Unveiled last month, Vivo’s new flagship X6 smartphones are slim with a new stylish metal casing. The Vivo X6 and the X6 Plus are designed to compete with the Apple iPhone and high-end Android devices in major markets.
They sit at the top of Vivo’s X range with the Xplay and Xshot already out there. The series dates back to 2012’s X1, which was the world’s thinnest phone at launch. The X6 comes in a stylish square box, with plenty of room for all the components
As well as the clear pastic case, there’s a pair of headphones, USB power lead and plug,
Naturally, to compete at the high end, the X6 comes with plenty of enticing features. That includes fast finger print recognition, four gigabytes of memory and rapid charging. There’s also a free case in the package, which is a welcome addition.
What’s the Vivo X6 got?
The display features an impressive 5.2-inch AMOLED screen, running at 1080p. Inside is a MediaTek 1.7GHz MT6752 octa-core chip, Mali T760 graphics and 32 GB RAM.
You can expand that with a 128GB microSD card. Other specs include a 13 megapixel main camera, an 8 megapixel selfie camera and a sizable 2,400mAh battery.
With the X5 Max, Vivo tried the metal case approach, but only on the rear, and while it was super thin at 4.54mm, the plastic sides detracted from it.
The Vivo X6 is the company’s first attempt at an all-metal design, coming in silver, gold and rose gold, borrowing from the iPhone color line. It may be slightly thicker than the X5 Max, but that does make it easier to hold.
First impressions are strong with the Vivo X6’s design looking stylish and elegant, ruined slightly by the logo on the upper left corner of the front. It uses slightly curved 2.5D arc glass to reduce the risk of a cracked screen and the case has a round edge, to complement this, making it almost as smooth as holding an iPhone 6.
The X6 is 6.56 mm thin and weighs just 135g, so is easy to hold and use. In order to keep it thin, the X6 has a super AMOLED screen that looks excellent and helps boost its power management.
At the bottom are three capacitive touch buttons, for home, menu and back functions, with no backlighting.
Around the case
The Vivo X6 uses an anodized aluminum-magnesium alloy to create the slim body shape, with plastic bars for the radio antenna to work through. They are a little thinner than those on the iPhone 6, so are less obtrusive. The Vivo’s reception seems very good nonetheless.
The X6 is the first in the family to support fingerprint recognition. The sensor is embedded in the middle of the phone’s back, and it takes less than half a second to identify a finger, which can be held at any angle. This makes it among the better Android fingerprint sensors on the market.
The frame has a very slight micro-arc design, with a fine chamfering effect of the two sides of the unit for a smooth finish. That helps produce the ultra-thin 6.56mm body, and the color options all look very impressive.
Although the X series is always keen to be as thin as possible, it keeps the standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Note the metal has been trimmed around the port. However, since the rear shell and frame are bonded, it is not a point of weakness for the device.
At the bottom, there is an asymmetrical arrangement to the vent holes, with a single speaker providing audio from the left-hand side.
Our review model supports dual SIM cards. There is space for a nano SIM and a micro SIM to help travelers and regular service swappers.
Fingerprint identification is considered mandatory on high end phones these days, so it is good to see the Vivo catching up. The result is impressive with super fast performance unlocking the phone. It can store up to five prints, with the capture process requiring a finger to be placed up to 12 times on the sensor for a full reading.
As well as unlocking the phone, the sensor also provides access to the X6’s privacy settings. It can also be used to take photographs, turning on the camera and its app, and acting as the shoot button.
Inside the Vivo X6
Driving the X6 is an octa-core MediaTek MT6752 processor, seen before powering the company’s X5Pro, it is a decent processor that provides reasonable performance and is great for typical smart phone use.
A performance boost comes from the doubling of memory from 2 GB to 4 GB. This improves multitasking and speeds up app access. Gameplay has also been improved significantly.
Combined, they produced solid benchmarking results that are typical of 4 GB devices. The larger Plus model offers 64 GB RAM and a bigger 3,000mAh battery. Both are 4G models with dual-SIM capabilities.
Also getting a step up is the charger, which now supports 5 volt and 9 volt 2 amp charging to reduce plug-in time. It can cut in half the usual charging time, and provide 20% power in just 10 minutes.
Software and performance
Vivo uses its own Funtouch OS and the X6 comes with the latest 2.5 version, based on Android 5.1, with no Google apps. The international edition should remedy that. Little has changed in terms of appearance over previous version, but there is a split screen mode. New features include long exposures in the camera app and improved video recording.
Thanks to the increased memory, the interface is silky smooth and fast, with a more immersive interface. A butler security aide helps with user privacy file management and other functions, saving the need for a third party app.
One new feature of Funtouch is a social video sharing element. Pick some friends, shoot a short message or video clip and you can instantly share it with them.
Something else we noticed is improved automatic screen brightness management. It uses a light sensor that adjusts the screen contrast and brightness, depending on the conditions.
When it comes to taking pictures, the main camera uses phase focus technology to provide the best image. The X6’s focus is very fast and the results show sharp, detailed and well colored images.
Other features include HDR, panoramic shots, night mode, motion tracking, all with fast startup times for the camera app to capture any action or scene.
Vivo X6 conclusion
The Vivo X series has always been pushing boundaries and packed with neat surprises. The X6 is no exception with an all-metal design, textured edges, yet thin and light.
With the extra memory comes improved speed and performance, along with secure fingerprint recognition and fast charging to put it up among class leading phones. Priced from around $400, it offers plenty of value for buyers and is another step up from previous models.
There’s no sign of the X6 on the English language Vivo site, yet. However, you can find out more about it on the Chinese site.
if Vivo really wants to compete in the major markets outside of China, this could be the device to do it with. Sure, its not the most powerful phone around, but it has plenty of features, cuts no obvious corners and is yet another rising star brand. However, the Android market is packed with such devices, so really making an impact will require lots of effort on branding and marketing.