Vivo Fold X3 Pro Review: King of the Foldables?

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Samsung was the first entrant into the foldable market and has been leading the space with virtually no competition. Yes, the OnePlus Open was launched last year, but it did not significantly impact Samsung’s dominance in the space. Now, Samsung will no longer have an easy pass. Vivo, which has been keeping its foldables limited to the Chinese market so far, has decided to go global and launch Vivo X Fold3 Pro, a book-style foldable smartphone for India.

Vivo claims its Fold X3 Pro is the “Best fold ever” as it comes with a carbon fibre hinge, which allows it to also claim “India’s lightest foldable” title. Does it truly live up to those claims? Let’s find out in this Vivo X Fold3 Pro review.

Pros

  • Sleek and well-balanced weight
  • built to last
  • IPX8 water resistance
  • top-notch cameras
  • software optimized for folding screen
  • Awesome screens
  • performance is solid
  • Charges up really fast, both wired and wirelessly

Cons

  • Haptics not that great
  • No eSIM support
  • CPU throttles when pushed hard

vivo X Fold3 Pro Review - Design & Build

Vivo X Fold3 Pro really outdoes the competition by coming up with a foldable design that is the lightest and slimmest in a bookstyle foldable. When unfolded, it’s slimmer than the much-hyped and recently launched Apple iPad Pro M4. The Fold3 Pro is 5.2mm in thickness when unloaded, compared to Apple’s latest tablet, which measures 5.3mm.

Even in the folded estate, it measures 11mm, which is 2.4 mm slimmer than the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5.

Regarding weight, although it is a tall phone with an above-5000mAh battery, it is significantly lighter than the OnePlus Open and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6. Yes, the Vivo X Fold3 Pro weighs 236 grams, while OnePlus’ only foldable offering weighs 239 grams, and Samsung’s Z Fold 5 weighs above 250 grams.

Enough about dimensions; let’s discuss the more practical aspects of the design, such as hand feel and usability.

The Vivo X3 Fold is a tall candy bar phone. When unfolded, the screen has a better aspect ratio than other foldables I have used so far.

The back panel of the Vivo X3 Fold reminds me of the Vivo X100 pro thanks to its “Big Eye” inspired camera module that has a fluted bezel design that gives off luxury watch vibes.

At the back, you will also see a familiar frosted glass back, Zeiss badging on the circular camera module, the vivo logo at the bottom, and mentions of vivo and Zeiss co-engineering partnership and extreme imagination on the side frame.

For the building quality, the back panel is made of a mix of fibre and glass, which looks and feels premium.

Since it’s foldable, you must be wondering about the hinge gap. Let me tell you, it’s a gapless hinge, so when folded, there’s no visible gap between the two halves.

The hinge feels strong when folding and unfolding the phone. Vivo says the hinge is TUV-certified to withstand 500,000 folds. Vivo claims that you can fold and unfold the device 100 times a day for over 12 years, and its hinge will last. It’s a claim we can not verify, but considering Vivo’s past record, we don’t have any apprehensions about the claim. On top of that, the phone is IPX8 rated for water resistance. The display on the front comes with Schott Xensation top glass to ensure it doesn’t get scratched that easily. So yes, there is a certain level of durability as well.

Vivo X Fold3 Pro ReviewDisplay and Speakers

The X Fold 3 Pro has excellent inner and outer displays. Its cover screen is a 6.53-inch E7 OLED with a resolution of 2748×1172 pixels and a 21:9 aspect ratio, while the folding screen is an 8.03-inch AMOLED with a resolution of 2480×2200 pixels and a 4:3.55 aspect ratio. Both screens are super bright, offering local peak brightness levels of 4,500 nits and 1,800 nits in high brightness mode.

The color on both screens is impressive. They cover the wide DCI-P3 color gamut, providing 1.07 billion colors for vibrant, sharp images with deep blacks. With 400 pixels per inch and refresh rates of 120Hz, both displays give you sharp, smooth visuals, making everything look great.

Thanks to the panel’s LPTO nature, the display can adjust the refresh rate based on what you’re doing, going as low as 1Hz for static content and up to 120Hz for when you’re using it. Plus, both screens support Dolby Vision and HDR10+ for high dynamic range, so no matter which screen you’re using, you’ll get top-quality content.

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The Vivo X Fold 3’s inside display has a 2160 Hz PWM, while the outer screen has a 1920 Hz PWM to reduce flicker, which is great for users with sensitive eyes. There’s also anti-fatigue brightness technology that adjusts the screen brightness to help reduce eye strain.

Vivo didn’t hold back in making this phone top-notch, and that’s why it’s a bit pricey. The phone even includes two 3D ultrasonic fingerprint sensors—one on the outer screen and one on the inner screen—that are really fast and accurate, so you’re getting a phone that’s both secure and user-friendly.

Vivo X Fold3 Pro ReviewCameras

Vivo is killing it with their camera game lately. The Vivo X100 Pro is one of the best phones you can get for taking awesome photos right now. At times, it challenges the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung S24 Ultra, as can be seen in the camera blind test that we did recently. The Vivo X Fold3 Pro follows the X100 Pro footsteps and packs a similar camera setup and hardware, which means it’s got a lot of the same cool features.

