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vivo X Fold3 Pro Review: The foldable that does it all


vivo X Fold3 Pro Review: The foldable that does it all

vivo launched the X Fold3 Pro in India earlier this month, and it is the company’s first foldable phone to launch in India. It has dual LTPO screens, a powerful camera set up with Zeiss optics, and a sleek and lightweight body without compromising on the battery or the performance. Is this the best foldable phone to get in India right now? Let us dive into the review to find out.

Box Contents

  • vivo X Fold3 Pro 16GB + 512GB in Celestial Black colour
  • 120W fast charger
  • USB Type-C to C Cable
  • SIM ejector tool
  • User manual and warranty information

The review unit didn’t have a protective case, but the company has mentioned a cased in the box, so the retail unit comes with a case.

Display, Hardware and Design

The phone has a 6.53-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a pixel resolution of 2748 x 1172 pixels, 21:9 aspect ratio and a pixel density of about 457 PPI. It offers up to 4500 nits peak brightness. It is bright outdoors or watching HDR content.  It has 100% DCI-P3 Color Gamut, so the colours are vibrant.

The outer screen has a 120Hz refresh rate 8T LTPO display. When enabled, it offers a buttery smooth user experience, especially when you are scrolling through the UI and when gaming.

The outer screen has a 2160Hz high-frequency dimming technology. In dark environments, the phone will automatically switch to PWM dimming mode to maintain accurate colors on display with a more comfortable eye experience.

For usage, the 21:9 aspect ratio felt too small when using the keyboard, so you will need some time to get used to it after moving from a wider aspect ratio, otherwise there are no issues when using apps, and viewing videos and photos.

Coming to the inner screen, there is an 8.03 inch 2K+ AMOLED display with a pixel resolution of 2480 x 2200 pixels, 1.13:1 aspect ratio and a pixel density of about 457 PPI. It also offers up to 4500 nits peak brightness, has 100% DCI-P3 Color Gamut, 120Hz refresh rate 8T LTPO display.  The inner screen has 1920Hz high-frequency dimming technology.

Both the screens feature HDR 10+, which works for YouTube and Amazon Prime Video, and there is Dolby Vision which works for Netflix. Visual enhancement optimizes the color and contrast in apps like YouTube, Netflix and Prime Video for more vivid display effects. The outer screen has armor glass and on the inside there is UTG glass, similar to other foldable phones.

The inner screen is also good to use, but you will get black borders when watching videos due to the aspect ratio. You can zoom in, but the content will get cropped.

The phone has a 32MP front camera on the inside and the outside. On the outside, there is an earpiece on the top edge.

Coming to the button placements and ports, the power button and volume rockers are present on the right side. There is an alert side on the left side, which we had not seen in a vivo phone before. The USB type-C port, dual SIM slot, loudspeaker grill and the microphone are present on the bottom. The IR blaster, secondary microphone and the speaker grill are present on the top.

Coming to the design, the phone has a solid build quality, thanks to the solid metal frame, and vivo’s innovative Armor Architecture for all-around protection and enhanced durability. vivo said that it has earned SGS Five-Star Overall Unit Drop Resistance.

The phone uses a carbon fiber hinge, weighing only 14.98 grams, making it 72% lighter than the metal hinge.  The Carbon Fiber Ultra Durable Hinge which can withstand 100 fold-unfolds a day for 12 Years, said the company.

The innovative hinge design allows for Multi-Angle Free Hovering, meaning the device can flex and bend freely between 60 and 120 degrees, offering a range of creative usage modes, said the company.  The phone is just 5.2mm thick when open and is just 11.2mm when closed, making it the thinnest foldable phone.

The Armor Back Cover features Glass Fiber and UPE Fiber for heavy-duty protection while maintaining a lighter weight, said the company. The X Fold3 Pro also has an IPX8 rating for water resistance.

It is also the lightest foldable phone at just 236g, even though it packs a huge, 5700mAh battery. This is a huge deal for a foldable phone.

