Vivo once again attempts to venture into the ultra-premium smartphone segment in India with its X50 Pro. We have been testing the phone and right off the bat we’d state that the X50 Pro does a lot different and there were several aspects that surprised us and truly impressed us.
Then again, is the high-end price of Rs. 49,990 justified? Is the Snapdragon 765G good enough for a grade-A flagship? And does the gimbal camera hold some substance or is it just another technological snake oil? We’ll answer all such questions through the course of our Vivo X50 Pro review and help you decide if it’s worth buying. Let’s proceed with the price and specs first.
Vivo X50 Pro 5G Price in India and Specifications
|Product||Vivo X50 Pro|
|Display||6.56-inch, Full HD+ (1080 x 2376 pixels)|
HDR10+; 90Hz refresh rate
|Chipset||7nm octa-core Snapdragon 765G|
(1 x2.4GHz Kryo 475 Prime + 1 x2.2GHz Kryo 475 Gold + 6 x1.8GHz Kryo 475 Silver)
|RAM and Storage||8GB LPDDR4x RAM + 256GB (UFS 2.1)|
|Dimensions and weight||158.5 x 72.8 x 8 mm; 181.5 grams|
|Software||Android 10 based Funtouch OS|
|Rear Camera||48MP, f/1.6, Gimbal OIS8 MP, f/3.4, 135mm telescopic telephoto, OIS, 5x optical zoom13MP portrait, 2X optical zoom8MP Ultra-wide|
|Battery||4315mAh, 33W fast charging|
|Others||In-display fingerprint sensor, Hi-Fi audio|
Vivo X50 Pro 5G Review: What’s in the box?
All the usual suspects are there in the Vivo X50 Pro box. Apart from the handset, the box contains:
- Protective transparent case
- Pre-installed screen protector (good quality)
- 33W charging adaptor
- USB Cable
- SIM ejector and documentation
The Gimbal camera – hype or substance?
Innovative additions as such are what make any premium phone special and flagship worthy, but the camera is the most tricky detail to get right. This is also why we usually see brands innovating other aspects like Displays and fast charging.
Nevertheless, Vivo takes the challenge head-on and tackles it with aplomb. The highlight here is what Vivo calls the “Gimbal camera system” which is like OIS on steroids. The technology first debuted in Apex 2020 and essentially stabilizes shakes up to 3-degrees or 3 times of what conventional OIS assembly can accomplish (claims Vivo).
To achieve three-dimensional stabilization, Vivo uses a ‘double ball suspension mount’ structure. The mechanisms result in more stabilized videos, but the true advantage of the gimbal camera is realized in still photography, particularly lowlight photography – an area where most phone cameras traditionally struggle.
Thanks to gimbal stabilization, the X50 Pro can deliver better accuracy with the shutter open for relatively longer durations, and Vivo has factored in this ability to truly enhance lowlight and night time photography. To further reduce noise, Vivo uses Sony IMX598 sensor with a customized color filter and employs a wide f/1.6 aperture lens.
The following shots, for instance, were all captured in almost pitch darkness.
Vivo has one of the night-to-day ‘Night mode’ but the software is smart enough to retain texture in images.
The software further has some night mode filters that are fun to play with.
The stabilization also results in less blurry daylight and indoor (low light) shots. The gimbal stabilization can be viewed in real-time as an on-screen guiding animation (as shown in the screenshot below). To avoid motion blur, just keep the ball within the inner circle.
Vivo also leverages its gimbal stabilization for the sports mode. I am not much into sports but I immediately wanted to know if this mode could help me take pictures of my kid, who refuses to be still even for a second. The result was a mixed bag. The mode works at times, at times images had distortion.
The camera expectedly performs great in daylight as well. Colors are well balanced (even though reds might seem oversaturated on the phone display), there are ample details and the camera locks focus quickly.
We compared the video stabilization with Galaxy S20 that combines OIS and software enhancements for stabilization. Videos shot on X50 Pro didn’t appear any better (in fact the Galaxy S20 appeared more stable at times). Borrowing a leaf from Samsung’s playbook, Vivo also adds 3d audio zoom that can zoom in on audio. Motion tracking for videos works great.
The gimbal stabilization is, however, limited only to the primary 48MP camera.
The X50 Pro also has a very interesting 8MP telescopic zoom camera with regular OIS that delivers 5x optical and 60x digital zoom. Vivo also employs a 2x optical zoom lens for portraits.
The magnification is pretty good and we could see many details of far off objects in the viewfinder, but these details didn’t always make it to final images and were lost in image processing. Handheld zoom works fine up to 10X. For higher magnifications, you should use a tripod.
The portrait camera is quite good too and the X50 pro can also capture decent night time portraits. Beautification is turned on by default in many camera modes and that’s a bit annoying.
The wide-angle camera does a great job, and the selfie shooter is pretty reliable as well. The phone doesn’t have a dedicated macro camera and sometimes struggles with locking focus in super macro close-ups.
There are many more shooting modes in the app including a starry sky mode for astrophotography (which we couldn’t test in our light-polluted night sky) and a document mode that removes shadows that often plague overhead shots.
There is also advanced motion tracking that, along with the Gimbal camera stabilizations, should make the X50 Pro very appealing to Vloggers.
So, overall, the Gimbal camera is not a mere gimmick. It works and it makes the X50 Pro camera a whole lot fun. Vivo has somehow managed to catch up to or perhaps even superseded the lowlight performance of some tier-1 flagships and that’s no mean feat! Not by any yardstick.
