Vivo X Fold 3 Pro: A game-changer in the foldable smartphone segment

Vivo pulls out all the stops for its first foldable in the country
Vivo X Fold 3 Pro
Vivo X Fold 3 Pro

Vivo’s debut foldable in the country arrives packing quite a punch, with a number of segment firsts for the X Fold 3 Pro. Sample this, for a book style foldable – it’s the slimmest (11.2mm when folded), the lightest (236g), it has the largest and brightest display (8.03 inches, up to 4,500 nits) and it packs the biggest battery yet (5700mAh), all of which take the fight to the Samsung Z Fold 5 and the OnePlus Open in what is still an emerging segment in the country. The question is – do all these superlatives justify the asking price of Rs. 1,59,999?

It's quite a looker, the X Fold 3 Pro, in its Celestial Black variant. The 11.2mm thickness lends the device a candy bar phone feel in the hand and in the pocket, and the 236g weight means holding the device for long durations isn’t any different than holding up an iPhone 14 Pro Max. When opened to its impossibly thin 5.22 mm edge, the frosted glass rear panel lacks a confidence-inspiring grip and feels a tad fragile. Exacerbating the grip issue is the presence of the Zeiss-branded circular camera module on the rear, which while it reminds me of Vivo’s X series flagships, it makes the device top heavy and one had to kid glove the device when unfolded, to avoid any unfortunate falls. Should it fall, Vivo has equipped the X Fold 3 Pro with Armor Architecture and Schott Xensation scratch resistance for the outer display, a carbon fiber hinge that’s certified for 500,000 folds and IPX8 water resistance, but I’d have much preferred having a textured rear panel to avoid the slips in the first place!

Vivo X Fold 3 Pro
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Vivo X Fold 3 Pro
Vivo X Fold 3 Pro

Open it up and the X Fold 3 Pro reveals its massive 8.03-inch 2K+ resolution display which, like the 6.53-inch outer display, offers 120Hz refresh rate, vivid colors and sharp details, and up to 4500 nits of peak brightness for good visibility outdoors. Both the outer display and the inner folding display feature an in-display fingerprint scanner, a rarity in the segment. When closed, the outer display is a lot like using a slightly tall and narrow candy bar phone in terms of usability, and the slightly rectangular inner display is good for watching Dolby Vision/HDR10+ content on streaming services, save for the inevitable black bars when watching widescreen content. 

No scrimping on performance either, and the device packs the top-shelf Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset with 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage. Expectedly, using heavy apps and games and multitasking between them is a breeze, and the expansive inner display lets you use multiple windows simultaneously in split-screen or floating window arrangements. There’s even a Fold to Split feature to quickly move apps into split-screen mode, and you can keep the screen open at various angles to watch content, take selfies or use the bottom half as a keyboard (akin to a laptop). And du jour for a phone launching this year - Funtouch OS 14 has a few AI capabilities as well, mostly around content and call transcription and summarization.

In a phone loaded with so many notable features, the big everyday wins for the X Fold 3 are in camera and battery department. The 50MP-64MP-50MP trio of cameras delivers strongly, with the primary taking excellent shots across lighting conditions and the telephoto and excellent portrait modes letting you get up close with the subject. These are by far the best cameras one has seen on a foldable. Battery life is stellar too, with screen times of well past 7 hours and 100W charging speeds to fill the tank in less than 40 minutes – again, indisputably the best battery and charging speeds on a foldable in India. 

Is all of this worth the princely price tag? The X Fold 3 Pro is the best foldable around, price no bar – but Samsung’s foldables are just around the corner, so it’s worth waiting to conclusively answer that question.

Rating: 8/10

Price: Rs. 1,59,999

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