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vivo X51 5G Review - strong 5G smartphone with gimbal camera

Test report prepared by Timo on April 7, 2021

The smartphone manufacturer vivo wants to get started in Europe and is presenting a 51G smartphone right from the start with the vivo X5 5G, which puts design and innovation in the foreground. The gimbal camera system, which promises particularly smooth photo and video recordings, plays a special role.

The vivo X51 5G has been my daily driver for several months. Now it is time for my conclusion! You can find out more about the smartphone and how it fares in the following review.

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8.5
Our rating
549 € cyberport
Price Comparison
Specifications
Overview
Manufacturer

live

Model

vivo X51 5G

Specifications

 Processor and memory 
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
GPU: Adreno 620
RAM: 8GB (LPDDR4x)
Internal memory: 256GB (UFS2.1)
Memory extension: no

 Display 
Display diagonal: 6.56 inches
Display resolution: 2376 × 1080 pixels
Display frequency: 90 Hz
Display Type: AMOLED
Screen Protector: Unknown
Multitouch: 10 fingers

 cameras 
Main camera: 48 MP Sony IMX598 (f / 1.6 aperture)
Ultra wide angle + macro: 8 MP Hynix HI-846 (120 ° ultra wide angle lens and f / 2.2 aperture)
Telecamera: 8MP Omnivision OV08A10 (f / 3.4 aperture, 5x optical - 60x digital)
Portrait camera: 8MP Samsung S5K3L6 (f / 2.46 aperture)

Front camera: 32 MP Samsung S5KGD1 (f / 2.45 aperture)

 Mesh 
Dual SIM: Yes
SIM size: Nano SIM
eSIM: No.

GSM: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
CDMA: BC0
WCDMA: B1/B2/B4/B5/B8
FDD LTE: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28/B32/B66
TDD LTE: B38 / B39 / B40 / B41
5G: n1/n3/n7/n8/n28/n38/n41/n77/n78

 wireless 
WiFi: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
Bluetooth: 5.1
GPS: Yes

 Sensors 
* Ambient light sensor
* Accelerometer
* Proximity Sensor
* Hall sensor
* E-Compass
*Gyroscope
* Fingerprint Sensor
* NFC

 Accumulator 
Battery: 4.315 mAh
Fast charge function: 33 Watt
Qi store: no

 other 
Operating system: Android 11 (FuntouchOS 11)
Audio: AK4377A Hi-Fi
Connection: USB-C
Size: 158,46 × 72,80 × 8,04 mm
Weight: 181.5g

What's in the box

1x smartphone
1x SIM needle
1x Type-C adapter
1x charging cable
1x charger (33 watts)
1x protective cover
1x user manual

Review: vivo X51 5G

The vivo X51 5G is the first smartphone that vivo brought to market in Europe. Although very few people know about the company in this country, it competes in other markets, especially in Asia, with big names such as Huawei, Xiaomi or OPPO.

 Innovation plays an important role in vivo. The vivo X2012, the first smartphone with a hi-fi audio chip, appeared in 1. Two years later, the vivo X5Max followed, the thinnest smartphone on the market to date. The vivo NEX followed in 2018, the first smartphone with an in-display fingerprint scanner. With the vivo X51 5G, the company wants to set a new milestone and thus also win over European customers. 

vivo X51 5G design glass housing

Gimbal camera system

Most of you are probably interested in the recording quality of the 48 MP main camera (Sony IMX598). After all, this is the focus of the vivo X51 5G. The decisive factor here is the special image stabilization technology in the form of a gimbal camera system, which declares war on shaky recordings and ensures particularly smooth videos. But even those who like to take pictures should get their money's worth, because the gimbal camera wants to score especially in the dark, where higher exposure times are necessary and the smallest movements lead to blurry images.

vivo X51 gimbal camera system

In contrast to the usual optical image stabilization (OIS), as known from most flagship smartphones, the stabilization module of the vivo X51 is based on a professional 3-axis gimbal. Camera pans, inclinations and tilting movements are compensated electromagnetically. The gimbal camera system is rounded off by AI support, which ensures more image and video sharpness even with fast movements. Special recording modes, such as Super Night Mode or Supermoon Mode, benefit from this new stabilization technology and ensure more variety when taking photos.

vivo X51 5G gimbal camera test

In addition to the main camera, the vivo X51 5G has three more cameras installed on the rear. A 13 megapixel portrait camera with 50mm focal length and optical 2x zoom ensures perfect depth of field. An 8 megapixel sensor with a 120 ° wide angle is able to capture a particularly large image area. At the same time, the sensor shares a macro function with a short 2.5cm recording distance. The fourth camera in the group has a resolution of 8 megapixels and enables an optical 5x zoom. Digitally even a 60x magnification (60x hyper zoom) is possible. The front camera has a resolution of 32 megapixels.

