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Vivo X90 First Look – Focus on Photography Indeed

thecekodok

 


I can't remember the last time I reviewed a Vivo device. Maybe during the time of media only had three staff members and the task of commenting was done by me alone. Lately I've been trying to get back to my original nature and review devices from smaller brands like Realme, and Wiko. What I realized is that brands that used to be considered third-class with fifth-class performance have changed a lot.



Vivo true to its name now has a new life as a manufacturer of devices with good performance and photographic capabilities that do not disappoint. Last year we named Vivo X80 Pro as third best flagship device behind Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 and Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max.


So I am really looking forward to the launch of the X90 at the global level because it is proven that Vivo has the ability to compete with other manufacturers. This is my first look at the Vivo X90 after using it for a week.


Specifications

Vivo X90

6.78″ AMOLED screen

1260 x 2800 pixels

HDR10+

Mediatek Dimensity 9200 processor (4nm)

1 X 3.05 GHz Cortex X2 chip

3 X 2.5 GHz Cortex A710

4 X 1.8 GHz Cortex A510

Arm Immortalis-G715 Graphics Chip

RAM 8/12 Gigabytes

Internal Storage 128 GB UFS 3.1

256/512 GB UFS 4.0

Primary Camera 50 MP, f/1.8, OIS (Wide Angle)

12 MP, f/2.0 (Ultra Wide Angle)

12 MP, f/2.0 (Telephoto) 2x Optical Zoom

4K 60p

Front Camera 32 Megapixel f/2.5

4K 30p

4810 mAh battery

120W wired charging

SIM/Telephony Dual SIM Nano /5G

NFC Yes

Infrared Yes

Waterproof IP65

Fingerprint Scan System under the screen

Sale Price Starts at RM2374*


*From Chinese Yuan

Screen

6.78″ AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate support. The screen is quite large which makes it good as a media player but is a little distracting because there are two curves on the sides of the screen. Vivo still offers devices with this design because it makes it look premium but I personally now prefer the more practical flat screen design. Supported HDR content is HDR10 and HDR10+.


We managed to watch HDR content from YouTube and Netflix without issue so far. Because this is a high refresh rate AMOLED panel, all content is clear even under the scorching sun and the color display is vivid.



The bezels on all four corners are also thin in keeping with the X90's status as a flagship device. There is still a small camera hole in the front. Due to the relatively large size of the screen, it is a little difficult for me to access the entire screen, especially if using the 3-button navigation system.


An optical fingerprint scanner is also placed below the screen. Its position too far down makes it again a bit difficult to scan the thumb when the X90 is held in one hand. This is a bit of a disappointment as I'm used to the higher sensor location on previously reviewed Samsung, Oppo, Realme and OnePlus devices.



Design

The basic design of the X90 is still the same as the X80 where the main tri-camera system is placed in a large round shaped hump. Missing this year is the black secondary square hump. The round hump of the camera is placed directly on the back panel of the device which is made of metal.


This metallic finish is not shiny and does not trap dirt easily. There is a prominent Zeiss logo on the back and a metal strip with the Xtreme Imagination slogan. For those who are not familiar with the Vivo X series, it focuses on photography capabilities compared to other models offered by them.



The hump of the camera was quite large making the device unstable when placed on a table surface. A silicone frame is given with every X90 purchase in Malaysia which solves this issue. When the frame is installed, the relatively exposed side of the screen that I mentioned a few paragraphs above is also protected from shock if the device is dropped.


On the right side there is an elongated audio adjustment button and a relatively small power button. Both are made of metal material which is not only comfortable to press but also sturdy making the device feel premium.



The infrared emitter for the remote control is placed on top while the USB-C charging jack below is sandwiched by the audio grille and SIM tray. Dual SIM nano 5G can be used simultaneously on Vivo X90. Currently no eSIM support is provided. Also missing is support for adding storage using a micro SD card.


No 3.5mm audio jack is provided but stereo speakers on this device are not present with Dolby Atmos audio system which is usually provided by default on Android devices.


A metal frame surrounds the body of the X90 which makes the build sturdy. The device is not easily bent even when a strong force is applied. Overall the X90 has a solid build, feels premium and comfortable in the hand. It even passes the IP64 standard. This is not the highest standard of IP68 but it is better than nothing at all.


