Practical review of the Vivo X60 Pro Plus: multi-function camera phone

Vivo isn’t a well-known smartphone brand outside of China, but it’s starting to make itself felt with some impressive new releases and crucial software advances culminating in the new X60 series. It’s the first Vivo phone to be launched with Zeiss, the optics company that worked with the company on the camera, and it also has a unique gimbal stabilization system.

You may not know Vivo that well, but the X60 series is a big deal not only because of Zeiss’ commitment, but also because it’s part of the brand’s big push into the UK and Europe. I’ve looked at the top device in the family, the X60 Pro Plus, and it’s an extremely desirable smartphone.

At this point I have used the phone enough for thorough practical use, but I have yet to fully evaluate its day-to-day functionality. I will be updating this review in the next few weeks but have rated it 7 out of 10 for the time being, although this will likely be revised once the review is complete.

design

The Vivo X60 Pro Plus has a 6.56-inch AMOLED screen on the front and is slightly more compact than the OnePlus 9 Pro and Oppo Find X3 Pro. Why do I mention these devices specifically? Vivo is part of the BBK Electronics empire, just like Oppo and OnePlus, and each represents any company’s current top phone. However, they all compete against the same opponents, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra as well as the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max.

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It is reminiscent of the Oppo Find X2 Pro with a vegan leather back panel in the muted blue color Emperor Blue and an extensive camera module. The thickness of 9.1 mm is offset by a light weight of 191 grams, and overall the Vivo X60 Pro Plus is a very comfortable phone to hold. It’s not quite as wide as the Samsung Galaxy S21 +, but the curved screen makes it feel more manageable. It’s very similar in size to the Galaxy S20 +.

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Fortunately, the vegan leather differs from the endless glass back panels, but the appearance and texture are a bit too shiny and a bit too “wrong” for my taste. It feels grippy and warm. I like the textured on / off switch but have no idea why Vivo decided to write “Professional Photography” on the top of the phone. Aside from discounting the look of things when I see something like this, I automatically think the opposite and that the phone’s camera is far from professional.

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Vivo hasn’t made significant changes to the design of the X50 Pro other than adding the vegan leather, and while the phone is clearly well made, the look isn’t advanced enough and feels compared to the Galaxy S21 +, OnePlus 9 Pro, and Find X3 Per.

screen

Although the X60 Pro Plus is the top phone in Vivo’s new lineup, the 6.56-inch AMOLED screen has FHD + resolution rather than QHD + resolution. In contrast to the Find X3 Pro and the OnePlus 9 Pro, the X60 Pro Plus has a central selfie camera with a hole punch, but the built-in fingerprint sensor is again at the bottom of the control panel. It’s quick and accurate, but it can be difficult to find in this position.

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If you put it next to the OnePlus 9 Pro, you’ll notice the reduced resolution. Carfection’s test of the BMW M4 9 Pro is obviously sharper and also has better color and contrast. The tone of the Galaxy S21 +, matching its resolution and refresh rate of 120 Hz, is extremely similar, but the wonderful contrast and colors of the Samsung phone shine through.

Given the X60 Pro Plus’ position at the top of the X60 lineup, a QHD + resolution would have fit in nicely with the rest of the high spec. The performance is still good, but the competition has better screens.

camera

This is where Vivo spent the money. The camera of the X60 Pro Plus has more functions than can be tested in less than a week, especially with current local movement restrictions. The main camera is a 50 megapixel Samsung ISOCELL GN1 with optical image stabilization, which Vivo also used on the X50 Pro. There is also a 48-megapixel wide-angle camera with a second-generation gimbal stabilization system, which has some improvements over the X50 Pro version. A 32-megapixel portrait camera and an 8-megapixel periscope zoom camera with 5x optical zoom complete the array.

