After Samsung, Huawei (and Honor), Motorola, Xiaomi and Oppo, we have a new competitor in the foldable smartphone market. As reported by Chinese commitment earlier today the Vivo X Fold is the first of its kind to pack not only Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor but also an under-display fingerprint reader – the ultrasonic type – on both its main and external screens. Unfortunately, this device is only available in China at the moment.
Just like the Huawei Mate X2 and Oppo Find N, the X Fold also adopted a teardrop bending hinge design to achieve a gap-free crease while minimizing the seam of its foldable AMOLED panel. But Vivo has gone one step further: when opened, a floating zirconium alloy center plate lifts up to gently push against the flexible panel, smoothing out the remaining seam. While it sounds impressive, we’ll have to see it in person to believe it.
According to TÜV Rheinland, Vivo’s X Fold can survive over 300,000 folds, which is 100,000 more than the Oppo Find N certification. Assuming an average user opens and closes a foldable phone 80 times a day, the X Fold should be good for around 10 years of daily use. That’s, of course, assuming you can tolerate the 311g weight for that long; The latest full-size foldables from Samsung and Huawei weigh just 271g and 295g respectively.
For a foldable phone, the Vivo X Fold packs a surprisingly powerful set of cameras. For one thing, it’s only the second foldable phone to pack a periscopic zoom camera (8MP, 5x optical zoom, optical stabilization), after Huawei’s Mate X2. The X Fold also comes with a 50MP main camera (Samsung GN5 sensor, f/1.75, optical stabilization), a 48MP ultra-wide camera (Sony IMX598, f/2.2, 114-degree field of view, low distortion) and a 12MP portrait camera (IMX663, f/1.98, 47mm equivalent focal length). And yes, you get the Zeiss T* coating here for its anti-glare properties. It’s a similar setup to the X70 Pro+, except for the lack of a micro gimbal and missing optical stabilization on two of the cameras.
In terms of screen aspect ratio, Vivo has opted for a wider design than the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The external screen is a 6.53-inch 2,520 x 1,080 (21:9) panel, while the main screen features an 8-inch 2,160 x 1,916 (4:3.55) panel. Both are Samsung E5 AMOLED in nature and support refresh rate up to 120Hz, but only the larger panel offers adaptive refresh rate to save more power. These screens also pack their own 16MP f/2.45 selfie camera, although you can always open the phone and toggle ‘rear selfie’ mode to take advantage of the more powerful cameras instead.
Like its competitors, some of the X Fold’s built-in apps – tucked away in Android 12-based OriginOS Ocean – take advantage of the foldable form factor. For example, the camera app offers a handy kickstand mode for time-lapse videos and low-angle shots. You can also use the device as a laptop with the built-in Notes app, as well as third-party Chinese apps like QQ for video calling and Youku for video streaming. Hopefully, Vivo will extend these benefits to Western apps ahead of a possible international launch.
There is still a list of noteworthy features. The 4600mAh dual-cell battery supports 66W wired charging and 50W wireless charging, as well as 10W reverse charging to help your friends in need. In fact, the X Fold comes with an 80W GaN USB-PD charger with two USB-C ports, so you can charge your laptop too.
The phone itself also packs a CS43131 Hi-Fi chip, three microphones, stereo speakers, a barometer, various heat dissipation functions, and an infrared port – a common feature of Chinese phones for controlling your home appliances. And for the first time, Vivo decided to add a physical silent mode slider, which is otherwise only seen on Apple and OnePlus devices these days.
The Vivo X Play is already available for pre-order in China, with the 12GB RAM version with 256GB of storage asking for 8,999 yuan (about $1,410) and the top-end version with twice the storage for 9,999. yuan ($1,570). You can choose blue or gray, both wrapped in vegan leather on the back.
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