Vivo X6 Plus A review – amazing battery life and killer audio


vivo x6 plus a review

Vivo gave us their Vivo X6 Plus A for review during MWC, and with a good few week under my belt with the phone its time to hand in my full review.

Vivo really made an impression on me with the Vivo Xplay3S and the Xshot. Those were phones I bought myself and loved from the day I opened the box, and still love now. But later phone launches really didn’t impress. For example the X5 was a huge disappointment.

The Vivo X6 Plus A though is one of their newer device, and with some optimizations could the X6 solve the issues I had with the X5, and make me a true Vivo fan once again?

Vivo X6 Plus A Review – Design

Vivo like their stablemate Oppo, have been heavily influenced by the current iPhone design, so what we have here is basically an iPhone 6S Plus look-a-like, with a few changes.

vivo x6 plus a review

There is no physical home button for one, and instead the (amazingly fast) fingerprint scanner is on the rear of the phone. Also, the display on the Vivo is a larger 5.7-inch model too.

The overall design of the Vivo X6 Plus isn’t one that really impresses, sure its a well made premium device, but it’s not the most stylish phone.

The white face of the phone is very traditional and could look like a smartphone launched a few years ago. The only modern inclusion is the 2.5D front glass panel.

vivo x6 plus a review

A unibody metal design makes up the rest of the gold phone. The rear has that square fingerprint scanner, a 13 mega-pixel rear camera and LED flash. It’s finished in light gold or ‘champagne’ and has the Vivo logo in the middle.

vivo x6 plus a review

The CNC machined body has a border around the rear before it meets the slightly curved edge where the dual SIM tray, 3.5mm headphone jack, and power and volume buttons are all located.

vivo x6 plus a review

In the base is a standard USB which used Vivo’s dual engine fast charging and there are 8 holes to the left for the main speaker (which is very high quality for listening to music and movies), and 3 holes on the right for a microphone.

Dimensions for the Vivo X6 Plus A are 158.16 × 79.94 × 7.7mm which is good considering the phone has a 4000mAh battery inside. The battery does mean the phone is heavy though with an official weight of 190g.

Overall, as mentioned above, the phone is really well made with high quality materials, but the design is really very unoriginal and uninspiring.

Vivo X6 Plus A Review – Hardware

Vivo offer multiple versions of the Vivo X6 Plus, but my model is the Vivo X6 Plus A. This version of the phone comes with some pretty impressive hardware features which we are now going to talk through from front to back.

vivo x6 plus a review

The very top of the phone, just between the Vivo logo and receiver, is where the 8 mega-pixel fixed focus front camera can be found. Use this camera only when there is decent lighting as I discovered after trying to take a selfie with Hugo Barra in Barcelona!

vivo x6 plus a review

Below the front camera things start to look up with a 5.7-inch 1920 x 1080 display. Vivo have gone for a Super AMOLED model which means vibrant colours and really natural blacks. Using this screen also means you can help increase battery life by opting for a black wallpaper, not that I ever felt the need as battery life is incredible.

Capacitive buttons on the chin of the phone do not light up and are arranged with the option button on the left, home in the middle and back on the right.

Moving through the phone we come across a 4000mAh battery which is charged via Vivo’s dual engine fast charging. Charging initially kicks off and is fast and progressively slows until the phone is at 100%. My charging times using the Vivo supplied fast charger with 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Battery life is by far the killer feature of the Vivo X6 Plus A. In the past I have been surprised with Vivo’s battery optimisation, and they have continued to do an amazing job with the this phone. During MWC I was using data, WIFI, and the camera heavily throughout the day, but the X6 Plus just soldiered on all day and all night.

vivo x6 plus a review

While we’re in the phone we can also mention that the X6 Plus A has a Snapdragon 616 octacore chipset, 4GB RAM and 64GB memory. Those are solid specs, but during my time with the phone I did feel that Vivo’s Funtouch isn’t really taking full advantage of the hardware on offer, and I did suffer from some very slow media load times, and a few application and launcher hang ups.

vivo x6 plus a review

If you like music you are going to love the Vivo X6 Plus A. Vivo are known for their HIFI audio and it is no different on this phone. Two chipsets are built-in to the phone, one an ES9028 and the other an ES9603 amplifier. Together with a decent set of headphones they create amazing audio, you owe it to yourself to at least listen to a Vivo phone once.

