Highlights

  • 50MP Quad rear camera system
  • 2K-resolution E5 AMOLED screen, LTPO 3.0
  • Priced at ₹79,999 for 12GB+256GB storage

Latest news

 India vs Ireland 1st T20: Hardik's men demolish the hosts, take series lead

India vs Ireland 1st T20: Hardik's men demolish the hosts, take series lead

India vs Ireland 1st T20: Bhuvneshwar Kumar achieves a unique feat

India vs Ireland 1st T20: Bhuvneshwar Kumar achieves a unique feat

India tour of England: Virat Kohli slams a half-century as warm-up game ends in a draw

India tour of England: Virat Kohli slams a half-century as warm-up game ends in a draw

Cristiano Ronaldo transfer: new Chelsea owner tries to sign CR7, Manchester United respond

Cristiano Ronaldo transfer: new Chelsea owner tries to sign CR7, Manchester United respond

India tour of England: Jasprit Bumrah may achieve a rare feat, hasn't happened in 35 years

India tour of England: Jasprit Bumrah may achieve a rare feat, hasn't happened in 35 years

Vivo X80 Pro Review: best phone for content creation?

Vivo's X80 Pro promises to offer flagship performance, killer looks and a camera system to beat them all

Tech reviewers and content creators in general love saying that you don’t need expensive camera equipment to make great videos, and that any smartphone with a good enough camera can get the job done.
But as someone who uses high-end camera equipment to shoot videos for a living, I feel there’s a lot of limitations that come with a mobile-only rig.
So, why am I saying all this before I head into a smartphone review? Well, that’s because what I have with me today is no ordinary device. It’s the latest Vivo X80 Pro flagship, that gets a huge list of features to help mobile content creators, and in my eyes, this is the only smartphone with the chops to take on the real thing.

Design & Utility

Vivo is a brand that always cares about making a unique-looking device, and with the X80 Pro, they’ve really tried to set it apart. There’s a huge camera module at the back, which honestly takes up over one-third of the phone. The X70 Pro+ had something similar, but the way the camera array has been laid out is different on the X80 Pro. There’re three sensors inside the circular hub, but there’s also a sensor outside it at the bottom, which does look asymmetrical.

Also watch: Vivo X70 Pro+ Review: More than just a camera phone

Apart from the entire camera situation, though, the design on the X80 Pro is pretty similar to the previous generation, especially in this Cosmic Black colour variant. There’s still a super-slippery matte finish on the back which won’t attract fingerprints but will require you to use a cover to get some grip. Luckily, Vivo includes this slick bumper case in the box itself that sports a leather-like finish, and during my usage, it provided good enough protection and grip.

The phone sports a curved screen with a centrally aligned hole punch, and a flat bottom and top. The bottom holds the SIM-tray with space for two nano-SIM cards, along with a Type-C Port and the speaker grille, which coupled with the earpiece, makes for a great stereo setup.
On the top of the phone is Vivo’s ‘Professional Photography’ branding, and an Infrared Blaster to control compatible household devices.

The left side is completely empty, and both the power button and volume controls are on the right side of the phone. They’re not placed all that high, so they’re easy enough to reach without having to shuffle your hand too much.

Also within easy reach of your thumb is the fingerprint scanner, which uses ultrasonic technology for a super-fast setup process and quick, accurate unlocking. You can also change how large you want the unlocking area to be and change its shape, that makes getting in to the phone even easier.

Another great upgrade to the X80 Pro is the new X-Axis Linear Motor for haptics, which makes device interactions like typing feel a lot more precise than before.

The Vivo X80 Pro also gets an IP68 rating to protect against dust and water, which is great to see.

Cameras

Now, I’m going to get this out right away—the Vivo X80 Pro gets possibly the most capable camera system on any smartphone out there right now, period.

Whether it’s photos or videos, daylight or low-light, portraits or pretty much anything else, the X80 Pro is built to perform.

In terms of hardware, it’s packing in a new 50MP primary camera with the Samsung GNV sensor, that Vivo has been said is customised to work well with this phone.
Along with that, there’s a 12MP 2x Portrait camera with the Sony IMX663 sensor, which now gets mounted on a gimbal.
Then there’s the 48MP Ultrawide camera which houses the Sony IMX598 sensor, but no gimbal this time.
Last, but not least, is the 8MP 5x Periscope camera with optical image stabilisation.

Now this entire system is optimised with the help of camera legend Zeiss, and that’s evident with all the Zeiss branding at the back. That T* logo also indicates that the lenses have a special coating with reduces lens flare and refractions when shooting light sources directly.

Now all this means that no matter what the situation, you’re bound to get a brilliant result with the X80 Pro.

In well-lit outdoor scenarios, there’s a good amount of detail, colours are accurate, and HDR is very well balanced. The high-resolution sensor also makes for good depth of field when closer to objects, without the need for the portrait mode.

In mixed/indoor lighting, the sensor again produced good results with punchy contrast, but well-balanced shadows and highlights.

