Vivo has really stepped up its game this week. After releasing the V5 in India a couple of days ago, the Chinese manufacturer went back to its home country to launch its new flagship Xplay 6, along with two additions to the X series.
This has to be the company’s answer to pressure forged by rivals Xiaomi and Huawei after they came out with some of the most impressive hardware we’ve seen this year. Vivo can rest easy with its second-place ranking in China, but there’s no telling when the tides could shift to another brand’s favor — just ask former top-ranker Xiaomi.
The Xplay 6, in particular, is no joke. Although it imitates a lot of the established ideas from fellow Chinese flagships, the price competes with Google’s Pixel phones at a bewildering CNY 4,498; that’s $655, seriously!
What makes this smartphone so special? Looking down the feature list, there’s nothing out of this world if you’re updated on the latest mobile tech.
Standing out the most is the curved 5.46-inch Quad HD AMOLED display, which is something you’d find on the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. But the Xplay 6’s advantage over its Korean counterpart is the use of 6GB of memory and a larger 4080mAh battery with built-in fast charging.
There’s also the inclusion of smartphone technology’s latest trending feature: a dual-camera setup. With a pair of 12- and 5-megapixel rear cameras, the former does the photo taking with the help of optical image stabilization, while the latter provides depth information to produce sharper subjects with blurred-out backgrounds.
Curiously, Vivo decided to go with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor instead of the newer 821. Reminds us of what HTC had done earlier with the Bolt. The Android version is also stuck at 6.0 Marshmallow, and not the much maturer 7.0 Nougat.
Even if you consider the full-metal body, fingerprint scanner in front, and super-cool rose gold color, the Xplay 6 is a tough sell. You can purchase it beginning December 12, if you really must.
And then we have the X9 and X9 Plus, which fit between the lower-end V5 and premium Xplay 6. The 5.5-inch X9 retails at CNY 2,798 ($407) for the 64GB storage variant, and the 128GB storage option goes for CNY 2,998 ($436); both are already available for pre-order. No details have been revealed for the 5.88-inch X9 Plus.
The X9 and X9 Plus have one thing in common, and that’s the dual-front-facing cameras. One is 20 megapixels in resolution, and the other has an 8-megapixel image sensor for depth info, just like the rear camera setup of the Xplay 6. Both have a plain 16-megapixel shooter at the back.
Other than that, you can already spell out what else they offer. The smaller X9 has a midrange Snapdragon 625 processor, 4GB of memory, and 3050mAh battery. As for the larger X9 Plus, it has a faster Snapdragon 653 chipset, 6GB of memory, and 4000mAh capacity for its battery.
If all these sound too expensive for you, you can always look down the pricing ladder towards the Vivo Y55. It got our thumbs up in both its full review and our best budget phones list, plus it costs only $165.