Amateur Photographer verdict

The X100 Pro has an exceptional set of rear cameras. If the Vivo X100 Pro had a selfie camera with auto-focus, this would be the perfect camera phone
  • Amazing telephoto close-up performance
  • Impressive main camera
  • Array of Zeiss shooting features
  • Great battery life
  • Limited availability, not available worldwide
  • Selfie camera is fixed focus
  • Colours can be a bit over the top

The Vivo X100 Pro is Vivo’s flagship camera phone, with a massive emphasis on the cameras in this phone, made in collaboration with Zeiss. This is already looking like one of the best smartphones for photography, but how does it perform, and are there any weaknesses? 

Vivo X100 Pro. Photo Joshua Waller / AP

At a glance

  • 50MP f/1.75 main camera with 1inch sensor, OIS, 23mm, AF 
  • 50MP f/2.0 ultra-wide-angle camera, 15mm, AF
  • 50MP f/2.5 4.3x telephoto camera, with close focus, 100mm, OIS, AF
  • 32MP f/2.0 selfie camera, fixed focus
  • 8K 30fps, 4K 60/30fps, 1080p 240fps video 
  • 6.78inch AMOLED screen with 3000nits 
  • 5400mAh battery 
  • 16GB RAM / 512GB storage 
  • Android 14 

How we review phones

We review smartphones from the perspective of choosing one for its photography and camera performance. We look at what the Vivo X100 Pro offers, and the features included for photography and video, paying particular attention to the cameras on the phone, photo editing capabilities, as well as the output from each different lens.   

Features, Hardware and Design 

Whilst other brands like Google and Samsung are making waves with AI photography, Vivo are making bold moves with hardware, with a 1inch sensor on the main camera, and a 4.3x periscope camera which gives macro features. There’s an ultra-wide-angle camera as well. All of these feature a 50MP sensor, and use pixel-binning to give 12.5MP images. 

Vivo have also partnered with Zeiss, this is in both hardware, and software options, with the 23mm equivalent main lens and 100mm telephoto lenses both feature Zeiss branding, as well as featuring Zeiss T* coating.  

Vivo X100 Pro. Photo Joshua Waller / AP

The design of the rear camera bump includes a ring with additional Zeiss branding, including ‘Vario-APO-Sonnar Pro 1.75-2.5/15-100* ASPH.’ – *15-100mm equivalent in 35mm terms. Surrounding this is a ring that looks like it could be a control ring, but unfortunately, it’s not, and it’s not since the Panasonic Lumix CM1 that we saw a control ring on a phone combined with a 1inch sensor. 

The Zeiss branded main camera… 

There’s a 50MP f/1.75 main camera with Sony’s 1inch IMX989 sensor, and this lens is made up of 1 glass and 7 plastic lenses. It features auto-focus and OIS (optical image stabilisation). If you’re wondering why smartphones use plastic lenses, then have a look at our article on glass vs plastic lenses: Which is better: glass or plastic smartphone lenses?

Vivo say “Exclusive optical tuning of the lens performs targeted correction and compensation of optical aberrations in advance, optimizing edge sharpness and enhancing overall image quality.”

The Zeiss APO floating telephoto camera is a periscope design, and the floating elements design allows for telephoto macro close-ups. APO certification comes from Zeiss, and there’s an f/2.5 aperture. You can also use the telephoto camera for night photography, and the 50MP sensor is a generous 1/2inch in size. This also features OIS (optical image stabilisation).

The ultra-wide-angle camera has a 50MP sensor, 1/2.76inch sensor, f/2.0 aperture, and has auto-focus. 

  • Ultra-wide-angle (0.6x) Photo Joshua Waller
  • Main camera (1x) Photo Joshua Waller
  • 4.3x telephoto camera. Photo Joshua Waller
  • 10x telephoto zoom. Photo Joshua Waller

The selfie camera is a 32MP unit, without any specific branding, and does not have auto-focus. It can record 4K video (at 60fps), however, it’s doesn’t match other flagships with AF on the selfie camera.  

You can record 8K video using the main camera, on the rear, with 30fps available as well as electronic image stabilisation, in addition to the optical image stabilisation. 4K video is available from all cameras on the back, from 0.6x to 4.3x, with additional zoom up to 10x. 

Vivo X100 Pro photo modes. Photo Joshua Waller / AP

Zeiss options can be found in the camera settings, with Portrait and Landscape and Architecture modes available. The portrait options include background blur options with bokeh designed to recreate the look of Zeiss lenses. You can select from 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 100mm portrait options as well. 

