VIVO X50 Pro Review, First Look and Hands-On



When it comes to camera technology, this year's trend has been about pushing the boundaries of zoom and Vivo's newest smartphone the X50 Pro can do that also, from 1x to 60x. But in an effort to redefine smartphone photography, they are changing the way stabilization is done on camera smartphones, and for content creators who rely on gimbals to achieve extra smooth cinematic video that's a great idea. But does the technology really work and does the Vivo X50 Pro live up to its promises? Let's check it out VIVO X50 Pro Review, First Look and Hands-On


When it comes to innovation Vivo is no stranger to the spotlight. Before pop-up cameras and under-display fingerprint scanners were a thing Vivo was paving the way for it all. Every year the company unveils its apex phone, a concept device that showcases all the cool new technology they are currently working on and the best glimpse of what might eventually make it to commercial devices. You might not have heard about it because it was announced just as the Covid-19 pandemic was blowing up but earlier this year Vivo announced its 2020 apex phone promising to take smartphone photography and videography to a whole another level, thanks to a gimbal camera another first for a smartphone. That technology is finally rolling out to a device that you can finally buy this phone right here. 


If you are unfamiliar with Vivo's X-series Smartphones then don't worry. Let's start with a brief introduction. The X-series is Vivo's photography focused line of smartphones the reason you might not have heard of it before is that unlike the more affordable V-series Vivo hasn't made the X-series widely available outside of China until now. The X50 is the first to get a global launch with markets in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe getting it real soon. There are three phones in the X50 series, the X50, X50 Pro and X50 Pro Plus. So before I tell you what is different you should know that the X50 Pro Plus will only be available in China. All three phones have 6.56-inch AMOLED displays from Samsung. The X50 Pro Plus model has a 120-hertz refresh rate the other two have 90-hertz displays. The X50 has a flat display the other two have curved displays. The X50 and X50 Pro share the same processor i.e. Qualcomm's snapdragon 765G while the X50 Pro Plus is powered by the top tier Snapdragon 865. Of the three the X50 Pro Plus has the biggest battery and the fastest charging speed. Only the X50 Pro supports the gimbal camera system and the X50 Pro Plus doesn't have a gimbal but on paper, it has the best camera hardware of the lot.

  • VIVO X50 Pro Design:

So when we talk about phone's design, with its narrow bezels refined and sleek design Vivo says the X50 Pro represents elegance and sophistication unlike the large camera modules found on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and the Huawei P40 Pro Plus, the camera bump on the X50 Pro isn't nearly as big despite its gimbal camera system. Vivo says this two-tier design is intentional but I think it takes away from the seamlessness of it all. I do however like the size of the phone. It's neither too big nor too small. It's got a good amount of heft to it also. Its curved back gives it a nice comfy fit in the hands and its contoured edges make it feel thinner too. The X50 Pro is only available in alpha gray. I kind of wish it also came in this camel faux leather finish like on the X50 Pro Plus. That way just like on the Oppo find X2 Pro you end up not needing a case. When hit by the light it gets hints of blue giving it some dynamism. The matte glass finish is nice too although it's poorly executed unlike other recent phones with a matte finish, it still picks up fingerprint smudges more.


  • VIVO X50 Pro Full Specifications:


Even if this isn't Vivo's top of the line smartphone that honor goes to the next which Vivo says we should watch out for, the X50 Pro is very much a flagship one of many phones being announced this month featuring Qualcomm's new premium snapdragon 765G. But don't let the numbers 800 and 700 tricks you into thinking that this is a mid-range phone because it's not and it's a trend that you're going to see in the coming months. Think of snapdragon 865 as a processor for pro users who need that extra power and performance for things like gaming and video editing while 765 is also a powerful processor giving users their high-end requirements without that extra cost. During the time that I reviewed the phone, the X50 Pro handled everyday tasks like a champ. Games like PUBG ran smooth and thanks to its 180-hertz sampling rate it in fury should register taps faster. Vivo didn't skimp on the display either. This curved AMOLED screen is beautiful with that trendy fast refresh rate. It's sufficiently bright colors are rich and vibrant and there's HDR 10 Plus support making binge-watching your favorite shows on Netflix more enjoyable. It's also got a pretty decent 4315 mAH battery that during our time with the phone lasted us about a full day of average to heavy use. Vivo bundles a 33-watt flash charge adapter in the box and charging speeds were pretty impressive. The X50 Pro went from 0 to 52 in 30 minutes and a full charge took just over an hour.

