Vivo X51 5G review : a smartphone that seduces with its design and its cameras

Vivo X51 5G review – Vivo X51 5G After Huawei, Honor, OnePlus, Oppo, Xiaomi, Realme and TCL, here comes Vivo. If today it seems certain to us that the war being waged by Chinese manufacturers in Europe will not only lead to winners, the arrival of the world’s sixth seller on the market is necessarily intriguing. Especially since with its X51 5G, Vivo plays the image card. This device innovates on several aspects to show you what its manufacturer is capable of, while waiting for products more likely to attract the general public in 2021. Is this first show of force convincing? We adopted the Vivo X51 5G and its camera stabilized using a gimbal for a week.  

Vivo X51 5G A truly remarkable design

What better way to stand out from the competition than appearance? To seduce you, the Vivo X51 plays the card of narrowness. The 7.28 cm width of this mobile makes it one of the most pleasant large format devices on the market. Vivo has chosen to use a screen curved on the sides to achieve this result, which allows it to offer you a large display area (6.56 inches at 19.8: 9 ratio) in a fairly large size. compact in hand. Its format is almost identical to that of the excellent Oppo Reno 4 Pro , another smartphone whose design we had praised. The Vivo X51 5G is also lighter than average (184 grams) and rather thin (8.3 mm but its front and rear curvature reinforces the impression of finesse). In short, in terms of design, we are close to perfection. Too bad Vivo has chosen an almost rectangular camera module. It would have been necessary to round the edges a little more to make everything more modern.  

An average screen

Visually very attractive, is the Vivo X51 5G’s screen up to the task? OLED technology, Full HD + definition and a refresh rate of 90 Hz, the panel has been scrupulously analyzed by the laboratory. Unfortunately, this part of our test is not likely to be the one that goes the most to transcend you. The screen used by the X51 5G could not be more ordinary. Its brightness of 584 cd / m 2 is satisfactory without being breathtaking while its colorimetric fidelity is by default very disappointing (Delta E = 7.29) and, in “normal” mode just average (Delta E = 3.5). To sum up, we’d say Vivo offers a good screen but doesn’t really impress, especially at $ 799. We will have to hit harder to compete with the competition. Moreover, in some applications, the curved edges have sometimes caused some bugs (impossible to access a cursor on the left of the screen for example). This is an area where Vivo can improve.  

Autonomy, again, in the average

Under the bowels of the Vivo X51 5G, we find a battery of 4315 mAh, which is rather generous for a smartphone. However, the results of our autonomy measurements on this device are average. 2:30 p.m. at our versatile test, 11:30 a.m. in video streaming, 24 hrs 46 in communication, the Vivo X51 5G each time arrives, within a few minutes, at the level of other smartphones sold for more than $ 608. In use, we had to recharge it every evening in order to start the next day with serenity. We usually end our days around 30%. Regarding recharging, the Vivo X51 5G comes with a 33 W “FlashCharge” charger. This technology does not break records but still allows you to go from 0 to 100% autonomy in 60 minutes. You get half of your battery back in 22 minutes. This is satisfactory for once, even if, to our surprise, we find the smartphone quite slow when recharging with chargers from other manufacturers. Use the AC adapter provided in the box.  
A mid-range processor at $ 972 ?
When Vivo presented us with its X51 5G, we must admit that we did not understand why the Chinese manufacturer had opted for the Snapdragon 765G processor, from Qualcomm, rather than the Snapdragon 865. This mobile being intended to impress, why settle for a mid-range chip? In most cases, this processor is obviously not a problem. Everything is smooth on the X51 5G. However, especially in the Camera app , maybe a better chip would have avoided some slowdowns. We will talk about this later. The Snapdragon 765G nevertheless has the advantage of being 5G compatible (we can attest to this, the device has perfectly captured the SFR network during our tests) and has 256 GB of storage on board. Its fingerprint sensor under the screen is very fast and its stereo speakers deliver good sound quality. In short, in terms of equipment, Vivo is doing quite well.  
Four really useful cameras
In the world of smartphones, manufacturers have the annoying habit of multiplying the camera modules on the back of their devices in order to make you believe that the quantity is the only thing that matters. On the back of the Vivo, there are four cameras. Once is not customary, all are useful. The Chinese brand plays ultra-versatility and has assigned each of its back modules a specific function. This is great news for consumers, hoping Vivo will continue this momentum in 2021. Thus, we find on the back of the Vivo X51 5G a main sensor of 48 Mpix connected to a lens opening at f / 1.6. The latter is attached to a gimbal which we will tell you about in a few moments. Complete it with an ultra wide-angle attached to an 8 Mpix sensor (f / 2.2), a telephoto lens with x2 zoom (13 Mpix sensor) and a x5 periscope zoom (8 Mpix). Difficult to do more complete. The photos taken with the Vivo X51 5G are all pretty convincing, you should be able to post them on social media or put them in your family albums without too much difficulty. The device might not beat Huawei or Samsung on quality but is doing very well. On the other hand, we have experienced some delays. We notice for example that some photographed subjects appear in motion, which should not normally be the case. These problems remind us of those that OnePlus has suffered for a long time. To see if Vivo will be able to eliminate them with a better processor On the other hand, we are pleasantly surprised by the other sensors of the Vivo X51 5G. The ultra-wide-angle offers a wide field of view even without recoil (that’s more than most smartphones available on the market) and the two zoom levels really make it possible to take great photos from a lot of distance. We can’t wait to include future Vivo products in our usual ranking of the best smartphones in photos .  