Camera

  • 50MP main camera with 1/1.3″ OV50H sensor, f/1.68 aperture, OIS, Zeiss T* coating
  • 50MP ultra-wide camera with 1/2.76″ Samsung JN1 sensor, f/2.0 aperture, 15mm focal length
  • 64MP 1/2″ OV64B telephoto camera, f/1.98 aperture
    32MP front camera on the inside and outside with f/2.4 aperture

The camera UI is the same as other phones running Funtouch OS. It includes several features such as AR stickers, Pro Sports mode, long exposure, 50MP mode, supermoon, astro and more. Even though the phone has a 50MP rear camera, the final output is 12.5MP in size after pixel binning, and the front camera output is 32MP.

Coming to the camera quality, the daylight shots are good, and it is recommended to enable HDR option which automatically switches on HDR according to the shot, so that the dynamic range is good. The camera can focus quickly. The 50MP ultra-wide camera is a good option, and there is also a macro option. This offers 12.5MP output after pixel binning.

There is also a new 64MP portrait camera that offers 3X zoom, which is good for both normal shots and portraits. You can adjust the aperture manually in the portrait mode for the best background blur.

Low light shots are good with a lot of details and less noise, and the OIS helps as well to stabilize the images. The night mode automatically enables ultra dark mode if there is very less light, and that makes it better, but it takes a few seconds to process. There is also supermoon mode with up to 100x zoom, same as the normal mode, and the astro mode uses GPS to location constellations around you.

The portrait mode with the 50MP sensor is brilliant, with good edge detection. The phone has ZEISS optics and 6 ZEISS Style Portrait options. The 32MP front camera on the inside and the outside does a good job in most conditions. Portrait shots from the front camera were also good with a good edge detection, even though it uses software.

Check out some camera samples below

It can record videos at 4k resolution at up to 60 fps from the rear cameras, but the front camera is limited to 1080p 30 fps recording. It has standard and ultra stabilization, but the resolution is down to 1080p 60 fps in ultra since it crops the content.

This also has vivo’s self-developed imaging chip V3 offering 4K cinematic portraits from all the three rear cameras, but the front camera is still limited to 1080p. OIS does a good job in stabilization. You can adjust the aperture manually for portrait video, but this is limited to 1080p 30fps. There is a ZEISS cinematic portrait video option.

Software, UI and Apps

Coming to the software, the phone runs on Android 14 with Funtouch OS 14 on top.  It has Android security patch for November 2023. Like the previous flagships, this also gets 3 years of Android OS updates and 4 years of security updates.

Funtouch OS 14 brings Smooth Experience, Visual Smoothness, Enhanced Multitasking, improved Personalization, including custom Kinetic wallpapers, custom lock screen clock style with three layout styles and eight font styles.

In collaboration with Google, the X Fold3 Pro integrates powerful AI tools utilizing the Gemini family of models on Google Cloud’s Vertex AI platform. The Al Note Assist streamlines organization and task management by improving note-taking. It automatically generates clear and concise layouts, extracts key information, and creates to-do lists.  There is Al Global Translation, and Al Transcript Assist features.

There are some useful features for the dual screen such as flex mode, smart screen shift, AOD desk calendar

Out of 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM, about 14.87GB is usable, out of which 9GB is free when the default apps are running in the background. There is additional 16GB RAM expansion feature. Out of 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage, 461GB is free out of the box.

Apart from the usual set of utility and Google apps, it comes preloaded with Facebook, Netflix, and Myntra. These apps can be uninstalled, but they come back after reset.

Since the phone has an IR blaster, it comes with a Smart Remote app. Apart from the usual set of utility and Google apps, it comes preloaded with a lot of apps such as Facebook, Spotify, PhonePe, Netflix, and Snapchat. These apps can be uninstalled, but they come back after reset.

Fingerprint sensor and Face unlock

The phone has 3D Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor both inside and outside which immediately unlocks the phone just by keeping your finger on the sensor. You can add up to 5 fingerprints. You can enroll it for either inside or outside, and it works for both.

There are different animation styles that display when you unlock, which you can disable. The phone also has face unlock that can unlock the phone in seconds, but it is not as secure as fingerprint.

Music and Multimedia

The default Music Player also has equalizer and DeepField sound effects. It doesn’t have FM Radio support. There is audio super resolution, and super audio features. Audio through the stereo speakers is crisp and loud. Audio through the headphones is good as well.

