Vivo has launched its new X90 series smartphones as part of its continued partnership with Zeiss in a bid to compete against the best mobile photography brands available.
There are two devices, the X90 and X90 Pro, featuring a “co-engineered camera imaging system” from Vivo and Zeiss, clarifying the two are tightening their collaboration even further. Unlike previous models where Zeiss’ presence was more subtle, it put its stamp on new updates and features in the X90 series.
What Vivo describes as “pro photography in pocket,” the X90 Pro will be the fully loaded of the two in the series, including a Type-1 image sensor for the main camera.
(Type) One Purpose
The X90 Pro is the latest phone to get a Type-1 sensor, though Vivo prefers to call it a “one-inch sensor” which could be misleading for a few reasons. Either way, the Sony IMX989 in the 50-megapixel wide camera is the key to the system at play here, using pixel binning to shoot at 12.5-megapixels with 3.2mm, helped further by an f/1.75 aperture and 77% photosensitive area. Vivo and Zeiss both claim these specs, coupled with optical image stabilization and upgraded software, will improve the night algorithm. That should not only result in better photos in all conditions, but particularly make them look nicer in low-light settings.
It also means new modes like a handheld Astro mode to capture starry skies without a tripod. Zeiss’ Cine-Flare Portrait will be a new option within the camera’s Portrait mode to simulate the flare effects from more professional shots.
Zeiss also helped to develop a Miniature Effect mode that captures anything to look like miniature scenes. Other phones have offered that for years, only the two partners claim this one will produce better shots in a wider variety of settings, including night and low-light. We’ll wait to see about that in the review coming up at PetaPixel.
The low-light algorithm extends to Vivo’s 4K ultra-sensing night video results, suggesting the X90 Pro, in particular, will shoot better quality video in varying conditions. Other software, like Zero-Shutter-Lag Motion Snapshot combines a high-speed shutter and motion detection to focus and capture people or objects in motion.
Hardware and Software
Vivo’s V2 chip remains one of the primary drivers under the hood, now with AI-ISP architecture to boost imaging processing capacity without killing battery life. The customized chip works with the MediaTek Dimensity 9200 processor to improve how the camera works, while also positioning the X90 series as legitimate mobile gaming devices.
There is Zeiss T* coating across all the lenses on both models. VCS, or Vivo Camera-Bionic Spectrum, captures RGB information and presents it closer to what human eyes see. It forms the basis for the 50-megapixel VCS True Color camera in the X90, which is a custom 1/1.49-inch IMX866 image sensor with f/1.75 aperture. There’s an interesting feature within the Gallery app to add privacy to photos before sharing them by removing the EXIF data. That way, anyone receiving the image wouldn’t have any data on location, phone model or other parameters.
Vivo opted to give the X90 Pro a 50-megapixel Type-1/2.5 IMX758 image sensor for the “professional portrait” lens (50mm equivalent) with f/1.6 aperture, along with a 12-megapixel ultra-wide (16mm equivalent) with 108-degree field of view that is the same for both phones. The one other difference is the portrait lens on the X90 is a Type-1/2.93 IMX663 image sensor with a narrower f/1.98 aperture. The 32-megapixel front camera remains mostly unchanged from the X80 series.
Screen sizes stay the same as before — both phones have the same 6.78-inch AMOLED (2800 x 1260) display. Memory and storage options don’t differ much, either. Although there won’t be a North American charger in any box these phones ship in, Vivo significantly boosted charge times, claiming either phone can go from zero to 50% in just eight minutes. Keep it plugged in for 25 minutes and you get to 100%.
Vivo will sell the X90 Pro in black with wider availability across different markets, while the X90 will come in blue in select markets. They’re both available as of February 3.