As the race towards the all-screen smartphone continues, we are seeing more and more design innovations. And no phone takes innovation quite as far as the Vivo NEX 4G Phablet. Instead of going for the popular notch at the top of the screen, the NEX 4G gives you a full-view 6.59-inch display with a pop-up selfie cam on top. What design compromises did Vivo have to make to achieve this? Let’s find out!
Vivo NEX 4G phablet: the first ever all-screen smartphone?
It’s here — an all-screen smartphone with nothing in the way between you and a stunning 6.59 inch Super Amoled display with 2316 x 1080 resolution. Not even a notch. How did the phone achieve the notch-less look? There’ve been a few compromises.
? The selfie camera is now hidden behind the display and is elevated thanks to the built-in micro motor
? The fingerprint sensor has been placed under the display — and it also doubles as a speaker.
The only non-screen element on the front of the phone is the mini bezel at the bottom measuring some 0.2 inches.
On the back, the phone is dark-grey with a vertical dual camera and the NEX logo in the middle. The Vivo NEX 4G comes with a dedicated leftside button for Jovi and a full range of AI services. So, you can easily summon the assistant with just one press of a button.
Vivo NEX 4G phablet: screen and sound quality
Typically, we would break these elements apart for a review — but with the Vivo NEX 4G phablet, the screen is the center of it all. As we’ve mentioned above, on the Vivo NEX you get an expansive full-view 8.59 inch display with 2316×1080 resolution and a 9.3:9 aspect ratio. The phone’s display does make an impression and would definitely be a treat for those who use their phones primarily as media watching devices.
The sound does not disappoint either. Despite the rather unusual speaker placement (the speaker is hidden under the phone’s screen), you get a very good quality of sound: with a dynamic range reaching up to 130dB and distortion minimized to -115dB. The immersive Hi-Fi audio is the perfect match for your large screen experience.
Vivo NEX 4G phablet: innovative cameras
The front camera, or rather its design and placement, is what sets the Vivo NEX apart from every single smartphone on the market. Here’s how it works: Whenever you want to take a selfies and press the shutter button, the selfie cam elevates from inside the top of the screen, does its job and then retracts back as if it was never even there. The whole process takes less than a second and is followed by a quiet but still audible motor sound. You can also set an audio effect for when the camera appears in the phone settings — a rather cool element to have at your disposal.
The selfie cam design on the NEX 4G is definitely impressive. But there are a few concerns. First, the fact that the cam will actually rise above the screen whenever you need to take a selfie means that people around you will be aware of the fact that you are taking a picture. Not a big deal — but something to keep in mind. Second, since there are more moving parts in the camera, it, theoretically, could be more prone to damage. With that, the camera uses a sophisticated micro-stepping motor for its comings and goings and our fears may be superficial.
For a camera-centered phone, the Vivo NEX comes with rather modest cam specs. The selfie cam is 8MP while the rear cam setup is 12.0MP + 5.0MP. But what is lacking in specs is well complemented by a set of photo features including 4-axis image stabilization, 1.4-micrometer pixel sensors, and a f/1.8 aperture. The rear cam performs very well both on a sunny day and in poor light conditions. The front camera takes decent selfies, enhanced by the mere James Bond effect of watching the mini cam reveal itself from inside the phone. The beautifying effects may be a bit too much for some, as well as the bokeh effect, which is on the prominent side.
Vivo NEX 4G phablet: CPU performance
The Vivo NEX 4G phablet (6GB RAM and 128GB ROM version) runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 OOcta-Core processor speeding up to 2.2GHz. You get a very good storage setup: 6GB of RAM and 128GB of ROM: great for multitasking, gaming, video editing and more. However, if you have a higher demand for the performance, you can also choose the Vivo NEX flagship version that is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa Core processor and provide you with more storage – 8GB RAM and 128GB ROM.
Vivo NEX 4G phablet: OS and battery
The phablet uses Android 8.1 and navigation is intuitive and familiar. You also have the 4,000mAh battery, which should offer enough juice to enjoy all your media files in full and take plenty of selfies even with the camera movement involved. Security and ease of use are guaranteed by the in-screen fingerprint sensor.
Vivo NEX 4G phablet: the verdict
The Vivo NEX 4G is a very interesting device and, at least design-wise, one of the most innovative smartphones out there. The full-view screen is definitely a huge plus and the absence of the notch (or any other disruption) takes a phone media experience to a new level. Priced at $599.99, the Vivo NEX is not cheap. But with its innovative design and powerful performance, it has surpassed most smartphones in the same price range. What’s more, this breakthrough smartphone will bring you some fresh using experience, why not give it a try?