Vivo is in the process of rolling out its new Nex model to the world. China got to see the interesting new features last month. Just a few days ago it was the turn of India. There is great excitement around this new model because of some of the curious design choices. There seems to be a deliberate attempt here to take a different path from the (phone X, rather than emulate it Was this a wise decision and will buyers be impressed with the new tech in this Vivo Nex?
The first feature to talk about when reviewing this new phone has to be the front display.
Design & Display
There is a bit of a design issue with mobile tech right now. Everyone seems to look towards Apple for the best design ideas. But, just because a product is popular, that doesn’t make it perfect. Apple leads the global pack through brand loyalty and marketing. Consumers overlook flaws in favour of the name and familiarity. One such flaw it the notch — something that a surprising number of brands have copied. This isn’t the case with this new Vivo Nex. In fact, this model has one of the prettiest, most streamlined display around right now. There are two main reasons for this
- Vivo has one of the best fingerprint sensors in the industry
- When they say a full-screen experience, they mean a full-screen experience
The fingerprint scanner is a third-generation model that integrates seamlessly into the display of the phone. This not only looks cool, it improves functionality for users. The idea here is to offer 50% more accuracy and 10% more speed. Therefore, less time wasted getting your phone to recognize you as an important message comes in.
The Ultra FullView Display stretches out across the front of the 16.74cm screen to provide that fullscreen experience that users want. Ideally, we want a small phone with a large screen. While this sounds impossible, Vivo has found a way to make this happen with this new Nex model. The problem is that they had to make some major adjustments to do so. The annoying notch has gone, but so has the traditional front camera.
So, how are we meant to take a selfie with this new Vivo Nex phone?
Instagram junkies and selfie pros shouldn’t fret just get. There is an alternative solution that means that we can still take some great photos from both sides of the phone. There is a pop-up camera that appears whenever it is needed. It can appear for selfies and FaceTime but remains hidden the rest of the time The advantage here is that this maintains the simple, streamlined shape during normal phone use The tiny camera slides out of the top of the phone like some James Bond-esque gadget. They would probably prefer we used the term “elevating front camera” because it sounds more high-tech.
The downside is that it just doesn’t feel the same as the normal approach. There isn’t the instant gratification of a spontaneous selfie capture. A further issue here is that this pop-up camera isn’t as sophisticated as the front-facing cameras on other models. Some previous designs contain 25MP cameras — just sharp enough for a decent capture. Here the pop-up model offers just 5MP.
Aesthetics and photos aside, how smart is this phone? Is there substance as well as style?
Al and assistive tech is almost the norm now with mobile tech. We expect an assistant as much as a more old-fashioned messaging system or Wi-Fi connection. Again, Vivo does things a little differently with this new Nex model. Here there is a dedicated Al button on the side of the phone. This button brings up a Google assistant called Jovi — one that you don’t even have to talk in order to get a good response. This button combines Jovi with the Google lens so that the Nex can interact with surroundings and inform the user.
Of course, this intelligence and quick thinking are only possible with a big enough brain. The Vivo Nex has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and 8GB of RAM. The idea here is that this phone keeps up with tasks and questions without hesitation. In fact, it is said to be 30% more powerful than its predecessors.
There is a lot of potentials here in the software and the processors, but also some concerns about the hardware.
So far, there is plenty of new tech and improved specs to appeal to new buyers. But, cautious consumers are unsure about the longevity of the product. For a start, there is that mechanism on the elevating camera.
How many times can it rise and fall without a mechanical malfunction?
Is it likely to get stuck or even snap off?
Then there are those questioning the waterproofing and dust proofing on this device. Waterproofing is still a big talking point with modern tech. It has been since the major players designed models that you can drop in the toilet without ill effect. The pop-up camera suggests that we really shouldn’t let this phone anywhere near water.
Is this new Vivo Nex model a good alternative to the latest Apple or Android model?
We have to applaud Vivo for doing something a bit different with this phone. Yes, the pop-up camera is gimmicky and has as many flaws as it does attributes. But, this is a nice way of providing the large screen and minimalist look that many consumers have been searching for There are lots of nice ideas here that make this model stand out. It is smarter than previous models and the new Al button is a nice step forward into assistive technology.
The concern here is that much of the praise refers to short-term benefits, and the criticism relates to long-term concerns. Much of the praise for this model focuses on the look of that notchless display and the difference compared to the Phone X. Yet, there are those concerns over the durability of the camera and the waterproofing.