The premium smartphone segment in India has long been dominated by Samsung and Apple, but over the years, smaller players such as OnePlus have been trying to snag a piece of that profitable pie. This year, Xiaomi has raised its game with the Mi 11 Ultra and so has Vivo, with its X60 series.
We've already seen the Vivo X60 Pro in action, and it turned out to be a very good smartphone for those who shoot a lot of video. The Vivo X60 Pro+ is its more expensive sibling, and it keeps most of the same key features while offering better cameras and a more powerful SoC. Priced at Rs. 69,990, it competes directly with the Mi 11 Ultra and the top-end variant of the OnePlus 9 Pro, both of which have proven to be very good smartphones. It's time to find out whether the X60 Pro+ is worth the premium over the X60 Pro.
Vivo X60 Pro+ design
I think Vivo has really hit it out of the park with the design of the X60 Pro+. It looks elegant, feels refined, and is surprisingly light for a phone with a metal frame and periscope camera. The matte finish of the exposed aluminium frame and the faux leather back help keep it fingerprint-free. The multi-layered rear camera module looks similar to the one on the Vivo X60 Pro, except for the extra telephoto camera. The physical buttons have good feedback, and down at the bottom we have the SIM tray, USB Type-C port, and speaker.
The display looks very nice too. It's a 6.56-inch curved AMOLED panel with a full-HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The display has HDR10+ certification and is protected by Schott's Xensation Up scratch-protective glass. At this price, I would have liked a higher resolution QHD+ display but this one isn't bad, since the pixel density is still well over 320ppi.
The Vivo X60 Pro+ ships with quite a few accessories in the box. These include a 55W fast charger, protective case, 3.5mm headset, and Type-C adapter for the headset.
The Vivo X60 Pro+ is beautifully designed and feels premium
Vivo X60 Pro+ specification and software
The Vivo X60 Pro+ gets a performance boost over the standard Pro model thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC. This top-of-the-line chip also powers the phone's immediate rivals from OnePlus and Xiaomi. It supports a total of five 5G bands, which is decent but still fewer than what the Mi 11 Ultra offers. Vivo hasn't compromised on other specifications either, and you get 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage.
Apart from the usual wireless connectivity and sensors, the Vivo X60 Pro+ has a laser autofocus sensor for the rear cameras, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and NFC which was missing from the X60 Pro. Unfortunately, some vital features are still missing from Vivo's most premium offering. Stereo speakers, an IP rating, and wireless charging are three huge omissions, in my opinion, which make this feel like an incomplete flagship. At this price and given the current competition, it's inexcusable.
Vivo's custom Android skin called FunTouch OS is now at version 11.1, and is based on Android 11. It has the same set of features and customisation options that we last saw on the Vivo X60 Pro. I do wish Vivo offered an accidental touch prevention option for the curved display, as trying to film video with one hand can cause a lot of unwanted inputs. There are a tonne of preinstalled apps, most of which can be uninstalled. I was happy that none of Vivo's stock apps bombarded me with ads or too many unwanted notifications.
The Vivo X60 Pro+ has an in-display fingerprint sensor which works well
As far as updates are concerned, Vivo has recently announced that its upcoming X-series phones will receive three years of Android OS updates. This sadly does not apply to the current crop of phones including the X60 Pro+. There is a possibility of this changing in the future, but for now, it's unclear how many generations of Android the X60 Pro+ will benefit from.
Vivo X60 Pro+ performance and battery life
The Vivo X60 Pro+ has been an excellent phone to live with. The smooth matte textures of the frame and back meant it always looked clean and pristine, even when my fingers weren't. The 191g weight is distributed very well across the body, making it super light compared to heavyweights such as the Mi 11 Ultra and the OnePlus 9 Pro. The 120Hz refresh rate is dynamic and drops back to 60Hz in apps that don't need it.
Performance was blazing quick too. Even with all its bells and whistles, FunTouch OS ran smoothly and was easy to master. I also found the biometrics to be very reliable, be it the fingerprint sensor or face recognition. The Vivo X60 Pro+ scored favourably in benchmarks with a massive 8,23,367 points in AnTuTu 9, and a solid 1,133 single core and 3,631 multi-core points in Geekbench 5. The metal frame does get warm when the phone is stressed, which is to be expected.
Videos looked great on the phone's display, especially HDR content. The single speaker got loud but stereo sound was sorely missed, which did take away from the viewing experience. Games looked and ran very well too thanks to the powerful SoC and ample RAM. An Ultra Game Mode option in FunTouch OS lets you access a shortcut sidebar from within games, tweak the visuals and audio, and even reply to messages from certain apps in floating windows.
The full-HD+ display on the Vivo X60 Pro+ is sharp and vivid
The Vivo X60 Pro+ has a decently sized 4,200mAh battery which easily lasted me about a day and a half with my typical usage. If I used the cameras a lot or had long gaming sessions, then this reduced a bit, but I still managed at least a full day on a single charge. Charging this battery didn't take too long either. Vivo's 55W FlashCharge tech can charge the battery from zero to about 70 percent in half an hour. Wireless charging would have completed the premium experience but unfortunately, it's not supported.