Camera app options include Snapshot, Night, Portrait, Photo (Auto), Video, Cinematic Portrait, and under more there are a range of additional shooting modes including: High-resolution, Pano, Ultra HD document, Slo-mo, Time-lapse, Long exposure, Supermoon, Astro, Landscape and Architecture (Zeiss), Pro (manual mode), Food and Live Photo. 

Vivo X100 Pro more photo modes. Photo Joshua Waller / AP

Snappiness – the phone’s ability to respond to you quickly – is impressive, with the phone’s MediaTek Dimensity 9300 keeping up with the latest processors from Qualcomm. You’ll also find you can use Google Play and put all your favourite apps on the phone.  

There’s a generous 5400mAh battery, which is larger than most other flagship smartphones. This gives impressive battery performance, and when I left the phone on standby with only a Wi-Fi connection, the battery life remained high for days, still at 56% after 6 days! 

The Vivo X100 Pro’s main screen is bright. Photo Joshua Waller / AP

The phone is slim and stylish, with a generous bundle of accessories included in the box, including a 120W charger, USB cable, and a free TPU case. There’s a screen protector pre-installed. The phone also supports 50W wireless charging, with support for reverse wireless charging.

USB connection proved to be an issue at times. Normally you’d be able to connect an android phone to your computer, and simply select “file transfer” mode. This wasn’t always possible on the Vivo X100 Pro, it would occasionally grey out this option and wouldn’t work again till the phone was restarted.  

Performance and Image Quality

The main cameras on the back of the phone give great results, with plenty of detail, excellent colour reproduction, and reliable exposure. Dynamic range captured is impressive with auto-HDR (high dynamic range) kicking in when needed, without you needing to think about it.

In Tokyo. Main camera. Photo Joshua Waller
vivo X100 Pro · f/1.75 · 1/100s · 8.67mm · ISO247

The main camera, with 1inch sensor, gives exceptional results in all conditions. Whether that’s low-light or in daylight, there’s plenty of detail, and great colour. If you want to adjust the colour settings, then you have the choice of Vivid, which is the default setting, Textured, and Zeiss Natural.

Ultra-wide-angle (0.6x) Photo Joshua Waller
vivo X100 Pro · f/2 · 1/140s · 2.32mm · ISO50

When you look into the full specifications of the Vivo X100 Pro, it’s interesting to note that the ultra-wide-angle camera doesn’t benefit from Zeiss branding. However, the camera still provides good results, with good colour and exposure, as well as good levels of detail.

4.3x telephoto camera. Crystal Palace Park Dinosaur. Photo Joshua Waller
vivo X100 Pro · f/2.5 · 1/100s · 16.57mm · ISO120

The 4.3x telephoto camera gives great results, with plenty of detail, and good colour. You can also use 10x zoom, and this provides really nice looking results.

Telephoto macro performance

vivo X100 Pro · f/2.5 · 1/129s · 16.57mm · ISO50

Like the iQOO 12, OnePlus Open, OnePlus 12, and Xiaomi 14 / 14 Ultra, you can use the telephoto periscope camera for close-up macro photography. On the X100 Pro, this 4.3x telephoto camera gives you amazing looking close-up photos, even in poor lighting, there is plenty of detail, and the phone rarely switches to another lens.  

The telephoto camera can focus on close objects. Photo Joshua Waller
vivo X100 Pro · f/2.5 · 1/33s · 16.57mm · ISO371

This is so refreshing, and feels like a real game changer for certain types of photography, and makes using a phone without this, like the S24 Ultra a frustrating and confusing experience, as the S24 Ultra switches between a variety of different cameras, never seeming to use the camera you actually want to use – due to not offering close focus from the telephoto cameras.  

The Polaroid Land Camera 1000 in real and Lego forms. Photo Joshua Waller
vivo X100 Pro · f/2.5 · 1/33s · 16.57mm · ISO1442

I’ve used the Vivo X100 Pro for product photography in a number of different reviews, including the Samsung S24 Ultra, Xiaomi 14, and at events photographing cameras like the Yongnuo YN433, and Hasselblad 907X CFV 100C, and more.

Low-light performance

Low light water feature in Sheffield. Photo Joshua Waller
vivo X100 Pro · f/1.75 · 1/7s · 8.67mm · ISO1239

The low-light performance of the X100 Pro is impressive, particularly from the large 1inch sensor on the main camera. This gives richer colours, and better reds when compared to the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. There’s slightly better detail as well, but it’s the colour differences that are most easily noticeable. Noise is very well controlled, and rarely became an issue.

Canary Wharf at night. Photo Joshua Waller
vivo X100 Pro · f/2.5 · 1/7s · 16.57mm · ISO1887

Low-light performance using the telephoto (4.3x) camera is also rather impressive, easily beating the results from compact cameras (with small sensors), thanks to computational photography combining multiple shots into one for enhanced dynamic range, detail, lower noise, and better colour.

