Vivo X50 Pro Review: The new pro-camera mobile device?
- Pros: Excellent ergonomics, decent cameras, good performance, gorgeous display
- Cons: OS needs polish, Camera software needs more improvement – less enhancement and smoothening and more processing
Product Name:Vivo X50 Pro
Around three years ago, Vivo unveiled its first concept device which took the smartphone industry by surprise at the Mobile World Congress (MWC). Called Apex, the first-of-a-kind smartphone boasted of an ultra-curved display, wireless charging, capacitive volume rockers, and basically, the entire screen was a fingerprint reader. It also featured a pop-up selfie camera. It got a port-less design.
The in-display fingerprint scanner and the pop-up camera became the standard in 2019, and almost every major smartphone manufacturer adopted this feature into their affordable, mid-range, and flagship smartphone.
Set for MWC 2020, Vivo looked to be all set to launch its latest Apex 2020 which featured the exciting camera sensor with a gimbal – basically image stabilisation but with a gimbal.
However, since MWC 2020 was cancelled due to Coronavirus, the Chinese smartphone major moved the concept feature into the X50 Pro, which was launched very recently in the Indian market.
Is the gimbal camera the face of smartphone camera tech? Does this make the X50 Pro the fully accomplished camera smartphone we need? We answer in our review.
Vivo X50 Pro Review: Looks, build, design, and display
Our first impression of the X5 Pro was that it felt very much like the Samsung Galaxy S10+ in terms of form factor and ergonomics. If you have used the Galaxy S20+, you will find holding the X50 Pro to feel similar. This is the impressive design language, and we are not complaining any time soon.
The Vivo X50 Pro looks like most smartphones from the front – features a curved display on the front with a punch-hole design. Although the display is a 6.53-inch panel – the X50 Pro – the smartphone does not feel imposing.
The rear camera module is easily noticeable at the back panel. The gimbal camera is larger and wobbles slightly as the phone is moved—it just the gimbal tech at work. The pivoted stabiliser system brings more fluid videos. This could be the first-ever proper gimbal system after we saw a similar attempt by Samsung with the Galaxy S10 Lite that featured Super Steady OIS bringing in quality much similar to the gimbal system. However, the one in Vivo is advanced and a better version.
The camera module on the rear panel does not protrude much – the two-layer module features two cameras alongside the gimbal camera. There is a second layer which features a tiny periscope, and we loved the rear panel design. The back panel features a smoked glass hue with a logo on the bottom left corner.
The right side of the frame features the volume rockers and the power key which feels decently tactile enough with a slight amount of play in them. The X50 Pro’s frame also, interestingly, gets a completely flat bottom and a similarly flat top. This made it easier to prop and click some decently well images. Overall, the X50 Pro receives one of the best designs in its segment – almost like the Find X2 Pro – only lighter.
But then, this is not surprising because Vivo already has some pretty solidly designed smartphones under its belt – NEX, the upcoming Apex 2020.
The display is equally gorgeous – like the design. The X50 Pro features a 6.54-inch E3 AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate and also with HDR10+ certification. There are options to set it at 60Hz, 90Hz, or an adaptive state which switches according to apps. The app transitions are smooth – reminding you again of the fluidic nature of the display.
Vivo has hit the jackpot with the combination of this display and 90Hz with the 765G – making it one of most ergonomic daily drivers we have used in a long time.
Vivo X50 Pro Review: Software and performance
The Vivo X50 Pro operates on the latest Snapdragon 765G chipset – one of the first smartphones to run this SoC in India. The chipset comes with an integrated SD X52 RF 5G modem. The 8GB of RAM means multi-tasking is efficient and quick.
We tried a few games like PUBG Mobile, F1, Asphalt 9, and the X50 Pro was pretty much at ease through all of these. Daily usage performance is excellent, and we rarely felt there were any lags. The 765G sits right below the flagship 865 chipsets, so the performance was understandably exceptional. Oh, and there’s a Game Mode as well. The special mode allows for managing incoming calls, lock brightness, take screenshots, screen recordings, and more. The X50 Pro scored 629 in the single-core test, and 1925 in the multi-core test on Geekbench.
