Reviews
Pros

- 1080p SuperAMOLED display
- Lightning fast fingerprint reader
- 4GB of RAM
- 64GB of storage
- Excellent battery life

Cons

- Could do with a better processor
- No Google services
- Funtouch OS is quite a departure from stock Android
- Photos lacks vibrancy

Rating
Our Rating
Battery
9.5
Display
9.0
Camera
7.0
Performance
7.0
Software
7.0
Design
8.0
Bottom Line

Vivo has made a premium mid-range phone with an excellent display and great battery life. The finger print reader is first class and the 4GB of RAM plus the 64GB of storage are very welcome. However Funtouch OS is quite a departure from stock Android and is aimed at the Chinese market. As a result many parts of the software experience are in Chinese and there are no Google services.

7.9
Our Rating
You have rated this
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The chances are that you haven’t heard of Vivo, it is a Chinese smartphone manufacturer that makes quite a large range of smartphones, but until now it has focused on the main Asian markets. However, like so many Chinese OEMs, the company is looking to gain more recognition in the west. As part of its push westwards, Vivo recently released two high-end smartphones: the Vivo X6 and Vivo X6Plus. Ash has done a fantastic unboxing/first look/travelogue for the X6 and now it is my turn to take a look at the X6Plus.

Design

Vivo-X6Plus-21

Like the Vivo X6, when you take a quick look at the Vivo X6Plus and you will probably think it looks much like another well-known phone, one which bears a fruity motif. That said, the device does look good, it seems well-made and thanks to the metal frame it has a premium feel to it. The buttons are responsive yet firm, however it is worth mentioning that the capacitive keys on the front aren’t back lit.

The device is quite big, due to its 5.7 inch display, however if you are used to handling large screen phones then it won’t feel out of place. For some context the Vivo X6Plus is narrower than the Huawei Mate 8 (which has a 6 inch display) and narrower than the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge (AKA Note 4 Edge), however it is wider than the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

Going around the phone, the volume rocker and power button are on the right, while the dual-SIM tray is on the left. At the top is the 3.5mm headphone jack and on the bottom is the micro-USB port and single speaker. On the back is the rear facing camera along with its flash LED, plus the finger print reader. It is the two bands that run across the back, near the top and bottom, that give the Vivo X6Plus a certain iPhone-esque look.

Display

Vivo-X6Plus-04

Face the Vivo X6 and you will be looking right into a 5.7-inch 1080p Super AMOLED panel. Sure, it’s lacking that QHD resolution, but I must say this display is very good. It looks beautiful and has great viewing angles. I really have nothing to complain about here.

moto x vs nexus 4 aa display colorsSee also: AMOLED vs LCD – What is the difference?129

Hardware and performance

Vivo-X6Plus-02

As well as the crisp Full HD AMOLED display the Vivo X6Plus also boasts 4GB of RAM, a finger print reader and quick charging. The only slight let down is the choice of processor. The X6Plus uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 615. The 615 is an octa-core processor with 8 Cortex-A53 cores, with four cores clocked at 1.2GHz and four cores clocked at 1.7GHz. Accompanying the CPU is the Adreno 405 GPU.

In terms of every day use these specs are adequate and most users won’t find themselves wishing for more CPU power, and because of the 4GB of RAM even some power users will find the X6Plus more than sufficient. However if you play a lot of 3D games, use CPU intensive apps or visit a lot of complex websites then the Snapdragon 615 will be under powered for you.

The use of a Cortex-A53 octa-core SoC is also reflected in the benchmarks. The Vivo X6Plus scored 780 on Geekbench’s single-core test and 3143 for the multi-core test. For some context, those scores are lower than the octa-core Cortex-A53 Kirin 935 found in the Huawei Mate S, lower than the octa-core Cortex-A53 MediaTek Helio X10 found in the Redmi Note 2 and lower than the quad-core 32-bit Snapdragon 801. If you want to see more benchmark scores for some of 2015’s leading processors then check out my SoC showdown: Snapdragon 810 vs Exynos 7420 vs MediaTek Helio X10 vs Kirin 935.

Vivo-X6Plus-benchmarks

I ran my custom written Terrain 4 benchmark and the Vivo X6Plus scored 8.96 frames per second and managed to display a total of 2225 frames during the test run. By comparison the Vivo X6 (with its octa-core Cortex-A53 MediaTek MT6752 and ARM Mali-T760 GPU) managed 10.07 fps and 2355 total frames. A faster, next generation phone like the Huawei Mate 8 manages 20.72 fps and 3348 total frames at the same Full HD resolution.

