Vivo X90 Pro review: an excellent photophone that still lacks endurance

Vivo does not hide the ambitions of its gigantic dorsal photo island. The latter is composed of a 50 Mpx one-inch sensor, a 12 Mpx ultra-wide-angle module (f / 2) and a telephoto lens accompanying a 50 Mpx sensor (f / 1.6) . Everything is supported by the manufacturer’s third imaging chip, named V2.

High-end equipment that is worth the comparison with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, tested recently, which is one of the best photophones on the market. We will use the Oppo FIind X5 Pro for the telephoto comparison, since it also has a x2 zoom.

Main module: 50 megapixels, f/1.8, eq. 23mm

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (12 Mpx, eq. 23 mm, f/1.7, ISO 60, 1/180 s)
Vivo X90 Pro (12.5MP, f/1.8, ISO 80, 1/100s)

In good lighting conditions, and faced with a Galaxy S23 Ultra which tends to overexpose the image, the X90 Pro delivers an excellent result. The level of sharpness is a little higher at Samsung, with efficient processing on small elements (color patterns, for example), but the colorimetry is more flattering at Vivo. We take advantage of a very high level of detail, in the center and on the periphery of the image, and an interesting rendering of textures. The choice is not obvious, but we tend to lean towards the X90 Pro.

Xiaomi 13 Pro (12.5MP, f/1.9, ISO 80, 1/100s))
Vivo X90 Pro (12.5MP, f/1.8, ISO 80, 1/100s)

We note that the results, excluding colorimetry a little more dewy at Vivo, are very close if we compare the X90 Pro and the Xiaomi 13 Pro, also equipped with a one-inch sensor. Vivo’s model provides slightly better processing on some small elements of the scene.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (12 Mpx, eq. 23 mm, f/1.7, ISO 1600, 1/17 s)
Vivo X90 Pro (12.5MP, f/1.8, ISO 4000, 1/20s)

In the dark, the two devices opt for a different treatment. The sharpness is always a little better at Samsung, but the level of detail seems higher on the X90 Pro, as evidenced by the cover of the book, of which we can observe the texture. However, the contrast is much more pronounced with Vivo, and the whole lacks a bit of naturalness.

50 megapixel mode

It is possible to capture snapshots in their maximum definition. In the photo menu, simply choose the High resolution mode, available on the wide-angle module and the telephoto lens.

50MP Night Mode
50MP Day Mode

During the day, this mode is interesting. The snapshot benefits from an even higher level of detail, which is very useful for heavy scenes. It will therefore be possible to carry out major reframing without losing information. As often, it is much less convincing at night, where the interest is more limited.

Ultra wide-angle module: 12 megapixels, f/2, eq. 16mm

The X90 Pro swaps last year’s very good 48 Mpx ultra-wide-angle module for a 12 Mpx sensor. However, this smaller sensor does really well.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (12 Mpx, eq. 13 mm, f/2.2, ISO 80, 1/100 s)
Vivo X90 Pro (12MP, f/2.2, ISO 152, 1/50s)

When the scene is well lit, the rendering of the Vivo is solid. We lose a little sharpness and we find a tendency to saturation, but it is possible to take beautiful shots. The Galaxy S23 Ultra photo is always overexposed on our scene, a much less marked phenomenon outside the laboratory. The Samsung sensor still benefits from better sharpness, even if it is not necessarily easy to see here. The color patterns (especially red) show that the Samsung photo is a little sharper, that of the X90 Pro having a slight tendency to drool. But again, the pronounced work of Vivo’s algorithms gives a more flattering impression.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (12 MP, eq. 13 mm, f/2.2, ISO 2500, 1/14 s)
Vivo X90 Pro (12MP, f/2.2, ISO 1827, 1/10 sec)

At night, the Vivo X90 does well despite the obvious appearance of digital noise. The shot is once again more contrasted, which allows to glimpse a large amount of detail. On the other hand, this also results in the appearance of artefacts on the textured areas. On the S23 Ultra, digital smoothing allows you to enjoy a photo that is certainly clear, but a little dull.

2x telephoto: 50 megapixels, f/1.6, eq. 50mm

Oppo Find X5 Pro (13MP, f/2.4)
Vivo X90 Pro (12.5MP, f/1.6, ISO 50, 1/116 sec)

On this shot in 2x zoom, the two mobiles are good. The Oppo Find Find X5 Pro delivers a very sharp rendering and better sharpness than the X90 Pro. There is a very significant difference in colorimetry on the two photos. Where Oppo offers a cold rendering and less vivid colors, Vivo opts for much warmer shades and saturated tones. Neither strikes the perfect balance, but edge rendering is more accurate with the Find X5 Pro.

Oppo Find X5 Pro (13MP, f/2.4)
Vivo X90 Pro (12.5MP, f/1.6, ISO2147, 1/15s)

At night, the Vivo X90 Pro regains the advantage. The exercise is perilous, but the scene remains readable, despite visible smoothing. However, it is a lesser evil when the Find X5 Pro is satisfied with a generally blurred image.

50 megapixel mode

50MP Night Mode
50MP Day Mode

As with the main sensor, switching to maximum definition allows you to enjoy a better level of detail in good lighting conditions. A rather impressive result for a telephoto lens, and always useful for cropping. However, the quality is much lower at night.

Front module, portrait and video mode

A 32 Mpx sensor whose lens opens at f / 2.5 is housed in the central punch. It allows you to take beautiful selfies, particularly rich in detail. As often on these modules, we will avoid having too much tremor or using it in complete darkness, but the result is convincing.

The Vivo X90 Pro is an excellent device for indulging in video. It is capable of filming up to 8K at 30 fps, but also in 4K up to 60 fps. Using 8K is extremely power-intensive and takes up a lot of space. So remember to keep the charger nearby if you plan to last the day. Unless you want to enjoy it on a compatible screen, we therefore advise you to stay in 4K. The rendering is sharp and detailed and the stabilization at the level. So there is a way to achieve pretty things if you take the trouble.

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