Vivo X60 Pro+ cameras
The Vivo X60 Pro+ features the same gimbal camera system as the X60 Pro, along with ZEISS T* coating for the lenses to minimise reflections. However, some of the lenses and sensors have been upgraded. For instance, you get an optically stabilised 50-megapixel Samsung GN1 sensor and an f/1.57 aperture. The ultra-wide camera uses a Sony IMX589 48-megapixel sensor, which offers gimbal-level stabilisation. You also get two telephoto cameras — a 32-megapixel snapper with 2X optical zoom, and an 8-megapixel snapper with 5X optical zoom. The Vivo X60 Pro+ can digitally zoom all the way up to 60X.
We've already tested the phone's telephoto cameras in great detail in our superzoom camera shootout. To sum up, the cameras are very capable but I found image quality to be a few notches below what the telephoto cameras of the Mi 11 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra were able to produce, especally when you're shooting at greater than 10X magnification. The portrait camera (32-megapixel) is certainly the stronger of the two tele cameras, as it generally produces better quality images. However, if you want better reach, the 8-megapixel periscope camera is what you'll need to use.
Vivo X60 Pro+ main camera sample (tap to see full size)
Vivo X60 Pro+ ultra-wide camera sample (tap to see full size)
Vivo X60 Pro+ close-up camera sample (tap to see full size)
Vivo X60 Pro+ 50X zoom (tap to see full size)
The primary rear camera captures the best details of the lot. The pixel-binned images it produces are sharp. Objects have very good definition, and colours are punchy though they did sometimes look a bit too vivid for my taste, especially if there were greens and reds in the scene. The ultra-wide camera has a wide enough field of view but objects at the edges can look heavily skewed, depending on the angle you're shooting at. Close-ups have very good details and pleasing background blur. The camera app will automatically switch to macro mode if you're very close to a subject, but this can be turned off if needed.
Low-light photos pack in very good details too. The camera app automatically decreases the shutter speed for a better exposure. Zoom performance takes a hit at night as the Vivo X60 Pro+ almost always digitally zooms in on your subject rather than using its telephoto cameras. However, if the scene is well lit then it will use one of them depending on how much you zoom.
Vivo X60 Pro+ Supermoon mode at 60X (tap to see full size)
Vivo X60 Pro+ 2X zoom sample (tap to see full size)
Vivo X60 Pro+ main camera sample (tap to see full size)
The 32-megapixel selfie camera delivered very pleasing results once I disabled all the beauty filters. Backlit selfies were well exposed, and even ones taken in low light had good details and colours. The camera app offers a variety of shooting modes; some gimmicky but some useful, such as Supermoon.
Vivo X60 Pro+ selfie camera sample (tap to see full size)
Vivo X60 Pro+ selfie camera sample (tap to see full size)
The Vivo X60 Pro+ excels at video recording. 4K videos shot with the main camera in daylight had excellent stabilisation and clarity. You can even shoot up to 8K 30fps with this sensor. Video quality continued to be good even in low light but stabilisation caused unwanted jitter. Switching to ‘Ultra stable' mode fixes this, but the frame is cropped quite a bit and the resolution is limited to 1080p. For the smoothest stabilisation, you can switch to the ultra-wide camera with its gimbal system. If you want the flexibility of switching between all the cameras while filming, you'll need to drop the resolution to 1080p.
Two more features that deserve mentions are HDR10+ video recording and Pro video mode. The Vivo X60 Pro+ can shoot very good HDR videos at up to 4K, and these look great on the phone's display. Pro video mode offers features such as a zebra pattern for exposure check or focus peaking, and multiple framerate options such as 24fps, 25fps, 50fps, apart from the usual ones.
The Vivo X60 Pro+ somewhat justifies its premium over the X60 Pro, but not entirely. Stereo speakers, an IP rating, and wireless charging are features that should have been present, but aren't. On the flip side, the cameras are better, the SoC is more powerful, and charging is quicker. The X60 Pro+ also has an excellent display, even though it's still only full-HD+, and its build quality and design really help it stand out.
This is a great alternative to the Mi 11 Ultra and the OnePlus 9 Pro, especially if you'll be creating a lot of videos. The stabilisation system is truly a class act and is easily one of the best, if not the best, that you'll find on any Android phone today. Since there's no telling when the Mi 11 Ultra will actually go on sale in India, your only other option at this price is the OnePlus 9 Pro. Samsung and Apple's flagship phones also start at this price, both of which offer features missing from the X60 Pro+ such as an IP rating, wireless charging, and stereo speakers.
Should you buy the Vivo X60 Pro+? I'd suggest waiting for a little while, since its successor is possibly just around the corner. The X60 series was launched in March and we're already hearing rumours about an X70 series possibly arriving in September. The new series is likely to have a successor to the X60 Pro+, which if Vivo has been listening, should address the shortcomings of the current model. Plus, this new series will also be eligible for guaranteed Android OS updates for the next three years, as promised by Vivo. Considering all these factors, it wouldn't hurt to wait a bit longer before you make a decision.
Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.