Vivo X Fold 3 Pro Review: A Fold Above The Rest (2024)

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro has quickly become my favorite smartphone. It features the best camera setup on a foldable phone, the crease is minimal, and Vivo impressed me with smart software features for enhanced productivity. I was expecting the Galaxy Z Fold 6 to take the baton from OnePlus Open for the best foldable phone but the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro has topped the charts ahead of the Fold 6 launch.

I prefer foldables for added functionality and the convenience of having a tablet-size display in my pocket. However, it often involves trade-offs, especially in design and camera.

For instance, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 offers the most polished software experience on a foldable, while the OnePlus Open features the best multi-tasking software with Open Canvas. And Honor made the slimmest folding phone with the Magic V2.

However, they all have their shortcoming – Samsung and Honor cameras aren’t up to the mark for a premium phone, while OnePlus offered the right balance between design, features, and cameras, Vivo has now surpassed it with an even better camera system, more ergonomic design, and wireless charging.

It’s expensive but the new Vivo foldable is my favorite phone for three reasons.

An Excellent Media Consumption Device

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro doesn’t feel bulky in the hand, thanks to its 11.2mm thickness and 236g weight. While I find the Honor Magic V2 more ergonomic due to its slimmer form factor. The OnePlus Open isn’t too far behind at 239 grams either. But the Vivo foldable feels more natural to handle and unfold. However, the rear is prone to scratches and is the slipperiest of the lot. I recommend using a case on it.

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro features a 6.5-inch cover screen and an 8-inch foldable display. Both are bright and sharp with support for HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and a 120Hz refresh rate. I unfold the phone every time I need to read an article or an ebook (I read a lot on my phone), and I didn’t feel the need for it to be brighter in any condition. It was an enjoyable content consumption experience on this device.

By comparison, OnePlus Open’s cover screen still feels better with its 20.1:9 aspect ratio, but Vivo phones have always been taller than rivals, and you get used to it. My constant irritation with foldables – the black bars on the cover screen for Instagram stories – remains. It’ll only be solved once Instagram optimizes its app better for foldables. It’s gotten better over time with the navigation bar on the left edge for the main screen, but it’s not fully optimized for foldables yet.

As for the crease, it is least noticeable on the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro among all book-style foldables and flip phones I’ve used, including Samsung, Motorola, OnePlus, Tecno, and Honor. The reading and viewing experience is top-notch. The hinge is solid, and the phone stays put up to around 150 degrees unfolded. Overall, it’s a well-built phone for media consumption. The speakers are loud but sound shallow for my liking. I recommend watching videos with headphones on.

Surprisingly Pleasing Software Smarts

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, the same as the Xiaomi 14 Ultra, Oppo Find X7 Pro, and other 2024 flagship phones. Qualcomm has done a superb job with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, and I’m yet to see a bad phone featuring this processor. The Vivo phone comes equipped with 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 512GB of UFS 4.0 storage.

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro is smooth and responsive in day-to-day tasks. My regular use includes a lot of social media (Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp), browsing and reading (Chrome or Kindle), a bit of navigation, and listening to songs (YouTube Music or Spotify). I had no problems jumping between apps, multitasking, and daily life usage.

During my review process, the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro lasted me an entire day regularly. It packs a 5,700mAh battery that supports 100W fast charging and 50W fast wireless charging. The phone can go from 15% to 90% within 35 minutes with wired charging, while the latter requires Vivo’s Vertical Flash Charger 2.

What I expect from Vivo is great hardware and cameras, but the most surprising part of using the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro was being impressed by FunTouch OS 14, based on Android 14. Two features that have stood out for me are Fold-to-Split and Desk Calendar AOD.

Using the Fold-to-Split feature when unfolded, a quick bend and unfold (going from 180-degree flat to 160-degree and back to 180-degree in a second) triggers a split screen. As a writer (and chronically online person), I research stuff and keep adding to Google Keep side-by-side, or at times have Twitter and Chrome opened on the same screen, and I’ve found this action to be better than gestures on any smartphone. It’s more natural and quicker than a few swipes.

As for the Desk Calendar AOD, you can understand it as a variation of iPhone’s Standby, minus the charging bit. You can place the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro in tent mode with an always-on display, and it will show you the time – helpful as a night clock.

Besides these notable features, FunTouch OS on the X Fold 3 Pro offers plenty of AI smarts like Note Assist, Translation, Transcript Assist, and more. If I could change one thing about the software, I would like FunTouch OS to feel faster.

The Best Cameras On A Foldable

I liked the camera system on the OnePlus Open, and it’s the best the company has made. However, after switching to the Vivo X100 Pro in December 2023, I couldn’t go back to the Open. The X100 Pro has remained my travel companion since then, and the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro comes close to it despite the hardware limitations.

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro features a triple rear camera setup backed by ZEISS optics. It consists of a 50MP main camera, a 64MP telephoto lens that supports 3x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, up to 100x digital zoom, and macro shots, along with a 50MP ultrawide-angle sensor. This makes it the best camera system you can get on a foldable phone right now and comes close to the Vivo X100 Pro.

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro captures amazing photos with pleasing colors, which is expected from a premium phone. However, I'd like to discuss the telephoto camera. It offers multiple focal lengths, hybrid zoom, and up to 100x digital zoom.

I like the camera tuning on the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro and appreciate the Styles in Portrait mode. For instance, I took the above photos in a camera museum using the Vintage Style in Portrait mode, which adds more feel to the photo.

You need to experiment with the camera to find the right Styles for different scenarios, keeping in mind that these cannot be changed from editing in the Gallery app.

While there are times when there's a bit of a halo effect around the edges of the subject, most shots come out looking stunning. The 50MP ultrawide-angle camera also keeps the colors and tones consistent with the main camera.

You also get a 32MP front camera on both the cover screen and inner foldable display, primarily intended for video calls. For taking selfies on any foldable phone, I recommend unfolding the device and using the primary camera system.

Vivo X Fold 3 Pro Review: Verdict

I’m looking forward to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6, which is scheduled to launch next week. If you want the most polished experience on a folding phone, Samsung continues to excel with OneUI on the Galaxy Z Fold series. However, the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro offers an excellent balance of hardware, camera, and software.

The Vivo X Fold 3 Pro features excellent displays, powerful performance, incredible cameras, productive software features, and good battery life. I expect it to be hard for Samsung to beat the close-to-perfect Vivo foldable.

For frequent travelers, it’s worth noting that the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro lacks eSIM support. I often add temporary eSIMs to my phone when traveling internationally. If this isn't a concern for you, the Vivo X Fold 3 Pro is the best foldable phone you can buy right now – despite its higher price tag of 1,60,000 Indian Rupees ($1910).

Vivo X Fold 3 Pro Review: A Fold Above The Rest (2024)
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