Photography is still a critical element in smartphones today, but the game has shifted away from simply bigger sensors or megapixel counts. More and more smartphone makers are developing new silicon in-house to meet their image quality requirements when off-the-shelf image signal processors or ISPs just aren’t enough. Vivo is the latest to jump on that trend, with a new V1 image processor that’s will debut in the Vivo X70 series coming soon.
Vivo has been pushing the limits of smartphone photography in the past few years towards rather unorthodox directions. Its most recent achievement is the use of a physical gimbal system like you’d see on professional camera systems, except in a shrunken-down form. That was introduced in last year’s Vivo X50 Pro and get its 2.0 upgrade with the Vivo X60 Pro and Pro+ this year.
For the Vivo X70 series, the company will be trying something new. According to Vivo Executive VP Hu Baishan, the company will introduce its own V1 image processor with its next-gen flagship. The chip has been in development for two years, according to the exec, which means it predated its gimbal innovation. The EVP also revealed that Vivo might look into co-developing IP with partners if the current chips in the market don’t satisfy it.
Unsurprisingly, Hu Baishan doesn’t go into technical detail about the V1 chip itself, only suggesting its effects on improving the Vivo X70’s image performance, particularly in portraits or bokeh simulation, night photography, and image stabilization. The latter is particularly interesting since early renders of the Vivo X70 don’t show the same gimbal system that its predecessors flaunted.
Instead, the Vivo X70, particularly the X70 Pro+, might have a second screen on its back. The phone is also expected to run on a Snapdragon 888, which could suggest its launch isn’t too far away. Given the Vivo X60 series launched earlier this year, however, that would suggest that the company is adjusting its schedule as well.