Vivo X100 Pro Review: A Photography Powerhouse with Solid Performance
The smartphone industry is evolving at an unprecedented pace, with regular updates and releases pushing boundaries. Xiaomi’s annual flexure phone, the Xiaomi 14 series, has ignited a fierce competition, prompting Vivo to launch its latest flagship, the Vivo X100 Pro.
Positioned as a photography-centric device, the X100 Pro claims to set new standards in imaging capabilities. In this comprehensive review, we’ll delve into the design, display, camera features, performance, and overall user experience of the Vivo X100 Pro.
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Design and Unboxing:
The Vivo X100 Pro arrives in an all-black box, exuding a premium and sophisticated feel. Inside the box, you’ll find the phone itself, a 120W charger, a USB-C charging cable, a SIM card pin, a quick start guide, and a clear silicone phone case. While the case is a thoughtful addition, concerns linger about its potential to yellow over time.
The design of the X100 Pro draws inspiration from ancient Chinese aesthetics, combining a rounded and earthy square concept. Available in four colors, each variant boasts unique materials and designs. The Sunset Orange variant, which I had the pleasure of testing, features a water ripple design and leather back, providing a pleasing tactile experience.
The camera module, a standout feature, is a 2.5D one-piece gemstone with a distinctive Zest logo at the center. The overall design is aesthetically pleasing, and the attention to detail, such as the solar pattern on the stainless steel ring surrounding the camera module, adds to the phone’s charm.
The X100 Pro retains the curved screen design from its predecessor, a feature that divides opinions. While the curved screen enhances aesthetics, it poses challenges for protective film compatibility. Weighing 223g, the phone’s size is comparable to other flagship models.
The 6.78-inch Super Retina at eye protection screen supports a 120Hz refresh rate and boasts a brightness of up to 3,000 nits. The introduction of LTPS technology allows for different refresh rates in different parts of the screen, providing a more dynamic viewing experience.
The eye protection modes, including intelligent eye protection and global eye protection, contribute to reducing eye fatigue by detecting and filtering blue light in real-time. Surprisingly, the X100 Pro forgoes the ultrasonic fingerprint sensor for a short-focus fingerprint sensor lower on the screen. While this placement may pose challenges for one-handed use, the decision seems to prioritize design over convenience.
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Powering the X100 Pro is the MediaTek Dimensity 9300 chip, built with TSMC’s third-generation 4nm process. The octa-core CPU, featuring four large Cortex-X4 cores and four mid-core Cortex-A720 cores, boasts a clock speed of up to 2.8GHz. The new Immortals G720 GPU with 12 cores operates at a frequency of 1,300MHz.
In benchmark tests, the X100 Pro exhibits impressive multi-core performance, outpacing competitors like the Snapdragon 8cx and Apple’s A70 Pro. The GPU performance, while slightly trailing behind the Xiaomi 14 Pro, remains competitive.
Gaming on the X100 Pro is a smooth experience, with the device maintaining relatively low temperatures even during extended sessions. The inclusion of super resolution and frame insertion features enhances the gaming experience, allowing for improved graphics and refresh rates.
Vivo’s claim of the X100 Pro being the “photography ceiling” is backed by a robust camera system. The triple-camera setup comprises three 50-megapixel lenses, with the main IMX 991 sensor featuring a 1-inch sensor size. The telephoto lens, certified by ZEISS APO, employs a floating periscope structure to enhance resolution and supports up to 4.3x optical zoom and 100x digital zoom.
The APO (Apple Cormatic) technology addresses issues like purple fringing by using different materials and reflective indexes for lens elements. A side-by-side comparison with the Xiaomi 14 Pro showcases the X100 Pro’s superior performance, especially in challenging lighting conditions.
The camera excels in various scenarios, capturing intricate details at 1x focal length and maintaining clarity even at 4.3x optical zoom. The ultra-wide-angle lens performs admirably with no distortion at the edges. While the color saturation is slightly high, the X100 Pro consistently delivers sharp and vibrant images.
The inclusion of the V3 imaging chip enhances image processing speed, resulting in faster shutter speeds. In video recording, the X100 Pro supports up to 8K at 30Hz, and the V3 chip aids in smooth and natural focus transitions during recording. The addition of a movie portrait mode and adjustable settings for portrait video further enhances the device’s videography capabilities.
Front Camera and Additional Features:
The front-facing 32-megapixel camera produces clear and detailed selfies. The anti-blur function, coupled with the AI capabilities, allows users to customize background blurring directly in the photo album. An interesting AR function adds a playful touch, displaying constellations based on the phone’s orientation.