In low-light situations, pictures overall were very good, and whether I had the night mode on or off, it didn’t seem to make too much of a difference. However, it was the one place where I noticed a bit of inconsistency with the camera system, because in some images, the Night Mode produced results with these odd patches in the frame.

It’s a similar story with the 2x portrait sensor. Shots in good-to-moderate lighting come out very well, with good edge detection on subjects and a very natural looking depth of field. However, the image processing did cause this whitish effect on faces at times, when dealing with mixed lighting conditions.

With the ultrawide sensor, the X80 Pro produced slightly less consistent results than expected. I mean, sure the images are sharp and full of detail, but on the whole, there was a significant difference between shots taken with the ultrawide sensor vs shots taken with the primary sensor.

Now, it’s worth mentioning at this point that the reason I call this one of the most capable camera systems ever is just due to the sheer number of features, functions and filters packed into the default camera app.

I mean, you have customised Styles for Portrait images, including ones calibrated by Zeiss, that make background bokeh look quite unique and gives images a cinematic look. You also have the option to take portrait images at 5x zoom with the periscope lens which takes crisp, clear shots thanks to optical image stabilisation.

When it comes to video, you have even more things to play around with. For instance, I really enjoyed using the Portrait Video Bokeh mode, which uses Zeiss calibration to create a cinematic widescreen format with real-time background blur. You can use this effect without the Zeiss filter as well, and subject separation can at times be a bit hit and miss, but the fact that you can shoot already colour-graded footage right out of the phone is impressive, and very useful to someone trying to be a mobile content creator. You can also shoot at very high resolutions and frame rates—a maximum 8K at 30fps, and 4K goes all the way to 60fps.

When it comes to the front-facing 32MP camera, results are again really good. Selfies taken in outdoor shots retain a lot of detail, produce accurate skin tones, and don’t do a whole lot of aggressive skin smoothing if you turn those default options off. Even in low-light situations, there’s ample detail and pictures look pretty good. The portrait selfie mode also does a good job of edge detection, while keeping the face in sharp focus.

To add to all this, image and video processing on the X80 Pro is helped by the dedicated Vivo V1+ chip. It reduces noise in the frame, uses AI to analyse what scene is being shot at any given moment, and can quickly manage HDR on the fly to get the best results possible, even in low-light videos. That’s a workflow smartphone cameras usually struggle with, but the X80 Pro honestly produced much better results than I expected.

Apart from this you also get the previously seen 360-degree horizon level stabilisation feature, special time-lapse modes, astrophotography mode, cinematic movie LUTs for videos shot in the camera app, XDR photo, Camera panning, and the list just goes on and on and on. If I were to sit down and describe each feature the X80 Pro camera app gets, we’d be here forever, so I’ll just drive home my original point—this is possibly the most comprehensive and capable camera system you’ll get on any smartphone in the world, and if you’re looking to become a mobile content creator, this should seriously be on your list.

If I had but one complaint, it would be that the front facing camera doesn’t support 4K video recording, which to me is a sin for a phone that could otherwise be the perfect vlogging companion.

Also watch: Vivo X60 Pro+ Review: flagship grade camera and performance!

Display

In terms of display, the X80 Pro is exceptional. It sports a 6.78-inch 2K resolution E5 AMOLED display made by Samsung, which arguably one of the best phone screens in the entire industry right now. It supports a max resolution of 3200*1440 pixels, and a 517 PPI pixel density means that no matter how close you try and look, everything is crystal clear and super sharp. It goes without saying, that the content-viewing experience on the X80 Pro is possibly the best in the business, which punchy colours, great contrast levels and a large surface area to make for a good, mobile cinema. It’s gotten an A+ rating from DisplayMate, and that’s something you can take to the bank when it comes to display quality. The screen also gets bright at a maximum 500 nits for indoor settings, a strong 1,000 nits in direct sunlight, and up to 1,500 nits when viewing HDR content. In simple terms, the display will get as bright as you need it to be depending on the situation.

Apart from this, the X80 Pro’s screen comes with the latest LTPO 3.0 technology, which means it has a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz but can also go as low as 1Hz should the need arise. It doesn’t go all the way down to 1Hz in regular indoor usage, and I found that only if I was in direct sunlight with the display near full brightness did the refresh rate ramp down below 10Hz, which is interesting to see. Either way, LTPO 3.0 means buttery smooth animations and a very fast and fluid user experience, along with slightly better battery life for that high resolution screen.

It’s worth noting that the X80 Pro obviously gets Widevine L1 certification for apps like Netflix, but it also supports HDR 10 - HEVC, which is great for when you want to watch HDR content on the device.

Battery

The X80 Pro comes with a lot of features and functions, which require a battery that can provide enough juice, which is why Vivo has bumped up the battery size to 4,700mAh this time.

I ran a few battery tests in the time I had with the X80 Pro, keeping the refresh rate set to auto, and only changing the screen resolution.

With the display set to its maximum 2K resolution, I went through multiple gaming sessions, lots of content watching, and a good bit of camera usage. This gave me an overall screen-on time of around 4 hours.

With a similar usage pattern but a lowered 2400*1080 screen resolution, I got around 5 and a half hours of screen-on time.

