More than three months after the official launch in China , Vivo also brings the new Vivo X90 Pro to Italy and after trying it for more than two weeks and having had the opportunity to experience Vivo’s new update policy first-hand, I’m ready to tell you about it. This X90 Pro I tell you right away will have support for three updates to future versions of Android and three years of security patches and bugfixes with monthly release and at the beginning of March, in fact, an update with monthly patches and various improvements promptly arrived.
The model I’m testing is the 12/256GB , the only version that will come to us, at a fairly high list price of €1299 (already discounted at €1139 on Amazon). At this price we bring home a smartphone with Mediatek Dimensity 9200 , an AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate of 1300 Nits peak , a 4870mAh battery with a 120W fast charge and a trio of cameras by ZEISS now a true workhorse of these Vivo X series.
Before starting with the real analysis of this Vivo X90 Pro I would like to dwell on the unboxing as Vivo not only offers us the charger in a 120W package but also a cover which, although of low quality, is still excellent in the first weeks of use.
- DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION QUALITY
- DATA SHEET
- USER EXPERIENCE
- PHOTO AND VIDEO
- PROS, CONS AND FINAL VOTE
CONSTRUCTION QUALITY AND DESIGN
Vivo X90 Pro arrives in Italy only in a Black color , the one we have in the test. The back is in vegan leather , plastic, if you prefer, a solution that I always appreciate when it is treated in this way because it is pleasing to the eye but also to the touch, improving among many things also the grip once picked up and holding practically zero fingerprint . Too bad not to see the red color that is so popular in China.
I really appreciated the quality of the assemblies and the attention to the smallest details such as the presumable plastic border between the frame and the back cover which allows you not to create annoying steps to the touch and also absorbs the impact, however little, from any bumps. The curved edges are very pronounced on the front but the grip is still quite firm even though with its 215 grams and more than 164mm in height it is certainly not an easy smartphone to use with one hand. Like the previous X80 Pro, the display is covered by SCHOTT xSensation Up glass which should guarantee high resistance to scratches and bumps.
The presence of the trolley for the two sims as well as the ir sensor and the three microphones scattered between the lower and upper frames and the rear camera module are good, which allow excellent management of the captured audio and any suppression of noise and background wind both in call than voice recording or video recording. The IP68 certification and the Type C 3.2 are also good , demonstrating that even without an elaborate desktop management such as DeX, a latest gen type c can be integrated very well, right Xiaomi?. I already mention the main speaker that we find on the lower frame helped in listening to multimedia by the ear capsule.
To unlock the Vivo X90 Pro we can use the fingerprint recognition sensor integrated under the display, in an excellent position and with good responsiveness or we can also rely on the 2D face unlock via the selfie camera. I really appreciated the possibility via software to customize the aesthetics of these two unlocks as more graphically as they like between fingerprint icons, unlock animations and much more. Well indeed very well.
Once the Vivo X90 Pro is unlocked we are faced with an AMOLED display that has not received substantial updates compared to that of the X80 Pro indeed, we go from a 2K resolution to always an AMOLED but with a resolution that stops at just over FHD . Before explaining the reason for this, I also tell you that we no longer have an LTPO panel so the refresh rate is yes of a maximum of 120Hz but it is not dynamic, with a typical jaggedness of 30/60/90/120 based on the app or content playing. In spite of the super technical specifications, Vivo has focused more on factors such as the BDP, Blue Diamond Pixel, a pixel arrangement that allows for a duration of up to 30% longer than the AMOLED display, in short, less degradation.
The news on the quality and “convenience” of life does not end here because we also have a new PWM dimming at 2160Hz to reduce eye fatigue as little as possible . The maximum Nits that can be reached are 1300, here too many would certainly have expected a leap forward to reach the 1750 of the S23 or the 1900 of Xiaomi or 2000 of the iPhone while Vivo has opted for a more conservative choice and I will tell you at the end in the daily only 1300 can be more than enough avoiding excessive consumption, of course this is not an excuse for so many sacrifices compared to the last gen or the Pro Plus model which will not arrive in our market.
