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  • Fitri Aiyub

Vivo X70 Pro Review : Photography Taken To Newer Heights

We’ve got two words for you, Amazing Cameras. This is without doubt, one of the best still photography camera system in a smartphone on the market right now and the fact that the Vivo x70 Pro is co-engineered with Zeiss could have something to do with it. Is this the one that will blow all other phone cameras out of the water?

We're not sure if we like the frosted back. Feels soft to the touch but strange at the same time. Kinda like a polished metal with a special coating to make it feel smoother. But overall it does a great job at eliminating fingerprints.

The Aurora Dawn colour is surely beautiful with shifting tones in different lighting but it seems like a reoccurring trend for most androids lately and doesn't seem to be a unique colour as it once were.

Adding on to the overall design is the protruding camera module which also seems to keep up with trends by extending itself from the body which would likely damage the module without a cover while weighing in at 185g and 8mm thin with side rails that blend very nicely with the overall colour of the back and display. Oddly it has a reminiscent feel of the OPPO Reno 6 Pro.

The Vivo X70 comes with a 6.56 inch AMOLED HDR10+ and a 120Hz refresh rate curved display reaching up to 1300 nits peak brightness. You have an option for having Smart Switch enabled is recommended to conserve battery life by determining the screen's refresh rate automatically but if you choose to have 120Hz on all the way, there's an option for that too.

It uses an optical under-display fingerprint reader which is quick but did experience it missing some attempts more than expected. So it's not the most consistent among the rest we've tested but reliable nonetheless but at the same time is oddly placed closer to the bottom of the phone. Given that it's an under-display fingerprint reader, they could have placed it slightly higher up where a natural resting thumb would go.

It also comes with a mono speaker construction that isn't that great in our opinion. It does alright when playing music, managing low end and mid range decently but doesn't do too well on some vocal priority content like podcasts. We truly wished it came with dual speakers, provided a wide aspect ratio and great AMOLED display where you'd likely want to watch videos and movies on your phone but will miss out on the audio experience.

Let's talk cameras; the X70 Pro is equipped with a quad-camera system consisting of a 50MP Ultra-Sensing Gimbal Camera , a 12MP Portrait Camera, a 12MP Wide-Angle and an 8MP Periscope Camera. Vivo has also supplemented three ZEISS Style Portrait features – inspired by the iconic, classical lenses such as the Distagon, Planar and Sonnar series for this heavily camera focused phone.

Photos on the X70 Pro are one of the best on the market and very much comparable to an iPhone 13 Pro, albeit both producing very different outputs for various settings. That being said, the camera interface comes with some useful tools which have some easy reach toggles built-in to the main UI instead of having to dive deeper into the settings, such as the stabilisation tool displayed to help the user stay level when taking an image. As well as resolution settings, HDR functions, AI toggle, and a ZEISS natural colour feature.

For some landscape images it could be harder to tell the difference between a normal taken image with the ZEISS feature turned off but it will work with more obvious subjects, toning down saturation and vibrance for post editing control. Shutter response times are snappy even if you've immediately opened the camera app. Image quality in itself is top notch with the 50MP main camera, proving the collaboration with ZEISS as a worthy companion in developing stunning images even at 5x zoom using the 8MP camera.

The 12MP portrait camera does a great job at capturing your main focal point with very nice bokeh that doesn't feel too overtly processed like how some phones do. It's obvious that Vivo created the X series for camera enthusiasts and the X70 Pro has truly kept that promise, with so many other features like Astro or Long Exposure photography modes, and even a Supermoon mode available.

Despite camera phones being another version of point-and-shoot cameras, it's definitely up there running alongside with some other flagships for image quality performance in our opinion. A very promising future for the X series and we're keen to see what else they can come up with next.

Video outputs however are consistent enough in managing outdoor or indoor scenarios, yet it does second guess itself when dealing with exposure when transitioning from dark to bright and will adjust more abruptly than expected. As far as resolutions go, it tops at 4K60fps with smooth stabilisation at walking pace, and options to enable between Standard or Ultra but it's worth mentioning that it will have a massive crop with Ultra Stabilization turned on.

Colours are decent enough in natural lighting, yet it does get a bit noisy in low light and doesn't perform too well under artificial lighting. We do appreciate it having a Movie feature, allowing you to capture in a wide cinematic of 2.35:1 aspect ratio as well as manual bokeh control all the way down to f/1.0, but will however disable 4K and switch it to 1080p in this mode. Very much a feature resembling Cinematic Mode on the new iPhone 13's.

Another feature as well such as Motion Autofocus will not work in 4K, which is aimed to track and focus on subjects in real time. This could be suitable for faster moving objects but we don't really see the appeal given how most of the footage on phones are all set to be in focus anyways and doesn't really simulate big sensors or lenses from a real camera. Regardless of our skepticism on this feature in the meantime, it is proof of how Vivo has taken notice that video capture quality is in high demand and will likely improve for other Vivo phones to come.

The Vivo X70 Pro Runs on Android 11 and a MediaTek MT6893 Dimensity Octa-Core, and Mali-G77 MC9.

We recorded low Geekbench scores 878 for Single-core and 3017 for multi-core.

Battery life will get you close to a day and a half worth of casual use with its 4450mAh battery, and comes with a 44W flash charger.

While there is still some runway left to really wow us in the video department, speed and that mono speaker situation, we’ve got to give Vivo and Zeiss credit for bringing the X70 Pro to the upper leagues of still photography for phones.

That’s where it truly shines and if that’s your main focus then you’d want to take a second look.


Produced by Melissa Tan

Written by Fitri Aiyub

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