On the rear we have a 13 mega-pixel camera with PDAF (phase detection auto focus). This camera has an F2.2 aperture, and single LED flash but I’ll go in to more details below.

vivo x6 plus a review

The final detail is the fingerprint scanner, which is the fastest fingerprint scanner out there right now! Not only is this the fastest it is the most accurate too. No other smartphone I own has fingerprint recognition on the level of the Vivo X6 Plus, not one of them, not even close.

Read Also:  Donner Dobuds ONE: Affordable, Stylish Earbuds with ANC!

Vivo X6 Plus A Review – Performance

This is where things take a bit of a turn. I already mentioned above that the hardware is all top-notch stuff, but Vivo haven’t really done the best of jobs getting their Funtouch ROM to run nicely. The phone has a hell of a lot of potential but with the current version of Funtouch there are occasional lags, force closes and online media can take a seriously long time to load.

I feel that the OPX is more responsive as a day-to-day phone, and I seriously hope Vivo perform some decent OTA updates to solve these slow down issues soon.

Vivo X6 Plus A Review – Camera

Vivo didn’t make the X6 Plus A as a camera phone, so they haven’t really gone over the top with the features. What you get is a 13 mega-pixel F2.2 main camera with fast PDAF and a single LED flash.

vivo x6 plus a review

F2.2 on a phone with a premium price is not what we are expecting, but at least Vivo have managed to give the phone a decent set of lenses this time around, and the Funtouch camera application is packed to the brim with great features.

vivo x6 plus a review

The camera offers a nice wide view so you can get a little more creative with it than other models, and overall image quality and colour reproduction is ok. I’ve been able to live with the camera for the past few weeks, but as someone who really enjoys taking mobile photos I can’t wait to move on to something with a few more bells and whistles. I tended to find myself using HDR more often with the Vivo to get more vibrant colours.

vivo x6 plus a review

Below are some sample photos. All the photos taken at night used the ‘night’ mode, which gives a sort of oil paining effect but drastically reduces the noise.

Vivo X6 Plus A Review – Funtouch

Now and then Funtouch will slow down or hang up, but when it is running well its a superb OS and one of my personal favourites.

vivo x6 plus a review

There is a learning curve, for example you swipe up from the bottom of the screen to get to your toggles, brightness control and task manager rather than hold down the option key, but once you do get use to it good to use, even if it does have a few quirks.

Notifications are an issue for me. SMS, and phone calls show up in the notification area fine, but I tend to use WeChat for most of my communications and the Vivo won’t tell me if I miss a video call. Normally I would put that down to the phone being a Chinese model, but the app is Chinese too.

vivo x6 plus a review

One issue for international buyers is the fact that the Vivo X6 Plus A is a China only device, and doesn’t come with Google Services. As you can see though I do have Google on my phone, and I wrote up a guide so you can also get Google on your Vivo here.

Even with Google on the phone though there are problems. Many of the apps from the Google Play store say they are not compatible with the phone. So Facebook and Facebook Messenger need to be downloaded from Vivo’s app store rather than the official Google Play store (I came across the same issue with some benchmark apps too).

Another problem is with Google Music. Opening this app will cause the phone to have a UI error and the launcher crash. It’s not a huge issues as all you have to do is unlock your phone and open the app again and it will work without issue, but it is a bug that needs to be pointed out as it likely will never get fixed (unless an international version of the phone comes out).

Vivo X6 Plus A – Specifications

Model: Vivo X6 Plus A
Sim Card: Dual SIM,dual standby (Dual Micro SIM)
Color: White and Gold
Capacity RAM: 4GBROM: 64GB
Multi-Languages English, Chinese
Chipset CPU: Qualcomm 1.7Ghz 8 core Snapdragon 616
System Android 5.1
Screen Display: 5.7-inch Super AMOLEDResolution: 1920 x 1080

 

Camera Rear camera: 13 megapixel PDAF, F2.4

Front camera: 8 mega-pixel

Network and Wireless Connectivity 850/900/1800 / 1900MHz800MHz

800MHz

1880 / 2010MHz

850/900/1900 / 2100MHz

B38 / B39 / B40 / B41

B1 / B3

Battery capacity and life 4000mAh

Dual Engine fast charge

Sensor G-sensor, P-sensor, FM radio
Other Features Fingerprint scanner
Size Dimensions:158.16 × 79.94 × 7.7mm
Weight About 190g

Vivo X6 Plus A – Gallery

Vivo X6 Plus A – Conclusion

I am personally very happy with the Vivo X6 Plus A. It has wonderful build, class leading battery life, the best fingerprint scanner on a mobile phone to date and audio is just mind blowing.

