Vivo X80 Pro Review: A Spectacular Phone

Vivo's all-new X80 Pro flagship Android smartphone will be hard to beat this year until the company decides to launch its successor.

If there’s one thing we have learned about Vivo’s X-series so far, it’s that it’s, well, getting better with every iteration. When we got our hands on the Vivo X70 Pro+ last year, we thought Vivo almost cracked the flagship code and came out with a terrific package. But, the all-new Vivo X80 Pro is here to surprise everyone and how.

There’s no doubt that the premium Android smartphone category is lately seeing a cut-throat competition which was kicked off by Samsung earlier this year with its Galaxy S22 series, followed by the OnePlus 10 Pro and a few weeks back launched the Xiaomi 12 Pro. But, the Vivo X80 Pro enters to re-write everything with an excellent ZEISS partnership for cameras.

On paper, the X80 Pro is as good as you can expect a modern-day Android flagship to be. But what makes the entire package a steal deal is the price tag. Vivo is here to shake up the ultra-premium segment with a phone that packs all bells and whistles. With packaging like that, the X80 Pro also challenges the iPhone dominance in India, especially the iPhone 13 Pro, that’s over Rs 30,000 costly.

We spent a reasonable amount of time with the Vivo X80 Pro, and here’s why we think Vivo may have a winner up its sleeve for the best flagship of 2022. But of course, there are a few jinxes in the armour that Vivo has to fix to claim that title. Read on our review to find out.

Vivo X80 Pro Review: A camera worth every penny

We usually start our reviews with the design department, but the Vivo X80 Pro had to be an exception because cameras are the biggest USP. The ZEISS partnership has entered the fourth generation, and we now have the X80 Pro featuring an all-new circular camera housing which Vivo calls Ceramic cloud window.

The quad-camera setup featuring a 50-megapixel primary camera with f/1.57 aperture allows more light to be captured in extreme low-light situations, which we will dive into detail in a bit. It is a Samsung GNV sensor and is one of the biggest highlights of this camera setup.

Then, there’s a 48-megapixel secondary Ultra-wide angle camera with f/2.2 aperture, a 12-megapixel gimbal portrait camera with f/1.85 aperture, and lastly, an 8-megapixel periscope camera with f/3.4 aperture. Finally, at the front, there’s a 32-megapixel selfie shooter. Breaking down the camera placement, the 12MP camera sits on top in the circular placement, while the other two are the 48MP and 50MP cameras. The 8MP Periscope camera sits outside the circular housing. 

There are like millions of camera features on the Vivo X80 Pro, including High Resolution, Night, Portrait, Pro, Panorama, Live Photo, Slow Motion, Time-Lapse, AR Stickers, Micro Movie, Supermoon, Ultra HD Document, Astro Mode, Pro Sports Mode, Long Exposure, Double Exposure, Dual-View Video, and AI Group Portrait. 

In addition, thanks to the ZEISS partnership, the cameras on the X80 Pro get some exclusive tuned features like ZEISS Cinematic Style Bokeh, ZEISS Biotar Style Bokeh, ZEISS Distagon Style Bokeh, ZEISS Planar Style Bokeh, and ZEISS Sonnar Style Bokeh. During our time with the X80 Pro, Vivo had only rolled out the Cinematic Style Bokeh while other features were on the way and should be available to users before the phone goes on sale.

Then, there are more features dedicated to people who love to live blogs like ZEISS Cinematic Video Bokeh, AI video enhancement, and a game-changing 360-degree Horizon Leveling Stabilisation. Now that we are almost done with the features list let’s talk about the camera UI. 

What could happen when you pack a ton of features in the camera? Well, the UI will need adjustments and refinements. And that’s the bottom line of the camera UI on the Vivo X80 Pro. It gets features that no other Android smartphone features in India, but you might end up struggling to find them. Some of the interesting camera features are three or four taps away, which is too much for a casual photographer. More importantly, no one would get a dedicated time to set the camera modes when you want your camera to be a point and shoot device. The camera UI needs tweaks so that we get to access the camera highlights in quick taps and not wait for multiple taps. 

Overall, the camera UI on the X80 Pro is the same as what we get on most Vivo phones. It’s just that the X80 Pro is from a different league, and it needs more adjustments.

Now, starting to deep dive into the camera samples of the Vivo X80 Pro. 

