Vivo enters the European market with the Vivo X51 5G and 3 other phones
Vivo is one of BBK Electronics’ biggest smartphone brands by volume, and the company sells a lot of phones both offline and online in China, India, and several Southeast Asian countries. When Vivo launched the X50 series in China earlier this year, they promised to make the phones available internationally, a first for the Vivo X series. The company later launched the X50 series in India and a few Eastern European countries, but now, the smartphone brand is expanding to several Western European markets with the Vivo X51 5G, the Vivo Y70, the Vivo Y20s, and the Vivo Y11s, as reported by GSMArena and Android Authority.
Vivo now sells phones in the UK, Germany, Poland, Spain, France, and Italy.
The Vivo X51 5G is the star of the show, and it’s essentially a rebranded Vivo X50 Pro. We did a camera review for that device, as its most interesting aspect was the camera. The X50 Pro featured a 48MP sensor with a unique Gimbal OIS that promised buttery smooth video stabilization. It also has a secondary 8MP ultra-wide sensor, a 13MP depth sensor, and an 8MP telephoto lens, while front camera duties are handled by a 32MP sensor hosted in the hole-punch display.
Other features of the Vivo X50 Pro/Vivo X51 5G include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G 5G chipset, a 90Hz high refresh rate panel with an FHD+ 1080p resolution, a 4,315 mAh battery with support for 33W fast charging, and more. There’s also an optical under-display fingerprint sensor. It doesn’t really stand out from a sea of 2020 devices with similar specifications just by the specs alone, but the camera setup does make for an interesting proposition, as it should perform well in low-light situations with the gimbal OIS providing exceptional video recording performance.
Vivo is also bringing the Y70 and the Y20s to Europe, two decidedly mid-range smartphones. The former is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor, which is the same we’ve seen in phones such as the Redmi Note 8 and comes with 8 GB of RAM, a big 4,100 mAh battery, and a 48MP camera with no fancy gimbal mechanisms. The latter is powered by the Snapdragon 460 and an even bigger 5,000 mAh battery, although the rest of the specs are pretty modest, such as the rear 13MP camera setup and the HD+ 720p display as well as up to 6 GB of RAM. There’s also the Y11s, which is fairly similar to the Y20s both in specs and looks.
The software is an aspect where Vivo is rarely popular, as FuntouchOS 10, their custom Android experience on top of Android 10, is often dismissed as a sloppy iOS clone. For the device’s arrival to Europe, though, Vivo has said that they have worked with Google to make it closer to stock Android and to “European user habits”. Other brands like Xiaomi and OPPO tweaked their software quite a bit, even going as far as replacing some of their own apps with Google alternatives, when launching their phones in Europe, so we’re probably going to see something similar with Vivo’s software. You can catch a glimpse at the new “Funtouch OS 10 Global” software in this Polish YouTuber’s hands-on of the Vivo X51 5G.
The company also confirmed to Android Authority that they would support these devices with software updates for up to 4 years and security updates for up to 3 years. This wording is confusing, but it likely means that the device will receive FuntouchOS-specific features and cosmetic updates after major updates and security updates end, in a similar fashion to how Xiaomi rolls out MIUI updates based on older Android versions to older phones.
The phones come with Android 10 out of the box, with an update to Android 11 coming soon. Folks in the UK can expect to buy the Vivo X51 5G online starting at £749 for the 8 GB RAM/256 GB storage variant. It will also be available in Spain, Germany, Italy, Poland, and France. We don’t have pricing for the rest of Euroland just yet, but it shouldn’t differ too much from the British pricing. We also don’t have pricing for any of the other phones.
If the X51 5G isn’t your cup of tea and you want other Vivo phones in Europe, including maybe even flagships, you’ll have to wait a bit to see what the company has in store for Europe users. The company is in talks with retailers and carriers about stocking phones and is also teasing its efforts to bring flagship-tier phones to the market in the future.