Vivo X Note Hands-On: A 7-inch Phablet with China-only OriginOS

Vivo X Note Hands-On: A 7-inch screen with OriginOS makes for an off-beat experience

Vivo launched a copulate of new smartphones — one slab, one foldable — last week that are sol far exclusive alone to the mainland China market. While everyone ’ randomness attention has been drawn to the foldable device, the more conventional slab, named the Vivo X Note, has a couple of interesting features that set it apart from the sea of slab phones on the market .
The first is its size : with a 7-inch display, the Vivo X Note is the first base earphone from a major sword to break that six-point-something-inch barrier in over three years. The last phone I can think of that went this big was 2018 ’ s Huawei Mate 20X. The second concern factor is that the X Note runs on OriginOS, Vivo ’ s China-only software that, while silent an Android bark, looks drastically different from most other versions of Android. It makes Vivo ’ mho ball-shaped software, FunTouchOS, attend understate and complain .

The Vivo X Note running OriginOS.
While the X Note is not on sale in Hong Kong where I am based, I was able to borrow a unit from importer Trinity Electronics. My early impressions ? Vivo ’ s hot mottle in making beautiful hardware continues, but OriginOS is just a snatch besides funky for me, and I ’ megabyte guessing most readers .

    Vivo X Note

    Vivo X Note

    Vivo’s X Note is a giant 7-inch smartphone with an excellent camera system. Unfortunately, it’s only for the China market for now.
    horizon at Vivo

Vivo X Note: Specifications

Specification Vivo X Note
  • Gorilla Glass Victus front and back (black model)
  • Gorilla Glass Victus front with vegan leather back (blue and grey models)
  • Aluminum frame
Dimensions & Weight
  • 168.8 x 80.3 x 8.4 mm
  • 221g (leather models)
  • 219g (glass model)
  • 7-inch OLED
  • 3200 x 1440
  • LTPO 1.0
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM & Storage
  • 128/256GB storage
  • 8GB/12GB RAM
Battery & Charging
  • 5,000 mAg
  • 80W wired charging
  • Charging brick included
  • Wireless charging up to 50W
Security Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max in-display fingerprint sensor
Rear Camera(s)
  • Primary: 50MP wide, Samsung GN1, f/1.57, 1/1.31″, OIS
  • Secondary: 48MP ultra-wide, Sony IMX 598, f/2.2, Gimbal technology
  • Tertiary: 12MP telephoto, Sony IMX 663, f/1.6, 2x optical
  • Quarternary: 8MP Periscope, f/3.4, 5x optical zoom
Front Camera(s) 16MP, f/2.5 selfie camera
Port(s) USB-C
Audio Dual Stereo Speakers
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 5.2
Software  OriginOS over Android 12
Other Features  Alert slider toggle

About this hands-on: This article was written after testing a Vivo X Note on loanword from Trinity Electronics, a third-party importer in Hong Kong not affiliated with Vivo. Neither Vivo nor Trinity Electronics had any input signal in this article .

Vivo X Note: Hardware and Design

The beginning thing to note about the Vivo X Note is that it is a big phone, but it besides isn ’ t actually that big. What I mean is that, if you ’ re one of those people who find even standard non-Ultra Android flagships like a OnePlus 9 or Galaxy S22 Plus besides big, then the X Note will feel absurdly gigantic to you. But I am person who has been used to Ultra and Pro Max phones, and my first chemical reaction when I grabbed bear of the Vivo X Note was “ Oh, that ’ s it ? This doesn ’ triiodothyronine feel that big. ”
Vivo X Note
sure, the X Note is perceptibly grandiloquent and very slenderly wide ( by 2-3mm ) than the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Galaxy S22 Ultra, but the X Note is a bite idle and doesn ’ metric ton have the iPhone ’ second sharply sides or the pointy corners of the Galaxy. I find the Vivo X Note to feel more comfortable in the hand than either of those devices .
vivo x note with galaxy s22 ultra and iphone 13 pro max
other than the size, the Vivo X Note is a identical standard Android flagship earphone, and if you ’ ve seen Vivo ’ s previous devices the craft will feel familiar. The X Note comes with either a black frost glaze back ( the model I tested ) or vegan leather back in bluing or grey. What I find odd was that even my glass back model has texture on the leave and properly side that resembles stitchings you ’ vitamin d find on leather goods. It ’ randomness subtle ; I don ’ metric ton judgment .

