Vivo X70 Pro Plus review: A Truly Premium Flagship?

Vivo X70 Pro Plus review

Vivo has made its camera-related ambitions popular through the X60 series, which launched in the first quarter of 2021. The X60 series was the first phone to display its relationship with the storied camera tech manufacturer Zeiss. Its Zeiss X60 Pro Plus particularly was awe-inspiring in the videography and photography front with its innovative micro-gimbal stabilization technology and the excellent performance from the Zoom and main cameras.

However, even though it was a camera phone lover’s desire but it was a flop as the X60 Pro Plus wasn’t perfect as a phone. It was not equipped with wireless charging and an IP rating and a QHD+ display. They’re not a major issue for phones that are more affordable however Vivo was charging Rs. 69,999 (~$950) in exchange for this phone in India and putting it at the same level as premium flagships with all the bells and whistles of rival brands. They also came with all three features as well as cameras that rival their own.

Vivo is hoping to fix everything by launching its successor with Vivo X70 Pro Plus. Vivo The X70 Professional Plus. Did the company take lessons from its mistakes in the past and rectify the issues that the earlier phone was wrong? Learn more in the Vivo X70 Pro Plus review.

What do you need to be aware of concerning the X70 Pro Plus

The Vivo X70 Pro Plus takes from exactly where it left off when the X60 Pro Plus left off about six months ago replacing it as the company’s most popular model for 2021. It’s running the latest silicon, comes with quick chargers, as well as comes with an elegant design. Like its predecessor, this also comes with the aforementioned high-end features, such as an QHD+ display as well as IP68 ratings along with wireless charging.

The main selling point of the phone is still the camera experience, however. Vivo provides a similarly flexible camera system that is similar to its X60 Pro Plus, keeps the micro-gimbal stabilization feature for the ultra-wide camera and keeps its Zeiss partnership. It’s also an important launch for Vivo because it’s the first time they’ve used an internal image processor as the very first time in the company’s history. The company is promising to reduce noise, boost efficiency and much more.

Vivo’s premium flagship was launched in China earlier in the month along with it’s predecessors, the X70 Pro and the regular X70. Available in black orange, and blue colorways. If you’re hoping for a brighter colour option may be disappointed to discover there’s no black model appears to be available outside China. In the other countries, Vivo confirms that it will launch its X70 Pro Plus in India on September 30. We’re hoping EMEA markets get on the fun too because previously, the X60 Pro Plus was only available in China and India. US availability is likely to be an out of the question unless you want to import it, which is of course.

There are various storage/RAM configurations available in China but only the 12GB/256GB model is offered outside its domestic market. Other than that, you’ll receive an 66W charger, a USB cable with earbuds for USB-C, an SIM tool for ejecting the SIM as well as a case made of plastic included in the box.

Design 2 steps forward One step back

One one of the most important things that you’ll observe regarding this X70 Pro Plus is its dimensions. It’s bigger and more imposing than the already massive Oppo Find X3 Pro and is roughly the same size and height as slightly narrower than its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra However, it’s more comfortable in comparison to the Samsung phone. However, it’s a lot bigger than its predecessor, X60 Pro Plus and you’ll surely notice that it’s not able to get to the top third of the screen, especially if you’re like me, and you don’t possess huge hands.

I like the idea of alternatives to plastic and glass backs, and I’ll admit that I was a bit dismayed to learn that Vivo has dropped its X60 Pro Plus’s faux-leather rear cover. Vivo has instead gone for a “Fluorite AG” glass back that is available. Vivo claims that it is “crystallized glass with a prismatic surface,” and the result is a back that does not appear like glass.

Its black rear cover appears like a matte surface, and is adorned with the silicone Vivo logo. The most appealing thing is that you need to be very careful not to get fingerprints off the back cover. The phone is rather slippery, even it is compared with other glass-friendly phones. Luckily, Vivo includes a case inside the box.

Other than that, the phone is luxurious, sporting Gorilla Glass Vitus for the curving screen and an all-black steel frame with a taper off the right and left edges, as well as the power/volume rocker combination on the right side. The top and bottom of the X70 Pro Plus are almost identical to the predecessor, with the exception of the bizarre “professional photography” branding we have seen last time around. However, the actual text is smaller this time around.

What about the cameras?

