperture (seen on the Redmi K20), an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera with an f/2.2 aperture, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. Upfront, there’s a 32-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture for selfies, housed in the water-drop notch.
Thanks to pixel binning, the phone performs great in ideal lighting conditions. Images are sharp, have lots of detail and exhibit well-balanced exposure. The camera is quick to focus and often clicks vibrant photos, followed by decent macros. However, we noticed that the software isn’t optimised correctly to handle noise levels. Even the dynamic range is quite finicky, resulting in inconsistent performance in different lighting scenarios. That said, it’s likely a software issue, and we expect it to be fixed in the coming OTAs.
Moving onto the low-light performance, the phone produces bright images, but they do have a lot of noise. Anyways, the dedicated night mode does help in extracting more detail and reducing grains.
The wide-angle camera, on the other hand, isn’t as good as the primary shooter for obvious reasons. Pictures have natural colour tones, but then again, there’s a very little amount of detail on offer. Talking of portraits, edge detection is decent but not something extra-ordinary. Also, the blur effect isn’t consistent for the most part. As noted, you can also click full 48MP images in 4:3 aspect ratio. And while there’s a slight bump in detail, the colours and dynamic range tend to downgrade.
As far as videography is concerned, the Z1x can record 4K videos at 30fps which are jittery due to lack of OIS. However, EIS still manages to give good results in 1080p.
Coming to the selfies, pictures captured by the 32MP front shooter are quite impressive, to be honest. There’s enough detail, sharpness and sound color reproduction. That said, the images do show some sort of skin smoothening which we don’t appreciate much.
Battery & More
As expected, the 4,500mAh battery on the Vivo Z1x easily lasts for more than a day on medium usage. And, even with heavy use including a couple of PUBG matches, GPS navigation and recording videos, the phone managed to survive a full working day. Plus, the supplied 22.5W charger is quite fast and charges the battery from 0 to 50 per cent in just about 35 minutes which is quite surprising considering its large size.
Besides, the in-display fingerprint scanner is positioned comfortably and works reliably well. However, while the output from the headphone jack is quite good, the speaker at the bottom tends to distort at very high volumes. Barring that, we didn’t face any issues as such with the phone, counting in the network reception and call quality.
- One of the best displays in its segment
- Class-leading performance
- Impressive selfie camera
- Great Battery life
- Fast Charging, USB Type-C
- FunTouch OS is annoying
- Inconsistent Camera Performance
- No expandable storage
- Speaker distorts at high volumes
Vivo Z1x Review Verdict: Should you buy it?
The Vivo Z1x offers a fantastic display, impressive battery life and gaming performance, followed by a fast in-display fingerprint sensor- all of this without compromising on styling. Yet, the phone falls short of the benchmarks set by Realme X (review) and Realme 5 Pro in the segment when it comes to camera performance.
Moreover, the Realme X gets a sheer advantage in terms of all-screen front and pop-up selfie camera. But then again, the Z1x hits right back with better battery life, selfie camera and slightly better performance. And while the lack of expandable storage could be a dealbreaker for many, the Vivo Z1x is still a very compelling package for the price it retails for.