The V3 chip, first seen in the X100 Pro, is back again, bringing its special image processing skills with the help of AI. The back camera setup has a 50MP primary camera, a 50MP super wide-angle camera, and a 64MP Zeiss telephoto camera that’s also perfect for portrait shots. Plus, it has 3X optical zoom, up to 100X digital zoom, and telephoto portraits for even more creative control over your pictures.

It takes fantastic portrait shots, especially with the Zeiss bokeh modes, and it’s easy to get great shots in any condition. Zoomed-in pics are super clear, and wide-angle shots are dramatic in just the right way. There’s little you can do wrong.

However, the Vivo X Fold3 Pro doesn’t quite match the picture quality of the Vivo X100 Pro. One reason could be the presence of Omnivision sensors instead of the Sony sensors that you get with the X100 Pro. Also, with the X100 series, Vivo works with Mediatek more for ISP optimization. Qualcomm doesn’t offer the same levels of access to tweak the ISP code base to take full advantage of the complete setup.

Having said that, the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro is the best foldable camera phone on the market as of now. It’s a solid choice, and the camera system is top-notch in every way.

The Vivo X Fold3 Pro comes with two front cameras, one for each screen, so you’re covered no matter how you use your phone. Both cameras are 32MP sensors.

The Vivo X Fold3 Pro’s form factor brings some cool possibilities for cameras. When it’s half-folded, you can set it securely on any surface for hands-free pictures and adjust it to take stable shots from different angles. This is great for selfies and lets you preview images while shooting by using the main screen to see both at the same time.

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Vivo X Fold 3 Pro Review - Software and Haptics

The Vivo X Fold3 Pro has Android 14 and Vivo’s FunTouch OS 14. The software is pretty clean overall, but some pre-installed apps can be removed. It also has some cool AI-based features for note-taking, transcription, and translation.

The software is designed to work really well with the big central screen. Apps can be used in full-screen mode or adapt to a 4:3 ratio with minimal blank spaces. Plus, some animated wallpapers look great with the two-screen setup.

Multitasking on the big display also allows you to do a lot, like split-screen mode, windowed arrangement, and picture-in-picture for YouTube. Plus, there’s a taskbar at the bottom of the screen for quick access to your apps. It’s easy to get used to and makes good use of the large main screen.

My favorite feature is the “flex for split-screen” feature. It lets you easily switch to a split screen with any app. Just flex your screen twice, send one app to the left, and choose the other app for a split-screen view. Vivo also optimized some common apps to work great on the bigger screen. Popular apps like Instagram and YouTube look fabulous on a larger screen. But there are some bugs, like when I switch an app from the bigger screen to the smaller screen, it gets a bit cut off.

FuntouchOS’s most significant pain points are that the browser and V-app store will only annoy you if you remember to turn them off. I recommend you do that if you plan to buy this phone. The haptics are underwhelming; a stronger motor would significantly enhance the overall experience.

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Vivo X Fold 3 Pro ReviewPerformance & Battery

The Vivo X Fold3 Pro is a beast when it comes to performance. It’s got the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM, and 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage, making it a powerhouse. With over 2 million points on AnTuTu and solid scores in Geekbench, it outperforms many flagships from 2024. The device handles multitasking and running intensive apps or games with ease, and the folding feature works seamlessly. However, it may throttle under stress and heat up during extended use.

The Vivo X Fold3 Pro rocks a massive 5,700mAh battery, making it the foldable flagship with the beefiest battery in India. It’s seriously cool how Vivo squeezed such a big battery into such a slim and lightweight phone. When it comes to battery life, the Vivo X Fold3 Pro totally delivers. It easily lasts over a day and a half with regular use, switching between the cover and main display for different things.

The phone also excels at charging, as it supports super-fast wired charging up to 100W, making it the fastest charging foldable in India. Using the included 120W charging brick, it only takes about 35 minutes to go from 20 to 100 per cent and just about an hour to go from 0 to 100 per cent. Plus, it even supports 50W wireless charging using Vivo’s Vertical Flash Charger 2.

Review Verdict: Should You Buy the Vivo X Fold3 Pro?

Smartprix Rating: 4.1/5

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Design and Build

Display and Speakers

Software and Haptics

Performance

Camera

Battery Life and Charging

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Vivo X Fold3 Pro has jumped into the foldable smartphone game, aiming to give Samsung a run for its money. Priced at Rs. 1,59,999, it’s definitely on the high end, especially for the price-sensitive Indian market. It’s got some cool features like a folding screen and top-notch cameras. Still, it’s also got its fair share of downsides, like bloatware, fewer software updates, and limited AI features out of the box. Vivo is counting on its brand image and after-sales X-care support to make this phone a hit in India. Despite its high cost and issues like bloatware and spammy browser notifications, the X Fold3 Pro holds its own against other top smartphones. Compared to the iPhone 15 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, the X Fold3 Pro outshines in many areas, making it a solid option for anyone looking for a premium folding smartphone.

First reviewed in June 2024.


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Deepak RajawatDeepak Rajawat
Experienced technology journalist with over 7-years of experience. Before embracing online journalism, he has worked with several legacy publications including print editions at Hindustan Times and The Statesman. He also has a keen interest in Sports, which he used to cover with equal enthusiasm in his early career.

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