vivo X80 Review

Camera Supremacy

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vivo’s newest flagship, the vivo X80, has been with us for quite some time now and it’s one that offers good camera optics with its ZEISS partnership, alongside great hardware. Does it have the makings of a flagship phone you can take on your everyday activities? Here’s our full review.

vivo X80 specs:

  • 6.78-inch FHD+ AMOLED display
    2400 x 1080 px, 120Hz refresh rate
  • MediaTek Dimensity 9000 SoC
    ARM Mali-G710 GPU
  • 8GB, 12GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 128GB, 256GB, 512GB UFS 3.1 storage
  • Triple-rear cameras with LED Flash, ZEISS optics:
    50MP F1.75 main
    12MP F2.0 ultra-wide
    12MP F1.98 portrait
  • 32MP F2.45 selfie camera
  • 5G, Dual-SIM
  • WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, QZSS, NFC
  • USB-C
  • In-display Fingerprint scanner (in-display)
  • OriginOS (Android 12)
  • 4,500mAh battery
    80W fast charging
  • Colors: Cosmic Black, Urban Blue, Orange

Design: Electric Blue

This phone: Gorgeous. The Urban blue color, and the matte finish that doesn’t take in many fingerprint smudges, stand out among the crowd, even the hard case that accompanies it doesn’t hide the color and proudly flaunts it among the sea of black and white phones. Its heft seems to be more up on the camera part but is nowhere near uncomfortable levels.

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At the back is the camera module, which offers three cameras with ZEISS anti-glare coating and ZEISS optics at each of the lenses. There’s also the triple-flash at the side. vivo engineered its own V1+ chip that complements the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chip in the phone to offer better camera controls including on video. There’s a new ZEISS Cinematic Video mode on board, which we’re excited to test and share once we get out our full review.

At the bottom are the dual nano-SIM card tray, microphone, USB-C port, and loudspeaker grille. The opposite side renders the text ‘Professional Photography’ that shines when hit by light.

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Antenna bands surround the sides of the device, including the right part where you can see the power/lock and volume keys. Both are protruding against the rounded edges for a better response as you need them.

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Professional photography is this phone’s game, and vivo has made sure you’ll know as those words are etched at the upper part, along with the noise-canceling microphone and more antenna bands.

Moving to the front, we have this bright and clear 6.78-inch AMOLED display that offers great sharpness, vivid colors, and great blacks. The curved edges also help in navigating the device especially when you use the phone’s gesture mode. At the top part are the call speaker grille and the 32-megapixel selfie shooter cut out at the middle part.

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The phone strikes huge with a nearly 7-inch display but still fits neatly in deep jean pockets. The package you’ll buy also has a similarly-colored case that complements the overall design by offering a micro-textured pattern that does not get smudges even as you use it throughout the day. It also offers a heft that does not get too overbearing to hold, use, or carry even for prolonged periods of time. Too bad this doesn’t have water resistance like its pro sibling, but does resist some light rain when taking photos outdoors (please don’t try it on your own!)

Display: Size Matters

This dual-edged 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a Full HD+ resolution offers nothing but consistency all throughout any viewing angle with its vivid colors, great range of brightness, good contrast, and decent sharpness. Schott’s Xensation Up glass protection is also seen here, which makes the device resistant to everyday scratches. The 120Hz refresh rate also makes everything buttery smooth too, which is a visual treat.

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It ain’t a flagship, too, if we’re getting just one speaker, as the call speaker acts as your second front-firing speaker to complement the one at the bottom. The latter sounds more pronounced and loud at times, though, making it imbalanced for some occasions such as listening to music, but nonetheless a nice addition to multimedia and gaming with good, clear mids, nice trebles, and faint bass. You don’t have a 3.5mm audio jack here so your option is to use an adaptor via the USB-C port, or use a wireless audio gear to listen to your tunes in private.

Cameras: Star Stunner with ZEISS Professional Photography

The rear camera takes up a third of the back part, but that doesn’t hide the fact that you have here three modules — a 50MP F1.75 main, a 12MP F2.0 ultra-wide, and the same resolution for a portrait at F1.98 aperture. These are further enhanced by ZEISS, from the T* coating to prevent glares and ghosting, to the engineering technology included in the cameras, to the actual photo-taking process co-processed by vivo’s V1 ISP chip. Adding in the company’s own chip not only gives more processing power for low-light scenarios but also improves the overall camera use in the phone as it is said to decrease battery energy consumption by up to 50%.

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The front camera, on the other hand, has that 32-megapixel goodness to give you perfectly clear selfies — that is if you’re not as blemished as I do or you use the built-in AI beauty effects to give you

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True enough, the camera samples we had during our few weeks with it bear the truth. We’ve used the camera without much hassle in terms of taking an actual photo as it only takes a split second to capture the scene and a few more to process it. The results? Splendid photos that you can use just about anywhere — be it on social media, for content creation, or even printing large images for your personal use. These photos offer adequate lighting, great sharpness, dynamic range, contrast, and depth. Here are some sample shots we’ve taken:

Let’s talk about video. ZEISS and vivo made some impressive feats here, including a ZEISS Cinematic mode that effectively adds a movie feel to what you’re shooting. It also effectively puts non-focused subjects in a blur, which makes it an ideal companion for taking hobby videos or even one you can showcase online.

As with photos, the videos we’ve taken are all near realistic with colors, brightness, and contrast, plus the bokeh in the ZEISS cinematic mode is such a godsend when it comes to taking scenes where I want it to be focused. Here are some sample clips:

OS and Performance

You have OriginOS, vivo’s own UI on top of Android 12, and it still feels just as refreshing as we’ve laid our hands on it the first time in our previous vivo review. A lot of trademark features are here including Jovi, customizable dynamic effects, and Ultra Game Mode, which makes using the phone even more enjoyable.

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The device we have is the first in the country to have a MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chip, and features 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM (with 4GB additional virtual RAM via storage). We didn’t feel any hiccups in multitasking or gaming, but you can feel some heat at the camera module at the back. Here are our benchmarks:

  • AnTuTu – 1,015,780
  • GeekBench – 5,806 (openCL), 1,172 (Single Core), 3,828 (Multi Core)
  • PCMark – 11,117
  • 3DMark – 8,675 (Wild Life)

Connectivity is not an issue with the phone. We were able to connect to our networks easily, and we did not have a hard time even on WiFi. Connecting my audio devices via Bluetooth is smooth-sailing too.

There’s an in-display fingerprint scanner here, too, so you can secure your phone at the front without lifting the phone up. The coverage has been plentiful, and its response time from placing the finger to unlocking the device is speedy.

Battery Life

With the new OS and the better hardware come a far more impressive battery life. Even at 4500mAh capacity, the X80 is able to last up to a day of medium to heavy use including social media app use, photo and video taking, accepting calls and doing some SMS, as well as connecting more apps that stay in the background like Messenger and Viber on 5G. Its PCMark Battery Test scored 11 hours and 47 minutes at its default display settings.

Recharging is also where this phone shines. You’re given an 80-watt FlashCharge adapter, which can actually refill the phone’s juice fast. We mean it. In just 15 minutes, your phone can charge 60% of its battery capacity, then it trickles down a bit and completes the charge at the 30-minute mark. That’s one you need if you feel you lack the battery a lot of times and need to charge often, but we’d probably say you’ll need to do that twice, at most, in a day with this on very heavy use.

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Carl writes for WalasTech when he's not working full-time. Give him tips and/or leads at [email protected].