Vivo’s X80 Pro Shows Why It Should Be Counted Amongst The Likes Of Samsung & Apple
The smartphone market, not only in India, but across the world has become boring. It has been impacted by the maturity of the industry which has resulted in a multitude of commodised products which happens more or less on the Android spectrum of the market. Apple often remains an outlier to this phenomenon but even its launches have become predictable. Samsung often is playing catch up, but aside from its folding phones, Samsung hasn’t wowed the world with something that it has done before anyone else and held fort as the market leader. It often gets pushed around by OnePlus in India these days. Xiaomi has also been coming down the pike and if it had not been for the US sanctions against Huawei, it would’ve not shown the slight resurgence it has witnessed in the last few years.The one brand that has impressed by leaps and bounds since the advent of the pandemic is Vivo. Its products are starting to enthuse a sense of fit and finish and a technological foundation that has been associated with Samsung for the longest time. In fact, since 2020, the Vivo X series has pushed the limits of the modern smartphone more so than any other smartphone maker with its partnership with iconic optician Carl Zeiss whose lenses we have seen on countless DSLR cameras and back in the 2000s even on Nokia’s smartphones. This confidence has made further sense in the way it has started to market its products with its being the prime sponsor for the IPL in 2020 and now will be the prime sponsor for the FIFA world cup later this year in Qatar. Its latest phone -- the X80 Pro and even its younger sibling -- the X80 embodies this renaissance for the Chinese brand which was often associated with mass market products that were sold with hefty margins backed up with huge marketing budgets. The X80 series builds on the focus on imaging, clutter free software and slick design that the smartphone maker has shown off since 2020 with the very first in the X series -- the X50 Pro. The X80 Pro has a lot of its predecessor in the X70 Pro with a similar design punctuated with a pebble like matte finish on the back which is crafted out of glass. It also gets a gargantuan camera array replete with 4 cameras, massive Zeiss branding and things like focusing sensors and flash. But this is also the first phone to get Qualcomm’s latest silicon in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Its younger sibling gets the equally powerful Mediatek Dimensity 9000 coughed up in an assortment of fruity colours that look even more attractive, at least to me. One gets the sense that a camera is being reviewed more than a phone. The main (wide) camera is a 50-megapixel sensor that has been custom designed by Sony for Vivo. It gets an ultra wide f/1.6 aperture and an optically stabilised (OIS) lens. Then there are twin telephoto cameras -- one with an 8-megapixel resolution and an f/3.4 aperture, OIS and a 5x optical zoom and the other one a 12-megapixel sensor with a f/1.9 aperture with the micro gimbal system Vivo has pioneered for phones. Last but not the least is a 48-megapixel sensor which has a f/2.2 aperture and a 114-degree field of view. All these lenses have been calibrated and designed by Zeiss with a bunch of custom modes added in the camera software that simulate the traits of classic Zeiss glass that have been seen on DSLR cameras for decades.