Vivo NEX Review – The Next Level of Flagship

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Vivo enters the high-end flagship market with the NEX bringing in the innovative features. Perhaps, the NEX is the smartphone from future, the elevating camera, in-display fingerprint scanner, the full-screen notch -less design and the Screen SoundCasting technology are something never heard. Apart from these unique features, the Vivo NEX is also the top-of-the-line smartphone with Snapdragon 845 SoC, dual cameras, and a glass design that looks premium. Here’s our Vivo NEX review.

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What’s in the box?

  • Vivo NEX with built-in battery
  • USB Type-C Cable
  • Fast Charger (9V, 2A)
  • Vivo Earphones
  • Rubber Coated Protective Case
  • SIM Tray Ejector
  • User Guides and Warranty Card

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 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS
  • Cellular: 4G LTE, 2x nano SIM (GSM), Dual 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 in selected stores

Design, Build & Ergonomics

Vivo moves from the most trivial design of the year, kicks the notch and brings us a new design with Ultra Full Screen. With the removal of the notch, the earpiece is now integrated into the display using the Screen SoundCasting Technology that lets you hear through vibrations.

The NEX is sandwiched in a glass body with curved edges and polished metallic frames giving a rich feel. On the back, you will see a rainbow shining effect when light falls on it. The problem here is the weight that’s around 199 grams due to its large 4,000 mAh battery. It might feel bulky for some if not all.

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. Once you are done taking selfies, it hops back in, cool isn’t it? The 3.5 mm audio jack and a second microphone are also there on the top alongside the selfie camera.

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7-cool-things-we-like-about-Vivo-NEX

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It’s time Vivo has decided to move to the USB type-C port and the NEX is the first device to offer among all the Vivo phones. Other things like loudspeakers, a microphone, and a SIM tray are at the bottom.

You will also see an extra key on the left which is supposed to trigger the Jovi assistant, but it launches Google Assistant (press and hold) and Google Lens (one tap). This is similar to Bixby key found on the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.

Display

Well, there’s one thing to mention about its beautiful large display is its size and no hindrance. The notch is gone, the bezels are extremely thin, the screen looks really big. This is obviously one of the main highlights of the NEX.

The NEX has an Ultra Full View display sized at 6.59-inch and uses a Super AMOLED panel with a Full HD+ resolution (2316 x 1080 pixels) making an unusual aspect ratio of 19.3:9.

The screen quality is very good, it’s bright and crisp, the viewing angles and the color details seem to be one of the best in its class. There are no display enhancements provided apart from the basics like screen brightness and eye protection.

For the apps that don’t support the new aspect ratio has the option to run in full-screen mode. Since there’s no notch on it, your app would be fine with the display aspect ratio.

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Software & User Interface

Vivo has its FunTouch OS which is supposed to offer an intuitive iOS-like interface. It’s based off on Android 8.1 Oreo with added features Jovi virtual assistant. The FunTouch OS 4.0 is also available on the Vivo X21 and the Vivo V9 so most features remain the same. The software is updated with the Android security patch dated 1st July 2018.

You will find a chunk of bloatware apps which is nothing new for Vivo phones, the company has bloat on every device. The interface is smooth with fine animations and crisp text, the interface is fast. More features include the gesture-based navigation, Face Unlock, App Clone, Smart click, Smart Split, and a few more.

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Hardware, Performance, & Gaming

Surprisingly, Vivo uses a flagship Qualcomm chip on the NEX – Snapdragon 845, this is 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. The chip is further packed with the highest amount of RAM i.e. 8 GB and a 128 GB storage that’s pretty much enough for saving all your media.

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
  • CPU: Up to 2.8 GHz octa-core Kryo 385 processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, 10nm LPP FinFET, 64-bit
  • GPU: Adreno 630
  • Memory: 8 GB, LPDDR4X
  • Storage: 128 GB, UFS 2.1, no microSD support
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh (non-removable)

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The benchmarks on the NEX are just as good as the high-end smartphones and no doubt the performance is top notch. Take a look at the results.