At the software level we find many small conveniences such as the preset for the ZEISS display which calibrates the colors and color temperature in a subtle way that is probably pleasing to the eyes of many or the “Visual Optimization” which, as the name suggests, optimizes and improves the color and contrast of some images in application such as Netflix, Youtube or Prime Video. There is the AOD with many graphic styles but it is not very interactive indeed, decidedly meager.
Speaking of applications like Netflix, we immediately have Widevine L1, HEVC and HDR10+ certifications supported in the app. A few words on the vibration feedback that will not go down in history as the best ever but is decidedly full-bodied and follows our actions to the letter, giving us a more than satisfying feed.
Vivo X90 Pro is based on Android 13 with Funtouch OS 13 GUI . The security patches, as anticipated at the beginning, are very up to date in March 2023 and ok, we are not dealing with the Origin OS that I tried a year and a half ago on the X60 Pro Plus with lots of extra additions but it is a decidedly sober interface but with a very large slice of customization on animations, fonts, launcher, privacy and much more.
Indeed, bloatware is practically absent , there is a good eye on privacy and it surprised me because it is the more it dissociates itself from the idea of a “Chinese” graphical interface to which we are accustomed. The system applications are not very rich in functions and there are not many but the few that are there do their job without bugs or various problems. If I can find a flaw the notifications in the curtain , all combined with the quick toggles, decidedly old-fashioned, it seems to be on an Android version from a few years ago.
Well indeed very well the gaming suite which does not have a thousand useless toggles such as cleaning the ram but has functions that can be really comfortable such as an improvement in colors to make the panel more vivid so that if we keep the panel in ZEISS preset a tap will be enough to make it super powered up and ready for a gaming session.
- display: AMOLED 6.78″ FHD+ 2800×1260, refresh rate up to 120Hz, 1300nit, 452ppi, contrast 8.000.000:1, HDR10+
- Processor: MediaTek Dimension 9200 5G
- V2 imaging chip
- cooling system: liquid with vapor chamber (4.002mm2)
- 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM
- 256GB internal UFS 4.0
- OS: Funtouch OS 13 based on Android 13
- connectivity: 5G, WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, USB-C 3.2 gen1, NFC, GPS
- dual SIM: yes
- Fingerprint sensor: integrated into the display
- audio: Dual Stereo speakers
- front: 32MP, f/2.45
- 50MP main 1″ Sony IMX989, f/1.75, OIS
- 50MP portrait, Sony IMX758, f/1.6, OIS
- 12MP ultra wide angle Sony IMX663, FOV 108°, f/2.0
- battery: 4,870mAh, 120W FlashCharge charging and 50W FlashCharge wireless charging
- colour: Legendary Black in vegan leather
- dimensions and weight: 164.07×74.53×9.34mm for 214.85 grams
- certification: IP68
vivo X90 Pro
PERFORMANCE AND DISSIPATION
Vivo X90 Pro has a completely different technical data sheet on paper from what we would have expected with a Mediatek Dimensity 9200 instead of the canonical Snapdragon 8. To accompany we find 12GB of LPDDR5X 16Bit quad-channel ram and 256GB of UFS 4.0 storage . I know that many of you will leave skeptical towards a top of the range Mediatek soc but trust me it must be tried because this X90 Pro runs perfectly without ever an uncertainty and an animation out of place. Even pushing us into gaming use, I managed to play Genshin Impact for more than 56 minutes at the highest quality and FPS without running into hitches and having temperatures never higher than 35 ° C also thanks to the dissipation system.
Yes, because this Vivo X90 Pro has a liquid dissipation system with a vapor chamber larger than a third compared to the previous gen and everything should guarantee 2°C more “freshness”, especially on the edges where it was much more before easy to find the heat that was deficient in the grip of the smartphone in gaming and non-gaming use. Present as now in every smartphone a RAM Turbo function with the possibility of virtually expanding the already rich 12GB available. I didn’t tell you since there are still very few titles that support it but there is also exploitable Ray Tracing here.