Video: is the gimbal a revolution?

Let’s talk about the main sensor of the X51 5G, the one Vivo nicknamed on its site “Big Eye”. It must be said that it suits him perfectly. Compared to other smartphone cameras, this sensor looks like a Cyclops eye. There is a reason for that, the latter is attached to an impressive device which allows him to… move. You read that right, the X51 5G’s camera can move around on its own. This allows it to enjoy better stabilization than other smartphones, at least in theory. In fact, the Vivo X51 5G’s gimbal is a real technological innovation. Contained in a 363 mm2 module with a thickness of 5 mm, the latter replicates the operation of stabilizers like the DJI Osmo, without third-party accessories. Vivo says this allows its user to tilt the device up to three degrees without seeing any change on the screen, with sensor movements automatically compensating for it. Smartphones equipped with an optical stabilizer (OIS) are usually capable of going up to a degree. In use, we must admit that we are divided. The difference between the Vivo and other smartphones is felt, but is it nice? If the Vivo X51 5G’s camera shakes less than that of an iPhone 12 Pro Max (mechanical stabilization), the rendering of the Apple smartphone often seems more faithful to reality. Especially during big movements where the Vivo seems to compensate too much while the Apple smartphone, like most of its high-end rivals, does not try to lie to you about what really happened. In short, this technology does not really revolutionize mobile video but should satisfy some, especially athletes. Still salute Vivo’s prowess. The existence of this sensor is a miracle.  

Perfectible but encouraging software

Finally, let’s talk about a point that is close to our hearts: software. In the past, We had already had the opportunity to test the brand’s smartphones, such as the Nex . Each time, we explained to you that wanting to copy Apple too much, Vivo was making fun of himself. His smartphones were horrible to use and really didn’t inspire our confidence. Good news, Vivo got the message. In Europe, Vivo is wise. Rather than trying to impose its FunTouch overlay modeled on iOS, suffer criticism and change its strategy, the Chinese manufacturer decided to create a software interface specifically adapted to our market from the start. Also called FunTouch (which makes no sense), the latter uses the codes of pure Google Android, the one used by the Pixels. It’s hard to get away from it all, the Vivo X51 5G is very easy to use. It doesn’t look like a “Chinese smartphone” at all. We even find the new menus of Android 11 by holding down the lock button for a few seconds. However, all is not perfect. On rare occasions, we have discovered some translation errors or stupidly abbreviated words, which makes it difficult to decipher them. Some functions are also missing, such as being able to simultaneously move several icons to store your home screen. Finally, more anecdotally, a software called iManager is preinstalled on this device and does not make much sense. Why did you design such a clean experience and offer only one software from the original overlay? He reminds us in passing that Vivo usually copies Apple. It’s a shame, it lowers the quality of his message.

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