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Vivo X51 5G Smartphone Review

The Vivo X51 5G is a mid-range smartphone with some clever camera technology that, on paper, looks excellent but do the specs transfer to real-life experience? Let's find out.


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Vivo X51 5G
 

 

Quick Verdict

The Vivo X51 5G is a mid-range smartphone with plenty of punch and in an ever-growing popular part of the smartphone market, this is exactly what a manufacturer needs to do to stand out from the crowd. The 'gimbal' camera is certainly a talking point and even though image quality could be better, on occasion, shots are steady, low light performance is good and so is the quality of video captured. Is it the best camera found in a smartphone? No, it's not, but at under £800, you wouldn't really expect it to be but it does have a great display, lots of storage and a smart-looking design. Vivo has also brought something new to the table in terms of its 'gimbal' camera which makes a refreshing change as, for a while now, the mid-range smartphone market has all looked a bit samey. We like the X51 and we think you will, too.  

+ Pros

  • Price
  • Great display
  • Smart design 
  • All of the camera focal lengths you could need
  • Steady video capture 
  • Good low light performance

- Cons

  • No headphone socket
  • No wireless charging
  • Colour accuracy in some images could be better
  • Camera can struggle to focus 
  • The battery could be better

 

Vivo might not be the first name that springs to mind when you think of smartphone brands but with some clever technology and new ideas coming from them, they perhaps should be a brand you start paying more attention to. Their newest release is the Vivo X51 5G which, as the name suggests, supports 5G but it also has plenty of other features that are well worth talking about which includes a mid-range under £800 price point, four rear cameras and what Vivo is calling a 'gimbal' camera which should not only help photographers but it will please videographers, too. 

So, now we've got your attention, shall we put the Vivo X51 5G through its paces to find out if the cameras impress us just as much in real life as they do from the specs table?

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Vivo X51 5G Features

Vivo X51 5G
 

The Vivo X51 5G smartphone comes with the tag line of 'photography redefined' and with a rear main camera that sits on a double-ball suspension mount (gimbal) to offer superior stabilisation as well as 4 zoom options, it's easy to see why. You also get Motion AF (auto focus), Autozoom and better light sensitivity for low light photography (Extreme Night Vision). Video features include 5-Axis Stabilisation and Smart Zoom. 

As for the rear cameras, there are 4 for you to choose from which includes the main 48MP f/1.6 'gimbal' main camera which features Vivo's double-ball suspension mount. There is also a 13MP, 50mm f/2.0 portrait camera as well as an 8MP super-wide-angle and macro camera that offers a 120-degree view and a 2.5cm focus distance. For shots that need more reach, a periscope telephoto lens is built-in which features 5X optical zoom and up to 60X Hyper zoom (digital). 

The AMOLED 2376x1080 display measures 6.56-inch and features a cutout 32MP f/2.45 selfie camera.

Other features include a 4315mAh battery, 8GB RAM/256GB storage, fast charging (but not wireless) and back glass construction. There's no headphone socket and the smartphone comes in just one colour option - Alpha Grey. Dimensions measure 158.46 × 72.80 × 8.04mm and the device weighs 181.5g.  

 

Key Features

  • 6.56-inch, AMOLED, 2376x1080
  • Rear Cameras: 
    • 48MP f/1.6 wide-angle with double-ball suspension mount OIS, PDAF
    • 13MP f/2.46 50mm portrait camera, PDAF, 2x optical zoom
    • 8MP f/2.2 120-degree super-wide-angle and 2.5cm macro
    • 8MP f/3.4 telephoto camera, PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom  
    • 5X optical zoom and up to 60X Hyper zoom 
  • Front Camera: 32MP f/2.45 26mm wide-angle 
  • Camera Features: Super Night Mode, Astro Mode, Pro Sports Mode, Portrait (Art Portrait, AI Makeup, Filters, etc.), AR Stickers, Slow Motion, Live Photo, Time-Lapse, Video, Supermoon Mode, DOC, Panorama, Pro Mode.
  • Video: 4K@30fps, 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS
  • Headphone Jack: No
  • Battery: 4315mAh (fast charging)
  • RAM/Memory: 8GB RAM/256GB
  • Dimensions: 158.46mm x 72.80mm x 8.04mm
  • Weight: 181.5g
  • Other: USB-C, 5G, glass front/back, aluminium frame, under-display fingerprint sensor 
  • Not water resistant 
  • Colour options: Alpha Grey

