The company has invested a huge share of resources in the Vivo X80 Pro camera system, and for some reason, this will be a significant advantage when buying.
Vivo X80 Pro Review Summary
When it comes to Chinese smartphone brands in the international market, Vivo is certainly not as famous as Huawei, Xiaomi or OnePlus. But if you follow the smartphone market, you know that the company has been producing pretty high-quality devices for several years, and the Vivo X70 Pro Plus, in my opinion, was the best camera phone on the market last year. Now, after thoroughly testing the new Vivo X80 Pro, I can once again say that Vivo’s cameras are still amazing, and this gadget outperforms the iPhone 13 Pro in many shooting scenarios, even in low light.
Vivo X80 Pro Specifications
- Processor: Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 8 cores (1×3.0 GHz Cortex-X2, 3×2.5 GHz Cortex-A710, 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A510), Adreno 730.
- Memory: 8/256 GB, 12/256 GB, 12/512 GB.
- Display: 6.78 inches, AMOLED, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1440×3200 pixels.
- Main camera: 50 MP (f/1.6, 23 mm, 1/1.3″, OIS), 48 MP (f/2.2, 1/2.0″, 114˚), 12 MP (f/1.9, 50 mm, 1/2.93) “, 1.22 µm, zoom 2×), 8 MP (f/3.4, 1/4.4”, zoom 5×).
- Front camera: 32 MP.
- 4700mAh battery, 80W fast charging.
- OS: Android 12, FunTouchOS 12.
- Dimensions: 164.6 × 75.3 × 9.1 mm, 219 grams.
Vivo X80 Pro Design
The Vivo X80 Pro continues the signature design of the Vivo X70 series with a huge frosted glass camera panel on the back. Even the dimensions of this gadget are identical to the Vivo X70 Pro Plus, although the camera panel of the new smartphone looks more attractive and understandable. Unfortunately, the Vivo X80 Pro is available exclusively in black for the global market, while in China there is also an orange version with an eco-leather panel. However, if the user does not really like the texture of the backside, he can always use a branded case (included) made of the same artificial leather.
120 Hz refresh rate
On the front side, in terms of design, of course, there is also nothing surprising – there is a 6.8-inch OLED display with a resolution of 1440×3200 pixels with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. It is worth noting that this display has relatively symmetrical frames at the top and bottom, and the screen itself has a Qualcomm Sonic Max 3D fingerprint scanner. It stands out from the competition with a wider response area (it is so large that it can be reduced), while the response speed is very high.
Vivo X80 Pro Photo quality
The camera system of the Vivo X80 Pro is very similar to that offered by the X70 Pro Plus smartphone – the device is also equipped with four image sensors (ultra-wide and wide cameras, telephoto lens and zoom lens), while the optics are made by Zeiss. In addition, the smartphone received a special image processing sensor V1 Plus, which is an improved solution of what was presented in the X70 Pro Plus. Accordingly, if last year’s flagship shot very well, then the X80 Pro should shoot even better – this is worth talking about in more detail.
For starters, it’s worth looking at the shots from all four cameras in one scene. You can see that the X80 Pro copes well with various focal lengths – the shots are clear both on the main camera and on the 5x zoom lens. However, the smartphone clearly lacks the 10x optical zoom of Samsung’s flagship, and the X80 Pro doesn’t maintain the same colour temperature across all four lenses.
Vivo X80 Pro Main camera
The main camera of the Vivo X80 Pro smartphone takes 12.5-megapixel pictures with fairly high detail. An impressive 1/1.31” sensor collects a lot of light and provides a clear separation of the object from the background. Yes, the colour palette is slightly brighter than it really is, but only slightly – it does not spoil the frame. Moreover, the camera behaves quite cleverly, leaving dark areas in the frame for contrast. And, of course, it is worth praising the focusing speed and shutter speed – everything is at an excellent level.
