vivo X70 Pro+: A Phone for All Your Needs


Conchita Fernandes tests the vivo X70 Pro+, a phone that packs a punch with its design and features.

Yet again, vivo has come out with a stunning-looking device that is the X70 Pro+. Announced in the latter half of last year, the phone features a few updates from its equally stunning predecessor, the X60 Pro+. The camera lenses on the X70 Pro+ come with the ZEISS T* Coating to reduce stray lights and ghosting effects while giving users colours that are true to life. The new variant also comes with an IP68 rating, which means that it can withstand dust, rain and any accidental spills that may occur. Let’s find out how well the phone fares with regards to its camera performance.

A Flood of Features

The vivo X70 Pro+ features an aluminium frame with a glass back exterior, and comes with a sophisticated-looking vegan leather cover. The cover, in fact, makes it easier to grip what is otherwise a slightly slippery phone because of its glass exterior. The phone is also significantly bigger than the X60 Pro+, a 6.78-inch display (with WQHD resolution), which can prove to be a little unwieldy to use when photographing, especially if you have small hands. The whole idea of phones being discreet shooting devices is moot with the X70 Pro+ because of its size, and even more so with the redesigned look of its camera module. Where the X60 Pro+’s camera module was a vertical strip on the top left corner of the phone, the new camera module, while still employing the same vertical strip, is now placed within a mirror-like squarish box that occupies a significant portion on the top half of the phone. While the finish is extremely classy, it is bound to attract curious glances.

On the camera front, the X70 Pro+ features a quad-camera module—a 50MP f/1.57 ultra-sensing GN1 sensor, a 48MP f/2.2 ultra-wide gimbal camera, a 12MP f/1.6 portrait lens (with OIS), and an 8MP f/3.4 periscope lens with 5x optical zoom. The only downgrade here, from its predecessor, is the portrait lens, which was a 32MP f/2.1 lens on the X60 Pro+. However, the aperture employed by the X70 Pro+’s portrait lens is significantly larger. The front of the camera employs a 32MP f/2.45 lens.

The X70 Pro+ produces stunning, not overly processed JPEGs. Not only are the colours true to the scene but required little to no edits in post-production. Photograph/Conchita Fernandes

The phone has a bunch of modes and options that you can choose from—High Resolution mode (50MP UHD, and offers 0.6x and 1x zoom), Night mode (offers 0.6x 1x, 2x and 5x zoom), normal Photo mode (offers 0.6x to 5x optical zoom, and 60x hyperzoom), Portrait mode (offers 1x, 2x and 5x zoom), Pro mode, Panorama, Slo-mo, Time-lapse, Supermoon, Astro mode, Pro Sports mode, Long Exposure and a Double Exposure mode.

At the top of the camera interface, you’ll find the HDR, ZEISS and macro options, all available in the native Photo mode. If you want colours that are true to the scene you are photographing, you can enable the ZEISS option. The macro option is automatically enabled if you go too close to the subject, but this feature can be disabled. The Pro mode offers RAW (including a SuperRAW option), the ZEISS colour option, and control over the exposure value, ISO, shutterspeed, WB, as well as AF and Manual control. In this mode, you can also create ultra-wide, medium telephoto and telephoto stills. In the Portrait mode, there are a bunch of styles and filters you can choose from, as well as the depth of your bokeh from f/0.95–f/16.

On the video front, the phone allows recording at the following resolutions—8k at 30fps, 4k at 30/60fps, 1080p at 30/60fps— and comes with gyro-EIS and HDR 10+, on the rear camera. On the front camera, you can record 4k at 30fps and 1080p at 30fps videos. The video mode also offers a nifty stabilisation feature called Horizontal Line, wherein even if you move the phone 360°, the video will remain completely stabilised without any rotation. There’s also the Ultra Stabilisation feature in the video mode.

This image was made in a moving vehicle. The AF was quick despite the speed with which the car was moving at. I was also able to retrieve a lot of detail in the sky as exhibited in the presence of the clouds. Photograph/Conchita Fernandes

Great Performance

The X70 Pro+’s is a stunning shooter. The photographs were able to capture a wide dynamic range even in challenging high contrast scenarios. The colours rendered by the camera are true to life, regardless of whether the ZEISS option is enabled or not, although when enabled, I didn’t find much of a difference between the pictures. I was also able to retrieve ample detail from highlights and shadows. Pictures made in the Night mode were exposed well—not strikingly bright—with a very wide dynamic range. The colours and the WB too were well balanced; noise levels were under check. However, I did notice some strong fusion artifacts in a few pictures, especially in the blue of the sky, when using the Night mode.

In the Pro mode, a few of the RAW files displayed some vignetting, but nothing that cannot be corrected in post-production. When comparing the RAW files to its JPEG counterparts, I didn’t find the JPEGs to be overprocessed. Unless, you are particular about your pictures, the JPEGs are good enough for any application. The Portrait mode offered seamless depth without making the subject appear like a cut-out. The pictures shot at 2x and 5x zoom were good too without any loss in detail.

The image on the left was made using the phone’s 2x zoom, and the image on the right, using the phone’s 5x zoom. In both the cases, there was no compromise in the level of details. Photograph/Conchita Fernandes

On the video front, it’s the stabilisation of the videos that really stands out as well as the dynamic range and colour rendition in ambient light. There is some noise when recording in low light and the AF too is a little slow, but it is to be expected.

The Final Verdict

There’s very little to complain about the X70 Pro+. In fact, you are spoiled for choice with the number of features available in the phone; there is something for everyone. Perhaps the only point of contention would be the hefty price tag attached to the phone—Rs. 79,990—but you will be paying for a phone that is not just sleek, and sophisticated-looking, but also for the great camera quality that it delivers. Having said this, the closest competitors of the phone are the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G and the Xiaomi Mi11 Ultra, both of which are significantly cheaper.

The Night mode is one of the stand-out features in the X70 Pro+. The camera exposed the image well enough for it to not appear blindingly bright while maintaining great control over noise levels. Photograph/Conchita Fernandes

This article originally appeared in the January 2022 issue of Better Photography.

SPECIFICATIONS 6.7-inch LTPO AMOLED display, 50MP f/1.57 + 48MP f/2.2 + 12MP f/1.6 + 8MP f/3.4 lens on the rear, 32MP f/2.45 front camera, Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888+ 5G, 12GB RAM, 256GB internal storage, Rs. 79,990
WHAT WE LIKE Fast camera, not overly processed JPEGs, Night mode
WHAT WE DISLIKE The phone is too big for discreet photography
WHY BUY IT The phone offers a plethora of features with great image quality
CAMERA FEATURES 50MP + 48MP + 12MP + 8MP f/3.4 camera on the rear  23/25 
IMAGE QUALITY  Good low light performance, great JPEG quality  28/30
VIDEO QUALITY Good video quality with stabilised footage  13/15
HANDLING  Sophisticated design, slightly unwieldy to hold  13/15
SPEED & RESPONSIVENESS Speedy device  14/15