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Vivo X Fold 3 Pro Review: A Top-Notch Foldable, Worthy of Your Attention

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Samsung has been resting on years of delivering smaller updates for its customers in India. So, a new player (in the foldable market) like Vivo literally needs to reinvent the wheel to get a premium smartphone buyer’s attention. After using the phone for several weeks, I can conclude that Vivo has not exactly reinvented the wheel with its X Fold 3 Pro. But it does take things to the next level, offering plenty of value and features compared to the competition. As feature-packed as it may seem, it’s not perfect. Read on to find out why.

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro is available in just one RAM and storage option with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage that is priced at a staggering Rs. 1,59,999 in India. It may seem like a very high price to pay for an Android smartphone, let alone a foldable one. But browse around, and you will notice that Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 starts from Rs. 1,54,999 (512GB) and goes all the way up to Rs. 1,84,999 (for the 1TB variant). Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra is also priced at Rs. 1,29,999, and it’s not foldable. Suddenly, the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro seems like a reasonably good deal, given what it offers. And there sure is plenty!

Vivo X Fold 3 Pro Review Design: Thin is in

Dimensions – Closed – 159.96 x 72.55 x 11.2mmDimensions – Open – 159.96 x 142.4 x 5.2mmWeight – 236 gramsColours – Celestial Black

As with every foldable device, design, durability, and service play a major role. While I cannot comment on the last two (unless I use it long-term), I can tell you about the slightly different approach that Vivo has taken to get to the very top of its game.

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro is just 5.2mm thick when open

 

Vivo’s claim about being the thinnest foldable on offer in India is genuine. At 11.2mm, it’s not as slim as a bar-shaped premium flagship (usually around 8.5mm), but it feels close enough when you hold it. Unfolded, it measures just 5.2mm, which is impressively thin not just for a foldable but even for a regular smartphone or tablet.

Having shown this foldable to friends and family, it was easy to wow them because many assumed it was a regular smartphone until I pried it open from the side, revealing the larger display inside.

And if that wasn’t enough, Vivo also claims that foldable is IPX8 rated (just like Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5), which should give buyers peace of mind when using it in the rain. While I did bravely spray water on the foldable, I will advise against doing so as the warranty does not cover this, just like any other premium smartphone in the market.

Vivo X Fold 3 Pro Review Displays: Smarter by design

Cover display – 6.53-inch, 2,748 × 1,172 pixels, full-HD+, 120HzMain display – 8.03-inch, 2,480 × 2,200 pixels, 2K+, 120HzCover display type – AMOLED (LTPO), Armour GlassMain display type – AMOLED (LTPO), UTG

At 8.03 inches, the main folding display is the largest on a foldable to date. It’s taller and wider than any bar-shaped flagship as well, including Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra (6.8-inch) and Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max (6.7-inch). It makes for some interesting use cases for this smartphone. The foldable’s displays, despite their larger than usual size, offer good natural colours and get plenty of bright outdoors, even under direct sunlight. There’s no visible crease, even though both halves fold flat against one another.

I could comfortably consume content on the main display thanks to its slightly rectangular 4:3.55 aspect ratio, which is a lot better than the square one the OnePlus Open (1.0758:1) offers.

Even when folded in Vivo’s “flex mode”, which lays the controls (cursor, brightness, etc.) on the bottom half of the display (like a laptop), the top half of the display was as big, broad and wide as a regular premium flagship. When fully opened, it was fun to watch the video, no matter which format or aspect ratio content was shot in.

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro’s main display at 8.03 inches is the biggest one around

 

And at 6.53 inches, even the cover display, with its 21.1:9 aspect ratio, is one of the biggest ones available on a foldable. It is very much possible to pair a Bluetooth keyboard with the phone and use it as a small Android tablet for light productivity. I also found the large display very useful while attending briefing calls and meetings when a computer was not available. The proprietary Armour cover glass also has a 3D curved edge on the right side, making swiping gestures very inviting and natural.

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Like Google’s Pixel Fold (which never came to India), Vivo has added some nifty features that take advantage of the phone’s hinge and large displays.

When shooting photos, you can hover the camera half of the phone and use the other half as a tripod for snapping group photos from a distance or even for capturing better low-light landscapes.

A fold-to-split gesture activates when you close the fold halfway and then (quickly) open it again. This places the existing fullscreen app to the left in a dual-spit format and opens up the app drawer for you to select the second app. Quite convenient!

The Desk Calendar AOD mode has to be my favourite. Place the X Fold 3 Pro on a table in tent mode, and the cover display’s 1Hz refresh rate (LTPO) turns the large screen into a table clock. While it sure looks cool and practical, the Desk Calendar AOD automatically switches off after a maximum duration of 2 hours.

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro’s Desk Calendar AOD feature makes excellent use of the hinge

 

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro is also very smart. When viewing a video, the phone will detect its state and orientation depending on whether it’s in hover mode, tented mode, folded or wide open. Smartly project the video on the correct screen (or half) facing you. It’s something that just works flawlessly and feels very natural.