When I reduced both the screen resolution and restricted my usage to a bit of camera usage and content watching, I was able to pull out around 6 hours of screen on time, which is quite respectable.

Another great upgrade Vivo has brought with the X80 Pro is faster charging than the X70 Pro+. Instead of 55W, you get an 80W charging adaptor in the box that Vivo claims charges the phone from flat to full in 35 minutes, but in my testing, it took a bit longer than that. The X80 Pro also supports 50W wireless fast charging, but for that, you’re going to have to rely on a Vivo-branded unit that you can purchase separately.

Performance & Software

Under the hood, the X80 Pro gets yet another major upgrade in terms of chipset performance, because it packs in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. It’s arguably the best chipset on the market currently but does tend to have some issues with heating. To that end, Vivo has fitted the X80 Pro with a larger liquid cooling Vapour Chamber for better heat dissipation.

During a few extended gaming sessions, I did notice the phone heating up, but only very mildly, and clearly, Vivo’s solution has worked quite well.

In terms of benchmarks, I ran the X80 Pro through Geekbench, 3D Mark and CPU Throttle to test its outright performance.

On the Geekbench CPU test, it achieved a Single-core score of 1240 and a Multi-core score of 3571. On the Geekbench compute test, it scored 5864.

On 3D Marks Wild Life Stress test, it throttled pretty soon, but still managed to maintain 80.2% stability which is impressive for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

In a 20-minute 35-thread CPU Throttle test, the phone bumped down its performance quite quickly, but then maintained it steadily for the remainder of the test, which is good to see.

In real-world terms though, there’s almost nothing this phone can’t handle. Whether it was the newly released Apex Legends or the good old Call of Duty: Mobile, the X80 Pro ran smooth for multiple games without any sort of lag or dropped frames.

Thanks to 12GB LPDDR5 RAM, multi-tasking was great too, and the phone never really needed to reload apps running in the background.

When it comes to software, the X80 Pro runs on Android 12 out of the box with Vivo’s Funtouch OS skin on top. It seems with each iteration, Funtouch OS seems to get a little bit slicker, and on this phone it’s really quite smooth. There’s also a decent focus on privacy, with features like a Privacy Dashboard, microphone and camera usage icons and selection for approximate and precise location for apps that ask for it.

I’ll admit there’s way more bloatware on the X80 Pro than I would have liked, but it’s something I expected. It’s not great to see so many pre-installed apps on a phone at this price point, but thankfully, a lot of them can be uninstalled.

That being said, there’s good news in terms of longevity. Vivo has promised three years of assured major Android OS updates, along with three years of assured security updates as well.

Verdict

So, I began this review by saying that the X80 Pro is possibly the best camera smartphone money can buy right now, and I’m going to end by saying that too. Even if you keep its stellar camera chops aside, it’s a very capable and well-rounded phone, and for its asking price of ₹79,999, this is definitely a flagship that should keep Samsung and Apple on their tippy toes.

Up Next

Vivo X80 Pro Review: best phone for content creation?

Vivo X80 Pro Review: best phone for content creation?

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Review: The dependable laptop that’s good at everything?

Samsung Galaxy Book 2 Review: The dependable laptop that’s good at everything?

LG QP5 Eclair Soundbar Review: best compact audio setup?

LG QP5 Eclair Soundbar Review: best compact audio setup?

Sony Bravia X80K review: the perfect ultra-premium smart TV?

Sony Bravia X80K review: the perfect ultra-premium smart TV?

Samsung Galaxy Book2 360 Review: the best premium ultrabook?

Samsung Galaxy Book2 360 Review: the best premium ultrabook?

iQOO NEO 6 Review: New mid-range champ?

iQOO NEO 6 Review: New mid-range champ?

More videos

OnePlus 10R Review: is it worth the money?

OnePlus 10R Review: is it worth the money?

Asus BR1100C review: the perfect laptop for kids?

Asus BR1100C review: the perfect laptop for kids?

Samsung Galaxy M53 5G review: best phone under ₹27,000?

Samsung Galaxy M53 5G review: best phone under ₹27,000?

Realme GT 2 vs Realme GT Neo 3: Battle of the Value Flagships!

Realme GT 2 vs Realme GT Neo 3: Battle of the Value Flagships!

OnePlus Nord Buds Review: good bang for your buck?

OnePlus Nord Buds Review: good bang for your buck?

Realme GT 2 Review: it doesn't get much better than this!

Realme GT 2 Review: it doesn't get much better than this!

Realme GT NEO 3 Review: Fast and furious!

Realme GT NEO 3 Review: Fast and furious!

Galaxy M53 5G First Look: the mid-range monster!

Galaxy M53 5G First Look: the mid-range monster!

Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 Review: the ultimate 2-in-1 combo?

Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro 360 Review: the ultimate 2-in-1 combo?

Samsung Galaxy A73 5G Review: A-series excellence!

Samsung Galaxy A73 5G Review: A-series excellence!

Editorji Technologies Pvt. Ltd. © 2022 All Rights Reserved.