Monsters from Asia: the camera-centric Vivo Xshot


The phone we'll highlight for you today is the second entry by Chinese Vivo -- the company that produced the world's first smartphone with a QHD (1440x2560) display in the Xplay 3S. But today the spotlights are on another Vivo phone -- the camera-centric Xshot.

Announced just two days ago, the 5.2-inch (1080x1920) Vivo Xshot deserves a spot in our fortnightly column on amazing tech from Asia (and more specifically, China). And how could it not? Not only does it pack some drool-worthy camera specs both at the front and back, but the rest of the internals are also very much worthy of a true 2014 flagship. Let's dissect it.

This being a camera-centric device, it makes sense to start with a visit to the imaging department. The Xshot packs a 13-megapixel (wait for it) second-gen stacked sensor from Sony with super-fast, super-wide 6-element, f/1.8 lens. "Meh", you say? Perhaps the fact that the unit is optically stabilized will help, not to mention that two-tone dual LED flash, much alike the iPhone 5s. The phone also comes with a dedicated two-step physical shutter key on the side (a rarity these days), and is capable of 4K video recording, along with 120 frames per second slow-mos. It also boasts special modes, like the ability to apply a bokeh effect (super-trendy right now), a burst mode, and a dedicated Smart Night Mode. As has become typical for Chinese smartphones, the selfie cam at the front is quite amazing, too. In fact, this is, hands down, the most impressive-sounding front unit we've heard of. It's got an 8-megapixel sensor with wide-angled (84-degree), f/2.4 lens, and, get this, a front-facing, full-spectrum flash. If that doesn't spell "ultimate selfie phone" we don't know what does.

As promised, the Xshot is more than just a very capable camera phone (on paper, at least) -- it's also a powerhouse in terms of raw power. It comes in two versions -- one with a Snapdragon 800 chip, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage (microSD-expandable), and another with the latest Snapdragon 801 SoC, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of on-board memory. But that's not all. Another perk audiophiles will have a kick out with the Xshot are its Hi-Fi capabilities. It's got chips from Cirrus Logic, Maxim Integrated, and even Texas Instruments.

Given Vivo's premium stature in its home market, and all the impressive specs bundled into the Xshot, you'd probably expect it to cost quite a bit. It does. The less-potent, Snapdragon 800/2GB RAM version costs the equivalent of $480, while the more powerful, Snapdragon 801/3GB of RAM model goes up to $560.

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Monsters from Asia (49 updates)

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20 Comments

1. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

Waiting for LOW LIGHT indoors samples. Outdoors all the top dogs look ok. Note 3 user here.

5. Ashoaib

Posts: 3297; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

No dual speakers? Design is the same as xplay 3s, so dual speakers might be an additonal worth... Recently Chinese companies has shown that they are capable to make big guns like apple, samsung, lg to run for their money

8. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

And what about maintenance ???? Who is Vivo outside his country ???

11. Ashoaib

Posts: 3297; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Maintenance?? are you buying a phone or a car? I hardly visited any service center except apple and lg in 10 years

2. hafini_27

Posts: 951; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

Holy smoke, what a beast!

3. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

Another monster from China? OMG, these Chinese manufacturers are amazing. I'm torn between this phone and the Oppo Find 7, which one should I get?

6. Ashoaib

Posts: 3297; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Vivo is better due to its hifi sound department

15. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

As Ashoaib mentioned, the Oppo Find 7 has some audio performance problems. It is probably good to stay away until they are fixed. The OnePlus One may have similar issues, so I would wait until there are some tests/reviews. "Plugging in a pair of headphones tells a different story, however. The stereo crosstalk increases way beyond the point where it can be considered as good, or even acceptable. The other readings remain great, but the high cross-channel leakage has the potential of damaging the whole audio experience for more exacting users and put the Oppo Find 7a below the current crop of flagships as far as audio output is concerned." http://www.gsmarena.com/oppo_find_7a-review-1073p7.php

9. salaal

Posts: 109; Member since: Dec 08, 2013

i'd say neither wait till the G3 is announced it sounds amazing! Or just get a Xperia Z2 or find 7a

16. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Hopefully LG invested in better sound output with the G3. The G2 output volume was low and the sound uninspiring. For great headphone sound, you need to start with a good DAC (Wolfson, Cirrus), add a high quality headphone amp, and do a lot of testing/fixing of any issues that may crop up due to interference, bad headphone connector design, etc.

13. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

Wait for the Xiaomi Mi-3s.

4. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Looks amazing, but will it play nicely with American LTE networks? I'm guessing it doesn't (judging by the Xplay 3s specs).

7. Ashoaib

Posts: 3297; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Bcoz xplay 3s is china centric. If Vivo plan to launch xshot in international market then ofcourse they will add right Lte frequencies to work internationally

12. Armchair_Commentator

Posts: 222; Member since: May 08, 2014

Its always sad seeing all these phones coming out from China only to find out that they won't work on American LTE =/ Guess i'll have to wait for the G3

17. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

OnePlus makes a model of the One that works on ATT/TMO LTE bands. It's not shipping yet, but should be sometime mid/late summer.

10. Nabil2511

Posts: 152; Member since: Jan 27, 2014

this phone would sell alot if it wasnt a Vivo

14. RandomUsername

Posts: 808; Member since: Oct 29, 2013

I wonder why almost all chinese phones have this stupid button layout...

18. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

I am not a fan of the power button next to the volume buttons either. It's this way on the Samsung Note 8 and it is very easy to lock the phone instead of adjusting the volume. On the plus side, the Vivo has a shutter button. That's something nice to have almost every time you take a picture.

19. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

Personally find that particular layout preferable to anything else that's currently available. I wouldn't call it stupid at all, actually.

20. adit38

Posts: 25; Member since: Jul 02, 2013

I recently buy this phone, great camera and UI

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