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Vivo X60 Pro review: Can its updated gimbal system win over other flagship phone options?

By Liu Hongzuo - 18 Jul 2021
Launch SRP: S$1199

Benchmark Performance, Battery, Conclusion

Benchmark Performance

Inside the Vivo, X60 Pro is a “flagship lite” chipset, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870. It shares the same architecture that makes up the SD865+ (2020’s flagship processor for Android smartphones), but it’s clocked at even higher speeds. So if the specs hold true, the X60 Pro might outperform even SD865+ phones like the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE.

The choice of SD870 is also a marked improvement from the X60 Pro’s predecessor, which touted a mid-range chipset. So, even if X60 Pro isn’t a true blue SD888-tier flagship device, it’s still significantly better than before.

We’re definitely gonna put it up against this year’s true flagship phones if the X60 Pro wants to be seen as a high-end phone so badly. Of course, we’ll also compare it against last year’s mid-range devices too. 

  Vivo X60 Pro ASUS ZenFone 8 Xiaomi Mi 11 Samsung Galaxy S21 Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Vivo X50 Pro
  Vivo X60 Pro ASUS ZenFone 8 Xiaomi Mi 11 Samsung Galaxy S21 Samsung Galaxy S20 FE Vivo X50 Pro
Launch SRP
  • From S$1199
  • From S$999
  • From S$999
  • From S$1248
  • From S$1068
  • From S$1099
Network:
  • 5G (NSA/SA), 4G, 3G
  • 5G (NSA/SA), 4G, 3G
Operating system
  • Android 11 with Funtouch 11
  • Android 11 on ZenUI
  • Android 11 on MIUI 12
  • Android 11 (One UI 3)
  • Android 10 (One UI 2.1)
  • Android 10 with Funtouch 10
Processor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 870
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
  • Samsung Exynos 2100, 5nm octa-core (2.9GHz + 2.8GHz + 2.2GHz)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (2.8GHz)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G
Built-in Memory
  • 12GB RAM
  • 8/16GB RAM (LPDDR5)
  • 8GB RAM (LPDDR5)
  • 8GB (LPDDR5)
  • 8GB (LPDDR5)
  • 8GB RAM
Display
  • 6.56-inch / 2,376 x 1,080 pixels (~398 ppi) / 120Hz refresh rate / HDR10+ / AMOLED Display
  • 5.9-inches 2,400 x 1,080 pixels (445 ppi) AMOLED, 20:9 ratio, 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, 1,100-nits brightness
  • 6.81-inches 3,200 x 1,440 pixels (515 ppi) AMOLED, 20:9 ratio, 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, 10-bit colour
  • 6.2-inch, Dynamic AMOLED 2X, Infinity-O
  • 2,400 x 1,080 pixels (421ppi)
  • 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
  • Eye Comfort Shield
  • 6.5-inch, Super AMOLED, Infinity-O
  • 2,400 x 1,080 pixels (407ppi)
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 6.56-inch / 2,376 x 1,080 pixels (~398 ppi) / 90Hz refresh rate / HDR10/HDR10+ / AMOLED Display
Camera
  • Rear:
  • 48MP main camera, f/1.48, Gimbal Camera System 2.0
  • 13MP ultra-wide, f/2.2, 120° FOV
  • 13MP telephoto,f/2.46 2x optical zoom
  • Front:
  • 32MP main, f/2.45
  • Rear:
  • 64MP main, 1/1.7-inch sensor size, 0.8μm pixel size, 1.6μm with Quad Bayer, f/1.8, 4-axis OIS, 2x1 OCL PDAF
  • 12MP ultra-wide, 113° FOV, f/2.2, Dual PDAF, 4cm macro shooting
  • Front:
  • 12MP, 1.22μm pixel size, Dual PDAF
  • Rear:
  • 48 MP main, 1/1.33-inch sensor size, 0.8μm pixel size, 1.6μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel, f/1.85, OIS
  • 13MP ultra-wide, 123° FOV, f/2.4
  • 5MP telemacro, f/2.4
  • Front:
  • 20MP, 0.8μm pixel size, 1.6μm 4-in-1 Super Pixel, f/2.2
  • Rear:
  • 12MP, f/1.8, wide-angle 1.8µm, Dual Pixel AF, OIS
  • 12MP, f/2.2, ultra-wide, 1.4µm, 120° FOV
  • 64MP, f/2.0, telephoto, 0.8µm, PDAF, 3x Hybrid Optic Zoom
  • Front:
  • 10MP, f/2.2, portrait, 1.22µm, Dual Pixel AF
  • Rear:
  • 12MP, f/1.8, wide-angle 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
  • 12MP, f/2.2, ultra-wide, 1.12µm, 123° FOV,
  • 8MP, f/2.4, telephoto, 1.0µm, 3x Optical Zoom
  • Front:
  • 32MP, f/2.2, portrait, 0.8µm, tetra-binning, re-mosiac algorithm
  • Rear:
  • 48MP main camera, f/1.6, Gimbal Camera System
  • 13MP portrait, f/2.46, EIS
  • 8MP telephoto, 5x optical zoom, f/3.4, OIS
  • 8MP ultra-wide-angle, f/2.2, EIS
  • Front:
  • 32MP main, f/2.45
Connectivity
  • Up to Wi-Fi 6 (2.4GHz, 5GHz), Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, GPS, OTG, Type-C
  • Wi-Fi 6/6E (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, 2x2 MIMO), Bluetooth 5.2, L1+L5 GPS, L1 GLONASS, E1+E5a GALILEO, USB-C, NFC, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, Bluetooth 5.2, L1+L5 GPS, G1 GLONASS, E1+E5a GALILEO, Beidou, USB-C, NFC
  • LTE / 5G (NSA, SA, Sub6)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
  • NFC
  • LTE / 5G (Sub6)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
  • NFC
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz, 5GHz), Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, A GPS, OTG, Type-C
Storage Type
  • 256GB internal storage
  • 256GB internal storage, UFS 3.1
  • 128/256GB internal storage, UFS 3.1
  • 256GB
  • No microSD card slot
  • 128GB or 256GB
  • microSDXC up to 1TB (uses shared SIM slot)
  • 256GB internal storage
Battery
  • 4,200mAh
  • 33W FlashCharge
  • 4,000mAh
  • 33W wired fast-charging
  • 4,500mAh
  • 55W wired fast-charging
  • 50W wireless fast-charging
  • 10W reverse wireless charging
  • 4,000mAh
  • 25W Super Fast Charging
  • 15W Wireless Fast Charging
  • 4,500mAh
  • 25W Super Fast Charging
  • 15W Wireless Fast Charging
  • Wireless PowerShare
  • 4,315mAh
  • 33W fast-charging
Dimensions
  • 158.58 x 73.24 x 7.69mm
  • (Shimmer Blue is 0.1mm thicker than Midnight Black)
  • 148 x 68.5 x 8.9mm
  • 164.3 x 74.6 x 8.06mm
  • 71.2 x 151.7 x 7.9mm
  • 74.5 x 159.8 x 8.4mm
  • 158.46 x 72.8 x 8.04mm
Weight
  • 179g
  • (Shimmer Blue is 2g heavier than Midnight Black)
  • 169g
  • 196g
  • 169g
  • 190g
  • 181.5g

