There’s a smartphone battle brewing in every niche and micro-niche across price segments. Samsung, Realme, Tecno and Xiaomi are among the brands that have all launched feature-packed devices in the sub Rs 20,000 segment that’s emerging as a key battleground. Now Vivo lands straight into this space with the Z1Pro that becomes one of the first devices with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor under its hood. That’s not the device’s only talking point; looks are more important than ever before to guarantee success in this segment full of aspirational buyers.

The Z1Pro comes in three colours including a Sonic Blue that is likely to make heads turn. It’s not short on bling and manages to create a premium vibe despite a plastic rear panel. This panel has a gradient pattern that shines in the light. It’s something more and more smartphone manufacturers are adopting to make their devices stand out. The device is heavy despite this plastic panel that also features a dimpled fingerprint sensor on the rear. A 5000 mAh battery is one reason for this heft. This phone is clearly focused on power users.

 

We put this device through the AnTuTu benchmark test; it notched up a score of 183538 that bettered the Samsung Galaxy M40 marginally. That can be partially attributed to the Snapdragon 712 Processor that keeps it chugging along. You can choose from two hardware options – 4GB/64GB and 6GB/128GB extendable up to 256 GB with support for Micro SD cards. Add a heavy-duty battery that lasts almost a day and a half for average users and it’s quite a package at this price. Gamers will take comfort from Vivo’s gaming-friendly features like Game Turbo that offers a smoother gaming experience.

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It’s the same with the cameras. Vivo has packed the Z1Pro with a triple rear shooter. There’s a 16MP primary lens (f/1.78 aperture) that blends with a 2MP Bokeh lens for portrait images and an 8MP wide-angle lens for those ultra-wide images. This is a solid all-round camera with surprisingly good lowlight images (for this price point). It’s the videos that were a touch disappointing. A 32MP selfie cam is tucked into a hole-punch display. This hole is quite tiny and easy to ignore, making this an immersive display that crosses the 90% screen: body ratio according to Vivo. We were quite impressed with the colours on the 6.53-inch HD+ display (with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio) that crams almost 400 pixels per inch.

The Z1 Pro gets a couple of key things right. It boasts of elegant build quality, solid hardware spec sheet and a camera that can hold its own in this segment. Our minor cribs about this device include Vivo’s choice of a Micro USB charging slot at a time when Type-C is soon becoming standard fare across price points. In Vivo’s defence, the Z1Pro powers up quite quickly. And then there’s FunTouch UI, Vivo’s spin on Android. It’s slightly clunky and also features too much bloatware, especially if you prefer a cleaner, plain vanilla version of Android. But none of these are major deal-breakers. Vivo’s Z1Pro is one of the better smartphones in the sub Rs 20,000 price segment. That in itself is saying a lot given how mid-market smartphones have upped their game in 2019. 

 

The Vivo Z1Pro is priced at Rs 14,990 (4GB/64GB) / Rs 17,990 (6GB/128GB) and is available in Sonic Black, Sonic Blue and Mirror Black.

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