Submit a review

vivo X80 Pro review

The Plus may have disappeared from the name, but don’t let that fool you – the vivo X80 Pro is the spiritual successor to the X70 Pro+. Essentially, it’s the company’s ultimate camera phone, with further advancements in hardware and software. And that’s on top of what was already an extremely capable setup.

As an all-round flagship, this year’s X80 Pro naturally also packs a high-end chipset and a high-quality display as well as some additional battery capacity, all in an absolutely stylish housing. And unlike the X70 Pro+, the company’s flagship is also sold in Europe. However, OriginOS is used as the interface at home and Funtouch OS is used here in the US. There are also two different chipsets – the Dimensity 9000 in the Far East, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 outside of China.

The main camera in the new model uses an exclusive Samsung sensor based on the well-known 1/1.3-inch sensor from previous generations. The shorter of the two telecameras instead of the ultra-wide got the gimbal stabilization this time. However, the 8 megapixel periscope and the main camera have normal optical stabilization. The 32 megapixel selfie camera remains unchanged.

The X80 Pro’s OLED display offers QHD resolution and supports a variable refresh rate from 1 to 120 Hz. It is slightly curved and hides the huge ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, which is already known from the iQOO 9 Pro. The battery capacity has increased slightly from 4,500 to 4,700 mAh and the charging power has increased from 66 to 80 watts.

Unboxing

The X80 Pro follows the tradition of previous premium vivo phones. The phone comes in a large square box made of thick textured cardboard. Two additional boxes under the phone hold the accessories, and there are quite a few of those. An 80-watt charger promises fast charging, and a pair of in-ear earbuds and a faux leather case are also in the box.

Design

They haven’t exactly been unremarkable lately, the high-end vivos, but the X80 Pro somehow manages to outperform even the X70 Pro+ in camera island “presence”. The four modules leave the tidy arrangement of the X70 Pro+ almost randomly scattered and three of them are now in a circular formation together with the obligatory Zeiss badge and the laser AF. The periscope is below this circle, the LED flash is on the right.

The fact that the island now spans most of the phone’s width makes the phone very stable when placed on a flat surface. The entire camera assembly can also be used as a mirror and for rough framing of main camera selfies. Another design element that has been retained is the shimmering finish of the matte black back.

In practical terms, the back is as slippery as it gets. The included case helps but hides the glittery finish. At least the back isn’t remotely prone to fingerprints, leaving the lack of grip as the only compromise. Upfront is the 6.78-inch OLED display with the classic traits of a true flagship – curved sides, minimal bezels, and a tiny cutout for the center selfie camera.

With dimensions of 164.6 x 75.3 x 9.1 mm, the X80 Pro is a full-fledged device without claiming to be compact. It is even slightly larger than a Galaxy S22 Ultra, but a whole 2.6 mm narrower. But even compared to the S22+, the vivo is more than 7mm taller. The Xiaomi 12 Pro, on the other hand, has essentially the same footprint as the vivo.

The X80 Pro is also among the heaviest in its class, although its 215g in your pocket probably feels the same as the S22+’s 195g. The 1.5mm depth difference between the 9.1mm Vivo and the slim 7.6mm Galaxy is somewhat mitigated by the curved sides of the X80 Pro. The power button and the volume rocker are installed on the right. Both work remarkably quietly, but with a good pressure point.

There is a shiny plastic insert on the top, which may have become necessary due to the placement of the antenna. The inscription “Professional Photography” is reminiscent of the claim of the X80 Pro, the infrared transmitter sits next to it. The USB-C port is installed at the bottom. The primary microphone and speaker are also located there. As does the card slot, which accepts two nano-SIMs back-to-back, but no microSD. And a blue gasket – the X80 Pro is IP68 dust and water resistant.

Display

The data sheet of the display of the X80 Pro leaves no box unchecked. The 6.78-inch OLED panel manufactured by Samsung has a resolution of 1,440 x 3,200 pixels with a pixel density of 517 ppi. The maximum refresh rate is 120 Hz, but it can drop to 1 Hz depending on the content and activity. The touch sampling rate reaches a maximum of 300 Hz. The 10-bit panel displays over 1 billion colors, supports HDR10 and achieves a peak brightness of 1500 nits.

