Vivo Nex full-screen handset kisses notches goodbye

A few folks like to have meat around their phone screen for gripping, but the the majority of the market for high-end phones has pronounced that display bezels are terrible and must be eliminated at all costs. So far, that has mostly meant re-positioning things like fingerprint sensors and sticking front-facing sensors into notches carved into the display. Chinese phone maker Vivo has gone a different route for its flagship Nex phone, relegating the self-portrait camera to a flip-out pod and equipping the device with a novel “Screen SoundCasting” ear speaker and a stuff-of-legends in-display fingerprint reader.

All of these technological hijinks allow the 6.6″ Super AMOLED display to cover over 91% of the Nex's body. That screen's 2316×1080 resolution isn't setting any records in the segment, but its still good for just over 400 PPI. The 193:90 aspect ratio doesn't reduce well, so it's probably just easier to say 2.14:1. A fingerprint scanner is hidden beneath the bottom section of the screen, unlike some recent phones that have moved biometric authentication to the side or the back of the body.

The Screen SoundCasting tech uses the entire screen as a speaker in a fashion similar to a bone-conduction speaker. Vivo says this technology provides better bass response than regular speakers, along with allowing for more room on the phone's face for the display. Vivo didn't talk about battery life, though the 4000-mAh battery is rather capacious. However, it also has its work cut out for it powering such a large screen.

The insides of the Nex are typical 2018 Android flagship, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 calling the shots and peeking and poking at 8 GB of memory. The company didn't detail the storage options, but TechRadar says the Nex gets 256 GB of onboard storage and the less-expensive Nex S gets 128 GB. The outlet says the company will make a similar model called the Nex A that swaps out the top-shelf Snapdragon 845 in favor of the spanking-new midrange Snapdragon 710 SoC paired with 6 GB of RAM. None of the Nex handsets get a microSD card slot.

The front-facing camera is an eight-megapixel unit with an f/2.0 aperture that pops up when the user activates it, and slides back in automatically within a couple seconds of closing the camera app. The rear camera has a 12-MP main sensor with an f/2.0 lens working in conjunction with a 5-MP, f/2.4 unit. It's possible that the packaging of the user-facing camera could preclude face-recognition technology for user identification. The Nex has a headphone jack on the top and a USB Type-C connector on the bottom. The company didn't make any claims regarding dust and water intrusion resistance, though.

Vivo probably isn't a familiar brand name to most gerbils, but its parent company BBK Electronics counts OnePlus and Oppo among its marques. BBK is the second-largest manufacturer of smartphones in the world and also makes products sold under the Philco and Memorex names in the US.

We aren't so sure if the Vivo Nex can handle the dusty lunar environment

Ars Technica reports that Vivo will sell the Nex in China for ¥4,498, a figure that comes out to around $700. The Snapdragon 710-powered Nex A will reportedly cost the equivalent of about $600.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 1 year ago

    [quote<]the the majority of the market for high-end phones has pronounced that display bezels are terrible and must be eliminated at all costs. So far, that has mostly meant re-positioning things like fingerprint sensors and sticking front-facing sensors into notches carved into the display.[/quote<] Just goes to show that apart from adding faster processors and more RAM than most folks need, phone makers will go to any length to justify charging more money for their high end phones, even if it means adding features that are unnecessary or silly.

    • ronch
    • 1 year ago

    Thank the stars for this righteous decision! But wait, can they ditch 18:9 displays as well? What’s up with the industry going with 18:9?? Do we really need a new aspect ratio??

    • Waco
    • 1 year ago

    I hate the already-thin-to-me bezels on my LG G5, I constantly hit the edge of the screen when I’m holding it and trying to hit something one the left side of the screen with my thumb (holding in my right hand). I can’t imagine these handle that any better.

      • ronch
      • 1 year ago

      Get a mid-range phone for around $160. Those don’t come with notched displays or hair-thin bezels.. for now.

    • Pancake
    • 1 year ago

    Now this is real innovation. Love the pop-up camera which I will never use and which won’t be spying on me. China – not copying but leading with design and tech.

    Absolutely kicks Apple in the teeth and their stupid happy crappy notch.

      • meerkt
      • 1 year ago

      I find it silly. It will be more prone to breaking. I’d prefer a simple sliding cover, and no edge-to-edge screen.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 1 year ago

      I have an idea, no f-ing camera on the front at all, thanks.

        • juampa_valve_rde
        • 1 year ago

        10 years ago i would have agreed, but now it looks like a good compromise a popup selfie camera, better than having a notch.

      • Chrispy_
      • 1 year ago

      Agreed!

      Apple can’t do pop-out cameras – everything they make has to be one solid mass of epoxy, glass, and glue. I’m sure they’ll charge for for the iPhone XI by removing the camera entirely and providing you one on the end of a dongle though <3

    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    I will not be satisfied until a phone’s screen covers 110% of the body.

    If my football coach demanded 110% from me, then it’s only fair that I demand 110% from others.

      • morphine
      • 1 year ago

      Sooner or later someone will make a wraparound screen, and a 140% screen-to-body ratio will be a thing 🙂

        • Laykun
        • 1 year ago

        I think you’ll find we’ll have to redefine what screen to body ratio means. Currently phones are actually under 50% screen to body ratio because the sides and back aren’t screen yet.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 1 year ago

        Perhaps you can score > 100% by having a complex surface, lots of ups and downs which the screen can follow, sort of a heatsink covered in a screen.

      • stdRaichu
      • 1 year ago

      [url=https://www.xkcd.com/1889/<]XKCD Phone 6[/url<] has already introduced a 110% screen.

        • Chrispy_
        • 1 year ago

        I feel like a lousy nerd; I’ve allowed XKCD to fall off my daily tab-opening-and-coffee-drinking ritual.

        I think I’m about 18 months behind and I promise to say 20 hail-Marys once I’m caught up.

      • fyo
      • 1 year ago

      I used to consider that 110% stuff stupid, but I’ve since come to the conclusion that it’s simply a matter of normalization. Particularly when it comes to physical performance, that makes a lot sense. How do you define “100%”? Is it the max amount you can continuously deliver over a longer period of time? Is it your absolute max burst performance?

      In that context, with appropriately chosen normalization, “giving it 110%” (as demanded by coaches everywhere) can absolutely make sense.

        • Voldenuit
        • 1 year ago

        Since I only ever give 80%, 80% is my new 100%.

      • Wirko
      • 1 year ago

      Given the [i<]compound annual growth rate[/i<] of phones, in inches per year, you may soon be able to buy a phone that covers 110% of *your* body!

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