It’s been a while since Vivo launched the new X50 series premium mid-range handsets in India. What made the launch of these two handsets rather special was the fact that these were the first X series handsets to come to India in two years. The last X-series handset I laid my hands on was the Vivo X21, and that was way back in 2018 when the now ubiquitous in-display fingerprint scanner was the new kid on the block. While the Vivo X21’s claim to fame was the fact that it was the first smartphone to feature an in-display fingerprint scanner, the new Vivo X50 Pro has a totally different feature as its USP – a gimbal camera system that, according to the company, is the first of its kind on a smartphone.
I have been using the Vivo X50 Pro as my primary handset for the past three weeks, during which I extensively tested the various features of the phone. In this review, I hope to be able to answer most questions you might have about this much-talked-about device.
I used a Jio SIM card during the course of this review, and the handset has been functioning as my daily driver for the past three weeks. This unit was provided to me by Vivo India, and the phone runs FunTouchOS 10.5 with Android 10 at the time of publishing this review.
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Vivo X50 Pro: design, build
I have got to admit that right from the day the first leaked images of the phone was out, I fell in love with the design. The only concern back then was whether the X50 Pro would even make it to India. Now that it has, it’s time we appreciate the gorgeous looks of the phone.
The X50 Pro is offered in a single Alpha Grey color option, which, honestly, looks great. At 181g, it was noticeably heavier than the OPPO Reno4 Pro, which I was reviewing before this. However, the metal and glass finish of the device makes lends it a much superior feel. The matte, frosty finish on the rear panel exudes a sense of class and also aids in gripping the handset without the worry of slippage. That said, I will recommend using a sturdy case with the phone – just in case. The classy look of the phone is further accentuated by the curved display and the overall design language.
The rear panel is also where the unmissable camera hump and the quad-camera setup is located. The top and bottom edge of the phone is flat, and you can even make it stand vertically on a flat surface. At the top edge, there are inscriptions that read ’5G’ and ‘Professional Photography’ – which honestly, felt unnecessary. But then, it is not something that you’d notice unless you really look carefully. One issue with the prominent camera hump is that you cannot place the phone on a flat surface without wobbling. Using a case, sort of mitigates this issue, though.
The top edge is also where the secondary noise-canceling microphone is located. At the bottom, the phone gets the primary microphone, the mono speaker grille, and the SIM tray. The left side of the phone has been left entirely blank. The power button and the volume rocker keys are both located on the right side and, like the rest of the phone, are well-built and give that nice clicky sound each time you press them.
Overall, there is no denying that the X50 Pro is one chic-looking smartphone. For me personally, this has to be among the best-looking smartphones I have used in my 12 years of testing and reviewing gadgets.
Display: Super AMOLED, Super Bright, 90Hz
The display on the Vivo X50 Pro measures 6.56-inches across and had a resolution of 2376 x 1080 pixels. The panel is of the Super AMOLED type. There is a notch on the top left corner of the display where the front-facing camera is located. The screen also happens to house an in-display fingerprint scanner – a technology that I first used on a Vivo smartphone two years ago! The display – while not as bright as the one on the OPPO Reno 4 Pro – is bright enough to be used even in direct sunlight without legibility issues. The panel supports 90hz refresh rate and gives users the option to switch to 60Hz or an auto mode.
The panel curves gently toward the edges, which lend a classy look to the phone. From the front, this lends the display with an edge to edge look. Colors pop out in the ‘standard’ mode, which happens to be the default mode. The other modes on offer include ‘Normal’ and ‘Bright.’ Of these, the Normal mode feels the most natural and closest to the DCI-P3 color space. There is a dedicated ‘Bright’ mode as well that jacks up the brightness levels. This could be helpful on those days when the sun is exceptionally bright. For folks who prefer precise manual control, they also get a color temperature slider that lets them select the apt color temperature. The display is HDR10+ certified, and you will be able to enjoy HDR content in FHD resolution with supported apps.
Camera and Photography
This, perhaps, is the most important section of this review. One look at the phone, and it becomes evident that X50 Pro has been designed around the camera. For starters, the massive lens used with the primary 48MP camera will undoubtedly grab your attention. The large size of the lens is accentuated by the relatively small size of the other three lenses. Let’s take a look at the specifications and performance of these cameras. The four cameras used on the Vivo X50 Pro include the following:
- 48MP Primary sensor with Gimbal Stabilization, f/1.6 lens.
- 13MP Portrait camera with f/2.46 lens (50mm)
- 8MP Super Wide Angle (120-degree) + Macro camera with f/2.4 aperture
- 8MP Telephoto (Periscope) camera with 5x Optical Zoom, 60x Hyper Zoom, f/3.4 lens
Primary 48MP ‘Gimbal’ Camera
Vivo has used a customized version of the 48MP IMX598 sensor for the primary camera. With f/1.6 aperture, low light shots turn out very well. What further aids in getting great low light shots is the “Double-ball” Suspension Mount-toting Gimbal Camera System. This lets the Vivo X50 pro handle shaky videos and photos much better than traditional OIS systems. You can manually turn the stabilization on, and the Gimbal system will be turned on for both photos and videos.
Photos captured using the primary camera turn out great – with high saturation levels, great colors, and excellent dynamic range. I did notice some loss of detail when you zoom in 100 percent. This, however, should not be a cause of concern for most people. Here are a few images captured using the primary camera.
