Phones

Vivo X50 Pro Honest Review

My Suggestion On : vivo X50 Pro

This is the new vivo X50 Pro. I guess you could call it a beefed up mid-ranger, or a watered-down flagship device. But either way, the main question is whether it is worth the recommended retail price of 1099 SGD. So without further ado, let’s dive right in. Starting with design and build quality, they are both excellent to me. The matte finish looks great, and it feels really well built, so it’s pretty much like a flagship device.

The only downside here is the lack of water resistance. Screen quality is really good as well. It’s only FHD+ with 90Hz refresh rate, but colour reproduction and brightness are both pretty good. The curved sides make it look a little more premium, but I personally would still prefer a flat display. There is a fingerprint sensor under the screen, and it works really well. With such a nice looking screen, it’s a little unfortunate that we don’t get stereo speakers. The bottom firing speaker is loud, but can sound a bit thin. It’s also a bit unfortunate that there is no headphone jack here.

Specifications Wise

Even though it is still packing an AKM audio chip, you need to use an adapter to actually enjoy it. The only consolation is that these passive adapters are so cheap that you can just buy a bunch of them and leave them connected to your audio gear. Specifications wise, it’s packing the Snapdragon 765G which isn’t as high end of course, but it does come with plenty of RAM and storage. In terms of performance, while I do notice the difference in speed compared to even the 855, it’s not that big of a difference to me in day to day use, and it still feels mostly smooth and responsive.

It comes with 5G support, which I guess will be useful once we finally get 5G here in Singapore. Battery life is pretty good as expected because of the slightly larger battery, so a day of heavy use is easily achievable. It has 33W fast charging as well, which can recharge the phone from 0 to around 55% in about 30 minutes. But like I mentioned earlier, this is a watered-down flagship device, so there is no wireless charging here.

More Features

The X50 Pro is running FuntouchOS 10.5 based on Android 10, and it’s a mostly similar experience as the vivo V19 I reviewed earlier. It’s nice that they’re moving towards a more Android-like user experience, and there are a bunch of useful features built in as well, but there are still some aspects that I wished they could improve on. Like being able to change the app grid in the app drawer, or being able to swipe down to access notifications would be nice.

But those are relatively minor stuff, and with the use of a launcher and a bit of tweaking, I think it’s more than usable. The headlining feature of the X50 Pro is undoubtedly its cameras. To be exact, it’s the new gimbal-like stabilisation system on the main camera, which is said to be more effective than the usual optical image stabilisation.

So let’s talk about that first. For video recording, I found the stabilisation to be decent, but not mind blowing. It’s pretty clear that it still has its limitations. So while the overall video quality is decent, I think it’s still not quite as good as the latest iPhones. The situation where I found the gimbal stabilisation to be the most useful, is actually when taking photos in low light.

It is able to capture sharp looking images even at slightly slower shutter speeds compared to other phones. Even for Night Mode, where I normally have to hold the phone steady for a couple of seconds, most of the time the images turn out really well. So as a result, low light performance is actually pretty great. Shots in good lighting don’t really benefit from the stabilisation, but they are still quite good looking. Detail retrieval and image processing isn’t the best when I pixel peep, but colours and dynamic range are both pretty good.

No Complaints

So no complaints from me here. The X50 Pro also has 3 other cameras on the phone. An ultra wide angle, a portrait, and a periscope camera. The ultra wide angle camera is decent looking in good lighting, but the edges can look a little softer. It falls apart pretty quickly in low light but using Night Mode does improve image quality. It also works as a macro camera, and it’s actually pretty good.

It’s so much better than those 2MP potato macro cameras. The portrait and periscope camera both have decent quality in good lighting. For the latter, even though it is able to go up to 60X zoom, it’s pretty much unusable at that range. Personally, I wouldn’t go any further than around 10X. In low light, most of the time the phone is just doing digital zoom with the main camera until it reaches 10X, so it’s not that fantastic looking.

Past 10X, it switches to the periscope camera, and Night mode does not work for this camera. Front camera is pretty decent as expected from vivo. It smoothen faces slightly even when beauty mode is off, so it’s not the most detailed looking, but I think it does make my skin look a little better than it really is, so I’m okay with it. Just based on image quality, the main camera on the X50 Pro is not quite the best in the market, but I think it’s not that far behind either.

Then you have those additional cameras that makes it a lot more flexible and fun to shoot with. So, as a whole, I think the camera setup here is still quite good. Overall, the X50 Pro is a really competent device, and one that I have enjoyed using. It does a lot of the basics right, and the camera experience is pretty good.

However, at this asking price, I really feel like it would be nice to have a few more extra features like water resistance, stereo speakers, and perhaps even a headphone jack.

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