Now it’s time to talk about difficult lighting conditions – this is where the new Vivo smartphone shows how good it is. The fact is that the X80 Pro does an excellent job with HDR shots and almost never extinguishes bright light sources – the frames are perfectly balanced. You can see the flames in the balloon, neon signs, and even the crescent moon in the sky over Dubai – the smartphone retains all the details, and each light source is highlighted in the overall frame.
Display contrast scenes
How well the Vivo X80 Pro can display contrast scenes becomes clear in direct comparison with other flagship smartphones. The company’s gadget manages to keep highlights without blowing them out, as well as contrasting shadows. A similar frame on the iPhone 13 Pro looks much less pleasant – all the lights went out, and the shadows disappeared. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra does a better job, but its shot looks a bit dim.
And one more visual comparison – it is obvious that the X80 Pro shot looks more attractive compared to the shot on the iPhone 13 Pro.
There is only one problem – the pictures on the Vivo smartphone look so perfectly balanced that they even look a little unnatural as if they were edited in a graphics editor. But in fact, this is not the case – the pictures are really taken straight from the smartphone without processing.
Vivo X80 Pro Ultra wide camera
Combining pixel binning technology, a wide f/2.2 aperture, and a large image sensor, the smartphone’s ultra-wide-angle camera captures rich detail and noticeably more light than the equivalent lenses in the Galaxy S22 Ultra or iPhone 13 Pro. In good light, the footage looks great, with no serious loss of detail around the edges of the frame.
It is when shooting in low light conditions that the Vivo smartphone demonstrates the superiority of its ultra-wide-angle camera over other smartphones. In most cases, similar sensors of competing gadgets do a good job of capturing the frame in good light, but at night the images become noisy, and the details are noticeably softened. Vivo X80 Pro has no such problems.
You can more clearly see the advantages of the Vivo smartphone camera in direct comparison with competitors.
And, as mentioned before, Vivo’s ultra-wide-angle camera handles HDR perfectly – much better than Samsung and Apple’s flagships. Just look at the light sources in the room.
Vivo X80 Pro Zoom and portrait photography
It’s worth saying right away that in this category of shots, I will not divide photos into good and bad lighting – zoom lenses, no matter how good they are, always suffer in low light conditions. I would also like to remind you that Vivo X80 Pro is equipped with a telephoto lens with 2x zoom, which Vivo recommends for portrait shooting, and a periscope camera with 5x zoom.
You can see that the 2x shots preserve detail well and look like a lossless zoom. However, of course, 2x optical zoom in 2022 is not very impressive, especially considering that the iPhone and Samsung have a really high-quality 3x zoom. But Vivo sees the 2x camera as a portrait camera rather than a zoom lens.
For this reason, the company even moved the image stabilization system to this image sensor, implying that the user will shoot portraits at night with a long shutter speed. As a result, the portraits are really good – they are quite sharp and detailed.
5x zoom on the periscope camera
The quality of the 5x zoom on the periscope camera is quite high, and obviously much better than on smartphones that don’t have such a camera. As a result, the X80 Pro outperforms the iPhone 13 Pro but noticeably loses to the Galaxy S22 Ultra. And, of course, once we get to 10x zoom, the Samsung flagship wins without any chance. But in any case, the X80 Pro shots at 5x zoom are pretty good and can definitely be shared on social media.
Vivo X80 Pro Selfie
The X80 Pro’s front-facing 32-megapixel camera remains unchanged from the previous two X-series flagships. And that’s good – it’s a high-quality, versatile lens with tons of filters, beautification options, and various flash types. True, I ignored all the filters and took standard shots – the skin tone looks realistic and does not smooth out, while the flash is not too sharp.
Vivo X80 Pro Video
The smartphone can shoot video in 8K resolution, but for best results, you should stick to 4K at 30 frames per second. Image stabilization works very well, the colour palette looks more than acceptable. Yes, during the day, a smartphone tends to shoot too bright videos, but it more than pays off after sunset – any of the gadget’s lenses are better lit and less noisy than competitors.