Vivo X70 Pro Plus cameras

Vivo has an identical camera setup to that of the earlier phone however we can observe the 32MP 2x telephoto camera getting replaced with an 12MP 2x camera equipped with OIS instead. However, we’ve got the Samsung Isocell GN1 main camera and a 48MP IMX598 ultra-wide camera that has micro-gimbal stabilization and an 8MP periscope lens that is 5x. Samsung states that using high-transmittance glass lenses as well as the Zeiss lens coating will result in less flare from the lens. In addition, the new phone features a custom V1 image chip that reduces the noise level and boost effectiveness.

The images taken by the main camera usually have an excellent balance of rich colors and realistic shades but never going too far in my experience with the camera. Also, you can expect impressively wide dynamic range but images may be a bit contrast-heavy and processed too much at times.

This large sensor size creates a shallow depth of field in this case that means you’ll be able to achieve a decent amount of blurred background, without having to utilize the portrait mode. However, you’ll have to take a step back in close-up shots using the main camera.

Vivo is also bringing several more Zeiss portrait modes onto the table as well as the portrait mode, in general is quite excellent. It’s not perfect, however, as it ran into some issues with the birdhouse that was in it’s background in the initial photo above that shows the portrait mode. Its skin tones were distinct between the two images most likely due to variations in white balance. But, the portrait mode gives results that don’t go overboard. You can alter the blur of your background afterwards should you wish to.

One odd thing I observed on the main camera is that at times it creates an image with a lot of noise. I’m not sure exactly the reason for this, but it’s not frequent enough to warrant a major issue however it is definitely odd especially when an ultra-wide image is more clean as compared to the main camera’s shot. I did receive an update in the middle of the review, however, Vivo said that the update only came with stability fixes for the system as well as touch sensitivity tweaks. However, I haven’t been able reproduce the problem since.

The ultra-wide camera isn’t as large as those from the Galaxy S21 series or Mi 11 Ultra however, the 114-degree field of vision is more expansive than phones such as that of Oppo Find X3 Pro and OnePlus 9 Pro. It’s a one-step down from its predecessor, though distortion from fisheyes is usually maintained in check.

Color reproduction with the ultra-wide camera may not be as accurate when compared to that of the standard camera however it’s fairly close and the dynamic range is also large here as well. The camera performs well in dim lighting, however the difference in comparison to the primary camera grows enormous in extreme low lighting.

How long will batteries last?

The Vivo X70 Pro Plus packs the capacity of a battery with 4,500mAh inside its frame, akin to those of Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus, OnePlus 9 Pro, and Sony Xperia 1 III. With QHD+ resolution, with Dynamic Refresh Rate feature activated I was able attain just under five and an hour of screen-on-time out of the handset.

My use during this time was quite heavy, comprising of approximately 45 minutes on YouTube Music, 25 minutes of GPS navigation, a lot of videos and photos captured during a stroll in the afternoon and social media surfing. Another day of good usage resulted in just five and an hour of screen-on time , too. It’s in line with that of the Vivo X60 Pro Plus.

The switch in FHD+ resolution and maintaining your dynamic rate on will give you a much longer endurance. I managed to get an average of six and 20 minutes on the screen (as shown in the 4th image above) which consisted mostly of YouTube Music playback for most of the time as well as browsing Reddit for more than two hours and gaming Genshin Impact for 30 minutes and also some camera usage. It’s a huge increase, and those who can’t discern the difference in FHD+ or QHD+ ought to remain with FHD+ to get the battery advantage.

Vivo X70 Pro Plus specs

Vivo X70 Pro Plus
Display6.78-inch FHD+
1,440 x 3,200
AMOLED, HDR10+
120Hz refresh rate
240Hz touch response
In-display fingerprint sensor
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus
Adreno 660 GPU
RAM12GB
Storage256GB
Non-expandable
Battery4,500mAh
55W wired charging
50W wireless charging
CamerasRear:
50MP standard at f/1.57, OIS
48MP Ultra-wide at f/2.2, micro-gimbal
12MP 2x telephoto for portraits at f/1.6
8MP 5x periscope sensor at f/3.4

Video: 8K at 30fps, 4K at 30/60fps, 1080p at 30/60/120/240fps, 720p at 480fps

Front: 32MP
IP ratingIP68
Headphone jackN/A
ConnectivityNFC
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.2
Supports SBC, AAC, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, LDAC codecs
SoftwareFuntouch OS 12
Android 11
Dimensions and weight164.54 x 75.21 x 8.99mm
213 grams

Value and competition

It’s the Vivo X70 Pro Plus is certainly a top-of-the-line model in terms of price alone, coming in at a price of Rs $79,999 (~$1,077). This puts it within the realm of premium models from brands like Apple, OnePlus, Samsung and Xiaomi.