My issues with the phone are the bugs and lags I experienced with Funtouch, the non-existent official support for Google Services and apps, and the plain design. It’s also an expensive phone to export from China too (Chinese price is $491, add the reseller mark up and you will be close to $600).

I personally am going to continue to enjoy this phone and keep my fingers crossed for those bugs to be fixed, but I would only suggest you buy one of these phones if either A) You have a lot of money to experiment with or B) Vivo launches an international version of the device.

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69 Comments

  1. balcobomber25
    March 4, 2016

    The Xshot is still one of my phones ever made by any company. I have yet to find a phone with audio that even comes close to a Vivo. The camera on this is good but not great, I would expect more for the price tag.

    • March 4, 2016

      Yup, the camera is ok but the issues with Funtouch are annoying. I didn’t have these issues on the Xshot of Xplay 3S, but both the X6 Plus and X5 Pro have been buggy. Hope the Xplay5 is better.

      • jony_overlord
        March 4, 2016

        cant wait to see xplay5 to an review

        • March 4, 2016

          Xiaomi Mi5 will arrive next week, Xplay might not be until next month unless I can sort one earlier

      • Paul R. Rohde
        March 5, 2016

        Hi Andi, I pre-ordered the Xplay 3S and still have it.
        The Funtouch updated last on 17 Jan this year (2016). Each update is more buggy. The Snapdragon 801 may be two years old, but with 3G RAM, it should be still smooth because it still has a great CPU. The phone is getting laggy just like you mentioned in this review. So the problems are not the new phones, but Funtouch itself. (Nothing was as fast and trouble free as Funtouch 1!). I loved Vivo, but it has gone downhill, especially after the Xplay 5 fiasco. Vivo, fix the Funtouch OS!. Give us a proper Xplay too ASAP (Large flat screen, and with a true FM radio, IR blaster, 1.7 aperture camera with laser focus, & OIS. It’s Xplay, so put four deep speakers on it for stereo in any orientation. And a humongous battery. Make it look good with a centred camera!). And stop Oppo or Samsung shooting you in the foot to make crippled devices.

  2. manohar basavaraju
    March 4, 2016

    Paid review… Too Costly for an average specs… Build Type alone doesn’t decide the Smartphone

    • March 4, 2016

      lol, a paid review would have told you to go out and buy it and not mention any of the bugs or issues

    • balcobomber25
      March 4, 2016

      “but I would only suggest you buy one of these phones if either A) You have a lot of money to experiment with or B) Vivo launches an international version of the device.”

      Guess you missed this line…

  3. manohar basavaraju
    March 4, 2016

    For 600+$ budget, I would happily but Samsung exynos or SD820 device. 4000mAh Battery with 7.7mm thickness and Super AMLOED display are the only plus points here.

    • March 4, 2016

      As you should, as you will actually get local support for it. Did you even read the review, or did you just jump to the comments?

  4. Assefa Hanson
    March 4, 2016

    how about an opinion/viewers poll for us the audience to rate these categories, it would be more interactive for reviews in general, two scoreboards is better than one, just a suggestion not sure if its a good or bad idea :/

    • March 4, 2016

      It would be fine if you all had the device and could comment first hand. The comments area is always open to your views 😀

    • balcobomber25
      March 4, 2016

      Have to agree with Andi, unless people actually have the phone and can verify they have the phone the scores wouldn’t be reliable.

  5. Mr.Flying Zoom3rz
    March 4, 2016

    $600? Too much, but still a nice phone. They must focuse on the software part.

  6. fido futte
    March 4, 2016

    Complete useless in EU!

    • balcobomber25
      March 4, 2016

      Depends where you live in EU.

    • March 4, 2016

      It’s not for any market other than China, so it’s not meant to work here. But if someone really did want to get hold of one it is still useable (I’ve been using it for 2 weeks now)

  7. E8hffff
    March 4, 2016

    Amazed that with such a big screen that it’s not 2K res.

    • March 4, 2016

      5.7 1080 is find, standard Mi Note is the same

  8. Lazar Prodanovic
    March 4, 2016

    Horrible phone with a horrible pricing. Even compared to similar overpriced Samsung Galaxy A9 it will lose in every aspect & still cost more.

    • balcobomber25
      March 4, 2016

      The one aspect it wont lose in is Audio performance. But yea they are both overpriced for what they offer.

