Android Central Verdict
There's some definite appeal to having a "traditional" smartphone that folds in half and slips into any pocket, but Vivo managed to implement some worthwhile improvements that make us wish this was more widely available.
Cover screen is more useful than expected
Display crease is almost unnoticeable
Solid overall camera experience
Great battery life
Only available in China
Hinge doesn't always stay in place
No wireless charging
No IP rating
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After spending some time with the Vivo X Fold 2, I was excited to mess around and use the Vivo X Flip. This is Vivo's first "flippable" smartphone, following in the footsteps of the Moto Razr Plus, Galaxy Z Flip 4, and others.
Admittedly, this is the first flip phone that I've used since the Galaxy Z Flip 3, as I'm more of a foldable phone kind of guy. But the X Flip opened my eyes a bit to the appeal that this smaller and more compact form factor has on the market.
Vivo X Flip: Design and specs
Getting the boring stuff out of the way first, the Vivo X Flip is basically a 2022 flagship in pretty much every way. It's powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, paired with 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. It also sports a dual-camera setup, which is pretty much as good as it gets in this segment of the market.
Vivo also managed to squeeze in a 4,400mAh battery, one of the largest that we've seen in this form factor. This comes with 44W fast charging, blowing the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Moto RAZR Plus out of the water. But more on that in a bit.
As for the displays, you're greeted with a 3-inch AMOLED cover screen, wedged between the hinge and the camera module. Flip open the phone and you'll find a 6.7-inch FHD+ display with a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz.
|Category||Vivo X Flip|
|Main Display||6.7-inch 120Hz OLED (LTPO), 2520 x 1080 (407 PPI)|
|Cover Display||3-inch AMOLED, 682 x 422 resolution|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1|
|Rear Camera 1 (main)||50MP, ƒ/1.8, 1.0μm, 1/1.49-inch sensor size, Dual PDAF, Laser AF, OIS|
|Rear Camera 2 (ultrawide)||12MP, ƒ/2.2, 1.22μm, 1/2.93-inch sensor size, 106-degree FoV, Dual Pixel PDAF|
|Front Camera||32MP, ƒ/2.5|
|Video resolution||4K/30FPS on rear cameras, 1080p/30 or 60fps on front camera|
|Charging||44W wired fast charging|
|Ports and SIM||USB Type-C, Dual SIM|
|Audio||Stereo speakers, 3 microphones with noise suppression|
|Wireless||Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, Wi-Fi 6, 5G|
|Security||Side-mounted fingerprint sensor|
|Dimensions||166.4 x 75.3 x 7.8mm|
|Water and dust resistance||❌|
|Colors||Rhombic Purple, Silk Gold, Diamond Black|
|Software||Origin OS 3 based on Android 13|
And this leads me to the first thing worth pointing out about the X Flip courtesy of the waterdrop hinge. Basically, unless you're really looking for it, you can't see the crease in the middle of the screen. You don't have to worry about the screen becoming an eyesore if you leave it open on your desk, or when using it.
Taking a quick step back, I did want to touch on the overall design of the X Flip. I think that Vivo absolutely nailed it, as the phone is easy and comfortable to hold, thanks to the rounded edges. I'm also a big fan of the side-mounted fingerprint scanner, which is embedded in the power button.
The X Flip just feels really solid but isn't too heavy for everyday use. It doesn't feel like a cheap phone in any way, something that I was a bit concerned about going into this review.
Vivo X Flip: Performance and battery life
Performance is right on par with what you would expect out of a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 smartphone. It's going to be pretty darn good and can handle pretty much everything you would want to throw at it. You might find that it gets a bit warmer compared to other phones, but it's really nothing to be too worried about.
I'm also happy to see 44W fast charging onboard, which is better than a lot of the best "slab" phones out there, let alone the X Flip's flippable foes. I was able to get 50% charge in just about 30 minutes, which is more than fine as it doesn't need to have the 120W fast charging from the X Fold 2.
