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Vivo X80 Pro Review- The Good, The Bad & The X-Factor
Vivo recently expanded its flagship X-series smartphone line-up with two new handsets- the X80 and the X80 Pro. If a Pro+ model isn't in the works, the Vivo X80 Pro could become the brand's flagship handset in 2022. It means that the Vivo X80 Pro replaces the X70 Pro+ of last year. Priced steeply at Rs. 79,990, the Vivo X80 Pro comes powered by the latest Snapdragon chipset and runs the latest FunTouch OS based on Android 12.
- Versatile Camera System
- Excellent Display
- Premium Design (IP68-Rated)
- Smooth Performance
- Lackluster Software
- Prone To Overheating
- Camera Inconsistencies
Additionally, the battery capacity has been increased by 200mAh, and the new handset supports wired fast-charging up to 80W. A few hardware changes have been made to the camera system as well to improve the output even further. Is there any improvement in real-life performance with this? Let's find out.
- Starting with the X-Factor, the quad-lens camera captures delightful shots in daylight. The 50MP OIS-enabled (f/1.6) custom-built Samsung GNV sensor (essentially an improved GN1 sensor) impresses with clarity and details. It also captures a wide dynamic range and aces the contrast. Images look well-exposed and have ample details (both 12.5MP pixel-binned and 50MP) to rock your social feeds.
- For still photographs, the sensors perform well in terms of focusing; however, this is not the case for videos. Stability is top-class though, thanks to a miniaturized gimbal setup.
- Vivo's dedicated imaging chip comes in handy while taking pictures in challenging lighting. The camera sensors beautifully counter uneven light, light flares, bright sunlight that falls straight on the camera, and individual light sources in low light. The camera is pro to handle HDR photography.
- The X80 Pro continues to impress in low-light scenarios. Images are noise-free and display a wide dynamic range. Vivo's imaging chip and ZEISS collaboration guarantee no unwanted blown-out light sources. The camera sensor pulls so much information that the results will stun you. In fact, you will notice the real-time difference on the viewfinder while taking the very shot.
- The 48MP (Sony IMX598) 14mm f/2.2 autofocus wide-angle sensor also delivers good pictures. Images are slightly less sharp but well-exposed and show a good dynamic range.
- The camera sensor also does justice to the zoom shots. Both 2x and 5x pictures look crisp and detailed too. The 60x zoom shots are a mess and don't match the results on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. If you want a better zoom camera, there's no better device than the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
- The Vivo X80 Pro gives you ample modes, focal lengths, and filters to experiment with portrait photography and the results are generally pleasing. Don't think about enabling the beautification modes if you prefer natural skin tones. Among 1x, 2x, and 5x, the 2x zoom shots offered the best output.
Premium Design & IP68 Rated Body
The X80 Pro can easily bag the title of the best-looking flagship handset in 2022. It looks and feels every bit premium. The glass-metal construction feels sturdy and the stealthy black color looks gorgeous.
Similar to the X70 Pro+, the X80 Pro also flaunts a curved screen and a metal frame. Vivo has made some cosmetic changes in the camera module design. The massive two-step camera module now has a circular section housing the three sensors, the laser AF sensor, and the ZEISS branding.
The periscope telephoto sensor stays out of the circle and so do the dual-LED flashlights. The design looks somewhat more polished. You still get the frosted glass back with a very fine texture that feels good to touch and stays free of fingerprints and smudges.
The handset is IP68 water-dust resistant and the screen gets a layer of Schott Xensation UP glass, which doesn't match the toughness of Gorilla Glass Victus but should offer some protection to the panel.
As far as the ergonomics are concerned, the X80 Pro is among the heaviest flagship (215g) and isn't quite suitable for one-hand use. The X80 Pro feels almost as big as the mighty Galaxy S22 Ultra and demands two hands for comfortable use. If you prefer compact and lightweight devices, steer away from the X80 Pro.
Gorgeous Curved 2K Display
The X80 Pro boasts a gorgeous 2K display that aces the touch response, color reproduction, and outdoor visibility. It's a big 6.78-inch 10-bit curved OLED panel (Samsung-made) with support for HDR10 and a peak brightness of 1500nits. This is very bright for comfortable outdoor use; however, it is worth mentioning that the peak brightness still doesn't match the numbers on the flagship Galaxy S22 Ultra and Apple iPhones.
Moving on, the OLED panel is crisp, offers excellent viewing angles, and produces deep blacks. Thanks to an excellent 517 PPI pixel density and color profiles such as DCI-P3, the X80 Pro delivers a class-leading video playback and gaming experience. Overall, the X80 Pro has one of the best displays on a flagship smartphone in 2022.