Battery and Charging:
Equipped with a 5,400mAh battery, the X100 Pro supports 100W wireless fast charging and 50W wireless charging. Remarkably, the standard X100 model surpasses the Pro variant with 120W wired fast charging. Charging tests reveal impressive results, with 70% of the battery charged in just 20 minutes and a full charge achieved in 31 minutes.
The larger battery capacity ensures efficient power consumption, with the X100 Pro maintaining 85% battery after rigorous testing, outperforming the Xiaomi 14 Pro. The device ships with the latest Origin OS 4 based on Android 14, offering a seamless and user-friendly experience with full Google framework support.
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- Outstanding Photography: The Vivo X100 Pro lives up to its claim as a photography powerhouse with a triple 50-megapixel camera system. The IMX 991 sensor and APO technology deliver excellent image quality, especially in challenging lighting conditions.
- Unique Design: Drawing inspiration from ancient Chinese aesthetics, the X100 Pro boasts a distinctive design with attention to detail. The 2.5D gemstone camera module, stainless steel ring, and water ripple design contribute to a premium and aesthetically pleasing appearance.
- Versatile Display: The 6.78-inch Super Retina at eye protection screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and LTPS technology offers a dynamic and immersive viewing experience. The intelligent eye protection modes add to user comfort by reducing blue light in real-time.
- Fast and Efficient Charging: With support for 100W wireless fast charging and 50W wireless charging, the X100 Pro impresses with its charging capabilities. The device charges up to 70% in just 20 minutes and reaches a full charge in 31 minutes.
- Powerful Performance: The MediaTek Dimensity 9300 chip delivers robust performance, especially in multi-core tasks. The GPU performance, while competitive, ensures a smooth gaming experience, aided by features like super resolution and frame insertion.
- Impressive Battery Life: The 5,400mAh battery, coupled with efficient power consumption, results in excellent battery life. The device maintains 85% battery after rigorous testing, outperforming some of its competitors.
- Enhanced Videography: The addition of a movie portrait mode, adjustable settings for portrait videos, and the V3 imaging chip contribute to an enhanced videography experience. The X100 Pro supports up to 8K at 30Hz with smooth focus transitions.
- Curved Screen Design: The continuation of the curved screen design may be divisive, as it poses challenges for protective film compatibility. Some users may find it less user-friendly compared to traditional straight screens.
- Fingerprint Sensor Placement: The decision to place the fingerprint sensor lower on the screen might be inconvenient for one-handed use and could potentially lead to accidental drops. Users need to exercise caution when unlocking the phone.
- High Saturation Levels: While the camera system excels in various scenarios, the color saturation levels, especially in certain lighting conditions, might be a bit high for some users’ preferences.
- Limited Software Innovation: Despite its powerful hardware, the X100 Pro doesn’t bring significant software innovations to the table. Users looking for groundbreaking software features may find the device lacking in this aspect.
- No Major Design Overhaul: While the design is unique and well-executed, the X100 Pro doesn’t introduce a major design overhaul compared to its predecessor or other flagship models, potentially leaving some users wanting more innovation.
Reasons to Buy:
- Photography Enthusiasts: For users who prioritize camera performance, the Vivo X100 Pro is an ideal choice. The 50-megapixel triple camera system with APO technology ensures exceptional photo quality in various conditions.
- Aesthetics and Attention to Detail: If you appreciate unique design elements and meticulous attention to detail, the X100 Pro stands out with its gemstone camera module, stainless steel ring, and water ripple design.
- Gaming Enthusiasts: With its powerful MediaTek Dimensity 9300 chip and features like super resolution and frame insertion, the X100 Pro caters to gaming enthusiasts who seek a smooth and immersive gaming experience.
- Fast-Charging Aficionados: Users who value fast charging will appreciate the X100 Pro’s remarkable charging capabilities. The support for 100W wireless fast charging ensures quick and convenient recharging.
- Media Consumption: The versatile display, with its high refresh rate and dynamic LTPS technology, makes the X100 Pro a great choice for users who consume a lot of media on their smartphones.
- Long Battery Life: For those who prioritize a long-lasting battery, the X100 Pro’s 5,400mAh battery, coupled with efficient power consumption, ensures extended usage without frequent recharging.
The Vivo X100 Pro emerges as a versatile flagship device, excelling in photography and delivering solid performance across various aspects. The design, with its attention to detail, and the robust camera system contribute to the device’s appeal. While the MediaTek Dimensity 9300 chip showcases impressive CPU and GPU performance, the phone falls short of revolutionary software enhancements.
Nevertheless, the X100 Pro stands as a commendable addition to the competitive smartphone landscape, offering a compelling option for users seeking a powerful and feature-rich device.