The Vivo X60 Pro and why you need to know everything about it ASAP
If you were indifferent to Vivo up until now, don’t worry ‒ you’re not alone, but this might change your mind.
Vivo Communication Technology (or simply Vivo) is a Chinese technology company. It designs and develops smartphones, smartphone accessories, software and online services. Nevertheless, one branch the company isn’t great at is their smartphones, which haven’t been that popular at all. The brand’s been coming out with various innovative products recently, however, people don’t seem to dig that as much as the new iPhone or OnePlus for example.
The difference between other available options and Vivo is probably even more apparent in 2021 than it was before, since Vivo and OnePlus released almost the same product lines (Vivo X60 series, OnePlus 9 series) at almost the same time and both products focused on the camera quality. OnePlus actually teamed up with premium medium format manufacturer Hasselblad and Vivo partnered with ZEISS to reinstate their serious attitude towards this entire undertaking.
We’re naturally still not sure whether it is a profitable move and we can only wait and find out. In the meantime, remember that the Vivo X60 series phones are worth looking into just as much as the OnePlus 9 series (maybe even more). Continue reading and you will find out the reasons why it is so.
A fascinating camera system
Back in 2020, Vivo shocked us all with its gimbal-totting X50 Pro. The X60 Pro improves that strong base with a second-generation option, which is supposed to offer (at least theoretically) even better stabilisation. (FYI, a gimbal doesn’t mean it’s an action camera.) And it costs around $680.
The fact that the camera lens is placed on a ‘‘micro’’ gimbal allows the phones (such as the X60 Pro) 5-axis stabilisation, considering that typical optical image stabilisation (OIS) allows for 3-axis. One can see the camera module move in the opposite direction of the one the phone is moved to. It’s an enhanced OIS so your videos, for example, won’t have the jitters under any circumstances and movements. And if you’re thinking you can just go H.A.M on the camera and use it as your GoPro, you can’t, so just don’t destroy your phone trying
There are a couple of aspects, which prevent the X60 Pro from serving you as your full-on action camera.
The first one is that the X60 Pro provides no stabilisation at 4K@60fps. Even at 4K@30fps, the device only allows standard stabilisation. The gimbal mode (read: extra-steady mode) is accessible only at 1080p (@30 or @60fps). Vivo combined this mode with electronic image stabilisation and a smart on-screen animation, which boosts the quality and consequently we’re left with an excellent result.
Moreover, even though they did a great job with the primary camera, the super-wide-angle lacks stabilisation and the result is a narrower field of view during steady mode (and this combo isn’t great). If you want to spend more, however, you can buy the X60 Pro Plus. It could turn out to be just what adventure photographers in today’s world are after and naturally it provides you with that better super-wide-angle shot to justify the increase in price from the standard X60 Pro. Another thing that ought to be pointed out about this smartphone is that there’s a bump because of the camera but keeping in mind all it can do, we’re fine with it.
Another vital point is that the X60 series phones have no ingress protection, which doesn’t sound so good considering this device’s class. Fortunately, the X60 Pro has other features up its sleeve. Vivo is applying the identical 48MP Sony IMX598 sensor like the one in 2020, however, in 2021 it is combined with a faster f/1.48 lens (the one in X50 Pro was f/1.6). There are two additional 13MP cameras ‒ one of them is with an f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle lens (120-degree FOV) and the other one is with the f/2.46 50mm portrait lens for 2x optical zoom.
Reading enthusiasts will also notice that the periscope-style telephoto from the X50 Pro is missing now ‒ another change to the device.
Vivo has additionally introduced two more ‘‘ground-breaking’’ features to the X60 Pro ‒ both recognisable from professional cameras. One of these is motion (including eye autofocus, which we can also notice in Vivo’s cheaper V20 and V20 Pro smartphones) and the other one is pixel shift, which enables the sensor to automatically take multiple shots, select the perfect shot and utilize data from the other shots to improve detail and colour. And in case you were wondering, yes, the gimbal also helps a ton with this particular feature.
