Vivo is no stranger to the premium smartphone market following the success of it’s past generation’s X series smartphones which had attracted much fanfare for it’s revolutionary camera system co-developed with global optic specialist Zeiss.
The Vivo X70 Pro 5G (Review) that was launched towards the end of last year was a testament of the company’s calibre to compete at the highest level against other top dogs such as Apple and Samsung. Despite that, there are still certain areas where the phone fell short particularly in the durability and performance department where the device lacks features such as IP68 rating as well as a flagship chipset.
Now, Vivo is looking to solve all that with the brand new Vivo X80 Pro 5G that comes with several notable upgrades which aim to bridge the gap with other high-end devices in the market. Priced at $1,699, the Vivo X80 Pro isn’t just the most advanced smartphone launched in the local market, but is also the most expensive model till date.
So how does the new Vivo X80 Pro 5G performs in this highly competitive segment? Let’s find out in our Vivo X80 Pro 5G review!
Design & Handling
Although there wasn’t much changes between the design of last year’s Vivo X60 Pro (Review) and the X70 Pro (Review), but that’s no longer the case for the new X80 Pro 5G which had received a major facelift which sets the phone apart from it’s predecessor.
One of the first thing you’ll notice is perhaps the adoption of a raised glass window which houses a circular camera island along with an LED flash unit and a squared-shaped cutout for the periscope camera. The glass window itself has a highly reflective finish which some users might be glad to use as a mirror to position their face if they intend to use the rear camera for selfie.
The rest of the back panel based upon a high quality AG Glass material with a matte-like finish which not only offers an extra premium touch to the overall design, but also does an excellent job in eliminating fingerprints and smudges. That’s perhaps the biggest advantage of having a matte finish over those glossy-looking ones which attract fingerprints almost every time you touches them.
The review unit I’m holding comes in a Cosmic Black colorway which gives the phone a slightly understated outlook as compared to the more attention-grabbing Aurora Dawn colorway that we saw on the X70 Pro. This makes it a much preferred color option for those looking for a more professional looking smartphone to bring into meetings.
Needless to say, the tall design of the Vivo X80 Pro 5G also makes it easy to hold or use with one hand in a crowded train. However, you can easily tell that the phone is slightly heavier than last year’s X70 Pro 5G which weighs only 184 grams as compared to 215 grams for the X80 Pro. Still, the phone is relatively lighter than other high-end models such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G (Review).
Flipping the phone over, we’ll be greeted by a familiar sight – a central hole-punch display which flaunts a pair of subtle curves that run along the edge of the screen, offering a near full screen experience for it’s users.
Touching on the display, it’s an advanced LTPO3 AMOLED panel measuring 6.78” diagonally. It offers an ultra-sharp QHD+ (1440 x 3200 pixels) screen resolution which is a huge step up from the FHD+ screen resolution on the X70 Pro 5G.
Although the phone retains the same 120Hz refresh rate, but it does have a new trick under it’s sleeve thanks to the adoption of a LTPO panel which allows the display to support a variable refresh rate between 1Hz to 120Hz when the ”Smart Switch” feature is turned on.
Otherwise, the refresh rate can also be manually toggled between 60Hz or 120Hz, though this option tend to be less power efficient than the ”Smart Switch” option which automatically adapts the screen refresh rate according to the onscreen content as well as system power consumption.
To sweeten up the deal, the HDR10+ certified display also supports 10-bit color depth as well as an impressive 8,000,000:1 contrast ratio that allow colors to be reproduced more accurately on the screen for a more realistic and immersive viewing experience when watching your favorite Netflix movies.
Also, the screen has no issue getting sufficiently bright when using the phone in an outdoor condition with a peak brightness that goes up to 1,500 nits whenever the situation calls for it. This is often an underrated feature which is exceptionally important for those who often embark on outdoor photography trips.
Rounding out the front package will be an additional layer of glass protection to provide better resistance against accidental drops and scratches. Speaking of durability, the X80 Pro 5G is also IP68 rated which means you wouldn’t need to worry whenever the phone is exposed to light drizzle.
Under the hood, the Vivo X80 Pro 5G is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset which is a significant upgrade over the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chipset in last year’s X70 Pro 5G. This actually marks the first time Vivo uses a flagship chipset on a non ”Plus” model within the X series lineup.
In terms of day-to-day usage, you can expect an amazing productivity experience with buttery-smooth performance when working and switching between multiple apps with various multi-tasking features offered by Vivo’s Funtouch OS 12 user interface.
Likewise, I also hardly encounter any tinge of lag when playing high intensity game titles such as PUBG New State and COD Mobile which normally take up a big chunk of resources from the GPU and CPU end especially if the game is played at higher settings.
To supplement that, Vivo has equipped the X80 Pro 5G with an advanced liquid cooling vapor chamber to ensure the phone doesn’t get overheated during prolonged gameplay which would otherwise lead to every gamer’s worse nightmare – throttling and drop in frame rate.