AnTuTu Benchmark

  • 263,754 points

Geekbench 4

  • 2,447 points (single-core CPU)
  • 9,048 points (multi-core CPU)
  • 14,263 (GPU)

3D Mark – The Gamer’s Benchmark (Sling Shot Extreme)

  • 4,589 (OpenGL ES 3.1)
  • 3,479 (Vulkan)

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The SoC boasts an Adreno 630 GPU and it’s currently the fastest mobile GPU on Qualcomm chips at the moment. Due to the big display, gaming on the NEX is great with no occurrence of the notch.

We tested the games – PUBG Mobile, Marvel Future Fight, and Sky Force Reloaded, they all excellent with full graphics settings. The Vivo NEX is recommended for gaming, most graphic-demanding games will run without any problems. We found no heating issues with the device while gaming.

Games Tested on Vivo NEX

  • PUBG Mobile
  • MARVEL Future Fight
  • Sky Force Reloaded

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Storage & Memory Performance

On the storage point of view, the Vivo NEX comes in one variant i.e. 128 GB of internal storage with no storage upgrades. The NEX has no microSD card support which means you have to rely all on the internal storage.

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Speaking of the performance of the storage, it packs a UFS 2.1 type storage which is fast enough and comparable with the top-of-the-line smartphones. Our benchmark indicates that the performance is reliable, but slightly below the competition. Take a look.

Out of 8 GB RAM, the user gets around 5 GB free which is more than sufficient. On multitasking, the RAM usage increases which left us around 3 GB of free RAM. There’s plenty of memory and you certainly won’t short of it.

A1 SD Bench

  • 652.52 MB/s (Read)
  • 0.0 MB/s (Write) – N/A
  • 15,008.19 MB/s (RAM Copy)

AndroBench

  • 673.71 MB/s (Sequential Read)
  • 184.24 MB/s (Sequential Write)
  • 115.12 MB/s (Random Read)
  • 21.01 MB/s (Random Write)

PC Mark Storage Benchmark (Internal) – 10,760 Points

  • 697.34 MB/s (Sequential Read)
  • 143.45 MB/s (Sequential Write)
  • 21.09 MB/s (Random Read)
  • 6.44 MB/s (Random Write)

Memory Usage (approx.)

  • 3 GB RAM Used
  • 5 GB RAM Free

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Cameras

The main highlight of the phone, the selfie camera that pops out from the top when you open the camera app. It’s definitely something new in the smartphone industry and I fancy it. The front camera is of 8 MP with f/2.0 aperture

This is not the first Vivo phone to offer a dual camera setup, it started off from the V9 then the X21, now NEX is the third phone from Vivo to have a dual camera setup.

The NEX offers Dual 12 MP + 5 MP cameras at the rear side. The 12 MP is the primary camera using the Sony’s IMX363 Exmor RS sensor with 1.40 µm pixels size and Dual Pixel PDAF. The secondary 5 MP camera is used for depth capturing abilities.

The IMX363 is the same Sony sensor found on the Xiaomi Mi 8 and ASUS ZenFone 5Z. The camera further supports a 4-axis OIS stabilization and a dual-tone LED.

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Vivo NEX Camera Specifications

  • Camera: Dual Cameras (12 MP + 5 MP), 12 MP f/1.8, dual pixel PDAF + 5 MP f/2.4
  • Sensor: Sony IMX363 Exmor RS (12 MP)
  • Optical Image Stabilization (OIS): Yes, 4-axis OIS
  • Rear Flash: dual-tone LED
  • Features: Google Lens, AI Scene Identification, Face Beauty, Portrait Bokeh, Professional, AR Stickers, Lighting Effects, Group selfie, Dual Pixel 24 MP, Camera Pop-up Sound, Live Photo, Slow Motion Video, 4K Video, Panorama, Watermark (model and time), Touch Capture, Voice Capture, Palm Capture, Timer, Mirrored Selfie, Geo-tagging, Tap to Focus, HDR, Color Filters, Burst Shot
  • Video Recording: Up to 4K video @30fps, slow motion 1080p video @240fps
  • Front Camera: 8 MP f/2.0, periscope-style opening
  • Video Recording: Up to 1080p videos @30fps
  • Front Flash: Screen Flash

The camera interface is pretty much the same you’ve seen on recent Vivo phones, what’s new is the Google Lens integration and the AI Scene Identification in the camera. The rest is what offered in the FunTouch OS 4.0 (V9 and X21) and a few things updated.