Selfie camera 

The 32MP selfie-camera lacks auto-focus, and whilst it gives reasonable results, it’s clearly a quad-Bayer sensor camera, as the level of detail captured is sub-par. It’s also disappointing that the camera lacks auto-focus, especially for those who take a lot of selfies, or want to vlog with the selfie camera.

Selfie taken with the X100 Pro. Photo Joshua Waller
vivo X100 Pro · f/2.8 · 1/176s · 3.09mm · ISO50

In the portrait mode, using the rear camera, you’ll find a range of options including Zeiss branded bokeh options, letting you choose what kind of bokeh (background blur) you’d like in your portrait shots. These include Biotar, B-speed, Sonnar, Planar, Distagon, Cine-flare, Cinematic, or “Natural” without any Zeiss branding, along with 24, 25, 50, 85 and 100mm lens options.  


As mentioned it’s possible to record 4K video from all cameras on the phone, including the selfie camera, with 8K video only available from the main camera. Results look good, and footage is stable thanks to a combination of optical and electronic image stabilisation, although your results may vary, depending on how steady you can hold a phone.

The main disappointment is that the selfie or front facing camera lacks autofocus. Other flagships from Apple, Google, and Samsung offer auto-focus. In fact, some of Vivo’s own mid-range phones, such as the Vivo V30 Pro, offer autofocus from the selfie camera.

Value for money 

Availability is one of the main issues with this phone. Can you buy it in your country? Probably not. In the UK I found the phone was available for £780 – £999 (16GB/512GB), and officially it’s priced at €1199 (EURO) or INR 89999 (in India). If you can get it for the lower price point, then this is amazing value for money, and even at the higher price, it’s still cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (£1249) and Xiaomi 14 Ultra (£1299), and similar in price to the Google Pixel 8 Pro (£999).  

Vivo X100 Pro. Photo Joshua Waller / AP

Other flagship phones include the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (£1249), and the iPhone 15 Pro Max (£1199), however, these can’t quite match the battery life or macro performance of the Vivo X100 Pro. Overall, though, with wider availability and 7 years of updates, these other phones are still very good choices.  

Verdict – Almost perfect

The Vivo X100 Pro is an incredible camera phone, with a telephoto macro camera, it has changed my product photography as I no longer need to bring a full-size camera with me to events. It goes to show what is possible with smartphone cameras, and really makes companies like Apple and Samsung look like they’re not really taking photography as seriously as they could be.  

If the selfie camera featured auto-focus, then we would be looking at the perfect camera phone, but unfortunately this lets the phone down a little.  

The main camera performs exceptionally well, with impressive results in all lighting conditions, whether shooting in daylight, or in low-light and night time conditions. When other phones struggled with blown out colours, the Vivo X100 Pro didn’t.

10x zoom option used. Crystal Palace Park Dinosaur. Photo Joshua Waller
vivo X100 Pro · f/2.5 · 1/100s · 16.57mm · ISO76

The telephoto camera, as mentioned, provides exceptional macro and close up images, as well as great telephoto shots, with the additional 10x option giving great results.

The ultra-wide-angle camera gives very good results, but doesn’t feature the same Zeiss branding as the other cameras on the phone. In addition, the colours provided by all three rear cameras was generally very good, with saturated colours and matching results from all three. At times the colour was a little too saturated on the default ‘Vivid’ setting, but you can choose ‘Textured’ or ‘Zeiss Natural’ colour options if you want to.

Sunset – 10x taken with the Vivo X100 Pro. Photo Joshua Waller
vivo X100 Pro · f/2.5 · 1/310s · 16.57mm · ISO50

Overall, the combination of multiple shooting modes, exceptional images, and a stylish phone with impressive battery life means this is my new favourite phone. If only it was actually available in the US and UK, and if the selfie-camera was better, it would be the perfect camera phone.

Amateur Photographer Testbench Gold

For more options have a look at the best camera phones for photography, or have a look at the best phones for macro.


Main camera50MP f/1.75, with 1inch sensor, 23mm, AF, OIS
Ultra-wide-angle camera50MP f/2.0, 15mm equivalent, AF
Telephoto camera50MP f/2.5, 4.3x periscope camera, with close focus, 100mm, AF, OIS
Front facing camera32MP f/2.0 selfie, fixed focus (4K video)
Video8K 30fps, 4K 60/30fps, 1080p 240fps video 
Screen6.78inch AMOLED screen with up to 3000nits 
RAM and storage16GB RAM / 512GB storage 
Battery5400mAh battery, 120W charging, 50W wireless, supports reverse charging
OSAndroid 14 

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