vivo X Fold hands-on review

Sagar, 30 October 2022

vivo hosted its first-ever Tech Day event in India recently at the National Stadium, New Delhi, where it talked about 5G, its collaboration with ZEISS for the X80 series, and the V1+ imaging chip. The company also showcased pattern-creating and dual-color changing design technologies that haven't been launched in the market yet. While not quite new, one of the devices at the vivo Tech Day was the vivo X Fold, which was unveiled in April and is still only available in China. We had the chance to attend the event and spend some time with the vivo X Fold, so here are some impressions of vivo's first foldable smartphone, which design-wise, is identical to the China-exclusive vivo X Fold+ launched last month.

vivo X Fold hands-on

The vivo X Fold packs two screens - a 6.53" cover display of 2,520x1,080-pixel resolution and a foldable display of 2,160x1,916-pixel resolution that measures 8.03" diagonally and is surrounded by plasticky bezels. Both are 120Hz AMOLED panels, but the cover display can only switch between 60Hz and 120Hz refresh rates, while the folding screen can adjust the refresh rate between 1Hz and 120Hz since it's the LTPO type.

vivo X Fold hands-on

The X Fold's outer display has a centered punch hole for the 16MP selfie camera, and you'll find one more when you unfold the smartphone. While the selfie shooter on the inside isn't the under-display type like the one we've seen on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4, what we get with the X Fold are 3D in-display ultrasonic fingerprint scanners on each of its screens, making it the first folding smartphone to have a UD fingerprint reader since even the Fold4 comes with a side-mounted sensor. We like vivo's solution better since it's more convenient for unlocking the smartphone.

vivo X Fold hands-on

Turning the X Fold around, you get a leatherette-covered rear panel regardless of whether you are holding the blue color model or the black version, except that the latter has a vertical stripe running across the length with the vivo branding on it. The blue version definitely looks cool, but those who want a stealthy, formal look can go with the black model.

vivo X Fold has two color options vivo X Fold has two color options

The leatherette makes the vivo X Fold feel premium and nice to hold, and its finish is very similar to the protective case that comes bundled with the vivo X80 Pro. And based on our experience with using the X80 Pro with the case since its launch in April, we are sure the X Fold's leatherette-covered panel will help with the grip and won't attract any fingerprint smudges.

vivo X Fold hands-on

The vivo X Fold's back panel sports a quad camera system comprising 50MP primary (with OIS), 48MP ultrawide, 12MP telephoto, and 8MP periscope (with OIS) units. It's housed inside a rectangular camera island spanning the smartphone's width and comes with ZEISS branding and T* coating. The island's design is reminiscent of the vivo X80 Pro.

While the back panel is resistant to fingerprints, the same cannot be said for the camera island, which was quick to smudge. It isn't really a deal-breaker, but we'd like vivo to address this with its future smartphones.

vivo X Fold's camera island is reminiscent of X80 Pro's vivo X Fold's camera island is a fingerprint magnet
vivo X Fold's camera island is reminiscent of X80 Pro's, and it is a fingerprint magnet

One of the biggest highlights of the vivo X Fold is its folding screen, which vivo says has an "undetectable crease" achieved together with UTG (ultra-thin glass) and a custom-made Aerospace-Grade unibody hinge made of six aerospace-grade materials.

vivo X Fold's hinge vivo X Fold's hinge

The phone maker also claims that the X Fold was opened and closed (folded-unfolded) 300,000 times, and even after that, the crease's depth and width remained within the acceptable range to offer a great user experience, thus earning it TUV Rheinland's "Reliable Folding" certification.

vivo X Fold hands-on

While all that sounds great, how does the vivo X Fold's crease look in reality? Well, you can feel the crease when using the smartphone, but you get used to it quickly since it is barely noticeable when viewing content.

vivo X Fold hands-on

The hinge also felt nice and solid since it managed to keep the folding screen open at different angles, making it easier for the users to record videos, take photos, make video calls, and maybe even use the smartphone as a miniature laptop if they feel adventurous.

vivo X Fold partly unfolded vivo X Fold fully unfolded
vivo X Fold partly unfolded • vivo X Fold fully unfolded

What's also noteworthy about the vivo X Fold's hinge is that there's no gap when the smartphone is closed - that's very impressive for a first-gen foldable smartphone. This is nicely complemented by the satisfying sound made when the phone is closed, which is also confidence-inspiring.

vivo X Fold has no gap when it is closed vivo X Fold has no gap when it is closed

The overall build of the vivo X Fold is nice. It has a metal frame with antenna lines on all sides. The power button and volume rocker are placed on the right side, and on the left is the alert slider.

vivo X Fold comes with an alert slider vivo X Fold comes with an alert slider

At the bottom is the USB-C port with the SIM card slot, microphone, and speaker grille. And up top is another speaker with an IR blaster and a secondary microphone.

vivo X Fold features a USB-C port, two speakers, and an IR blaster vivo X Fold features a USB-C port, two speakers, and an IR blaster
vivo X Fold features a USB-C port, two speakers, and an IR blaster

Overall, we really liked the vivo X Fold's design, and it's safe to say that the Fold+ isn't any different design-wise since it's literally the X Fold with a different chipset, bigger battery (yet same dimensions and weight), faster charging, and a third color option - red. You can check the vivo X Fold and X Fold Plus' detailed specs comparison here.

The vivo X Fold units showcased at the Tech Day event ran Android 12-based OriginOS Ocean. That was expected since the X Fold is China-exclusive, and vivo smartphones in China run OriginOS instead of FuntouchOS we get on the global models.

vivo X Fold hands-on

It's unclear if vivo will launch the X Fold or the X Fold+ outside China, but vivo officials told me that the brand doesn't have plans to launch any foldable smartphone in India for some time. That's a bit of a bummer since vivo did a really good job with the screen crease for its first foldable smartphone, and it would be great to have some alternatives to Samsung's foldables from the BBK group in India and other markets. Here's hoping we'll see BBK brands launch their foldable smartphones outside China soon.


Reader comments

  • ET
  • 01 Mar 2023
  • EqZ

how do mind to share how u manage to install android auto in Vivo X Fold. i couldn't install it

  • Jason
  • 30 Nov 2022
  • xhm

Before you try Vivo X Fold+ don't say android auto is not working, been using Vivo X Fold+ in OriginOs3 android 13 now for 2 months no issue with installing playstore,android auto,etc without root. Yes i am ex samsung user from note 3-note10+, j...

  • Anonymous
  • 02 Nov 2022
  • k@B

exactly i was like it literally has gap though, heck even the bottom actually has a gap as well but on the opposite side on the end where it opens vs at the top it's by the hinge, it's like it's built slightly twisted

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