Somewhere, somehow, someone in China working at Vivo had a really great idea. What if the company made a phone that took the best of Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge and combined those qualities into an expensive $655 package?
The answer is the Vivo Xplay6. The phone looks good — really good — and the Apple and Samsung design influences are obvious. I really like the curved display that it borrowed from Samsung’s S7 Edge. But it does feel odd to have an Apple-inspired rear design with a very similar antenna banding (the horizontal stripe on the top rear) instead of Samsung’s glass rear. The different materials are demarcated by an uncomfortable edge, so it’s just not as pleasant to hold as the phones that inspired it.
The Xplay6 runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but it’s a modified version called Funtouch OS. Because my phone is direct from China, there are no Google services installed. Seeing as the phone is on sale in India though, you’ll likely be able to buy one that comes with the Google Play Store installed.
Now, I’ll be brutally honest here, the Funtouch OS is a mess. The custom Android OS tries very much to ape iOS while still adding features like Samsung’s edge screen. So that means you get a very cluttered Control Center wannabe and an edge screen that replicates some of the functions of the aforesaid Control Center. It’s just silly.
It’s not all bad though: Vivo did make palm rejection work properly — I had no accidental swipes when my fleshy palm touched the edges, and the phone’s rear dual-cameras have some fun tricks, such as a depth of field effect, live photos (like Apple’s) and face beautification.
If you’re thinking of getting one, this phone isn’t cheap. It’s sold online for 4,498 Chinese yuan, which converts to approximately $655, £520 and AU$860. To put this in context, in China, flagship phones usually cost less than $300. Which means you may be better off saving your cash for one of the newer flagships such as the, which costs about the same and offers such luxuries as, er, customer support and updates.
- 5.46-inch Quad HD display (2,560×1,440 pixels)
- Rear dual-cameras (12-megapixel and 5-megapixel), dual LED flash
- Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 820
- 6GB RAM, 128GB onboard storage
- 4,080mAh battery
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow