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Vivo X50 Pro : Shaky hands welcome!

Like the stabiliser of a ship, the Vivo X50 Pro’s unique gimbal system adjusts the camera lens to compensate for shaky hands or an unsteady platform

By Anand Parthasarathy

August 18 2020:  Premium smart phones have taught us one thing. You can have the greatest combo of cameras on board. All it takes to mess up the resultant photos is a shaky hand operating it. At my age, I know shaky – so a camera which boasts of an on-board gimbal system to steady the lens, immediately grabs my attention.

The Vivo X50 Pro has built the gimbals into the main camera (of four) on the rear: a 48 MP f 1.6 lens. To really put this through its steadying paces, you need more than a nervous hand at the helm (pardon the nautical turn this is taking). You need to be shooting on a shaking, rolling boat out on the water, or trying to shoot from the pillion of a cross country bike, or (yes, I have to say it!) from a bullock cart.   Like those huge unseen stabilisers on cruise ships that make a choppy sea seem like a pond, the X50’s gimbals, literally move the main lens to compensate for the motion.

The rear combo also includes a 13 MP portrait lens, and 2 8 MP lenses for wide angle and macro. They can shoot 4K  30 fps video. but for my money, the night-time performance is what sold the device:  It records things that one can barely see in low or no light.  The zoom is great up to 5X which is the optical capacity. It can and does let you zoom digitally up to 60X which is great for reading the letter on a signboard half a km away but you pay a price by way of some blurring

The front camera is a fairly standard 32 MP but these days more than the pixels, it is the AI that offers all those image enhancing tools and the X50 Pro delivers here.

Why does this review sound like I am trying out a camera rather than a phone? Because, that is what separates the men from the boys, spec-wise that is. The Pro comes in an 8GB/ 256 GB combination for Rs 49,990 and 8GB/128 GB for Rs 34,990. Seeing that there is no way to add an SD card, you may like to play safe and go for the higher storage, if you shoot a lot at max resolution.

Vivo’s proprietary Fast Charge tech can be depended on to make short work of charging the 4315 mAH battery. The stock Android 10 is overlaid with Vivo’s FunTouch OS10.1.  I am not a great fan of trying to improve on Android, but Vivo’s enhancements are always more useful than distracting.

The 6.56-inch phone   weighs 182 grams   and sits snuggly in one hand. The front camera almost buries itself in a corner and I liked that the active screen area, curves smoothly into the sides. The WiFi is top class too with dual 2.4 and 5 GHz bands with MIMO and since I recently upgraded my home WiFI (work from home compulsions!), I could notice a palpable bump up in speed when I surfed on the X50 Pro, compared to my current phone.

A whisker short of Rs 50,000  is not exactly loose change; but if your purse can bear that, you can rest assured the Vivo  X50 Pro, lays all of it on features and tools that shout: money well spent! Plus you have the  satisfaction that you have a future -proof product: With a Qualcomm 765G under the hood this is a 5G-ready phone.

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