I’m admiring the sunset over a small hillock, in the middle of a tea plantation in Kotagiri. It will soon get dark and I need to rush back to my room, lest I encounter any creep crawlies in the estate. I quickly put my phone back in my pocket and turned around to leave. And suddenly, unwittingly I find myself in a face-off with about a dozen bison. They’re chewing on the shrubs, leaving the tender tea leaves alone. Before I can make a run for it, I remember I should probably video-record this moment. After all, I have the new Vivo X100 Pro in my pocket, touted for its camera prowess. 


The smartphone with its 225 grams isn’t exactly lightweight, but it looks classy with its trademark graphite glass finish rear panel. The camera module is massive, there’s no subtlety there. But that’s the price you gotta pay for being a photography-forward smartphone. 

The smartphone sports a 6.78-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2800 × 1260 pixels. I cue Curry & Cyanide, a true-crime documentary on Netflix, a grisly tale to round off a perfectly pleasant vacation. The visuals are bright and vivid and the speakers loud enough to alert any more bison of my human presence.


Let me get the specs out of the way. The primary camera setup on the Vivo X100 Pro is a 50 MP Sony 1-inch IMX989 sensor with optical image stabilisation. This is supported by a 50 MP wide-angle auto-focus lens and a 50 MP telephoto lens with 4.3x optical zoom. Under a star-speckled sky, and a blazing bonfire, I tested the smartphone’s stellar camera. It has a lovely ‘AR Planetarium’ mode which also detects constellations when I point the lens at the night sky in the Nilgiris. The photos of the bonfire were rich and fiery, in all its amber glory, without a hint of grains in the darkness around. The only time that low-light performance seemed to falter was when it was zoomed in a bit to capture the silhouette of a hill, and there were artifacts along the outline.

It would be a fair assumption that any smartphone camera that handles low-light photography well will do justice to photos in daylight. The Vivo X100 Pro delivered well on this front too. The portrait mode on the phone is also a delight, making the most unwilling subjects look good when snapped. And, it’s not because of any unnatural filters or post-processing effects. What was particularly effective was the macro mode. I snapped some flowers and it captured the subject up close quite sharply, with a beautiful bokeh in the background. In portraits and snaps of people in general, it thankfully doesn’t gloss over skin texture. It also delivered well in 10x zoom mode, where church spires barely visible in a 1x capture, were rendered quite faithfully, despite a foggy day.  

The selfie camera has a 32 MP lens that delivers sharp selfies, staying true to both skin tone and texture. I used it for a couple of product briefings and liked how it looked. For the videos I shot on the phone, there are a whole bunch of filters that I can apply while post-processing. 


The Vivo X100 Pro is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 9300 processor. Vivo has simplified things by offering only one storage variant, with a whopping 16 GB RAM and 512 GB storage. Multi-tasking was a breeze and the phone never heated up during my sessions of casual gaming. Nor did it get warm while taking endless snaps or videos during the day. The smartphone is based on Funtouch OS 14, which offers capabilities including improved privacy features. The Smart Mirroring feature now allows users to seamlessly share their screen without worrying that the notification bar will pop up, accidentally revealing any personal information. I could also safely stow away any personal photographs behind an extra password verification step.

Battery Life

A 5,400mAh battery powers the smartphone and performs quite well. With fairly moderate usage, I could easily go through a fully working day, and a better part of the next morning before having to plug the device back in. This usage includes checking emails, streaming music, and video playback for less than an hour.  

There’s a 100 W FlashCharge adapter included in the box, and the smartphone is enabled with wireless charging.


Let me keep all other features aside, and consider only the camera capabilities of the Vivo X100 Pro. The vivid photos, its zoom capabilities, the ability to minimise the noise in low light, deliver some great portraits, and superb macro abilities are more than enough to impress anyone who’s looking for a photography-focused smartphone. On top of this, being a flagship, it does sport an excellent display, sturdy build quality, and decent battery life. My only gripe is a bit of bloatware I found on start-up, which I’d be happy to avoid on a flagship.

Price - ₹89,999

Pros - Stellar camera capabilities, excellent macro mode and zoom capabilities, seamless performance 

Cons - Bloatware, only one colour variant, big camera module takes away from aesthetics