All of this flipping and flexing is possible because of the new hinge. Vivo claims it is much lighter than the competition and went to several lengths to get this foldable’s weight down to 236 grams. This makes it 3 grams lighter than the titanium-laden Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. And it manages to stay this light and slim despite having a big 5,700mAh battery backup, which is again the largest we have seen on a foldable to date.

Unlike most foldables, the X Fold 3 Pro has two fingerprint readers, which are embedded into their respective displays. While I found the one on the cover display to be very reliable, I struggled with the one on the main display, which needs a hard press to reliably unlock the device with the screen open.

Vivo X Fold 3 Pro Software: Needs a bit of polish

Unlike the OnePlus Open, the brand’s first book-style foldable, Vivo surely had enough time to refine its software experience, given that this is a third-generation device.

The foldable runs Vivo’s Funtouch OS, based on Android 14. In terms of commitments, Vivo offers three years of software updates and four years of security updates for this foldable. This isn’t bad, but given how Samsung and Google have raised the bar by offering up to 7 years of software support, it does fall a bit short of expectations, especially given that Vivo is looking to woo Samsung’s long-standing customers in India.

Vivo’s software somehow seems to lack the necessary polish in some areas.

Given that the X Fold 3 Pro has a rectangular main display, it’s natural that many of us would reorient the screen from vertical (when opened) to landscape to watch movies or simply run apps in tablet mode, adding a split screen view and more for certain apps.

With four apps on display at a time, the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro can easily be used as a light office productivity device

 

When reorienting the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro, not all apps stretch from edge to edge, leaving a black bar on the left side of the display, which is nearly a centimetre wide, running from top to bottom, which is a waste of screen space. With the apps that I used when testing this device, a few apps (WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger by Meta) stretched to fit the display, but these did not even include Google’s services like Messages (SMS), Calendar, Drive, etc. Even Netflix did not play videos in full screen unless pinched to zoom, which would end up cropping the frame.

Vivo did introduce a feature in Settings called ‘Display at the top of the screen’ in a recent bug-squishing update to handle the selfie camera’s cutout, but it does not seem to solve the problem, with problematic apps displaying a filler white bar on the left instead of the empty black void.

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I have informed Vivo about the same and the brand has assured (with calls from its software team) that they will find a way to fix the above issue. But it is a bit concerning that nobody from Vivo noticed this from the get-go.

Among the numerous native Vivo apps, the V-Appstore constantly shows annoying notifications from time to time. Uninstall a third-party app from the Play Store, and the V-Appstore will seize the opportunity to push out a notification and remind you to download other related apps from its store instead. Thankfully, Android let me turn these off.

There’s an annoying black bar visible on the left that eats into the otherwise vast viewing area when using many third-party apps (shown here is Netflix)

 

While the phone does come with a ton of Vivo apps (most of which cannot be uninstalled), some of it is useful because it packs the much-needed AI punch that the brand’s flagships have lacked for a while. The functionality is still quite basic. The native Notes app can create summaries from pasted text, while the recorder app, apart from transcribing text from a recording, can also create a summary of the audio recording.

For those who frequently record phone calls, Vivo uses its dialer app and so can record calls in a rather stealthy manner, without a notification or even a beep before, after or even during a recording.

Vivo X Fold 3 Pro Performance: Keepin’ it cool

Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3RAM – LPDDR5X – 16GBStorage – UFS 4.0 – 512GB

With a powerful processor and a slim body, the phone does warm up when using the camera under direct sunlight, but it’s not as concerning and did not throw up any warnings even when shooting 4K video samples back to back.

The device managed impressive benchmark scores that are far higher than the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and a bit higher than the OnePlus Open.

BenchmarkX Fold 3 Pro (Cover/Main)OnePlus Open (Cover/Main)AnTuTu v102,051,650 / 2,063,5261,305,500 / 1,26,4480PCMark Work 3.014,489 / 14,25110,276 / 10,521Geekbench 6 Single2,143 / 2,1671,426 / 1,056Geekbench 6 Multi6,562 / 6,8004,096 / 4,114GFXB T-rex120 / 12060 / 60GFXB Manhattan 3.1120 / 10560 / 60GFXB Car Chase **102 / 6760 / 463DM Slingshot Extreme OpenGL**Maxed Out / Maxed OutMaxed Out / Maxed Out3DM SlingshotMaxed Out / Maxed OutMaxed Out / Maxed Out3DM Wild LifeMaxed Out / Maxed OutMaxed Out / Maxed Out3DM Wild Life Unlimited17,985 / 18,72113,731 / 13,731

 

Demanding 3D games like Genshin Impact run perfectly fine without any hiccups or abnormal heating at maxed-out settings. Both displays are perfectly responsive when playing Call of Duty: Mobile at Max and Ultra frame rates. The phone can easily multi-task while you are playing a game with a YouTube video or even another game running on a split screen.