This number applies to small illuminated areas, which is why it is also called local peak brightness. In general, vivo promises 1,000 nits and that’s essentially what the X80 Pro achieves in direct light and with adaptive brightness activated. A minimum of 488 nits can be set. The values ​​are in the current top range of modern mobile phones. The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max numbers are slightly higher, the Samsung Galaxy S22 series a little more clearly at around 20%.

The X80 Pro treats colors the same as the X70 Pro+ and iQOO 9 Pro. There are three color presets as well as a stepless temperature controller. The default profile has a wide color gamut and deliveres accurate DCI-P3 values. However, white balance and grayscale colors are visibly cold and shifted towards blue, which is not uncommon in modern displays. You can improve the quality significantly by moving the temperature controller by around 30 to 50% in the warm direction.

The “Professional” preset provides an accurate representation of sRGB content. Then there’s the Bright mode, which extends the color space beyond DCI-P3 and is a bit punchier without sacrificing accuracy. The X80 Pro supports HDR10+ and we’ve successfully tested HDR streams on both YouTube and Netflix.

There are three options in the refresh rate menu: Smart Switching, 60Hz and 120Hz. There is little difference between Smart Switching and 120Hz mode. Both use a quite similar logic to automatically switch refresh rates based on use case and whether or not you’re touching the phone.

The 60 Hz mode does have an upper limit, but still drops dynamically to save power. However, we have never seen values below 10 Hz in this mode, while the other two modes went down to 1 Hz in individual cases – or rather in the settings menu. Speaking of which, 1 Hz can only be reached at or near the maximum brightness – if you pull the slider a little further to the left, 10 Hz are immediately the limit again. Browsers max out at 60Hz in Smart Switching mode, but full force in 120Hz mode. If you don’t touch the display, it goes down to 10 Hz.

Video content gets the requested refresh rate and no more. For 24 fps, 30 fps, 48 fps, and 60 fps videos, the Hz counter went to the exact rate and the content played smoothly. Games, on the other hand, remained constant at 60 fps on the vivo X80 Pro. A known vivo / Oppo / Realme / OnePlus case, all belonging to the same BBK group

Battery

The battery of the X80 Pro has grown by 200 mAh to 4,700 mAh compared to the X70 Pro+. However, since the chipsets are apparently also growing in terms of consumption, the runtimes have hardly changed. 14:47 h were possible in endless video loops in 24/30 Hz and 13 h when surfing the Internet via WLAN with a variable refresh rate of 10 to 60 Hz. A decent, if not spectacular performance.

Charging speed

The X80 Pro comes with an 80 watt adapter with vivo’s FlashCharge logo. The mode with the highest rating is 20V / 4A, and in this mode the phone leeches around 65 watts of charging power for its two separate cells. Other adapters with similar performance (Xiaomi Ultra Charge with 67 watts) showed charging times of over 6 hours. That hints to a somewhat unusual PD implementation on the X80 Pro.

With the included adapter, a full charge took 38 minutes. After 30 minutes the battery showed 88%. However, vivo also offers a 50W Vertical Wireless Flash Charger as an accessory in its range, which we also tested. This means that you can reach 65% after 30 minutes and 100% after 51:30 minutes. While that’s quite fast, it’s a decent upgrade over the X70 Pro+. However, the X80 Pro is not up to the iQOO 9 Pro (0 to 100% in 21 minutes) or the current Xiaomi cell phones.

Speaker test

Another long overdue feature that showed up on the X70 Pro+ and that we now get on the X80 Pro as well are stereo speakers. It’s a standard setup, with a bottom-firing dedicated speaker complemented by the earcup. The software keeps track of the phone’s orientation to send the right channel to the right speaker. In terms of volume, there was no reason for criticism in the review. At the same time, the X80 Pro showed a very good balance in sound with deep bass, pleasant mids and well-defined highs.

Funtouch OS 12 with Android 12

As already mentioned, the global variant of the X80 Pro runs on Funtouch OS 12 with Android 12. Funtouch OS 12 offers a highly customized and customizable user interface. Some of the changes are pretty nifty too, including system menus tailored for one-handed use. Some of the menu content moves to the bottom half of the display when you swipe down. Oddly enough, not all.

Lock Screen / Home Screen / Google News / App Drawer / Notifications

The notifications menu differs slightly from the one on the iQOOs – the quick toggles here are circular as opposed to the sister brand’s square ones. The accent color around the menus (including the quick toggle icons) is blue and cannot be changed.

