Vivo Nex First Impressions: A powerhouse with some innovative solutions

Vivo Nex motorized front camera

Smartphone design is currently stuck at the notch and there have been very few attempts to buck that trend. So when Vivo launched the Vivo Nex today at INR 44,990/- in India with a solution for that, there was buzz. I spent considerable time with the phone and here are my first impressions of this phone that tries to break trends and set new ones

Today, you either choose to live with the notch or you need to find a lot of creative ways to deal with the fingerprint scanner, the sensors and the front camera. This trend has thrust upon us, so it is really refreshing to see companies try and break out of this trend. Vivo has tried to give us an all screen phone with a thoughtful way to solve this. What they have done is throw the front camera into a motorized housing and made it slide out only whenever you intend to use it. They have gone around fixing the fingerprint sensor real estate by going with an under the display scanner. For most part this is very exciting and actually achieves giving you an all screen display that is drool-worthy and totally immersive. They have then gone about packing top of the line specs into the device and pricing it at INR 44,990/- . Vivo deserves huge kudos for just thinking of and actually designing the phone this way. Quite a break from tradition. Count me impressed

Vivo Nex Box

The flagship device from Vivo has a whole load of next generation features that have allowed Vivo to get as close to a bezel-less phone as possible today.  Vivo Nex’s pop-up camera is arguably its biggest wow factor and causes a lot of excitement wherever I take it. Every time I made the Nex’s camera pop out from the phone, I was asked to “do it again” by people around me, the sound effect is pretty nifty too. It elicits almost childish and totally interesting expressions of wonder in anyone that sees it. It’s undeniably cool and the novelty hasn’t worn off even after a couple of weeks. But the only worry that nags me is the fact that this is a mechanical set up and eventually it will wear out one way or the other. Imagine if it doesn’t pop out one day or pops out and doesn’t go back in. Awkward possibility but a very real one.

The next thoughtful innovation involves the earpiece , the one that you use to hear the other end of the line in a phone conversation. Where most other smartphones today have a hole for this in the body of the phone, Vivo has instead built the earpiece into the display itself. This means that there is absolutely no break in the screen real estate. The front is pretty much all screen. Very thoughtful and indeed very cool I would say. Actually, you can place any part of the screen to your ear during a phone call, and Vivo claims this should offer better sound quality in phone calls too.

Vivo Nex Display

On the OPPO Find X, the rising camera mechanism elevates the entire top of the phone and contains both the front and back cameras. Its reliance on facial recognition means the cameras pop up every time you want to unlock your phone.In stark contrast, the Vivo Nex’s selfie-only power needs seem negligible, especially if you’re not terribly prone to selfies. This is a big plus and I presume more battery friendly too.

According to Vivo the camera module can push up to 500g in repeated trials, and it can apparently can be raised and lowered repeatedly up to 50,000 times and withstand up to 45kg of thrust force when extended.

Vivo Nex Rear View

Completely reversing the Android trend of today, you won’t find a visible fingerprint scanner anywhere on the Vivo Nex either. The company has worked with Goodix to include an under-glass scanner, so you can unlock your phone with your fingerprint through the display. It hasn’t gotten old, still gets one all excited and happy.

NEX features a left-side AI button for Jovi strictly dedicated to a full range of AI services. Press and hold this button and the AI Assistant is at your service. For AI Image identification, just point out the camera at an object and push the AI button, it will then look up the object online and display related search results and information.

When your phone is lying on a table, you’ll have to give it a gentle tap or a push or a nudge to activate the fingerprint camera or hit the power button. It wakes up by movement, so picking your phone up activates the scanner camera automatically. You can turn off the fingerprint logo on the always-on display in the settings, but when you do this you’re also disabling the camera, meaning that unlocking your phone from a screen-off state becomes actually impossible.

Vivo Next Top

The Vivo NEX comes with top-of-the-line firepower and sports a 6.59-inch Super AMOLED display that has a Full HD+ (2316×1080) resolution. It is ticking on a 2.8 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and comes with 8GB RAM coupled to 128GB of internal storage. The device runs the latest Android 8.1 Oreo operating system with FunTouch 4.0 on top. The juice to run this phone comes from a 4000 mAh battery.

Vivo Nex on table

This device comes with a dual rear camera setup comprising of a 12-megapixel and a 5-megapixel sensor with f/1.8 and f/2.4 apertures respectively. At the front, the smartphone comes with an 8-megapixel selfie shooter that is housed in a pop-up mechanism and hence is not seen on the device until called for through the camera app. And yes, no face unlock here.

All in all, as far as first impressions go, this is a powerhouse with a ton of innovative solutions. More to come in the full review. But for now, it looks like Vivo has a winner at INR 44,990/-

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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