When a smartphone boasts “professional photography,” much is expected of it. This is what the vivo X50 Pro promises. It even has the phrase branded somewhere on its body just to show how serious it is about the art. While yes, the X50 Pro captures stunning stills, I believe that it shines somewhere else—with videos, all thanks to its built-in gimbal camera.
As a daily driver
First, let’s talk about the X50 Pro as a smartphone. The Snapdragon 765G chip might not be the most advanced out there (most flagships this 2020 come with Snapdragon 865), but it’s still able to crush tasks and games alike. I was able to seamlessly switch between Chrome and YouTube as I searched and watched tutorials on how to beat The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, without any of the apps crashing.
The FunTouchOS 10.5 it runs on is easy to navigate and feature-filled. One downside is that there’s a number of bloatware pre-installed and the daily notifications from Jovi (vivo’s smart assistant) get pretty annoying.
Like the vivo X50, the Pro has a 90Hz refresh rate, a feature that I have come to enjoy since it creates a smoother and more dynamic display. Both phones have a 6.5-inch AMOLED display, but the Pro looks much bigger because of the curved-off sides. They don’t fully spill over to the sides (there’s still space for the physical power button and volume rocker), so at least I wasn’t accidentally touching what’s on screen with my palm.
With casual use, the phone could last me a whole day before needing a charge. I kind of wished that the phone supports wireless charging, but the 33W fast charger it comes with can fully charge the phone in a little over an hour.
As a camera
The X50 Pro has a big camera module consisting of a 48MP main shooter, 13MP telephoto lens, another 8MP telephoto lens, and an 8MP ultrawide sensor. I noticed that photos are warmer or more saturated, but I’m okay with it since they come out more vibrant.
Portrait shots come out with a natural, creamy bokeh and the subject sharp. There are times though where the AI also blurs parts of the subject so check your focus before snapping the pic.
The camera takes crisp photos in 2x and 5x zoom. The gimbal definitely helps stabilize when you go up higher to 60x zoom. The 60x Hyper Zoom falls short for me, though, churning out blurry shots. Maybe a tripod when shooting in this mode will help.
The macro mode is a little lackluster in my opinion. The phone doesn’t have a dedicated macro lens, but it still captures the finer details of your subject. Photos come out grainy, though.
I do enjoy the sophistication the camera’s Pro Mode offers. You can toggle through options like the ISO, shutter speeds, white balance, manual focus, and more. It even lets you choose which lens you want to shoot with in Pro.
Now for the gimbal camera. I cannot stress enough that shooting videos with the X50 Pro is a joy, even if you have shaky hands. Whether you’re just standing, walking, or in a moving vehicle while shooting, the gimbal makes it stable and smooth like butter—as if you have pro equipment. To add to that, there’s an Ultra Stable feature to knock away any shake.
Videos are recorded in 4K at 60fps, which is as good as some vlogging cameras in the market.
The vivo X50 Pro is a basically a camera disguised as a smartphone. There are some trade-offs, such as the processor and the lack of wireless charging and IP rating. But if you’re looking for a capable phone that can also take good photos and buttery-smooth videos, then the vivo X50 Pro is a good choice. It’s a pretty solid device with a premium look and build to boot.