Even in tiny smartphone cameras, lenses matter. Vivo seems to agree since lens improvements are a major emphasis on its new flagship smartphones: the Vivo X100 and Vivo X100 Pro. They launched in China first on November 13th, and now Vivo is releasing them internationally with matching 6.78-inch 120Hz OLED screens.
The X100 will be available in Southeast Asian markets, including India and Indonesia, and the higher-tier X100 Pro will also be available in European markets. And no surprise — the US isn’t getting either of the devices.
Like the X90 Pro before it, the X100 Pro offers a 50-megapixel one-inch-type main camera — a huge sensor by smartphone standards. Vivo says it’s been tuned with “Optical Precision Calibration” for “consistent sharpness and quality.” The X100 Pro’s 50-megapixel telephoto camera also gets a bump up to 4.3x optical magnification versus 2x on the previous model. It comes with a new APO designation, which is Zeiss’ terminology for a lens designed to reduce chromatic aberration. There’s also a floating lens element — which, no, doesn’t literally float — to enable close-up photography with the tele lens.
The X100 has a more pedestrian 50-megapixel 1/1.49-inch-type main camera sensor, as well as a 64-megapixel 3x optical telephoto. There’s no floating element here, but Zeiss coatings have been applied to lenses on both devices. Both phones have 50-megapixel ultrawide cameras as well as a secondary imaging chip, but the X100’s is an older V2 while the Pro gets the newest V3, enabling 4K cinematic portrait video.
The X100 and X100 Pro are both built on MediaTek’s Dimensity 9300 flagship chipset. Most other flagship series put a smaller screen in the “lesser” model. Not so with Vivo — both use that same 6.78-inch OLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate. They both come with an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, too. So the primary differences are the camera ones detailed above.
Vivo’s X90 Pro showed a lot of promise when I tested its camera earlier this year against the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. The company is sticking with the big image sensor strategy, which has certain advantages like better baseline noise performance and more natural bokeh. But at the time, Samsung still came out ahead in most situations with its more-pixels-more-better ethos and savvy computational processing. It’s nice to see Vivo doubling down on lens quality — in my tests, the X90 Pro showed some lens aberrations that spoiled some of my images. In any case, it probably won’t be too long until the X100 Pro and the seemingly imminent Galaxy S24 Ultra meet for a rematch.
Vivo declined to share European pricing information under embargo but said that the X100 Pro will retail for HK$7,998 in Hong Kong, which translates to around €937 or $1,024. The non-Pro X100, meanwhile, will cost HK$5,998 (around $768 / €702).