Remember the Vivo Apex, the crazy concept phone shown at Mobile World Congress this year? Vivo recently announced it would be the basis for a phone we could actually buy, and has now revealed the final device. It’s called the Vivo Nex, and not only is it very close to the Apex we swooned over at MWC, it’s also like nothing else we’ve seen come out this year — and that makes it very exciting.
Vivo has managed to achieve a stunning 91 percent screen-to-body ratio with the Nex, squeezing a massive 6.59-inch screen into the almost bezel-less body. Take a close look at the screen in the pictures and you’ll notice something missing. Well, actually you’ll notice there’s nothing missing, as the Nex doesn’t have a notch like we’re seeing on most phones with slim bezels at the moment.
This is possible through the use of three technologies we saw demonstrated on the Apex concept. The first is the 8-megapixel selfie camera, which “pops up” from the top of the phone — a fun and innovative alternative to placing the lens at the bottom of the phone, like Xiaomi did with the Mi Mix series. The second is turning the screen itself into the speaker, rather than using a notch to house a single speaker. We had a quick demo of this at MWC, and the sound quality was surprisingly good.
Finally, the Vivo Nex has an in-display fingerprint sensor. Vivo says it’s the third-generation of the tech inside the Nex, following on from the X20 and X21 phones. The X20 worked superbly with Synaptics fingerprint sensor, but the multi-finger sensor inside the Vivo Apex wasn’t quite so successful. We’re hoping the Nex is closer to the X20/X21 experience.
Add all these things together, and the Vivo Nex becomes a look at the next generation of smartphone design and technology. It definitely reminds us of how the Xiaomi Mi Mix influenced the industry when it was released in late 2016. Vivo has also embraced artificial intelligence for the Nex, adding A.I. elements to the camera including scene recognition, filters, and compositional advice which it had also revealed separately this year. The Nex also has its own A.I. assistant called Jovi, who we expect will be there, forever and a day, always.
This is a flagship phone too. Inside is a Snapdragon 845 processor and 8GB of RAM, plus 256GB of storage space, and a massive 4,000mAh battery. Android 8.1 Oreo is the operating system but with Vivo’s Funtouch OS user interface over the top. The dual-lens camera on the back has a 12-megapixel, f/1.8 aperture lens, and a secondary 5-megapixel f/2/4 aperture lens. Vivo hasn’t announced when the Nex will go on sale or the price, but the company mainly sells its hardware in China, so you’ll have to import a Nex if you want one.