Vivo’s smartphones have always put photography at the forefront. While camera capabilities are an extremely important part of any smartphone’s proposition these days, the Chinese manufacturer has really put that into practice with its latest flagship, the X70 Pro +. Its rear camera array is a powerful four-module array, featuring optics manufactured by Zeiss that provide the user with impressive optical zoom and bokeh capabilities. In addition, the phone also offers gimbal stabilized video with resolution up to 8K.

Lots of promises, but how does this hold up in practice? We will take a look.

Vivo X70 Pro +: Specifications

  • Rear cameras: 50MP main camera with GN1 sensor; 48MP ultra-wide gimbal sensor; 12MP portrait sensor; 8MP periscope camera
  • Before camera: 32MP
  • Max video resolution: 8K 30p
  • Filter: 6.7-inch WQHD E5 AMOLED curved display, 3200 x 1440 resolution
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888+ 5G
  • Operating system: Android 11
  • Drums: 4500mAh
  • Dimensions: 164.5 x 75.2 x 8.9 mm
  • Weight: 209g

Vivo X70 Pro +: Key Features

(Image credit: Jon Stapley / Futur)

The Vivo X70 Pro + grabbed the headlines with its aforementioned four-camera array. Its rear camera configuration includes 50MP wide module, 8MP periscope telephoto module, 12MP telephoto module, and 48MP ultralarge module. The latter also features Vivo’s impressive gimbal technology, allowing smooth and stabilized video.

In practical terms, that means you can easily go from 23mm, 14mm, 50mm and 125mm (all focal lengths full frame equivalent) and get the most out of high resolution with a set of Zeiss optics. This is also what allows the generously wide maximum aperture of f / 1.7. The optical elements have also been treated with Zeiss’ coveted T * coating. The front camera, on the other hand, is a 32MP unit.

Under the hood, things are powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ chipset, which makes operation incredibly smooth. The display is a 6.7-inch WQHD E5 AMOLED curved display with a resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels, as well as a maximum brightness of 1500 nits, an adaptive refresh rate of 120 Hz and a response time. of 300 Hz. High end stuff at every level.

(Image credit: Jon Stapley / Futur)

Vivo X70 Pro +: construction and handling

(Image credit: Jon Stapley / Futur)

From the front, the X70 Pro + looks a lot like what you’d expect – a black Kubrickian monolith, whose curved edges make the screen appear to disappear into infinity. The rear, however, has a pleasant matte finish and grippy texture – according to Vivo, it’s made from fluorine-treated glass.

It’s undeniably a big phone. It weighs 209g, which is a weight you’ll notice if you hold it in one hand for too long, and it’s also 9mm thick. Outdoor users will appreciate that this is the first Vivo phone to be waterproof; The X70 Pro + is rated IP68, which means it should be able to be submerged to depths of 1.5m for up to 30 minutes. While I haven’t taken it that far, I can personally attest that the phone can withstand a brutal (and, can I say, unplanned) rainstorm without any issues.

It’s heavy in the hand, but it’s hard. (Image credit: Jon Stapley / Futur)

Vivo X70 Pro +: performance

Old photographers of a certain ilk, clutching their rangefinders, like to say that zooms make you lazy. Well, after spending some time with the X70 Pro + and its optical zooms, I can confirm that they are absolutely correct. The X70 Pro + made me incredibly lazy and I loved it.

The zoom options are displayed by default on the screen and their use becomes second nature. I went nimbly from 23mm to 14mm to 50mm to 125mm and vice versa. Below is a selection of images I captured of the same building, from the same standing position, seconds apart. That is, my friends, versatility.

(Image credit: Jon Stapley / Futur)

(Image credit: Jon Stapley / Futur)

The X70 Pro + offers a manual mode to control shutter speed, aperture et al, but in reality you’ll only use it in particularly difficult lighting situations, not least because the exposure controls supplant the much more useful zoom controls on the screen. You’ll have a lot more fun immersing yourself in Portrait mode and playing around with Zeiss bokeh styles including Biotar, Sonnar, Planar, and Distagon. These can also be changed and reapplied after capture, which is pretty nifty.

There are also AI-powered scene recognition, HDR, and Zeiss Natural Color modes. I played with different combinations of the three and in all fairness barely noticed the difference. Either way, the image metadata doesn’t record whether these modes were enabled, making it virtually impossible to know when you used them (I used the Notes app), so it’s hard to find out which one you prefer through experimentation.

The X70 Pro + doesn’t mind rain. (Image credit: Jon Stapley / Futur)

This is, I admit, a picky complaint. And when it comes to picky complaints, having image watermarks turned on by default is an act of emotional abuse against me in particular. I won’t tell you how many images I took before realizing that the helpful little words in the corners of the gallery images were actually marked all the time, but it was 102.

Having the lens equivalent to 125mm helped me choose a more interesting composition than the usual one at the top of Primose Hill in London. (Image credit: Jon Stapley / Futur)

The battery life is excellent. A day spent barely slamming the counter on the 4,500 mAh battery. Video modes are also worth highlighting; The built-in gimbal makes it very easy to get smooth and stable animated sequences. The ultra-smooth 4K 60p looks great, although you can push it all the way up to 8K if you want to. The gimbal also powers the excellent night mode, allowing fully handheld 1 second exposures.

Vivo X70 Pro +

Night photos are better than what we are used to with smartphones, with good contrast and low noise. (Image credit: Jon Stapley / Futur)

Vivo X70 Pro +: verdict

The Vivo X70 Pro + is the sandbox of a smartphone. Absolutely bursting with shooting modes and features, it lets you get lost playing around with the different things its cameras are capable of – although you may wish for a better way to keep track of the settings you used. It’s a heavy and bulky phone, but if you don’t mind, it’s an impressive step forward for smartphone imaging.

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