The iPhone 13 Pro Max is, no doubt, one of the best smartphones out there when it comes to mobile photography. But in a sea full of Android contenders, the fine line between Apple and other Android manufacturers gets thin over time due to continuous advancements in mobile imaging. Our photo walk with the vivo X80 Pro is one among many testaments to prove that.

But what if we compare vivo’s “Pro” flagship to what Apple currently has on offer? Will it beat the fruit company to the punch in terms of camera power?

Disclaimer: All samples were taken in Auto Mode (except for Night and Portrait Mode). Photos were collaged, resized, and labeled for faster loading and preview. No other manipulations were applied.


Unlike the previous shootouts I did, I’ve decided to start with the main star of the show.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max has a 12MP f/1.5 primary lens while the vivo X80 Pro boasts a 50MP f/1.57 Samsung GNV Sensor. Will you be able to tell which is which?















Another big difference on paper: vivo’s X80 Pro is equipped with a 48MP wide-angle lens versus the 12MP sensor of the iPhone 13 Pro Max. But which one is actually wider and better?













The vivo X80 Pro has a telephoto and a separate 5x periscope zoom lens. But for the sake of fairness, only the 12MP f/1.9 telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom was used alongside the 12MP f/2.8 telephoto lens of the iPhone 13 Pro Max — just with a farther 3x optical zoom.






Nowadays, smartphones can take low-light photos — whether indoor or outdoor.

#29 (Ultra-wide)

#30 (Zoom)


#32 (Ultra-wide)





Night Mode

This mode was specifically used in circumstances where the phones had a hard time shooting in Auto Mode under scenarios with little to no presence of light.

#37 (Zoom)



#40 (Ultra-Wide)




#44 (Ultra-wide)


BONUS: Portrait Mode

Both photos were taken using the main lens (1x) with the Depth of Field (DoF) set to f/1.4. However, the vivo X80 Pro has special ZEISS Portrait Modes inspired by their in-house lenses such as Biotar, Sonnar, Planar, and Distagon.


To make the shootout easier for all of us, I’ve consistently placed the photos in only one order:

Photo A — iPhone 13 Pro Max

Photo B — vivo X80 Pro


Some of you might have already noticed how the samples looked in the beginning. The iPhone 13 Pro Max leans more towards the contrasty side with enough boost in saturation. On the other hand, the vivo X80 Pro has an apparent less-saturated look regardless of the lens you use.

Still, it displayed a better amount of dynamic range than its counterpart with some blown-out highlights. Its 1x lens is even wider, too.

If there’s one area of concern for the X80 Pro, it’s the weird radial blur effect that’s been prominent in food shots. It’s the same issue I’ve witnessed in the smartphones I held before — from the high-end Galaxy Note10 Ultra, flagship-killer Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro, and even the budget-contender Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G. Seeing it again in a 2022 Pro-grade flagship is quite questionable (and unacceptable).

On the flip side of vivo X80 Pro’s “desaturated” photos, it’s actually what my eyes have seen in real life. We were just used to being tricked by the image enhancements processed in a millisecond by each phone’s chip and software algorithm.

But where vivo hits Apple to the core is none other than night shooting capabilities. With a dedicated and improved V1+ imaging chip, vivo has delivered better low-light shots. If you’ve watched the X80 Pro review and/or the X80 series buyer’s guide on our YouTube channel, the X80 Pro was able to shoot great-looking photos under the absence of light through Extreme Night Vision mode.

Moreover, the presence of ZEISS T* coating is not just for the “premium camera branding”. It served its purpose as the X80 Pro delivered smudge-free night shots that the iPhone 13 Pro Max failed to achieve with those annoying reflective bright lights. Even neon signs and light filaments looked better on the vivo.

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