The Vivo X Note is a big telephone, but it besides is n’t in truth that big — it is only marginally larger than an iPhone 13 Pro Max or Galaxy S22 Ultra

I am a fan of the new round television camera faculty, as I ’ ve always liked how circular modules look ( I think the OnePlus 7T looked better than most OnePlus devices, and the Huawei Mate 30 Pro gets my vote for all-time best looking back ). The camera hardware is about identical to the system seen in the Vivo X70 Pro Plus, which is very dear newsworthiness in my public opinion because the X70 Pro Plus ’ s camera system is very, in truth good. There are, a far as I can tell, only two detectable differences in the cameras : the X Note ’ s 2x telephotograph rapid climb lens has a smaller image detector than the X70 Pro Plus ’ counterpart, and the X Note ’ s ultra-wide lens does not get that miniature gimbal stabilization arrangement. Every other feature, from the Zeiss T-coating lenses to the V1 imaging chip handling visualize process, is still hera in the X Note .
There are four more hardware upgrades over the X70 Pro Plus .

  • The X Note gets the expected processor bump to Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
  • The in-display fingerprint scanner uses Qualcomm’s awesome 3D Ultrasonic Max solution that has a larger scanning area and scans much faster than not just optical scanners, but even quicker than the older Qualcomm solution used in Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra.
  • Battery size has been increased to 5,000 mAh.
  • There is a new OnePlus style alert slider for setting the phone to vibrant, silent, or normal.

other than that, everything is identical to the Vivo X70 Pro Plus — so you get haptics that are pretty commodity but a step below what OPPO/Xiaomi/Samsung/Google offer in their flagships ; the WQHD+ OLED display is shrill and vibrant, but it ’ randomness distillery only an LTPO 1.0 jury. There ’ south IP68 body of water and dust resistance, and radio receiver charging up to 50W. An 80W charging brick comes with the box .

Vivo X Note: Software — OriginOS

Remember years ago when Android skins, particularly those from asian brands, had wildly different looks and feature sets that deviated significantly from stock Android ? Those days were, in my opinion, both fun and torment. I remember every earphone having a different seafaring system ( LG used on-screen buttons, Samsung used physical capacitive buttons but with the back button in the incorrectly locate, Meizu had a quite apt all-in-one button that was both home and spinal column, etc ) ; I remember Vivo putting the shortcut toggle page in a swipe-up menu that sprouted from the bottom of the display ; and I remember Samsung ’ s TouchWiz icons looking identical brassy. In the last couple of years, possibly due to western consumers/reviewers ’ critiques and demands, every Android skin began behaving similarly and closer to how Google envisioned things. This made for much better Android skins — I no longer care about using a third-party launcher when it was a must download for me back in 2016 — but it has besides brought about a uniformity that feels a bit bore .