The fingerprint reader on the X6Plus is first class. It is fast, accurate and is certainly comparable with the lightning fast and reliable fingerprint scanner on the Huawei Mate 8. Like the Mate 8, you can wake and unlock your phone just by putting your finger on the reader.

The X6Plus has a 3000 mAh battery which delivers a great battery experience. Although it has a 5.7 inch 1080p display, the processor is quite conservative in its power usage, the result is that you will get all-day battery life, easily. Unfortunately Funtouch OS doesn’t include a battery usage page of any kind. So instead I did some battery tests. First I ran Goat Simulator to test the battery life while playing 3D games. According to my calculations you will be able to play 3D games for over 4.5 hours on the Vivo X6Plus. That is quite an impressive number as some phones fail to give you a lesser screen-on time without doing any 3D (i.e. GPU) work. Turning to simpler tasks like watching YouTube over Wi-Fi or web browsing, I found that you will get at least 15 hours of both from this device. What that translates to is in fact a two day battery life (of course depending on your usage). So a big thumbs up for Vivo for the battery life of the X6Plus.

Vivo-X6Plus-dual-engine-charging-16x9

 

When it comes to the fast charging the Vivo X6Plus supports what Vivo calls “dual-engine quick charging.” The charger is rated at 5V/2A and 9V/2A. That means at 9V it can charge the phone at 18 watts. To fully charge the 3000 mAh battery takes two hours, which isn’t that quick, however to get to 50% only takes 23 minutes, which is quite impressive. If you want to charge the battery to 80% then that takes 55 minutes. To go from 80% to 100% takes over an hour. If you are interested to find out why smartphones charge quickly to 50% or 80%, but can take over half of the charge cycle to add the last 20% then I recommend that you read my test: Qualcomm Quick Charge vs Oppo VOOC vs MediaTek PumpExpress+ vs Motorola TurboPower vs the others.

Software

Vivo-X6Plus-FuntouchOS

On the software side, we have Vivo’s Funtouch OS, which although it is based on Android 5.0.2, is really heavily skinned. As with many of the Android variants from Chinese manufacturers, there is no app drawer which means you are left to organize everything into folders on the home screens. Unfortunately Google’s services like Google Play, YouTube and Gmail don’t come pre-installed. I was able to install Amazon’s Appstore without any problem and that got me access to a lot of apps. I then discovered that you can actually install Google Play from the Vivo App Store. That gave me access to a bunch more app and services, however I often came across errors about apps not being compatible with the current device, sadly even Chrome wouldn’t install because Google Play says it isn’t compatible.

Vivo-X6Plus-FuntouchOS2

When you get over the non-standard Android  look-and-feel, learn to speak Chinese for the apps that don’t work in English, and ignore the iOS aesthetic, then you will find that Vivo did manage to add in some cool functionality. You can save screen shots with voice recordings; use smart motion actions (gestures) like draw ‘M’ for music or cover the phone with your hand to mute it when it is ringing; or shrink the screen or keyboard for one handed use. There are also quite a few options for the dual-SIM functions including setting a different ringtone to each SIM and setting which SIM is the default.

Camera

Vivo-X6Plus-camera-app

The camera app that comes with the Vivo X6Plus is excellent. As well as offering a range of automatic modes including Night mode and Child portrait mode, there is also a comprehensive manual mode (which Vivo calls Professional mode). You can change the white balance, ISO, and shutter speed, but most importantly you can do manual focusing. The camera is quite quick and there is a burst mode which allows you to take consecutive pictures. According to my crude timing you can take about 10 shots a second. The only limitation is that it stops after 20 shots, so that it can save the images.

As for the camera itself, I am undecided. The 13MP resolution is good, the noise levels aren’t bad for a mobile phone and the touch to set the exposure functionality works well. However I found that the colors in the photos are lacking in vibrancy. I say I am undecided in that I am prepared to give the camera the benefit of the doubt because it has been very cloudy and dull here while I have been taking my test shots and it could be the lack of clear sunlight that has dulled the images, however maybe I am just being too kind.

