Slowly but surely, Vivo has been expanding not just its reputation but also its reach beyond the usual markets it serves. The Vivo NEX and Vivo APEX concept phones have been turning heads with innovative features and daring designs and its Vivo V series has been meeting the needs of selfie lovers everywhere. Now the company is launching the Vivo X50 and Vivo X50 Pro in international markets, the first of its line to have global reach, with an important mandate: deliver industry-leading professional photography to mobile.
Vivo says that the X50 series stands on the three pillars of performance, design, and technical innovation. Given the first pillar, it seems almost antithetical that they would choose a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G to power the Vivo X50 and Vivo X50 Pro (the Pro+ does get the fancy and pricey Snapdragon 865). Vivo does admit that the product line’s limited funds was an important factor but that’s not to say the chip falls below their expectations.
With 8GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB of internal storage, the Snapdragon 765G is strong enough to deliver the experience that Vivo wants for the X series. That experience largely revolves around supporting the imaging sensors and photography software, which the processor can do well, and not mobile gaming per se. That it can do a decent amount of gaming and graphics churning and support 5G at that tier is definitely a plus.
The Vivo X50 and X50 Pro share many other traits in common, like the 6.56-inch AMOLED screen from Samsung boasting of HDR10+ support, a 90Hz refresh rate, and a 180Hz response rate. The regular X50 gets a 4,200 mAh battery while the Pro goes with a slightly larger 4,315 mAh pack.
Vivo doesn’t dwell much on the cold specs, unless you’re talking about the cameras, and, in fact, paints the X50 series in a rather warm light. Launched in the middle of uncertain times, Vivo is presenting the X50 as a phone designed to mitigated user anxiety, bring comfort to the user’s hands, and offer delight and serenity during these chaotic times.
Of course, those goals are not that easy to translate into something that can be easily seen or touched but Vivo is not one to shy from experimenting with different materials to achieve that, going as far as using “eco leather” on the back of the X50 Pro+. Even with the glass back variants, Vivo boasts of using a COP triple packaging process and AG (anti-glare) frosting to give the phone a bit of texture that inspires confidence when cradling it in your hand.
The biggest source of comfort is the phone’s 7.49 mm thickness and 174.5 gram weight, which Vivo claims makes the X50 the slimmest and lightest 5G phone in town. The dual-tone design of the rather large camera bump is intended to make that protrusion look a little less aggressive. All in all, Vivo wants the X50 to look and feel less like a cold, technical object and more like a warm and trusted partner in making and keeping memories.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the Vivo X50 is all about the camera and that is seen best in the middle model, the Vivo X50 Pro. It is the only one of the three that boasts of its Gimbal Camera System, a first and so far only for any smartphone, utilizing a double-ball structure for triple-axis rotation and 3D stabilization. That main 48 megapixel camera is joined by an 8 megapixel 5x periscopic zoom camera, an 8 megapixel ultra-wide camera, and a 13 megapixel bokeh shooter.
It isn’t just the hardware that’s involved in delivering Vivo’s promise of pro photography, of course. It utilizes countless algorithms for low-light noise cancellation, motion-deblur, and separating foreground and background for producing epic low-light shots or night sky exposure. Of course, it also helps that the gimbal system is there to hold the lens steady even if your hands aren’t.
Despite its photography focus, Vivo made a few decisions that may leave some scratching their heads. The Vivo X50 Pro+, for example, boasts of Samsung new 50MP ISOCELL GN1 but, despite the “plus” in its name, doesn’t have that fancy gimbal system. Here, Vivo chose to strike a balance between feature and design, as the large imaging sensor topped by a large gimbal system would have broken the phone’s design language. It’s a good thing then, that Vivo is making the X50 Pro available globally.
Vivo is undeniably proud of the X50 series, enough to bring it to the rest of the world. The Vivo X50 and X50 Pro will be available in EMEA and APAC markets as well as some parts of Eastern Europe like Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. Of course, that doesn’t discount that other markets could also see the two phones reach them or the Vivo X50 Pro+ launched outside of China. Vivo’s official statement? “Stay tuned.”