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The Vivo X80 Pro is the latest Android flagship to hit the market, and it more than held its own — and arguably won — in a showdown against the Galaxy S22 Ultra.  And so it’s only natural we compare the X80 Pro against another mainstream big name challenger: the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

    The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the biggest and baddest Apple has to offer in the mobile space. It’s got the most powerful mobile SoC in the world and impressive cameras.
    The Vivo X80 Pro has our vote for the best main cameras of any smartphone right now, and the rest of the package is pretty good too.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Vivo X80 Pro: Specifications

Specifications Vivo X80 Pro Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Build
  • Aluminum mid-frame
  • Gorilla Glass Victus back
  • Gorilla Glass Victus front
  • Stainless steel mid-frame
  • Glass back
  • Ceramic Shield glass front
Dimensions & Weight
  • 164.6 x 75.3 x 9.1 mm
  • 219 gram
  • 160.8mm x 78.1mm x 7.65mm
  • 240g
Display
  • 6.78″ AMOLED
  • 3200 x 1440 pixels
  • variable refresh rate up to 120Hz
  • 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
  • ProMotion refresh rate between 10Hz and 120Hz
SoC
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM & Storage
  • 6GB
  • 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery & Charging
  • 4,700mAh
  • 80W Wired fast charging (charger included in box)
  • 50W wireless charging
  • 4,373mAh
  • 20W wired fast charging
  • 7.5W wireless charging
  • 15W MagSafe wireless charging
  • No charger in box in most regions
Security Ultrasonic in-Display fingerprint scanner Face ID
Rear Camera(s)
  • Primary: 50MP wide, Samsung GNV, f/1.57, 1/1.31″, OIS
  • Secondary: 48MP ultra-wide, Sony IMX 598, f/2.2, Gimbal technology
  • Tertiary: 12MP telephoto, Sony IMX 663, f/1.6, 2x optical
  • Quarternary: 8MP Periscope, f/3.4, 5x optical zoom
  • Primary: 12MP wide, f/1.5 aperture, 1.9μm
  • Secondary: 12MP ultra-wide, f/1.8 aperture
  • Tertiary: 12MP telephoto, 3x optical zoom, f/2.8
  • Quarternary: LIDAR camera
Front Camera(s) 32MP 12MP
Port(s) USB-C Lightning
Audio Stereo speakers Stereo speakers
Connectivity
  • 5G (mmWave)
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2×2 MIMO
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • NFC
  • 5G (sub-6 GHz and mmWave)
  • Gigabit LTE with 4×4 MIMO and LAA
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2×2 MIMO
  • Bluetooth 5.0
Software FunTouchOS 12 over Android 12 iOS 15
Other Features
  • Dual physical SIM
  • IR blaster
Dual physical SIM or Dual eSIM support

About this article: This comparison was written after testing an iPhone 13 Pro Max provided by Apple Hong Kong and Vivo X80 Pro provided by Vivo Global. This article also includes input from XDA’s Editor in Chief, Aamir Siddiqui, using his personal iPhone 13 Pro and an X80 Pro provided by Vivo India. Vivo India additionally took Aamir and other Indian media persons and YouTubers to Dubai for an immersion session centered around the phone. Vivo is also running a campaign on XDA around this phone, but that is handled by the sponsorship team independent from the editorial team. Neither Samsung nor Vivo had any input in this article. 


Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Vivo X80 Pro: Design and Hardware

Unless you’ve just woken up from a coma, there’s not much need for me to describe in words what the iPhone 13 Pro Max looks like, right? It’s a large, blocky flagship with glass front and back and stainless steel flat sides — this latter part gives the phone its hefty, brick-like feeling. In my opinion, Apple’s flat boxy design looks good and gives the phone an authoritative, machine vibe that runs in contrast to most Android flagships, most of which are wrapped by gentle curvature. The Vivo X80 Pro definitely fits that vibe, with a soft frosted coating to its glass back that feels silky and slippery to my hands.

iPhone 13 Pro Max and vivo x80 pro

The iPhone 13 Pro Max being too big to be held comfortably is a widely shared view