Anyway, here are some samples photos so that you can judge for yourself:

dslr pro best camera apps for Android'See also: 15 best camera apps for Android104

Just as I was preparing to publish this review, the sun came out, so I went out and took a few more sample photos. Here is an additional gallery of sample shots:

Specifications

DIsplay5.7-inch Super AMOLED display, 1080p
Full HD resolution
Processor1.6 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615
Adreno 405 GPU
RAM4 GB
Storage64 GB
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, microUSB 2.0
SIM cardsDual-SIM: 1 x micro SIM, 1 x nano SIM
Networks2G GSM 900 / 1800
3G HSDPA: 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100, TD-SCDMA 1880 / 2010
4G LTE: 1(2100), 3(1800), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300), 41(2500)
Cameras13 MP rear camera, 8 MP front-facing camera
Battery3000 mAh
SoftwareFuntouch OS, based on Android 5.0.2 Lollipop
Dimensions158.4 x 80 x 6.9 mm, 171 g

Gallery

Wrapping up

The Vivo X6Plus is certainly an interesting device. The large 5.7 inch Super AMOLED display is very cool, but the overall skew towards mimicking Apple is a big negative and leaves me with a desire for some originality. Having said that if you are able to look past the design aspects then features like the 4GB of RAM and the fingerprint reader are solid positives for this device, the only thing I would want to change on the hardware side is the processor, something better than the Snapdragon 615 would seem appropriate for this device. As for the software, well, for Asia it is probably perfect, however those in the West will likely struggle with it.

The Vivo X6Plus will initially be available in Asia for a price that should be around $550, however that pricing hasn’t yet been confirmed.

Buy it now
  • vmxr

    the UI colors popular these days i’ve seen it on firefox, thunderbird, nlyas mail, microsoft products, samsung and now this. anway they are trying to have similar design to the iphone to sell more.. i think

  • b

    Is there someone in AA who CAN think or it’s full only with morons and idiots? WHY the fuck “No Google services” is even mentioned? Or maybe you are not only dumb fuck- you are BLIND… This phone is China-version and of course Google services are removed. If there are world-wide version of the phone Google store will appear…

    PS: $550 is crazy price tag for a SD 615- no more than $330-350…

    • Sin Falace

      Maybe there’s no World-wide version and that’s why they had to say it. Some people might buy the phone expecting there to be all the normal stuff. Maybe, I don’t know of course but maybe that’s why.

      • balcobomber25

        There is an international version with Google Play. Vivo is sold in several countries outside of China and those phones come with Google Play.

        • nullified

          yep, Malaysia receive google embedded vivo phones, i know cause I’m supplying it

          • balcobomber25

            The ones I bought in Thailand had it as well.

    • Chris

      You mad bro?

    • nebulaoperator

      I thought article was written by John Dye. It appears to me there is another John Dye.
      “Whats up guys”

  • nebulaoperator

    $550 for this price tag and such innard is worth no more than 6.5 score. However beggars cannot choose the score.

  • Kody

    Price tag is a little steep for the specs. Mi 5 seems like it would be better.

  • KeyserSoze

    Hey goofy British people, what is a battree? Shouldn’t there be THREE syllables?

  • balcobomber25

    I love when they review Chinese phones here and complain that the ROM isn’t stock Android, but they don’t do that with Samsung. Need to start reviewing the ROM for what it is, not what it isn’t. FunTouch doesn’t try or want to be stock Android. It’s like writing a car review for a muscle car and comparing it to a hybrid.

    • Chris

      Stock android is boring as shit.

      • balcobomber25

        Couldn’t agree more

    • MesTaRas

      Thank you, that really annoys me, when not being near to stock is automatically a bad thing.

      • balcobomber25

        It’s like comparing a Macbook and complaining the software isn’t Windows. MIUI doesn’t try or want to be stock.

  • Chris

    Midrange phones suck

  • KeyserSoze

    >> The Vivo X6Plus will initially be available in Asia for a price that should be around $550, however that pricing hasn’t yet been confirmed. <<

    Midrange phone for $550? Wrong answer, try $300 tops or no sale.

  • Zak T

    Yet another major fumble by AA, not mentioning that this device’s LTE bands are incompatible with North American bands. It wouldn’t be a big deal but they mention that the device is intended for sale in the “west.’ Do your editors actually exist or what? You’re not much of an authority if you repeatedly miss these glaring details… but I suppose that I should be thankful that you’ve actually listed the supported bands this time. Sheesh, hire me to edit your reviews so we can step up your game.

