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Review

Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition First Impressions: Killing the notch with two screens

Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition smartphone ditches the selfie camera for a second screen at the back.

vivo nex dual primary display

Highlights

  • Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition comes with two screens.

  • It features Snapdragon 845 SoC, 10GB RAM, 128GB storage.

  • Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition also comes with triple rear cameras.

2018 was a year when we saw a number of powerful and innovative smartphones. The notched display quickly became a trend after the launch of the Apple iPhone X. But it continues to divide opinions, which has led to companies like Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi trying out different ways to kill the notch.

First was the Vivo NEX that came with a motorized pop-up selfie camera, followed by Oppo Find X that came with motorized pop-up front and rear cameras. More recently, the Honor Magic 2 and Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 have featured a slider design with the camera hidden under the slider. Vivo went with another crazy concept of having two screens to kill the notch with the NEX Dual Display Edition smartphone.

Though it was launched in China towards the end of the year, Vivo isn’t planning to take the smartphone to the global markets yet. Performance wise, the smartphone is no slouch either. It is powered by a Snapdragon 845 SoC paired with 10GB of RAM, and 128GB storage. However, it does carry a hefty price tag of RMB 4,998, which is roughly Rs 52,400 in India. I had a chance to play around with the dual screen smartphone for a bit, and here are my first impressions.

Watch: Vivo NEX First Look

Dual Screen – The Highlight Reel

The highlight of the Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition is, of course, its dual displays. Up front, you get a complete edge-to-edge 6.39-inch OLED Full HD+ display that runs at a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels. It has rounded corners with thin bezels on sides, and a very thin chin at the bottom. The earpiece is placed in a thin slit just above the display, and it isn’t easily visible. You get a complete full screen experience to enjoy watching movies or playing your favorite games without any obstructions.

At the back, you have a secondary 5.49-inch OLED full HD display that runs at 1920×1080 pixels, and 16:9 aspect ratio. There is a thick forehead above the display where you have the triple rear cameras along with LED flash and IR sensor. The bottom chin is also pretty thick, and it has the NEX branding over there. Both displays are bright and sharp enough to let you enjoy the content.

Both displays don’t work simultaneously (unless you use dual display mode in camera). The secondary display primarily acts as a viewfinder when you want to click selfies. Yet, it depends on you whether you want to use the front or the rear display when using other apps. Each display has a separate power/wake button on either side of the frame. Both give you access to all your apps, and you can do a swipe gesture (with three fingers), to switch displays. For instance, you can open a website on Google Chrome on the primary screen, and swipe with three fingers to turn off the main display and switch to secondary one with the same Chrome tab and website open there.

Triple Rear Cameras – Three Times the Fun?

The triple camera setup includes a 12-megapixel primary camera with optical image stabilization support, a 2-megapixel night vision sensor, and the third is a Time of Flight (TOF) 3D camera. When you want to use the primary camera the main screen acts as a viewfinder, like in case of every other smartphone. However, when you want to click selfies, switching from rear to front camera activates the second screen, and you need to turn around the phone to use the camera.

The triple cameras are AI-enabled with scene detection features. There is also support for portrait mode and lighting effects such studio light, stereo light, monochrome and rainbow light effects. Besides these, there are other modes such as AR stickers, AI Beauty mode, and slow-motion video recording as well.

Security – In-display fingerprint scanner and 3D Face Unlock

Vivo hasn’t compromised on the security side either. The flagship smartphone comes with an in-display fingerprint scanner which is placed underneath the primary display. So, when you are using the main display, you can scan your fingerprint to unlock the smartphone.

Vivo has also added face unlock feature which activates when using the rear display. It has iPhone X-like 3D Face scanning which uses the third Time of Flight (TOF) 3D camera, and the IR sensor. In the little time I had the phone, I had setup both fingerprint and face scanner, and they were both fast in unlocking the phone.

Initial impressions

The Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition smartphone is a good effort by the company which yet again tries to turn a concept into reality. Having dual displays may not sound like the right way to get rid of the notch, but it is commendable that Chinese smartphone makers are showing their creative side. It also proves that these companies have the vision, capability and the desire to try something out of the ordinary.

Smartphones like Vivo NEX and Oppo Find X are not targeted towards the mass audience, but when we talk about innovation, these are the phones that will always be mentioned. Even a few years down the line, these products will always be highlighted as the ones to come with industry-first novelty features.

The Vivo NEX Dual Display Edition comes with latest Android Pie OS with Funtouch OS on top, has a 3,500mAh battery with dual engine fast charge feature, and comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack too. It isn’t available in India, nor are there any official plans. But if you happen to be in China, and want to give it a try, you can’t go wrong with this one.

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  • Published Date: January 7, 2019 4:51 PM IST