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Vivo X70 Pro+ Review: Beats The Competition Handsdown
The Vivo X70 Pro+ has been my daily driver for over a week now. It is Vivo's most premium flagship to date and brings hardware and features that outshine even Samsung's top-of-the-line Galaxy S-series devices, OnePlus' flagships, and most premium handsets across markets. Vivo is charging a hefty amount for the X70 Pro+ and it's quite understandable for the camera innovation put into the ZEISS-backed quad-lens camera setup on the X70 Pro+.
- Premium Looks & IP68 Durability
- Excellent 10-Bit 120Hz AMOLED Display
- Good Overall Camera Performance
- Best-In-Class Video Stabilization
- Solid Performance
- Good Battery Optimization
- Limited Gimbal Mode Usability
- No 512GB Variant
- Not The Most Intuitive Software
The Vivo X70 Pro+ is priced at Rs. 79,990 for the lone variant packing in 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. The asking price is Rs. 14,000 costlier than the 12GB + 256GB variant of the OnePlus 9 Pro, Rs. 4,000 extra of what Samsung is charging for the 8GB + 256GB variant of the Galaxy S21+ 5G and corresponds with the 128GB variant of the newly launched Apple iPhone 13.
In short, the X70 Pro+ is a full-blown flagship smartphone that doesn't shy away from challenging even the mightiest handsets from the big guns in India. This brings us to the big question- Should you buy a Vivo flagship costing Rs. 80,000 or go with the flow and invest in an Apple or a Samsung premium handset? Let's find out.
Vivo X70 Pro+ Camera Specifications
Let's start with the highlight feature of the handset- the mighty quad-lens camera setup featuring four sensors- 50MP OIS-enabled camera with Samsung GN1 sensor, 48MP ultra-wide camera with gimbal module, 12MP OIS enabled 5X portrait sensor, and lastly, an 8MP OIS-enabled periscope camera capable of reaching 5X optical zoom and 60x digital zoom.
ZEISS contribution comes in the form of a high-transmittance glass lens and a ‘ZEISS T Coating' lens to offer a better transmission rate of the visible light, which theoretically improves the overall image quality by enhancing the color reproduction and sharpness. Additionally, you get ZEISS-styled portrait modes such as Biotar, Distagon, Planar, and Sonnar.
Besides, you get all required modes including the Night video mode, Pro cinematic mode, built-in beautification feature, numerous filters, Pro mode, time-lapse, slow-motion, etc.
- The X70 Pro+ captures images with impressive details and spot-on colors. Unlike the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, images captured on the X70 Pro+ look somewhat more realistic and do not show unwanted saturation or artificial color tones.
- The same goes for the videos as the footage shot on the X70 Pro+ is closer to reality offering natural colors and excellent sharpness.
- The wide-angle lens delivers equally good outdoor shots but the pictures have noticeable distortion around the corners. Try capturing in the full-frame aspect ratio to cut some distortion.
Decent Wide-Angle Shots & Good Macro Results
- The wide-angle lens also doubles up as a capable macro shooter and captures crisp close-up shots. Check out the above macro image with water crystals looking beautiful on the leaf. On the contrary, the 5x zoom shots (8MP sensor) come out pretty average.
- The ZEISS-backed camera shines in the low-light scenarios. The big sensor lets in an ample amount of light and delivers crisp pictures with plenty of details and clarity. The colors are also represented well in low-light and images do not appear washed out. Check out the green leaves on the tree and the grass. The sky in the background also shows a decent amount of details.
- The night mode also works in the wide-angle mode but the results aren't quite inspiring.
- Importantly, the ZEISS T coating lens does reduce the unwanted glares that often spoil the low-light shots in case there's artificial lighting in the frame. No other handset gets this feature even at a higher price point.
Excellent Portraits & Various Style Formats
- The X70 Pro+ captures pleasing-looking portraits of subjects at close range with the 50MP GN1 sensor.
- The big sensor creates a very pleasing natural bokeh effect, thanks to the large sensor with a wide aperture. Shift to a 12MP OIS-enable portrait sensor and you will find the handset creating magic with its portrait-taking capabilities.
- The bokeh looks very pleasing and the close-up shots represent excellent edge detection. You can also choose the portrait style from the nine different types, including the four ZEISS modes, which offer some of the best portraits on a mobile phone.
- And while the portraits turn out crisp and natural, the sensor seems to struggle with the 2x and 5x zoom. You need to make some efforts to lock the subject in the zoom mode to get the desired results.
How Good Is The Digital Zoom?
- Good enough to capture zoom but not the distant subjects/objects on the planet Earth. It is a pretty standard implementation of the far-field zoom that only impresses till 10x or 15x at max.
- You push the zoom further and the pictures start losing details and colors. But the supermoon mode yields good results.
- The handset also offers an Astro mode that can deliver some amazing results, provided that the sky is clear and you have a tripod handy.
Gimbal Stabilization Performance?
- The gimbal stabilization is offered on the 48MP ultra-wide angle lens. You can choose among the three different levels of stabilization- Standard, Ultra, and the Horizontal Line being the one that delivers the most stable results but also demands a well-lit environment.
- It effectively cuts down the unwanted shakes in both horizontal and vertical planes and delivers steady videos.
- Sadly, the horizontal line mode of stabilization only works with a very tight field-of-view and records videos in only 1080p 30fps.
- If you want to shoot with the ultra-wide-angle lens or in higher fps or resolution, you have to rely on the standard stabilization, which isn't the most effective mode in the lot. It's disappointing that the most effective stabilization cannot shoot videos in the 60fps.