 

JetStream 2.0

JetStream 2 combines a variety of JavaScript and Web Assembly benchmarks, including benchmarks that came before, like SunSpider and Octane. It primarily tests for a system’s and browser’s ability in delivering a good web experience. It runs a total of 64 subtests, each weighted equally, with multiple iterations, and takes the geometric mean to compute the overall score.

 

AnTuTu 

Note: As of 9th March 2020, all AnTuTu benchmarks were removed from the Google Play Store. This move likely arose from Google's attempts to relieve the Play Store of apps that violate their policies. AnTuTu is working with Google to restore their app listing. For this review, we used the APK file that was available on AnTuTu's website.

AnTuTu is an all-in-one benchmark that tests CPU, GPU, memory, and storage. The CPU benchmark evaluates both integer and floating-point performance, while the GPU tests assess 2D and 3D performance, the memory test measures available memory bandwidth and latency, and the storage tests gauge the read and write speeds of a device's flash memory.

 

Geekbench 5

Geekbench CPU is a cross-platform processor benchmark that tests both single-core and multi-core performance with workloads that simulate real-world usage. Geekbench 5 scores are calibrated against a baseline score of 1000, which represents an Intel Core i3-8100.

 

3DMark Sling Shot Extreme

3DMark Sling Shot is an advanced 3D graphics benchmark that tests the full range of OpenGL ES 3.1 and ES 3.0 API features, including multiple render targets, instanced rendering, uniform buffers and transform feedback. The test also includes impressive volumetric lighting and post-processing effects. The test's Unlimited mode ignores screen resolutions.

 

We’re also collecting scores with 3DMark’s new benchmark, Wild Life. Below are the test’s Unlimited Mode scores.

Wild Life was released after we’ve returned the X50 Pro and Galaxy S20 FE review units, so no scores were recorded for these devices. We’ll continue building up our score database as more phones roll in.

 

Performance Benchmark Remarks

There’s likely some performance manipulation going on with the X60 Pro because it reports excessively high AnTuTu scores (even though it’s consistent). That said, the handset can definitely hold its own against other true flagships, and our user experience wasn’t negatively affected - if we look beyond its built-in adware. 

