Vivo launched a pair of new smartphones — one slab, one foldable — remaining week which might be to this point unique solely to the mainland China marketplace. Whilst everybody’s consideration has been attracted to the foldable tool, the extra typical slab, named the Vivo X Observe, has a few attention-grabbing options that set it with the exception of the ocean of slab telephones in the marketplace.

The primary is its dimension: with a 7-inch exhibit, the Vivo X Observe is the primary telephone from a significant logo to damage that six-point-something-inch barrier in over 3 years. The remaining telephone I will be able to call to mind that went this large was once 2018’s Huawei Mate 20X. The second one attention-grabbing issue is that the X Observe runs on OriginOS, Vivo’s China-only tool that, whilst nonetheless an Android pores and skin, appears enormously other from maximum different variations of Android. It makes Vivo’s international tool, FunTouchOS, glance understated and undeniable.
The Vivo X Note running OriginOS.The Vivo X Note running OriginOS.Whilst the X Observe isn’t on sale in Hong Kong the place I’m primarily based, I used to be in a position to borrow a unit from importer Trinity Electronics. My early impressions? Vivo’s sizzling streak in making gorgeous {hardware} continues, however OriginOS is just a little too funky for me, and I’m guessing maximum readers.

Vivo X Observe: Specs

Specification Vivo X Observe
  • Gorilla Glass Victus back and front (black fashion)
  • Gorilla Glass Victus entrance with vegan leather-based again (blue and gray fashions)
  • Aluminum body
Dimensions & Weight
  • 168.8 x 80.3 x 8.4 mm
  • 221g (leather-based fashions)
  • 219g (glass fashion)
  • 7-inch OLED
  • 3200 x 1440
  • LTPO 1.0
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM & Garage
  • 128/256GB garage
  • 8GB/12GB RAM
Battery & Charging
  • 5,000 mAg
  • 80W stressed charging
  • Charging brick integrated
  • Wi-fi charging as much as 50W
Safety Qualcomm three-D Sonic Max in-display fingerprint sensor
Rear Digital camera(s)
  • Number one: 50MP large, Samsung GN1, f/1.57, 1/1.31″, OIS
  • Secondary: 48MP ultra-wide, Sony IMX 598, f/2.2, Gimbal generation
  • Tertiary: 12MP telephoto, Sony IMX 663, f/1.6, 2x optical
  • Quarternary: 8MP Periscope, f/3.4, 5x optical zoom
Entrance Digital camera(s) 16MP, f/2.5 selfie digital camera
Port(s) USB-C
Audio Twin Stereo Audio system
Instrument  OriginOS over Android 12
Different Options  Alert slider toggle

About this hands-on: This text was once written after trying out a Vivo X Observe on mortgage from Trinity Electronics, a third-party importer in Hong Kong now not affiliated with Vivo. Neither Vivo nor Trinity Electronics had any enter on this article.

Vivo X Observe: {Hardware} and Design

The very first thing to notice concerning the Vivo X Observe is that this is a large telephone, but it surely additionally isn’t in reality that massive. What I imply is that, should you’re a type of individuals who in finding even same old non-Extremely Android flagships like a OnePlus 9 or Galaxy S22 Plus too large, then the X Observe will really feel absurdly gigantic to you. However I’m anyone who has been used to Extremely and Professional Max telephones, and my first response after I grabbed cling of the Vivo X Observe was once “Oh, that’s it? This doesn’t really feel that massive.”
Vivo X NoteVivo X NotePositive, the X Observe is noticeably taller and very moderately wider (via 2-3mm) than the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Galaxy S22 Ultra, however the X Observe is a little bit lighter and doesn’t have the iPhone’s sharp aspects or the sharp corners of the Galaxy. I in finding the Vivo X Observe to really feel extra relaxed within the hand than both of the ones units.

vivo x note with galaxy s22 ultra and iphone 13 pro maxvivo x note with galaxy s22 ultra and iphone 13 pro max

Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely (left); Vivo X Observe (center); Apple iPhone 13 Professional Max (proper).

