Question Vivo x90 pro+ vs S23U

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Senior Member
Dec 4, 2009
Another devastating review from China:

long time review without case. plenty of people scratch or break the camera glas. In China not a big deal - costs about 20USD to get it replaced there. In Europe/USA I wouldn't know how to replace it....

Also usage without case the vegan plastic suffered pretty badly as seen in the video. Complaining about sound and vibration motor (like many others).
And again just another video complaining about **** battery life (Chinese user so no google services installed, the battery life is **** without it too). Kinda in the end the only strong point/positive about this phone being the fingerprint sensor, charging speed and good main sensor camera.

A more positive long time review - quite a few pics of broken camera glasses:

I would say the single cameras on S23U surely are better protected - then if you live in China getting an exchange for the camera module glass on X90PP is okay, outside it's only glue yourself and get it in questionable quality on Alibaba... Kinda had that problem on a Huawei device once - where I got less than mediocre replacement camera glass.

I feel there is still no satisfactory case for X90PP available - either not very protective or horrible design/too bulky. I just ordered replacement screen protectors - cause the factory one is completely broken. Some holes from detaching and scratches all over. Looks way way worse after 4 months use vs a 3 year old phone display that never had a protector on. Now using it without protector - not good if you want to sell that phone later - and the display didn't get grade remarks when it comes to it's scratch resistance. Vivo as we know skimped on getting gorilla glas.

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    If you lucky there will be some review of the X90 Pro with comparison to S23U in english. You can hope for some Chinese reviews but even in China the X90 Pro+ is not that popular - there will be much more comparisons with Xiaomi 13 Pro.

    It's rare that chinese only phones will be reviewed by quality review websites like notebookcheck or gsmarena. Though a review of the X90 Pro is quite likely after the huge advertisement campaign by Vivo and expensive laucnh events... Europe and US are not that likely to feature big events however with the Nokia vs BBK copyright claims. Something strangely rarely mentioned here.

    Better battery life is clearly Samsung - many users reporting 10h Dot even on 4G/5G Data. Unherd of for X90 Pro+ (maybe X90 and X90 Pro could get close - they have much better idle drain/battery life).

    Price in Europe is definitely in favour of S23U - which sells for 1169 for the 512GB version with warranty, with update policy that will end in 5 years not maybe in 2 years (older Vivo flagships X flagships - only the Funtouch X versions have 3 major updates promised and updates are already running late - no January securiy patch for X90 Pro+ even on trial channel). Yeah no charger but any PD charger works full speed, vs 18w on X90 Pro+.

    It's too early to call out the cameras - I feel both aren't top. But Samsung bags Video easily and over 10x zoom. Vivo will likely win 3.5-9x zoom range.

    Gorilla Glas Victus 2 vs unknown (likely Schott)

    Bootloader Unlock/Root and after updates are over in 5 years likely Lineage OS and others to continue vs crippled software.

    Accessibiltiy to Samsung shops for battery replacement in 2-3 years of time - vs unlikely to be able to get any authentic new batteries for the X90 Pro+ outside of China (and looking at the reports on here on older Vivo phones - batteries don't seem to age very well on Vivo flagships)

    Android Backup/Auto/Assistant/Maps Timeline and maybe in future more (this list got bigger every 2 years)

    The only points that clearly speak vor Vivo are the fingerprint reader and yeah I personally prefer the design too on the Vivo. Though I don't know how well the Vegan leather ages. Some conflicting reports here. And yeah fast charging on original charger with original cable (missing either means slower than Samsung)

    Display is identical, processor mainly just a newer batch (but that means lower voltages in general)

    Front Camera goes Samsung all the way. Vivo has a midtier phone grade front camera and only 1080P video on the front camera as the sensor does not support 4K/UHD (1440P woudl be possible by third party apps - but none offers that yet. The sensor does support it).

    I feel v2 is a joke - seeing that I mainly use Gcam (which cannot use the v2 chip). 8gen2 ISP would be sufficient as I don't see what the v2 brings at all.

    Both have much worse colours than Pixel/Iphone in my opinion. Both show great detail at night but that isn't everything. Both have big shutter lag but Samsung at least got the autofocus right (on all cameras and not missing on 2 out of 5) and the autofocus working accurately (while that is not true for the main sensor on Vivo).

    Yeah portrait may be better on Vivo 2x camera - but ONLY for typical upper body portrait. If you do full body portrait with the body at 2/3 of the picture size or less - the 2x sensor without autofocus isn't very sharp anymore. Falling back to main sensor is not possible in portrait mode on the Vivo stock camera...

    Vivo X90 Pro+ only has Qualcom Fastconnect 6900 vs 7800 on the S23u (meaning no wifi-7, maybe not even wifi-6e, so far no one could confirm it to work! and missing the newest bluetooth LE additions)

    S23U got Qualcom X70 modem - unsure what Vivo uses (either botched firmware on X70 or is it x65 or is it a chinese modem?)

    Software in general is miles better on Samsung and less buggy. Yeah Vivo is fluid but Samsung too.

    I much rather trust Samsung to fix the software deficiencies it has (mainly on camera - everything else seams great) vs Vivo (which has many many fields to catch up - and some like anything google related will not improve except google goes back on offering full support for it's app that aren't system apps. However with EU/USA and so on pressuring google to allow manufacturers to supply phones without google apps as system apps, that strategy will likely widen in future - as it's an indirect pressure point to include maps, assistant and so on as system app - which is impossible for Chinese market phones if China doesn't allow google which is highly unlikely in the next years).