1) Daylight shots

There have been many flagship-grade camera phones this year which claim to click some excellent pictures. But, we haven’t seen as versatile a camera like the Vivo X80 Pro. The primary camera in daylight lets you take stunning shots in any situation. 

The daylight samples below are full of colours and textures. The primary sensor comes with an f/1.57 aperture, allowing more light to enter for less noise and brighter results in both images and videos. We managed to click some beautiful pictures in varied situations. It offers a wide dynamic range and a great amount of detail. The good thing we noticed is that the X80 Pro camera manages to capture detail even in shadow areas in a frame, something even modern-day premium phones can’t match. 

The phone retains the true colours of subjects like cars in bright conditions, as seen in the samples below. In addition, the amount of detail captured by the phone is excellent, and noise can only be noticed in slightly dark spots. The X80 Pro is the device for your landscape shots during the daylight or night scene. 

2) Indoors

In some of the shots, we noticed that the AI did a lousy job in showing the proper colours, as the sand photos turned white when AI was turned on. However, this was fixed when AI was turned off. Even some of our close up shots of flowers showed unnatural colours when AI was enabled. I guess this is something that can be fixed with a software update.

From outdoors to indoors, the Vivo X80 Pro is an equally powerful camera phone in indoor conditions. The samples we captured have good exposure and excellent dynamic range. There’s colour accuracy and tons of details captured. The best thing is the phone manages to keep noise in control in samples where there’s a dark spot.

The X80 Pro offers tons of features, including various Bokeh options. The ZEISS Cinematic Style Bokeh was one of our favourites, but you can also play around with other options. The results are stunning and have accurate depth estimation, including optimum blur effect. This is a feature that pro photographers will love. In addition, Vivo has used a dedicated ZEISS Gimbal Portrait camera on the X80 Pro, which is an industry first. 

3) Extreme low-light (and low-light)  

The department where the Vivo X80 Pro outshines others is the extreme low-light conditions. Right from a hanging bookshelf in a dark room to an aquarium with no light around to gazing moon with just pole lights around, the X80 Pro impressed us every time. 

The phone also comes with what Vivo calls Astro mode, and you can see the result below. At 4 in the morning, the phone clicks a beautiful shot with bright stars visible in the sky. Even the low-light samples with a good amount of light sources around came out with colour accuracy and noise reduction in the corners. The stone texture can be seen so clearly from our samples, and even the Orange Lamborghini is captured in true colours. Minute details like tyre texture and headlight design have been captured nicely.

4) Zoom

Even the zoom performance of the X80 Pro is worth looking at. Be it a high-rise or be it your flight window, you can zoom through all the way using the 60x digital zoom. The phone supports up to 5x optical zoom thanks to the Periscope lens.

5) Supermoon

The Vivo X80 Pro also packs in some gimmicky features like Supermoon, which literally puts the moon in your shots. This is mostly the same as what Samsung and Huawei phones offer. As you can see below, the Supermoon mode on the X80 Pro turns the moon visible in the shot into a more zoomed and refined form. It can be good for people to show off but doesn’t feel very natural.

The selfies captured on the X80 Pro are excellent, be it in any light condition. Of course, the skin tone colours are far better than what we get on cheaper selfie-focused phones. There’s this HD Portrait mode that can be enabled with a tap and plenty of Style options to choose from. You can also enable Bokeh on the selfie and select max or minimum options for better results. As we said, there are plenty of features to play around with.

6) Videos 

Another department where Vivo and ZIESS teams have worked hard is videos. Again, you can play around with tons of features, including ZEISS Cinematic Video Bokeh, where the background blends well, and things like a soft blur and natural flare are well captured. 

The Vivo X80 Pro can capture up to 8K videos. You can also record 4K videos at 30fps and 60fps settings. The video quality is top-notch, with no complaints. In addition, Vivo has added the AI Video Enhancement option for extreme low-light situations that enhances the scene. 

Currently, Vivo is the only smartphone manufacturer in India offering phones with built-in stabilisation (including a built-in gimbal). But with the X80 Pro, the company is taking this feat a notch above with the addition of 360-degree Horizon Level Stabilisation. as the name suggests, the feature, once enabled, can help users achieve 360-degree constant video stabilisation. In addition, there are other features like Dual View that can come in handy while live-blogging or AI Group Portrait, where the phone can recognise up to 30 people in a group photo. Another feature we liked was Super Night Portrait, where the phone manages to match facial skin quality even in dim light and the rest of the super night portrait algorithm does the magic.

