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Vivo X70 Pro+ First Impressions: Finally A Full-Blown Vivo Flagship Smartphone
Vivo has reserved its 'X' moniker for top-of-the-line flagship products with innovative camera features. The X50-series introduced the first-of-its-kind mobile gimbal setup to improve the overall photo/video experience for shutterbugs. Earlier this year, the brand unveiled the X60-series with some minor yet notable upgrades. The upgrades were not revolutionary but decent enough to refine the portrait and night-time photography for even better video stabilization results.
Interestingly, Vivo has again upgraded the portfolio with the new X70-series in just six months after the launch of the X60-series. The top-of-the-line handset in the X70-series- the X70 Pro+ is the brand's most ambitious flagship phone to date. There are literally zero compromises in terms of hardware and features allowing the handset to easily take on current flagship smartphones from OnePlus, Xiaomi, Samsung, and even Apple.
What’s New In The X70 Pro+?
The X70 Pro+ flaunts a revamped camera setup with upgraded gimbal stabilization and some notable additions from camera expert ZEISS. It is also the first Vivo handset to come with an official IP rating for protection against water and dust. Besides, there's a big WQHD+ curved display with a 120Hz refresh rate, slightly tweaked user interface, and Qualcomm's 2021 flagship SoC to run the show. The handset flaunts a ceramic body on glass with a premium AG finish.
All of this comes at a hefty price tag of Rs. 79,990 making the X70 Pro+ the company's most premium smartphone to date. The X70 Pro+ only comes in a single variant offering 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. Should you spend a fortune on a Vivo flagship camera-centric smartphone? Let's find out.
Vivo X70 Pro+ Design
The X70 Pro+ is Vivo's best-looking smartphone to date. In fact, it is a better-looking handset than most of its rivals including the OnePlus 9 Pro, Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, and Samsung's current top-end Galaxy handsets. The phablet-sized phone is essentially a thick slab of metal and glass giving it a premium fit and finish and some noticeable weight (213g). The gigantic two-step camera module at the back panel is instantly noticeable with its huge lenses and ZEISS branding.
The soft matte finish back doesn't attract fingerprints and feels good to touch. It also gives the handset a very luxurious feel, something you won't find in OnePlus and Xiaomi's flagships of 2021. Vivo even offers a faux leather case in the box that adds a good grip without affecting the style quotient.
Finally A Vivo Flagship With IP68 Water-Dust Rating
Most importantly, the X70 Pro+ is IP68 rated for water-dust resistance. You can finally make good use of Vivo's X-series powerful camera hardware on a rainy day or for some interesting underwater shots. The phone has a Type-C charging port at the bottom and comes with an in-screen fingerprint scanner, which is very snappy and consistent. The flagship handset comes sans a 3.5mm audio jack and a microSD card slot for storage expansion.
Overall, Vivo has up the ante with the X70 Pro+ design and craftsmanship. A slight bummer is the big form factor that makes the X70 Pro+ difficult to use with one hand. This isn't the device for users who prefer handy devices. It's big and hefty and should be used carefully.
Display & Audio
The big form factor allows for a gigantic 6.78-inch 10-bit curved AMOLED display that excels in almost all aspects. It's a WQHD+ panel offering 1440 x 3200p resolution and an excellent 517 PPI pixel density, first on a Vivo handset. The refresh rate is set to 120Hz allowing for smooth navigation. I also did not face any content visibility issues using the handset under harsh sunlight as the OLED panel has adequate brightness for outdoor visibility.
You can enjoy primetime shows in HDR with up to 1500 nits brightness (local peak brightness). Videos and games look extremely immersive on the big 10-bit display of the X70 Pro+. The video playback and gaming experience are enhanced by a dual speaker setup. The speaker setup produces stereo sound with good overall clarity and decent loudness. Vivo also offers Type-C earphones in the box but the sound quality isn't quite impressive.
It is also worth mentioning that the haptic feedback on the X70 Pro+ is by far the best we have experienced on a Vivo handset. It's very consistent and offers excellent vibrations. As per Vivo, the X70 Pro+ has a Large-volume X-Axis Haptic engine that can stimulate virtual vibration feedback for more than 200 scenarios.
Vivo X70 Pro+ Camera Hardware
Let's address the elephant in the room- the quad-lens camera setup featuring four sensors- 50MP OIS-enabled primary 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.
This interesting camera hardware is backed by an imaging chip V1 and has a high-transmittance glass lens and ‘ZEISS T Coating' lens to enables a better transmission rate of the visible light to improve the image quality and color reproduction. The ZEISS coating lens also theoretically cuts down the unnecessary light flares by reducing light reflectivity in complex light scenes.
ZEISS Powered Portrait Modes
Additionally, the camera has ZIESS styles portrait modes (Biotar, Distagon, Planar, and Sonnar), Night video mode, Pro cinematic mode, built-in beautification mode, numerous filters, and most required modes such as Pro mode, time-lapse, slow-motion, etc.
Vivo X70 Pro+ Camera User-Experience
Pictures shot on the 50MP primary lens come out crisp and vivid. There's plenty of resolved details, correct exposure, and a wide dynamic range. The big sensor creates a very pleasing natural bokeh effect, thanks to the large sensor with a wide aperture. What impressed us most is the camera's portrait taking capabilities. The X70 Pro+ captures some of the best-looking close-up shots with excellent edge detection and pleasing natural bokeh. Besides, the night-time results are also pretty impressive.
We faced some issues while taking close-up shots. The camera constantly switches between the primary and ultra-wide-angle lens and it becomes impossible to take a shot. Vivo should tone down the algorithm as it hampers the photo-capturing experience. We will write a detailed review of the camera performance on the X70 Pro+; however, we can already tell that this is the handset to buy in 2021 if you keep photography in your highest regard.
Hardware & Software
There's no compromise in the underlying hardware. The X70 Pro+ is powered by the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus SoC with 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256 GB UFS 3.1 storage. You also get 4GB of virtual RAM to further speed up the performance.
As expected, the handset runs without a glitch and is very much capable of running the most demanding games and apps without any hardware-centric performance issues.
On the software side, you get the newer iteration of Vivo's FunTouch OS, which is better than before but is still marred by some bugs and bloatware. For instance, the in-screen fingerprint scanner sometimes hides under the notification tray.
You have to manually unlock 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. Vivo should address these bugs via an OTA update.
Battery Life & Connectivity
I am surprised to see the 4,500mAh giving a day's battery life on the X70 Pro+ even with the screen set to run at 120Hz. The battery life is significantly better than what I have experienced on the OnePlus 9 Pro. The phone supports 50W wireless charging and ships with a 55W wired fast-charger in the box. The bundled charger is capable of refueling the modest-sized battery in around 47-minutes.
Should You Consider Buying The Vivo X70 Pro+?
The X70 Pro+ seems like a promising flagship smartphone. It offers a premium design, excellent display, the latest hardware, and a camera setup that can even give a tough time to the latest Apple iPhones. 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.
It is no doubt a better overall handset than the OnePlus 9 Pro and also beats the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra in camera performance. However, the software on the Vivo flagship still needs some refinements. We will spend some more time testing the device's camera and its software to give our final verdict; however, this is a worthy contender in the ultra-premium category and is worth your attention.