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Zeiss helped develop the imaging system, which Vivo said optimizes the camera, optimizes the images for sharpness and clarity, supplied the Zeiss T * coating for the lenses to reduce reflections and added the Biotar portrait bokeh style options available. The lens treatment shows that Zeiss ‘commitment goes one step further than OnePlus’ partnership with Hasselblad. However, Zeiss has years of experience with smartphones and has worked with other brands in the past, notably Nokia.

Gimbal stabilization is a unique feature and works with both ultrawide stills and video where it is also complemented by a 5-axis video stabilization system for greater overall stability. This is very effective, especially when tracking people or objects with 5x zoom, although it doesn’t make much of a difference when recording general video compared to a phone with decent optical image stabilization.

It’s just one of the many features of the X60 Pro Plus, including 5x optical and 60x digital zoom, night modes for the standard, ultra-wide camera and video modes, HDR video recording, various portrait modes, and a video mode for the Capturing sporty moments, a pro mode, an astrophotography mode and much more. But what about the photos it takes? The colors are strong, there is a reasonable degree of saturation, and an overall warm tone. It’s pretty consistent for the main and ultrawide cameras, and the 5x optical zoom is great.

There’s a lot to test here, but in my short time with the X60 Pro Plus, the camera takes very attractive and, above all, extremely shareable photos.

Software, battery and performance

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage space makes the X60 Pro Plus a powerful smartphone. There is an unusual feature called Extended RAM where the system takes up to 3GB of storage space and uses it as RAM when needed, resulting in faster app opening and multitasking.

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Android 11 installs with Vivo’s Funtouch 11.1 user interface, which is far less stylized than you might fear, but still annoyingly intrusive. After setting it up, I agreed to various multi-page privacy notices when I open apps, try to use the search, or accidentally activate a feature because the phone has trouble recognizing the edge of the screen. No other phone forces me to do so much. Vivo pre-installs many apps, including Snapchat, Flipkart, Amazon and its own app store. There are also several apps that duplicate Google functionality and irritating “Hot Apps” folders that try to get games to be installed.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

A 4,200 mAh battery powers the phone and is charged using Vivo’s 55 W FlashCharge system, which is fast-charging. The performance, software, and battery assessment will take time and will be part of the full review update that will be available shortly.

The Vivo X60 and X60 Pro

The Vivo X60 Pro Plus is one of three phones in the X60 series. The X60 has a 6.56-inch AMOLED screen with a less pronounced curve, but still a refresh rate of 120 Hz. It is a Snapdragon 870 processor with 8 GB or 12 GB of RAM and a 4,300 mAh battery. It has a 48-megapixel main camera, a 13-megapixel wide-angle camera and a 13-megapixel telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom.

The X60 Pro also has a Snapdragon 870 processor, albeit only with 12GB of RAM and the same screen size and resolution, but now with the same curve as the Pro Plus model. It has a 48-megapixel main camera, this time with the gimbal stabilization system, as well as the same 13-megapixel cameras as the X60.

Price and availability

The Vivo X60 series is sold in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Austria, as well as India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates. However, not all regions receive all phones or at the same time. For example, the X60 Pro Plus will arrive first in India, and the X60 Pro will be sold in Europe. Vivo has not yet confirmed the final release date.

Prices are also unknown, but based on prices in China, the X60 Pro converts to around $ 690 or £ 500 and the X60 Pro Plus converts to around $ 920 or £ 670. If Vivo can hit these prices, it will lead the battle straight to Xiaomi and the Mi 11, which also undercuts the price of the Samsung Galaxy S21 + and iPhone 12.

At this point in time, the Vivo X60 Pro Plus offers everything that I am used to from a Vivo telephone – a camera with an insane number of functions and irritating software. The hardware itself is well done, but the design is smartphone-circa-2020 and does nothing. It would normally be easier to forgive some of these issues if the price was $ 900 or less, but competition this year has made it a lot harder for Vivo, especially getting away with a less than ideal software experience. I will continue to use the Vivo X60 Pro Plus and will do a full review shortly.

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