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    Reviewed: Vivo X50

    As I’ve said in my first impressions for the Vivo X50, I have been interested in Vivo’s new X-series phones for a month now. The new flagship series carries the Vivo brand of tech innovation from the years with the phone (the Pro-version) sporting the world’s first “gimbal” camera system. Now that I had my hands on the phone here’s what I found out.

    DESIGN: 4.5/5

    Despite being the “base” variant for the X50 series, Vivo did not skimp in the design aspect of the phone. The X50 is housed in Corning Gorilla Glass with aluminum sides. Our model was the Glazed Black color which is pretty sweet looking. Being covered with glass, the phone is a bit of a fingerprint magnet but the included clear rubber case does the trick.

    The Vivo X50 has a 6.56-inch FHD+ (2376 x 1080) AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. Also on the screen is the 32-megapixel front camera. The X50 follows a very minimalist design on the top is a single microphone hole, while on the right are the volume and power buttons. Below the phone is the sim cards tray, the USB-C charging port, another microphone hole, and the bottom firing-hole. At the back of the phone is the piece de resistance, the phone’s quad-camera setup.

    The Vivo X50 is also one of the thinnest phones in the market coming in at an astounding 7.5mm thin.

    HARDWARE: 4/5

    The Vivo X50 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 SoC mated to an Adreno 618 GPU. The Vivo X50 has 8GB of fast LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 internal storage.

    The most important feature of the X50 is its cameras. The Vivo X50 Pro is the world’s first smartphone with a “gimbal-like” camera system which gives the camera extra stabilization when taking pictures and videos. While X50 doesn’t have the same advanced system, the main 48-megapixel Sony IMX598 sensor still has four-axis optical image stabilization (OIS). The Vivo X50 has a secondary 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, a 13-megapixel portrait camera with 2x optical zoom, and a 5-megapixel macro lens. Thanks to the OIS the cameras have plenty of neat features especially in the video department.

    Other features of the Vivo X50 include Wi-Fi 6 connection, NFC, a 4200 mAh battery with Vivo’s 33W Flash Charge 2.0 capability, in-display fingerprint scanner, and the Jovi assistant.

    USER EXPERIENCE: 4.5/5

    Honestly, I have to hand it to Vivo to produce a smartphone that’s this good. As I said before I really wanted to try out Vivo’s new camera system and how it performs, and while the X50 does not have the same “gimbal” system it still has a few of the features of the pro variant.

    Pictures taken from the X50’s camera came out great, sharp, and vivid. Vivo’s built-in AI also immediately recognizes the subject of your shooting and quickly recommends a setting to use. Thanks to the stabilization of the four-stop axis OIS, images shot on night mode came out sharp and not blurry.

    Photos are not where the OIS shines though; video shooting on the X50 was a blast. The Ultra-Stable mode felt like you were using a tripod when standing still, and offered an almost gimbal-like experience when moving. The smart zoom mode, which tracks you’re chosen subject and keeps them in the center of the screen was also super fun, especially when you’re shooting a hyper-active cat that’s running around your home.

    Aside from the camera, the phone itself was good. The gorgeous display has made the phone my go to Netflix, Twitch, and Youtube machine. The power of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 and Adreno GPU have made the Vivo X50 a gaming beast; add the 90 Hz refresh rate and games felt super smooth and satisfying. Another minor detail that added to the gaming experience is the placement of the front-facing camera which is placed on the upper-left side so you could still have a fuller screen without distractions.

    One of the things that bum me about the X50 is the non-expandable storage. With the phone able to shoot 4K videos and the exciting features of the camera, one could assume that you’re bound to fill the 128GB of internal storage someday. Also it could have been better if Vivo had used dual-stereo speakers or at least added a headphone port to the X50 for audiophiles.

    VALUE: 4/5

    The Vivo X50 retails for PHP 25,999 which falls under the price point for most “flagship killer” smartphones, but the camera and other extra features somewhat justify the price demand. If you want a premium smartphone with a pretty good camera the Vivo X50 is something worth considering.

    Specifications:

    • Display: 6.56-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution and 90 Hz refresh rate
    • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 730
    • RAM: 8GB
    • Internal Storage: 128GB
    • OS: Funtouch OS 10
    • Camera: Rear: 48-megapixel Sony IMX 598 with four-axis OIS, 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle, 13-megapixel portrait, 5-megapixel macro; Front: 32-megapixel
    • Connectivity: WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, BeiDou, GLONASS, Galileo
    • Battery: 4200 mAh with 33W Flash Charge 2.0
    • Other features: Face Unlock, In-display fingerprint scanner
    • Dimensions: 159.54mm x 75.39mm x 7.55mm
    • Weight: 173g

    What’s Hot:

    • Great cameras
    • OIS in the main camera
    • 10x zoom
    • Movie camera mode with Smart Zoom
    • NFC
    • Fast Charging

    What’s Not:

    • A bit pricey
    • No microSD expansion
    • No headphone port

    Bottomline:

    If you’re looking for a camera-centric phone, this may be it.

    Reviewed by Gabriel Pe
    Also published in Gadgets Magazine September 2020

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