+ Friday August 23rd, 2019

At an event in China, smartphone maker Vivo has launched the first almost full screen smartphone that includes a neat, hidden selfie camera.

Called the Vivo NEX, the phone is the first phone launch to take the idea of a bezel-less phone and really run with it – even eschewing the notch that other manufacturers have gone with to include a front-facing camera thanks to the inclusion of a pop-up, 8MP front-facing selfie camera.

The pop-up selfie camera isn’t the only trick, with the Vivo NEX also incorporates an in-display fingerprint sensor and behind the glass earpiece under the 6.59″ 1080p Super AMOLED display. The display offers a 91.24% screen-to-body ratio, making it attractive for anyone who really hates bezels.

The phone is coming in two configurations, the first is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage and a 4,000mAh battery. The second option is cheaper and powered by a slightly less powerful config which includes a Snapdragon 710 processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage.

While the 8MP front-facing camera is a neat trick, the Vivo NEX also includes a dual sensor array on the back with a 12MP + 5MP camera setup. Vivo is also incorporating AI into their camera software with ‘AI Scene Recognition, AI HDR, AI Filters and AI Photo Composition’ built into the camera app.

The Vivo NEX is only launching in China in black and red variants, but if you really want one there will be vendors selling these online in the coming weeks.

My Take
In a view not shared by all Ausdroid staff, I really don’t get the appeal of an almost all-screen phone especially after using early generations of Samsung’s almost bezel-less ‘Infinity Display’ phones.

The mistaken touches are prolific to the extreme on early versions of the Samsung phones, and it’s only now years after that Samsung has managed to almost get this right. What chances Vivo, a relatively tiny Chinese company has of getting this right is almost non-existent.

I don’t mind bezels on phones as it means there’s no phantom touches, and if done right, they add a certain symmetry to a phones design.

That said there are things I truly like about the Vivo NEX including the under display speaker, pop-up selfie camera and the in-display fingerprint sensor – but I also prefer a rear fingerprint sensor as it can be activated in a more ergonomic way when operating one-handed just by reaching into your pocket.

There’s a trend in smartphone designs to go completely bezel-less, but I would much prefer a nicer, symmetrical looking phone with front-facing speakers. Still, the motto for Android is ‘Be together, not the same’ so there’s room for all types of designs, so if this interests you, check it out at your usual importers in the coming weeks.

Source: Vivo.

Daniel Tyson  


Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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