      • Lazar Prodanovic
        March 4, 2016

        Come on now. You know me better than that. I deliberately picked A9 as it have even better battery life (with same capacity of battery & bigger display), better camera at least on paper, certainly better camera app, audio output over the 3.5 mm plug that is on pair with S6 and cetera. Still it costs less & comes with S652 SoC.

        Somehow I had a high hopes for Alcatel Idol 4 5.5″ but they blow it away with unnecessary 2K display & ptice tag.

        • balcobomber25
          March 6, 2016

          Yup 2K screen is not needed on that type of phone, it’s a waste of money and resources.

  9. SPLEND1D
    March 4, 2016

    too expensive

  10. malifact
    March 4, 2016

    Hi Andi, does the Hi-Fi audio only work with the stock music app or will it work with Google Music, Spotify etc? Also, is the volume the usual Android 15 steps or can you fine tune it with the Hi-Fi mode (I recall the Vivo X5 Max let you do this with a slider)? Thanks

    • March 4, 2016

      It only works through the stock music app. This music app also has access to Baidu music meaning you can download free music (not sure this is exactly legal outside of China though). Through Google Music the audio is still impeccable.

      • malifact
        March 4, 2016

        Thanks Andi. Are there only 15 steps for volume in the stock music app? And is there lyrics support? Thanks

  11. balcobomber25
    March 4, 2016

    The Xshot is still one of my phones ever made by any company. I have yet to find a phone with audio that even comes close to a Vivo. The camera on this is good but not great, I would expect more for the price tag.

    • Andi Sykes
      March 4, 2016

      Yup, the camera is ok but the issues with Funtouch are annoying. I didn’t have these issues on the Xshot of Xplay 3S, but both the X6 Plus and X5 Pro have been buggy. Hope the Xplay5 is better.

    • jony_overlord
      March 4, 2016

      cant wait to see xplay5 to an review

    • Andi Sykes
      March 4, 2016

      Xiaomi Mi5 will arrive next week, Xplay might not be until next month unless I can sort one earlier

    • Paul R. Rohde
      March 5, 2016

      Hi Andi, I pre-ordered the Xplay 3S and still have it.
      The Funtouch updated last on 17 Jan this year (2016). Each update is more buggy. The Snapdragon 801 may be two years old, but with 3G RAM, it should be still smooth because it still has a great CPU. The phone is getting laggy just like you mentioned in this review. So the problems are not the new phones, but Funtouch itself. (Nothing was as fast and trouble free as Funtouch 1!). I loved Vivo, but it has gone downhill, especially after the Xplay 5 fiasco. Vivo, fix the Funtouch OS!. Give us a proper Xplay too ASAP (Large flat screen, and with a true FM radio, IR blaster, 1.7 aperture camera with laser focus, & OIS. It’s Xplay, so put four deep speakers on it for stereo in any orientation. And a humongous battery. Make it look good with a centred camera!). And stop Oppo or Samsung shooting you in the foot to make crippled devices.

  12. manohar basavaraju
    March 4, 2016

    Paid review… Too Costly for an average specs… Build Type alone doesn’t decide the Smartphone

    • Andi Sykes
      March 4, 2016

      lol, a paid review would have told you to go out and buy it and not mention any of the bugs or issues

    • balcobomber25
      March 4, 2016

      “but I would only suggest you buy one of these phones if either A) You have a lot of money to experiment with or B) Vivo launches an international version of the device.”

      Guess you missed this line…

  13. manohar basavaraju
    March 4, 2016

    For 600+$ budget, I would happily but Samsung exynos or SD820 device. 4000mAh Battery with 7.7mm thickness and Super AMLOED display are the only plus points here.

    • Andi Sykes
      March 4, 2016

      As you should at this price, as you will actually get local support for it. Did you even read the review, or did you just jump to the comments?

      Importing Chinese phones is fine, but its hard to justify importing a premium Vivo unless it is completely bug free, they are just too expensive. That said the Xshot was worth every penny.

  14. Assefa Hanson
    March 4, 2016

    how about an opinion/viewers poll for us the audience to rate these categories, it would be more interactive for reviews in general, two scoreboards is better than one, just a suggestion not sure if its a good or bad idea :/

    • Andi Sykes
      March 4, 2016

      It would be fine if you all had the device and could comment first hand. The comments area is always open to your views 😀

    • balcobomber25
      March 4, 2016

      Have to agree with Andi, unless people actually have the phone and can verify they have the phone the scores wouldn’t be reliable.