Rather than the scale, the Vivo X Observe is an overly same old Android flagship telephone, and should you’ve noticed Vivo’s earlier units the craftsmanship will really feel acquainted. The X Observe comes with both a black frosted glass again (the fashion I examined) or vegan leather-based again in blue or gray. What I in finding ordinary was once that even my glass again fashion has texture at the left and proper facet that resembles stitchings you’d in finding on leather-based items. It’s refined; I don’t thoughts.
vivo x note back camera xdavivo x note back camera xda

The Vivo X Observe is a huge telephone, but it surely additionally is not in reality that massive — it’s only marginally better than an iPhone 13 Professional Max or Galaxy S22 Extremely

I’m keen on the brand new round digital camera module, as I’ve all the time preferred how round modules glance (I believe the OnePlus 7T regarded higher than maximum OnePlus units, and the Huawei Mate 30 Professional will get my vote for all-time very best taking a look again). The digital camera {hardware} is sort of just like the gadget noticed within the Vivo X70 Professional Plus, which is superb information in my view since the X70 Professional Plus’s digital camera gadget is in reality, in reality just right. There are, so far as I will be able to inform, solely two noticeable variations within the cameras: the X Observe’s 2x telephoto zoom lens has a smaller symbol sensor than the X70 Professional Plus’ counterpart, and the X Observe’s ultra-wide lens does now not get that miniature gimbal stabilization gadget. Each and every different function, from the Zeiss T-coating lenses to the V1 imaging chip dealing with symbol processing, continues to be right here within the X Observe.

There are 4 extra {hardware} upgrades over the X70 Professional Plus.

  • The X Observe will get the predicted processor bump to Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
  • The in-display fingerprint scanner makes use of Qualcomm’s superior three-D Ultrasonic Max answer that has a bigger scanning house and scans a lot quicker than now not simply optical scanners, however even sooner than the older Qualcomm answer utilized in Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Extremely.
  • Battery dimension has been higher to five,000 mAh.
  • There’s a new OnePlus taste alert slider for atmosphere the telephone to colourful, silent, or standard.

Rather than that, the whole thing is the same to the Vivo X70 Professional Plus — so that you get haptics which might be beautiful just right however a step beneath what OPPO/Xiaomi/Samsung/Google be offering of their flagships; the WQHD+ OLED exhibit is sharp and colourful, but it surely’s nonetheless solely an LTPO 1.0 panel. There’s IP68 water and mud resistance, and wi-fi charging as much as 50W. An 80W charging brick comes with the bundle.

Vivo X Observe: Instrument — OriginOS

Take note years in the past when Android skins, in particular the ones from Asian manufacturers, had wildly other appears and have units that deviated considerably from inventory Android? The ones days have been, in my view, each a laugh and irritating. I take into accout each telephone having a unique navigation gadget (LG used on-screen buttons, Samsung used bodily capacitive buttons however with the again button within the fallacious position, Meizu had a moderately suave all-in-one button that was once each house and again, and many others); I take into accout Vivo placing the shortcut toggle web page in a swipe-up menu that sprouted from the ground of the exhibit; and I take into accout Samsung’s TouchWiz icons taking a look very garish. Within the remaining couple of years, in all probability because of western shoppers/reviewers’ evaluations and calls for, each Android pores and skin started behaving in a similar way and nearer to how Google envisioned issues. This made for significantly better Android skins — I not care about the use of a third-party launcher when it was once a will have to obtain for me again in 2016 — but it surely has additionally caused a uniformity that feels a little bit uninteresting.

Vivo’s OriginOS kind of brings the ones wild days again. It’s an Android pores and skin with app icons of various styles and sizes (that glance similar to iOS 15), interactive widgets at once at the homescreen, a cacophony mishmash of colours, and dragged-out animations. As I stated, the tool is in all probability a little bit too unpredictable for me to make use of as a day-to-day driving force, but it surely’s attention-grabbing, creative in portions, and indisputably a breath of unpolluted air.

The above footage display what the OriginOS homescreen seems like. There’s no app tray — all apps take a seat at the homescreen. A swipe up from the dock brings up a listing of “Nano Kits,” (in the second one screenshot beneath) which is what Vivo calls interactive widgets.

