If you want something to seem edgy and futuristic, add an X to it. That’s the modern-day equivalent of using a well-timed ‘Extreme!’ to get your thing to stand out. So it makes a kind of sense that Vivo’s first folding smartphone is the X Fold. As opposed to the Mate X lineup from Huawei, which is the same thing, only backward.
It’s the very first folding handset from the Chinese brand, but don’t expect to see it in South Africa yet. The X Fold is only confirmed for a launch in China so far. Still, it’s worth checking out what the future holds.
X Fold, but Y?
The Vivo X Fold consists of two screens, because that’s sort of the point of the whole endeavour. When open, the Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) folding display (which is also used by Samsung) measures 8.03in. That panel is a 1,800 x 2,200 AMOLED effort, joined by a conventional 6.53in AMOLED. Both screens operate up to 120Hz and support HDR+. The main screen includes a variable refresh rate that goes as low as 1Hz.
Vivo’s going hard on the camera front. There are 16MP selfie cameras in both orientations, but the main camera array uses Zeiss hardware. Expect four lenses — a 50MP main, a 48MP ultrawide, a 12MP telephoto (2x optical), and an 8MP periscope (5x zoom). The setup is similar to Huawei smartphones and might force Samsung to up its camera game for its folding hardware.
The main spec for the phone is typically powerful. A Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset runs the show, there’s 12GB of RAM, and there are two storage options: 256GB and 512GB. Vivo is including two ultrasonic fingerprint scanners, so you can unlock the phone in any orientation. The 4,600mAh battery supports 66W wired charging and 50W wireless charging. So far, it’s not terribly different from a typical flagship. Except that whole folding screen thing. That’s new.
The hinge is rated, apparently, for around 300,000 folds. Samsung’s devices are rated for 200,000, so this would be quite an improvement. But Vivo’s X Fold is also an utter unknown, so we’ll have to actually fiddle before taking their word for it. The hinge is apparently stable when the phone is open between 60° and 120°. That makes it a fine choice as a self-standing media player. Or, rather, it would if you could buy them here.
And if you could afford one. The phone starts at around R20,150 in local currency, but you’ll splash out around R23,000 if you want 512GB of storage. And that’s before you factor in importing and shipping the thing here because, as we said, the Vivo X Fold is a China-exclusive device for now.