vivo X90 Pro review

GSMArena Team, 16 February 2023.

Design, build quality, handling

This year vivo has adopted circular camera housing, which combined with the vegan leather back gives the X90 Pro a recognizable design and the premium feel that's usual for the flagship class.

vivo X90 Pro reviewVivo X80 Pro and vivo X90 Pro

The vivo X90 Pro has slightly curved front and rear panels, and a thin metal frame with a barely noticeable curvature, too. The phone is IP68-rated for dust and water resistance, a protection that has been atypical for Chinese phones until recently.

There is no information on the screen glass, though it is probably a Schott Xensation Up sheet, just like on the vivo X70 and X80 series.

vivo X90 Pro review

The rear panel, on the other hand, is made of plastic and covered with vegan leather. That's a departure from the glass and ceramic backs we've seen on the older models, but we do appreciate the change as it makes for an outstanding grip, something that's crucial for a cameraphone of such a caliber.

The aluminum frame is quite thin around the longer sides and nearly flat across the short ones. The overall weight is not well balanced because of the huge camera, and that's the reason why the X90 Pro cannot stand on its own (not that it needed to do so).

vivo X90 Pro review

The vivo X90 Pro is available only with a vegan leather back panel, and the global model has only one color option - the Legendary Black we have here. There is also a Red version in existence, but it's exclusive to China.

The vivo X90 Pro reminds us of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra because of its signature camera housing, plus it uses the same 1" camera sensor for the main camera. The Zeiss logo on the vivo is an easy tell, though, as Xiaomi has partnered with Leica for its most current flagships.

vivo X90 Pro review Xiaomi 12S Ultra next to the vivo X90 Pro

Let's take a closer look at the vivo X90 Pro now.

The 6.78-inch display occupies most of the front, and a slightly curved glass panel covers it. This year vivo has used 1260p OLED panel instead of 1440p one, though it still supports the most important quirks like 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ certification, and 10-bit color depth.

vivo X90 Pro review

There is a small perforation centered at the top - that's where you can spot the 32MP selfie camera.

vivo X90 Pro review

There are two things you won't see right away at the front - the earpiece/speaker outlet and the fingerprint scanner.

The vivo X90 Pro features two speakers, and one of them is front-facing, placed above the display. There is no visible grille, just a barely noticeable outlet. The second one sits at the bottom behind a rather large, dotted grille.

vivo X90 Pro review

The X90 Pro has an optical fingerprint scanner behind its display, and it works like a charm - fast and reliable.

vivo X90 Pro review

There isn't much to see across the sides - the IR sensor and one of the mics are at the top.

vivo X90 Pro review

We've already discussed the second speaker at the bottom, but it's not alone. Here you can also see the SIM slot, the primary microphone and the USB-C port.

vivo X90 Pro review

The left side of the vivo X90 Pro has no controls, while the right one accommodates the volume and power/lock keys.

vivo X90 Pro review

The back of the X90 Pro is quite busy. The round camera housing is huge and thick, and it envelops the 50MP primary, the 50MP telephoto, and the 12MP ultrawide cameras, as well as the laser emitter and receiver for the autofocus assistance. There is a third microphone in here.

Outside the camera bump, you can see the dual-LED flash, the Zeiss logo and a bunch of marketing inscriptions.

vivo X90 Pro review

There is a metal band below the camera that goes from one side of the frame to the other and looks a lot like an important baring piece of the whole chassis (it may as well be). It is as glossy as the frame and painted in the same color.

The vivo X90 Pro measures 164.1 x 74.5 x 9.3 mm and weighs 215g, in line with most smartphones of its size, especially cameraphones. It doesn't wobble when used without a case because its camera housing is huge.

vivo X90 Pro review

The X90 Pro offers a good grip - it has a grippy back that is fingerprint and smudge resistant. But the grip is compromised by the thin, curved and glossy frame, and that's probably the only imperfection we found when using the phone for a week. If you want a more secure grip, you can use the bundled case.

Reader comments

  • Schlunggi
  • 18 Sep 2023
  • JJ3

you mean other than charging batshit insane prices and always performing worse than the competition despite having the same, or better hardware. sony is overpriced and not that good, just deal with it.

  • random
  • 11 Jul 2023
  • pkx

You know, I can buy vivo x90 pro from AliExpress twice or trice cheaper than Xperia 1 V. Sony is great and I really want to have one, but the ratio of price and performance are on the vivo's side.

With this spec... it should have less points (4.5) then Xperia 1 V (much better choice) has. It's unbelievable People (mostly) just hate Sony for no reason