Vivo NEX Hands-on [Images] – Notch-less Design, Periscope-style Camera, and In-Display Fingerprint Scanner are Futuristic

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The notch on Android phones is no surprise, this is the notch phones year, but, there’s more than that and it’s called notch-less. Vivo’s new futuristic entry, the NEX is a completely evolved bezel-less smartphone that doesn’t hold off a notch like the others. Meet the new Vivo NEX that boasts a stunning 91.24% screen-to-body ratio, a periscope style camera and of course the in-display fingerprint scanner.

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Vivo NEX Specifications

  • Display: 6.59-inch Super AMOLED Ultra Full View display, Full HD+ resolution (2316 x 1080 pixels), 19.3:9 aspect ratio
  • Software: FunTouch OS 4.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, under the display
  • Face Unlock: Yes
  • CPU: Up to 2.8 GHz octa-core Kryo 385 processor, 10nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, 64-bit
  • GPU: Adreno 630
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM, LPDDR4X
  • Storage: 128 GB UFS 2.1, no microSD support
  • Main Camera: Dual cameras (12 MP + 5 MP), 12 MP f/1.8 dual pixel PDAF + 5 MP f/2.4, 4-axis OIS, dual-tone LED, AI Bokeh mode
  • Selfie Camera: 8 MP f/2.0, periscope-style, Bokeh mode
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C, 3.5 mm, Wi-Fi (dual band), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS
  • Cellular: 4G LTE, 2x nano SIM (GSM), VoLTE-enabled
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh, fast charging via 22.5W charger (10V, 2.25A)
  • Colors: Black
  • Dimensions: 162 mm x 77 mm x 8 mm
  • Weight: 199 grams
  • Price: Rs 44,990
  • Availability: 21st July 2018 on Amazon India and select stores

The Vivo NEX isn’t something ordinary in the smartphone industry, the pop-up selfie camera, the in-display fingerprint scanner (which we saw on the latest Vivo X21), and a large 6.59-inch screen with super thin bezels. Vivo sets off a new design approach that flips the entire game and brings us a notch-less phone on the table. With the removal of the notch, the earpiece is now integrated into the display, it uses a Screen SoundCasting Technology that lets you hear through vibrations.

Starting off with the design, it’s concealed in a glass body with curved edges and polished metallic frames that feels great in the hands. As you can see the back has a rainbow shining effect when light falls on it. It weighs around 199 grams due to the large battery (4,000 mAh) and that might be bulky for some if not all.

More importantly, it’s highlighting its bezel-less display. You get an Ultra Full View display sized at 6.59-inch using a Full HD+ Super AMOLED panel (2316 x 1080 pixels) making a very odd an aspect ratio of 19.3:9.

Moving to the cameras, Vivo Nex offers a dual camera at the back highlighting AI features. The 12 MP f/1.8 + 5 MP f/2.4 camera setup with dual-tone LED flash is capable of snapping portraits with bokeh effects, the AI which detects the scenes automatically, and is capable of recording 4K videos with support for 4-axis OIS.

Being a selfie-centric phone, the front side comes with an 8 MP camera which may sound inferior to the V9’s 24 MP front camera. The camera on the Vivo Nex isn’t something mediocre, it’s known to be a high-quality camera and even better than the Vivo V9 that’s what we think. If you don’t know, this is the Vivo’s flagship offering and competes with the OnePlus 6.

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Camera Pops Out

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Rainbow Effect

Surprising enough, for the first time, Vivo uses a flagship Qualcomm chip on the Nex. The Snapdragon 845 is currently the fastest mobile processor in its class and without a doubt, it stands against these beasts – Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, OnePlus 6 and the ASUS ZenFone 5Z.

This is the 8 GB RAM and 128 GB variant, but unfortunately, there’s no microSD card expansion so you solely have to rely on the internal storage. It packs a 4,000 mAh battery with fast charging support, comes with a 10V and 2.25A rated charger.

On the software side, it runs on the Android 8.1 Oreo with the same FunTouch 4.0 as seen on Vivo V9 and Vivo X21. The added features include the AI capabilities and the Jovi assistant but for India, it’s used for Google Assistant.

On the top right here is the selfie camera that is activated when you open the selfie cam. It pops out in a periscopic style with a sound and once you are done taking pictures, it hops back in, how cool is that?

There is also a 3.5 mm audio jack and a second microphone on the top alongside the selfie camera. About the earpiece, as mentioned above, it is moved into the screen that delivers bass and softer treble.

Finally, Vivo has moved to the USB type-C port. Also, there are loudspeakers, a microphone and a SIM tray with no support microSD card support.

The right side has the usual power and volume keys, but you will also see an extra button on the left which is supposed to trigger the Google Assistant (press and hold) and Google Lens (one tap). It’s very much similar to the Bixby key found on the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.

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The Vivo NEX seems to be the counterpart of the OnePlus 6 and it’s obvious that the OnePlus 6 is now facing the competition, the ZenFone 5Z is another contender that takes on the OnePlus 6. Vivo NEX is clearly ahead in terms of the features like notch-less display, elevating camera, in-display fingerprint scanner, and with its screen SoundCasting technology.

We’ll hold our judgments until the full review of the Vivo NEX, till then share your thoughts under the comments.