Vivo smartphones bring a well-rounded experience with promising camera performance, but it has now shifted focus toward gamers. Vivo T1 5G is the first of the T-series, which marks the company's foray into the affordable gaming smartphone space. For most, owning a gaming smartphone is a pricey affair, but the Vivo T1 changes that.
Vivo T1 competes in the sub-Rs 20,000 price range. It starts at Rs 15,900 for 4GB+128GB configuration, Rs 16,990 for 6GB+128GB and Rs 19,990 for 8GB+128GB. It's nice to see 128GB storage offered as standard across all models, surely a plus point for the base model.
For the price, Vivo T1 features a 6.58-inch Full HD+ display with 120Hz refresh rate, Snapdragon 695 processor, 50MP+2MP+2MP triple rear camera setup, 16MP front-facing camera and 5,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging.
Our review unit has a Starlight Black hue with 8GB RAM. There's also a Rainbow Fantasy colour option if you like the gradient finish.
Design and display
Vivo T1 is winning with its looks, which is no surprise considering the company's expertise with good phone designs. The T1 is definitely not at par with Vivo's premium range, but it sure has some hints of it. Vivo T1 has plastic construction, but it is not a giveaway. On the plus side, it offers a solid grip and keeps fingerprint smudges at bay.
The rear camera module, which houses three sensors, is outlined with a silver plastic frame and gives a nice contrast. The power button on the right doubles as a fingerprint sensor as well, and the volume controls are placed right above it. The SIM card tray is at the top, which is due to the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom alongside a USB Type-C port and speaker.
The phone has a sleek and lightweight design, making it ideal for gaming as well as day-to-day use.
Vivo T1 has a 6.67-inch display with Full HD+ resolution. It is an IPS LCD panel, which isn't the ideal choice for gaming and multimedia consumption, but Vivo had to cut corners to accommodate the low price tag. Even though there's no AMOLED panel, the display supports 120Hz refresh rate with 240Hz touch sampling rate. It seems like a good trade.
The display has a notched display and the bezels are noticeable, especially at the bottom. Vivo T1 is well suited for indoor use and it isn't the best to be used under sunlight. The display is otherwise usable for most day-to-day operations.
Vivo T1 also has the option to switch between 60Hz, 90Hz and 120Hz refresh rate, which is new for a smartphone in its range. There's also a "Smart Refresh" feature, which automatically adjusts the refresh rate based on the usage and power consumption. A higher refresh rate would kick in while playing high graphics games, but the refresh rate would be kept low while browsing menus or apps. The difference was evident, but keeping at 90Hz or 120Hz would deliver a smooth experience throughout at the cost of the battery.
Vivo T1 has a triple camera setup, which is not its strongest suit. The primary 50MP camera is supported by 2MP secondary and 2MP macro sensors. The lack of a wide-angle sensor is definitely a disappointment.
We found often relying on the main sensor for most of our camera needs, which offered decent details but suffered from inconsistency in colours and contrast in low light. In low light, using the night mode also couldn't retain natural colours as it would brighten and sharpen the image. With the help of ambient light, the photo came out comparatively better without the night mode.
The inclusion of a macro lens appears to be an attraction. It suffered to deliver good results, lacking details. Focusing on the subject is a real challenge. The 2MP depth sensor does a good job in adding the depth effect in portraits.
The front camera performed well. The selfies were decent and if you like artificial beautification, then the T1 might be just up your alley.
Check out a few camera samples below:
Performance and software
Vivo T1's focus is performance and to a large extent, it delivers greatly. Gaming, in particular, was hassle-free and worked without lags. The high refresh rate is a boon, making the games appear smoother, but we dearly missed the AMOLED panel.
The first thing we noticed in the app menu is the flood of bloatware, which seemed unnecessary. Other than that, the animations were smoother and app launches worked swift. There's also an option to bump up the RAM using the internal storage, which will result in faster app load and other operations. However, we also noticed ghost touch issue with the phone, which was fixed on its own.
Vivo T1 runs Android 12-based Funtouch OS 12. The phone can handle day-to-day tasks well, and multimedia streaming is seamless. But if you have certain preferences with third-party launcher, it might be a good idea to switch.
The fingerprint sensor is on the side, which was a challenge initially. But once you get used to it, you'll find it accommodating. The face unlock works well, but not so in dim-lit scenes.
Vivo T1 has a 5,000mAh battery. The sheer size of the battery is assuring. As expected, the T1 lasts a whole day with mixed usage. If you're planning to play a lot of games, it might be better to keep a power source close-by. But on most days, we weren't looking at the battery bars.
The real challenge was charging the battery. The phone supports 18W charging, which by today's standards, is not fast enough. In fact, there are phones in this segment offering 33W charging. To charge the 5,000mAh battery, 18W would take its sweet time. In our tests, it took nearly two hours to fully charge the phone from zero. A real test of patience.
Vivo T1 is a good phone for its price, but it has its own challenges. With focus on performance, Vivo certainly delivers on this front. But the camera and battery charging speed could be better, considering Vivo already has expertise in the area. The design of the phone is a plus point while the display's 120Hz refresh rate tries to make up for the missing AMOLED. If you've used a Vivo phone in the past, the software will be familiar and won't require adjusting. If you can live with an average battery and slow charging, the T1 is worth consideration.