I personally don’t love the in-hand feel of either phone: I’m not a fan of the slithery frosted back of the Vivo, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s flat sides results in angular corners that dig into my palm. These are, of course, just my opinions, but I do think the iPhone 13 Pro Max being too big to be held comfortably is a widely shared view. Aamir does find the Vivo X80 Pro to be perfect for his tastes, while sharing the same concerns around the blocky design of the iPhone.

iPhone 13 Pro Max and Vivo X80 Pro in the hand

Both screens look great — gorgeous, vibrant OLED panels that reach a peak refresh rate of 120Hz. iOS handles 120Hz a bit better than Vivo’s FunTouchOS in my opinion, as the iPhone’s animations appear a bit more fluid to my eyes. Maximum screen brightness is about even. The Vivo X80 Pro has a less blemished screen, with only a small hole-punch cut-out compared to the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s notch, so viewing full-screen videos is a bit more enjoyable on the Vivo X80 Pro.

viewing full screen videos in the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Vivo X80 Pro

There’s a reason for that notch, however, as it houses not just a 12MP selfie camera but also Apple’s TrueDepth camera system — a series of sensors that can map our face in 3D for secure facial recognition. Vivo’s hole-punch houses just a normal selfie camera, but a more pixel-dense 32MP shooter. Vivo relies on Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Max solution for its optical fingerprint sensor: so you get a wider fingerprint sensing area than most Android devices, with the ability for dual-fingerprint sensing and quicker setup and recognition. The Vivo does this implementation excellently, so you are unlikely to miss the iPhone 13 Pro’s face recognition.

Powering these phones are the latest SoCs from Apple and Qualcomm: A15 Bionic for the iPhone 13 Pro Max, and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 for the X80 Pro — even though Apple’s chip is technically a 2021 chip, it is still more powerful than the 2022 Qualcomm chip, but the difference will only be noticed for more complicated tasks like rendering videos.

Apple doesn’t disclose RAM configuration or battery size, but teardowns have revealed that the iPhone 13 Pro Max packs 6GB of RAM with a 4,352 mAh battery, both are “less” than what the Vivo X80 Pro offers — 12GB of RAM with 4,700 mAh battery — but real-world results do not reflect that. Due to Apple having better hardware-software synergy than almost any Android phone, iPhones can be more efficient in performance, thus needing fewer GBs of RAM or smaller battery sizes. I’ll cover this more closely in the performance section, but spoiler alert — the iPhone 13 Pro Max has better battery life than the Vivo X80 Pro.

Both phones pack all the flagship smartphone flourishes: stereo speakers, IP68 water and dust resistance, excellent haptics, and wireless charging. The iPhone 13 Pro Max’s speakers and haptics are noticeably better than Vivo X80 Pro’s, but in return, Vivo takes a major win in charging — it can charge much, much faster whether wired or wirelessly, and Vivo includes the charger in the package.


Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Vivo X80 Pro: Cameras

For optics, the iPhone 13 Pro Max packs a straightforward triple 12MP lens setup covering the ultra-wide, wide, and telephoto focal length. Other than Apple’s Deep Fusion image processing algorithm and a night mode that turns on automatically, there are not many tricks or gimmicks to this iPhone camera — no pixel binning nor no specialty sideways lenses. The Vivo X80 Pro does a bit more, with a quad lens system including dual zoom lenses for two optical zoom lengths, and one of these latter lenses is propped up by a miniature gimbal system. There’s also Zeiss T-coating over every glass so they reduce lens flare, and the main and ultra-wide camera both use pixel binning technology to force a larger micron-pixel size. There’s just a lot more processing between when Vivo’s camera hardware snaps the photo and the shot showing up in the photo gallery. Helping matters is Vivo’s proprietary V1+, a dedicated imaging chip created solely to handle image processing. Apple has its own image processing hardware too, it’s just part of the A15 Bionic.

Let’s first examine photo consistency across all the lenses. In the below set, taken under relatively ideal lighting conditions, we can see that the iPhone does a better job of keeping consistent color temperature between the main and ultra-wide lens, while Vivo’s exhibit some deviation in the shade of the sky. Both main cameras produced an excellent photo that was sharp, with the right level of contrast and accurate colors. Even when I zoomed in 100% to pixel peep, it was a virtual tie. That’s not the case with the other lenses.

