Groundbreaking Vivo Phone Arrives, But There's a Catch

Editors' Note: This article was originally published Jan. 24. We updated it at 1:45 p.m. ET on Jan. 25 with additional information on pricing and availability from Vivo.

After seeing Vivo show off how an in-display fingerprint sensor can unlock its upcoming smartphone, we now have a good look at some of the phone's other features. But we still don't know if Vivo's new X20 Plus UD will ever reach the U.S.

Credit: Vivo

(Image credit: Vivo)

Vivo says its new phone is available for preorder in China starting today (Jan. 24), where it sells for 3,598RMB. (That's roughly $568 under current exchange rates.) The X20 Plus UD features a 6.43-inch AMOLED screen offering an 18:9 aspect ratio. Easily the phone's most noteworthy feature is the fingerprint sensor, developed by Synaptics, that pops up on the display when you have to unlock the phone or verify a payment but otherwise vanishes to let you enjoy the full-view screen.

While the fingerprint sensor turned our heads when we saw it earlier this month at CES, it's hardly the only feature Vivo is touting for the X20 Plus UD. The curved metal back of the phone features a pair of cameras: a 12-megapixel lens with dual-pixel sensors and a 5-MP shooter. Vivo says its cameras should be able to deal with challenging backlighting on shots, thanks to optimization features.

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The X20 Plus UD is powered by a sizable 3,905 mAh battery, which you would imagine would let it last all day on a charge. (For context, ZTE's budget Max XL phone offers a 3,990 mAh battery, and it held out for nearly 12 hours on the Tom's Guide battery test.) You'll find one of Qualcomm's mid-tier Snapdragon 630 mobile processing platforms inside Vivo's X20 Plus.

Many of those specs place the X20 Plus UD firmly among midrange phones currently available. The $279 Moto 5GS Plus, for example, features a Snapdragon 625 CPU and a dual-rear-camera setup (a pair of 13-MP sensors). The difference, of course, lies in the display, with Vivo's phone offering both an AMOLED panel as well as that embedded fingerprint sensor.

We asked Vivo if the phone will find its way to additional markets, and the company responded that it had no announcements about the X20 Plus UD's availability outside of China at this time. The reality is, though, that even if other regions get a chance to buy the new phone, the U.S. won't likely be one of them, as Vivo tends to stick closely to the Asia and Russian markets. It's still worth taking note of the X20 Plus UD, though, just to see if other leading smartphone makers take the Synaptics sensor and adopt it for their future phones.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.