Isn't it too soon? Is it a new-new model, or is it a mid-cycle refresh? Is it in the same class, or is it up one notch? Can it justify the price increase over the previous model? A whole bunch of questions, which we'll try to answer in this review of the vivo X70 Pro+.
The X70 Pro+ announcement came some eight months after the X60s, but since we only got the X60 Pro+ in the office in April, it feels like this next generation has arrived way early. And a quick glance at the specs of the otherwise awesome quad-camera on the back doesn't reveal improvements (one small downgrade, even). So, while imaging is clearly a top priority for this vivo - all those cameras plus the Zeiss logos scattered about the place, the upgrades must be elsewhere.
There's the display, for starters. A modest increase in diagonal to 6.78 inches is only part of it - the new LTPO AMOLED panel comes with an adaptive refresh rate (up to 120Hz) as well as higher maximum brightness, and it's now QHD.
One upgrade that we almost thought we'd never see - stereo speakers - finally make it to a vivo flagship. And there's another new development that's perhaps even more surprising, welcome as it may be - the X70 Pro+ is now IP68-rated, the first vivo with dust and water protection.
At this time of the year, a switch to the SD888+ from the SD888 makes sense, and doubling the base storage to 256GB (up to an optional 512GB) is also a welcome sight. A bump in battery capacity is never a bad thing, and the addition of wireless charging we can also appreciate.
A couple of changes are giving us pause, though. For one, the overall increase in size and weight - the X60 Pro+ was a unique marriage of high-end camera hardware and a compact body, and the X70 Pro+ throws pocketability out the window. The other thing is the price - the new model is some 15% more expensive than its predecessor, which wasn't cheap to begin with.
We'll delve deeper to establish if the trade-offs are worth it, but here's a quick look at the key specs before we get to it.
As we've come to expect from vivo's high-end phones, the X70 Pro+ comes in a fancier-than-most retail package. The dark gray textured cardboard box has the phone's name front and center, embossed in shiny letters. The blue Zeiss logo is also a prominent accent. In fact, vivo's logo is only seen on two of the sides, and it's tiny.
When you lift the lid open, you only see the top one-third of the phone's back - where the cameras are. They're peeking at you through a cutout in the dedicated tray where the phone is lying face down.
Presentation aside, the phone comes bundled with more than just the bare necessities. You get a beefy 66W charger (that outspecs the phone's 55W charging capability) and a cable to go with it - that's pretty standard. But there's also a pair of in-ear headphones with a USB-C connector - it's not often that we see earbuds bundled.
And that's not all - you get a snap-on back cover that also protects the top, bottom, and corners but leaves the sides exposed so you can best experience the curves of the display. The outer surface of the case is covered in vegan leather, too - that does wonders for grip, which the phone itself has little of. More on that on the next page.