Performance aside, Vivo also backed the X80 Pro 5G with a capable X-Axis linear motor that’s able to provide precise and comfortable haptic feedbacks for a more engaging gameplay like what we normally experience on a gaming-centric smartphone such as the ROG Phone 5 (Review).
To sweeten up the deal, the phone also features a powerful dual stereo speaker system which not only makes gameplay more immersive, but also sounds pretty good in terms of music playback.
Coming to the memory side of things, the Vivo X80 Pro 5G is available in a single 12GB RAM + 256GB storage variant in the local market which is more than ideal for any mainstream user.
Just like last year’s X70 Pro 5G, the X80 Pro 5G’s camera system is once again co-engineered with German optic specialist ZEISS to elevate photography experience with bespoke imaging solutions such as Real-Time Extreme Night Vision and ZEISS cinematic video bokeh to name a few.
It features a total of four cameras at the back which will be lead by an upgraded 50 megapixels main camera which uses a custom Samsung GNV imaging sensor which has a large 1/1.3” sensor size and a bright f/1.57 aperture for better low-light performance.
Much to my expectations, this camera is able to capture like-worthy shots with accurate exposure and excellent dynamic range that allow photos to look lively and vibrant across different lighting conditions. Most importantly, color reproductions were also on point, giving photos a more natural-looking vibe just to my liking.
Although it might not be obvious looking from photos here, but the camera also did well in preserving intricate details which remains sharp and clear if you actually crops into the photo. Also, it’s worth heaping praise on the camera’s quick and precise autofocusing system that’s able to lock onto the subject almost instantaneously.
To help with low-light photography, the X80 Pro 5G has a remarkable night mode feature that helps to improve exposure and overall brightness of the scene by harnessing computational photography to produce high quality shot that looks more flattering and detailed than it would otherwise be.
Another noteworthy feature which sets the X80 Pro 5G apart from other competing models is the additional layer of ZEISS T* coating on it’s optical lens that helps to optimize light efficiency and eliminates lens flare or stray light issues.
Those who love taking landscape photography would also be glad to know that the X80 Pro 5G also has an equally capable 48 megapixels ultra-wide camera that’s able to deliver the same impressive result with great dynamic range and details.
Likewise, the camera also does a fantastic job when it comes to the correction of lens distortion which allows photos to look more natural rather than having those obvious ”fisheye” effect around the edges of the photo.
Rounding out it’s rear camera system will be a 12 megapixels (f/1.9 aperture) telephoto camera as well as an 8 megapixels (f/2.4 aperture) periscope camera that offer 2x and 5x optical zoom respectively. These cameras can also work in tandem to achieve up to 60x digital zoom for faraway subjects.
Photos taken between 2x to 10x magnification are comparable to those taken by the best zoom cameras in the market such as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Review) and Huawei P50 Pro (Review). While photo quality does deteriorates beyond that, it’s still a pretty nice feature to have and may come in handy at some point of time.
Besides capturing faraway subjects, these cameras are also useful for clicking close-up photographs of plants and insects especially with the presence of a Gimbal-style stabilization system on the 2x telephoto camera which makes it way easier to capture a well-focused shot.
Battery & Charging
The Vivo X80 Pro 5G is helmed by a respectable 4,700mAh battery which can easily supports a day’s worth of usage at a single charge under normal usage condition which include one to two hours of gameplay during my daily commuting. In fact, the battery was able to last me around 1.5 days on days when I use the phone only for replying messages and checking social media updates.
While that alone might sounds impressive enough, the main highlight actually lies in the upgraded 80W flash charging technology that’s capable of delivering a full charge in merely 38 minutes. This puts the phone ahead of most other flagship phones in the wired charging department including those pricier ones.
Just in case you happen to be one of those who isn’t a fan of wired charging, the X80 Pro 5G also supports 50W wireless charging which also charges pretty fast at around 50 minutes. However, you’ll need to purchase a compatible wireless charger separately to take advantage of it’s blazing-fast charging speed.
With the X80 Pro 5G, Vivo finally patches everything that were missing in the preceding models, arming the phone with proper high-end specs which allow the phone to go toe-to-toe with all the biggest names in the market.
In short, the Vivo X80 Pro 5G isn’t just the best smartphone launched by the company till date, but is also one of the best flagship phone in the market that’s capable of offering a top-notch mobile and photography experience for it’s users.
For those who’re interested, the Vivo X80 Pro 5G is priced at $1,699 in Singapore and is available for purchase through major telcos including M1, StarHub, vivo’s official store on Lazada and Shopee, consumer electronics and IT stores including Best Denki, Challenger, Courts, Gain City, and Harvey Norman, authorised retailers islandwide, and vivo’s Concept Store at Bugis Junction and Causeway Point.