I used this Vivo X90 Pro as my only personal device after four smartphones from which I came with Snap 8 Gen 2 and I didn’t feel the difference at all . True I’m not a person who requires the moon, I just need clean animations, no freeze or uncertainty when opening and scrolling apps and low temperatures and I’m happy. Even in complicated situations such as a day with more than two hours of Android Auto plus Maps and Spotify, almost two hours of Youtube, lots of Instagram and Whatsapp with more active than passive use time, this Vivo has never missed a beat.
AUTONOMY AND RECHARGE
If the Mediatek doesn’t have the slightest uncertainty regarding performance, how does it manage with consumption? Will the 4870mAh battery allow us to cover the day of use? The answer also in this case may surprise you and it is YES. Even without reaching the canonical 5000mAh, they can easily cover the 4h30min of display arriving late at night with 19% of residual autonomy in stressful days typical of mine where I go to do 200km of cell changes with Android Auto connected plus Maps and Spotify, only 5G, display often at maximum brightness with 5-6GB of data exchanged with social / browsing / email / maps / photos. On quieter days where I’m lucky enough to be on WiFi I always do itsame quantity of SOT but arriving at night with 40-50% of remaining battery with the possibility therefore of possibly facing a second day.
What if I run out of battery sooner than expected? No problem because the 120W charge comes to the rescue which takes us from 0 to 100% in less than 30 minutes and the 50W wireless charge which does the same but in about 50 minutes. Of course, I also mention the reverse wireless charging which is not obvious.
AUDIO AND MULTIMEDIA
Vivo X90 Pro has a double stereo speaker with a canonical composition of lower main speaker and second speaker via ear capsule. The audio is obviously unbalanced downwards but the quality is excellent, we are just below an iPhone 14 Pro or a Galaxy S23 in terms of richness and volume density but it is still a more than acceptable result. Present here as on many smartphones Dolby Atmos to improve everything.
TELEPHONE PART AND CONNECTIVITY
Calling with the Vivo X90 Pro has always been pleasant. The microphones cancel background noise very well and our voice always remains crystal clear . In video playback there is also the possibility of capturing “3D audio” by tracking the subject and placing the microphones’ attention on him. Voice notes I have nothing to report in apps like Telegram or Whatsapp, the volume is high and the quality, albeit with a thousand compressions, remains excellent.
Reception is at the top , equal to the other top of the range released in this 2023. In my bunker studio at -1 I managed to get a very stable 5G and send media where with iPhone I often don’t leave the Edge.
PHOTO AND VIDEO
Vivo has staked almost everything on the photographic sector, renewing the now usual partnership with ZEISS, elevating it not only to some software additions and to the logo but to a co-engineering as for example the choice to insert a glass lens on the main camera as well as the treatment of coating on all lenses.
On the hardware side, the Vivo X90 Pro has a main camera with a 1″ stabilized Sony IMX989 sensor with 50MP resolution and f/1.75 aperture, a 12MP Sony IMX663 ultra-wide-angle sensor and f/2.0 aperture and finally a telephoto lens with a Sony IMX758 sensor for portraits 50MP, focal aperture f/1.6 and OIS.All the cameras are with AF and among other things of an excellent level in the videos while in the photos, especially with the main camera I had some boredom on more than one occasion going to fix everything with a tap on the desired point of focus.
The main chamber thanks to the huge sensor and excellent optical stabilization will hardly leave us unsatisfied. I really appreciated the colors and the never exaggerated dynamics of the photos, especially when we go to activate the ZEISS color profile with a simple toggle, the photos are never too artificial. There are endless pre and post shooting options including filters, shots in various modes and formats, beauty and portrait effects, HDR10+, 4K video in night mode and much more but here we will focus only on the quality of the shots. The beauty of shooting with such a large sensor is not so much the micro detail which is not very different from what we could find on a Galaxy S23Ubut it is the pleasantness and simplicity of shooting thanks to the ease with which you can capture light and therefore lower ISO or shutter speed without practically ever having to call into question the night mode which, however good it may be, is always a software function . Mention for the flare reduced almost to the bone, we see that an excellent job has been done on the lenses.
