The camera will help you forgive the ugliness of the Vivo X80 Pro
The Vivo X80 Pro isn’t the prettiest phone you can buy. It’s a bit boring to look at, especially in the black color of our review device, and the cluttered and messy camera module looks unfinished and confusing. But inside the module is what looks like a very powerful phone camera.
Appearances are subjective and many will overlook them for a great camera, but another much worse hurdle faces anyone wanting to try the Vivo X80 Pro: availability. The question then becomes, is it really worth getting one?
This ugly camera mod (sorry Vivo, but it does) houses a bespoke 50MP Samsung GNV sensor, 48MP Sony IMX598 wide-angle camera, 12MP IMX663 camera for portraits and an 8 MP telephoto lens. Everything is controlled using Vivo’s new V1+ imaging sensor and the company’s innovative gimbal stabilization system, while Zeiss provided expertise throughout the camera, including adding its coating T Star anti-reflective glass lenses.
What else do you need to know about the specs? Unlike the X70 Pro, the X80 Pro’s gimbal is mounted on the 50mm portrait lens and not the wide-angle lens. Zeiss worked on video bokeh mode and AI for face recognition, as well as added a special color boost mode in addition to the new CNG sensor color filter.
Having used the camera over the course of a few days it took some pictures which I really like. It manages to capture colors in a very beautiful way, adding an atmosphere to shots that may not be visible in photos taken with other phones. Night mode isn’t too heavy, keeping scenes realistic while exposing shadow detail, and bokeh mode can be incredibly accurate.
What’s not so good? The massive CNG sensor isn’t always very good at working near anything. I had trouble capturing insects and other small objects of interest at any zoom level, for example. But the fact that I tried to take these photos is a testament to the Vivo X80 Pro’s ability to inspire you to experiment. The wide-angle camera still needs some fine-tuning, but it’s pretty consistent with the main camera. Most unfortunate of all is that the gimbal system, which was so successful on the X70 Pro+, has been moved to the portrait camera.
This means that all of the X70 Pro+’s fancy stabilization modes are missing. It’s a shame, because for me personally, the video mode has lost a big selling point and almost all of its unique fun. Finally, the Zeiss Natural Color mode can really oversaturate colors and is anything but natural. It is disabled by default and the majority of photos in the gallery were taken without it.
I was very happy with the X80 Pro’s main camera, and the selfie camera also takes good photos, but less so with the wide-angle and telephoto cameras. Both seem to work better in some situations and then poorly in others. Much of this could be fixed in a software update – I’ve been using the phone before it was released – and due to the main camera sorting I see a lot of potential in the X80 Pro’s camera.
And the phone?
The Vivo X80 Pro isn’t subtle. The body is 9.1mm thick and weighs 219 grams, which is about the same as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, while the massive 6.78-inch AMOLED display sits under curved glass on the front. The back is AG fluorite glass, the same as the Vivo V23 series, which is smooth and cool to the touch but doesn’t offer much grip. A frame-style plastic case is included in the box to provide vague protection.
It has all the power you could want. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor comes with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage space, the screen has a resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels and a refresh rate of 120Hz, and there are built-in stereo speakers, 80W fast charging and 50W wireless charging. The phone runs Vivo’s FunTouch OS 12 software on Android 12.
Although Vivo is part of the BBK Electronics empire along with Oppo, Realme, and OnePlus, FunTouch manages to look and function differently than ColorOS, RealmeOS, and OxygenOS. I find it more attractive to look at, the design more consistent, and the interruptions less frequent. I also think it’s smoother and faster.
I haven’t used the phone as my primary phone yet, but I’ve used it for browsing the internet, using social media, watching videos, and playing games. Regardless of what I do, it’s been a real powerhouse. The screen is particularly remarkable, with Asphalt 9: Legends play flawlessly and the 120Hz refresh rate kicks in at exactly the right moment (e.g. scrolling through Google Discover and YouTube reviews).
A special mention has to go to the fingerprint sensor. It provides twice the contact area you find on most other phones, making it less important to be super precise when you go to unlock the phone. Vivo has experimented with great fingerprint recognition systems before, but unlike the prototype Apex phone, accuracy was 100% for me on the X80 Pro.
If you live in the US or UK, the Vivo X80 Pro will not be on sale at your local carrier store or electronics retailer. It won’t even be found online through Vivo. The X80 Pro will so far only be released in India, Hong Kong, Latin America, parts of Asia (including Thailand and Singapore), and parts of Europe and the Middle East. East. The price will vary, but in India it’s the local equivalent of $1,125, which is lower than the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
The lack of availability in the US and UK for the Vivo X80 Pro is frustrating for several reasons. The first is that it looks like a great phone and an obvious challenger to the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Google Pixel 6 Pro and Apple iPhone 13 Pro. The second is that the UK is inundated with phones from Realme and Oppo, as well as OnePlus (now part of the same club), so the real choice, especially when it comes to software, is eroded.
Vivo may still be part of the same company, but its phones at least feel different. It doesn’t have the Hasselblad name on the camera, ColorOS isn’t installed, and the camera really does something different than the Find X5 Pro, OnePlus 10 Pro, and Realme GT 2 Pro. The fact that the Vivo X80 Pro impresses as much as any of these three phones (sometimes more) makes it all the more annoying for being the hardest to get hold of.
The Vivo X80 Pro is one of the few phones that’s probably worth importing, and hopefully those at BBK Electronics watching the various brands will see that we’re more interested in an individual Vivo phone than another Oppo. . phone cloning.