Vivo X80 Pro Review: one of the best smartphones out there!

If you have not accompanied the smartphone market, you may be surprised and do not recognize the Vivo brand. Or, think we’re talking about the Brazilian telecommunications operator. But no, we’re talking about the smartphone manufacturer that’s in the top 5 world smartphone sales. Yes, Vivo is one of the main brands of smartphones, but it has been out of Europe until a few years ago. Now, come on!

It was at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic that Vivo decided to launch itself on the European market, which put some difficulties and that led, for example, to the arrival to Portugal to pass by. However, for those who are attentive to the market, it is not strange that the brand is one of the best in the market, not a very innovative manufacturer, like having launched the first supersonic 3D biometric sensor, which is in this Vivo X80 Pro, or having advertised the fastest loading of the 200W market. However, if you have read our first impressions of Vivo X80 Pro, you are not surprised by the title of this analysis.

Since the presentation event in Berlin of the new Vivio X80 Pro, we have walked with the smartphone, where we tested several of the novelties, with clear highlight for the fingerprint sensor and also the cameras. It is in these two areas where we find the main innovations and that put this smartphone a level above all the competition.

Live X80 Pro: Design

The overall design of Vivo X80 Pro is very similar to that of the X70 Pro+, being difficult for us to be surprised today. However, in the back area we have the large area directed to the chambers, quite bright, while in the rest we have a matt black, which I applaud the choice because it is very good to hide the data, contrary to what happens with the large part of the smartphones, which choose glass and/or bright aspects.

Looking a little at the box, it’s good to see that Vivo added a leather cover (which doesn’t protect the smartphone too). I highlight an aspect that I consider very important (by the negative), which is the cover does not fully protect the camera, and when we put the equipment on a table, the cameras touch the surface, which is something that I consider essential and is one of the reasons why I always add a cover to my smartphones (in addition to having “slip hands”, of course).

There is a large ‘window’ for the cameras, with a “reasonable” thickness, but as it occupies the entire width of the smartphone prevents the phone from leaking when placed on a flat surface. The primary, ultra-wide telephoto camera and one of the telephoto cameras is inside a circular ring, while the periscopic telephoto camera is placed just below, with the flash being placed on the right side. We also check several mentions of Zeiss, from the very beginning inside the circular ring, as well as two more, demonstrating that it is a clear bet of the living and the Zeiss.

Although it is not a “premium” design, the touch shows us that it is and that nothing is behind, and the sides have a metallic touch. The Living X80 Pro has IP68 certificate, wireless charging up to 50W and still an infrared sensor, which is something we already miss (old times of the top-end Huawei that had this functionality).

It should also be noted that this equipment is a magnet for dust. The screen seems to attract more dust than normal, without mentioning the small compartments and spaces we find on the sides of the equipment and also with the cover we check this, but which can be easily cleaned.

Live X80 Pro: Specifications and Software

The Living X80 Pro features Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which is the top-end processor of 2022. The company added a second generation of its V1 image chipset, called V1+, which claims to help with low-light images, video recording and games.

Communication standards include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC and support for the usual satellite navigation systems. The internal storage of Vivo X80 Pro cannot be expanded, but still has 256GB of ROM (and in China there is a version with 512GB).

The phone now features a 4.700mAh battery and can be loaded quickly with the 80W adapter which is supplied in the box, or then wireless to 50W. So, with wires it is enough 38 minutes to reach 100%, while wireless needs 50 minutes and during our use we check that actually charging the smartphone is incredibly fast.

The phone has a 6.78 inch AMOLED display with WQHD+ resolution (3.200 x 1.440 pixels). It features a 120Hz refresh rate and a 300Hz touch sampling rate.

In terms of software, it has Funtouch OS 12, which is based on Android 12. Vivo promises three generations of Android OS updates and three years of security updates, which meets the competition.

Funtouch OS 12 is practically what would be expected from any recent Vivo smartphone. Android 12 adds a certain level of customization, but the OS still has aspects I live very strong instead of the Android 12 stock. Although the software works smoothly, without regular use hiccups, we see that Vivo’s customization still has some things to fix. For example, during the configuration of my Google accounts, two of them indicated that I was setting up Vivo X70+, which shows that the software seems to be not the end yet.

