Vivo has yet to become a household name in the West, but the company’s latest phone, the Vivo X60 Pro Plus, could be the product to fix that.
I’d wager a bet that for a fair number of people reading this review, it may well be the first time they’ve laid eyes on a Vivo smartphone. The Chinese manufacturer managed to make some headlines last year with the Vivo X50 Pro, noteworthy for its inclusion of a physical gimbal within the camera module.
Having gimbal-quality video in the palm of your hand was an incredible feat, something not achieved by other best camera phones, but the feature hasn’t really caught on in the time since. However, far from being dismayed, Vivo has doubled-down in the camera department by partnering with German-brand Zeiss to give the competition a run for their money. Will the X60 Pro Plus be the first phone to truly put Vivo on the map? Let’s take a look.
Vivo X60 Pro Plus price – Still unconfirmed for UK, US and EU
As of yet, the Vivo X60 Pro Plus isn’t on track for a release in the West, and as such no local pricing is currently available. However, we do know that the Pro Plus retails for Rs 69,990 in India and CNY 6,030 in China (roughly £689/$953/€811).
Since the price will play a significant part in how the X60 Pro Plus stands against its competitors, we won’t be offering a review score until localised pricing is made available.
Vivo X60 Pro Plus design and screen – One of the brightest AMOLED displays I’ve seen
- 120Hz refresh rate ensures everyday scrolling feels smooth
- The display is incredibly bright, with a peak of 1300 nits
- Vegan leather backing is a great touch
Despite being only a few months into the year, the current best phones have already earned something of a reputation for polarising design. For instance, the OnePlus 9, while stylish enough, is an absolute magnet for fingerprints, and the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra has a camera module of tonally garish proportions. By comparison, the X60 Pro Plus is a breath of fresh air.
Not too dissimilar to the Oppo Find X2 Pro, the X60 Pro Plus’s vegan leather backing feels smooth in the hand, while also providing enough grip that you can get by just fine without a case (even though there’s a see-through one included in the box). This texture has a wonderfully lovely feel, and I’d like to see it carried forward to a greater number of device. However, where I feel the X60 Pro Plus really sets the bar is in its gargantuan camera module.
At nearly half the length of the phone itself, the X60’s rear camera module is hefty to say the least. I’ll admit that I actually had to change the way I held the device to avoid smudging the sensors; but there’s still a lot to love here.
The black slab used to house the phone’s four sensors looks like something you’d find on an actual camera, and the Zeiss logo sitting proudly near the top only further hammers home this aesthetic. Even though the words ‘Professional Photography’ are ludicrously etched into the top of the X60 Pro Plus, I have to hand it to Vivo for making a device that invokes all the high-spec tech one might find on a pricey camera.
Flip the phone over and you’ll be greeted with a rather lush 6.56-inch Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a peak brightness of 1300 nits – much like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, this phone is made for enjoying content on-the-go. There’s also a ‘Smart Switch’ option for keeping the refresh rate variable, depending on the task at hand.
The small front-facing hole-punch camera sits near the centre of the phone’s top bezel, and you’ll barely notice it’s there when streaming a cheeky bit of content. While the X60 Pro Plus is just a tad too big to be used comfortably in one hand, I can’t deny that the aforementioned specs add up to one of the best viewing experiences I’ve ever had on a smartphone.
Vivo X60 Pro Plus camera – Vivo and Zeiss have created something truly special
- The ultra-wide camera features a physical gimbal for video stabilisation
- The main 50-megapixel sensor features a brilliantly natural bokeh effect
- There’s an abundance of control offered up to the user
Following the recent partnership between OnePlus and Hasselblad, the concept of smartphone manufacturers relying on the expertise of well-known camera brands seems to be back in vogue. Until now, the gold standard among the best camera phones has been Huawei’s partnership with Leica, but after having the good sense to cooperate with Zeiss, Vivo may have ushered in a new camera king.
The X60 Pro Plus features no less than four cameras on the rear: a 50-megapixel f/1.6 wide sensor, an 8-megapixel f/3.4 periscope lens with 5X optical zoom, a 32-megapixel f/2.1 telephoto lens and, lastly, a 48-megapixel ultra-wide with – get this – a built-in gimbal. From a photographers point of view, these specs are an absolute dream – and there’s no pointless macro camera to mess things up.
Right from the get-go, it’s easy to see that this partnership is something that Vivo has taken seriously. The X60 Pro Plus includes a range of image-tweaking features to give users greater control, but without making things too complicated – consider it ‘manual lite’. For instance, after taking a portrait shot, I was immediately given the option of tweaking the bokeh effect – not only its prevalence, but also the point of focus within the picture itself.
Portrait mode does a decent job indoors, but it can get overzealous in outdoor settings.
Of course, for those who like a challenge, there is a dedicated ‘pro’ mode that offers up a wider array of manual features. However, the automatic mode on the X60 Pro Plus does such a good job that you’ll probably rarely want to venture elsewhere. Shots can absorb a great deal of light while also adding plenty of natural-looking colour, which to my eyes looks more true to life than what you’d find on images taken with a Google Pixel or Samsung device.
Colours are natural, without looking saturated.
The natural bokeh on the main sensor is fantastic, and a great amount of detail can be picked up in the foreground.
The ultra-wide sensor doesn’t suffer from a drop in quality.
In low-light scenes, the X60 Pro Plus continued to impress. It takes clear inspiration from Google’s Night Sight, but it benefits from the greater detail offered by its more robust sensors. In fact, the main sensor did such a fantastic job of automatically adjusting to suit a night-time setting that the dedicated Night mode wasn’t really required – although it did help in one instance to nab an incredible shot of a star-filled night sky.
In a near pitch-black environment, the X60 Pro Plus was able to make out the stars.
Night mode gets the job done nicely, without feeling too unrealistic.
While more of a computational issue, I did find that the camera’s Portrait mode was a little heavy-handed with the bokeh. After a while, I ended up simply using the standard photo mode for its more realistic use of the effect.
However, the one thing I simply can’t fault is the video recording. Even though Vivo has been using a gimbal system in its smartphones since last year, I still can’t believe that the company has managed to shrink-down this tech to something that fits in your pocket. Prior to testing, the smallest gimbal