Vivo just released its flagship smartphone lineup for the year in the form of the Vivo X80 series. It consists of two phones, namely the Vivo X80 5G and the X80 Pro 5G (review). While the latter is a true blue flagship that comes with all the bells and whistles you could expect, I’m going with the former. it lands in the premium segment, borrowing quite a bit from its more accomplished sibling despite the lack of the ‘Pro’ suffix.
The X80 is also the first in the country to feature MediaTek’s most powerful chipset to date, i.e. the Dimensity 9000. I did a comparison between the SoC and Qualcomm’s best offering, which you can read here. The Vivo X80 5G takes a big chunk out of your wallet, and it stands to reason that only a thorough review can tell if the device is worth its hefty asking price. Let’s find out together in this in-depth breakdown of the Vivo X80 5G.
If you are looking for the best camera, performance, and design under Rs 60,000, then there is nothing better on the market than the Vivo X80. However, the device is bogged down by average battery life and a bloated software interface.
It is no exaggeration to call the X80 one of the most sophisticated smartphones in terms of design. Everything about the phone’s exterior exudes class and subtle elegance. Whether it’s the smooth matte finish on the back glass, the gently sloping curves, the super-thin body, or the sickeningly good Urban Blue color scheme, the Vivo X80 is without a doubt a head-turner. Vivo says it’s used a combination of Fluorite-AG glass and an anti-glare coating to give the rear a subtle yet unique feel. I personally think it’s criminal to slap a case on your back, but if you’ve got Butterfinger, Vivo has provided a sturdy case in the box.
In terms of weight, the device tips the scales at 206g, and its thickness is measured at 8.3mm, both of which are pretty standard values in the flagship world. The camera module is a massive plate that rises slightly from the back panel, with a circular housing that houses three lenses and Zeiss branding, a symbology of Vivo’s partnership with the iconic optics brand. The X80 doesn’t have a headphone jack anywhere, which isn’t too shocking… but in the box, you do get a pair of wired USB-C headphones. The earbud at the top doubles as a secondary speaker for stereo sound. Authentication is via an in-display fingerprint sensor, and at the bottom is the usual USB-C port.
The viewing experience on the X80 is easily on par with devices in the same price range. Aside from the sharp curve on the sides, a design choice I personally don’t prefer, the X80 offers an excellent display. The screen measures 6.78 inches diagonally with barely any bezels surrounding it, giving the device a large amount of screen real estate to play around with. It’s an E5 AMOLED panel, which is the industry standard for flagship devices, and it refreshes at 120Hz while sticking to FHD+ resolution.
The precision in detail and wide dynamic range is pretty much unmatched from what I’ve seen. The odd moments of oversaturation are usually present when it comes to Vivo phones, but I have to say that the color science adds an Instagram-ready flair to the shots. From pinpoint focus to super-fast shutter speeds to latent exposure calibration options, the camera can hardly go wrong. The presence of OIS also adds stability to shots and counteracts shakes when shooting videos.
When we talk about the Zeiss mode built into the camera’s UI, photos come out a lot more alive with a better representation of skin tones, facial details, and AI-based color enhancements that enhance your shots in an appealing way. Most of the images I took with the X80 have the Zeiss model enabled. Portrait images mostly have a flawless section that blends flawlessly with the model, and more often, background blur.
I’ve only seen the latter in a rather dimly lit environment. Aside from that, the macro photography is also super detailed, allowing me to get up close and personal with the subject. Ultra-wide images have a slightly warmer color temperature but no significant distortion at the edges, while the focus remains strong throughout most of the frame. As for the 2x telephoto lens, I used it sparingly to shoot subjects not too far from my standing position and got good results.
There are some video-centric features of the X80 Pro that carry over to the Vivo X80 as well. Horizontal line stabilization is a feature that impresses me and allows for extreme stability in videos, even if you shake the phone violently. However, it does not work with more than 1080p at 30fps. There are also other modes to pldetailsund escape Cinematic Video mode, Pro mode, and pleasing can complement your video shooting experience. The 32-megapixel selfie camera on the front is also one of the best in the business, although it still has a slight over-focus.
Vivo has used a dedicated V1+ imaging chip to help the device in low light, and whether it’s the integration of the chip, the superiority of the primary sensor, or even the density of the 9000 ISP, the Vivo X80 rules the night. Even before the image is clicked, the viewfinder illuminates the scene quite aggressively to reveal details that escape the naked eye. Even without enabling night mode, the end result is very pleasing and accurately represents what lies ahead.
The sensor can miss a beat here and there when it comes to getting focus right, but if that’s the case, I don’t think I’ve seen a single overprocessed or underexposed image with night mode enabled. The manual exposure meter works like a charm, delivering impeccably good detail in the shadowed areas of the image. Some overprocessing in areas of extreme darkness is to be expected, but overall night photography is excellent.
I’ve already talked about how the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 debuting on the Vivo X80 can be considered one of the fastest chips in the world. The device has Antutu and Geekbench scores, which are the highest I’ve seen so far. I also ran the CPU Throttle Benchmark to see the SoC’s thermal stability and was mildly impressed. It is hard to say, how well the device copes with everyday use since current flagship smartphones can easily handle almost any performance-oriented task.
In addition, the Vivo X80 is also very graphically savvy. You get the option of a 90 fps frame rate with smooth graphics settings. I’ve been playing on the device for a few hours, and while the performance is commendable, the device loses a lot of battery life trying to maintain the frame rate. Other aspects of the device include up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage that is not expandable.
The stereo speakers in the front aren’t the best in the business, but they get the job done in terms of volume and sound clarity. As far as the in-display fingerprint sensor goes, nothing on the market will beat the speed and accuracy of the iQOO 9 Pro and X80 Pro, but the Vivo X80 isn’t too far behind. It can also do an excellent face unlock, although it’s not as secure as Apple’s Face ID. Credit also goes to the X80’s amazing feel, thanks in part to the X-axis linear motor.
5G services should be accessible over the phone by the end of this year when the necessary telecom infrastructure is in place. On the software side, Vivo’s FunTouchOS 12 is based on Android 12. It runs on the device. For more on the software experience, check out my colleague’s Vivo X80 Pro review.
In terms of battery life, the phone features a 4,500 mAh cell, which can be considered a bit smaller in capacity than current flagships. This became clear to me when playing BGMI at the extreme frame rate option (60 fps) and HDR graphics. About 14 percent of the battery was empty within just 30 minutes. I also watched three episodes of Stranger Things (about 1 hour each) at 70 percent brightness and saw nearly 40 percent battery drain.
While PCMark’s battery test returned a decent 13 hours and 32 minutes, I still feel that improvements can be made in the battery department. However, the 80W fast charging can allay some concerns by charging the phone from 0 to 100 percent in under 40 minutes.
It seems that the Vivo X80 leaves very few stones unturned in its quest to become the best phone under 76,990 TK. It lacks an IP rating and it doesn’t offer wireless charging either. However, I believe the device’s camera setup is unrivaled, as is the device’s capability. In terms of the display, the integration of LTPO 2.0 could have helped a bit with the device’s average battery life, but in terms of the viewing experience, there’s nothing more to complain about. I can say that if you can do without the rich photo capabilities of the Vivo X80, the Realme GT 2 Pro or Moto Edge 30 Pro will meet your needs at lower prices. However, for a great overall experience, there is currently no better phone than the Vivo X80.