There’s a handy yet discreet alert slider on the left half of the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro for switching ringer profiles

 

Indeed, this is all down to the large vapour cooling system that Vivo has smartly packaged into this device despite its skinny profile. Add to this the fact that the processor resides in the top half of the phone (when held in landscape mode), keeping the warm areas away from my hands when gaming on the main display.

Vivo X Fold 3 Pro Cameras: Could be better

Main camera – 50MP (OIS), f/1.68 aperture, AFUltra-wide-angle camera – 50MP, f/2.0 aperture, AFTelephoto camera – 64MP (OIS), 3x optical zoom, f/2.57 aperture, AFSelfie cameras – 32MP, FF (cover display) – 32MP, FF (main display)

The primary camera handles photographs like a pro in all types of lighting conditions. Autofocus is quick to lock focus in all types of conditions, so I could click photos of my kid and pets easily in Portrait mode without worrying about blurry results. Shooting city streets in low light, the colours come out beautifully without getting saturated while details and sharpness are what one would expect from a smartphone at this price point.

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro has three rear cameras

 

The telephoto camera also did not fail to impress with tack-sharp portraits of subjects or objects in daylight and impressive results with excellent colour reproduction in low light as well. However, unlike the primary, the telephoto did struggle a bit with moving objects, resulting in slightly soft images of subjects when captured indoors under artificial light.

Vivo X Fold 3 Pro Daylight Camera Samples. Top to bottom – Ultra-wide, primary, 3x telephoto (Tap images to expand)

 

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro’s telephoto camera can also be used for shooting close-ups or macro photos, and these come out really well and pack in plenty of detail thanks to the high-resolution sensor. Zoom was also quite useful despite switching to hybrid after 3X, as the photos are perfectly usable up to 10X zoom, beyond which there is a noticeable drop in detail and some purple fringing as well.

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The ultra-wide camera is not as impressive as the other two, but it gets the job done in daylight. There’s noticeable barrel distortion, and the colours don’t match the results from the other two cameras. In dim street-lit settings, the image quality takes a drop, with aggressive noise removal messing up the details. Moreover, colours also appear a bit dull.

Vivo X Fold 3 Pro camera samples. Top – close-up, bottom – Super macro (tap images to expand)

 

Both selfie cameras produce average results with textures that aren’t as detailed as most flagships at and below this price point. However, since this is foldable, it was possible to use the primary camera as a selfie camera, and the results from this camera were top-notch, with excellent detail, sharpness, and edge-detection. Low-light selfies from the primary camera also came out equally impressive.

Vivo X Fold 3 Pro Low light camera samples. Top to bottom – Primary camera, telephoto camera, Selfie from Primary camera (tap images to expand)

 

The phone captures good 4K video at 30 or 60fps with good detail and dynamic range in daylight and low light. The videos offer a steady bit rate as well and are well-stabilised. The T* coating sure helps cut down on lens flare when shooting video in low light. 8K 30fps footage turned out to be the best of the lot and even managed excellent quality in dim lighting. Unfortunately, it’s a bit too shaky, and at 200MB for 20 seconds of footage, it’s not feasible to shoot at this resolution all the time.

Vivo X Fold 3 Pro Battery: Bigger is better

Battery Capacity – 5,700mAh (dual-cell)Wired Charging – 100WWireless Charging – 50WCharger – 120W (in the box)

Battery life is shockingly good for a foldable and quite impressive for a regular premium phone as well. The phone easily managed more than a day with heavy usage, even with the AOD on, which included mixed use of both displays. With casual use, you can get past 1.5 days of use.

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro’s hinge makes it slimmer and lighter than the competition

 

In our video loop battery test, the phone managed to run for 19 hours and 56 minutes on the cover display and an equally impressive 16 hours and 4 minutes on the main display. And even when I ran out of charge, the included charger juices up this foldable’s massive battery (from zero to fully charged) in just 43 minutes, managing an 82 percent charge in just 30 minutes.

Vivo X Fold 3 Pro Verdict

Samsung has been delivering every single foldable that has been launched globally in India year after year. The brand surely has its following, so it will be really hard to convince a Samsung smartphone owner to switch to another brand, let alone a Vivo-branded device.

However, there’s enough value with bigger (high-resolution) displays, plenty of raw performance, more features (with a sprinkle of AI), and better overall camera performance available on the Vivo, making the X Fold 3 Pro stand out. Vivo seems to have done enough to get any brand-loyal smartphone buyer’s attention. Just so you know, this phone is also manufactured in India. Oddly, Vivo does not offer any paid care program to extend the warranty of the foldable, as Samsung and OnePlus do. This means you will have to really take care of the device (or pay for damages yourself in full) in case your display or hinge gets damaged beyond the warranty period, which can get expensive.

If you are very picky about the software experience, then the OnePlus Open (Review) is definitely a better choice at a lower price, but it lacks several features that the Vivo X Fold Pro offers. Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 5 (Review) will still be the go-to foldable for many buyers as it also provides S-pen stylus support, but it has now come to a point that it’s hard to ignore the massive hardware and feature upgrades that are being offered by the growing competition this year.


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