Vivo X100 Ultra Review: Lab tests – Display, Battery & More

The relentless pursuit for the “best cameraphone” title sees a new challenger with the introduction of the Vivo X100 Ultra. Building on the already impressive Vivo X100 Pro, the Ultra version features a telephoto lens that is hard to beat, along with several other noteworthy enhancements. However, there’s a caveat.

The X100 Ultra will be confined to its home market, placing it alongside the likes of the Find X7 Ultra in the realm of “desirable yet unattainable” for many Western consumers. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean we should disregard it. Even if it turns this review into a more theoretical exploration, the technological prowess of the X100 Ultra deserves attention.

Spotlight on the Camera

Our primary focus will be on the camera capabilities of the X100 Ultra, and there’s plenty to discuss. The 200MP telephoto lens is undoubtedly the centerpiece, boasting an extra-large sensor, a respectable focal length, and close-focusing abilities. This is complemented by an upgraded ultrawide camera and an improved selfie camera, offering a well-rounded photographic experience. Amid these upgrades, the one-inch main camera, now almost taken for granted, remains a formidable feature.

Under the Hood

A key distinction between the China-exclusive Ultra and the international Pro is the chipset. The Ultra is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, in contrast to the Pro’s Dimensity 9300. Additional features include Dolby Vision support for both display and camera, an ultrasonic fingerprint reader replacing the optical variant, and enhanced water resistance with high-pressure water jets. These upgrades make the slower charging speed more acceptable.

Vivo X100 Ultra Specifications at a Glance

  • Body: 164.1 x 75.6 x 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 Review

Unboxing the Vivo X100 Ultra

The Vivo X100 Ultra arrives in a premium dark gray box, typical of Vivo’s high-end devices. Inside, you’ll find all the essentials to get started.

  • Charger: An 80W adapter with a USB-A port.
  • Cable: A matching USB-A to USB-C cable.
  • Case: A basic soft silicone case for protection.

Design, Build Quality, and Handling of the Vivo X100 Ultra

The Vivo X100 Ultra follows the design cues of its predecessor, the X100 Pro, with subtle distinctions that make it unique. Despite the general similarity among top-tier cameraphones, Vivo’s attention to detail sets its devices apart.

Camera Bump and Design Elements

The camera bump on the X100 Ultra is slightly taller, accommodating the new telephoto module. Vivo’s stepped design ensures this addition looks sleek and feels balanced. The texture of the camera ring hints at fine watchmaking, adding a touch of sophistication.

Colorway and Materials

Our review unit features the Titanium colorway, though the frame is aluminum, colored and finished to mimic titanium. The design includes shapely corners, flat sides, and a concave bottom, all contributing to an impression of meticulous craftsmanship. The plastic insert at the top and the ‘professional photography’ text are consistent with recent Vivo designs, even if they aren’t universally appreciated.

Build Quality

The SIM tray at the bottom features a blue gasket for dust and water protection, contributing to the X100 Ultra’s robust build quality. The phone boasts an IP68 rating, allowing it to withstand up to 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes. Additionally, it meets IP69 standards, meaning it can endure powerful high-temperature water jets, like those from steam cleaning. While we wouldn’t test these claims without proper equipment, it’s reassuring to know the device is built to withstand such conditions.

Color Options

In addition to Titanium, the X100 Ultra is available in Space Gray and White Moonlight. These colors exude understated elegance rather than flashy aesthetics, appealing to users who prefer a more refined look.

Handling and Ergonomics

The satin finish on the glass back panel resists fingerprints but can be a bit slippery. Despite this, the phone is well-balanced and not overly cumbersome, with a weight of around 230 grams.

Under-Display Fingerprint Sensor

The X100 Ultra features an under-display fingerprint sensor using ultrasonic technology, which is less common among manufacturers aside from Samsung. This sensor doesn’t emit visible light during scanning, providing a more pleasant and seamless unlocking experience. The fingerprint sensor is fast and reliable, enhancing the overall user experience.

High-Resolution 6.78-inch OLED with Dolby Vision

The Vivo X100 Ultra boasts a stunning 6.78-inch display, offering an exceptional viewing experience. With a resolution of 1440×3200 pixels in a 20:9 aspect ratio, it achieves a pixel density of 517ppi. This LTPO OLED panel can dynamically adjust refresh rates between 1Hz and 120Hz and employs 1440Hz PWM for dimming. The display supports Dolby Vision and can reach a peak local brightness of 3000 nits.

