Vivo X60 Pro (2021) smartphone review: A capable photographer’s companion

A smartphone with a Supermoon Mode for taking moon snaps

Vivo Vivo X60 Pro
  • Expert Rating

    4.75 / 5

Pros

  • 48-megapixel camera takes excellent pictures
  • Slim, lightweight and exceptionally stylish
  • A good selection of photography modes

Cons

  • No wireless charging
  • Battery capacity is only 4200mAh

Bottom Line

Extremely stylish, and with an excellent 48-megapixel rear camera, the Vivo X60 Pro is the kind of smartphone that you would want to accompany you on trips to scenic places to snap beautiful pictures. Its unique photography modes provide endless possibilities to snap new and interesting photos for your albums.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 1,099.00 (AUD)

The X60 is Vivo’s premium smartphone aimed at the professional photographer, and in the visual department it doesn’t disappoint – its 48-megapixel rear-facing camera with ZEISS lenses and image stabilisation takes top-notch pictures. It’s also both lightweight and elegant, with full marks in the form and aesthetic departments. It may be missing a few gold-star features, like wireless charging and a 5000mAh battery, but in all other respects the Vivo X60 Pro is a real gem.

Price

Priced at AU$1,099 in Australia, the Vivo X60 Pro can be purchased from JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Big Wmobileciti and Amazon.

Vivo X60 specs

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 870

Display: 6.56-inch FHD+ AMOLED (2376x1080p)

Operating System: Funtouch OS 11.1 (based on Android 11)

RAM: 12GB

Storage: 256GB

Fingerprint Sensor: Yes (In-Display)

SIM: Dual Nano

Battery: 4200mAh

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1, USB Type-C, USB 2.0, Supports 2.4G/5G Wi-Fi MIMO

Network support: 4G TDD-LTE, 5G

Rear camera: Wide-angle: (48-megapixel (f/1.48), 26mm, 1/2.0-inch sensor PDAF gimbal stabilisation. Telephoto: 13 megapixel, (f/2.5), 50mm, 1.2/8-inch sensor PDAF, 2x optical zoom. Ultrawide 13-megapixel, (f/2.2), 120 degrees, 16mm.

Front camera: Wide-angle: 32-megapixel (f/2.45), 26mm, 1/2.8-inch sensor

Dimensions: 158.58mm x 73.24mm x 7.59mm

Weight: 177g

Look, feel and features

The Vivo X60 Pro is a delight to use and hold. It’s a mere 7.59mm thick and features a sophisticated “black midnight” colour scheme with a satin finish that gradates light across its surface and anti-glare glass. The display is nicely shaped, sporting an elegant 3D curvature that sneaks down the left and right edges.

I tested the quality of its 6.56-inch FHD+ display by playing a 4K nature video and comparing brightness, colour and image detail against video played on a Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. To ensure consistency, I set both phones' brightness to 50%. The Samsung’s video exhibited finer detail, but for its display’s resolution, the Vivo’s video showed detail enough to provide a quality viewing experience. It also displayed notably vibrant colours and an uncharacteristically high level of brightness for a smartphone with an AMOLED display.

On the left: The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in which a higher level of detail can be seen in video playback. Credit: Dominic Bayley
On the left: The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in which a higher level of detail can be seen in video playback.

On the very top and bottom of the X60 where you might find a curved edge on some smartphones, the surface is flat, giving it a more rectangular appearance. The upper flat surface displays the tiny words “Professional Photography,” which is a nice touch.

Its rear, quad camera is arranged in a rectangular array that protrudes from the back side, but very slightly, so the X60 Pro retains its slender profile. There are just two buttons on the phone: Vivo has opted to place them both on the righthand side. The volume control button is above the on/off/sleep button -- that took some time to get used to -- but after a while I came to like its placement and found that I was less prone to accidentally triggering them than when using other phones.

Credit: Vivo

Vivo X60 Pro cameras

After learning the X60 Pro’s camera lenses were co-engineered by lens maker ZEISS, I had big expectations for the Vivo X60’s cameras. I’m pleased to say my expectations were surpassed, with the X60 Pro proving itself worthy of a professional photographer’s back pocket.

Once again, I pitted the Vivo X60 Pro’s cameras against the Samsung Galaxy S10, looking for differences in image sharpness, colour and brightness. As luck would have it, a rainbow appeared outside the PC World office window just I was looking for a subject to shoot.