    • balcobomber25

      I use plenty of Chinese phones in the US that aren’t compatible with US LTE bands. Most all of them work with Tmobile and ATT 3G.

      • Zak T

        Please name them. Which Chinese phones have band 2, 4, 5, 12/17 that aren’t established brands in the US (ZTE, Oneplus)? The only one I can think of is the latest Honor 5x.
        Your comment doesn’t change the fact that AA dropped the ball on including a clear statement that this phone is incompatible with US LTE bands and only shares a NOT-ubiquitous LTE band with Canada (7) in this article. Not good journalism.

        “What about 3g, that’s good enough right?” you might ask. The answer is that 3g on GSM carriers (compatible with this phone) are scaling back their 3g and even sitting it down altogether in many places in favor of LTE. This phone is terrible investment in the US at even half its price and AA should know better than to not clearly state this in the article.

      • Zak T

        I see you’ve edited your comment to have the ‘3G’ qualifier and fit a different narrative. No offense but your comments all over here read like your a shill for somebody. As for the devices working on 3G, that’s very close to being obsolete or close to it. No LTE=huge reduction in value due to diminished network capacity and coverage. Compare T-Mobile’s native 3G coverage to their native coverage, it’s smaller by a factor of at least 3x. AA has massively screwed up by not making the lack of LTE a major feature of this article.

        • balcobomber25

          I didn’t edit my comment at all, it said 3G from the start. As for being a “shill”, I am a fan of Chinese pones and their incredible value, same as a few others are here (tajwar, Maxpower, Airyl). All of them can vouch for my credibility. LTE is huge reduction in value for you and AA “massively” screwed up in your eyes. You don’t speak for everyone. In many areas of the country 3G+ and LTE speeds aren’t that far off.

          • Zak T

            At $550, this phone competes directly with the massively superior spec’d and LTE equipped Nexus 6P… or the still massively superior Oneplus 2. Even the HTC A9 is a better buy with its US warranty, replacement plan, reputable support within reach, ~similar specs, and $50 smaller price tag! It’s simply a bad buy.
            I’m a fan of great bang/buck phones too… when they meet a reasonable minimum spec. AA absolutely dropped the ball by not highlighting this since it’s a ‘US bound’ device. I’m sure it’s a viable option for many countries- just not USA, the biggest NA market. I’m going to go ahead and speak for what makes the most sense to the majority of Americans on GSM carriers whose data is mostly consumed, by a vast margin, on LTE and whose coverage area by geographic area and POPs is mostly LTE and becoming more and more LTE focused every day. T-Mobile is LTE-only in a lot of places and most places only have a 2G overlay unless you’re in a populated area. AT&T plans to shut down 2G by the end of this year, narrowing its 3G channels to their minimum spec (drastic reductions in capacity/speed) while depending more on VoLTE. I’m sorry, lacking US LTE bands is a sentence to a short useful lifespan… unless you want to use it as a little wifi tablet or Chromecast remote. I might have missed the 3G before but my comments above hold true- 3G only devices are a bad investment in the US if you consume anywhere near the average American’s amount of data (~1.7 GB last I checked) ESPECIALLY after this year.

            Edited to correct the price and fix the comparable devices. Knowing the rough asking price makes this phone an even more horrendous deal. That’s Nexus 6p money! You could buy a Nexus 5x and a Honor 5x, both massively superior devices, or 3 Blu Life One X/Blu Vivo XL’s that have superior network tech for the same or less than this phone’s asking price!

          • balcobomber25

            Vivo is the only phone brand in the world I would pay $500+ for. Until you own one you won’t understand so it’s useless to argue about it. For you LTE is very important and AA “dropped the ball”, for me LTE is like frosting on ice cream, it’s great if it’s there but if it’s missing it’s still ice cream.

          • Zak T

            I’m glad that you’re happy with your brand experience with them and are satisfied without LTE- truly. I think you’re a tiny bit crazy for not opting for the Nexus 6p instead at that price but, hey, it’s your money and preference. Enjoy what you enjoy.

          • balcobomber25

            Why would I opt for a phone I don’t like because of one spec? LTE is only one part of a phone, and for me it is not nearly the most important. In Boston where I live I consistently get over 10mb on 3G+ that is more than fast enough to do what I need on a daily basis. I don’t buy Nexus phones because I don’t like stock Android. I won’t be buying this Vivo, but I have used Vivo’s in the past that I loved. My current phone is a Meizu.

