VIVO NEX: Hands-On, First Impressions
The VIVO NEX is a new line of flagship smartphone from the company that incorporates their latest technologies like under-display fingerprint sensor and the pop-up front camera system.
There are actually two variants of the VIVO NEX — the NEX A which comes with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage is powered by the Snapdragon 710; and the NEX S, which comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is powered by the Snapdragon 845. What we have with us is the NEX S variant.
Right off the bat, the NEX is a huge device — spanning almost 6.6 inches from end to end with its FullView Display. This is perhaps the biggest flagship smartphone we’ve ever tried although it’s not much bigger compared to the other models that usually come with 6.3-inch display.
The huge screen makes it much better when watching movies or playing games. The Super AMOLED display is very bright and crisp even though the resolution is just FHD+ or 2316×1080 pixels.
Then, there’s the under-display fingerprint sensor that VIVO has popularized among its latest devices. You might be confused with it on your first few tries but after a while, you get used to it since there’s a visual cue when you should be placing your fingers to unlock the device.
The back panel has a glass outer material with tapered edges and a subtle design pattern just below the deep blue tint. There’s a big NEX logo in the center and the dual-camera system is placed in the top left corner stacked to one another.
The two cameras are a combo of 12MP f/1.8 + 5MP f/2.4 sensors with LED Flash, with the second camera adding depth-effect to portrait photos.
There is a built-in 4-axis image stabilization and electronic image stabilization which aids in producing less shaky and smoother videos.
There are also additional features here that some might find interesting, like a 40MP maximum resolution via interpolation, Master AI, 4D predictive focus, 4K UHD video recording (in H.265 format) and Pro Mode. Initial shots we took using the rear camera looked very good but we’ll get into this during our full review.
The most interesting part of this device, and the one that really got a lot of people’s attention, is the pop-up front facing camera.
The camera module is conspicuously hidden at the topmost edge of the device and only pops out when you launch the camera and switch to selfie mode.
The whole idea of the pop-up camera is that it frees up more space on the front panel, giving it a higher screen-to-body ratio. It takes about half a second to pop up, which isn’t bad at all.
Performance of the Snapdragon 845 and 8GB of RAM was thru the roof. Initial Antutu benchmark puts the score at over 260,000 points, the highest we’ve seen for far in any review unit we’ve handled. Gaming is smooth and snappy, we couldn’t find anything to complain about. VIVO’s FunTouch OS is layered on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. The UI is a little different and can take a while to get used to.
VIVO is still not sure whether to release the NEX here in the Philippines, considering the possible price tag it would entail. We hope they can bring in a few though.
VIVO NEX specs:
6.59-inch sAMOLED Ultra FullView Display @ 2316 × 1080 pixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core 2.8GHz OR Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 octa-core 2.2GHz
6GB (NEX A), 8GB (NEX S) RAM
128GB, 256GB internal storage
12MP f/1.8 + 5MP f/2.4 dual rear cameras with LED Flash, 4-axis OIS
8MP f/2.0 pop-out front camera
Rear Fingerprint scanner (NEX A)
Under-display fingerprint scanner (NEX S)
Vivo FunTouch OS 4.0 (Android 8.1 Oreo)
162 × 77 × 7.98mm
Colors: Ruby Red, Star Diamond Black (NEX Fullscreen); Star Diamond Black (NEX Ultimate)
The Vivo NEX will initially be available China starting June 23rd with prices as follows: CNY3,898 (~Php32,300) for the 6GB/128GB NEX A CNY4,498 (~Php37,300) for the NEX S with 8GB/128GB combo, and CNY4,998 (~Php41,400) for the higher 8GB/256GB model.