Recent Apps / Funtouch OS 12 / Settings

The rest of the user interface also gets a lot of attention. In the Dynamic Effects submenu, vivo has grouped some customizable aspects of the home screen, lock screen, animation effects, and so on. There are even different loading and face recognition animations.

Dynamic Effects / Ambient Light Effect

Ambient light effect gains finer control with the option to only activate it for a limited time. Alternatively, you can choose which apps should trigger it.

Always-on display

You can also change the fingerprint sensor animation, face unlock and even the loading animation. Speaking of the fingerprint sensor, there’s no way to enable the fingerprint sensor icon on a locked display unless the motion sensor detects movement. Single tap doesn’t work while the double tap to wake feature is buried in the Smart Motion menu.

But once you get used to the location of the sensor, you can just put your finger on it and wait for it to unlock. You can also adjust the detection area if the default setting (maximum) is too large for some reason. In our experience, fingerprint recognition works very quickly and reliably, and the large area has real added value.

And something else is available as part of Funtouch on the X80 Pro – a quick pick for the fingerprint sensor. Thanks to the larger working range than with optical sensors, the ultrasonic sensor scans a large rectangle in which you can add up to two links. In the middle you get to the home screen. Putting the Facebook/YouTube/Camera app or whatever in one of the quick select areas will unlock the phone and open that app immediately.

The sound menu has some pleasant surprises in store. Just like Samsung, vivo has thought of those with less-deaf hearing. You can calibrate the sound to be heard by the elderly or those with hearing impairments. Additionally, notifications and calls get separate volume controls. And the vibration intensity can also be adjusted independently for calls and notifications.

Sound options

The aforementioned Smart Motion menu includes a handful of familiar gestures for turning the display on and off, as well as a few new additions. One of them requires you to wave in front of the display during an incoming call to activate the hands-free function. Useful when you are cooking, for example.

Smart Motion

Holding the volume down button can be used to launch an app or perform a specific action. However, the actions are limited to launching the camera app, turning the flashlight on/off or starting an audio recording.

There are a number of proprietary system apps that come with the Funtouch OS 12 app suite. This includes Albums, iManager and Music, but the in-house browser and video app are missing. A smart remote app that uses the IR emitter is preinstalled on the phone.

Albums / iManager / Smart Remote / Music

Last but not least, there is a dedicated Ultra Game mode, and it packs a punch. Most features revolve around mitigating in-game interference or allowing certain apps to show heads-up notifications. On vivo phones, however, it has long been possible to turn off the display and let the game continue to run in the background. Especially useful for turn-based games or those that require farming and grinding.

CPU / Performance

The X80 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. Last year’s X70 Pro+ already came with the Snapdragon 888+ version, but this year the timing is different – the X80 Pro came out before the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. The X80 Pro version with the Dimensity 9000 processor, on the other hand, is limited to the Chinese market.

Geekbench 5 Single-Core-Test

In Geekbench, the vivo scores slightly lower than the iQOO 9 Pro or its more distant relative, the Realme GT2 Pro. However, they largely match those of the Xiaomi 12 Pro and the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Geekbench 5 Multi-Core-Test

In Antutu, the X80 Pro actually manages to get ahead of the iQOO. The Oppo Find X5 Pro takes the win. The OnePlus 10 Pro, on the other hand, has to admit defeat a little more.

In the test, however, the vivo X80 Pro got extremely hot and reached a temperature of 59 degrees celcius. At this point, it was virtually impossible to keep holding the device in your hand. However, in real life, the GPU never runs at 100% for 20 minutes, so heat generation is not a big problem in everyday use.

As a countermeasure, the x90 pro attempted to settle at around 75% performance, but throttled to 40% for a few minutes after just over half an hour. After the cool down period it went back to 75%. This process repeated until the end.

Camera: photos

Vivo calls the main camera’s sensor Ultra-Sensing GNV. It’s basically a Samsung chip, albeit in a vivo-exclusive variant of the normal GN1. It has a size of 1/1.3 inch, 50 million 1.2 µm pixels and a tetra pixel color filter array. The lens retains the focal length and aperture of its predecessor at 23mm and f/1.6 and features OIS. Like last year, the front element of the lens (the outermost of the 7 lens elements) is made of glass.

