Vivo X90 Pro is one of the 1 inch camera sensor phones. There aren't many. That sensor is great on its own, but in this phone it's supported by both Vivo's imaging system and ZEISS's optics and expertise. The end results... spoiler... fantastic. I had to open this intro with the camera in focus, there is no other way out. While the Vivo X90 Pro is definitely the highlight of this phone, it's not all about the camera setup, and we're here to review it to give you a better idea of what to expect. . to drive if you decide to buy it.
Vivo X90 Pro is the company's flagship smartphone. The more powerful Vivo X90 Pro+ was also launched in China, but unfortunately not globally. The good news is that these two phones are very similar. The bad news is that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is exclusive to the Vivo X90 Pro+, as is the periscope telephoto lens. Both phones also have the same 1-inch camera and the MediaTek Dimensity 9200 that this phone runs on is also excellent. So let's get started, there's a lot to cover.
Vivo X90 Pro Review: Hardware/Design
The first thing I thought of when I picked up this phone was... it's a bigger version of the Vivo X60 Pro+. It's very similar to this phone, which is good. Unlike the Vivo X80 Pro, which feels longer (albeit slightly) and a bit difficult to hold. The vegan leather back panel helps with grip, which I think is always better when it comes to larger phones. After using the phone for a while, the vegan leather definitely gets a little tough.
Only one color available outside China
This phone has only one global color: "Legendary Black". It is actually a dark gray model. The "red" color variant is only available in China, at least for now. Its front and back sides are proportional as both fold into an aluminum frame. Yes, the phone screen is curved and the bezels are minimal. The top also has a center hole for the display camera. All the physical buttons are located on the right side and the device has an on-screen fingerprint scanner. More information soon.
On the back is a large circular island for the camera.
On the back is a huge round camera module that hides three cameras. The main camera uses a 1-inch Sony sensor, which we will discuss in more detail in the camera section. The ZEISS branding is also visible on the back, just like on the Vivo. The company also chose to place a metal strip labeled "Xtreme Imagination" under the camera module to separate the top and bottom of the phone. The design is better than the versions. This design won't appeal to everyone, but the phone feels great, feels good in the hand and is less slippery than metal and glass slabs. Personally, I have no complaints as Vivo has made the phone more compact than it really is.
The Vivo X90 Pro we received has a silicone case. You may have noticed that some models have a vegan leather case that has the same design as the back of the phone. I don't know if it is only for Vivo X90 Pro+ model in China or it also comes with Red Vivo X90 Pro model. It wasn't included in the box, but I can just tell you what it is.
Vivo X90 Pro Review: Display
The Vivo X90 Pro has an excellent display, which is also large. It has a 6.78 inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2800 x 1260 pixels. This panel can display up to 1 billion colors and has a 120Hz refresh rate (yes, it's an LTPO panel). It supports HDR10+ content and reaches a maximum brightness of 1300 nits. In case you were wondering, the display has a 20:9 aspect ratio and a curved screen.
The default screen is FullHD+, which is great.
Now the panel itself looks nice. Even in FullHD+, which is the default setting, the image is very sharp. To be honest, you won't notice the difference. Colors are vibrant and viewing angles are excellent. However, if you look directly at the screen, you may notice some distortion on the sides due to the bezel. Unfortunately, the screen is curved to this point. We also know that Gorilla Glass protects the screen, but we don't know the exact version.
Scrolling is smooth, although touch selectivity could be better
This panel is specially designed for this phone. Scrolling is smooth as butter and the animation is excellent. I sped them up a bit and they worked great before and after this dive. The touch response is also very good, but I wish the Vivo ran at a touch sample rate of at least 480Hz instead of 300Hz. If you used a higher sample rate, the difference will be noticeable. Otherwise you won't care. The only thing I want is more clarity, to be honest. It is quite thin and bright as long as it is not in direct sunlight. Yes, AOD (Always On Display) mode is also available.
You can easily customize this screen to your liking
Vivo also gives you the option to customize the display as you wish. You can manually adjust the color temperature or select one of the preset modes. If you prefer brighter colors, that's no problem. If you want realism… ditto, Vivo has got you covered. The defaults are really good, so don't worry if you don't want to make these changes.