 

Battery life

Our standard battery test for mobile phones has the following parameters:

  • Looping a 720p video with screen brightness and volume at 100%
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on
  • Constant data streaming through email

By default, X60 Pro has aggressive battery saving features enabled where every app is subject to Smart Control. It reads your usage habits and decides whether the app should run in the background. Also, there’s Battery Saver active when it’s not plugged in - once you go below 90%, it disables most background processes, restricts vibration, and disables 5G. So it’s worth a visit to Settings > Battery and giving your phone’s power management features a once-over before you start using it in earnest. 

The Vivo X60 Pro was able to clock in 917 minutes of uptime with its 4,200mAh battery. That’s by far the longest uptime in our test we’ve seen this year, and this is after we’ve disabled its battery-saving features to ensure no interruptions occur during our benchmarking.

The long uptime was partly expected given its relatively lower performance next to SD888 phones. In comparison, the SD865+ based Galaxy S20 FE (with its 4,500mAh battery) was 152 minutes shy. Thus, it looks like both Vivo and Qualcomm managed to do something amazing with the Snapdragon 870’s battery efficiency. However, further testing is needed with other SD870 phones to know if it’s a consistent trait with this chipset. 

The Vivo X60 Pro also has 33W FlashCharge fast-charging via its proprietary adapter provided in the box. The phone took 30 minutes to charge from 0% to 50% and 70 minutes to charge from 0% to 100% with that adapter. 

 

Conclusion

Value notwithstanding, the Vivo X60 Pro almost feels like a decent phone for everyday use. It offers an intuitive user experience, a sleek body, a pleasant display panel, a reasonably decent set of cameras, and long battery life. It does several things well for a phone of its calibre (premium mid-range, flagship-lite, whatever you call it), but it does so by trading its competitive advantages away.

For one, the improved gimbal camera doesn’t translate into a massive boon for photo-taking (even less so if you already own the X50 Pro or have a steady pair of hands). The stabilisation works well, but it will not turn heads because that already happened with the Vivo X50 Pro. Ultra Stable feature is more of a showcase of what Vivo can do, but that level of stability isn’t necessary for daily use. With advances in OIS and EIS techniques thanks to AI, the lead that a physical built-in gimbal once had is also eroding, as we've seen what an iPhone can accomplish.

The phone itself has a pleasant UI, which is refreshing among the many reskinned Androids we’ve laid hands on. But, Vivo undid that goodwill by having too many unneeded ads and pre-installed apps, as laid out in our Features section.

It hosts current-generation features like NFC and an in-display fingerprint sensor, but these are also in budget flagship phones that the X60 Pro is up against. Between its similarly-priced rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S21, ASUS ZenFone 8, and Xiaomi Mi 11, these alternatives at least had either 1440p or IP-rated waterproofing to bump up their value proposition.

Vivo X60 Pro’s choice of having neither was a little too much to bear, and that’s with our willingness to overlook how you’re not getting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 in the X60 Pro either. 

The audio quality also did no favours to the Vivo phone. If anything, medium-to-heavy users of music and videos would likely consider another device based on this alone. 

That leaves us with its excellent form factor and amazing battery life. Its longevity may satisfy some folks, but buyers would also need to consider if they can say no to the ASUS ZenFone 8’s imaging quality, or the 1440p display on Xiaomi Mi 11, or perhaps the Samsung Galaxy S21’s robust ecosystem and UI polish. These alternatives are true flagship phones too.

The vibrant competition Vivo faces give us pause before recommending it as a top-of-mind purchase. Unfortunately, this choice dilemma results in the X60 Pro losing a little of its lustre, despite the phone being relatively well put together.

Really, if you’re able to fork out close to S$1,200, there are so many other true flagships with other perks to consider, even before you look at this pretty phone. Even the S$999 non-Pro based Vivo X60 that loses the gimbal stabilisation feature is still a hard choice against the ASUS and Xiaomi options.

So let's take a look at the Vivo X60 series' strong suit. At the $1,000 price point, Vivo's options excel in its attention to design, handling and extreme battery life. Also, if you're a Vivo fan and this is a logical upgrade for you, hop over to their official Shopee e-store to get one.

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7.5
  • Design 8
  • Features 7.5
  • User-Friendliness 7
  • Performance 8
  • Value 7
The Good
Comparable performance against true flagship models
Amazing battery life
Pleasant physical design and handling
The Bad
Preinstalled ads and adware
1080p resolution for such a big screen
Sub-par speaker quality
No IP-rated waterproofing
No wireless charging
Non-expandable storage
Diluted value proposition next to flagship-grade competition
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