The ultrawide camera is based on the 1/2.0-inch, 48-megapixel Sony IMX598 sensor and a 14mm f/2.2 lens. Autofocus is available and one reason why vivo recommends this camera for close-ups. Gimbal stabilization has migrated from this camera to the 2x tele. The short telephoto has an aperture of f/1.9 and a Sony IMX663 sensor with 1/2.93 inch, 1.22 µm pixels and dual pixel autofocus. The 5x periscope telephoto is also stabilized and has an aperture of f/3.4. The 8 megapixel SK hynix Hi-847 sensor has a format of 1/4.4 inch and 1.0 µm pixels.

Camera app

The cooperation with Zeiss once again brings a so-called T* coating against ghosting to the lenses. There is also an upgraded version of the in-house image processing chip, the vivo V1+. The selfie camera resolves 32 megapixels on a 1/2.8-inch tetrapixel sensor with 0.8 µm pixels behind a 24 mm f/2.5 fixed focus lens. The only difference is that the sensor is now listed as the S5KGD2 instead of the previous model’s S5KGD1.

The camera app offers the usual modes and options. There are more options in Pro mode with adjustable autofocus, white balance, shutter speed, ISO and exposure. This works for all four cameras. There is helpful information explaining all of the above options if you are just starting out in photography. Saving your images in RAW format is also possible.

Image quality in daylight

Based on our previous experience with high-end vivos, we weren’t surprised to snap some great photos with the X80 Pro. However, we saw little to no difference between photos with and without AI enabled. The same applies to the Zeiss Natural Colors mode. It was all the more irritating that there was a clear distinction to be seen on the mobile phone display during the recording.

vivo x80 Pro reviewvivo x80 Pro review

vivo / Zeiss

vivo x80 Pro reviewvivo x80 Pro review

vivo / Zeiss

All other test images were created with activated AI. Color reproduction was a bit more restrained than on previous vivos, which is a good thing. The dynamic range is great as always and even if you intentionally shoot into the sun you get well developed shadows and highlights and high contrast.

Images from the 2x tele can appear a bit grainy up close. But details are also available here. In combination with the excellent dynamic range and the perfect color matching, the telephoto lens knew how to please. The same goes for the 5x telephoto – high quality shots with sharp details and very well contained noise.

Much like last year, the ultrawide camera’s photos aren’t exactly sharp, but they still look good at 1:1 zoom and are among the better on the market. Colors look good and dynamic range is excellent.

Close ups

Like any self-respecting flagship, the X80 Pro’s ultrawide camera has autofocus, meaning you can use it for close-up shots. Vivo recommends the same lens. In our review, however, we got significantly better results with the 5x periscope. You have to keep more distance to the motive, but thanks to the magnification, much more spectacular pictures are the result.

There’s also a macro mode, which uses the ultrawide camera to upscale a medium crop from the sensor to 12-megapixels. Macro mode can be set to turn on automatically, or it can be forced. It brings you closer to motives and helps fill the frame with smaller objects. However, due to the process, you end up with less detail per pixel.

Image quality in low light

The X80 Pro applies some night mode processing in normal photo mode without explicitly saying so. This behavior is not disturbing, since the shooting process is only imperceptibly longer. The main camera’s images look great in the dark. Good exposure meets wide dynamic range. Colors and detail are excellent too, albeit with a bit of the signature night mode sharpening. Noise is hardly perceptible even in the shadows.

Night mode typically adds about a second to recording time, but it never feels like you have to wait for it. The differences are modest – you might see a little more detail in the lower mid-tones and a slight boost in saturation from on some highlights.

The 2x telephoto images are also excellent. With a fivefold zoom, on the other hand, the quality drops somewhat. Especially in darker scenes where the 2x camera might step in for the periscope and capture noticeably softer images. Where there is enough light for the true 5x to operate, the photos are better with reasonably well-defined detail, albeit with some noise. The dynamic range is wide enough, you might even call it excellent considering the small sensor. Colors maintain a solid level of saturation and fidelity.

There is no reason to complain about the ultrawide either. It also hardly showed any difference between normal photo and night mode. In some situations the extra processing seems to help, but the dynamic range is great anyway and the colors are not to complain about either.

Camera: videos

The vivo X80 Pro can record videos at up to 8K 30fps or 4K 60fps with its main camera. The ultrawide maxes out at 4K60, while the two teles only go up to 1080p 60fps. There is a film mode that records 21:9 footage with black bars encoded in the video at 30fps. And then there’s the Zeiss Cinematic Mode for film buffs, which captures 2.39:1 video at 1080p and 24fps – just like in cinema. You can choose between the h.264 codec (default) or the more efficient h.265. Audio is always recorded in stereo with a bit rate of 128 kbps.