The X50 Pro runs on the FunTouch OS and let’s say; we were not big fans of the OS from Vivo – typically reasons with a cartoonish UI, upward swipe control panel, no app drawer. The FunTouch OS 10.5 now forgets all of that and now brings in a more mature UI, recognisable icons, and an app drawer. On top of the cake, which is FunTouch OS, you now get the cherry with Android’s system navigation gestures.
But all is not rosy with the latest 10.5 OS. The X50 Pro now gets the Dark Mode which brings the goodness of the black-coloured theme to Facebook as well. There were some issues with the Dark Mode on Twitter, WhatsApp, or Instagram. However, we think a software update can easily fix this.
Overall, the performance in terms of daily usage and gaming is on par with most smartphones in the same range. The software experience is okay – it does need a bit of polish in terms of working flawlessly. The current FunTouch OS does take a step in the right direction.
Vivo X50 Pro Review: Camera
One of the major highlights of the Vivo X50 Pro is the camera. The appearance of a gimbal system could be the first time in the smartphone industry. The gimbal system is a conventional OIS system on cocaine (pun intended)! The system allows for super stable videos and sharper or brighter images as well.
It also gets three other cameras with different levels of zoom starting from 0.6x to 60x. The primary unit on the gimbal is a 48-megapixel Sony IMX598 sensor. This sensor brings in better light and noise sensitivity – usually accurate in terms of colour temperature and vividness. Also on the higher side was the dynamic range.
With 60x Zoom
With 30x Zoom
The gimbal system shines through when taking videos, but it gets a slight amount of turning lag, meaning you cannot just pan the camera quickly, which could lead to camera shake. Move slow, and you are good to go.
The 8-megapixel ultrawide angle lens is the macro shooter as well. Images shot using the wide-angle shooter suffered from low-resolution and slightly saturated colours. However, if you are shooting in daylight, then images look vivid. During the night time – not so good.
Zooming is another significant part of the X50 Pro. However, time and again we have felt that unless its optical – a massive zoom figure which is a crop show is mostly something you will use rarely. We did. The initial 10x zoom felt decent enough, but then the 60x basically cropped the image – periscope or no periscope – we felt the overall quality of the 60x zoom was better than we found on the S20 Ultra’s monstrosity of a zoom lens function.
The low-light photography looked decent enough with pronounced brightness in low light. The night mode also gets Black and Golden, Blue Ice, Green Orange, Cyberpunk styles which were pretty interesting features – having never seen something of colour grading sort in a smartphone.
Overall, the camera quality on the Vivo X50 Pro is decently well done – even though it is marred sometimes by the software – nothing a quick update can’t fix.
Vivo X50 Pro Review: Battery
The Funtouch OS has not been particularly a great OS to look at before but this time – we were mildly surprised at how similar the new look was to the current range of smartphones – complete with an app drawer and a downward swipe from the top for the control panel. The OS worked patiently and did not draw out a lot of power from the 4315mAh battery on the X50 Pro.
We were able to push in a day’s worth of usage with around 30 per cent left on tap by the end of the day. The 33W charger works as advertised and juices up the phone in a jiffy.
Vivo X50 Pro Rating
- Design: 9/10
- Display: 8/10
- Performance: 9/10
- Cameras: 8/10
- Battery: 9/10
- Overall: 8/10
Vivo X50 Pro Review: Price and verdict
The Vivo X50 Pro has been the ray of sunlight we had been waiting for from Vivo for some time. The design is terrific, the OS is better, the cameras work pretty much to our liking, and a decent battery – all come together to make the X50 Pro a desirable package.
The Vivo X50 Pro is priced at Rs 49,990 – a figure which stands in line with the Xiaomi Mi 10 5G, and OnePlus 8 5G, with the Super Steady OIS, as well as the iPhone SE 2020 – all of which run on proper flagship chipsets and somewhat better UIs.
The X50 Pro does not bring issues with it (minus the bloatware) – we did love using the smartphone. The curved display, the gimbal camera stabilisation system, a hardcore battery to get you through the day with gaming and normal usage – we would say like to say money well spent on the X50 Pro. But we cannot. Not this soon.