 

Vivo X51 5G Handling

Vivo X51 5G
 

The Vivo X51 5G is a lovely looking smartphone with an eye-catching grey colour, curved edges and big screen. Does it win any awards for standing out from the crowd? No, it doesn't, but that doesn't stop it from looking very modern and chic. 

On the front is a 6.56-inch 2376x1080 display which is sharp and offers accurate colours as well as good brightness levels. It sits in an 8.04mm metal frame which is comfortable to hold and feels secure in the hand. Bezels and chins seem to be a thing of the past on most smartphones nowadays and the Vivo X51 is no different but the camera unit on the rear is rather hefty, you can't miss it, and protrudes so the smartphone doesn't sit flat on surfaces which means it can rock when using it out of your hands. Selfie cameras also seem to be getting more discreet, too, with the 32MP front camera sitting in the screen as a small cutout top left. 

The right side of the smartphone features the power and volume controls while underneath you find the USB-C port and speaker. There's no headphone socket and you can't expand the memory with a MicroSD card but you do get 256GB of internal storage built-in. There's no official water resistance rating either. 

Turn the smartphone over and you find the impressive-looking camera unit that houses 4 cameras which will cover in more detail shortly. The Vivo X51 5G is only available in one colour option but the blue/grey tone is lovely and shines when in light. Fingerprints are noticeable, though, so you might want to pop a clear case on it so you can still enjoy the modern look without hiding it away. A case does come in the box and a screen protector is applied in the factory. 

Creating a smartphone that's just 8mm thick with the technology it has built-in is impressive and it also means it's really comfortable to hold and operate. You can easily use the smartphone one-handed and even with its impressive screen, it doesn't feel overly big. For comparison, it's similar in size to the Samsung Galaxy S20.

 

Vivo X51 5G
 

As for the cameras, there are four to choose from and they're all actually useful which is something you don't always find on modern smartphones. The main shooter is a 48MP camera which features a Sony IMX689 sensor and a built-in 'gimbal' for better image stabilisation. If you move the smartphone around you can actually see the lens shifting which it does to compensate for movement, which is particularly useful when shooting video (something we'll talk about further into the article). It's impressive as we usually see similar technology in cameras which are much bigger than a smartphone and it'll be interesting to see how the technology evolves further. 

Another useful feature of the image stabilisation built into the Vivo X51 5G is that it allows for really good low light photography. You can shoot low light images, with pretty lengthy exposures, handheld and images still look good when compared with the efforts of other smartphones at a similar price point.

The other cameras found on the Vivo X51 5G are a 13MP, 50mm f/2.0 portrait camera as well as an 8MP super-wide-angle and macro camera that offers a 120-degree view and a 2.5cm focus distance. For shots that need more reach, a periscope telephoto lens is built-in which features 5X optical zoom and up to 60X Hyper zoom (digital). On the front is a 32MP selfie camera. 

The camera app is pretty self-explanatory with various modes towards the bottom and options such as filters and HDR to the top. The modes found in the camera app include Super Night Mode, Astro Mode, Pro Sports Mode, Portrait (Art Portrait, AI Makeup, Filters, etc.), AR Stickers, Slow Motion, Live Photo, Time-Lapse, Video, Supermoon Mode, DOC, Panorama, Pro Mode and more. It's an impressive list of modes to say the least! 

Battery life - The 4315mAh is fine but we'd have liked to have seen the power last a little longer than it does but fast charging is supported when you do need to top it up. 

Geekbench 5 Scores - 1878

 


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