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Vivo X50 Pro Review

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It’s been a while since Vivo launched a high-end phone in the Philippines. But now, the Vivo X50 Pro is here.

As you probably heard by now, it’s the first smartphone to have gimbal-like stabilization. But how well does this camera feature work? Does it have a practical use or just pure novelty? Moreover, is the rest of the specs and feature any good? We find out in our Vivo X50 Pro review.

Vivo X50 Pro Specs

  • Android 10, FunTouch 10.5
  • Dual SIM, Dual standby
  • 6.56-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, 2376 x 1080 pixel resolution, ~398ppi
  • 90Hz refresh rate, HDR10+
  • 2.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G octa-core processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • Adreno 620 GPU
  • 256GB internal storage, non-expandable
  • 32-megapixel front camera, f/2.5
  • 48-megapixel (f/1.6, PDAF, Gimbal-style OIS) + 8-megapixel (periscope, 5x optical, 60x hybrid, OIS, f/3.4) + 8-megapixel (ultra-wide, macro) + 13-megapixel (portrait, 2x optical) rear cameras, Dual-tone flash
  • In-display fingerprint scanner
  • AK4377A HiFi chip
  • HSPA+, 4G LTE
  • 5G
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • Dual-band GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
  • NFC
  • USB Type-C
  • Dimensions: 158.5 x 72.8 x 8mm
  • Weight: 181.5g
  • Colors: Alpha Grey
  • 4,315mAh non-removable battery, 33W fast charging

Design and Build Quality

At first look, the Vivo X50 Pro looks like any other smartphone out there. It has a subtle design on the back that’s available in Alpha Grey, the sole color option.

But upon holding, you’d appreciate how sleek and thin it is despite its average weight of 181.5g and 8mm thickness. This is probably due to its heavily curved edges and the premium aluminum chassis.

The back panel uses a frosted glass material. Although Vivo did not mention if it’s from Corning — even the glass used on the curved screen on the front was not mentioned. But it does come with a pre-applied screen protector and a unique clear case on the box.

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You can also spot the slightly unique — although kinda similar to the Galaxy S20 Ultra — layout of the quad cameras on the back, particularly that one large lens on the top. This is for the X50 Pro’s highlight feature, the gimbal-style camera, but more on that later.

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On the front, we have the 6.56-inch FHD+ AMOLED curved screen, surrounded by the uniform and almost non-existent bezels. It has a screen protector pre-installed, but it may be having a hard time wrapping the curved screen as bubbles appeared over time.

Instead of the sketchy pop-up camera, the Vivo X50 Pro has a punch-hole for the selfie camera. It’s tucked away in the top left corner so it’s not that distracting.

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On the top, we have the noise-canceling microphone and the inconspicuous “Professional Photography” written on an elegant font.

At the bottom, we have the USB Type-C, loudspeaker, built-in mic, and the small hybrid dual SIM slot. Disappointingly, it doesn’t come with a headphone jack. The included earphones isn’t even Type-C either, but it does come with a Type-C to headphone adapter in the box.

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The left side is clean, while on the right we have the volume controls and the lock/power switch. The physical buttons feels clicky but a bit wobbly.

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Overall, the Vivo X50 Pro is a premium smartphone, and its design and build shows that.

Display and Audio

As said earlier, the Vivo X50 Pro has a 6.56-inch AMOLED screen. It has a 2376 x 1080 pixel resolution, 398ppi, 90Hz refresh rate, 180Hz touch sampling for improved responsiveness, and HDR10+ and Widevine L1 DRM support. It also has DCI-P3 and sRGB coverage.

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The overall display quality is great. Since it’s an OLED panel, it’s no surprise it offers vibrant and contrast-y colors. Plus, it gets really bright for outdoor usage, albeit not the brightest around.

We’re also liking the smooth 90Hz refresh rate, making everything feel really fast. There’s an option in the settings that will allow the device to intelligently switch back to 60Hz depending on what you’re doing to save battery.

Since it’s basically a high-end and an ultra-thin phone, we’re not surprised that Vivo omitted the headphone jack on this one. Although, it’s weird is that the included in-ear headphones is still at 3.5mm. But it does come with a USB Type-C adaptor.

What’s disappointing is the lack of a stereo speaker setup, which should be a requirement for this price. Instead, we have a single bottom-firing speaker with poor sound balance and clarity. Albeit, it does have a loud volume.

Hardware and Performance

The Vivo X50 Pro is powered by a 2.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor. It’s one of the best midrange phones in the markets because of its 5G connectivity. But for a sub-Php40,000 smartphone, it’s a disappointing choice, as competing devices already come with a flagship Snapdragon 865 processor.

