Vivo X60 Pro+: A piece of executive elegance

Mala Bhargava | Updated on May 19, 2021

A premium smartphone with a special camera and a different refreshing look

Just last week we looked at Vivo’s middle-of-the-series X60 Pro. Now, there is an interesting Pro+ model which is worth considering to see what the company is capable of coming up with — and to help those who want the top of the line smartphone regardless of the price.

The Vivo X60 Pro+, which undoubtedly comes with the kind of ill-thought and un-creative name that has become all too common, comes at a cost of ₹69,999. That’s not too much for a premium phone considering what else is around in that category; but, of course, in these times, it is a price tag that gives pause.

Dressed for business

But it’s an unusually elegant looking phone —in an executive sort of way. It’s very light and slim and on the back is an interesting dark blue ‘vegan leather’ material that does away totally with the whole issue of fingerprints. It doesn’t need a case because it isn’t slippery and is in fact very grippable. It’s possible that you’ll get some oily smudges on it if you have specially sweaty or oily fingers, but it’s easily wiped off in the unlikely case that it would happen. The back has a really lovely feel to it.

Also very distinctive on the back is a long rectangular camera housing on the top left. You can see on this that it has the partnership with Zeiss etched into it and also has the sensor size written — 1/1.3 inches. So this is very much a camera centric phone although the look is so executive and business-like. The look and the ergonomics are very strong reasons to pick up this phone.

One bit of a problem is the fact that the camera housing sticks out from the back making it necessary to be just that extra bit careful where you put it down somewhere. But good camera phones need substantial hardware which is bound to take space, so there’s little option but to let the assembly protrude somewhat.

The X60 Pro+ shares many specs with the preceding model in the line up, but for the processor which is the Snapdragon 888 which is the best available for Android for now. It has an excellent 6.5 inchAMOLED FHD (sadly not QHD) display which supports HDR10+ so you can use it to watch movies though I have to wonder why someone who c an afford a 70k phone wouldn’t have a more spacious screen to watch movies on. Of course they could be movies the user has shoot on the phone. More significantly, the screen doers support 120Hz refresh rate. Very soon anything less won’t be tolerated on phones above a certain price point, specially when Xiaomi has come along and brought the feature down to devices below 20k. You can drop the refresh rate to 60Hz or use the Smart Switch feature to allow the device to choose for you depending on what you’re doing with the phone. You won’t find a drop in performance when you drop the refresh rate. Amazingly, despite the really nice screen, there are no stereo speakers on this device, let alone the particularly good ones one would expect in an expensive gadget.

Our review unit had 12GB RAM and 256GB storage which is nice and appropriate for the cost. There’s no memory card slot, but it is a dual SIM phone. Performance on the X60 Pro+ is pretty good, which is unsurprising considering the specs. The disappointing thing is of course the FunTouch interface which brings unwanted apps with it — not warranted at this price. You can offload a lot of them so at least there’s that solace. Other than that the interface is not bad and has a few interesting customisations and animations if you’re into that sort of thing. The battery is a 4,200mAh and of course it could have been bigger but then that would be the end of the phone’s ergonomics as it would have been several notches heavier and perhaps thicker. The reason the X60 Pro+ costs more than the other two X60 phones in the series is the enhanced camera capabilities. This phone and the preceding one in the series both come with Zeiss partnership branding. There are four cameras on the X60 Pro+ . The primary camera uses a Samsung 50MP S5KGN1 1/1.31" sensor with dual pixel autofocus. It’s a particularly large sensor for a phone and it means of course that it lets in more light — the heart of photography — leading to better pics and depth of field. Users find it comparable to Samsung’s S21 Ultra. The Zeiss ‘co-engineering’ leads to better shooting of light sources, for example.

But that famous gimbal system which moves on the inside to counteract the user’s handheld movements and stabilise the shot actually works with the ultra wide lens which is a 48MP Sony IMX598 sensor with an f/2.2 aperture. The gimbal specially helps with low light photos, though you have to hold still for a few seconds. Otherwise, the gimbal stabilises video. It’s not going to generate any revolution because stabilisation for video is already pretty good on smartphones without needing too much more.

There are also two zoom lenses, one telephoto, one Periscope zoom with 2x and 5x focal length. These work passably well and are nice to have. The Vivo X60 Pro+ is a good phone for many reasons, if you can catch it while it’s available. It’s missing a few things the most expensive top-tier phones have and isn’t quite in the same camera league despite its camera innovations. But it’s still an attractive phone.

Price: ₹69,999

Pros: Excellent camera system, looks are unique, clean, premium, great display, very good ergonomics, good performance, ready for 5G

Cons: No wireless charging or IP rating, no stereo speakers, no QHD display, frequently unavailable

Published on May 19, 2021

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