Those interactive widgets are most commonly for Vivo’s personal local apps, however a few of them, just like the interactive track participant widget, paintings for Spotify. I’m keen on how a few of these interactive widgets paintings. For instance, the elements widget (within the 0.33 screenshot above) is scrollable — I will be able to swipe horizontally to test the elements later within the day. The recorder widget (in the second one screenshot beneath) can start recording audio with only a faucet of the document button at the homescreen. You don’t have to leap into the recorder app itself to start out recording (despite the fact that this makes me ponder whether unintentional recordings shall be moderately not unusual). Each and every widget, even some app icons, has refined animations that transfer at the homescreen independently. The clock widget, for instance, has shifting clock palms. The calendar app will trade the day and date in the dead of night.

The lockscreen (first screenshot above) appears in reality other from any Android telephone I’ve noticed, with the fingerprint scanner icon in a colourful circle, surrounded via apps that you’ll temporarily release via dragging into the fingerprint scanner. So if I drag the step counter widget into the fingerprint scanner, the telephone will free up and release at once to the Vivo Well being app that’s been monitoring my steps.

The notification color continues to be precipitated via a swipe down and behaves most commonly the similar, however the shortcut toggles had been moved to an iOS Keep an eye on Heart-like pane that calls for a swipe from the higher proper nook (fourth screenshot above).

There’s a chronic icon within the homescreen named “Temper Dice” (first 3 screenshots beneath) that permits fast trade of homescreen aesthetics, from colour scheme to dimension and form of icons.

The translator widget is especially spectacular. If I seize a screenshot with textual content that’s now not within the telephone’s default language after which faucet at the translator widget, the translator will mechanically scan that screenshot and convert the textual content to the telephone’s default language. Under, you’ll see it translated XDA to Chinese language (the interpretation is most commonly right kind too). At the moment, the translator helps English, Chinese language, Jap, Korean, Thai, Spanish, French, and Italian.

You’ll be able to additionally customise one facet swipe to release an app or a widget (with the opposite side-swipe ultimate as a “again” gesture). For instance, you’ll set it so a proper swipe from the facet of the exhibit opens AliPay or WeChat Pay (two ubiquitous cost apps everybody in China use).

And for the ones questioning: the Vivo X Observe does now not send with Google apps however they are able to be put in from Vivo’s app retailer or a relied on supply like APK Reflect. The Google Cellular Services and products framework is already a part of the tool.

OriginOS could be very distinctive and will also be helpful for many who love having shortcut gestures. However in the long run, I choose having an app tray and a homescreen that’s moderately much less cluttered.

Vivo X Observe: Cameras

As I stated, the Vivo X Observe’s digital camera {hardware} is most commonly just like the Vivo X70 Professional Plus, so it’s an overly robust digital camera gadget with very good HDR. Then again, I’m noticing some colour inconsistency when evaluating photographs throughout all 4 of the X Observe’s cameras. Most likely Vivo hasn’t had time to fine-tune the cameras right here for OriginOS in addition to it has for my international model of X70 Professional Plus (operating FunTouchOS).

Nonetheless, the X Observe’s HDR is superior and persistently seems higher balanced than anything out of an iPhone 13 Professional Max.

The trade in colour temperature between the principle and ultra-wide digital camera is an issue at this time, however I’m assured Vivo can repair this seeing as how those are the similar digital camera {hardware} because the Vivo X70 Professional Plus, and that telephone had no such issues.

Vivo X Observe: Preliminary Impressions

Because the Vivo X Observe isn’t on sale outdoor of China, this newsletter is extra about checking a unique form of telephone out of interest’s sake than a real purchaser’s information. Whilst the Vivo X Observe is fairly reasonably priced at 5,999 yuan (~$942) in China, the fee will indisputably be marked as much as smartly over 4 digits for many who need to import.
Vivo X Note and Vivo X70 Pro PlusVivo X Note and Vivo X70 Pro PlusWhen you in reality need a big display telephone, or should you’ve been keen on Vivo’s cameras today, the Vivo X Observe could also be value taking into consideration an import, however I believe OriginOS shall be too quirky for many western consumer’s style. Most likely look forward to the Vivo X80 sequence, which is able to free up the world over and thus run on FunTouchOS. I will be able to say this: I don’t thoughts if the following Extremely/Max telephones stand up to 7-inch in display dimension too, as apps like TikTok and Instagram glance ever so moderately higher on a bigger canvas, however Samsung and Apple must shave the ones sharp edges and tough corners to make their telephones more straightforward to carry.

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