However, I was also disappointed to learn that despite using glass and aluminum, there's no wireless charging. It feels like this was more of an oversight than anything else, and maybe Vivo is just playing it safe with this clamshell device. But it also gives the company room for improvement in the event that there is an X Flip 2 on the horizon.
Vivo X Flip: Software
The X Flip is running OriginOS 3, which is based on Android 13, but has plenty of different tweaks so you can personalize the interface to your liking. This includes making the Quick Settings panel easier to use as it slides down to the bottom half of the screen, removing the need to play finger gymnastics to reach the top of the phone.
There's really not too much to write home about when the X Flip is completely open, as it's basically the same experience you'll find on any Android phone. The fun starts when you want to try and use different apps in a semi-folded state on the X Flip.
Thanks to the waterdrop hinge design, the X Flip can be positioned at different angles ranging between 60 to 120 degrees. This is great for those times that you want to watch a video while keeping the phone propped up or if you want to snap a picture and want to take advantage of the built-in tripod.
Like the X Fold 2, Vivo has only released the X Flip in China, meaning that it won't come with Google services available out of the box. Instead, you'll have to sideload the Google Play Store, which only takes a few steps, then you can download all of your favorite apps and games.
As for the cover screen on the X Flip, I still have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it's great to see a larger screen allowing you to easily reply to messages or use it as a viewfinder for the camera without needing to open the phone.
But on the other, Vivo has some severe limitations when it comes to the apps that you can use. At the time of this writing, the only apps that you can use out of the box include a few of the company's own apps, along with WeChat. Obviously, we would love to see support expanded for more apps, even if they are just for messaging apps like WhatsApp or Telegram.
Besides that, you can still read all of your incoming notifications, and there's a customizable panel that lets you see things like the date, steps, and weather. And there are a bunch of customization options that are available within the Settings app.
Vivo X Flip: Cameras
As I mentioned previously, the X Flip is "only" equipped with a dual-camera setup, but I was regularly surprised by the results. I didn't need to worry about a delay between tapping the shutter button and having the picture actually taken. Even the built-in Night Mode managed to impress, which is especially fun to use since the X Flip doubles as its own tripod.
That being said, you really won't be disappointed by the camera system offered by Vivo's first flip phone. It might even be the best camera system in this form factor, despite not using the same sensors found in Vivo's excellent X90 Pro+.
Vivo X Flip: The Competition
The most obvious competition to the Vivo X Flip is Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 5. Rumors suggest that Samsung is expanding the cover screen to be more useful while also implementing a new hinge design allowing it to close completely. Plus, the cost will be lower, considering you won't need to import it from China, on top of any launch deals that can be had.
Motorola's Razr Plus is also an excellent contender for the X Flip, as both of these are powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. Vivo gains an advantage in the storage, RAM, and battery department, but again, the Razer Plus is easier to get your hands on and has an even-larger cover screen.
Vivo X Flip: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if:
- You want the best cameras in a clamshell foldable phone
- You're okay with importing and installing Google services
- You want excellent battery life in this form factor
You shouldn't buy this if:
- You want to use this with an eSIM
- You don't want to worry about importing and installing Google services
- You're interested in what the Galaxy Z Flip 5 could offer
As is the case with the Vivo X Fold 2, it's really tough to recommend the X Flip wholeheartedly. Vivo's first clamshell foldable is quite excellent, especially after you get past the lack of Google services out of the box. The camera is great, the battery life is superb, and it's comfortable to hold despite being quite slippery.
Not only is the Galaxy Z Flip 5 looming around the corner, but the Razr Plus is already available and you can go to your local carrier and grab one now. If there's one thing that I know for sure, it's that I'm excited to see what Vivo can do with a possible successor.
If you really want to pick up the Vivo X Flip for yourself, it's available through Giztop, and at the time of this writing, is actually on sale for around $999. But you might be better suited to wait a bit longer to see what the Z Flip 5 has to offer.
Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.