vivo X Fold 2 and X Flip rear covers
aa2020 recommended

The vivo X Flip might be the best clamshell foldable if you value the camera experience, while the X Fold 2 brings some unique features to the book-style form factor. Sadly, with limited availability you’ll have to jump through a lot of hoops to get your hands on them.

vivo X Flip and X Fold 2 review: At a glance

  • What are they? The vivo X Fold 2 is a book-style foldable phone akin to the Galaxy Z Fold series, while the vivo X Flip is a clamshell foldable in a similar vein as the Galaxy Z Flip series.
  • What is the price? The vivo X Fold 2 is available for 8,999 yuan (~$1,274) while the vivo X Flip is available for 5,999 yuan (~$849).
  • Where can you buy it? Both foldable phones are only officially available in China at the time of this writing.
  • How did we test it? I tested the vivo X Fold 2 and vivo X Flip over a period of two weeks. The review units were supplied by vivo.
  • Is it worth it? You should keep the vivo X Flip in mind if you want a great camera experience on a clamshell foldable phone and don’t mind importing the device. The vivo X Fold 2 also brings a relatively high-quality camera experience, gorgeous screens, and loads of other bells and whistles.

Should you buy the vivo X Flip and vivo X Fold 2?

Vivo X Fold 2 and X Flip folded

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

The vivo X Fold 2 and vivo X Flip offer sturdy aluminum frames and slim hinges with almost gapless designs. Both models pack IPX4 ratings, lagging behind devices from Samsung, Google, and HUAWEI. But these phones should be able to survive rain or an accidental spill just fine. The X Flip also packs a smooth glass back that will attract fingerprints, but you’ve still got a slick package here. It’s also a little heavier than Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 4, although I had the phone in my pants pocket while cycling and forgot about it during my ride. In saying so, the device only offers one speaker. It’s pretty loud, but covering up the speaker results in effectively no sound.

Meanwhile, the vivo X Fold 2 brings a pleather back complete with a glass strip running vertically near the hinge. It’s a little heavier than the Z Fold 4, but the upside is that it’s noticeably slimmer. I’m not a huge fan of it myself, but the X Fold 2 is also one of only a few foldables offering an alert slider (the others being earlier vivo foldables).

Both phones also pack waterdrop-style hinges for a thinner design. These are of the free-stop variety, but I found that both handsets had floppy hinges, for lack of a better term. That is, it sometimes takes several attempts for the hinge to stay in position as it otherwise snaps fully open or fully closed. The company’s website says you need to use the phones in their folded state “for 12 hours at room temperature” to get the free-stop functionality to work properly. This certainly helped, but it’s still not quite as stable as the Samsung foldables.

In any event, screens are one of the most important aspects of foldable phones, and neither device truly disappoints here. The X Flip’s main display is as good as it gets on a clamshell foldable. The FHD+ 120Hz OLED panel (LTPO) frequently drops as low as 10Hz to preserve battery life, although the software almost always felt responsive. The panel is also equipped with ultra-thin glass for improved durability, while vivo claims it’s rated for 500,000 folds.

The vivo X Flip sports a three-inch external screen, making the Galaxy Z Flip 4’s cover screen look tiny. It’s a shame you still can’t run a ton of apps on this screen, being limited to apps like the phone, calendar, camera, exercise tracking, a make-up mirror, and the alarm app. That’s disappointing when the Motorola Razr Plus lets you force unsupported apps to run on this screen. In saying so, you can access your notification shade and quick settings on this screen.

For what it’s worth, we asked vivo about any plans to make the cover screen more useful and the company told us it was working on an update with “practicality in mind.” But in the here and now, it’s a missed opportunity. At least the powerful, third-party Coverscreen OS app now supports this phone.

vivo’s decision to offer a landscape-oriented display is interesting too. I think I prefer the OPPO Find N2 Flip’s portrait display, as it fully matches the camera orientation. Here, taking a photo in landscape results in a landscape cover display preview with black bars, cutting down on the amount of screen real estate at your disposal.