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The AI Scene detects the scenes automatically and selects the best preset, you will see a small icon on the screen of that particular scene for example if you are shooting a pic of a monument or a building, it shows you building-like structure icon.

In terms of camera quality, the Vivo NEX has already impressed us with its stunning photography. The portraits turned out to be amazing, the dynamics and the details are appealing, images tend to be colorful and vibrant.

At times, the camera captures overexposed the images in certain conditions especially when the background light intensity is high and using the tap to focus.

Same with the selfie camera, the selfies and portraits are well-captured, however, the background is brightened. Otherwise, selfies are clear, crisp and the details are strong.

The outdoor photography is very good and the images captured in the low-light aren’t bad either. Take a look at the shots we took from the Vivo NEX.

The camera is capable of recording 4K videos at 30 fps and it’s below the competition which offers 4K video at 60fps. The slow motion is capped at 1080p at 240fps which is good, however, certain smartphones have started offering 480fps and 960fps super slow motion.

Vivo NEX Camera Samples

Battery Runtime & Charging

Despite being a flagship-grade internals, Vivo managed to put a 4,000 mAh battery which is enough for a flagship phone. Not all phones in this segment offer such huge batteries due to the fact that they become bulky and increase the thickness. Vivo NEX is slightly heavy, but only if you don’t have a problem carrying weight.

The battery life of the Vivo NEX is fairly good, it’s still better than phones like OnePlus 6. Thanks to the big battery, the 10nm CPU, and its Super AMOLED display, the battery runs well. If you are a performance user, it’s obvious that the battery drains quickly on its full usage, but overall the battery stayed longer than expected especially for a phone having a powerhouse like Snapdragon 845.

Battery Charging

Also, there’s a fast charger inside the box that charges the phone pretty quick. Surprisingly, the Vivo offers a solid fast charging support with a 22.5W fast charger rated 10V and 2.25A. It can charge the battery up to 50% in half an hour and in around 100 mins of charging, the battery charges from 0% to 100% which is very good for a phone with 4,000 mAh battery.

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Vivo NEX Battery Test Results

Apps/GamesBattery usedRuntimeBrightnessWireless
1080p Video2%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
4K Video3%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
YouTube (1080p)3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
PUBG Mobile7%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Marvel Future Fight6%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Music (Offline)1%1 HourScreen OffOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Music (Online) -
SoundCloud
2%30 minutesScreen OffOn (Wi-Fi)
Facebook3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Instagram3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)

Verdict

What makes the NEX a standout among the others are its four unique features, the in-display fingerprint scanner, the full-screen notch-less design, elevating camera, and SoundCasting tech.

For a flagship-grade device, things like NFC, 4K video at 60fps, IP rating, and wireless charging is essential. That said, Vivo NEX isn’t the perfect smartphone, however, the four innovations make it worthwhile.

That said, it is recommended to buy the Vivo NEX for those who can live with some minor shortcomings mentioned above, and is seeking a phone that stands out from the crowd with its innovative features.

Rivals

Strength

  • Glass Design | Elegant Looks | Rainbow Effect on the back
  • FullScreen Notch-less Screen | Bright & Crisp
  • Elevating Selfie Camera
  • In-display Fingerprint Scanner
  • Screen SoundCasting Technology
  • Top Notch Performance (Snapdragon 845)
  • Plenty of RAM and Storage
  • Excellent Portraits | Very Good Dual Cameras
  • Stunning Selfies with Bokeh Effects
  • Decent Battery Life
  • Fast Charging (10V, 2.25A)

Weakness

  • Bulky (199 grams)
  • No MicroSD Support
  • No NFC
  • Not Water Resistant
  • Lacks 4K Videos At 60fps Recording
  • No Wireless Charging

Also check the video of the Vivo NEX review in Hindi

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Anu Modi
Anu Modi

Undoubtedly This Smartphones Is The Starting Of NEXT GENERATION Phones.Thanks To Vivo For Making This Phone So We Can See Some More Innovative Phones Like This In Future.