While it doesn’t look like the “largest catalysts” for the global smartphone market’s rather surprising recent growth will be able to sustain their phenomenal progress rates much longer, Vivo is certainly working hard on its international exposure and innovative status.

But it’s still more important for the third best known BBK subsidiary (behind OnePlus and OPPO) to regularly release decent devices with great quality-pricing ratios domestically. Enter the anticipated X9s and X9s Plus, which aren’t exactly groundbreaking in any obvious way. Nor do they substantially upgrade the specs of the original X9/X9 Plus duo.

Nonetheless, they seem pretty hard to beat in the sub-$450 segment, running (skinned) Android 7.1 Nougat software, packing respectable octa-core processors and, above all, rocking stellar youngster-attracting dual front-facing camera setups.

Identical across many departments, including selfie and “main” snappers, as well as RAM, ROM, fingerprint recognition (no under-glass technology), designs and connectivity, the Vivo X9s and X9s Plus also differ when it comes to a couple of pivotal features.

For starters, the X9s Plus is bigger, standing at 5.85 inches, compared to the regular X9’s 5.5-inch screen diagonal. Both offer Full HD resolution, but of course, the plus-sized version has a little extra juice (4015 vs 3320 mAh battery capacity).

Fitted with Snapdragon 652 and 653 SoCs respectively, the X9s and X9s Plus share the same 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM counts, shining in the sound department as well, thanks to Hi-Fi audio capabilities powered by AK4376 and ES9318 DAC systems.

At the end of the day however, the phones are all about their imaging prowess, sporting top-notch 20+5MP dual front-facing and 16MP single rear cams. Not bad for 2698 and 2998 Yuan respectively, converting to around $400 and $440.

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