The ZEISS and Vivo teams have put together a winner in the camera department for professional photographers and even casual photographers. The built-in Vivo V1+ professional imaging chip also plays a role in overall results. Problems like lens flare that’s frequently seen on iPhones are taken care of nicely on the X80 Pro. 

Vivo X80 Pro Review: Design and display justify the Pro moniker

The Vivo X80 Pro is a premium smartphone with glass used both at the front and back, something you will realise the moment you hold it. The glass sandwich design feels solid in the hands. The rounded curves help it sit well in the palms. 

The rear panel has a matte-like finish with Vivo branding engraved towards the bottom panel. It looks classy, and the best part is it’s not glossy or fingerprint magnet. The company has used the Flourite AG Glass on the back.

Vivo has launched the X80 Pro in just Cosmic Black colour, and it’s not a pure black coloured phone. When light falls on the back panel, a sheet of silver light flowing under the transparent panel appears, which makes it very interesting to look at. However, we admit that the Orange colour X80 Pro would have been a unique colour option for the market. Definitely, a missed opportunity for Vivo unless they plan to launch it around Diwali in India.

The best part about the design of the X80 Pro is despite a hefty camera housing on top of the back panel; the phone has a balanced, proportionate weight distribution that doesn’t come in your way while using the phone with just one hand. 

However, the X80 Pro is as fragile as any modern-day flagship because of the glass construction, so we recommend using the back cover that ships with the retail box. 

From the design to display, the Vivo X80 Pro features a 6.78-inch AMOLED WQHD+ (1440×3200 pixels) resolution LTPO display with a 120Hz refresh rate. This is among the best display panels we have used on a Vivo phone until now and is the same panel that we saw on the last year’s X70 Pro+. While the hardware is the same as last year, Vivo has added some more certifications and upgraded the LTPO tech on the X80 Pro.

It is bright, crisp and offers rich colours. The texts appear sharp while watching any video content on the X80 Pro display is a treat. This particular display panel is among the best for multimedia consumption and for on-the-go entertainment.

At 6.78-inches, the X80 Pro offers a slightly smaller display than the S22 Ultra, but the difference is hardly noticeable in the real world. 

Vivo X80 Pro Review: Top-notch performance

Now that we are done with the camera, design, and display, it’s finally time to discuss the performance. Under the hood, the Vivo X80 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. This is the same chipset that’s powering almost all Android flagships in India at the moment. In day-to-day usage, the X80 Pro swings smoothly without dropping a beat. Be it multitasking, browsing, streaming, gaming, and a bit of image editing, the X80 Pro handles all that and more quite swiftly.

Coming to the gaming performance, the Vivo X80 Pro is a beast. While Vivo claims that the X80 Pro packs an ultra-large liquid cooling vapour chamber, we did notice the phone getting warm after a continuous 40-50 minutes of the gaming session. However, the phone never was too hot that we had to switch it off. We recorded a peak temperature of around 55 degrees for the CPU and about 50 degrees for the battery during the review. In our opinion, the liquid cooling vapour chamber manages to dissipate heat well. The X80 Pro packs dual stereo speakers that are loud and offers an excellent audio experience. The X80 Pro is a great companion for your multimedia purposes, from movies to gaming and more.

In our standard benchmark tests, the X80 Pro performed well. On AnTuTu, the phone scored 941241 being marginally behind the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, iQOO 9 Pro and Xiaomi 12 Pro. In Geekbench 5 tests, the X80 Pro scored an impressive 1232 in single-core tests while 3520 in multi-core tests, while in GFX Bench, the device scored 427Fps in the 1080p T-Rex Offscreen test. On 3D Mark, the X80 Pro scored 9736 in Wild Life and 2597 in Wild Life Extreme tests.

Where the Vivo X80 Pro fails to impress us is the UI and the tons of bloatware apps. The only good thing is that you don’t get random ad pop-ups from preinstalled apps. There’s no doubt that the Vivo X80 Pro has the most refined FuntouchOS version we have used, but in our opinion, it still needs some work. The phone runs on Android 12, which means you get most of the goodies like match icon and text colour of the phone with the wallpaper.