Vivo X80 Pro Software
The situation with the software turned out to be quite interesting – while OPPO or Xiaomi use the same software for the local and international markets, Vivo’s smartphone in the Chinese market came out on the OriginOS firmware, while the international version received FunTouchOS. And ultimately, I think that the global firmware is not as perfect and aesthetically pleasing as OPPO’s ColorOS or Xiaomi’s MIUI, but it still looks decent. I especially liked the interactive widgets like the Spotify bar – I use them all the time.
But, of course, there are also claims to FunTouchOS. The animations here aren’t as smooth as in the competition, and launching the one-handed control mode is a little too complicated – it’s much more difficult to activate than on competing smartphones. It is also worth noting that the smartphone comes with a lot of pre-installed applications and Vivo proprietary software out of the box. It looks like a budget smartphone from India has fallen into the hands, and is not a flagship gadget. But, of course, all this can be removed in ten minutes.
But the aggressive battery management deserves special mention – in order to optimize the battery, the smartphone literally slows down notifications and application synchronization. Sometimes we were able to notice a delay in receiving emails of 10 minutes – it’s just awful. On the other hand, Vivo promises three years of Android operating system updates and three years of security patches. It’s certainly not class-leading, but it’s a little better than some of the competition. And, of course, you need to understand that Vivo does not officially allow you to unlock the bootloader – for enthusiasts, this is a big problem.
Vivo X80 Pro Performance, Battery and charging speed
The smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor paired with 12GB of RAM, so the performance is more than satisfactory. I didn’t encounter any issues during the day when running apps or performing various tasks on the device.
At the same time, I’m usually not particularly interested in synthetic tests, but the X80 Pro, which is quite expected, showed good results. It managed to complete an extreme 20-minute 3D Mark stress test (which the Xiaomi 12 Pro couldn’t) and score quite well in both PCMark and GeekBench benchmarks.
And, of course, I’m sure that the Battery of the smartphone is also acceptable. I used a smartphone with WQHD + resolution (out of the box it runs at Full HD resolution) with a refresh rate of 120 Hz – on days of heavy use of watching videos, taking photos, sending text messages and listening to podcasts, I lost about 12-15% of the battery per hour. Of course, this means that the smartphone at the limit of its capabilities will only work for 6-7 hours, but this is quite normal for the Galaxy S22 Ultra, for example.
When I actively use my smartphone during a typical workday, the X80 Pro battery lasts for 12 hours with about 15% left. It seems to me that this is an acceptable Battery – it is not good, of course, but not bad either. At the same time, do not forget that the smartphone can be quickly charged using the included 80W charger.
0% to 100% in just 46 minutes Charging
Yes, Vivo X80 Pro can go from 0% to 100% in just 46 minutes when using fast charging. But it is much more important for me to be able to quickly recharge the device before going to bed or going for a walk. In this scenario, the Vivo X80 Pro went from 28% to 54% in just 10 minutes.
Vivo X80 Pro Review Conclusions
While I’m certainly impressed with the Vivo X80 Pro’s cameras, I also wonder if Vivo doesn’t release their flagship smartphones often. After all, the Vivo X80 Pro gives too few differences from the Vivo X70 Pro Plus – the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, the design of the camera system and a more impressive Battery. In all other respects, the gadgets are almost identical. But, apparently, Vivo’s strategy for the X line with the release of a new gadget twice a year is aimed at those users who did not own the previous model or did not buy gadgets from this company at all.
And if you evaluate the Vivo X80 Pro separately from its predecessor, then this is an excellent smartphone, which, until the Google Pixel 7 and iPhone 14 Pro went on sale, may well be called the best camera phone this year.
- Very cool cameras.
- Excellent display.
- Convenient form factor and ergonomics.
- Far from the best OS interface.
- Unable to unlock the bootloader.
- Aggressive battery management.