• Established in France for four years, the Vivo brand launches its X90 Pro, a premium smartphone sold for more than 1,000 euros.
  • Bold, the terminal claims to be able to get in the ring with Apple's iPhone 14 Plus, Samsung's Galaxy S23+, or Xiaomi's 13 Pro.
  • If the copy is not perfect, the X90 Pro does not have to blush, because its arguments to seduce are numerous.

The moment of truth? Very strong on the sale of entry-level smartphones in mass distribution in France, the Chinese manufacturer Vivo has not yet managed to make a name for itself on that of premium 5G terminals, despite the beautiful attempt of the X80 Pro in mid-2022.

Its successor, the Vivo X90 Pro, wants to challenge the new Xiaomi 13 Pro, the Samsung Galaxy S23 +, the iPhone 14 Plus or the Oppo Find X5 Pro. Either smartphones at more than 1,000 euros. Beautiful audacity! The technical sheet of the X90 Pro would try to prove that Vivo has arguments to convince. 20 Minutes checked it.

Screen and audio quality in unison

From the outset, it stands out. Sporting a vegan leather dress, reminiscent of Marshall speakers, the Vivo X90Pro is also noted for its imposing rear photo block (protected by resistant Gorilla Glass 6). Quite light in its category (215 g), the device has the merit of originality, with neat finishes.

The slightly curved 6.78-inch display of the X90 Pro displays everything one would expect from such a smartphone. Amoled and HDR10 + compatible, its panel offers good definition (2,800 x 1,260 pixels), with an optimal refresh rate of 120 Hz. Ideal for gaming, the X90Pro is just as ideal for video streaming. We took advantage of our test to swallow some episodes of season 4 of The Sinner, on Netflix. A treat (as much as viewing on a 6.78-inch screen can be).

Finesse and strong contrasts invite themselves to the show with, in addition, two stereo speakers that do a remarkable job, even at high volume. Note that there is no mini-jack jack on the X90 Pro. This is a constant on high-end smartphones for which manufacturers probably consider that at this price, we are necessarily equipped with Bluetooth headphones or headphones ... Most entry-level or mid-range smartphones still have one...

Photo: hardware and software hand in hand

But like its rivals, Vivo wants to talk to us about photography. "The X90 Pro is an image product that will allow us to establish our legitimacy on the photo part," Vivo confirmed to 20 Minutes. For the fourth time in its history, the manufacturer has therefore joined forces with Carl Zeiss, the German manufacturer, who equipped the X90 Pro with its optics. Both have mostly focused on the smartphone's 50-megapixel main sensor.

In one-inch format (as on the Xiaomi 13 Pro or Sony Xperia Pro-I), it is topped with eight lenses, including one glass, covered with the Zeiss T coating (found on Zeiss camera lenses). On arrival, the promise of more light captured (+24%, according to Vivo), but also a reflectivity down by nearly 43%. Goodbye to stray lights, like halos, which often come to rot our images.

To complete the artillery: a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor (f/2.0) and a 50-megapixel Portrait sensor with optical zoom x2, which has the particularity of being very bright (f/1.6).

The quality of the photos taken by the X90 Pro is excellent. Not content with offering a first-rate hardware configuration, its manufacturer has also dedicated a specific chip to image processing (named V2). It claims power, deep learning engine and artificial intelligence. Vivo has thus stuffed her with "typical" images so that she optimizes her work according to situations, such as night photography or portraiture. The very bright colors of the shots can be bypassed using the Zeiss filter, which is quicker to restore natural colors.

A x2 zoom that is a stain

Small drawbacks: we expected a little better photos in low light made with a one-inch sensor, supposed unbeatable on the night photo (but they remain very honorable). For its part, the Macro photo mode proved to be very uncertain in its results, some images taken being very successful, others less so.

Above all, it is a shame that Vivo has here abandoned the periscope zoom of its X80 Pro. Faced with the optical zooms at least x3 of its competitors, that (x2) of the X90 Pro (x40 in digital) plays the small arms. A real shortcoming. Finally, Vivo claims that its smartphone can perform astro photography (Super Moon mode) freehand. The bad weather conditions during our tests did not allow us to verify this.

Selfies that rejuvenate

For their part, selfies in 32 megapixels are flawless. To have fun and maintain your reputation on social networks, Vivo also offers a range of Zeiss filters, but also a battery of beauty filters that we could not help but test. Result: twenty years younger on the clock, the X90 Pro has offered us a serious facelift! Definitely, we like it, this smartphone ...

The autonomy of the X90 Pro is correct, nothing more. With a capacity of 4,870 mAh (where its rivals display 5,000 mAh), the smartphone will not exceed a big day of use. But like Xiaomi and Oppo, it has the good idea to include in its box a fast charger of 120 W. Enough to fill up in less than 30 minutes. The terminal is also compatible with 50W wireless fast charging.

In search of recognition

Launched at 1,199 euros in 256 GB, the X90 Pro is certainly a good smartphone, even if some points remain perfect. Thanks to him, there is no doubt that the name of Vivo will spread more and more. But even if you have to choose, many will still prefer the iPhone 14 Plus (1,169 euros in 128 GB and 1,299 euros in 256 GB) for a question of status. Even, the Samsung Galaxy S23 + (1,219 euros in 256 GB) for its flawless quality.

So, no wonder we already find the X90 Pro at 1,099 euros (with discounts) at Darty and Fnac (for members). Because, even if Vivo's reputation is good with users of its smartphones, the brand established in France for four years still lacks real status in the eyes of the greatest number. And it is only through performances at least equal to those of its rivals, but also lower prices, that it will gradually manage to assert itself as essential.

  • Tech
  • Smartphone
  • Apple
  • Samsung
  • Xiaomi
  • Oppo