The Vivo X Fold is Vivo’s first entry into the foldable phone market. It was released in April 2022; however, it is only available in China.
The Base Specs
The Vivo X Fold measures 162 x 144.9 x 6.3 mm when unfolded, 162 x 74.5 x 14.6 mm when folded, and weighs in at 311g. It is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU and a 4600mAh battery.
Vivo currently has a single line of foldable phones, in which the X Fold is the first entry.
The Vivo X Fold is available in two capacities: a 256GB variant with 12GB of RAM and a 512GB variant with 12GB of RAM. There is no support for storage expansion.
The Vivo X Fold features a 4600mAh battery. It can fast-charge at 66W with a standards-compliant charger for a full charge in just 37 minutes. It also supports 50W fast wireless charging and can provide 10W of reverse charging.
Many foldable phones have high-end hardware but only average battery capacities due to weight savings and reduced space due to the hinge. This results in lower battery life that you might see in flagship phones which already struggle to survive a full day of reasonably heavy use. The 4600mAh battery in the Vivo X Fold is pretty decent, especially with the supported fast charging speeds. However, it may run into battery life issues under heavy usage with the large screen and high-end hardware.
The Vivo X Fold features an 8.03-inch AMOLED foldable main screen with a resolution of 1916 x 2160 for a pixel density of 360 PPI. It has a refresh rate of 120Hz. The external cover display is 6.52-inches across, with a resolution of 1080 x 2520 for a pixel density of 419 PPI. It has a refresh rate of 120Hz. Both screens support HDR10+ though neither screen has an advertised peak brightness rating. Both screens also feature under-screen fingerprint readers, a first for a folding phone.
The Vivo X Fold features a quad rear camera setup. It has a primary wide-angle camera has a 50MP 1/1.57-inch sensor with an f/1.8 aperture. The ultrawide camera features a 48MP with a 114° field of view and an f/2.2 aperture. There are also a pair of telephoto cameras. The first telephoto camera has a 12MP sensor with an f/2.0 aperture and a 2x optical zoom level. The second periscope telephoto camera has an 8MP sensor with an f/3.4 aperture and a 5x optical zoom level.
The main screen and the cover screen also feature a hole-punch selfie camera with a 16MP sensor. Video-wise, the rear cameras can record in 8K at 30fps and 4K and 1080p at 30 or 60fps. The selfie cameras can record 1080p at 30fps only.
The cameras in the Vivo X Fold are likely to be one of the most significant selling points. The vast majority of the foldable devices released so far have had, at best, camera systems that wouldn’t be out of place on a mid-range device. It has meant that if you wanted a good camera phone and a foldable phone, you had to choose one and sacrifice the other. However, the Vivo X Fold brings true flagship-grade optics to the foldable market.
The Vivo X Fold runs the Origin OS Ocean skin on Android 12. Vivo’s China-exclusive Android skin is quite distinct, with many changes from stock Android. It specifically has a lot of dramatic animations for almost any action.
The single most prominent feature of the Vivo X Fold is the ability to flip the phone open and closed. The hinge design is decent, allowing the screens to be flush against each other. The crease is present and somewhat noticeable, but significantly less so than it is on Samsung’s foldable devices.
The joint of the phone, like most foldable phones, is relatively stiff to move. This means it can hold its position reliably beyond the fully open or closed positions. It can easily be partially opened and just left to rest there.
While the standard in flagship smartphones, the under-screen fingerprint readers are a first in a smartphone. It’s worth noting, however, that the main screen under-screen fingerprint reader is located on the right half of the screen. This isn’t a problem for right-handed users but may be a usability issue for left-handed owners. A potential improvement would be to offer a third fingerprint reader on the left half of the main screen.
Wi-Fi 6 is supported for high-speed home networking, while mobile data supports 5G for the best data speeds on the go.
The 256GB 12GB RAM model costs 8999 Chinese Yuan, which roughly converts to $1350, £1070, or €1250. The 512GB 12GB RAM model costs 9999 Chinese Yuan, which roughly converts to $1490, £1180, or €1390
Improvements Over Previous Generations
This is the first generation of this line of foldable phones, so it has no previous model to gauge generational improvements. Compared to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3, the cameras are significantly better, though the user experience is not as polished.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix Fold is a solid foldable phone. Performance is generally solid across the board. The lack of any waterproofing rating may put some potential users off. Concerns about the lifespan of the fold in the screen are also likely to be difficult to assuage. The main issue is expected to be the exclusivity to the Chinese market and the lack of any global operating system for exported devices. However, the flagship quality camera system may persuade some users to take the plunge.
Flagship phones with better performance and features are available for similar money. The real question is, do you really want, or need, a phone that folds? If that’s the case, you’ll have to accept some compromises. In this case, that compromise is the user experience with the software and the Chinese market exclusivity. Whether that’s too much to ask in this case is down to the individual. It does seem like a shame that it’s a China-exclusive, though. Even if it isn’t the exact model for you, it will provide substantial competition for Samsung, pushing innovation further.
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