0.6x ultra wide / 1x main camera 4K 60fps

8K video (104Mbps bitrate) from the main camera isn’t quite as sharp as on the Mi 11 Ultra, but it’s as good or better than anything else on the market. However, a minute of 8K video eats up around 780 MB and 4K 30fps also looks very good. The bit rate is around 50-60 Mbit/s and the details look clearly “processed”, but they are present. Colors are pleasantly vibrant, more in line with what you’d expect from a vivo than the relaxed approach we’ve seen with stills. The dynamic range is excellent, as is the overall contrast.

2x tele / 5x periscope 1080p 60fps

The 4K30fps footage from the ultrawide camera (63Mbps) is also great. Sharpness and detail are excellent and there is no significant noise. Nothing but praise for the color handling and dynamic range. Switching to 60fps doesn’t detract from the quality either – just like on the main camera.

vivo X80 Pro Ultrawide EIS vs. GoPro Hero 8 Black action video 1080p 60fps

In our usual action video test we compare the image quality and stabilization to our GoPro Hero 8 Black actioncam. This makes a lot of sense especially in this review as vivo claims superb stabilization capabilities thanks to their gimbal system. Unfortunately, since the X80 series the gimbal moved from the ultrawide to the 2x tele. So the normal OIS on the ultrawide had to show what it can do. And it worked pretty well, as you can see in the two videos that were shot on a biketrack with both cameras mounted to each other in one hand. Nevertheless, the GoPro and its perfectly smooth footage are unbeatable in this scenario – at least not by the X80 Pro.

vivo X80 Pro Zeiss Cinematic Mode 1080p 24fps

Alternatives

At around $1,100, a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra costs significantly less than the vivo and is itself a camera specialist. Thanks to its 10x telephoto, there is even more range. The Galaxy also lasts a bit longer, while the X80 Pro easily wins the speaker test. Essentially, if you see a lot of value in the S Pen, the Samsung is the better choice.

The Xiaomi 12 Pro can’t quite match the X80 Pro’s photo and video capabilities, but its three 50-megapixel cameras are very capable. Small wins here or there – vivo for battery life, Xiaomi for charging, Vivo for speakers, Xiaomi for refresh rate handling, and Dolby Vision HDR – can tip the scales one way or the other. In the end, the price could decide – the Xiaomi 12 Pro is $250 cheaper than the vivo.

The OnePlus 10 Pro, on the other hand, is significantly cheaper at around $920. However, the vivo has the much better camera system.

Verdict

9.3Expert Score
Verdict vivo X80 Pro

In our review, the vivo X80 Pro scored with a very good display, cameras for every situation and a very fast chipset.

Design
9.5
Display
9.5
CPU / Benchmarks
9
Battery
8.5
Camera photos
9.5
Camera videos
9.5
Pro
  • great display – high definition, super bright, high refresh rate, color accurate
  • very fast chipset
  • one of the most complete camera systems on the market with excellent performance in all scenarios
  • good battery with fast charging
  • outstanding design
  • excellent fingerprint sensor
  • loud stereo speakers with good sound quality
Kontra
  • no high refresh rate when gaming
  • tends to overheating and severe throttling under constant load
  • expensive

The X80 Pro is the latest in a line of vivos with fantastic camera hardware and takes wonderful pictures and beautiful videos. It has an excellent display, charges quickly to make up for the mostly average battery life, its stereo speakers are excellent, and the large ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is rare even at this price point. The spectacular design is another plus point.

The phone actually only makes mistakes in terms of performance, where significant heat development and thermal throttling were observed. On the other hand, the capped refresh rate when gaming should help ensure this doesn’t happen too often.

Either way, the quad camera setup on the rear of the vivo X80 Pro is the star of the show. Such a universal camera phone is hard to find. Maybe a future Xiaomi 12 Ultra will be better, while the Mi 11 Ultra is hard to come by. And maybe the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 10x zoom is a deal breaker for some. Still, the X80 Pro is an easy recommendation if you’re looking for an all-around great camera experience.

Tags:

Stefan Andres

Stefan Andres

Contact | Android, iOS, Apps | Cell phone: Google Pixel 7

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a Reply

S24
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Compare
0