Following the likes of Samsung, Huawei (and Honor), Motorola, Xiaomi and Oppo, we have a new contender in the foldable smartphone market. As reported by Engadget Chinese Earlier today, the Vivo X Fold is the first of its kind to pack not only Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, but also an under-display fingerprint reader — the ultrasonic kind — on both its main and external screens. Sadly, this device is only available in China for now.
Much like the Huawei Mate X2 and the Oppo Find N, the X Fold also adopted a water-drop flexion hinge design to achieve a gapless fold while minimizing its foldable AMOLED panel’s seam. But Vivo took things one step further: when opened, a zirconium alloy floating middle plate rises up to gently push against the flexible panel, thus smoothing out the remaining seam. While this sounds impressive, we’ll have to see it in person to believe it.
According to TÜV Rheinland, Vivo’s X Fold can survive over 300,000 folds — 100,000 more than Oppo Find N’s certification. Assuming an average user would open and close a foldable phone 80 times a day, the X Fold should be good for around 10 years of daily usage. That is, of course, assuming you can tolerate the 311g weight for that long; Samsung and Huawei’s latest large-size foldables only weigh 271g and 295g, respectively.
For a foldable phone, the Vivo X Fold packs a surprisingly powerful set of cameras. For one, this is only the second foldable phone to carry a periscopic zoom camera (8MP, 5x optical zoom, optical stabilization), after Huawei’s Mate X2. The X Fold also comes with a 50MP main camera (Samsung GN5 sensor, f/1.75, optical stability), a 48MP ultra-wide camera (Sony IMX598, f/2.2, 114-degree field of view, low distortion) and a 12MP portrait camera (IMX663, f/1.98, 47mm equivalent focal length). And yes, you get Zeiss T* coating here for its anti-glare properties. It’s a similar setup to the X70 Pro+, except for the lack of micro-gimbal and missing optical stability on two of the cameras.
In terms of screen aspect ratio, Vivo has gone for a wider design than the Galaxy Z Fold 3. The external screen is a 6.53-inch 2,520 x 1,080 (21:9) panel, while the main screen features an 8-inch 2,160 x 1,916 (4:3.55) panel. Both are of Samsung E5 AMOLED nature and support up to 120Hz refresh rate, but only the bigger panel features adaptive refresh rate to further save power. These screens also pack their own 16MP f/2.45 selfie camera, though you can always open the phone and toggle the “rear selfie” mode to leverage the more powerful cameras instead.
Like its competitors, some of the X Fold’s built-in apps — tucked inside the Android 12-based OriginOS Ocean — take advantage of the foldable form factor. For example, the camera app offers a kickstand mode which is handy for time lapse videos and low-angle shots. You can also use the device like a laptop with the built-in Notes app, and likewise with third party Chinese apps like QQ for video calls and Youku for video streaming. Hopefully Vivo will extend these benefits to western apps ahead of a possible international launch.
There’s still a list of features worthy of mentioning. The 4,600mAh dual-cell battery supports 66W wired charging and 50W wireless charging, along with 10W reverse charging to help your friends in need. In fact, the X Fold comes with an 80W USB-PD GaN charger with two USB-C ports, so you can charge your laptop with it as well.
The phone itself also packs a CS43131 Hi-Fi chip, three microphones, stereo speakers, a barometer, various heat dissipation features and an infrared port — a common feature on Chinese phones for controlling your home appliances. And for the first time, Vivo decided to add a physical silent mode slider, which is otherwise only seen on Apple and OnePlus devices these days.
The Vivo X Play is already available for pre-ordering in China, with the 12GB RAM with 256GB storage version asking for 8,999 yuan (around $1,410), and the higher-end version with twice the storage going for 9,999 yuan ($1,570). You can pick either blue or gray, both wrapped with vegan leather on the back.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.