The vivo X Fold 2 brings some great screens to the table as well. The 6.53-inch FHD+ smartphone screen is a 21:9 panel, and that aspect ratio makes it more usable as a phone than the Z Fold series. This isn’t an LTPO screen, though, simply switching between 60 and 120Hz. Unfold the device and you’ve got an 8.03-inch OLED screen (2,160 x 1,916, 4:3.55), indeed being of the LTPO variety and dropping down to 10Hz for tasks like reading or viewing photos. The screen gets very bright (vivo claims up to 1,800 nits of admittedly local peak brightness), and I had no issues with viewing on a sunny Saturday morning at a local outdoor market.

The vivo X Fold 2 has one of the higher quality folding screens around, but vivo needs to sort out the hinges on both phones.

The X Fold 2 also offers an ultrasonic under-display fingerprint reader on each screen and while it’s not as great as the 3D Sonic Max scanner we’ve seen on other vivo phones, it’s still a fast, accurate experience. The vivo X Flip sticks with a side fingerprint scanner, and unlocking is indeed reliable and brisk. I don’t have a strong preference for either option, but I’m glad to see the in-display option on a foldable.

Both phones offer a minimal display crease, sometimes being visible in certain situations and from specific angles. But these creases feel far less prominent than Samsung’s foldables. It’s still not a truly invisible crinkle, but you can see and feel that we’re getting closer to this goal.

The vivo X Flip follows the recent trend of clamshell foldable phones using older flagship chips, packing a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor. This is still a very powerful chip and benchmarks are generally in the same range as 2022’s flagship phones. Sustained performance isn’t the best, coming in at 69.8% stability in a stress test. But system performance (multitasking, launching apps, scrolling) was a smooth experience while demanding games like Genshin Impact and emulators ran at a fluid pace.

The X Fold 2 is the first foldable with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, and classic CPU and GPU benchmarks reveal it plays in the same space as other flagship phones. The phone dropped in a big way during stress testing though, delivering just 55.7% stability and almost being a match for the X Flip by the end of the test. Thankfully, real-world performance was fluid, with scrolling, multi-tasking, and launching apps all accomplished smoothly. Gaming is a fun experience on the large screen, and titles like Genshin Impact, Call of Duty, and emulators also ran at a smooth pace. But I do have reservations about longer gaming sessions.

The vivo X Fold 2 is the first Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 foldable, but tests show poor sustained performance.

As for the vivo X Flip’s battery life, I managed to get almost two days of usage over a busy weekend, heavily using the camera app each day, browsing Reddit, using WhatsApp, and watching some YouTube videos. The phone eventually died late on Sunday night, which is pretty respectable for the workload.

The X Fold 2 brings a 4,800mAh battery, and I thought it delivered great endurance. The phone managed to last for almost two days of regular usage (consisting of YouTube viewing, Reddit browsing, and Instagram scrolling), albeit with me using the smartphone screen about 90% of the time. The larger screen will obviously offer reduced endurance.

The X Flip’s combo of a 4,400mAh battery and 44W wired charging resulted in a zero to 100% time of roughly an hour. That’s not amazing in 2023 but still pretty good compared to the likes of Samsung and Google. Meanwhile, the X Fold 2’s 120W wired charging topped me back up in an impressive 25 minutes using the default charging mode, with a more aggressive charging option available if you want to shave a few minutes off the final time. Unfortunately, only the larger model gets wireless charging (50W), but both devices do get a charger in the box.

The two phones are both running OriginOS 3, which is vivo’s China-only Android skin. I managed to uninstall almost all of the China-only apps, although there were still traces of untranslated text to be found. I found it pretty easy to add Google apps and services too. I was able to sideload the Play Store and was then prompted to toggle a system switch for Google services. This is simple stuff, although Nearby Share doesn’t work and it’s running an in-house version of Digital Wellbeing. Thankfully, Google Wallet and almost everything else worked just fine, although you can’t use Google’s app for payments while the X Flip is closed (much like Samsung’s Flip phones), which is pretty disappointing.