These are the main things you need to know about the X60 Pro’s camera situation. However, before we move on, we must point out ZEISS. The legendary German lens maker has quite the background when it comes to collaborations ‒ a notable one is a collab with Nokia. This is the first time ZEISS is teaming up with Vivo. The aim is to incorporate the ZEISS-vibe into pics with the main points being sharpness, true colour and bokeh. Additionally, there is the ‘‘ZEISS Biotar Portrait’’ filter in the X60 Pro (the Plus version also buys you a ZEISS T Coating to lessen ghosting in photos that happen because of lens flare).
Regardless of all this, just like with everything else in life, you should always question everything. It’s indeed possible that this is a flop, however, it’s also possible that the cameras are great and if that’s the case, then the “co-engineered with ZEISS” branding is the cherry on top.
What’s the final verdict on the camera?
The camera is overall great.
Users seem happy with the phone’s main 48MP camera (which snaps 12MP photos by default). Apart from a couple of colour inaccuracies, the X60 Pro’s main camera can put up a good fight in a match with S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro and that’s a huge accomplishment in today’s market, so, kudos to Vivo for a job well done. And especially in low light. The detail might not be of the greatest quality, in low light, however, the X60 Pro snaps some of the most luminous night pics for the money you’re paying. To be honest, even some of the priciest smartphones are likely to face mishaps.
In the daytime, when there’s daylight, the primary X60 Pro camera allows for a bunch of detail with warm colour and a wide range. If, however, you like to snap under artificial light, your pics will also look cohesive, which is a must. For what it costs, the X60 Pro is great for still photography too. What matters is that the camera is user-friendly and not a flop. On the contrary, it is fast and perhaps the most adaptable in terms of pro-grade adjusting. The primary camera can additionally enhance some of the most natural blurs in close-up photos, which causes the separate portrait camera to seem second-rate because it can’t accomplish such detail.
The super-wide-angle camera delivers mostly pleasant pictures, with Vivo’s AI helping with distortion adjustments. However, the dynamic range is not the widest and the details aren’t even close to those of the primary camera. Nevertheless, there is no difference in the colours when changing between the two lenses (moreover, the swap between both happens almost immediately without any lags). The con is that the shutter slows down under critical lighting, but users seem to not consider that so problematic. Another feature of the super-wide camera is that it can also capture macros. This phone’s camera quality could compete with the leaders on the market when it comes to close-up pics.
The separate portrait camera’s pics could turn out to be great… or not. Just like with any other smartphone. Nonetheless, the quality of this Vivo phone seems to be satisfactory.
Another function that does great is the video recording, however, audio pickup requires improvements.
What about the phone X60 Pro in general?
This phone is very decent. Its design (even though it’s the same as 2020’s design) leaves an impression because it differs from any other option on the market. For the ones who want a phone that looks beautiful, the X60 Pro is stylish and smooth. Vivo has achieved creating this sleek phone despite the additional hardware and that’s impressive. But the company’s phones have always served looks. They’re unique and don’t try too hard to look like every other smartphone. That’s probably also why they’re not as recognised. Isn’t that how life usually works? The underdog is often passed by without being noticed.
Similar to the X50 Pro, the X60 Pro stuns with a glass matte back too. And it feels amazing to the touch. You can also hold it easily because the back sticks to your palm and remains there regardless of how you turn your hand. Additionally, it’s vital to point out that this is a device that you could hold for a long time without causing pain to your hand (you might be surprised but most manufacturers don’t watch out for that). The camera bump on the X60 Pro is nothing to worry about, however, some might find the power and volume buttons to be too sharp (although, that might be normal, having in mind how thin the device is). This phone is, in general, exceptional looking and sturdy.
In terms of colour, it comes in two variants ‒ black and blue. The black option looks amazing and would fit almost any aesthetic. The blue option is more modern, but it still looks fantastic. You can’t go wrong.