The ultrawide camera has maintained the autofocus for the macro function but has lost the optical stabilizer as well as a pinch of quality. Honestly, I don’t make a fuss about it, on the contrary, I practically never use this focal length and I consider it situational so the fewer resources you invest in it, the better it is once you reach an acceptable level of quality.
Finally, we come to talk about the telephoto lens, the 2X “zoom”. I used the quotation marks not by chance because Vivo does not intend this sensor as a real telephoto to go and zoom, for that there is the periscope of the Pro Plus version, but to go and take the best possible portraits with that perfect focal length of 50mm. I haven’t brought it up yet but as a dedicated ISP this Vivo X90 Pro has a Vivo V2 chip that compensates for the shortcomings of the ISP integrated in the Mediatek SOC and indeed, it raises the bar a lot with for example the exemplary management of the portrait mode .
Even when shooting in complicated and non-optimal scenarios for the software and the contouring, this Vivo X90 Pro will allow you to always take home excellent portraits with a level contouring and an always very rich level of detail. In short, I was very satisfied also because I left with very few expectations.
Videos go up to 8K or 4K 60fps . We are not at the level of the iPhone but I was amazed by the detail, the quality of the files which differ from the average of Android smartphones which too often give us top-level photos and less pleasant videos. The ease of swapping between the three main cameras and the video/cinema portrait mode could be improved, which is still too thin and unreliable compared to the iPhone and Pixel, but we are on the right track, good luck Vivo. The integration of secondary rooms in social apps like Instagram is also missing , that too would be a nice plus to add in the next updates.
THE SELFIE CAM
I was expecting much more from the front camera where we find a 32MP 1/3.14″ sensor, it should be an OV32C specifically that does not have autofocus and when the light goes down it is not a little difficult also because of the focal aperture stopped at f/2.45.
S23 and iPhone in this area lead the way and when you try one of the two it is really difficult to go back to results of this type. Good, indeed excellent, at least the management of the microphones when we go to record videos with the front camera which, however, stop at 1080p / 60fps.
It is not easy to draw conclusions on this Vivo X90 Pro because we are faced with a very complete smartphone, I can only review a selfie camera that is not up to the other TOPs and very little else considering that the smartphone is good in all areas analysed. True we do not have future support for WiFi 7 but we are really going to nitpick and if a few years ago there was skepticism about Vivo regarding updates now with the monthly update policy we have removed all doubts about the care that there is also post product launch.
Alive , although still on tiptoe in the Italian market, is working well without launching too many products and taking care of them in detail, of course the list price for this X90 Pro reads €1299 for the only 12/256GB version, a price that is actually in line if not inferior to some top of the range such as Xiaomi 13 Pro but just like this one with doubts about who decides to spend all this money on a brand that, although it offers products of the highest quality, has yet to make itself known in Italy. A few aggressive bundles or a launch discount would certainly have helped but for now the only thing we can do is wait for a slightly more advantageous street pricelike on Amazon a few days ago for €160 less, also because the S23 and Xiaomi 13 are already in free fall. And what do you think of this Vivo X90 Pro?
VIVO X90 Pro 5G Smartphone, 12GB + 256GB, 50MP + 50MP + 12MP ZEISS Triple Camera, 4K HDR Video in Night Mode, Dual Flagship Chips, 120W FlashCharge, 6.78 Amazon FDH+
1299 1139 €
vivo X90 Pro
TOP PHOTOS AND VIDEOS PERFORMANCE AND AUTONOMY RECHARGE 120W and 50W RECEPTION DESIGN
SELFIE ROOM LIST PRICE
vivo X90 Pro is available online from eBay for €1,178 . To see the other 3 offers click here. (updated March 10, 2023, 7.05 pm)