  • VIVO X50 Pro Camera:



Of course, it being a photography flagship, its ability to take great photos is really where the X50 Pro shines. The phone has four rear cameras; an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 13-megapixel bokeh camera made specifically for shooting portraits but also measuring depth and for taking 2x zoom shots, an 8 megapixel 5x telephoto that can go up to 60x hyper zoom and a 48-megapixel main camera with a fast 1.6 aperture and that much-touted gimbal camera system. And believe me, it's refreshing to see four actual cameras meaning there aren't extra cameras that are only there to help you measure depth or color temperature but you can't really use to take photos with that's not the case on the X50 Pro and Vivo deserves credit for not just adding cameras for the sake of saying this the phone has a quad-camera system it really does. 

But does this phone live up to its promise of redefining photography? First, let's see what the cameras can do. Surprisingly the main wide-angle camera does a great job regardless of lighting conditions. The ultra-wide-angle camera only has an effective 108-degree field of view so it's not as wide as we would have liked but it doubles as a macro camera and does a good job as long as lighting conditions are sufficient. Its 5x telephoto lens does a decent job at 10x it starts getting noisy and 60x is good for when you have to get really close but like most ultra-zoom smartphones photos aren't necessarily posted worthy. While it's nice to have seen 2x and 5x optical zooms I am not really sure if zoom was a focus at all the camera software doesn't make it easy to zoom past 5x there are no preset distances and it's pretty tough to scroll to the exact distance you require. Finally, its dedicated 50 ml equivalent bokeh camera does a good job at measuring depth and produces pleasing portraits. I also like that it's basically a 2x optical telephoto lens for everyday zoom scenarios.



But when we compared the X50 pro with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and the Huawei P40 Pro Plus, our favorite android camera smartphones of 2020, we found that X50 Pro has a tendency to punch up the saturation and the X50 Pro does a good job at HDR bringing out details hidden in the shadows a feat matched only by the Huawei P40 Pro Plus but not the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. Talking about zoom comparisons, the Huawei P40 Pro Plus with its 10x optical zoom is a clear winner. While the X50 Pro while it shares a similar 5x optical telephoto lens with the S20 Ultra produces a noisier photo.

The X50 Pro has a 32 megapixel selfie camera. I like how it's extra wide so you can fit in more people into a shot and how the camera app lets you pinch to zoom in on selfie mode. Beauty mode is pretty aggressive though even if you go in and turn it off. Otherwise, if you ask me these selfies turned out looking pretty good and for most folks, that's really what's important. 

  • Gimbal Stabilization Videos:


But what about its headline feature, the revolutionary gimbal based stabilization system. When it comes to cameras stabilization is important it reduces chances of blur when taking photos with slower shutter speeds. It also helps when shooting videos so. Even if you shoot a video while walking stabilization will counteract the normal shake from your bouncing up and down while you walk. You've probably seen professional videographers use a gimbal which keeps a camera stabilized even if the person holding it goes up and down left or right front and back. That same technology is available on the Vivo X50 Pro. How they were able to squeeze it into such a tiny camera module is a feature of engineering.

  • But is the Gimbal Camera Real?


So we tried it out. The X50 Pro versus the Samsung galaxy s20 Ultra both with the videographer walking and then running. And we noticed that the gimbal doesn't make as dramatic a difference as promised and the video quality on the S20 Ultra is better overall. When you switch to 4k though the stabilization isn't as effective on X50 Pro.

To be honest I am pretty disappointed in the results especially since there's been so much hype about this new technology. In principle, the gimbal system is a hardware revolutionary breakthrough. But having said that Huawei's P40 Pro Plus for example has pretty amazing software-based AI stabilization. If you nod the phone up and down there's a noticeable difference and I am not saying it doesn't do the job it does, maybe sometimes even better but is it good enough to make me want to leave my gimbal at home when I really need those fluidly smooth shots? The answer is NO.  

  • Simple as well as Seamless UI:

I am thrilled to see a major overhaul in Vivo's android skin Funtouch while the model numbers are the same the version on the X50 series is cleaner and closer to stock Android than ever before. The goal is to provide users with something simple and seamless.

  • So To Buy VIVO X50 PRO Price is Worthy?
                                                      
When a phone is powerful, battery life is impressive and the software experience satisfactory; it's really camera performance that makes or breaks a phone. And in the case of the Vivo X50 Pro it's really what sets it apart and makes it an easy phone to recommend, especially given its more or less 600$ price tag. 

  • Will it able to Compete with Other Flagship Phones?

The answer is most definitely Yes. The X50 Pro is a great value for money smartphones and it deserves the thumbs up. Are its camera improvements groundbreaking and does its new gimbal system revolutionized videography? No. But where it does deserve credit is being able to keep up with the best android phones in the market today for at least four hundred dollars less. And finally, there are phones that can deliver a flagship experience without breaking the bank and it's just to start there are other snapdragon 765 phones on the horizon. 


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