Interface And User Experience

The Funtouch OS 13 operating system based on Android 13 is used with it similar to the original Android launcher. This is certainly to be expected as Google is tightening the amount of interface customization that manufacturers can use if they want to continue using GMS. News for Android users who are used to the standard interface. With Android 13 comes the customization of automatically matching the color of interface elements with the background and also a more diverse selection of widgets.


As I have published in several previous reviews, Android 13 does not bring sudden interface changes. If you've previously used Android 13, the Funtouch OS 13 interface won't surprise or confuse you.



Vivo still offers some additional applications such as the V-Appstore store that allows applications to be downloaded outside of the Play Store. Very useful if you want to use Antutu 3D which has been banned. The iManager application is a local center to see the health level of the device system. The process of optimizing RAM and cleaning storage can be done directly from within this application.



It's not all good because Vivo includes several Booking.com, Agoda, Viu and Shopee apps built-in. We are less fond of the existence of fat applications. 256GB of storage on this device seems like a lot but with the app sizes getting bigger, it would be better if there were no fat apps at all. Fortunately the app can be uninstalled by the user.


There is a feature to add RAM up to 8GB virtually if needed. On the reviewed device, the amount of RAM that can be used is up to 20GB if necessary. I have to admit I don't use this feature very much because 12GB is enough RAM size for 99% of situations.



The experience of using Vivo X90 with Funtouch OS 13 is very smooth. No stuck issues or apps can't run. With a 120Hz screen everything feels as smooth as butter on the table of a roadside burger joint. This is just a short-term use of the X90 so far. In the full review later I will try to state if there is a situation where the device fails to operate properly.


The only issue we've noticed so far is not being able to download the Netflix app from the Play Store because official support for the MediaTek Dimensity 9200 chip hasn't been given. The application needs to be sideloaded but can work without issue including watching at HD and HDR resolutions. There is also no heating issue after a moderately long video game session. Dimensity's reputation for cool chips continues on the X90.


Bench mark

Here are some scores recorded by the Vivo X90 with Dimensity 9200 when popular benchmark tests were performed. This chip is in the same class as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. This is a comparison of the benchmark scores of the X90 compared to the iQOO 11 5G (Snapdragon 8 Gen 2) and the iPhone 14 Pro Max (Apple A16 Bionic).


Geekbench 5


Vivo X90 – 1372/4192

iQOO 11 5G – 1457/4702

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max – 1875/5469

Antutu 3D


Vivo X90 – 1,147,029

iQOO 11 5G – 1,248,937

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max – 974,941

3D Mark Wildlife Extreme


Vivo X90 – 3176

iQOO 11 5G – 3763

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max – 3373


Camera

The main camera 50MP Sony IMX866 wide-angle OIS, 12MP ultra-wide-angle and 12MP telephoto that supports 2x optical zoom are placed on the back. The front camera is 32MP. Zeiss lenses are used on the main and front cameras. Also included is the Vivo V2 ISP chip to process every picture taken.



The camera application is easy to understand with various interesting additional features such as dedicated modes for architecture and landscape, Astro, Long Exposure, Double Exposure and Supermoon. Custom color modes by Zeiss are also accessible. Here are some sample photos that have been taken so far.









What's In The Box

Here is what was included in the box we received.


1x Vivo X90

1x Translucent silicone frame.

1x 120W three-pin charger.

1x USB-C to USB-C charging cable.

1x SIM Pin.

1x Manual.

Conclusion

It is too early to give a final verdict on whether the X90 can match the capabilities of last year's X80 Pro. All we can say is that the design is beautiful, the specs are solid, the camera is amazing and the battery performance so far has been very satisfactory. The camera capabilities even on this non-Pro model also go beyond what was expected at the initial stage.


Vivo Malaysia has not announced when the X90 will be launched in Malaysia officially. The pre-priced units we receive are only loaned for a short period. If the sales price is comparable to last year, the Vivo X90 will be a dream device for 2023.


Pro


Fast and bright 120Hz AMOLED screen.

The Dimensity 9200 is a fast benchmark processor.

Support 120W charging.

Camera system with Zeiss lenses.

IP64 waterproof.

Cons


The screen is curved on the sides.

The fingerprint scanner is too far down.

No wireless charging support.

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