Another thing you need to know is that the phone’s screen is a curved AMOLED display of 6.56 inches with a 1080p+ resolution. An improvement is that the refresh rate has increased from 90Hz to 120Hz and it shows. Everything flows effortlessly and quickly. It’s also safe to say that Vivo’s accomplished great optimization because a fluctuating refresh rate is supported.
When discussing the screen quality, it’s enough to say that it can provide a lot of brightness as well as deeply saturated colours (however, not comparable to the Galaxy S21) and outstanding viewing angles. Some users have said they’re not a fan of the curved screen because it might be a little too much. However, Vivo was trying to mimic the feeling of immersion and the X60 Pro managed to give us that, although the punch-hole cut out in the middle could have done with a smaller border.
The X60 Pro is additionally boosting the processing power with the help of the new flagship-grade Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor. The outstanding Snapdragon 888 is still the signature of the Pro Plus, nevertheless, the SD870 is a pretty reasonable option as well. Because of it, Vivo can provide this exceptional device at such a cheap price. There is another advantage to this phone and that’s the heat management. Considering how slim and lightweight it is, it was crafted with long usage in mind and its thermals are remarkable. The X60 Pro can turn warm, but you won’t feel the burning heat on your hands like you would with most other smartphones.
Another decision Vivo made is to add an ample RAM (12GB) and storage of 256GB, which allows for future space. Moreover, the X60 Pro is the first phone to provide the opportunity of virtual RAM (which PC users know the importance of all too well). The device’s software is Android 11-based Funtouch OS 11.1 (basically a pumped-up Android that you can customise if you want). What sucks, is that one can’t uninstall the pre-installed apps. Sound familiar? Thanks, Vivo.
The worst aspect of the phone, nevertheless, is its average battery life. The 4,200mAh battery of the X60 Pro can’t even survive a whole day without charging. That’s probably because of all the camera options, but still… You can fast charge, which is a plus, but it’s limited to 33W which could still be considered fast, but not the fastest out there.
Anything else I need to know?
Well, yes. Having in mind how much the X60 Pro costs, there are a couple of issues with this smartphone. For example, there is no official IP rating and while OnePlus assured their customers that the device can survive some water, Vivo didn’t do the same. The screen might play some role due to its curviness because it doesn’t get the most optimal protection. Moreover, the selfie camera is decent, but you can’t take 4K clips with it and the X60 Pro doesn’t have stereo speakers (and the mono speaker is too small for this price point). Also, you don’t get a headphone jack (with the Pro Plus there is a DAC) and the haptics aren’t impressive as well.
Is the Vivo X60 Pro a wise investment of your money?
It’s safe to claim that back in 2020, the X50 Pro was very underestimated. Some of its features are still nowhere to be found in other smartphones even in 2021. However, the X50 Pro was unexpected and great, while the X60 Pro tries harder to perfect its marquee features, which is not a negative thing. While working on that, Vivo has boosted many other aspects too but it has also gotten worse when it comes to other ones ‒ and that’s the difference between a general product and a worthy one. There is nothing major to complain about when it comes to the X60 Pro, but things could have been better.
Consequently, it’s about time we present Vivo phones with the credit they deserve because there are products Vivo has released (like the NEX line), which have turned out to be unique, inspiring and fun. The company has also been putting a lot of research into photography and the X60 is the result of that work. Most people seem to prefer Samsung Galaxy and iPhone, or even the Google Pixel when it comes to camera quality, however, Vivo is a brand that sticks with its way and it seems to be working out fine. Let’s also not forget that every launch makes the company better and its future is probably filled with endless opportunities.
And when talking about the X60 Pro, while the device is by no means the best Vivo phone ever made, it’s the most excellent one you’ll get if you’re on a budget (regardless of some of its issues). You should watch out for Vivo because they’ve surely proved worthy.
The phone’s pros are its sleek rich outlook, gorgeous display, amazing cameras and fast performance. The cons are lack of IP rating, stereo speakers and unimpressive battery life.
Have you ever heard of Vivo phones and/or purchased them? Would you consider the X60 Pro? There are a lot of reasons to like this phone but don’t forget the mentioned issues.