On a short photo tour, the vivo X51 5G accompanied me day and night through beautiful Saarbrücken. Here are the recordings: 

Day / twilight

In terms of recording quality, the vivo X51 5G can keep up with other upper-class smartphones. The 48 megapixel main camera (Sony IMX598) delivers detailed images with crisp image sharpness right down to the edges of the image. Colors are displayed realistically and the dynamic range is pleasantly large. The camera AI recognizes different scenes precisely, even if the additional color adjustment does not suit everyone's taste. However, the AI ​​scenario detection can be switched off in the settings of the camera app.

Night (left "normal" / right night mode)

The main camera delivers convincing results even in poor lighting conditions. Colors and image sharpness are retained and the image noise is low. The gimbal camera system, which effectively compensates for wobbles during longer exposure times, makes a major contribution to this. In night mode, the recording time can be up to 8 seconds.

Zoom capabilities

vivo X51 telescope camera (1)

1x Zoom

The telescope camera of the vivo X51 5G enables 5x optical and 60x hybrid zoom. Compared to the main camera, the color of the images is a bit weaker, the dynamic range is also smaller and the image blurring decreases slightly towards the edges of the image. Details are captured very well up to 5x magnification. Usable zoom recordings can be made even with a 10x magnification. After that, details and sharpness decrease increasingly. With a steady hand and good lighting conditions, the 60x zoom can also provide surprises.

Super macro mode

The vivo X51 5G has earned the name “Super Macro”. The 8 MP sensor, shared by the macro and ultra wide-angle camera, is pleasantly sharp up to a short distance of 2.5 cm. Details and fine structures are very easy to see.

You can find all pictures in full resolution in our Dropbox (Link).

video mode

The vivo X51 5G records videos in a maximum of 4K at 30 frames per second. Just like the image quality, the video quality is also impressive, with strong colors and decent reproduction of details. Zooming is possible in video mode with a maximum of 10x magnification. A change to the ultra-wide-angle camera succeeds smoothly while the recording is in progress.

There are also special camera and film filters that can be activated before the recording is in progress. There is a separate cinematography mode with automatic object focusing for cinematic film recordings. Beauty filters are also available in video mode. You can take a look at the video quality in the following video.

vivo X51 5G | Camera Test Quality Day & Night 4K60

The recordings are really smooth if you also activate the "Super Shake Protection". However, the resolution is then also reduced to 1080p at 60 frames per second. With a steady hand, however, it can also be filmed in 4K without any problems and purely via the gimbal stabilization.

front camera

The recording quality of the 32 MP front camera is also impressive. This convinces in terms of level of detail, color rendering and dynamic range. Numerous filters, scenes and effects (AI stickers, color filters, portrait lighting, etc.) enable varied selfies. The beauty filter, which corrects more than 15 parts of the face, is particularly extensive. It is up to the user to decide how much each area of ​​the face is corrected.

In portrait mode, people are cut cleanly. The degree of fuzziness is pleasantly subtle, but you cannot determine it yourself.

If you want to record a video with the front camera, the maximum resolution is 1080p. In addition to the beauty filter, which corrects the areas of the face, there is also a body shape filter, which attacks shoulders, waist and legs, among other things.

Display

Vivo calls the display "3D Curved Ultra O Screen". This is a 6.56 inch E3 Samsung AMOLED panel with 90 Hz refresh rate and 180 Hz sampling rate. The FHD + resolution specified by vivo corresponds to a high-resolution 2376 x 1080 pixels. According to the AMOLED display type, the representation is particularly colorful, with an almost infinite contrast. The maximum display brightness is sufficient to be able to read the display easily outdoors. Another advantage is the adaptive refresh rate, which automatically adapts to the content and ensures a visibly smoother display, but at the same time does not become a power hog.

vivo X51 5G AMOLED display

The settings relating to the display are extensive. Among other things, there is a dark mode and adjustment options for color, color temperature and refresh rate. The date, time and notifications can be conveniently displayed on the always-on display without significantly reducing battery life. Themes ensure more variety. An in-display fingerprint sensor is hidden under the display to safely unlock the smartphone. This unlocks the smartphone reliably and quickly.

Thanks to the support of HDR10 +, the vivo X51 5G is also suitable for replaying HDR content. HDR10 + expands the contrast ratio and the color space, which in turn ensures a more realistic and natural picture. In addition, the Widevine L1 smartphone is certified so that content from streaming providers such as Netflix, Disney Plus or Prime Video can be played in full resolution.

