The original Vivo Nex featured a pop-up camera designed to side-step the dreaded notch but the new Nex Dual Display Edition instead packs in a secondary screen on its rear in an effort to forgo a front-facing camera altogether.
As the leaks alluded to, and as the phone’s name implies, this new Nex adopts a dual display design, with a 6.39-inch, 19.5:9 aspect ratio Super AMOLED screen dominating the phone’s front, granting it an impressive 84.7% screen-to-body ratio and pleasing Full HD+ visuals without even the hint of a notch, while a smaller 5.49-inch, 16:9 Super AMOLED panel sits on the back underneath the phone’s three cameras.
Interestingly, that rear screen isn’t solely limited to select tasks as one might expect, granting you the ability to use the phone either way around; with a full Android 9.0 Pie experience (dressed in Vivo’s Funtouch OS on top) at your fingertips.
Vivo demonstrated a few use-cases where both screens come into play too. One of the most intriguing applications saw use of the rear screen as a touchpad while gaming, adding extra controls into the mix, not unlike a PS Vita. Another example was a little more tenuous, with users being able to draw simple shapes and patterns on the main screen, only to have it animate and appear on the phone’s back. The secondary display can also display images in an always-on configuration.
Above the rear-facing display lives the phone’s camera array, set within a raised glass circle that Vivo calls the ‘Lunar Ring’. The ring itself can glow in a variety of colours, alerting you to different notifications and also double as an ambient selfie light in poorly-lit environments.
With no front-facing camera, the rear camera setup doesn’t only facilitate selfies, it also serves as the only means of face unlock (although there is an in-display fingerprint sensor under the main screen too).
Photography falls to a 12-megapixel primary sensor with large 1.4µm pixels, OIS (optical image stabilisation) and a wide f/1.8 aperture, all of which contribute to its low-light capabilities. It’s also supported by a secondary 2-megapixel sensor for depth data.
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Outside of the Lunar Ring sits a third camera sensor and this one packs an insanely wide f/1.3 aperture, but it doesn’t lend its talents to the phone’s traditional photography, instead, it’s used to provide this new Nex with 3D ToF (time-of-flight) technology for 3D facial and object scanning, similarly to the recently launched Oppo R17 Pro/RX17 Pro.
While there’s no word yet on the phone’s arrival outside of China, the phone is locally priced at ¥4998 (CNY), which equates to approximately £580/$725/€640; not bad for a device with a OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition-rivalling 10GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, a 3500mAh battery and a Snapdragon 845 processor.
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