The primary camera also doubles up as the default video shooting camera. And this is an area where you’ll notice the excellent image stabilization capabilities of the phone. While the Vivo X50 Pro cannot match the stabilization offered by traditional gimbals, I can confirm that the stabilization is excellent when compared to smartphones with traditional OIS.
Low Light Images
The Vivo X50 pro features a dedicated Night Mode. It is significantly better than the ones I have used on several mid-range smartphones and even comes close to the low light mode on my Huawei P30 Pro. Here are a few low light shots using the primary camera.
Portrait, Telephoto, and Macro shots
When you switch to the Portrait mode on the Vivo X50 Pro, the phone automatically switches to the 50mm lens and the 13MP sensor. While this lens has a native aperture of f/2.4, Vivo lets you control the bokeh using software wizardry. You can go as high as f/0.95 if required. I recommend capturing images at the default f/2.4 aperture, though, since it does end up giving you decent bokeh. I also noticed that most 50mm portraits I shot using the phone ended up with f/2.0 aperture. Anyway, here are a few portrait shots using the Vivo X50 Pro’s rear camera.
The telephoto ‘Periscope’ camera lets you zoom in up to 120mm (5x) without loss in quality. While you do get the 60x option, it is best used only when necessary. Another capability that the telephoto lens enables for the X50 Pro is something known as the Supermoon mode. In this mode, the phone lets you capture shareable images of the moon. Take a look at a few sample images from the telephoto camera. The last photo was captured using the SuperMoon mode.
The 8MP super wide-angle camera has a 120-degree field of view and also doubles up as the macro camera. I was impressed by the details offered by the UW camera. It was significantly better at capturing details when compared to traditional 8MP sensors used with ultra-wide lenses. Here are a few images captured using the UW camera.
In the gallery below, take a look at the macro shots I captured on the Vivo X50 Pro.
Overall, you will have a fun time using the versatile camera setup on the Vivo X50 Pro.
The 32MP front-facing camera takes good quality selfies and also supports the portrait mode. The high-resolution camera captures good details, and the colors look natural as well.
Vivo X50 Pro: Performance, battery life, software
The Vivo X50 Pro comes powered by the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G SoC with support for 5G networks. In India, the X50 Pro comes in a single variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage. The handset, while supporting dual SIM cards, does not have a microSD card slot for memory expansion.
The Snapdragon 765 SoC is known to offer snappy, zero lag performance, and that was generally my experience with the Vivo X50 Pro during the entire course of this review. At no point during the course of this review did I face any lag or stutter with the device. App loading times were comparable to other mid-range devices, and even heavy apps did not take too much time to load. Multitasking was effortless, and at no point did the phone feel like running out of breath. Gaming performance was excellent, and I was able to easily play games like Call of Duty: Mobile and PUBG Mobile at the highest settings without lag. While the phone did warm up a bit, even after 20-30 minutes of continuous gaming, it did not get too hot.
The Vivo X50 Pro gets a 4315mAh battery with support for 33W fast charging. I was pretty happy with the battery life on the X50 Pro. I was able to easily use the phone for well over a day, with the brightness settings set to around 50 percent. I was able to get over 5 hours of screen-on-time consistently. With the supplied charger, I was able to charge the Vivo X50 Pro from 0 to 100% in less than an hour. For a 50 percent charge, the X50 Pro took around 30 minutes.
The Vivo X50 Pro runs the newest version of FunTouch OS 10.5 based on Android 10. While not a fan of Vivo’s custom UI – I have to admit that the implementation of the X50 is a lot better when compared to older Vivo devices. That being said, the improvements are not as significant as we have seen on OPPO’s ColorOS. One area where I noticed several UI inconsistencies was when I used switched to the Dark Mode during my initial days with the phone. Since then, however, Vivo has issued an update that seems to have fixed the issue.
The Vivo X50 Pro is arguably the best looking mid-range smartphone I have used in a really long time. The design is impeccable, the color option classy, and the overall feel – premium. If there is one chink in the X50 Pro’s proverbial armor, it has to be the SD765G chipset, which – make no mistake – is an excellent Soc but would have been better used on a device much cheaper.
For example, the OnePus Nord uses the same SoC and costs Rs 34,990. In Vivo’s defense, though, we can argue that the Nord doesn’t look like it costs a million dollars or has the gimbal stabilization gizmo to boast of. That said, the OnePlus Nord is of least concern to the X50 Pro since most of its competition comes from the other end of the price spectrum. With the price of the X50 Pro touching 50k (Rs 49,990), it ends up directly competing against the likes of the OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Pro, and the Xiaomi Mi 10 – all of which feature the faster SD 865 chipset – and that, precisely is an issue that Vivo might face while making a case for the X50 Pro. In my case, though, Vivo has me convinced with the superb design and the excellent camera capability alone. This one earns a well-deserved thumbs up from me.
Vivo X50 Pro49,990
Value for Money6.0/10
What Is Good?
- Gorgeous looks
- Excellent build quality
- 90hz AMOLED panel
- Unique Gimbal camera
- 5G Support
- Zero lag performance
What Is Bad?
- Funtouch OS can be improved
- No wireless charging
- No IP rating
- Strong competitors available at the same price range