I shot images in the Vivo’s 48MP Mode at 1x and compared these with images from the Samsung in Photo Mode. As you can see from the image results, the Vivo X60 Pro’s 48-megapixel camera picked up the rainbow’s colour in the image remarkably well, despite it being a dark wintery afternoon. Vivo claims its Gimbal Stabilisation 2.0 AI technology counteracts any slight movements of your hand, reducing camera shake and producing crisp images. This appeared true in my images. The buildings in the foreground of the rainbow image looked especially crisp.

Image by Samsung Galaxy S10 5GCredit: Dominic Bayley
Image by Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
Image by Vivo X60 ProCredit: Dominic Bayley
Image by Vivo X60 Pro

In comparison, Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G’s rear camera picked up less colour and the image appeared washed out. Although brighter, it also seemed slightly overexposed, and the overall colour balance was off. I repeated with a landscape shot and again the Vivo images appeared to have a better balance of colour, sharpness, and light.

Image by Samsung Galaxy S10 5GCredit: Dominic Bayley
Image by Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
Image by Vivo X60 ProCredit: Dominic Bayley
Image by Vivo X60 Pro

An impressive list of photography modes 

No phone claiming to be for professional photography should be without an assemblage of shooting modes and the Vivo X60 Pro has many. As well as the customary, Panorama and Portrait Modes, you’ll find Night, Long Exposure. Pro Sports, Astro and Supermoon Modes, among others.  

These are more than just fun modes to tinker with; you can get some professional-looking, and artistic shots to add to your albums. The Vivo X60 Pro has Extreme Night Mode 2.0 technology and its 48-megapixel rear camera has a large aperture (f/1.48) that facilities more light entering its lenses in low-light conditions. Because of this, it takes great shots at night. Exploring the different effects I could get was a hoot. For example, using the Long Exposure Mode I was able to create some really interesting effects with my photos by focusing on the night time street lights.

Light effects captured in images shot with the Vivo X60's rear camera and Long Exposure ModeCredit: Dominic Bayley
Light effects captured in images shot with the Vivo X60's rear camera and Long Exposure Mode

The Supermoon Mode worked a dream, bringing to life the celestial body in all its glory, moon craters and all.

A full moon with craters showing, captured by the Vivo X60 Pro with Supermoon ModeCredit: Dominic Bayley
A full moon with craters showing, captured by the Vivo X60 Pro with Supermoon Mode

Operating System

Vivo joins brands like Huawei and Oppo that have their own operating systems based on Android 11. Vivo’s is called Funtouch OS 11.1. Before you say “I prefer the plain Android OS,” there’s a lot to like about the Funtouch Android OS. I found it to be user friendly, allowing easy navigation around the UI, with quick access to apps and menus. The OS was also full of personalisations that added to the overall enjoyment of using the X60 Pro.

Two of my favourites allowed me to select animations and lighting effects. These can be found in settings under the sub-heading “Dynamic effects.” I let loose on the personalised animations setting my phone’s UI to perform colourful swirls, pulses and bursts to accompany functions like charging, using the fingerprint scanner and when using the phone’s USB dock. These animations ran smoothly and looked great thanks to the X60’s 120Hz refresh rate.

One of the many animations available to personalise UI functionalityCredit: Dominic Bayley
One of the many animations available to personalise UI functionality

Performance 

To gauge the performance of the Vivo X60 Pro, I did Geekbench 5 benchmark comparisons with the Oppo Find X2 Pro. In my benchmarks the Vivo X60 Pro performed very well, scoring higher than the Oppo Find X2 Pro in overall CL and Vulcan scores, indicating it has the mettle to perform well in a full gamut of tasks. Powering the X60 Pro is a Snapdragon 870 chipset, which features an Adreno 650 GPU, and while a step-down from the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 888, it’s fast enough for running most graphically demanding games. I found the Vivo X60 Pro had no problem rendering Need For Speed No Limits, even after several hours of playing.

Credit: Dominic Bayley

Battery life

The Vivo X60 Pro doesn’t have the larger capacity 5000mAh battery which we’re seeing in a lot of new-to-market smartphones this year, but that could be a good thing. Weight-wise it is perfectly balanced and a larger battery could have made it significantly heavier, possibly ruining its ergonomic feel. That said, battery life was still decent: the Vivo with its 4200mAh battery lasted for approximately 20 hours with occasional app usage during the day, which was quite adequate for our needs. Unfortunately, wireless charging is not an option for the Vivo X60 Pro.

The bottom line 

Extremely stylish, and with an excellent 48-megapixel rear camera, the Vivo X60 Pro is the kind of smartphone that you would want to accompany you on trips to scenic places to snap beautiful pictures. Its unique photography modes provide endless possibilities to snap new and interesting photos for your albums. 

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