Vivo X60 Pro 5G Review: ‘Professional Photography’ Phone?
Updated: Aug 21, 2021
Vivo claims that this is a professional photography phone, and they are not subtle about it – they even had it printed on top of the phone.
But does this phone, the Vivo X60 Pro 5G, live up to the claim?
The Vivo X60 Pro 5G is the mid-range smartphone in the X60 series. It is sleek, it looks premium and it feels very comfortable when you’re holding it in your hands. The phone weighs only 180 grams and around 73mm thick, and as such, we daresay that this may be the thinnest phone you’ll get this year.
The back cover is protected by matte Gorilla Glass 6 with a nice gradient brushed metal look. This finish makes it resistant to fingerprints. It is also not slippery, surprisingly, considering that we found other phones with this kind of finish slippery in the hands. This could be due to the choice of material used for the aluminium frame and the phone’s less rounded edges.
Vivo has shown ridiculous attention to detail in the phone’s design. The metal power button has a knurled texture and provides a very distinct feel from other buttons. Even the top and bottom of the aluminium frame has a slight 3D curve. However, the label “professional photography” at the top of the phone does seem a little bit tacky, and it’s something we’ll come back to later in the article.
Overall, the phone’s design puts some of the flagship phones to shame; Vivo has done a really good job in this regard.
For its display, the X60 Pro has a 6.56-inch, 120Hz FHD+ AMOLED display, protected by Gorilla 6 Glass instead of the latest Gorilla Glass Victus. Its 120Hz refresh rate is a nice touch as 120Hz is the de facto refresh rate for most current flagship phones. However, unless you’re a hardcore gamer, most of us will not be able to take full advantage of the refresh rate as there is very little 120fps content out there.
The AMOLED screen is known to provide sharp and contrasting images, but it seems the X60 Pro 5G’s screen is a tad more reflective than most other phones we’ve tried so far, which could be distracting. This could be due to the excessive space between the protective glass and the screen panel itself. The phone also comes with an in-display fingerprint reader that works well and does seem quite responsive.
Vivo’s X60 Pro is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870G processor – an overclocked chipset of last year’s 860G, which you can find on most mid-range phones today. From our CPU benchmark test on Geekbench 5, we got a very decent score of 1,025 for single-core and 3361 for multicore performance, which could be due to the phone’s 12GB RAM. The Adreno 650 GPU inside, meanwhile, netted a 3DMark graphics performance score of 4,221 – a surprisingly low score. This score makes the phone’s graphics comparable to last year’s Samsung Galaxy S20, which runs on an Exynos 990. This low score could be due to the less powerful Snapdragon 870G processor. So if you’re looking at the X60 Pro 5G for heavy gaming usage, then you’ll have to look elsewhere.
On the wireless front, the phone adopts Bluetooth 5.1 instead of the latest Bluetooth 5.2 which provides less latency. It also doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6. The same can be said about the phone’s audio, which seems to have not gotten the attention it needed. The top speaker, commonly used for calls on the phone, does not double up as a loudspeaker for music. So if you’re watching content in landscape mode, then you will only get a mono experience from the right speaker located at the bottom of the phone. The audio sounded a little flat, and the bass is missing. The is also no audio jack to potentially improve the audio experience – a missed opportunity to pair with an already great screen the phone has.
Now let’s examine Vivo’s claim that the X60 Pro 5G is a professional photography phone. Let’s start with the hardware: the phone features a three-camera setup which is essential to all flagship phones. This setup consists of a 48MP 26mm wide camera, a 13MP 50mm telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom and a 13MP 16mm ultrawide camera. The colour this camera system provides is truer to life and shows very little saturation and over-contrast. This is a good start for the claim, as many phone cameras tend to over-process the photos to make the colours pop.
Vivo has also partnered with Zeiss for the X60 Pro 5G’s main camera, which uses Zeiss’s proprietary T* Coating which softens the streaks of stray light from the red bright light exposure.
As for the phone’s wide camera, it has a weird distortion at the frame’s corners – something easily corrected with the Super wide-angle correction setting, which does a pretty decent job. One useful feature we really like is the eye autofocus function – something you can find on higher-end mirrorless cameras. Our tests using this feature show that it really does lock onto your subject’s eyes quickly. However, it will only work if you’re taking a medium close-up shot of human subjects. No luck for animal lovers.
There are a plethora of functions available to tweak your photos, and they are all quite functional. Without having to rely on third-party apps, it feels like you have a lite version of Photoshop right in your pocket. For videos, you can shoot up to 4K at 60fps, which would have been great if the eye autofocus could also work in video mode.
Now let’s talk about the built-in gimbal technology that the phone has in its main camera. It has been upgraded to a three-axis gimbal: Z, Y and Z, instead of just the X and Y axis on the previous version. The gimbal stabilisation is not very noticeable if the shaking is too vigorous. Our tests with the gimbal system showed that the feature is more noticeable when you consistently do short taps on the phone. The only scenario with a similar condition that we can think of is when you’ve mounted the phone in a moving vehicle. The consistent light vibration from the engine or the tire friction from the road could technically be absorbed with this gimbal.
Currently, many flagship phones have very good optical image stabilisation and electronic image stabilisation, and this could be a difficult sell, as improvements in videography and photography are not as drastic.
Lastly, the phone comes with a 4,200mAh battery with a 33W fast charge capability. The phone, however, does not support wireless charging.
The phone comes in two colours: midnight black and shimmer blue. It will also be available in just one variant: 256GB storage with 12GB of RAM. The recommended retail price in Singapore is S$1,199.
So is the Vivo X60 Pro 5G a professional photography phone as Vivo claims it is? Not quite. We think this is a just sleek everyday phone that is well-designed and takes decent pictures and videos.
Content by Timothy Go