Lots of the best smartphone makers have bold claims about offering the best camera, so it's always a surprise when a particularly impressive system arrives.
Especially at T3, where the team has reviewed hundreds if not thousands of mobile products over the years. It's not often that a camera delivers beyond expectation.
Interestingly, for our money's worth, it's a lesser-known brand, Vivo, that has an absolute banger under its belt in its X-series flagships, in particular the X70 Pro+.
Here are three reasons why:
Above all it's the X70 series' use of stabilisation that will blow your mind.
Especially in the X70 Pro+, as pictured, which has stabilisation on every one of its four rear lenses. No other maker offers that! The step-down X70 Pro and X70 also offer stabilisation, just not across all their lenses.
But it's the type of stabilisation that really shows its worth: using a micro gimbal stabilisation system, the main camera is effectively 'floating', so when you move around while recording a video you won't get the typical 'step effect' from moving about.
Indeed, we found the results to be so super smooth that we've resorted to using this gimbal camera instead of our dedicated mirrorless camera. There's nothing else of this level on the market to date, not in a mobile phone anyway.
Lenses made with love
But there's more goodness: Vivo and Zeiss – the latter a renowned German lens-maker – have teamed up for this flagship series to focusing on lens quality.
Both the X70 Pro and Pro+ models feature Zeiss optics and T* lens coating, the kind of glass treatment finish that you'd typically associate with proper camera lenses. It means multiple coatings are applied, upping the optical clarity.
The results speak volumes, too, with all lenses – from the wide-angle to the main shooter and both zoom lenses of the X70 Pro+ – really showing their worth.
Bigger than your average
To further enhance the camera experience, Vivo has deployed a Samsung Isocell GN1 as the main camera sensor.
We know, it's only a name, but it's an important detail because this sensor is far, far larger than your average, meaning its equivalent 'pixel size' is larger, resulting in higher light gathering properties, translating as cleaner, clearer images.
The way the X70 Pro+ can use this sensor to take low-light images, in particular, sees it go shoulder to shoulder with the best out there.
So where can I buy one?
Here's the sticking point: the Vivo X70 series isn't yet available in the UK or US. So why even bring it to your attention? Well, it should be coming out in the not-too-distant future.
Indeed, the series' predecessor – the X60 Pro 5G, as you can see listed below – did make it to wider markets. And that device also features a gimbal stabilisation system, so you could get at least a taste of the magic on offer.