As we anticipate the launch of vivo next flagship smartphone series in the Philippines, I thought of giving a tribute to the one that came before it, in the form of a long-term review, and see if it still kicks as hard as it did when it first launched in October of 2021. Let’s take a closer look at the vivo X70.
|Display||6.56″ FHD+ AMOLED, 120Hz|
|Storage||256GB (No expandable storage)|
|Rear Camera||40MP Main|
|Battery||4,400mAh + 44W Flash Charge|
At the time of its launch, the X70, while not the most powerful device in the series, still packs quite the punch as a flagship. It’s got a gorgeous screen with a high refresh rate, a proper flagship processor from MediaTek’s Dimensity lineup, a trio of lenses at the back, and 44W fast-charging. The only thing that looks concerning is the rather so-so 4,300mAh battery.
Design and Build Quality
vivo X70 comes in two colors – Aurora Dawn, which is a gradient finish that’s fun and lively, and the one I have, Cosmic Black, which is a bit more serious and formal. At just 7.55mm, the phone is one of the thinnest I’ve used, and at 181g, it doesn’t feel too heavy or too light.
The back panel has a glittery look on a matte surface that gives good grip, to the benefit of one handed use. I’m not a fan of glossy sides, as they can easily pickup smudges, but that can be solved with a case. The camera module also protrudes, which means you won’t get this fully flat on a surface. Again, something that a case can take care of.
Both power and volume rocker are on the right side if the device is facing you. Both are also slightly wobbly, and the former is accentuated with a grooved part on the center, so you can easily find it when the phone is in your pocket.
The bottom houses the SIM slot, a USB-C port, speaker grille, and microphone. There’s no headphone jack here, and there is no provision for a microSD card – something that’s becoming more and more common.
Let’s talk about the screen. It’s a 6.56-inch AMOLED panel with FHD+ resolution, which means you get punchy colors and also, good blacks. Like a Cherry on top of a cake, it also boasts a 120Hz refresh rate, so animations on even the simplest tasks look smoother and more fluid compared to a 60Hz screen.
I don’t usually include this part on reviews, but since I’ve had this phone for so long, I’m happy to share that even after several hard drops on various types of surfaces including tiles and concrete, my X70 is still working fine today. Of course, It had a case on those occasions, but the height and frequency at which it fell really scared me.
The vivo X70 is powered by MediaTek’s 2021 flagship SoC, the 6nm, Dimensity 1200, along with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. Certainly, a package that should handle basically anything you’ll throw at it. I mean, you should not expect any less from a flagship. True enough, the numbers speak for themselves.
As a result of the brand’s partnership, the vivo X70 is equipped ZEISS optics, with three cameras at the back – one 40MP, and two 12MP sensors (telephoto and ultrawide). You also get Zeiss T* coating, which minimizes annoying glare that can possibly ruin a good night shot.
True enough, the quality is whet you’d expect from a flagship – plenty of details plus good contrast, sharpness, and dynamic range. You can also get creative with ZEISS portrait styles, which add a bit of a unique touch to your shots.
Now, you can toggle a ZEISS option from the menu, to let the camera sort things out to deliver more natural colors. It works for most of the time, though some photos came out a bit dimmer than what I would’ve wanted. Depending on the photo, it can take around anywhere from around 1 to 3 seconds to process, which can get a bit annoying at times.
But perhaps the bread and butter of the vivo X70, is its Ultra-Sensing Gimbal 3.0 technology which delivers, no-exaggeration here, impressive stabilized videos. Seriously, I couldn’t believe it when I tried it.
At the time of writing, it wasn’t that long ago when the my vivo X70 received an update to Android 12. The UI itself is snappy and fluid, and there’s a decent chunk of options to sort of personalize the phone, such as what effects you’ll use for unlocking the device, or the overall look for the always-on-display. There’s also assistive tools like Game sidebar, and being able to open an app in a floating window in-game.
On the flip side, I’m having a problem when using the X70 with a pair of TWS Earbuds while also streaming from say YouTube or Apple Music. What happens is that the Bluetooth connection randomly resets in the middle of playback, disconnecting the headset, which will then reconnect after a few moments. This doesn’t happen when using wired headphones.
A related-issue is the painstaking delay when long-pressing on the Bluetooth icon on the pull down menu. Around what, 4 to 5 seconds roughly? that’s quite a wait just to see a list of Bluetooth devices. The UI even freezes at times during the process. I hope these things can be fixed by an update. Speaking of which, my unit only has received one, yes, one update ever since the major update to Android 12.
Perhaps the weakest link in the connection, is the battery life, which I’d say is poor. When using mobile data, I found it hard to get it to the end of a my typical workday outside without worrying, and this is considering that I don’t play games on it when I’m outside. I’m just usually browsing social media, sending emails, chatting, and listening to music using locally stored files.
I feel like they bet too much on optimizing the software and the processor to handle that efficiency part, but I guess 4,400mAh is 4,400mAh. My advice is that if you’re going to use this phone on a trip, especially if you plan to keep your mobile data on and use this Smart Switch mode for the refresh rate (which I personally think is the way to use this phone), a power bank on that bag of yours will save you from some hassle.
At least, the vivo X70 supports 44W fast-charging. In my case, zero to full using the supplied charger takes slightly over an hour. There’s no support for wireless charging, which is a missed opportunity, but something I’m personally fine with.
First, let’s talk about the positives. The vivo X70 looks fantastic. I also like how the camera module blends in so well with the rest of the phone, and that little ZEISS branding. Screen-wise, AMOLED, 120Hz, HDR10+, not much to ask for here.
As for performance, you can pretty much throw anything on this and it will run it, most likely, well. On the imaging side, it’s not only impressive on stills, but with videos as well, especially when you engage that Gimbal Stabilization.
On the flip side, the battery life isn’t great, and the Bluetooth issues that plague the device makes it hard to recommend to those who use a wireless headset for streaming music.
Then there’s the price. At PhP34,999, you get the perks and performance of a flagship, for less than what you’d pay for some other brands. And while I’ll say that this is still a decent deal, note that that price inches very close to almost similarly priced flagships with better (and newer) hardware. vivo itself is launching its newest flagships soon as well.
Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.