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Still, in our testing, it did provide really fast and seamless performance. Partnered with its 8GB of RAM, 90Hz refresh rate, and 180Hz touch sampling, everything feels really fast and fluid — from browsing the interface, social media browsing, taking pictures, and more.

Vivo X50 Pro Benchmark scores

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AnTuTu | GeekBench | 3DMark | PCMark

Gaming was also really great on the X50 Pro. A heavy title like Call of Duty Mobile was playable at high graphics settings with max frame rate. Meanwhile, light but popular titles like Mobile Legends ran at high graphics settings with HFR (High Frame Rate) enabled. Both ran smoothly on our testing.

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Mobile Legends Settings on Vivo X50 Pro

A special gaming software is also present in the game, but more on that later.

The Vivo X50 Pro has a 256GB of storage. It should be enough to hold your apps and media. But if you’re planning on taking a lot of pictures and/or videos, you’d be disappointed by the lack of a microSD card for storage expansion.

Software and User Interface

The Vivo X50 Pro is running on Android 10 operating system with Vivo’s revamped Funtouch OS 10.5. We appreciated the feature-packed Funtouch OS 10, but it had a couple of extras that seamed unnecessary, which have been cleaned up on the 10.5 version.

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If you’ve used Vivo phones, you’d notice that the new version now has a more normal notification shade and control center. They can now be summoned from the top, instead of the bottom.

Everything feels more Android 10-like. The navigations are similar and the App Drawer is now more straightforward.

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Vivo might toned it down a bit, but the new UI on the Vivo X50 Pro is still heavy on customization. Which is no surprise for an Android phone.

You can opt to remove the app drawer for an iOS-like look, home screen layout, icon style, lockscreen poster and style, and the Always-on Display layout. You can also adjust the ambient light effect, which lights up the corners of the screen while it’s off. These are just of the many customizations you can do on the Vivo X50 Pro.

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The Vivo X50 Pro also has navigation gesture options, which can be more intuitive to used than the navigation keys if you can get used to it.

It also has accessibility features like S-capture, Smart Split, Smart Motion, and Smart Click that gives you quick access to most-used apps, and other toggles.

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If you want a more subtle UI, or just want to conserve battery, you can enable the dark mode. It also works in almost all third-party apps.

The camera app has been greatly improved. It fixes the issues we’ve had before and compliments the killer cameras on the Vivo X50 Pro. Moreover, it uses Google Keyboard out of the box, which is familliar and easy to use.

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Lastly, there’s the Ultra Game Mode that’s accessible in the settings. It lets you adjust a couple of gaming-related settings. You can add game titles and it will optimize the system everytime you run them.

It also has Esports and Bot modes; Sound and light effects when frame rate takes precedence, eagle-eye view enhancement, Sound quality and effects for games, and 4D game vibration on compatible games.

Camera

Now we head on to the main highlight of the Vivo X50 Pro — the cameras. As you already know, the Vivo X50 Pro has the bragging right of being the first smartphone to have a gimbal stabilization system.

This micro gimbal stabilization is present on its 48-megapixel Sony IMX598 custom sensor, with a Quad-Bayer stabilization, 25mm lens, and a wide f/1.6 aperture. It also has PDAF and Laser autofocus system.

Other than taking steady videos, having this level of stabilization helps on taking pictures on a moving vehicle. Pretty neat.

Now, let’s talk about quality. As you can see, Vivo had to make the main camera glass larger to accommodate such stabilization. It’s said to be 3x better than your regular 4x OIS. Vivo has explained better in a video you can watch above.

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You can have the Gimbal Radar tool turned on all the time and you’d see a moving ball on the circle (see screenshot above). Keep the ball on the circle and rest assured it will take blur-free imaged even when you’re on the move.

The actual image quality looks really great. Contrast is good, dynamic range is clean, and the colors look vibrant albeit slightly over saturated.

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48-megapixel | Outdoor
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48-megapixel | Outdoor

Having this level of OIS is a big help in low-light scenarios. Partnered with its bright aperture, it takes really clean low-light photos with plenty of details and enough exposure.

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48-megapixel | Low light
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48-megapixel | Low light

Another flagship-level feature of the Vivo X50 Pro is its 8-megapixel periscope camera, which can do 5x of optical zoom, four-axis OIS, and an f/3.4 aperture.

It fires up at 5x zoom and outputs clean and usable images. You can stretch it up to 60x of hybrid zoom to get a really grainy image. It’s usable for extreme scenarios, but nothing too mind blowing, like what the Huawei P40 Pro can do.

