Home / Hot Stuff / Smartphones / Zeiss-badged Vivo X80 Pro promises SLR-style portraits from a gimbal camera

Zeiss-badged Vivo X80 Pro promises SLR-style portraits from a gimbal camera

Stabilised portrait lens and dedicated image processing chip aim to give Vivo a step up over snap-happy rivals

Hot Stuff Vivo X80 Pro smartphone rear and front on blue background

Vivo is stepping up its flagship game with the X80 Pro, the latest premium smartphone to go all-out on camera capability. It’s packing a quad-camera setup, including a lens purpose-built for portraits, and has been given a helping hand from lens experts Zeiss.

The four cameras are headlined by a 50MP, optically stabilised GNV sensor. At 1/1.3in it’s among the biggest ever squeezed into a phone, and the f/1.57 aperture should let in a whole lot of light. It’s paired with a high transmittance glass lens, which cuts down on light glare, and the Zeiss T* coating keeps reflections at bay. A dedicated V1+ chip handles all image processing.

There’s also a 48MP, f/2.2 ultrawide lens, an 8MP periscope good for 5x optical zoom, and up to 60x digital zoom. Finally, the 12MP gimbal-stabilised portrait camera aims to put faces front-and-centre. This is a change from last year’s X70 Pro, which put the gimbal on the ultrawide lens – whether it’ll matter depends on if you snap more people than places.

Zeiss had a hand in the camera app, too. There are multiple different bokeh modes when shooting portraits, to really ramp up the atmosphere in your images. A Zeiss natural colour mode tweaks tone brightness, highlights and shadows on the fly, for more true-to-life shots. That last one could be a winner for anyone who’s sick of overly punchy photos from rival phone cameras.

Ahead of the curve

The X80 Pro’s display chops are equally premium. It has a 6.78in AMOLED panel with QHD+ resolution, and LTPO tech providing adaptive refresh rates from 1Hz to 120Hz. Vivo says it’ll hit a retina-scorching 1500 nits peak brightness, and supports HDR10+ playback.

It’s a curved display, with edges that blend smoothly into the metal frame. Screen bezels are suitably skinny, and there’s a centre hole punch for the front camera. An under-display fingerprint sensor is of the ultrasonic variety, so should still be whip-crack quick at unlocking even with wet digits or in bright sunlight.

Like a lot of premium phones, the X80 Pro is pure glass and metal. The vegan leather option initially revealed for China won’t be coming to the UK. We’re only getting it in one colour, too: Cosmic Black. The whole thing is IP68 certified to survive brushes with water and dust.

Taking charge

Flagship phones need flagship specs, and the X80 Pro is no different. It’s rocking a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU, paired with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of on-board storage. It’s running Android 12, with Vivo’s own FunTouch OS sitting on top.

The 4700mAh battery isn’t the biggest, but 80W wired charging should deliver a complete top-up in about half an hour. There’s also 50W wireless charging, which is up there with the best phones for cable-free refills. It’ll reverse charge other gadgets too, if you have power to spare.

Vivo says the X80 Pro will be going on sale imminently. UK availability is still TBC, with only India confirmed ahead of time; prices there start from ₹86,999 (about £910). We’re expecting that to creep up a bit by the time it arrives in Blighty.

Vivo X80: meet the little brother

The X80 Pro isn’t coming to Europe alone. The more mainstream Vivo X80 steps down to a 1080p display, and swaps Snapdragon power for a MediaTek Dimensity 9000. The battery also shrinks slightly to 4500mAh.

Bigger changes can be found on the back, with a tweaked camera arrangement. The periscope zoom is gone, and the ultrawide lens drops to 12MP. The portrait sensor remains, but gimbal stabilisation is out. The main camera also swaps to a Sony-sourced 50MP sensor. It has OIS and an f/1.75 aperture, with processing support from the V1+ chip. Zeiss still had input on the lenses, as well as the camera app, so cinematic bokeh is still on tap.

It’s set to go on sale later this month. UK prices have yet to be confirmed, but it’ll be landing in India for ₹59,999 (roughly £630). That’s far more more wallet-friendly than the X80 Pro, and more of a mainstream flagship to take on Xiaomi,