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  • Bryan Tan

Vivo X80 Pro Review: Videography Taken To Newer Heights?

We are well into 2022 and Vivo is back with the newest addition to their X series lineup, the Vivo X80 Pro. In our short time with it, this phone has continuously impressed in many aspects from daily usage, battery life, gaming and camera performance, with a few rough edges here and there but nothing too detrimental. To put it simply, we like it!

Looking at the design, the Vivo X80 Pro shares many similarities to its predecessor with its curved screen and frosted back. It feels just as slippery in the hand but on the bright side, you don't have to worry about fingerprints. What will attract fingerprints, however, is the much larger camera compartment taking up almost a third of the back of the phone. In normal usage, your fingers will most likely rest naturally on that glass surface so you're gonna have to occasionally wipe it down with a cloth.

The glass surface is also reflective so you can use it as a mirror in a pinch, or you can use it how it's originally meant to, to frame your selfie shots with the back cameras.

Now, now, we'll get to the camera performance in a bit. Let's work around the phone a little more, starting with its 6.78-inch AMOLED panel with a WQHD+ resolution of 3200 by 1440 pixels. Like many smartphones released in recent years, the panel also has a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz. Colours pop as they should and blacks are deep, giving vibrancy and sharpness to any image produced, so no abnormalities on that end.

The phone also has a set of Dual Stereo Speakers which are in typical front and bottom firing placements. While it doesn’t blow other phones out of the water, it will hold its own with a distinct separation between its highs, mids and lows. We think the phone could also benefit from having a little more power to its lower frequency as they do sound more recessed.

Nevertheless, the AMOLED screen and speakers will serve you well in movie watching and music listening, providing a certain degree of 'cinematic' experience, well, if your expectations are aligned with smartphone-level standards at least.

In-display fingerprint and facial unlock are also available with this phone. On the first setup, the time it took for the phone to register our fingerprints and face biometrics was oddly fast which kinda made us question its security but after a few tests, rest assured it's reliable.

The phone is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, consisting of the usual octa-core CPU along with the Adreno 730 GPU. Geekbench and 3D Mark numbers are right within expectations along with other phones of its class.

For a phone not targeted toward gaming, it performs surprisingly well for long gaming sessions. In our case, it handled about an afternoon of Pokemon Unite without throttling and frame drops, all while maintaining a very comfortable temperature to hold. Slightly more demanding games like Genshin will test that limit by dropping frames occasionally but nothing a little tweaking of the graphic setting won't solve. Truly remarkable.

Funtouch OS is also back based on the Android 12 operating system. Fun-sounding name aside, while it probably won't evoke much joy out of you when you're using it, it will, however, satisfy in terms of utility with a bunch of customization options on top of the ones already available for Android 12.

Whereas on the app side of things, you will find quite a few apps pre-installed like Shopee, Linkedin and Lazada. It wasn't a really big deal for us as most of these apps are pretty commonly used in Singapore and Malaysia but if you are based elsewhere you might need to take some time to uninstall them.

Alright, alright, we heard you. Let's talk cameras. While the focus of the X70 Pro last year was photography, Vivo has come full circle this year with promises for good performances in terms of videography.

In collaboration with Zeiss, the phone is equipped with a 50MP f/1.57 main, a 48MP f/2.2 wide-angle, an 8MP f/3.4 periscope and a 12MP f/1.85 dedicated to portraits.

Photos come right off the sensor looking great with natural depth and that extra touch in saturation. If that's not your cup of tea, 'Zeiss Natural Colour' mode is still available and processes the image with a more natural and muted tone. If you like to colour grade your photos yourself then this will probably be the mode you want to have on as it will allow you slightly more freedom to tweak the colours to your liking.

Speaking of which, it's not every day you see consistent colours in photos from cameras of the same smartphone, although you will still be able to tell the photos apart with their depth, focal lengths and such, the photos do look like they all come from the same sensor, pretty neat.

The front is also fitted with a 32MP camera which is alright if you want to use it for video calls and such. But since Vivo has taken the liberty of basically including a mirror at the back of the phone you might as well utilise it with the rear cameras for your selfies instead.

Videos are handled by the main and wide-angle sensors and shoot up to 8K 30fps now, visuals are extremely pleasing with the same natural colour reproduction as seen from the 'Zeiss Natural Colour' mode. Similarly, the natural depth also helps enhance the image quality making it comparable to even some points and shoots.

'Zeiss Cinematic' is also back for video mode, locking the camera to 1080p 24fps with its own set of bokeh processing to achieve that 'cinematic' flare. While it is fun to play around with on occasions, the bokeh processing will get confused with erratic or fast-moving subjects. On landscape shots, though it looks pretty slick and with a bunch of built-in Movie LUTs, you'll be able to shoot very film-like establishing shots right from your pocket.

Oh, did we mention that the 'Zeiss Cinematic' mode letter boxes a 1080p footage rather than giving you a true 2.35:1 video? Considering that the LUTs are also available in the video mode at 1080p 30fps, if the bokeh processing of the cinematic mode isn't working out for your particular shot, you can always shoot the video first in normal mode and crop it to a similar 21:9 aspect ratio within the gallery later. If the LUTs aren't important to you, you may also repeat that same process at up to 8K 30fps for a higher-res output!

The camera performs quite well in low light as well and that's about it for the cameras, many features and modes are carried over from its predecessor but the X80 Pro does bring improvements all around.

Battery life doesn't disappoint with a bigger 4700mAh battery as compared to the X70 Pro. We were able to get it through the working day totalling about 6 to 7 hours of screen-on time with a mixture of general phone usage, gaming, YouTube and Apple music.

With the included 80W charging adapter which still uses type-A for some reason, the phone will be able to charge itself up to 100% within an hour. And for those that need it, 50W fast wireless charging is also available.

Last but not least, a type-C headset is included in the box, but not a dongle……enough said.

The Vivo X80 Pro only comes in cosmic black, in a configuration of 12GB RAM and 256GB of storage for S$1,699 and RM4,999. It’s available now at selected telcos, retail and online stores (LAZADA and Shopee).

While the pricing isn’t the cheapest by any means, if you are already an existing owner of Vivo phones, this phone will still be a very welcomed upgrade bringing all-around improvements in both hardware and software. For the rest of you looking for a solid Android phone to upgrade to, now may be the time to hop on the Vivo train!

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