The good news is that Vivo has brought their A-game to the table this time. It is worth the price premium by the addition of features like having an IP68-rated rating an enticing QHD+ OLED screen with 120Hz as well as a fiftyW of wireless charging. These features were absent from the similar-priced X60 Pro Plus earlier this year, which makes this model X70 Pro Plus a no-brainer over the previous model.

You still get a flexible quad rear camera and comes with plenty of camera options. Additionally, the micro-gimbal stabilization allows for smoother video footage and more effective ultra-wide shots in low light without any of its competitors offering this feature. People who want to have the top features ticked off as well as an all-around camera experience ought to add this feature to their wish list. For many, the challenge is actually purchasing one because of the lack of availability.

There are many great options around but there are some great options, with Samsung’s Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra ( $1,199or the equivalent of Rs. $1,199/ Rs. 105,999) is one of the more well-known options. It’s also available in a variety of markets and is the most popular choice for a large number of people. It also comes with better zoom capabilities of 10x or more due to its dedicated 10x camera. Moreover, the battery’s capacity of 5,000mAh was superior to endurance in our tests. There is a loss of quick charging and the ultra-wide camera with high resolution and the micro-gimbal, however, Samsung’s Super Steady video feature is still a great feature by itself.

Another great option can be found in an alternative to the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra ( Rs 69,999) It might be a better option when you’re in search of larger battery capacity, quicker charging speeds, and an affordable price. It doesn’t come with a 2-x telephoto camera that can provide zooming in short distances but you do get an impressive 48MP camera with 5x zoom for amazing long-range shots. The Xiaomi phone also offers many premium options but the absence of a clear update plan is difficult to swallow for a phone that is this expensive.

Vivo X70 Pro Plus review The verdict

Vivo is finally catching up with the top competitors in the form of its X70 Pro Plus, bringing top-of-the-line features such as the ability to charge wirelessly, waterproof and a 120Hz QHD+ OLED display. Combine this with a surprisingly flexible camera system, boosted by the unique micro-gimbal system with plenty of power, and a decent battery (at minimum, HD+ quality) and you’ll have an ultra-premium phone that can be up against the best of them.

There are a some areas in need of improvement , however. Bloatware remains a major problem in Vivo’s software. The phone itself is also likely to be too big for a lot of people, although that will no doubt increase the appeal of people who love large phones. Vivo offers 60x zoom, even though 10x zoom can’t be guaranteed to produce a satisfactory performance, and the 5x camera could use an improvement in the quality of its images.

This phone also comes in more expensive than some similar models. The biggest drawback of this model X70 Pro Plus is that it’s only available in China and India at the moment. This is really a shame considering the excellent all-round package it offers. It’s like it is the most premium Vivo flagship, and it addresses the many weaknesses of its predecessor, while keeping its characteristics that made the prior version stand out in the first place.

Vivo X70 Pro Plus Review

Vivo X70 Pro Plus
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The Vivo X70 Pro Plus is a formidable competitor to other high-end flagships. It isn't ideal, thanks to some software bloat and poor zoom speed, but it is a huge improvement over its predecessor. Its scarcity is a disgrace, especially for people who desire a unique camera arrangement and all the other bells and whistles you'd expect from a premium smartphone.
The Vivo X70 Pro Plus is a formidable competitor to other high-end flagships. It isn't ideal, thanks to some software bloat and poor zoom speed, but it is a huge improvement over its predecessor. Its scarcity is a disgrace, especially for people who desire a unique camera arrangement and all the other bells and whistles you'd expect from a premium smartphone.

What we like

  • Excellent main and ultra-wide-angle cameras
  • The screen is clear and responsive.
  • Smooth gimbal video
  • Speedy performance
  • IP68 rating and wireless charging

What we don't like

  • Only a few spots are available.
  • For many, it is too big.
  • The detail in long-range zoom is lacking.
  • There's a lot of bloatware.
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