Smooth Gaming & Multitasking Performance
There's no dearth of firepower as the handset is powered by Qualcomm's latest- Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC. The same processor supplies power to the top flagships of 2022 such as Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, iQOO 9 Pro, OnePlus 10 Pro, Xiaomi 12 Pro, etc. Based on a 4nm process node, the octa-core SoC offers stable performance with heavy apps and demanding game titles such as BGMI, Apex legends, and COD Mobile.
Multitasking is also handled seamlessly with the ample 12GB LPDDR 5 RAM. The handset ships with 256GB UFS 3.1 storage, which cannot be expanded as the device comes without microSD card support.
Crisp & Loud Audio & Future-Proof Connectivity
The X80 Pro's stereo speakers produce loud and crisp audio. You can enjoy videos and games even if you don't have headphones handy. The sound produced via the dual speakers is crisp and clean. The focus is mostly on creating a well-defined treble response, engaging vocals, and some good low-end thump.
As far as the connectivity is concerned, the X80 Pro supports the latest Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, dual-band Wi-Fi, and a range of 5G bands (n1/n2/n3/n5/n7/n8/n12/n20/ n28/n38/n40/n41/n66/n77/n78) making it future proof for high-speed 5G connections.
The Vivo X80 Pro runs on Funtouch 12 over Android 12, which isn't that fun to use. It might seem smooth and intuitive at first, but once you start using it every day, you'll notice several functional inconsistencies. A feature such as a search bar in the app drawer is positioned at the top, whereas it should ideally be placed at the bottom for easy access on a device with such a tall display.
The dark mode is inconsistent too and darkens some random screens or text that it shouldn't. The number of pre-loaded apps is way too high for a phone at this price. Samsung and OnePlus devices offer a much more polished software experience than what Vivo has to offer.
Battery Life Could Have Been Better
The Vivo X80 Pro has a slightly bigger battery than its predecessor. However, the real-life performance shows no visible improvements. This device can barely last a day with a heavy usage, which doesn't come as a surprise since the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is a more power-hungry chipset.
If you are a moderate user, the X80 Pro might survive a day and a half but not any longer than that. Thankfully, the wired 80W fast-charging refuels the battery in about 40-minutes. If longer battery life is your priority and you don't want to compromise on the performance, the OnePlus 10 Pro will suit you better.
The phone's 5,00mAh battery cell with better optimization lasts slightly longer with similar usage. The OnePlus 10 Pro also ships with the same 80W wired fast-charging. Similar to most flagships, the Vivo X80 Pro lacks a 3.5mm audio jack and the memory isn't expandable.
- The feature-packed high-performance camera system on the X80 Pro has some inconsistencies that affect the day-to-day performance. To begin with, the camera has focusing issues, not when taking still photos, but while recording video. The sensors struggle to keep the subject locked in focus and a slight change in the distance or a quick movement can spoil the shot.
- Pictures shot on all four sensors vary in color science. Images from the main sensor seem to offer the most accurate colors. In contrast, phones like Apple iPhone 13/13 Pro and even the Xiaomi 12 Pro maintains the correct color temperature across the sensors.
- The skin tones in portraits and even standard shots can look very artificial at times, even when the beautification features are off. Some sort of optimization might improve the results.
- The 4k 30fps videos looked a bit overprocessed. Colors and contrast levels were marginally off and the overall results didn't impress. Moreover, the heavily advertised bokeh video modes deliver very unnatural results. If you want the absolute best and consistent videography results, go for the latest Apple iPhones. Vivo might offer better stability and some interesting modes, it can't match the overall video quality of iPhones, yet.
- Lastly, the camera app might confuse you at times. We often struggled to find modes and settings as the app is too cluttered and loaded with features and settings
It is not uncommon for Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered devices to be plagued by heating issues. However, the X80 Pro is more prone to heat issues. Despite packing a 27-layer cooling mechanism, the device gets too hot while running graphics-intensive tasks such as gaming and multitasking. The heating effect makes the device slow and some apps like the camera start to crash or become extremely slow.
While testing the camera outdoors, the X80 Pro's core temperature spiked to the point that we had to stop midway. Devices such as Galaxy S22 Ultra or the iQOO 9 Pro also heat up but they handle the excess heat much well than the X80 Pro.
For an asking price of Rs. 80K, the Vivo X80 Pro is a good investment, especially if you have a knack for photography. It offers the most versatile camera system in its category, excellent display, a premium, and durable IP68-rated design, and smooth all-around performance. But it isn't perfect. Vivo's FunTouch OS isn't quite fun to use and packs bloatware like any budget or a mid-range device.
Despite some shortcomings in its video camera features, this handset makes for a great still photography device. The X80 Pro is also prone to overheating issues.
The Galaxy S22+ is highly recommended at the same price if you want a better software experience with a longer upgrade cycle; however, it can't match the camera prowess of the Vivo X80 Pro. Xiaomi might change the game with an 'Ultra' variant of its 12 Pro but we don't know for sure when it's coming.