  15. Mr.Flying Zoom3rz
    March 4, 2016

    $600? They could use SD650 at that price tag…Too much, but still a nice phone. They must focuse on the software part.

  16. fido futte
    March 4, 2016

    Complete useless in EU!

    • balcobomber25
      March 4, 2016

      Depends where you live in EU.

    • Andi Sykes
      March 4, 2016

      It’s not for any market other than China, so it’s not meant to work here. But if someone really did want to get hold of one it is still useable (I’ve been using it for 2 weeks now)

  17. fido futte
    March 4, 2016

    Complete useless in EU!

    • balcobomber25
      March 4, 2016

      Depends where you live in EU.

    • Andi Sykes
      March 4, 2016

      It’s not for any market other than China, so it’s not meant to work here. But if someone really did want to get hold of one it is still useable (I’ve been using it for 2 weeks now)

  18. E8hffff
    March 4, 2016

    Amazed that with such a big screen that it’s not 2K res.

    • Andi Sykes
      March 4, 2016

      5.7 1080 is find, standard Mi Note is the same

  19. Lazar Prodanovic
    March 4, 2016

    Horrible phone with a horrible pricing. Even compared to similar overpriced Samsung Galaxy A9 it will lose in every aspect & still cost more.

    • balcobomber25
      March 4, 2016

      The one aspect it wont lose in is Audio performance. But yea they are both overpriced for what they offer.

    • Lazar Prodanovic
      March 5, 2016

      Come on now. You know me better than that. I deliberately picked A9 as it have even better battery life (with same capacity of battery & bigger display), better camera at least on paper, certainly better camera app, audio output over the 3.5 mm plug that is on pair with S6 and cetera. Still it costs less & comes with S652 SoC.

      Somehow I had a high hopes for Alcatel Idol 4 5.5″ but they blow it away with unnecessary 2K display & ptice tag.

    • balcobomber25
      March 6, 2016

      Yup 2K screen is not needed on that type of phone, it’s a waste of money and resources.

  20. SPLEND1D
    March 4, 2016

    too expensive

  21. cyke123
    March 4, 2016

    How’s the sound quality via headphones when compared with Letv One Pro?

  22. malifact
    March 4, 2016

    Hi Andi, does the Hi-Fi audio only work with the stock music app or will it work with Google Music, Spotify etc? Also, is the volume the usual Android 15 steps or can you fine tune it with the Hi-Fi mode (I recall the Vivo X5 Max let you do this with a slider)? Thanks

    • Andi Sykes
      March 4, 2016

      It only works through the stock music app. This music app also has access to Baidu music meaning you can download free music (not sure this is exactly legal outside of China though). Through Google Music the audio is still impeccable.

    • malifact
      March 4, 2016

      Thanks Andi. Are there only 15 steps for volume in the stock music app? And is there lyrics support? Thanks

  23. Xalis
    March 4, 2016

    This phone isn’t worth the time it took me to read the review.

    Still thanks for the review.

  24. cyke123
    March 5, 2016

    How’s the sound quality via headphones when compared with Letv One Pro?

  25. Radier
    March 5, 2016

    I have stopped reading after I saw Snapdragon 616…

  26. Guest
    March 5, 2016

    This phone isn’t worth the time it took me to read the review.

    Still thanks for the review.

  27. Guest
    March 5, 2016

    I have stopped reading after I saw Snapdragon 616…

  28. MinusPlusDivide
    March 5, 2016

    still waiting for the successor of vivo Xshot

  29. Guest
    March 5, 2016

    still waiting for the successor of vivo Xshot

  30. XdaDev X
    March 6, 2016

    Mine X5Pro has better performance

  31. Steven Fox
    March 7, 2016

    4GB of RAM are useless on the SD617, Vivo must be making a ton of profit from this device as the 61x line is pretty cheap by now.
    Compared to the the Lenovo X3 looks like a killer bargain at nearly half the price!

  32. Steven Fox
    March 7, 2016

    4GB of RAM are useless on the SD617, Vivo must be making a ton of profit from this device as the 61x line is pretty cheap by now.
    Compared to the the Lenovo X3 looks like a killer bargain at nearly half the price!

  33. Steven Fox
    March 7, 2016

    4GB of RAM are useless on the SD617, Vivo must be making a ton of profit from this device as the 61x line is pretty cheap by now.
    Compared to the the Lenovo X3 looks like a killer bargain at nearly half the price!