Vivo shakes things up with new gimbal-equipped X50 Pro camera phone

Smartphone innovator Vivo has announced the X50 Pro, a camera-centric device with a shake-eliminating gimbal in the camera that’s ready to take super steady photos and video regardless of the conditions, day or night. While we are used to seeing optical image stabilization, digital stabilization, and even artificial intelligence (A.I.) used to minimize blur and shake, this is the first time a gimbal system has been used inside a smartphone.

Until now, to get gimbal stabilization on a phone you had to use a handheld gimbal like the DJI Osmo. These use complex sensors, motors, and a gyroscope to control the tilt, roll, and pan of a moving camera, so the it remains steady throughout and your photo or video isn’t ruined by blur. For the X50 Pro, Vivo has shrunk the technology — which it says is modeled after a full-size gimbal used by professionals — down to fit inside a phone.

Vivo’s stabilizing Gimbal Camera System also has a wider rotation angle than the more standard systems mentioned above, and the entire system can be seen working through an on-screen representation of the gimbal, conforming to the degree of stabilization when taking a shot. Software algorithms manage the gimbal and further reduce blur, while continuous tracking makes sure the subject is kept in focus.

There are three X50 Series phones — the X50, the X50 Pro, and the X50 Pro Plus. The X50 Pro and Pro Plus use the Camera Gimbal System, and each has a four-lens setup on the back. The X50 Pro’s camera uses the new 50-megapixel, 1/1.3-inch Samsung ISOCELL GN1 sensor, and the X50 and X50 Pro will have a periscope zoom feature. Vivo has not released the complete specification yet, but does say all will have a Super Night Mode and an Astro photo mode, plus wide-angle and macro features too.

Vivo is also being cagey about the rest of the specs, confirming the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor only for the X50 Pro Plus. However, all three phones will have 5G connectivity and screens with either a 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rate. The X50 will measure 7.49mm thick, and be the slimmest 5G phone available today. All the other details regarding the phones will come at a later date.

The mystery continues regarding the release date, and where Vivo will sell the X50 series. Given the lack of precise detail and the inclusion of the ISOCELL GN1 sensor on the X50 Pro Plus, we may be in for a wait before they go on sale. Vivo’s phones are mostly sold in China and Asia, but are generally available through importers for international buyers.

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