Brightness and Performance

In our tests, the X100 Ultra’s display reached around 1800 nits when exposed to bright light, ranking among the highest we’ve recorded. However, the manually achievable brightness of 558 nits is below average for high-end devices, which typically offer around 800 nits.

Device Display Type Resolution Manual Mode Auto Mode
Vivo X100 Ultra 6.78″ LTPO AMOLED 1440 x 3200 px 558 nits 1801 nits
iPhone 15 Pro Max 6.7″ LTPO Super Retina XDR OLED 1290 x 2796 px N/A 1787 nits
Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra 6.78″ AMOLED 1080 x 2400 px N/A 1773 nits
Honor Magic6 Pro 6.8″ LTPO OLED 1280 x 2800 px N/A 1578 nits
Motorola Edge 50 Ultra 6.7″ P-OLED 1220 x 2712 px N/A 1473 nits
Vivo X100 Pro 6.78″ LTPO AMOLED 1260 x 2800 px N/A 1472 nits
Galaxy S24 Ultra 6.8″ Dynamic LTPO AMOLED 2X 1440 x 3120 px N/A 1447 nits

Vivo X100 Ultra Review

Refresh Rate

The X100 Ultra supports refresh rates ranging from 1Hz to 120Hz, dynamically adjusting based on the content displayed. The Smart adaptation and High modes set the maximum refresh rate at 120Hz, while the Standard mode limits it to 60Hz. In High mode, users can customize which apps utilize the maximum refresh rate.

Streaming and HDR

The X100 Ultra supports all major HDR standards, including HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. Although it lacks HDR support on Netflix due to its China-only status, YouTube HDR streams work perfectly. The Widevine L1 certification ensures high-resolution streaming of DRM-protected content, including FullHD on Netflix.

Battery Life

The X100 Ultra is equipped with a 5,500mAh battery featuring a silicon cathode, which enhances energy density and maintains a relatively slim profile. In our Active Use testing, the X100 Ultra delivered a solid performance in web browsing, average video playback endurance, and average gaming results. The overall Active Use Score of around 13 hours is respectable for a device in this class.

Device Battery Browsing Video Gaming
Vivo X100 Ultra 5500 mAh 12:55h 13:09h 6:52h
Vivo X100 Pro 5400 mAh 13:53h 12:25h 8:52h
Xiaomi 14 Ultra 5000 mAh 11:25h 11:03h 6:34h
Oppo Find X7 Ultra 5000 mAh 12:47h 12:51h 6:42h
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 5000 mAh 13:49h 11:08h 9:06h

Charging Speed

The X100 Ultra supports 80W wired charging and includes an adapter in the box. During our tests, the charging power peaked at around 66W, taking approximately 48 minutes to charge from 0% to 100%. While not the fastest in its class, this is still acceptable given the phone’s compact high-capacity battery. The device also supports 30W wireless charging with Vivo’s proprietary chargers.

Device Battery Wired Charging (15 min) Wired Charging (30 min) Time to Full Charge
Oppo Find X7 Ultra 5000 mAh 100% 100% N/A
Xiaomi 14 Ultra 5000 mAh 93% N/A N/A
Huawei Pura 70 Ultra 5200 mAh 90% N/A N/A
Honor Magic6 Pro 5600 mAh 82% N/A N/A
Asus Zenfone 11 Ultra 5500 mAh 80% N/A N/A
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 5000 mAh 69% N/A N/A
Vivo X100 Ultra 5500 mAh 65% N/A 48 min

Speaker Performance

The X100 Ultra features a stereo speaker setup, with one speaker at the bottom and another at the top, doubling as an earpiece. The phone automatically adjusts the audio tracks to match its orientation. The X100 Ultra earned a ‘Good’ rating for loudness, slightly below the X100 Pro and its competitors, but offers superior low-end sound quality and clearer mids.

Device Loudness Score
Vivo X100 Ultra -26.2 LUFS (Good)
Vivo X100 Pro -24.6 LUFS (Very Good)
Xiaomi 14 Ultra -25.6 LUFS (Very Good)
Oppo Find X7 Ultra -25.0 LUFS (Very Good)
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra -24.6 LUFS (Very Good)


The Vivo X100 Ultra sets a new benchmark in the cameraphone market with its groundbreaking telephoto lens and robust feature set. While it remains out of reach for many international consumers, its advancements in mobile photography and hardware innovation are noteworthy and indicative of the future of smartphone technology.

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