Vivo X70 Pro+ Design- As Premium As It Can Get
While the design is quite subjective, we like what Vivo has done to the X70 Pro+. The vegan leather finish offered on the X60 Pro+ is now replaced with a frosted glass back with a very fine texture that feels good to touch and stays free of fingerprints and smudges. The curved screen, metal frame, and a head-turner two-step camera setup with a Chrome module add a further premium touch to the overall design of the handset.
All Metal & Glass
The volume rockers and the power button are positioned on the right side and offer very satisfying clicky feedback. Overall, Vivo has designed a stunning-looking phone that manages to look premium and more attractive than most of its rivals including the OnePlus 9 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G, and the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.
Ergonomics & Durability Standards
The X70 Pro+ aces the look and feel but isn't the most ideal handset for one-hand use. The phablet has a noticeable weight (213g) and the big screen makes one-hand usage more difficult. However, I found the device a bit more ergonomic than the Mi 11 Ultra, thanks to better weight distribution. What's worth mentioning is the handset's durability specs. The X70 Pro+ is IP68 rated for water-dust resistance making it more functional in challenging conditions.
No 3.5mm Audio Jack & No microSD Card Expansion
The Type-C charging port is positioned at the bottom and the in-screen fingerprint scanner is very snappy and consistent. Even the face unlock is pretty consistent and unlocks the device in a jiffy. The flagship handset comes sans a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card slot for storage expansion.
Type-C Earphones, Fast-Charger, Premium Faux Leather Case In Box
Vivo's premium packaging with required accessories deserves a special mention. You get a pair of Type-C earbuds, Type-A to Type-C cable, and a fast charger in the box along with a premium faux leather finish case. No other rival flagship offers such a complete package at this cost.
For instance, Samsung and Apple only ship their flagships with a Type-C cable in the box. OnePlus does offer a fast charger and a Type-C cable but you won't find earphones in the box.
There's little to complain about the phone's display as the gigantic 6.78-inch 10-bit curved AMOLED panel checks most boxes. Vivo has used a WQHD+ panel offering 1440 x 3200p resolution and an excellent 517 PPI pixel density. The panel is crisp, offers excellent viewing angles, and produces deep blacks making the X70 Pro+ a great handset for video consumption, gaming, and most day-to-day tasks such as reading, web browsing, and multitasking.
Fluid & Crisp
The refresh rate is set to 120Hz allowing for smooth navigation. Importantly, the 300Hz touch sampling rate ensures smoother display interactions while playing intense games such as BGMI. Moving on, the display also gets adequate brightness for comfortable outdoor visibility. You can also enjoy primetime shows in HDR with up to 1500 nits brightness (local peak brightness).
Audio Performance & Haptics
The video playback and gameplay experience are enhanced by a dual speaker setup. The overall clarity is good and the speakers are adequately loud. Vivo also offers Type-C earphones in the box but the sound quality isn't quite impressive. The haptic feedback on the X70 Pro+ is pretty consistent and offers mild but accurate vibrations, thanks to a new X-Axis Haptic engine that as per Vivo stimulates virtual vibration feedback for more than 200 scenarios.
The X70 Pro+ is the first handset in India to be powered by the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus SoC. The chipset is accompanied by 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256 GB UFS 3.1 storage along with 4GB of virtual RAM to further speed up the performance. This is a lot of firepower that delivers the kind of performance one expects from a flagship phone. The phone never felt underpowered even while running the most demanding apps and games.
And unlike the OnePlus 9 Pro's equally sized battery, the 4,500mAh on the X70 Pro+ is very well optimized. I always used the handset with the screen set to run at 120Hz and the device managed to last a day even with heavy usage.
Good Battery Optimizations
The battery life is significantly better than what I have experienced on the OnePlus 9 Pro but is slightly inferior to the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. The X70 Pro+ supports 50W wireless charging and ships with a 55W wired fast-charger in the box that can refuel the modest-sized battery in around 47-minutes.
If there's anything that holds back the X70 Pro+, it is the software performance. The newer iteration of Vivo's FunTouch OS is now slightly better than the previous iterations in terms of visual appeal and utilities; however, it is marred by some consistent bugs. I thought the brand will push an OTA update to rectify the in-screen fingerprint scanner issue that I have been facing since I did the first impressions of the handset.
It keeps hiding under the notification tray and you are left with manually unlocking the device by swiping up the tray and entering the PIN code. Otherwise, press the power button to put the screen into sleep, and then press it again to use the in-screen fingerprint scanner.
Some Bloatware & Some Nifty Features
Moving on, the auto-brightness also has some inconsistencies and the handset has a pretty share of bloatware but thankfully, you can uninstall these apps. Some good things about the software- smooth visual interactions, nifty widgets, and smooth functionality. Overall, the improvements are good but there's still a big room for improvement.
If you want the best videography experience on an Android platform, the X70 Pro+ is the handset. The video stabilization is unparalleled and the handset has a good overall camera performance. Vivo should have extended the gimbal stabilization functions to higher frame rates and resolution to add more versatility to the camera setup. A better telephoto sensor could have made things more interesting.
However, despite some of these limitations, we are fairly impressed with the camera performance of the X70 Pro+. It's any day a better overall camera phone than the OnePlus 9 Pro, Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, and most of its closest rivals. Other features including the display, battery life, design, and performance also justify the price-point.
With its premium price (Rs. 79,990), the X70 Pro+ competes with the OnePlus 9 Pro, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, Samsung Galaxy S21+, and the Apple iPhones- 12/13. If you want the best premium handset in the Android ecosystem, the Vivo X70 Pro+ is worth every consideration.