The reader who, at the moment, is reading this review could have arched his eyebrow when reading the name of the brand of the terminal in question: Vsmart. ¿ Where does this brand and why, suddenly, two new terminals have the same confidence in our stores? To answer these questions, we must put the reader in the background and explain what brand Vsmart is, which, as we anticipated, currently has a lot to do with the extinct, and longed for by many, Spanish brand BQ.
Vsmart, the new BQ terminals arrive in stores
Vsmart is a brand owned by the Vietnamese company Vingroup, owned by Pham Nhat Vuong, a businessman with one of the largest fortunes in the country. In its desire to expand markets, last November 26 it reached an agreement with the Spanish company BQ to manufacture and launch its terminals in our country, buying 51% of its shareholding. The result? BQ no longer exists as a visible brand but operates through Vingroup and its Vsmart mobile brand. Vingroup takes advantage of BQ's human team to establish itself in Spain as a possible gateway to other European countries and will launch the old BQ Aquaris X2 pro and Aquaris C.
So, right now we can acquire, exclusively through Media Markt, and from its own website, two new Vsmart terminals that, if you want, can be treated as the new BQ. Specifically, in this analysis, we are going to stick with the higher priced of the two, the Vsmart Active 1+ which, in the first instance, was launched at a price of 350 euros but which, fortunately, has 'suffered' a discount on its price of 50 euros, being able to buy right now for 300 euros on the official website.
And we already anticipate, before entering the matter, that for this price we are going to find more interesting models than the Vsmart Active 1+. I'm sorry to be so radical but with a panorama in which Samsung bets on the economic mid-range, with terminals such as the Samsung Galaxy A50 that can be purchased for 30 euros more or the Redmi brand of Xiaomi, whose Redmi Note 7 offers similar characteristics for a price 120 euros lower. Taking this into account, it is difficult to recommend the purchase of this Vsmart Active 1+ even with very interesting and favorable characteristics such as performance and the photographic section. If this terminal had been presented at a price of between 200 and 250 euros, it could have easily found a hole. Now, with the mid-range in a state of effervescence in which brands fight for the iron throne,Vsmart has it complicated.
First, we go with the features that we can find in the new Vsmart Active 1+ .
Vsmart Active +1 technical specifications
|screen||6.18 inches with Full HD + resolution (2,246 x 1,080), 18: 9 ratio, 86.55% and IPS LCD technology|
|Main chamber||- 12 megapixel main sensor and focal aperture f / 1.8|
- 24 megapixel secondary sensor with Tetracell technology and f / 1.8 focal aperture
Flash 4 LEDS, PDAF, 4K video recording, digital stabilizer
|Camera for selfies||- 20 megapixel main sensor and f / 2.0 focal aperture, portrait mode, Full HD video recording at 30fps|
|Internal memory||64 GB storage|
|Extension||Micro SD cards up to 256 GB|
|Processor and RAM||- Snapdragon 660 octa core 2.2 GHz, 6 GB of RAM|
|Battery||3,340 mAh with fast charge|
|Operating system||Android 8 Oreo|
|Connections||4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 a / c, GPS + GLONASS, Bluetooth 5.0 and USB type C 2.0|
|SIM||Dual nano SIM|
|Design||- Glass and metal design|
-Colors: Gradient Blue, Black, Rose Gold
|Dimensions||156.1 x 76 x 7.95 millimeters and 180 grams|
|Featured Features||Face unlock and rear fingerprint sensor|
Qualcomm aptX headphone audio
|Release date||April 10th|
Design and display
A 'premium' and very elegant terminal
The Vsmart Active 1+ is a nice terminal. Very pretty. The one we have tested is the gradient green model that, depending on the light, sometimes turns sky blue. In the center we have the Vsmart logo and, at the bottom, the brand name. In the upper center we have the fingerprint sensor that works well , fast, and without errors. On the sides we have, on the one hand, the unlock and volume button and, on the other, the SIM and microSD card tray. On the upper side we have the microphone and the band antenna and on the lower side the headphone slot, a USB Type-C port and the speaker.
On the front we have a 6.18-inch IPS screen with Full HD + resolution whose design seems anchored in another era. If brands already in full 2019 have embraced the drop-type notch, it is surprising to see such a pronounced notch in this terminal . It could be argued that it is because of the front flash it incorporates, in addition to the face unlock, but it feels out of date. And more when we look at the lower part whose frame is excessive considering that we already have the notch at the top. Why have they left so much frame down when it was not necessary? And more considering the price at which this terminal is. It is something that I cannot understand.