Some details that should be corrected in the next software updates that Vivo does.

Another aspect that I do not like in Funtouch OS 12 is the amount of bloatware it has. There are so many applications already installed, that it would take to name them all. It is true that the equipment has 12GB of RAM and the applications will not be noticed, but I like to have the smartphone “clean”, only with the applications I use. Fortunately, it is possible to uninstall almost all applications that are not necessary.

Live X80 Pro: Performance and Battery

The AMOLED screen of Vivo X80 Pro produces natural aspect colors and is bright enough to face direct sunlight. The text and the images appear sharp and did not find the curved edges of the screen distracting when watching movies or playing. This is the first smartphone screen we found that uses the latest LTPO 3.0 technology, which promises even greater energy efficiency. The X80 Pro has a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz and a minimum refresh rate of 1Hz.

The Smart Switch allows the display to automatically change between the refresh rates, depending on the content, but can force the display to perform applications at 120Hz if necessary, but it seemed to us that the update rate management is very well done, even by battery life.

The screen of Vivo X80 Pro also has a HDR10+ playback certification and supports it in applications like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube. Stereo speakers get high and clarity is kept even in a high volume, which, along with the vivid screen, makes the X80 Pro ideal for watching movies or TV shows without need of a pair of headphones.

Best market fingerprint sensor

The ultrasonic 3D fingerprint reader, bigger than usual, was a pleasure to use. Recording of a fingerprint was done with a single touch and unlocking the device worked flawlessly throughout the period and very quickly. No doubt, it is even the best fingerprint sensor under the screen that is present in the market, adding even greater sensor space.

And it is this larger space of the sensor that Civo took very well, adding the Quick Actions functionality, which I consider excellent, because it allows to launch any native or third-party application at the time it unlocks the device. Thus, an area is to unlock the smartphone, but in other two, it allows you to unlock the smartphone and open the application that we pre-define.

The functionality is so good that I can’t imagine living without it right now (I’ll be sorry when I say goodbye to Vivo X80 Pro).

Vivo also introduced a two-finger verification system for additional security and worked as expected. In addition to the lock screen, you can use your registered fingerprints to authenticate blocked applications as well as hidden ones.

Performance

With Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC inside, I didn’t face any problem when it was benchmarks and Vivo X80 It provided a very good performance, as would be expected.

The performance in the games was top. The phone is more than capable of running popular games for smartphone, such as Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9, in the higher settings, and did it without “speaking”. What impressed me was the game interpolation functionality, which worked well. There are only a handful of smartphones capable of running Call of Duty: Mobile above 60fps and the Live Game interpolation functionality that can be activated through the slider console within a game.

Vivo also states that the phone consumes less energy when using this mode, compared to the fact that the game is actually run at such a high photogram rate.

Battery

I had no problems with the battery life of Vivo X80 Pro. I managed to get almost two days of intensive use with the display update rate set for Smart Switch.

By forcing at 120Hz, we notice some impact, at least in the estimate referred to by Vivo, but it is possible that it lasts much less.

Also in the battery life area we already missed the need to charge a smartphone two days, since with my use, I usually need to call the charger at the end of the day.

Live X80 Pro: Chambers

The Living X80 Pro has four rear chambers: a new 50 megapixel primary camera that uses a custom Samsung GNV sensor with optical image stabilization (OIS), an ultra wide-angle 48 megapixel camera with automatic focusing, a 2X telephoto portrait camera with Vivo’s gimbal stabilization system and finally a 5X periscopic style telephoto camera with OIS. Selfie functions are handled by a 32-megapixel front camera.

The camera interface is very familiar and the camera application has well-defined controls and some of them are customizable. There is the usual way Pro for both photos and video, and a new Astro mode, which resulted in some really interesting photos.

The main camera captured excellent photos with good details and an impressive dynamic range (thanks to the Zeiss T*) coating in all types of lighting conditions. Especially in low light conditions, it had an equally good performance with noise reduction in photographs. The lens flashes and the strong brightness that emanated from the bright street lights, neon signs and other light sources were kept under control, which helped to increase dynamic range and details in the shadows.