Performance

The system-on-chip is the ARMv8-based Qualcomm Snapdragon 7G manufactured using the 765 nm process. In terms of performance, the SoC “only” ranks in the upper mid-range range, but the Snapdragon 765G is definitely not a bottleneck. The smartphone performs well in everyday life and the 8-core CPU can even handle computationally intensive tasks. A performance cluster, consisting of two Cortex-A76 cores, takes on particularly demanding tasks. Six economical Cortex-A55 cores form an energy-saving cluster that takes on undemanding tasks.

Belonging to the Qualcomm Gaming series, the SoC's Adreno 620 GPU offers enough performance even in current mobile games. The system is rounded off by an 8GB LPDDR4X main memory and a 256GB UFS2.1 data memory. Unfortunately, the smartphone only supports USB 2.0. This means that data transfers via USB are not quite as quick as with the faster USB 3.x standard.

user interface

When it comes to the operating system, vivo relies on the in-house FuntouchOS, which has now been updated to version 11. FuntouchOS 11 is based on Android 11 and is a tidy user interface that is largely based on stock Android. Vivo has avoided a flood of third-party apps.

vivo Funtouch OS

The smartphone has already received a few system-improving updates in the past few months. Most recently, the status of the security patch was updated to March 2021. To what extent the vivo X51 5G will receive an update to Android 12 is not yet known. Assuming a common 2 year update policy, the vivo X51 5G would be a candidate for Android 12!

FuntouchOS 11 - New functions

With the update to FuntouchOS 11, vivo not only rolled out a version update to Android 11, but also revised and expanded the user interface of the vivo X51 5G. The following new features are included in the update (PD2005F_EX_A_36.7.11):

  •  Always-on-Display: The AoD has been improved and expanded with new designs. The user has more options to adapt the AoD to their own needs.
  •  Albums: Photos are even easier to manage. Intelligent algorithms help to sort photos according to location, time, event and other factors.
  •  iManager: Optimizes disk space cleanup, malware threat detection, traffic management, and app notifications.
  •  Ultra Game Mode: Increases game performance. Also includes a picture-in-picture mode for apps.
  •  Data protection: Optimization of the control over memory access. The "Always allow" option for location queries has been removed from the authorization request.
  •  System: A notification history has been added. Advanced control over media playback.

connectivity

vivo X51 5G speed testThe vivo X51 5G also cuts a good figure in mobile communications. The connection in the 4G and 5G cellular network is stable and does not show any abnormalities. The 4G (1/3/7/8/20/28/32) and 5G (n1 / n28 / n77 / n78) bands common in Germany are all supported. However, there is no area-wide mmWave. For the 5G speed test, we were connected to the Vodafone network, where we were able to measure data rates of 454 Mbit / s down and 28 Mbit / s up.

Wireless connections to WLAN (dual AC) and via Bluetooth (5.1) also impress with their high connection stability and range. Looking ahead, the vivo X51 5G is unfortunately not WiFi 6 (802.11ax) compatible. NFC is available. Mobile payment via Google Pay works without any problems.

When navigating (GPS, Beidou, GLONASS and Galileo), the smartphone provides precise position data and shows the way accurately. The playback via the mono loudspeaker is understandable, clear and at high volume. The HiRes certified AK4377A audio chip processes high-resolution audio formats.

vivo X51 5G SIM slot

Accumulator

The battery has a capacity of 4.315 mAh and 1 to 2 1/2 days of running time can be tickled out of one charge. However, the runtime depends heavily on individual usage. Anyone who makes a call here and there, receives WhatsApp messages and surfs the web can easily reach 2 days and more. With always-on display and average use, I was able to tease out exactly 1 1/2 days of running time.

The 33 watt FlashCharge 2.0 fast charging function charges the battery to a good 30 percent in just 57 minutes and to 60 percent in 100 minutes. The prerequisite is a suitable quick charger, which vivo kindly included in the scope of delivery. Wireless charging is unfortunately not an option. 

Price and availability

iconGerman warehouse
iconDelivery time 2-5 business days
549,00€
iconGerman warehouse
iconDelivery time 2-5 business days
599,00€
iconGerman warehouse
iconDelivery time 2-5 business days
729,00€
Rating
Positive

Chic design
Very good build quality
Convincing cameras day and night
Good display
Tidy user interface
Faster 5G cellular
Good battery life

Negative

Only USB 2.0
No WiFi6
No wireless charging

Summary

With the vivo X51 5G, the newcomer is sending a successful overall package into the race on the European market. A modern design meets a chic 90 Hz curved OLED display and the smartphone won't let you down when it comes to performance and battery. Although no high-end chip has been installed, the Snapdragon 765G offers enough performance for a smooth user experience. At the same time, you benefit from the frugality of the chip, which means that battery runtimes of 1 1/2 days are the rule with normal use.

