Vivo never ceases to amaze. Whether it is about coming out with wacky concepts year-on-year or turning them into market-ready products at the speed of light, the amount of innovation happening inside this BBK Electronics subsidiary is no short of being phenomenal, and its contribution to –the growth of— technology, extraordinary. Each day, it grows only stronger and more confident, too. Case in point, the new X80 Pro.
This is the most powerful phone that Vivo makes at the time of writing. Its most expensive, too, at least in India. A version with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage will set you back by Rs 79,999. Vivo believes its new and improved camera system – over last year’s X70 Pro Plus— mated with the latest and greatest of hardware, and IP68 glass and metal design, are compelling enough for people to consider it over a Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (review), an iPhone 13 (review), or the OnePlus 10 Pro (review). After having used the phone for a bit, we can say for sure, those conceptions are not misplaced. The X80 Pro, indeed, packs tremendous potential. We’re pretty sure you’ll have a hard time telling if it’s a phone, or a camera with a phone attached to it.
You don’t even have to sift through its spec-sheet to know it’s got some insane camera specs. Looking at it, once, would be enough. Vivo has turned more than one third of the backplate into a camera island to accommodate a total of four “heavy-duty” sensors all of which sit behind a diverse range of stabilised lenses. The mirror-like assembly will be difficult to ignore, even polarising for some. The X70 Pro Plus had a relatively more muted setup. But then, here are the camera specs:
— 50MP primary Samsung ISOCELL GNV sensor behind an optically stabilised lens with f/1.57 aperture
— 12MP Sony IMX663 sensor behind a gimbal-stabilised 2x telephoto lens with f/1.85 aperture
— 8MP sensor behind an optically stabilised 5x periscope telephoto lens with f/3.4 aperture
— 48MP Sony IMX598 sensor behind an f/2.2 ultrawide lens
All the cameras benefit from Zeiss T* lens coating, thanks to Vivo’s continuing partnership with the German lens maker that helps to avoid stray light, ghosting and other irrelevant image artifacts while shooting. There are new filters, now, and version 2.0 of ZEISS natural colour that works a lot like HDR, only to give you more life-like images. The X80 Pro Plus also gets some new videography chops including 360-degree Horizon Level stabilisation and LUT styles. We will have more to say about the phone’s camera output in our full review but one thing’s for certain, this could be the Android camera phone to beat in 2022 unless the X80 Pro Plus, kicks off a notch further, which we’re assuming that it would so fingers crossed there. On the front, the X80 Pro has a 32MP selfie shooter.
The X80 Pro also comes with the second-generation V1 chip, called V1+, for improved night-time photography in addition to bringing display and gaming enhancements, Vivo says.
The rest of the design is mostly familiar. You get a glass back, which is smooth to the touch and shimmers under direct sunlight, and a metal frame, also all-matte. The X80 Pro comes in a single cosmic black colourway. The screen appears to be same as the iQOO 9 Pro’s –6.78-inch 2K (1440p) E5 LTPO2 AMOLED with up to 120Hz refresh rate and hole punch cut-out at the centre. Like the iQOO 9 Pro (review), the X80 Pro also has a Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max-based ultrasonic fingerprint reader. Not only does it give you more real estate (you can also simultaneously record two fingers for improved security), it works well even if your hands or the screen are wet. The setup is, also, instantaneous since you are only required to touch it once to record your fingerprint. It’s the best thing to have happened to biometric authentication since brands started putting these sensors under the screen.
Under the hood, you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip paired with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. This is not expandable. Vivo is using a 27-layer VC cooling system in the phone for pulling sustained performance. The phone boots Funtouch OS 12 based on Android 12 and is eligible for three major Android OS and security updates. Powering the X80 Pro is a 4,700mAh battery with 80W fast wired and 50W wireless charging support.
Rounding off the package are dual speakers, NFC, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, support for 15 5G bands, and USB 3.1 Type-C port.
VIVO X80 PRO FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The X-series, from Vivo, may have started off focusing big-time on camera prowess, but it has eventually transitioned into doing much, much more. These phones have come to become full-fledged flagships giving the best of Galaxies and iPhones a run for their money, in almost every perceivable way. What’s even more impressive is that Vivo has been able to do this in such a short span of time. The series made its debut in 2020, only.
The X80 Pro, likewise, is a photography powerhouse but there’s more to it than just that, which makes it one of the most exciting phones to launch recently. We can’t wait to put it through its paces, in the coming days, but if the X80 Pro is even half as good as its specs, we might just have a prime contender for one of the best Android phones of the year. Watch this space for our full review of the Vivo X80 Pro coming soon.