    The 2x sensor on the Vivo would be useless if the 1x sensor had variable aperture (because the 2x sensor has only bokeeh that speaks for it, low light/resolution/autofocus and basically everything else are worse vs a crop from the main)

    The case on the x90 is a nice plus, but I don't trust cases without air cushion and camera protection - so I don't really see the use for it. If you feel safe enough with that tiny case - you should feel safe enough without any case.

    Gcam support will be much better on S23U as there will surely be nice profiles for color/noise while on X90 Pro+ you are left with dubious colours at night on gcams.

    If the X90 Pro+ had bootloader unlock and root - some issures would be fixable (like google apps) and if lucky once Vivo stops updates there could be some Lineage OS support. Vivo that way kinda steels the only way for long term life of that phone.
    Vivo all the way:
    Better battery, biggest it doesn't mean better always (mine last 28-30 hours) with my use, (a lot camera, data, two facebooks, whastapp, telegram, signal, a lot of youtube and business apps like bank aps etc)
    Better charging speeds (80w) and 50w wireless.
    Better price (buy from aliexpress is like 1000$ or low)
    Better cameras and sensors (all 4 of them)
    Better low light photos and video
    Better design
    Vivo gives you charger, cable, and premium case.
    Both are fast, there is no clear winner.
    x70 pro plus received the February 2023 patches a few days ago, I'm sure that on x90 PP they will arrive together with important software updates (including camera)
    I hope not. Vivo should be able to go straight for March security updates. I guess in 5-6 days there will be the first quarterly Update in the trial channel with March security update.

    The December patch came end of December I think. But really adding security patches should be an effort of some hours for a developer except if you need to dig some security holes up for spyware... Android is really modular by now. If Samsung can push that update within hours of google publishing it, can be expected by others to do it within a couple of days for current or last 2 years flagship devices. And no Vivo receives those things at the same time as Samsung, that is at least one month before it's included in the patches (except for actively exploited bugs that could be fixed as soon as possible) Only google software teams will very likely have access earlier.
    And the thing is, as soon as those security updates are rolling and published including description there is a much higher chance of the bug to be exploited.
    That's why manufacturers get access to them 1 month pre publication!
    And that applies to Vivo/BBK too. Not Huawei anymore as they lost their certification. That's why it's really a shame if any Huawei device is updated quicker than the currently newest/most expensive BBK flagship (candybar not foldable).

    And yeah I never had my phone hacked so far, but once my sever fully ransomware encrypted because I had setup windows updates to be installed 7 days delayed... (5 days past update Tuesday my remote desktop access got hacked). Any device that is connected to the internet simply needs to be updated quickly once updates are published. With android/linux it's harder than windows Server (yeah I also use Linux servers, but I need one windows server for some work stuff and make damn sure I can quickly restore it should it get hacked because I don't trust Windows much at all). There really should not be any phone out there not updated within 1 month of the security update being published.

    E.g. the March security patches have two critical level bugs on Qualcomm hardware. Critical means they can be exploited without physical access or interaction. I didn't look into them but it's highly likely those two bug apply to 8gen2 phones (too).
    Btw, another point that is rarely mentioned.. Vivo like I think most China phones skips having a barometer (or at least no normal app can access it should it have one).

    Also the compass is horrible. I'm pretty sure that's why I sometimes have problems with navigation at slow speed. the compass is really bad. It's not the gps that's bad, but the acceleration sensors and compass....
    I tried using the x90pp for Kitesurfing with the "surfr" app and it has horrible metrics on jumps in jacket mode. Any phone I used before is much better. Basically it's unusable for those.

    Try using an app like peak finder that relies on exact compass and compare the results to an iphone. Basically peak Finder for me is unusable. I get 20-30° offset most of the time and the horizontal plane is also bad. Only had a chance to compare peak finder with my old galaxy S7, which worked pretty well but not as good as iphone. But yeah usable results...
    Dude why don't you sell your phone, you clearly hate it. From most of your posts, you've made the x90pp sound like the worst phone on the planet. This is a china only release so you should have known what you were getting into.
    Ok. i am going to tell my personal experience with x90PP and a short hands on with s23 ultra, which is an incredible phone exactly like the s22u was

    1- Camera:
    - there is no way s23 camera can produce better pics than x90, its that simple
    - even in zoom range ,if its not daylight vivo is better,
    - i prefer vivos videos cuz its sharper, but its not conclusive like the photos part
    - USE effects and be creative, this phone can produce DSLR quality photos

    - my vivo's battery outlasts my daily driver iphone 14 pro max so for sure its better than s23
    - no need to discuss the charging speed, i mean ... come on!

    - comparing both fingerprint and face unlock between these two is a joke, performance is MILES better with vivo

    Software experience
    i prefer oneui in general and all the useful options it gives but originOS has its own hidden gems, for example Easyshare application on PC and you can mirror wirelessly your phone to your PC Screen. customizing everything, the awesome widgets ,,,,, etc

    didnt get the chance to play with samsung but daily minimum 2 hours playing marvel future fight, some casual asphalt races and candy crush i can confirm this phone is built for gaming - no heat no lag no dropped frames and most importantly the days with heavy gaming seasions battery lasts minimum 7 to 8 hours SOT

    now for unlocking bootloader- personally i dont care
    but seriously who wants to unlock their bootloader these days? but if thats what you want. dont buy the vivo

    there is no eSim but again "i dont care"

    modem and reception and calls quality top notch

    now the most important thing: the WOW Factor.
    its a head turner, everyone will ask what the hell is this and it gives the this feeling that you have the best device at most of what it does + you are actually the only one have it