I would’ve also liked to see the X Fold 2 in particular gain per-display controls for things like auto-rotate and refresh rate. So if I only want the folding screen to rotate and leave the phone screen locked, I can’t do that. It also lacks separate home screen layouts, offering two phone-sized home screens side-by-side on the large display. I hope vivo addresses this in future updates.

The company says the two foldables will receive three major OS updates and four years of security patches. This isn’t quite as good as the update policies from Samsung, OPPO, or Google, but it’s still respectable and in line with the firm’s best flagship phones.

Vivo X Fold 2 camera bump

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

vivo has broken through to become a top camera phone player in recent years, and the X Flip and X Fold 2 bring the goods from a hardware perspective. The clamshell foldable serves up a 50MP IMX866V main camera and 12MP ultrawide shooter (with autofocus), as well as a 32MP selfie camera. Meanwhile, the larger phone brings a 50MP main shooter (IMX866), a 12MP ultrawide camera, and a 2x 12MP portrait lens. It also offers a 16MP camera on each screen.

The two phones both bring punchy colors by default with a healthy level of dynamic range and minimal noise in most conditions. I thought the two phones offered a similar level of dynamic range as my Pixel 7 Pro while bringing noticeably reduced noise. The phones also deliver bright, relatively detailed images when the sun goes down, although I did notice color banding in some scenes. I would’ve also liked to see less sharpening in general and a more stable capture process in very low light on the X Fold 2.

The X Flip relies on digital zoom, and the lack of detail is definitely noticeable upon pixel peeping. I also noticed several depth errors and smeared facial details when using portrait mode on this handset. Otherwise, the X Fold 2 brings native 2x zoom, but anything past 5x is pretty mushy while the lack of OIS makes itself known here via very shaky previews. In saying so, this 2x camera usually delivers some pleasant portrait shots with few if any major depth issues. Vivo also lets you take selfies with the main cameras on both phones using the secondary screens, and there’s understandably a huge image quality gulf between the main and selfie shooters.

Toss in features like a ZEISS true color option, T* lens coatings for reduced glare, and a host of camera modes (e.g. long exposure, astrophotography, Pro mode, steady video options, ZEISS portrait effects), and you’ve got pretty handy foldable cameras. In saying so, the X Flip lacks the X Fold 2’s 8K recording option, settling on 4K/60fps instead. You can view the full-resolution photo samples via our Google Drive folder.

Ultimately, it’s a real shame that these phones are staying in China. Between the minimized display creases, slick screens, and slim hinges with premium designs, there’s a lot to like here.

The X Flip is a front-runner for the best cameras on a clamshell foldable owing to the number of handy features and overall quality. It doesn’t hurt that you’ve got a speedy experience, a large battery for a pocket-sized foldable, and a large cover display. But it’s clear that the cover screen software itself is a significant missed opportunity, while a single speaker and the lack of wireless charging are disappointments too.

The X Fold 2 stands out as the most powerful foldable phone on the market today, also bringing a full-featured camera experience, super-fast wired and wireless charging, and some unique extras (mute slider and in-display fingerprint unlock). However, we would’ve liked to see improved long-range zoom, better performance under sustained load, and deeper display customization.

See price at Giztop

vivo X Fold 2

vivo X Fold 2

Premium design
Great cameras for a foldable
Fast wired/wireless charging

What are the best vivo foldable alternatives?

samsung galaxy z fold 4 home screen open

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Z Fold 4 (unfolded)

The vivo X Fold 2 and X Flip are clearly impressive devices, but there are a few quality alternatives out there.