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1x
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2x zoom
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5x optical zoom
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60x hybrid zoom

The Vivo X50 Pro also has another telephoto lens. This time, it’s a 13-megapixel sensor hiding behind an f/2.5 50mm lens that can do 2x of zoom.

If you’re a pro photographer, you know a 50mm lens is great for taking portraits. Hence Vivo’s namesake for it: Portrait Camera, and it does a good job. The artificial background blur also did a decent job of isolating the background.

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13-megapixel camera | Portrait Mode
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13-megapixel camera | Portrait Mode

Completing the quad-camera setup on the Vivo X50 pro is its 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera. Partnered with its laser AF, it also takes decent macro shots.

It’s also great for an ultra-wide camera. Colors, contrast, and dynamic range are really passable.

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8-megapixel ultra-wide
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8-megapixel ultra-wide
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8-megapixel ultra-wide

It goes without saying that the video recording is also good on this device. The Vivo X50 Pro can record 2160p videos at 60fps, with gimbal stabilization on. Meanwhile, the other cameras are capped at 1080p at 30fps.

Finally, we go to the front where the 32-megapixel selfie camera is. Skin tones, contrast, sharpness are on point — for as long as you’re not in the portrait mode or using any of the face beauty features.

But that doesn’t mean that the background blur and face beauty modes are bad. They do their job well, which is no surprise for a smartphone at this calliber.

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32-megapixel front camera | AI Face Beauty OFF
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32-megapixel front camera | AI Face Beauty ON

Clearly, the Vivo X50 Pro is jam-packed in the camera department. If you’re a pro-photographer, experimental, or just venturing in the field, you’ll have a good time playing with this device.

Security

The Vivo X50 Pro has an optical in-display fingerprint scanner. It worked really fast and accurately. It lights up the fingerprint area on the screen the moment you pick it up. No problems here.

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It also uses the 32-megapixel selfie camera for the Face Unlock, a much faster way to unlock the handset. It struggles to see at night, but you can have the screen light up to act as a flash.

Connectivity

Besides its gimbal camera, another key highlight of the Vivo X50 Pro is its 5G connectivity. It’s a significant inclusion if you already have 5G coverage in your area. But if you haven’t, it’s still a nice feature to have — for futureproofing.

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Other than 5G, the Snapdragon 765G processor also brings dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 5.1, and USB Type-C on the Vivo X50 Pro. All worked really well in our testing.

Call quality is good, too. The earpiece works fine and the dual-microphone setup picks up your voice with less background noise.

Battery

The Vivo X50 Pro has a 4,315mAh non-removable battery, a standard capacity for a flagship device. It doesn’t have the best longevity around, but it’s satisfactory enough.

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With light to moderate usage, the Vivo X50 Pro garnered a 21 hour and 45 minutes of screen-on time. That’s with casual web browsing and watching videos.

Moreover, it comes with a 33W FlashCharge 2.0 in the box. Again, not the most impressive hardware, but the fact that it can provide a full 100% in under an hour and a half is already enough to satisfy us.

Conclusion

The Vivo X50 Pro is easily one of the most interesting devices in the market today. It sports a really clean and sleek design that will make you fall in love with it the moment you hold it.

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Power it on and you’d be greeted by its colorful and smooth display. It’s partnered by a fast and reliable processor, which also brings 5G connectivity.

Vivo also cleaned its interface and, of course, there’s the X50 Pro’s main highlight, the gimbal-like stabilization, and a set of camera sensors that provides great flexibility and actually takes great pictures.

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But still, it’s definitely not a perfect smartphone. The processor might provide smooth performance, but for this price, we should already be getting a flagship processor like a Snapdragon 865, instead of a midrange Snapdragon 765G chipset. Having a microSD card slot would also be nice for future storage expansion; as well as a headphone jack and any water or dust protection.

The bottom line is, the Vivo X50 Pro has a really great set of hardware that should satisfy and “wow” its users, but there are definitely competing devices that offer more for less.

Vivo X50 Pro pricing and availability in the Philippines

The Vivo X50 Pro 8GB/256GB has an official price of Php39,999 here in the Philippines. It’s available in select Vivo physical stores and through their official Lazada and Shopee pages. You can also get it at Home Credit at different installment plans.

Pros

  • Clean, sleek, comfortable design
  • Vibrant, contrasty, fast, responsive display
  • Reliable processor
  • Fast/Futureproof 5G
  • Improved interface
  • Flexible cameras, gimbal stabilization works

Cons

  • Still an underwhelming processor choice for the price
  • No headphnone jack, microSD card slot
  • No IP rating for water or dust resistance.

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