In the ultra-wide lens, if I zoom in 100% I can see the iPhone’s ultra-wide is much software at the edges — this doesn’t surprise me, as the Vivo X80 Pro’s ultra-wide is more pixel-dense and uses a larger image sensor size. The difference in image sharpness between ultra-wide shots should be more pronounced at night, marking this as a win for the Vivo.

collage of iphone and vivo shots

100% crops, ultra-wide shots, iPhone 13 Pro Max (left) and X80 Pro (right).

The iPhone 13 Pro’s 3x zoom, however, is really good — perhaps the best telephoto zoom lens in the business. In the below crop, I’ve taken an iPhone 3x zoom photo, punched in to get the frame closer to Vivo’s 5x periscope zoom lens, and we can see both shots are about even in image sharpness, with the X80 Pro’s shot being ever so slightly less noisy. But if we really push the zoom level — up to 15x, then the X80 Pro’s shot is a bit sharper because at the end of the day, having a periscope technology is always better than not having one.

cropped samples

Crops of a 3x iPhone 13 Pro Max shot (left) and a 5x X80 Pro shot (right).

But that above scene is considered easy to shoot for modern smartphones, if we move to more challenging scenes such as low light conditions or against harsh backlight, then we start seeing Vivo’s superior hardware pull off some noticeable wins. In the below set, we can see it is now the iPhone that shows a deviation in color science between the main and ultra-wide camera because the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s ultra-wide doesn’t inherently pull in a lot of light naturally, it needed to use a two-second long night mode to produce the shot. Vivo’s ultra-wide has a larger image sensor and uses pixel-binning technology, so it could snap the below photo normally as if it was shooting during the day.

iPhone 13 Pro Max above, and Vivo X80 Pro below

If we move to even lower light scenes, like the set below taken in the early pre-dawn morning by Aamir, we can see how much better the Vivo X80 Pro was able to find proper exposure for the sky and the flame.

Generally speaking, the Vivo X80 Pro shots are brighter and if we punch in, more detailed

When I reviewed the iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max (they have the exact same camera systems) last fall, I noticed the iPhone really struggled with exposure, often blowing out bright light sources in contrasty scenes, I think Apple’s software updates have since fixed the issues a bit, as the iPhone 13 Pro Max held up surprisingly well in the below shot shooting out the window into a sunny cityscape. But generally speaking, the Vivo X80 Pro shots are brighter and if we punch in, more detailed.

I do think the iPhone 13 Pro Max produces a more aesthetically pleasing portrait shot because the iPhone’s 3x telephoto zoom lens is so good, but otherwise, for almost every still photo situation, I prefer the Vivo X80 Pro’s cameras.

For videos, the Vivo X80 Pro’s main camera keeps up very well against the longtime video champ iPhone’s video footage, but the latter still wins because the iPhone 13 Pro Max can switch between all three lenses seamlessly in the middle of filming. The Vivo X80 Pro cannot — if you begin filming with the main camera, then you can’t swap to the ultra-wide, and any zoom is digital zoom.

Still, the Vivo X80 Pro introduces a new “cinematic portrait” video mode and it is arguably as good as the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s own cinematic mode.

Overall, I’d say the Vivo X80 Pro’s camera system has a higher ceiling, but also a lower floor, meaning when the Vivo excels, it is very, very good, but there are some basic things like the ability to switch lenses while filming a video that Vivo still hasn’t gotten right. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the more capable video camera and has a better telephoto zoom lens. But the differences are very narrow, and both are insanely amazing cameras that will not disappoint end users.


Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Vivo X80 Pro: Software

This is yet another iOS vs Android showdown, and I think most readers have their opinions set already. But here’s my take: I have always preferred Android over iOS because the former is more customizable, and allows me to do more things (like easily sideload apps, or save files in a proper file system), but I am aware that iOS is more polished and is surrounded by a better hardware ecosystem and third-party app ecosystem.

iPhone 13 Pro Max and Vivo X80 Pro

iOS 15 on the iPhone 13 Pro Max and FunTouch 12 on the Vivo X80 Pro.

Those feelings definitely hold true for me while testing both of these phones side-by-side. Vivo’s FunTouch OS is highly customizable, allowing me to change animations for everything from the way the homescreen moves to fingerprint animations. I am also a fan of being able to open apps in floating windows which I do often. This latter part is a major reason why I carry an Android phone as my daily driver most of the time — I want to be able to multi-task on my phone. The iPhone 13 Pro Max, with that large screen, not being able to show more than one app at a time is frustrating.

