First Impressions: Vivo X51 5G Review
The Vivo X51 5G is a device packed with high-end features. The quad camera setup is made even more impressive by the built-in gimbal, while the addition of a 90Hz refresh rate and 5G makes this phone feel modern and future proof. The biggest downside here is the £749 price tag, elevating the phone beyond more recognisable household names, such as OnePlus and the Google Pixel. That said, it's difficult to complain of a lack of features with the Vivo X51 5G.
- Review Price: £749
- Quad camera with gimbal
- 90Hz display
- Snapdragon 765G
- 33W FlashCharge
Vivo has unveiled its latest smartphone for the European market, the Vivo X51 5G, today and I got to spend some time with the device ahead of its launch.
Vivo’s last camera-focused phone, the X50 Pro, seriously impressed us with its innovative gimbal system. In fact, the X51 5G has an almost identical set of specs to Vivo’s X50 Pro. The biggest difference here is the software, which has been modified in the X51 5G to better fit the needs of the European market. We’re excited to see how the quad-camera module and built-in gimbal performs on its first official European launch. Read on to find out more about the new Vivo X51 5G.
The X51 5G is a slim device. The edges are smooth and curved, while the rear is a stunning frosted blueish grey shade. The phone has an IP53 rating, protecting it from splashes and dust, but not making it fully waterproof or resistant. It takes advantage of both a fingerprint and face unlock so there are multiple ways to secure your phone, and the Funtouch OS is similar to stock Android so it feels intuitive to navigate.
The headline feature of the X51 5G is the protruding AI quad camera module. The camera includes a 48MP (f/1.6) main lens, a 13MP (f/2.46) portrait lens, an 8MP (f/2.2) 120-degree super wide-angle and super macro lens and an 8MP (f/3.4) 60x hyper-zoom and 5x optical zoom camera. It can record video in 4K at 60fps and there’s a discreet 32MP AI punch hole camera on the front in the upper left corner.
The most unique factor here is the integrated gimbal. Vivo claims the feature offers three times the stability of regular OIS – and it certainly is noticeably steady when recording video. The feature is also great when snapping pics in low light environments, producing clearer images in less than ideal lighting.
The X51 5G is packed with low light settings to show off the gimbal’s skills, including Super Night Mode, Astro Mode and Supermoon – to name just a few. Night Mode does a fantastic job of brightening images taken in low light without allowing the image quality to visibly suffer. Portraits are clear and sharp too and experimenting with the Style Night Filters is a lot of fun – my favourite is Cyberpunk, a cool filter that brings out the purples and the reds in your photos to resemble the reflections of neon lights.
I tried to snap a photo of the night sky with Astro Mode and was less impressed. The image came out with an unappealing green tinge and pulled out more clouds than stars. That said, Vivo does advise you use a tripod while shooting in Astro Mode which I didn’t have to hand, so I may have had better results using a more stable surface.
The gimbal also does a great job of capturing motion. Video is incredibly smooth and the Pro Sports Mode allows you to take non-blurry images of moving objects, such as people jogging, dancing or pets.
Portrait Mode does a great job of softening the background and evening out your skin tone, though I definitely found myself getting swept away in the huge array of beauty adjustments and posture guides.
The 6.5-inch curved AMOLED display is crisp and vibrant, whether you’re scrolling through your app library or streaming high definition video. The screen has a refresh rate of 90Hz for smooth scrolling and gameplay and a response rate of 180Hz for a faster touch response. The refresh rate isn’t as quick as the 120Hz on the Galaxy S20 or OnePlus 8 Pro, but is visibly faster than the 60Hz found on most phones on the market. It didn’t go unnoticed during my time with the phone either, with scrolling feeling incredibly fluid and slick.
The refresh rate is variable too, which is great news for your battery. You can choose between the super smooth 90Hz, the power-saving 60Hz or the default “Smart switch”, which automatically selects the most appropriate refresh rate based on your usage scenario.
Speaking of the battery, the x51 5G has a pretty hefty 4,315 mAh one. It also supports 33W FlashCharge, allowing the phone to hit 59% battery in 30 minutes and 100% in just 68.
The Vivo x51 5G is powered by the Snapdragon 765G chipset and the Adreno 620 GPU. The 765G is the same SoC found in Vivo’s X50 Pro, along with competing mid-rangers such as the OnePlus Nord and innovative phones including the LG Wing and the Motorola Razr 5G. The chipset is designed to boost mobile gaming performance, making it a perfect partner to the 90Hz refresh rate and the next-gen 5G connectivity. I haven’t gotten the chance to test the phone’s 5G performance just yet, but 5G is definitely a welcome addition and helps justify the phone’s £749 price tag.
The Vivo X51 5G is a device packed with high-end features. The quad camera setup is made even more impressive by the built-in gimbal, while the addition of a 90Hz refresh rate and 5G makes this phone feel modern and future proof.
The biggest downside here is the £749 price tag, elevating the phone beyond more recognisable household names, such as OnePlus and the Google Pixel. That said, it’s difficult to complain of a lack of features with the Vivo X51 5G.
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We test every mobile phone we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the phone as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.