Remember when you had to buy a gimbal if you wanted to take super steady video with your phone? Well, that might be a thing of the past with the gimbal technology built into the Vivo X50 Pro’s main camera. Surprisingly, we’ve found that it doesn’t just benefit videos, photos are also a lot more usable. But let’s talk about that later.

First off, specs. You might think this sounds like a flagship phone, and it does. The specs, however, aren’t quite flagship level. You get a Snapdragon 765G processor, which is midrange, but at the top of the midrange chips, if that makes sense. Modern-day processors cope fine with the general daily use of most consumers, and the 8GB of RAM definitely helps to keep the phone running fluidly.

There’s only one configuration available in Singapore though, so you’re stuck with 256GB of storage. I’d say that’s enough for most people, but do keep in mind that there’s no micro SD card slot so you’re stuck with that amount.

A big plus point is the 90Hz refresh rate on the 6.56-inch AMOLED Full HD display, which also supports HDR10+. It’s a vivid, sharp display and there’s nothing to fault here. Vivo kept the curved edges of the display and as a result, it sits pretty well in the hand and I haven’t really noticed any false touches. 

The back of the phone is where you get to see the selling point of the X50 Pro. The first thing you’ll notice is the big camera bump. It’s literally one rectangle stacked on top of another rectangle that’s stacked on top of the phone body. The highest point of the bump is raised about 2mm away from the back of the phone, which is… quite a lot compared to more subtle camera arrays out there. But more on the cameras in a minute. 

Vivo has gone with a matte glass back in a single colour (at least in Singapore), Alpha Gray. They’ve said that this reduces fingerprint smudges and the likes, and I guess it’s partially true. While it’s not as obvious as on a glossy phone, you can still see the smudges if your fingers have a bit of moisture on them.

Back to the cameras. We have a 48MP main camera, which also has the gimbal technology, a 8MP Super Wide angle, 13MP portrait camera and a 8MP periscope telephoto lens that supports 5x optical zoom and 60x digital zoom. On the front, you get a 32MP selfie camera.

Photos taken with the main camera are pretty decent, but unless you shoot in the specific 48MP mode, you’ll be getting pixel binned images at 12MP. Thanks to the gimbal stabilisation, photos shot at night are actually pretty good, with quite a bit of detail preserved. Video is probably the highlight of the phone though, so let’s take a look.

You can shoot at up to 4K60fps, or at 1080p60fps. The phone handles 4K60fps quite well and tracks the subject decently. The gimbal technology also works, but of course, an external gimbal will definitely have better results. The “Ultra Stable” gimbal mode only works in 1080p and will automatically default to that when the mode is activated.

For something that’s built-in though, I’m pretty impressed.

The telephoto lens is decent as well. I’ve always believed that 99% of consumers out there will never use photos zoomed past a certain level, maybe 10x, due to hand shake affecting the sharpness of the image. But the X50 Pro is incredibly stable when zoomed in at 60x, and while photos aren’t sharp since it’s a digital crop, after all, it’s possible to take photos that aren’t completely unusable thanks to hand shake.

Portrait mode is… okay. The beautifying function is way overdone, and it might be a plus for some ladies, but I recommend turning it down or just turning it off if you don’t like obviously beautified photos. Separation is okay, but as usual, smartphones still struggle from time to time with separation of hair from background. It’s nothing too obvious though, and it’ll look fine on social media.

Battery life is pretty great. There’s a 4,315mAh battery in this, and the phone supports Vivo’s FlashCharge 2.0 which charges at 33w. You’ll go from 0 to 57% in 30 minutes, but I’ve typically not needed to charge the phone midway through the day. Nightly charges are fine. 

All in all, the Vivo X50 Pro is definitely an interesting option the brand is offering. It has the claim of being the first phone in the world to use built-in gimbal tech, and it works surprisingly well for the first iteration.

People who love taking videos with their phone will definitely be hard-pressed to say no to this, I think. Being able to eliminate carrying around an external gimbal for casual shooting situations is a big plus for people who like to travel light, and the Vivo X50 Pro provides that convenience.

More information about the Vivo X50 Pro (S$1,099) can be found on the Vivo website.