However, iOS being surrounded by a more polished ecosystem is something Android and Vivo still haven’t been able to match. I’m not just talking about synergy with other Apple devices, like the way I can record a voice memo on an iPhone and that same clip shows up on my iPad in a few seconds, or that I can access my MacBook’s homescreen files directly on the iPhone — those are all awesome features but require you to buy more Apple hardware. But even if you don’t own any other Apple hardware, you still benefit from getting better app support on an iPhone than on an Android phone. This isn’t that noticeable if you use only the most popular, globally-used apps — Facebook and Twitter will run just as well on Android as an iPhone. But if you use smaller regional apps, like say a banking app for Hong Kong, or a hotel check-in app in Singapore, or a taxi-hailing app in Italy, there’s a high chance the iOS version of the app runs much better.

iOS being surrounded by a more polished eco-system is something Android and Vivo still haven’t been able to match

This means that even though my main SIM card is in an Android phone most of the year, I always have an iPhone nearby because of the superior app situation. And this is unlikely to be changing in the short term future.


Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Vivo X80 Pro: Performance and Battery Life

It’s been well documented that the Apple A15 Bionic chip in the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a more powerful chip than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in the Vivo X80 Pro, and the benchmark numbers back that up again here. But the thing is, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is still a very powerful silicon, so for most of my day-to-day usage, I don’t really see a difference in performance, it’s not like the iPhone 13 Pro Max was launching apps faster or able to process voice commands faster.

Where I do notice is editing videos — I shoot a lot of video clips and I usually give the clips a quick trim and occasional crop (directly in the phone’s native photo gallery app) before I upload to Instagram, and the rendering process is instantaneous most of the time on an iPhone 13 Pro Max, but would require a 10-second wait on the Vivo X80 Pro. Likewise, when I’m exporting 360 videos via Insta360’s app, the process is much faster on an iPhone than on any 2022 Android flagship too.

The Apple A15 Bionic chip is more powerful than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, but you won’t notice it in most daily tasks

Other general performance areas favor the iPhone too: Apple’s device has a louder, fuller speaker setup, better haptics, and better battery life. In fact, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has probably the best battery life of any phone I’ve tested in the last couple of years — I can finish entire 12-, 13-hour days with well over 30% of juice to spare. No Android flagship phone in the 120Hz screen era has been able to achieve this. Still, the Vivo X80 Pro is usually able to last a full 12-13 hour day too (just with less battery left at the end), so this isn’t really a big deal to me. Whether I make it home with 32% or 17% battery left doesn’t really matter that much. Plus, the Vivo X80 Pro can charge much faster and the charger is included, so those are solid wins.


Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max vs Vivo X80 Pro: Which phone is better?

If you’re keeping score at home, I got the Vivo X80 Pro winning in photography, software in terms of productivity, and display immersion for viewing content. But the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a better video camera, has better battery life, and is more powerful for intensive tasks like heavy gaming or editing/rendering videos.

iphone 13 pro max and vivo x80 pro

There’s also the value factor, which is arguably a win for Vivo: both the iPhone 13 Pro Max and the Vivo X80 Pro are priced at roughly the $1,100 range in most parts of the world, but Vivo’s phone comes with a screen protector, a nice faux-leather case, wired earbuds, and a fast charger. In regions like India, the difference between the iPhone 13 Pro Max and the Vivo X80 Pro goes above $640 (~$750 if you compare the 256GB variants), at which point, the Vivo X80 Pro just wins hands down for pure value.

But ultimately, this entire versus piece is mostly an exercise for enthusiasts or the curious, because the reality is iOS users are likely not going to jump to Android on a whim, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a much easier purchase for major chunks of the world including the US. But still, if you are on the market for a new phone and the Vivo X80 Pro is available in your area, you can at least know you’re getting a tip-top premium Android phone with the best still photo camera around.

    The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the biggest and baddest Apple has to offer in the mobile space. It’s got the most powerful mobile SoC in the world and impressive cameras.
    The Vivo X80 Pro has our vote for the best main cameras of any smartphone right now, and the rest of the package is pretty good too.



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