Vivo X90 Pro Review: Performance
So... features. The Vivo X90 Pro is quite a powerful smartphone on paper. It doesn't pack a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC like its Plus sibling in China, but it does come with a MediaTek Dimensity 9200 SoC. It's MediaTek's most powerful offering right now, and it's pretty powerful. This was my first phone with this chip and to be honest I don't miss the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in terms of performance. More information soon.
Here you get both LPDDR5X RAM and UFS 4.0 flash storage.
Vivo has also packed 12GB LPDDR5X RAM and 256GB UFS 4.0 flash into this phone (it's the only model available globally). In other words, the company hasn't really skimped on RAM or storage. These are the latest modules available. These two, along with the aforementioned SoC, keep this phone running smoothly at all times. Whether you use it for multitasking, media consumption or gaming, it performs very well.
It can run even the most demanding Android games
This phone doesn't break a sweat even when running the most demanding Android games. It will get warm occasionally, but not hot, and it won't affect performance in any way. Vivo thought about the cooling here and did it well. To be honest, we can't tell the difference between Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and MediaTek Dimensity 9200 on a daily basis. The MediaTek chip is cheaper than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, but you won't notice the difference in everyday use. This thing can even run Genshin Impact on the highest available settings, so... that's it.
Vivo X90 Pro Review: Battery
Let's cover the technical details first. Vivo X90 Pro comes with a built-in 4870mAh battery. It supports 120W wired charging and includes a 120W charger in the retail box. The device also supports 50W wireless charging, although of course you'll need to purchase a separate wireless charger. Additionally, reverse wireless charging is also supported in case you need to charge the headphones on the go or something similar.
Battery life is really good but could be better
That said, what is the battery life? Well, it's really good, but not as good as what we've seen in other flagship phones lately, as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has a lot of control over power consumption. I was able to get 6-7 hours of screen time while using it, even typing 7.5 times or two. The first few days I got about 5.5-6 hours as YouTube lost power for some reason. Battery life improved as I limited it in the background and got 6.5-7 hours of screen time.
Mind you, I don't play games with my phone, but I do photo editing, watch a lot of YouTube, take tons of photos, browse, write, email... pretty much anything you can imagine. Another thing I should note is that, like most of you, I probably spend most of my day on Wi-Fi. Of course, your mileage may vary. Different usage habits, different applications, signal, etc. They all affect battery life.
Even if your battery runs out prematurely, you'll benefit from ultra-fast charging here.
Now don't worry even if your battery runs out prematurely. The Vivo FlashCharge 120W can charge you from 0-50% in 8 minutes. It takes less than half an hour for a full charge. If you choose this option, the 50W charge will be slower, but also very fast. It's certainly faster than the 15-watt charger offered by Samsung and Apple, but it's not even close.
Vivo X90 Pro Review: Camera
Spoiler... The Vivo X90 Pro is a great smartphone with a camera. I really enjoyed my time with him and took some great photos, some of which I will share below. There's actually a lot to talk about here, but let's get away from the technical aspects first. Unlike the China-exclusive Vivo X90 Pro+, it unfortunately lacks a periscope camera. However, it has the same main camera and uses Sony's 1-inch camera sensor. It's a Sony IMX989 sensor if you're following along. It's the largest camera sensor ever for a smartphone, and it has huge potential. To shine, you need the right software, and Vivo has provided it here.
Really great camera sensor backed by ZEISS and great camera software.
The Vivo has a 50.3-megapixel main camera with an nf/1.8 aperture and a pixel size of 1.6µm. There is support for OIS, the same goes for Dual Pixel PDAF. Laser autofocus is also there for faster focusing. In addition, there is also a 50-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. This camera has an nf/2.0 aperture and a field of view of 108 degrees. This camera also supports autofocus. There's also a rather powerful 50-megapixel telephoto lens on the back. It has an nf/1.6 aperture, 0.7µm pixel size, OIS support and 2x optical zoom.
As for the photos taken with the main camera, they are excellent. They are bright, rich in detail and well balanced. The phone handles lights well, even in the toughest HDR environments. Given the size of the sensor, you also get a creamy bokeh effect reminiscent of DSLRs. I've never seen such depth of field in other smartphone cameras, it really brings the photo to life. Taking photos of my pets with this sensor was a joy, even in low light. Some of these examples are given below.