This has Widevine L1 so that you can play HD content on Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and other streaming apps. It also supports HDR playback on YouTube and Dolby Vision on Netflix in both the screens. Again, the inner screen aspect ratio is different so you will have to stretch to fit which crops the content.

Dual SIM and Connectivity

It has the usual set of connectivity features such as 5G with support for (n1/n2/n3/n5/n7/n8/n12/n20/n25/n26/n28/n38/n40/n41/n77/n78/n66) bands. There is also dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 7 802.11be (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 6 GHz), Bluetooth 5.4, GPS + GLONASS and NFC support. It also has USB OTG support. We did not face any call drops and the earpiece volume is good.

The vivo X Fold3 Pro’s body SAR is 0.918W/Kg and head SAR is at 0.983/Kg that are way under the limit in India which is 1.6 W/kg (over 1 g).

Performance and Benchmarks

This is the first foldable phone to launch in India with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 Mobile Platform. It has a new 1-5-2 microarchitecture that uses 1 x Kryo Prime CPU (Arm Cortex-X4 based) at up to 3.3GHz, 5 x Kryo Performance CPUs (3 x Arm Cortex-A720 at up to 3.2GHz and 3 x Arm Cortex-A720 based at up to 3GHz), 2x Kryo Efficiency CPUs (Arm Cortex-A520 based) at up to 2.3GHz.

It is fabricated using the TSMC 4nm Process Technology, same as Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.  It promises 30% performance improvements and 20% improved power efficiency. The phone has an innovative cooling system, despite the sleek design, says the company without giving a lot of details.

We did not face any issues or frame drops in the graphic-intensive games like COD, BGMI and Genshin Impact. If you play intensive games like Genshin Impact, it will heat up quickly, but with normal use it doesn’t get hot. In 3D Mark wild life stress test, it scored 57.8%, and the temperature shot up from 29 to 44 degrees, which is high.

As you can see, it is on the top of the benchmark charts, beating most phones.

Battery life

Coming to the battery life, the phone packs a 5700mAh (typical) battery, which is huge for a foldable phone. It uses Second-Generation Silicon anodes, Semi-Solid battery technology and a Micron Laser Array Etching process to boost discharge performance and increase its capacity of storage with ultra-fast charging.

I got close to 6 and half hours of screen on time with 2 days of  use, mostly on Wi-Fi, and occasional 5G use with Smart refresh rate when using outer screen mostly. SOT gets reduced to less than 5 and half hours with combined use.

Since the phone has support for 100W fast charging, it can charge up to 50% in about 15 minutes and up to 100% in about 30 minutes. You will have to enable fast charging option if you want to reduce the charging time, but the phone gets a bit hot. It also has wireless charging support, which can charge the phone up to 50% in about half an hour with the bundled wireless charger 2.0 that is sold separately.

Conclusion

At a price of Rs. 1,59,999, the vivo X Fold3 Pro is a perfect all-rounder for a foldable phone that ticks all the boxes including the battery life which is a major concern in foldable phones. There is also IPX8 ratings for water resistance, and there is also 50W wireless charging.

Wish the company could have offered 4K video recording for the front cameras as well, and hope this is added in an update like the vivo X100 Pro got it, since the SoC and the V3 chip should handle it. 3 years of OS updates is less for a flagship phone since the competitors offer OS updates for 4 years.

Pricing and availability

The vivo X Fold3 Pro is priced at Rs. 1,59,999 for the single 16GB + 512GB model. It is available from vivo India eStore, Amazon.in, Flipkart and offline stores.

Alternatives

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 is the direct competitor in the similar price range that offers a better software experience, but you will have to compromise on the battery and charging. However, the upcoming Z Fold6 should be better with a much wider outer screen and the latest SoC, but it is doubtful if Samsung will catch up on the battery and charging.

The OnePlus Open is also a good option, but it lacks wireless charging and IP ratings.

Pros

  • 120Hz LPTO OLED screens are brilliant
  • Sleek design for a foldable, Solid build
  • IPX8 ratings
  • Good cameras
  • Smooth performance
  • Excellent battery life with 100W fast charging, 50W wireless charging

Cons

  • No 4K video recording for the front camera
  • Only 3 years of OS updates


Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram
View all posts by Srivatsan Sridhar

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