Vivo X50 Review: Design and Display
The moment we held the Vivo X50 Pro in hands, we were taken in by its striking design. But why? What exactly is Vivo doing differently?
Well, to begin with, the Alpha Grey Color is really classy – it is not garishly flashy and is definitely distinctive. The back glass has a smooth, silky frosted marble finish and the display has those delectable curves.
Vivo is using premium materials, of course. There is glass on the front and rear and an aluminum frame along the sides.
But most importantly – 5G flagships in 2020 have grown big and bulky and, the X50 Pro felt delightfully lighter and slimmer. Besides, we’d say that the 2 layer camera module with a big eye adds some character. In the same vein, a simple glass (or poly glass) strip at the top is a tiny detail that makes the X50 Pro feel special.
Vivo uses a great quality HDR10 compliant AMOLED panel to go along with the premium casing. The default color mode wasn’t much to our liking so we immediately switched to the ‘Normal’ color profile. Even in the Normal color mode, colors feel boosted at times, but pleasantly so. Outdoor visibility is great and the display refreshes at 90Hz for the butter smooth experience.
The interface has an option for customizable dark theme, Always-on mode and DC Dimming to make the screen less harsh on eyes when using in dark ambiance. Vivo also bundles some appealing wallpapers and live wallpapers that further uplift the look and feel.
The punch hole for the selfie camera is a good distance away from the edge and consequently, there is not much room left on the status bar for app icons. The X50 Pro has DRM L1 certification for HD streaming on apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
The in-display fingerprint sensor is snappy and reliable and can be used in combination with face unlock to further improve unlock accuracy. Vivo has skipped the audio jack, though. The Type-C port, SIM tray, and loudspeaker at the bottoms are all symmetrically aligned. Both the power button and volume rocker are easily accessible.
On the downside, the X50 Pro is missing water resistance.
Vivo X50 Pro Review: Performance and Software
This is the first phone in India to be powered by Snapdragon 765 octa-core chipset. I know, a Snapdragon 865 or even SD 865+ is what consumers would justly expect in a phone that costs 50K, and if performance or hardcore gaming is your top priority, you may as well opt for phones that employ the 800 series chipset.
Having said that, after a week of usage, we are quite content with the performance we are getting from the SD765. The chipset is power efficient and capable enough to handle our needs.
The X50 Pro further employs LPDDR4x RAM and UFS 2.1 storage. Vivo is not pushing the envelope with performance, but what we do have here should surely be good enough for most people. All heavy-duty games ran perfectly smooth and Vivo also adds an elaborate gaming mode to further enhance gaming experience.
The fun touch OS is not our personal favorite, but we can see that Vivo has made a conscious effort to keep the annoying and intrusive elements in check. The default keyboard is Gboard, pre-installed third-party apps are removable and the smart launcher on the side of the home screen shows Google feed. Navigation gestures work fine as well.
The software is quite stable and very customizable. The settings menu is a bit complicated and not as easy to navigate. Funtouch OS allows users to customize all animations including edge lighting, fingerprint unlock animation, and even animation for when you insert charger or OTG drive in the USB port.
The X50 Pro supports 5G, dual 4G VoLTE, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi calling. We didn’t face any issues with call quality in our area. We did run into a minor connectivity snag. The X50 pro didn’t recognize our Samsung USB Type-C headphones or our Sandisk OTG drive. We are looking into the issue as of now.
Also Read: Poco M2 Pro Review
Vivo X50 Pro Review: Battery and Audio
The 4315mAh battery lasts more than a day of usage with the display set to refresh at 90Hz. The handset supports 33W fast charging and the bundled FlashCharge 2.0 adaptor can charge the phone in around 1 hour 20 minutes.
The mono loudspeaker at the bottom is extremely loud and quite clear. The phone doesn’t have stereo speakers, though.
Vivo X50 Pro Review: Should you buy it?
We really enjoyed our time with the Vivo X50 Pro. The handset gets the basics right. It is the right fit and finish, has an awesome display, outputs good-quality audio, and its marvelous camera system is quite fun to play with.
The innovative gimbal camera helps the X50 Pro excel at lowlight photography, and perhaps that alone lends the handset an advantage over reigning flagship killers.
At the time of writing this review, we didn’t know the exact price but expected it to be around 45k. At Rs. 49,990, the Vivo X50 Pro must feel a tad expensive because it skips on the top-of-the-line chipset, but if you can look past that, the experience should supersede other options currently available in the same budget.
- Excellent low light camera performance
- Awesome design
- Good quality AMOLED display
- Decent performance
- Great multimedia experience
- No water resistance
- No stereo speakers
- No audio jack
Vivo X50 Pro 5G FAQs
Vivo’s Gimbal camera uses a ‘double ball suspension mount’ structure that enables the primary camera sensor to move more freely and deliver three times as much stabilization as regular OIS.
Vivo nicely leverages the stabilization for still photography. As a result, the X50 Pro deftly avoids motion blur and excels at low light and night time photography.
No. Gimbal camera stabilization works only for the primary 48MP camera.
No. Vivo doesn’t advertise any kind of water resistance.
No. Vivo uses Schott Xensation protective glass instead.
Yes, we were able to stream HD content on Netflix and prime videos.
Yes, it does.
SAR value is 0.706 W/kg @1g (head) and 0.449 W/Kg@1g(body)
No. The handset does not have Navic support?