You can choose between standard Vivo shooting mode and ZEISS shooting mode.
Now notice that there are two shooting modes here. You can take photos with Vivo's default settings or in ZEISS mode. I preferred ZEISS because the colors weren't oversaturated and the images were closer to the real thing, but still bright and vibrant enough. Live mode was sometimes useful, but I used ZEISS more than 90% of the time once I figured out what kind of photos it takes. Therefore, the vast majority of the examples below were shot with ZEISS settings, I'll provide some comparisons below so you can see the difference. I used ZEISS in both normal light and low light as the images looked great.
You don't even need to use the special night mode, it's not necessary
In low light conditions, there is no need to use the separate night mode available here. If you want the images to be brighter, you can, but normal mode does the trick. Depending on the setting, this phone can take pictures immediately or after a few seconds in low light conditions. The fact is that it is very fast and the results are really good. It balances the images very well. Captures plenty of shadow detail, but no overexposure. Even reflections are minimized thanks to the ZEISS T* coating. This has been the case with Vivo's flagships for years and I'm glad it happened. Vivo and ZEISS have been working together for a long time and it shows.
Unfortunately, there is no periscope camera.
I'd like to see a periscope telephoto lens on this phone in addition to Vivo's telephoto lens, but... that's about it. You can zoom in to a certain level and still retain good detail (depending on the scene), but don't expect crazy zoom levels. On the other hand, the macro photography is really good. You can see some examples below. It worked at night, even with more difficult interior lighting. The photo of the ring below shows it best.
Video recording is also good.
Video recording is also good. It's not the best as you can see the low light jello effect when panning and there are some other issues, but overall video recording is also good. This phone shines on a level that is hard to put into words. The Vivo X90 Pro is my favorite camera smartphone so far, as it takes full advantage of the 1 inch camera sensor to deliver excellent results. It takes a little getting used to, but once you do... it's a joy to use.
ZEISS and samples without ZEISS:
Various examples of cameras (almost all in ZEISS mode):
Vivo X90 Pro review: software
Android 13 is pre-installed on the Vivo X90 Pro with the proprietary Funtouch 13 user interface. Funtouch is different from Android, but has many standard elements. It is similar to your current Android experience and is much better than the version released a few years ago. However, I haven't noticed any major issues with the software. It worked very well and it was very smooth. Even the action center and quick links look like pure Android, which is always a good thing. This applies to both appearance and functionality. You even get that media widget in the notification center with a curved animation.
Funtouch UI offers several useful gestures
You can choose to put all your installed apps on your home screen or use the more conventional Android experience with the app drawer. The settings screen is similar to the Samsung screen. The overall look is very nice and as I said, this UI works very well. You also get additional features here. You can use gestures like taking a screenshot, turning on split screen, etc. You can swipe up or down with three fingers to activate certain actions like As with previous Vivo phones, I use it regularly.
This UI allows you to block apps from doing multitasking if a particular app crashes, which you don't want. RAM management is generally very good, and if you have problems with a particular app running in the background, you can always block it. For example, I had to do this with my smartwatch app. I did this from the beginning and there were no problems after that.
There were a few minor issues, but overall it's a great app.
I've had several instances where the notification didn't show up when it was supposed to, but that only happened twice. Everything else was mostly a snapshot, so I think it will be revamped soon. I also have this version of the UI on my Vivo X60 Pro+ and it works great. I really have no complaints about the user interface and I'm sure most of you will be happy with the software that comes with the Vivo X90 Pro.
Vivo X90 Pro Review: Is It Worth Buying?
The Vivo X90 Pro is currently one of the best camera smartphones on the market. Vivo has managed to combine the best camera sensor currently available (for smartphones) with superior software and ZEISS optics to deliver a truly exceptional experience. The Vivo X80 Pro had consistency issues, but the Vivo X90 Pro did not have these issues. I wish Vivo would launch the Vivo X90 Pro+ globally as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 would offer better battery life and a periscope camera would come in handy. Even without those extras, the Vivo X90 Pro is a pretty good deal. Its price will play a big role for most of you and unfortunately we don't know its price outside of China yet. In the end, this phone is available in many ways and in the most popular language in the future. In Italy, if there is a potential camera, the choice will be made to broadcast telephony.