Vivo ’ s OriginOS sort of brings those baseless days back. It is an android skin with app icons of varying shapes and sizes ( that look similar to iOS 15 ), interactional widgets directly on the homescreen, a blare odds and ends of colors, and dragged-out animations. As I said, the software is possibly a spot besides unpredictable for me to use as a daily driver, but it ’ randomness attention-getting, clever in parts, and decidedly a hint of fresh air travel .
The above pictures show what the OriginOS homescreen looks like. There is no app tray — all apps sit on the homescreen. A swipe up from the dock brings up a list of “ Nano Kits, ” ( in the second screenshot below ) which is what Vivo calls synergistic widgets .
These synergistic widgets are largely for Vivo ’ s own native apps, but some of them, like the synergistic music player appliance, cultivate for Spotify. I am a sports fan of how some of these interactional widgets work. For model, the weather doodad ( in the third screenshot above ) is scrollable — I can swipe horizontally to check the upwind later in the day. The fipple flute appliance ( in the second screenshot below ) can begin recording audio with just a tap of the record button on the homescreen. You don ’ t have to jump into the recorder app itself to begin recording ( though this makes me wonder if accidental recordings will be quite common ). Every doodad, even some app icons, has insidious animations that move on the homescreen independently. The clock appliance, for example, has moving clock hands. The calendar app will change the day and date at midnight .
The lockscreen ( first base screenshot above ) looks very different from any Android phone I ’ ve seen, with the fingerprint scanner icon in a colored circle, surrounded by apps that you can cursorily launch by dragging into the fingerprint scanner. So if I drag the footfall counterpunch widget into the fingermark scanner, the earphone will unlock and launch directly to the Vivo Health app that ’ south been tracking my steps .
The notification shade is silent triggered by a swipe down and behaves by and large the lapp, but the shortcut toggles have been moved to an io Control Center-like pane that requires a swipe from the upper right corner ( fourth screenshot above ) .
There ’ s a persistent icon in the homescreen named “ Mood Cube ” ( foremost three screenshots below ) that allows quick change of homescreen aesthetics, from color outline to size and form of icons .
The interpreter appliance is particularly impressive. If I grab a screenshot with textbook that ’ s not in the earphone ’ mho default terminology and then tap on the translator doodad, the interpreter will automatically scan that screenshot and convert the text to the telephone ’ second default option language. Below, you can see it translated XDA to Chinese ( the translation is by and large correct besides ). right now, the translator supports English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Spanish, French, and italian .
You can besides customize one slope pilfer to launch an app or a appliance ( with the other side-swipe remaining as a “ second ” gesture ). For example, you can set it so a right swipe from the side of the display opens AliPay or WeChat Pay ( two omnipresent payment apps everyone in China use ) .
And for those inquisitive : the Vivo X Note does not ship with Google apps but they can be installed from Vivo ’ s app memory or a hope reference like APK Mirror. The Google Mobile Services framework is already part of the software .
OriginOS is very alone and can be useful for those who love having shortcut gestures. But ultimately, I prefer having an app tray and a homescreen that ’ s slenderly less cluttered .

Vivo X Note: Cameras

As I said, the Vivo X Note ’ s television camera hardware is by and large identical to the Vivo X70 Pro Plus, so it ’ s a identical strong camera system with excellent HDR. however, I am noticing some color incompatibility when comparing shots across all four of the X Note ’ second cameras. possibly Vivo hasn ’ thyroxine had time to fine-tune the cameras here for OriginOS deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as it has for my ball-shaped adaptation of X70 Pro Plus ( running FunTouchOS ) .
still, the X Note ’ south HDR is amazing and systematically appears better balanced than something out of an iPhone 13 Pro Max .
The change in coloring material temperature between the chief and ultra-wide television camera is a problem right now, but I ’ megabyte confident Vivo can fix this seeing as how these are the lapp camera hardware as the Vivo X70 Pro Plus, and that telephone had no such problems .

Vivo X Note: Initial Impressions

Since the Vivo X Note international relations and security network ’ thyroxine on sale outside of China, this article is more about checking a different type of earphone out of curiosity ’ s sake than an actual buyer ’ s guide. While the Vivo X Note is relatively low-cost at 5,999 yuan ( ~ $ 942 ) in China, the price will surely be marked up to well over four digits for those who want to import .

Vivo X Note and Vivo X70 Pro Plus
If you actually want a big filmdom telephone, or if you ’ ve been a fan of Vivo ’ sulfur cameras as of late, the Vivo X Note may be deserving considering an import, but I think OriginOS will be excessively far-out for most western drug user ’ s taste. possibly wait for the Vivo X80 series, which will release internationally and thus run on FunTouchOS. I will say this : I don ’ triiodothyronine beware if the following Ultra/Max phones get up to 7-inch in screen size besides, as apps like TikTok and Instagram look ever so slightly better on a larger canvas, but Samsung and Apple will have to shave those abrupt edges and heavily corners to make their phones easier to hold .

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