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Forget iPhone 12: Vivo is bringing this killer camera phone to UK

Vivo X50 Pro
(Image credit: Future)

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Vivo. The Chinese phone maker has been in the business for over a decade now, and has become known for developing headline-grabbing concept devices, as well as more upscale features you don’t find in many other devices.

But buying Vivo phones hasn’t been easy here, forcing fans to rely on after market imports to get hold of one. That’s about to change, though, because Vivo is expanding into Europe — and that includes the UK.

Vivo made the announcement in Dusseldorf yesterday (Oct. 21), revealing its European product lineup via an online media briefing. The idea, of course, is to win over new fans in the European market, and the Vivo X51 5G is where a lot of the focus seems to lie as a viable alternative to the iPhone 12.

The X51 is physically identical to the X50, and the only difference is that the software has been modified for the European market, though what the modifications are isn’t clear.

Vivo X51 5G is coming

The Vivo X51 will go on sale on October 29 for £749. By comparison, the iPhone 12 starts at £799 in the UK for the 64GB model and £849 for 128GB.

So what do you get for the money? The Vivo X51 features a Snapdragon 765 processor, a 90Hz 6.56-inch FHD+ display, 256GB of storage, a 4,315mAh battery and 33W fast charging, but the real action is around the cameras.

This handset includes a 48MP main camera, a 13MP ‘portrait’ camera with 2x optical zoom, 8MP telephoto lens with 5x zoom, an 8MP ultrawide lens, and a 32MP front camera. It also comes with the same built-in camera gimbal as the X50, for better camera stability.

The micro-gimbal system is bolstered by a magnetic frame and a double-ball bearing suspension system, which enables three degrees of tilt on the X and Y axes. Vivo says that's three times better than what conventional OIS can do, and the result should be smoother, less shaky videos and crisper photography, especially in low-light scenarios.

We put the Vivo X50 Pro up against the Galaxy S20, and it delivered better low-light images as well as steadier video. 

More Vivo phones on the way to UK

Vivo is also set to debut a number of mid-range smartphones in the European market, in the form of the Y70, Y20, and Y11. There will also be two pairs of wireless earbuds, the True Wireless Stereo Earphone Neo, which features AI noise cancelling, and the Wireless Sport Earphone that’s designed for long battery life and outdoor use. Both will also work with Google Assistant.

The Y70 and Y20 will both arrive on October 29 as well, costing £279 and £149 respectively. The Y11 will arrive soon, though pricing has yet to be announced. The Earphone Neo will cost £129, while the Wireless Sport Earphone will cost just £69, again both arriving on October 29.

Vivo says that its European launch is coming after “extensive preparations,” which included interviews with over 9,000 people across Europe and plenty of research. As you’d expect from any company hoping to make it big in a new place. Plus, now Huawei is at a huge disadvantage from not being able to offer Google Play Services, there’s a gap in the phone market — especially for people who want a premium phone but don’t want to buy from Samsung or Apple.