A design with a large notch and pronounced bottom frame
However, the surface design of the terminal is very nice. It feels very good in hand although it is a bit slippery and it would be convenient to put a cover on it. However, if the user wants to take it with nothing, he should know that the Vsmart Active 1+ is a very resistant terminal . In the week of use it has hit the ground once, from a considerable height, and has withstood the impact without problems, and that I was wearing it without covers or plastic. A favorable point, then, for the user who takes into account the resistance when buying a terminal.
Finally, say that the terminal is built in glass in front and behind, metal on the edges and the screen is coated with Gorilla Glass 5 technology to protect it from scratches.
The screen is a highlight in this terminal. Being an IPS panel, it does not throw vibrant or saturated colors but it has very good quality and good viewing angles, as well as the brightness outdoors. When playing a video on YouTube, the computer automatically hides the pronounced top notch, the same thing happening with full-screen games. No but in this section, beyond the decision of the notch and lower frame, as we said before.
Regarding the audio, I have to add that I am not entirely happy. The volume is sufficient, but the result is a very high-pitched , metallic sound that can be annoying. With headphones nothing to object. In fact, it is appreciated that the brand offers a series of headphones inside the box that give very good results, with powerful bass and balanced sound. One caveat: a week after using the minijack port, it sometimes has errors when inserting the headphones, but I put it down to the fact that the unit is a test unit and it can present certain errors.
Performance on a day-to-day basis
Obviously, with a Snapdragon 660 processor (which reaches 2.2 GHz at its maximum power) combined with no less than 6 GB of RAM, the user will not have any problem with this terminal. I have been playing a game as demanding as Asphalt 9 every day and have not had any hitches or lags or it has never restarted. Of course, during the game it has heated up a little more than normal, so we must take that into account when the summer arrives and we continue playing with it.
Nothing to object in this section, unless we say that, already put, and for the price at which it is sold, they could have opted for a more powerful processor and not continue to use the Snapdragon 660 , which we already saw in the last flagship from BQ, the Aquaris X2 Pro, launched in November last year. However, and as I say, I have not had any problem with this section of the terminal. The Vsmart Active 1+ feels fast and fluid, despite having a host of apps open in the background.
Here we are going to recommend this Vsmart without restriction. This terminal takes fantastic pictures in good light conditions , frankly sharp, with a good dynamic range (helped by the HDR plus settings that can be chosen manually within the settings). Portrait mode does this almost perfectly, even in situations where the subject wears accessories on the face that could make the outline difficult when extracting the background.
It is the turn to analyze the night photo . It is difficult for a terminal that does not belong to the high-end to take good snapshots in low light, but even on this occasion the Vsmart is capable of pulling out its chest. Logically, we are going to have noise in the photos, a bit of a watercolor effect when enlarged but, in general, they are snapshots with which we are going to be satisfied.
With the front camera we must add that we have very good results, although sometimes it can overexpose the background a bit. The portrait effect, as it does not have two front cameras, is done using software, and the results are very good. We can add the same in terms of video recording: the autofocus is very fast and we usually have sharp and neat images.
Simply, there is nothing negative that we have seen in the photographic section . It is clear that Vsmart has put a special pampering on them. If someone wants a terminal with a good camera and an acceptable price, this is their terminal.
Of course, we have slow, fast, and panorama modes.
Battery and operating system
It is not the strong point of this device or its battery or the version of the operating system with which it arrives. It is difficult to justify that a terminal in full 2019 is updated as soon as you turn it on and do it ... to Android 8.1.0 instead of the latest, for now, version of Android 9 Pie. Its battery does not yield amazing results either: its 3,650 mAh, in demanding and prolonged use, give us to get to the whole day but little more . The best thing is that it has a built-in Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ fast charge that will take us from 0% to a full charge in just over ninth minutes.
Of course, something to be thankful for in this Vsmart Active 1+ is that the manufacturer has chosen not to include any customization layer, having pure Android. Hopefully in subsequent updates those 3,650 mAh are better optimized and we can have more than the 4 hours of screen in a day that we currently have.
In the section of connectivity we have everything expected although we have flagrant absences, as in the case of NFC for mobile payments. In this price range, the manufacturer should have included the chip to be able to use our bank cards, but this is not the case. However, we have FM radio for all those who still use it. For the rest, nothing new under the sun: GPS and dual band WiFI, Bluetooth 5.0 and USB Type-C .
As we said at the beginning of the review, it is difficult for me to recommend this Vsmart Active 1+ at the price of 320 euros. At a lower price we have equally interesting options and, even, for a little more, mid-range ranges such as the recent Samsung Galaxy A50. The Vsmart Active 1+ is a more than acceptable terminal, if we ignore the front design section and the Android version but if it cost less it would be a winning horse. The brand has already chosen to lower 50 euros on the initial price of 350 euros. Whether the Vsmart Active 1+ manages to find a place in the tight mid-range is, for me, a total mystery.