Forget the Galaxy S23 Ultra – new Vivo X90 Pro features an epic camera

The Vivo X90 Pro features an impressive camera system that takes on Samsung's Galaxy S23 Ultra in a very different way

Vivo X90 Pro in Legendary Black finish
(Image credit: Vivo)

With Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event now done and dusted, and lots of interest circling around the Galaxy S23 Ultra's announcement of a 200-megapixel camera, there's a new competitor in town that ups the camera ante in a whole other way.

I'm talking about Vivo's latest flagship for international markets: the Vivo X90 Pro. It comes complete with a 1-inch main camera sensor, which while not Samsung Galaxy levels of resolute, given its 50-megapixels, is a much larger sensor by comparison. 

That's really important for providing a larger 'pixel' size on the sensor's surface, which is more adept at capturing light and a clean signal, for less 'noisy' results and optimum image quality. Plus the Vivo X90 Pro features a Zeiss collaboration, bringing with it the German optics maker's premium lens coatings for enhanced sharpness and clarity.

What's so special about the Vivo X90 Pro's camera?

When it comes to camera sensors people tend to fling around all kinds of numbers all of the time. The main sensor in the S23 Ultra is described as 1/1.33-inch, whereas the Vivo X90 Pro's is described as 1-inch. Note, however, that's not a direct correlation with the actual measurement: a "1-inch" sensor measures closer to half an inch, or 13.8mm, across its diagonal.

But a 1-inch sensor is much larger than a 1/1.33-inch one: and that means the surface area of the sensor in Vivo's X90 Pro is approximately 65% greater than you'll find in the equivalent sensor in the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Consider the resolution difference too, with the Samsung cramming four times the number of pixels into that smaller surface area, and the advantage of the Vivo's sensor choice (which is a Sony IMX989, should you care to know) is clear to see.

Not that I've yet used the new Vivo phone, but I believe that one is in the mail to me and that I'll be able to explore this S23 Ultra competitor's new camera in much more detail once it arrives. It comes from good stock too, as when T3 reviewed the previous X80 Pro model we were impressed with how it fared.

"Pricey, Zeissey, very nicey" read that review headline, which does raise one question mark for the Vivo X90 Pro: just how much will it cost for this epic large sensor camera phone? Well, I don't know just yet. But given that the Galaxy S23 Ultra is £1,249, well, I'd hope that Vivo will take that on and compete for the better. 

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike is the Tech Editor at He's been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and, as a phones expert, has seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone too (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech and audio aficionado his beat at T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a tech stone unturned he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for 10 years, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.