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.