The ‘notch’ has been all the rage for some time now, often considered a clever way of packing loads of technology such as the front camera and the sensors, to flaunt a bigger, near-bezel-less display. The latest iPhone X has it as well as most Android replicas, but Vivo Nex has managed to drop it. It sports a bold new design, squeezing in a 6.59 inch Super AMOLED display with almost non-existent bezels (the one below the display is thick) and ensuring 91.24 per cent screen-to-body ratio. Watching videos on a bezel-less display is pure delight. And it has been quite an immersive experience when I further zoom in for a full-view YouTube video.
To achieve the bezel-less display, Vivo has dropped the front speaker grill and introduced a motorised, elevating selfie camera on the phone’s top panel. Whenever I want to use it, the 8 MP front-facing selfie camera pops
up in less than a second and is ready to click away. It works in the panorama and face beauty modes, captures photos and videos and also provides AR stickers. Whenever you switch to the rear camera or click the gallery icon to view the last image captured, the elevated front camera starts descending. In fact, it automatically descends after a short span of inactivity.
While Nex feels big, the curved edges at the rear make sure that it can be gripped in the most ergonomic way. The glass rear has a holographic panel that looks good, but at the same time, it is a big fingerprint magnet. The rear panel houses a 12 MP-5 MP vertical camera module at the top-left. To capture depth images, one has to select the ‘portrait’ icon within ‘take photo’, which enables depth adjustments and captures stunning bokeh shots. However, the phone does not support face unlock and the in-display fingerprint sensor is a pain. Even after multiple attempts, it failed to register my fingerprint, essential for settings up the fingerprint scan. Finally, I used the passcode to unlock the phone.
Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, it comes with 8 GB RAM and runs on Funtouch OS built on Android 8.1.0. The user interface is slightly different with all the apps placed on the home screen (there is no app tray) and shortcuts to settings accessible by swiping upwards from the bottom. There is a dedicated AI button on the left panel that uses Google Lens to identify objects and texts, and scan barcodes. The 4,000 mAh battery (accompanied with Type-C charger) easily lasts a day with still 20 per cent juice left.
ELEVATING module housing the front camera
6.59 Bezel display with wide-viewing angle DEDICATED AI button uses Google Lens to search