Just like clockwork, both OnePlus and Vivo have launched their flagship products this summer. So in the heat of the smartphone battle, which one of the two smartphone brands is fighting to win our wallets? Well, we’ve already put out the verdict on the OnePlus 9R, OP9 and OP9 Pro. All fantastic devices with tiny setbacks in the camera department. Vivo also launched three new devices and we’ve already addressed the OS and display quality in our in-depth review of the Vivo X60 Pro. It’s something the Pro and Pro+ have in common. Besides that, the Pro+ comes with extra oomph in the camera and processing department. So, will the X60 Pro+ beat all the others and take the top spot in smartphone photography? And is it the Android king we’re looking for? Read on.
Say what you want, every smartphone that demands more than half a lakh from your pocket must pack the right materials for the build quality and the Pro+ here is no different. In fact, it takes it up a notch and comes in Vegan Leather which feels really nice. Just like the expensive variants of Huawei smartphones from yesteryear. It’s also the heaviest of the three X60 smartphones, but it’s still hella light in the hand. Kudos to Vivo for still making such lightweight smartphones.
The 4200mAh battery doesn’t really drain as fast as the Samsung S21 Series but if you push it to its limit, the 120Hz refresh rate screen can really chew away battery life. It’s up to your use, we recommend using without 120Hz since that’s the biggest battery muncher. However, the smartphone feels silky smooth in the hand. Games and apps open with urgency and there’s no doubting the performance of the Snapdragon 888. It’s fast and capable of all things flagship. Especially the photo processing. Not that it’ll take 10 years of your life, but even if the Vivo X60 Pro+ was one millisecond slower than the competition it wouldn’t matter. Personally, I can’t tell the difference in performance between the Samsung S21 Ultra and the Vivo X60 Pro+, and that’s fantastic!
It doesn’t heat up like the Samsung S21 Ultra too, especially when you keep the camera going for longer. This is not surprising because that’s what you’d spend most of your time doing with the Vivo X60 Pro+, taking a lot of pictures. Especially in lowlight!
The bevvy of cameras at the back and the fancy gimbal 2.0 tech make the Vivo X60 Pro+ cameras are very exciting to use. It dishes out pictures that are likeable in all scenarios. They’re not the most colour accurate and neither the tonal balance is something that would rival the likes of iPhone 12, the previous year’s 11 or even the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. All of which are well above the price range of the Vivo X60 Pro+.
However, when it comes to low light photography, the X60 Pro+ shines with flying colours. It even beats the iPhone and Samsung in simple point-and-shoot for low light photography. Highlights are tight and the noise is lesser than any other smartphone we’ve reviewed. It even balances the darker areas without overexposing them. There’s also the 8X periscope lens which lets you take photos of the moon and distant subjects. Moon shot is not the most effective. It looks like a sticker more than a genuine shot and compared to the Samsung, it’s quite similar. Which is to say the moon shot looks unrealistically generated. Does it matter? Maybe not but you cannot tease system cameras with it.
The 8X zoom is quite helpful though. Shots are nice and crispy with good details. It’s more than what the iPhone is capable of and we’ll take this any day.
The Zeiss Optics collaboration for ZEISS T* Coating on the camera glass helps kick out the nasties that uneven lighting can cause which is a very specific feature that only comes with the X60 Pro+. It’s a great addition along with the Gimbal 2.0 which reduces shakes in videos. The same tech is available on the X60 Pro as well so you best read that review for a thorough explanation.
Is it the best smartphone camera? We did a couple of blind tests among our peers, and almost every time people picked the Vivo X60 Pro+ shot because of its richer contrast. It’s like a nicely edited shot with eye-pleasing contrast. Night shots are almost always in Vivo X60 Pro+’s favour too, with more details and tighter control over noise. The iPhone still takes the most natural shots and Samsung has wee-bit more details than anything else. When it comes to tricky light situations, it’s nowhere close to what you find on the iPhone but it doesn’t mean the X60 Pro+ is lacking anything. In fact, for the price, it’s a fantastic camera, one that can take low light images better than any other smartphone right now.
The only place where the Vivo loses points is in the OS experience. Spending more than half a lakh on a smartphone and still being bitten by ads is seriously annoying. Most of the Android smartphone brands tend to add unwanted image carousels on the lock screen and sly push ads in the search bar. Vivo is no exception. In fact, we addressed this and the display performance in our X60 Pro review which you can read here.
The high price also doesn’t garner more features that you see in flagships these days. There’s no IP rating and no wireless charging too.
The Vivo X60 Pro+ was supposed to be the most fleshed-out variant among the three smartphones but other than a periscope lens and better quality photos in low light, the Pro+ isn’t all that of an exclusive club. It’s way closer to the X60 Pro sibling than it is to the other flagships in the price range. It’s missing wireless charging and IP rating water resistance. The absence of bloatware is brought down to a minimum but the OS is still a hotspot for unwanted ads and image carousel. For what it’s worth, our choice still stays with the OnePlus 9 Pro simply because the OxygenOS is among the top Android OS experiences.
The Vivo X60 Pro+ is littered with camera tech that can rival Samsung S21 and Apple iPhone 12 but it’s still a wee bit shy from achieving the top flagship status. Maybe if Vivo refined the OS experience, the X60 Pro+ could’ve been a real threat to the big boys.