The never-ending race in the ‘best cameraphone’ event has a new entrant – the vivo X100 Ultra. One-upping the already superb Pro, the Ultra has a telephoto that few can rival, plus a handful of additional smaller perks. There’s a catch, though.

vivo X100 Ultra review

The X100 Ultra will not be leaving its home market, instead ending up in more or less the same ‘want it but can’t have it’ boat as the Find X7 Ultra – from a westerner’s perspective, that is. That’s no reason for us to overlook it, however, even if it would make this review more of an academic pursuit than anything else.

With that in mind, we’ll be focusing mostly on the camera, and there’s a lot to focus on there. The 200MP telephoto is the star of the show, we reckon. Extra-large sensor, long-ish focal length, close-focusing – what’s not to like? The ultrawide is another upgrade over the Pro’s (going by the numbers, at least) and a better selfie camera is also on the menu. In that line of thought, it’s easy to forget the one-inch main camera – we’re sort of taking it for granted now.

vivo X100 Ultra review

Among the other differences between the China-only Ultra and the international Pro is the chipset – the Ultra gets the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 instead of the Dimensity 9300. Dolby Vision support in both the display and camera is one addition to the specsheet, an ultrasonic fingerprint reader replaces the optical one, and high-pressure water jets are added to the list of torture methods the phone can withstand. We can probably live with the slower charging then.

vivo X100 Ultra specs at a glance:

  • Body: 164.1×75.6×9.2mm, 229g; Glass back, aluminum frame; IP69/IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 min).
  • Display: 6.78″ LTPO AMOLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, Dolby Vision, HDR, 3000 nits (peak), 1440x3200px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 517ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8650-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.3 GHz Cortex-X4 & 3×3.2 GHz Cortex-A720 & 2×3.0 GHz Cortex-A720 & 2×2.3 GHz Cortex-A520); Adreno 750.
  • Memory: 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 16GB RAM, 1TB 16GB RAM; UFS 4.0.
  • OS/Software: Android 14, OriginOS 4.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, 23mm, 1/0.98″, 1.6µm, PDAF, Laser AF, gimbal OIS; Telephoto: 200 MP, f/2.7, 85mm, 1/1.4″, 0.56µm, PDAF, OIS, 3.7x optical zoom, macro 3.4:1; Ultra wide angle: 50 MP, f/2.2, 14mm, 116˚, 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, AF.
  • Front camera: 50 MP, f/2.5, (wide), 1/2.76″, 0.64µm, PDAF.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 8K@30fps, 4K@30/60/120fps, 1080p, gyro-EIS, Cinematic mode (4K), Dolby Vision HDR; Front camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60fps.
  • Battery: 5500mAh; 80W wired, 30W wireless; reverse wired.
  • Connectivity: 5G; Dual SIM; Wi-Fi 7; BT 5.4, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, LHDC; NFC; Infrared port.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, ultrasonic); stereo speakers; emergency SOS via satellite (calls, messages) – 16GB + 1TB model only.

vivo X100 Ultra unboxing

The presentation of the X100 Ultra is typical vivo high-end. The phone arrives in a flat dark gray squarish box that contains everything you need to get started.

vivo X100 Ultra review

An 80W adapter is part of the bundle and it has a USB-A port. A matching cable is also included, naturally. For protection, there’s a fairly basic soft silicone case – it does the job without much fanfare.

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