The night mode in the main chamber also provided noiseless photographs along with colors that were very close to the real scene. The Astro mode, which is typically intended to capture the stars in the night sky (in the right weather conditions), was quite impressive. Although it is supposed to work when the phone is mounted on a tripod, I managed to capture some hand photographs with this mode and they looked equally good, with low noise and good detail.

The camera is also able to take macro photos up to 4cm of the object. The results were quite good, since the colors in the macro photographs were very similar to the results of the primary camera.

The great highlight turns out to be a 5-axis image stabilization system, an authentic gimbal, which greatly improves the capture of photographs and videos, the latter already talked ahead, offering photographs with a rather impressive end result.

But Vivo did not just want to offer the model of artificial intelligence, which usually saturates a little the colors and the Zeiss mode comes to offer another option that is more real.

It is that when we select any Zeiss style, we notice that the colors approach more of reality than in other modes. Even when the use of the periscopic chamber, with the zoom up to 10x, the quality of the photograph remains of great level, and from there, as is normal, we see a gradual decline in quality.

If you are not a fan of the slightly saturated colors that this phone captures by default, you can activate the Zeiss mode, which captures more real colors with all the cameras.

Video

The Vivo X80 Pro can film up to 8K videos at crisp 30fps, with excellent detail and dynamic range. But filming lacked stabilization, so the movement was a bit rough. The videos recorded in daylight at 1080p and 4K had good details, contrast and impressive stabilization, especially at 30fps. Filming of 4K seemed the best, because they had enough details and also had a pretty sharp look.

HDR 10+ footage looks good, but they had saturated colors and were only available when filmed at 1080p and 4K 30fps. With little light, the details were a little low, but the noise was under control since it was sufficiently lighted.

The new ‘Cinematic video Style’ introduced by Vivo automatically hit the backgrounds of the themes for a cinema feel. It only worked well with good lighting and could only capture footage with 1080p resolution. The key to a good cinematic video is to follow its theme as it moves and has been shown up. A little lower than the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but still better than much of the competition.

It should be noted that the selfie camera only records in FullHD, which can be insufficient for content creators.

Awesome Gimbal

The cameras have demonstrated a huge photographic and video quality, but this happens, largely thanks to the gimbal that Vivo placed in the X80 Pro cameras and the best way to test this is the use in a way that the brand makes available in the equipment: the “Horizontal Line”.

To understand how the gimbal is very good, this functionality allows the camera to perceive the virtual horizontal line that has to be and, regardless of the way we put the smartphone, it will always keep the right image, as you can view on the videos above shared on social networks. And that’s amazing. We know that it’s not all gimbal, because it’s only possible to do this video capture in 1080p, but it still doesn’t stop being impressive the final result.

During the live event in Berlin we also went through an unstable wooden bridge and the result was also very good.

Live X80 Pro: Verdict

It’s been a long time since I’ve been so excited about a new smartphone, because, nowadays, innovations have been few. But in the case of Vivo X80 Pro, the novelties are many and that really have positive consequences in the final use.

For example, the gimbal, which despite the “Horizinont Line” mode rarely used, the truth is that the final result of the photographs absorb much of this 5-axis stabilization offered. Also the new biometric sensor that Vivo introduces on this smartphone, with greater use space, in addition to being very fast, also allows you to add the possibility of unlocking and opening the application that we preset. Incredible, it’s a feature that I’m going to miss coming back to my smartphone.

However, these novelties and additions of great quality come with a price, and a very high price. The Living X80 Pro will reach the market for 1299€, which is a high value, despite being “condizer” with competitors. I have to say that I consider that these innovations justify the price of the equipment, but for a “unknown” mark for most consumers, it is difficult to convince.

Pros

  • High quality cameras
  • Best market biometric sensor
  • Battery life
  • Impressive Image Stabilization/Gimbal

Cons:

  • Price
  • Funtouch OS 12 with too much blotware (which give to uninstall)

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