  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 ($999.99 at Amazon): The Flip 4 is the most widely available clamshell foldable on the market. It also brings IPX8 water resistance and a lengthy update pledge.
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 ($1549 at Amazon): The Z Fold 4 is a great alternative to the X Fold 2, even if the chipset and overall design lag behind. Mature software, a long-term update pledge, and an IPX8 rating make for a great proposition.
  • OPPO Find N2 Flip (£849 at Amazon): OPPO’s clamshell foldable brings a compelling price tag, great software in Color OS, and a handy portrait cover display.
  • Google Pixel Fold ($1799 at Amazon): Google’s foldable isn’t out yet but it packs exclusive software features, a longer update pledge, an IPX8 rating, and better zoom capabilities on paper.

Vivo X Fold 2 and X Flip specs

vivo X Flipvivo X Fold 2

Displays

vivo X Flip

Exterior:
– 3-inch AMOLED
– 682 x 422

Interior:
– 6.7-inch AMOLED
– 120Hz refresh rate
– 2,640 x 1,080
– 21:9 aspect ratio

vivo X Fold 2

Exterior:
– 6.53-inch AMOLED
– 2,520×1,080
– 21:9 aspect ratio

Interior:
– 8.03-inch AMOLED
– 120Hz refresh rate (LTPO)
– 2,160×1,916
– 4:3.55 aspect ratio

Processor

vivo X Flip

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1

vivo X Fold 2

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

RAM

vivo X Flip

12GB

vivo X Fold 2

12GB

Storage

vivo X Flip

256/512GB
UFS 3.1
Non-expandable storage

vivo X Fold 2

256/512GB
UFS 4.0
Non-expandable storage

Power

vivo X Flip

4,400mAh battery
44W wired charging
No wireless charging
Charger in box

vivo X Fold 2

4,800mAh battery
120W wired charging
50W wireless charging
Charger in box

Cameras

vivo X Flip

Exterior:
– 50MP main (IMX866V), 1μm, OIS, ƒ/1.75
– 12MP ultrawide, autofocus, 106-degree FoV, ƒ/2.2

Internal:
– 32MP, ƒ/2.45

vivo X Fold 2

Exterior:
– 50MP main (IMX866), OIS, ƒ/1.75
– 12MP 2x portrait, autofocus, ƒ/1.98
– 12MP ultrawide, autofocus, 108-degree FoV, ƒ/2.0

Internal and external screen:
– 16MP, ƒ/2.45

Audio

vivo X Flip

Mono speaker
No 3.5mm headphone port

vivo X Fold 2

Stereo speakers
No 3.5mm headphone port

SIM

vivo X Flip

Dual nano-SIM tray
No eSIM

vivo X Fold 2

Dual nano-SIM tray
No eSIM

Biometrics

vivo X Flip

Side-mounted capacitive fingerprint sensor

vivo X Fold 2

Ultrasonic under-display fingerprint sensor on each screen

Software

vivo X Flip

Android 13
Origin OS 3

vivo X Fold 2

Android 13
Origin OS 3

Dimensions and weight

vivo X Flip

Folded dimensions:
– 84.9 x 71.9 x 17.1mm (measured at hinge)

Unfolded dimensions:
– 165.2 x 71.9 x 6.9mm

Weight:
– 187g

IPX8 water resistance

vivo X Fold 2

Folded dimensions:
– 161.29 x 73.42 x 13.2mm

Unfolded dimensions:
– 161.29 x 143.43 x 5.95mm

Weight:
– 278.5 grams (Red and Blue variants)
– 279.5 grams (Black variant)

Colors

vivo X Flip

Black
Gold
Purple

vivo X Fold 2

Black
Blue
Red

vivo X Fold 2 and X Flip review: Q&A

The vivo X Fold 2 and X Flip don’t support mmWave 5G, only supporting the sub-6GHz standard.

The vivo X Fold 2 and X Flip don’t support Google Mobile Services out the box, but you can easily sideload the Play Store and other Google services.

No, the X Fold 2 and X Flip are only available in China.

No, the X Fold 2 and X Flip are splash-resistant with an IPX4 rating.

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