The gimbal camera system is at the flagship level and impresses with its detailed recordings, regardless of the lighting conditions. We were also impressed by vivo's FuntouchOS, which the manufacturer has provided with updates several times in the past few months and which happily keeps it up to date. Thanks to the 5G cellular support of the vivo X51 5G, you can already benefit from the future-oriented cellular technology,

The main reason for criticism was the high retail price, which vivo initially set at 799 euros. At this price in particular, you should have expected a slightly faster chip and features like WiFi6. In the meantime, the price has fallen to 519 euros and the vivo X51 5G is a thoroughly recommendable smartphone in this price range.

8.5
Our rating
8 comments

8 comments

  1. Fred

    20. October 2020 23 to: 46

    I have no idea how the prices are made at Vivo, but € 799 for a smartphone with SD765G is far too high. For that I prefer to get a Pixel 5 with an update guarantee and at least as good a camera.

    • Hendrik

      21. October 2020 15 to: 50

      I thought so too. There may be new technology in it, but the surcharge does not reveal itself to me.

      • Fred

        23. October 2020 08 to: 51

        I'm curious about the camera comparisons. The IMX598 could be interesting, but I don't see any advantage over the older IMX586. Pretty much identical specs.

  2. Dagobert

    8. December 2020 20 to: 08

    I went to Saturn yesterday and looked at it. Really super chic and top quality. If the price falls it will be bought :).

  3. slicer

    9. December 2020 09 to: 41

    Hello, do you already know something about Origin OS? In China, it should be available on all Vivo phones early next year. I would be interested to know if this also applies to global.

    • Timo Administrator

      9. December 2020 14 to: 00

      Hi slicer, whether and when Origin OS for the vivo X51 will be released has not yet been announced. I will of course update the test as soon as there is new information.

  4. Jörg

    21. January 2021 20 to: 02

    It's a shame that the basic things that affect everyday life are not dealt with in all the tests ... the notification display.

    Here only four apps specified by vivo are displayed on the AOD and not all!
    In addition, shortly after the message has been received, the display symbols in the status bar also disappear, which is why the function…. Message history…. introduced. So that you no longer have to check all apps.
    Nice and now standard looks different.

    Otherwise I have to say ... a great phone.

    • Stephan

      3. February 2021 15 to: 21

      I have had the X3 for 51 weeks now and I am very happy with it. Sure, for the price you get a bit more from other manufacturers, but I've never followed the mainstream. I cannot understand what you are describing with the AOD. For me, the notification symbols stay on the display. Notifications from the apps are also displayed without any problems. Regardless of which app.

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Overview
Manufacturer

live

Model

vivo X51 5G

Specifications

 Processor and memory 
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
GPU: Adreno 620
RAM: 8GB (LPDDR4x)
Internal memory: 256GB (UFS2.1)
Memory extension: no

 Display 
Display diagonal: 6.56 inches
Display resolution: 2376 × 1080 pixels
Display frequency: 90 Hz
Display Type: AMOLED
Screen Protector: Unknown
Multitouch: 10 fingers

 cameras 
Main camera: 48 MP Sony IMX598 (f / 1.6 aperture)
Ultra wide angle + macro: 8 MP Hynix HI-846 (120 ° ultra wide angle lens and f / 2.2 aperture)
Telecamera: 8MP Omnivision OV08A10 (f / 3.4 aperture, 5x optical - 60x digital)
Portrait camera: 8MP Samsung S5K3L6 (f / 2.46 aperture)

Front camera: 32 MP Samsung S5KGD1 (f / 2.45 aperture)

 Mesh 
Dual SIM: Yes
SIM size: Nano SIM
eSIM: No.

GSM: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
CDMA: BC0
WCDMA: B1/B2/B4/B5/B8
FDD LTE: B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/B8/B12/B17/B18/B19/B20/B26/B28/B32/B66
TDD LTE: B38 / B39 / B40 / B41
5G: n1/n3/n7/n8/n28/n38/n41/n77/n78

 wireless 
WiFi: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
Bluetooth: 5.1
GPS: Yes

 Sensors 
* Ambient light sensor
* Accelerometer
* Proximity Sensor
* Hall sensor
* E-Compass
*Gyroscope
* Fingerprint Sensor
* NFC

 Accumulator 
Battery: 4.315 mAh
Fast charge function: 33 Watt
Qi store: no

 other 
Operating system: Android 11 (FuntouchOS 11)
Audio: AK4377A Hi-Fi
Connection: USB-C
Size: 158,46 × 72,80 × 8,04 mm
Weight: 181.5g

What's in the box

1x smartphone
1x SIM needle
1x Type-C adapter
1x charging cable
1x charger (33 watts)
1x protective cover
1x user manual

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