Android 12 adds many privacy-focused features. Vivo has integrated almost all of them on the X80 Pro, including the screen pinning, microphone and camera indicators, approximate location, clipboard access notification, etc. Apart from the Vivo suite of apps, the phone also comes preloaded with apps like Josh, Moj, Mix TakaTak, Dailyhunt, Spotify, Cred, and more. Once enabled, apps like Josh and Dailyhunt will spam you with tons of notifications every hour. We deleted some of these apps, and our user experience was better.

The next thing we loved about the X80 Pro was the ultra-fast 3D Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor for two reasons – it offers a larger area to reduce unlocking difficulty. Because it uses ultrasonic optical technology, it’s quicker than your standard fingerprint sensor. As a result, we can admit that the X80 Pro’s fingerprint scanner is one of the quickest we have used on any Android phone this year. 

There’s, of course, the promise of the three Android updates and three years of security updates. Vivo has also added water and dust resistance on the X80 Pro with IP68 certification.

Vivo X80 Pro Review: Decent battery backup

The battery capacity of the Vivo X80 Pro has received a bump alongside the wired charging speed compared to its predecessor. The X70 Pro+ came with a 4500mAh battery and a 55W wired charging adapter. While the X80 Pro ships with a 4700mAh battery with 80W wired charging support. The refreshed charging speed definitely helps the phone to charge quickly. 

In our tests, the X80 Pro charged from 0 to 70% in roughly 20 minutes while fully charged within 40 minutes. There’s also a 50W wireless flash charge and TÜV Rheinland Fast Charge Certification that ensures the fast charging is safe. Talking about the real-world performance, the battery lasted for roughly a day with heavy usage. Of course, battery charge depletion depends on the usage, and we could see a good drop in the X80 Pro’s battery while gaming and extended camera use but not something that can be considered unusual.

On the other hand, the X80 Pro gave us a screen-on time of around 8 hours which isn’t bad when mixed with gaming, streaming videos on YouTube, Internet browsing on Chrome, and camera use.

In our video loop test, we ran an HD video on loop on the phone with optimum settings like 50% brightness and Wi-Fi connection. The phone lasted for a good 15 hours, which is impressive. Overall, the X80 Pro offers a decent battery life but nothing that will blow you away.

Vivo X80 Pro Review: Verdict

The Vivo X80 Pro raises the bar for Android flagships and will be the phone to beat this year. The launch comes when there are enough challengers in the market, yet the new X-series phone manages to leave a mark.

At Rs 79,999, the Vivo X80 Pro is an excellent flagship smartphone that undercuts premium phones like the Samsung Galaxy S22+ and offers more features than the iPhone 13. It comes in a single 12GB RAM and 256GB storage model. We wish that Vivo launched a 512GB version as well in India.

The cameras take the Vivo X80 Pro a notch above rivals like the OnePlus 10 Pro and Realme GT 2 Pro. There are a million camera features (definitely pun intended!) onboard the device that will take some time for even the pro camera users to get the hang of it. However, the most interesting thing is that the Vivo X80 Pro impresses with its camera results in challenging lighting conditions where we usually see smartphones struggling a bit.

While it also appeals to power users with an excellent performance credential. If anything pulls the Vivo X80 Pro slightly down, it is the UI. Keep that aside, and the Vivo X80 Pro emerges as the ultimate flagship of 2022.

If you’re looking for alternatives, you can look at options like the iPhone 13, but it misses out on many features. There’s also the Samsung Galaxy S22+ with the same chipset, but it doesn’t pack an as versatile camera as the X80 Pro. While the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is definitely the biggest rival of the Vivo X80 Pro but there’s a big price difference between the two.

Let us know in the comments section if you want MySmartPrice to work on the ultimate versus – Vivo X80 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Vivo X80 Pro

79,999
8.6

Design and Build

9.0/10

Performance

9.0/10

Display Quality

9.0/10

Camera Quality

9.0/10

Software

7.5/10

Battery Performance

8.5/10

Audio Performance

8.0/10

Day-to-Day Usage

8.5/10

Value-for-Money

8.5/10

What Is Good?

  • Stunning design and display
  • Fantastic cameras with tons of features
  • Excellent performance
  • 3D Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is quick
  • Aggressive price tag

What Is Bad?

  • Camera UI needs refinement
  • Funtouch OS needs to shed more bloatware

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