          • Zak T

            Clearly I’m wasting my time but I’m glad that you know what makes you happy. Do keep in mind that you’ll likely see a reduction in speed and capacity in the near future that could change your mind. T-Mobile is scaling back their 3G (currently the fastest 3G carrier by a substantial margin) and ATT’s 850 MHz spectrum may be partially/completely refarmed to LTE with their shutting down 2G for more modern equipment. Anyway, you do you, but I hope you don’go on any long distance road trips.

          • balcobomber25

            I travel around the US and around the world for work have yet to have any problems with signal. If my next phone has LTE support I will use it but I won’t not buy a phone because it doesn’t have it. Tmobile is getting ready of 3G support on the AWS band (1700) but they will still keep it on 1900, and they won’t get rid of that for years.

          • Zak T

            Indeed, they are moving to PCS 3G from AWS (refarmed to LTE in many cases) but, make no mistake, it is being rolled back. I take it you don’t follow /r/tmobile closely.

          • balcobomber25

            I am a Tmobile customer. The AWS bands are being rolled back, those are the 1700 bands only. The 1900 bands are being left alone. It will be years until they touch those and by that time Chinese phones will support US LTE, some are already starting to (OnePlus, Huawei, Lenovo/Moto, Gionee/Blu, Alcatel/TCL). So once again something that might happen years from now isn’t a top concern to me.

          • Zak T

            Your perspective is you own, and that’s fine, but you’re very mistaken if you think that you’ll be kosher with 3G on T-Mobile for years. Very, very mistaken. You will be okay for 2G for a while unless you go somewhere that isn’t on the legacy PCS footprint. Over half of calls are on VoLTE and a large majority of coverage area is LTE now… I’m sorry, you’re simply incorrect to assert that LTE is just no big deal for the future of the lifetime of a phone (18-24 months)- T-Mobile is possibly the most important carrier to have a LTE phone (for coverage area, Sprint definitely is getting up there too). T-Mobile’s future is moving toward almost all LTE and 2G in guard bands for m2m and fallback.

          • balcobomber25

            Your perspective is your own, and that’s fine but you’re very mistaken if you think I keep a phone for 18-24 months. The beauty of buying from China is I can get a new phone every 6-12 months and still pay less than people here pay for Samsung or LG phones, while still getting the same specs. Like i already said several Chinese brands have already adopted the US LTE bands and buy the time 3G goes away completely the rest will have them as well. So for the future of MY phone which is at most another 6 months, LTE is no big deal. For YOU it is different.

            I like Tmobile but Verizon is the best for LTE coverage and doesn’t even come close.

          • Zak T

            I don’t keep phones that long either but we’re in the minority. A $500+ price point doesn’t lend itself to being any more disposable than many US market flagships. For 6 months, you’re safe but we’ll still disagree on principle. These principles, when applied to the majority of people that geeks like us (and AA!!) will advise, are important. Telling everyone out there and their mother that 3g is A-Okay isn’t a great idea if they keep their device for 18-24+ months like most people do.

          • balcobomber25

            Among people that visit sites like this we are the majority. People that visit these sites are part of the crowd that will buy the newest flagship every year and actually know the difference between which ROM and which GPU the phone uses. Most people that keep their phone for 18-24 months don’t visit sites like this.

          • Zak T

            The YouTube page gets hits from more than learned phone geeks and fanboys. Irresponsible journalism is irresponsible journalism.

          • balcobomber25

            irresponsible comments are irresponsible comments.

  • bpcooper14

    I don’t see much of a difference besides a larger screen when compared to something like the honor 5x. Similar specs but the 5x is 200 and supports USA lte. I bought one to play with and so far, aside from the ui, it functions decently. What I noticed with no app drawer is it made me look through the apps I have downloaded and decide what ones I hardly ever use. There were quite a few tbh that were just taking up space that I didn’t even know I still had installed.

    • balcobomber25

      There’s some differences between the two:

      RAM – Vivo – 4GB, Honor – 2GB
      ROM – Vivo – 64GB, Honor 16 GB
      Display – Vivo – Super AMOLED, Honor – LCD
      Audio – Vivo – dedicated HiFi chip

      Vivo has some of the best audio in all of smartphones they are also incredibly well made. Huawei are very good too. As for the missing app drawer if you really want it just use Nova or one of the other launchers.

  • tony

    The way he presents his review is so, so boring.