Vivo Nex’s display is the big change. The super-premium Asus ZenFone 5Z has a similar display, but that phone has a traditional notch at the top, while Vivo’s Nex does not. The latter also looks and feels very premium thanks to its ceramic back and glossy glass on the front. Vivo Nex has the most subtle bezel-less notch ever. The only weak points are the bezels surrounding the notch, and the placement of the dual cameras on the back, which are placed about a half-inch below the top edge. The fact that Vivo’s notch sits so low means it’s nearly impossible to make a call with the phone in landscape mode without running the risk of your ear hearing your caller’s voice directly, while also struggling to see the notification information from your lock screen. There’s a workaround, however.
The Nex features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, which makes it an early adopter of the new mobile platform. It has an Adreno 630 GPU, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage (non-expandable), a 4,000mAh battery, a dual 16-megapixel (f/1.8) + 20-megapixel (f/2.4) AI dual selfie camera with a single LED flash, and a single 16-megapixel f/2.4 camera (f/2.0) in the back. It has an IP68 rating for water and dust protection, and a fingerprint sensor on the back. The phone has a headphone jack, but it does not have a 3.5mm jack adapter in the box. You can, however, use a USB-C-to-3.5mm adapter. There are a total of 13W wireless charging capabilities. When is it out?
The Nex’s 19.3:9 aspect ratio display isn’t all that exciting by itself. I’ll get more into what that means a bit later. But I think the Nex looks better than any phone that’s been released in the past year. (It’s a more technical discussion, but that’s what these reviews are for.) Enlarge Image Lynn La/CNET I appreciate how the Vivo phone is so minimal. It’s not as bulky as the Essential Phone, and its mirror-like reflective finish doesn’t look too cheap. It’s less distinctive than the notch on the OnePlus 6, for example, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s the same with the front-facing camera. It’s a small addition in the top-left corner of the phone, but it’s so small it doesn’t distract from the display.
This is where the true innovation of the Vivo Nex comes through. It allows you to pop out the selfie camera on the upper part of the screen to take a selfie. As you might expect, it’s awkward. To be honest, I had a hard time doing so, especially if you’re trying to focus on the screen. At this angle, the display doesn’t really create the best sense of depth. Also, there’s a bezel above the phone’s screen, because you need room for the speaker grill. With a taller screen like the Oppo Find X or Vivo’s own Apex, you’d barely notice the speaker grill was there. Vivo is only doing this to let people use the selfie camera from other angles. What’s also interesting is that the notch on top of the screen has been made smaller.
That’s it! Thanks for reading. Take a look at our video review of the Vivo Nex.