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This phone packs flagship power, higher refresh rate than S20 for under $350

Update: vivo has confirmed that its new phone is only available in China for now.

Published onMay 19, 2020

vivo iqoo z1 official

Update, May 20 2020 (4:42AM ET): vivo has come back to us and confirmed that the Iqoo Z1 is limited to the Chinese market right now.

“Iqoo Z1 is currently available in the China market only. We will share more updates if it is available in more markets in the future,” the company told Android Authority via an emailed response.

We’ll undoubtedly expect a price increase if the phone leaves China, but even a ~$100 increase means it’s still going for under $500. Not bad for a phone with a flagship-level chipset and a 144Hz screen.

Original article, May 19 2020 (6:29AM ET): MediaTek announced the Dimensity 1000 Plus chipset earlier this month, being a mild upgrade over the Dimensity 1000 launched late last year. Now, the first phone powered by the new processor has launched, and it’s the vivo Iqoo Z1.

The Iqoo Z1 offers that Dimensity 1000 Plus chipset, which features an octacore CPU (4x Cortex-A77 and 4x Cortex-A55), Mali-G77 MP9 GPU, and a six-core APU for machine learning. vivo’s new phone also sports sub-6Ghz 5G (but no mmWave) and 5G+5G dual SIM support thanks to the chipset.

Otherwise, the phone also stands out thanks to its 6.57-inch 144Hz screen (FHD+ LCD), beating the likes of the Galaxy S20 series and OnePlus 8 series in this regard. But this is an LCD panel rather than an OLED screen.

vivo Iqoo Z1 5G

5G connectivity and a high refresh rate requires a sizeable battery, and the phone serves up a 4,500mAh pack with 44W fast charging. In fact, vivo says the phone hits 50% juice in 23 minutes and 100% capacity in 59 minutes.

The vivo Iqoo Z1 also offers a triple rear camera setup (48MP main, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro), and a 16MP selfie camera in a punch-hole cutout. It’s a little disappointing that we don’t have a telephoto camera here, so you’ll need to rely on cropping via the 48MP camera instead.

Would you buy a MediaTek-powered flagship phone?

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Other notable features include USB-C, a 3.5mm port, NFC, a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, and Iqoo UI atop Android 10.

The vivo Iqoo Z1 starts at just 2,198 yuan (~$309) for the 6GB/128GB model, while the 8GB/128GB variant will set you back 2,498 yuan (~$351). Need more storage? Then the 8GB/256GB option will cost you 2,798 yuan (~$394). We’ve asked vivo about wider availability and will update the article when they get back to us.

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